November 13, 2020
Governor Cooper has lowered the indoor gathering limit to 10 people.
October 15, 2020
Dear Scouts and Scouters,
Your welfare is our top priority and our teams are always evaluating risks that may come with Scouting. With that in mind, we’ve been reviewing Governor Cooper’s Phase 3 mandates that took effect on Friday, October 2nd and will remain in effect until at least Friday, October 23rd, and offer this guidance on how to resume local Scouting safely amidst the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
PHASE 3 ORDERS:
- Large outdoor venues with seating greater than 10,000 may operate with 7% occupancy for spectators.
- Smaller outdoor entertainment venues, like arenas or amphitheaters, may operate outdoors at 30% of outdoor capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less.
- Movie theaters and conference centers may open indoor spaces to 30% of capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less.
- Amusement parks may open at 30% occupancy, outdoor attractions only.
- The limits on mass gatherings will remain at 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.
In consideration of the Governor’s Order, we offer the following protocols for localized in-person Scouting in the Occoneechee Council:
First and foremost, WEAR a face mask or face covering when around others, WASH your hand frequently and WAIT at least six feet apart from others when in public. Secondly, all limits on group size must be followed.
- The single most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to wear a mask!
- For maximum safety the face mask must cover your nose and mouth and be worn at all times except when eating and sleeping. Do not wear the mask under your nose or under your chin. Mark the outside of the mask so you can easily identify which side is the outside. Do not touch the outside of the mask when it is on your face.
- The mask should be changed whenever it is torn, wet, soiled or damaged. Bring enough masks so you can change it several times a day. Apply and remove the mask by using the ear loops and not the mask itself. You should wash your hands every time you remove or re-use your mask.
We strongly encourage utilizing virtual meetings, whenever feasible.
- Consult with your Chartered Organization
Follow the guidelines of your charter organization regarding the use of their facilities, You must adhere to the restrictions and limitations they place on gatherings on their property.
- Follow local Rules and Ordinances
Some cities and counties have adopted rules and regulations which are stricter than those of the Governor’s. Units should follow the strictest regulations applicable to them, whether state or local. This requires learning the local rules (for example, remember that Camp Campbell is in Virginia.)
- Follow National Guidance
If your unit is just beginning face-to-face activities, use the Re-Start Scouting Safely checklist to plan your activities and prepare for unit meetings. The checklist is downloadable at https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/HealthSafety/pdf/680-693.pdf.
UNITS AND DISTRICTS
- Scout units should have permission slips or electronic approval for each youth in attendance at a “face-to-face” unit or district function.
- The BSA “Model Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist” has been adapted by our council. To obtain the COVID OSR Policies and Procedures along with all the forms and information to be used on and off the OSR, you can download the at https://wptest.ocscouts.org/covid19/. It is recommended that everyone use this checklist prior to leaving for each activity. It is recommended that each participant’s temperature be taken before leaving home. Individuals with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher are not permitted to attend the activity.
- Individual units/groups may interact with other units/groups in camp as long as social distancing is maintained between the units/groups or face coverings worn where social distancing is not possible. The safest action is to do both: wear a mask and maintain social distancing. These interactions may include activities such as meals, common advancement programs or campfires. Unit leaders should exchange contact information in the event contact tracing becomes necessary due to illness.
- Units/groups are not permitted to enter any other campsite, reserved venue area, or buildings that are not assigned to them.
- Units/groups must manage their own program and protocols for physical distancing and use face coverings when unable to maintain proper distancing.
- Units/groups agree to provide disinfecting supplies necessary for their activity.
- Units/groups should promote frequent use of hand washing and hand sanitizer for adults and youth. Require scouts and adults to wash hands immediately upon arriving at the activity, after contact with other Scouts, after performing cleaning and disinfecting activities, and frequently throughout the day.
- Unit leaders should maintain an accurate roster of all participants, youth and adult, for each activity.
- When using an Occoneechee Council property, a complete roster of participants must be submitted to the Campmaster/Ranger upon check-in. The unit leader should keep a copy of the roster of participants in case contact tracing is required.
- Unit leaders are required to report, within 12 hours, any confirmed or strongly suspected cases of communicable disease infections, including COVID-19, occurring within 14 days after the activity to the Occoneechee Council Service Center (919-872-4884). Unit leaders are also required to notify parents of Scouts who participated in the activity, as well as the unit’s Chartered Organization Representative.
- Units traveling to a BSA camp owned or operated by another Council must be prepared to follow the policies of that other Council, in addition to the those of the Occoneechee Council
- Units traveling to an activity outside of North Carolina, must follow the regulations of the other state(s) including any restrictions on travel to the other state and returning to North Carolina, and any required periods of quarantine. You cannot assume that the rules are the same everywhere and you must learn what the regulations are at the place you are visiting.
AT THE END OF YOUR STAY
- All trash should be considered contaminated; participants should wear disposable gloves whenever handling trash.
- Units must take their trash with them or place in designated dumpsters (if provided).
- Units must check-out so the Campmaster/Ranger staff can confirm which latrines are to be cleaned.
- Everyone must wash/sanitize their hands prior to getting into vehicles to head home.
RECOMMENDED BEST PRACTICES FOR DIFFERENT PHASES OF YOUR CAMP OUT
PRE-ARRIVAL and TRANSPORTATION
- COVID OSR Policies and Procedures (https://wptest.ocscouts.org/covid19/) have been developed to assist units and districts for camping on and off Occoneechee Scout Reservation.
- Before leaving for camp, each participant should complete the Pre-Camp Health Screening. These should be reviewed by the leader prior to departure.
- It is recommended that units have a non-contact thermometer to assess temperatures prior to the activity.
- Individuals with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher are not permitted to attend the activity.
- Scouts should travel to/from the venue with their own parents or guardians; family groups should not mix.
- Masks should be worn in the vehicle unless all occupants are from the same family.
- Medically ‘at-risk’ persons should not participate in activities or provide transportation for others.
PACKING IN and PACKING OUT
- Members of units should confirm the arrival location and campsite in advance. After checking in with the unit leader, individuals should proceed directly from the arrival area to their site or facility. Participants should not congregate or wait for the entire group to arrive.
- Participants should be prepared to carry their own personnel gear and limit the gear carried to strictly that patrol/den. Participants should use work gloves when moving shared gear.
- Do not expect carts to be available since they must be disinfected each time a person uses them. If carts are available, it is recommended that cart users wear work gloves when handling carts and then wash or disinfect hands immediately after.
- Participants should wash or disinfect hands immediately after disembarking from their vehicle at the campsite location.
COOKING and MEAL PLANNING
- Each participant should maintain their own utensils and mess kit (use disposable if unable to manage). Mess kits and utensils should not be shared.
- Participants should follow social distancing guidelines while eating.
- It is recommended that one Scout/adult ‘own’ the drinking/cooking water container operation for the entire event. No other person should touch it. If it is necessary to change the individual, items must be disinfected.
- It is recommended that one Scout/adult ‘own’ the entire ‘patrol box’ operation including cooking and serving food to others (recommend removing plates, bowls, cups and eating utensils). No other person is to touch anything in the patrol box. If it is necessary to change the individual, items must be disinfected.
- Remove dish towels from the patrol box and use mesh bag method for washing all contents and hang dry.
- Consider having participants practice backpack or hiking cooking methods, where each individual is responsible for preparation of their own food.
- Each participant should bring their own camp chair with their name on it. Camp chairs should not be shared.
GAMES and SKILL COMPETITION
- Many games require close contact. These activities should be minimized; however, the use of face coverings and work/game gloves will help reduce risk. Games using a ball or Frisbee by multiple individuals risk the transfer of germs among the players; these games should be watched carefully, and all participants must wash or disinfect hands before, during (frequently) and after play.
- Using sports gloves allows common surface game objects to be used. Sports gloves also work well for activities requiring dexterity such as tying knots.
- It is recommended that Scouts bring their own pieces of rope or bandages for related activities or advancement and limit any sharing or hand-off of items. This is one example of ways to limit risk of infections.
CAMPFIRES AND PROGRAM
- Each participant should bring their own camp chair with their name to help maintain social distancing around campfires.
- Avoid skits that involve close contact acting.
- Based on the known risks of the spread of germs, singing or cheers are not recommended at campfires unless both social distancing can be observed, and face coverings worn.
- The handles of all wood tools must be disinfected after each use by an individual. It is strongly recommended that everyone bring and use their own work gloves to do any work in the axe yard.
TENTING AND CAMPING-OVERNIGHT STAY
- Overnight camping is limited to tents and lean-tos.
- It is recommended individuals sleep one person per tent. Siblings may share a tent (youth protection guidelines apply).
- If sharing a tent or lean-to, Scouts should not sleep closer than 6 feet from one another. Scouts sleeping near each other or in bunk beds should be arranged to sleep head-to-toe. Lean-tos may be used at no more than 50% of the normal capacity.
- Individuals should bring their own sleeping pads.
- Scouts should limit contacting other individual’s tents during set up. Gloves could be worn when helping others. Specifically refrain from touching entry points like zippers.
- Face masks should not be worn while sleeping.
RECOMMENDED GEAR, ABOVE AND BEYOND TYPICAL SCOUTING EQUIPMENT
- Non-contact thermometer
- Clean and dry face coverings and spares for each participant (participants must also bring their own)
- Disinfecting wipes or hand sanitizer with each participant
- Readily accessible personal protective equipment (gloves, masks, disinfectant, etc.). Estimated 4-6 pairs of gloves per person of different sizes (used for handling trash pick-up, clean up, carrying gear, etc.)
- Work or sports gloves for each adult and youth participant (brought by participants).
- Extra trash bags for used wipes and gloves
- Water containers/basins to use exclusively for frequent hand washing with soap and water
- Under severe weather conditions participants may need to occupy shelters, pavilions, porches, or buildings. Face coverings should be worn in those instances. After the extreme weather condition has passed, everyone should return to current safe distancing guidelines.
- Any buildings occupied for emergencies must be reported to the Campmaster/Ranger.
Medical Screening site: https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/safety-moments/pre-event-medical-screening/
Yours in Scouting,
Occoneechee Council, B.S.A.
August 26, 2020
August 9, 2020
July 21, 2020
Use the link above, to pre-order your advancement rank, badges, etc at the Scout Shop.
May 21, 2020
Dear Occoneechee Council Scouting Family,
Thank you for your patience during these unparalleled times. We wanted to ensure that our youth members, staff, board, adult volunteers and community were safe and that we did our part in flattening the curve.
We are pleased to announce, effective June 1, 2020, we are lifting the existing orders which closed our service center, the scout shops and prohibited any in-person meetings and activities.
Please keep in mind as we begin to reassemble under Governor Cooper’s three phase plan to reopen North Carolina, we are currently within Phase 2. This means we need to adhere to the maximum gathering of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Therefore, decisions about unit meetings and activities should be made by unit leadership and chartering organizations based on the unit’s individual circumstances and current CDC and local health department guidelines. Units should check with their local charter organization or other organizations that provide meeting space to Scouting units to see what their current policy is.
We need to continue:
- Wearing face masks
- Waiting (Maintaining our 6 feet distance) responsibly
- Washing our hands frequently
We will require that these procedures are followed while visiting the Raleigh Service Center and the Fayetteville Scout Shop in order to not only keep you safe and healthy, but our employees also.
If Governor Cooper revises his Phase 2 plan, we will be required to change our policy and follow the new guidelines. We will keep you informed if there are any changes.
As we enter into Phase 3, we will keep you posted on how it applies to us.
Thank you for your partnership in helping us keep our youth, volunteers, staff and community safe.
Charles L. Flowers
Thursday, May 14, 2020
Dear Scout Leaders;
These are certainly unprecedented times for our council and Scouting in general. The Coronavirus pandemic has had a dramatic effect on how we all live and work and may continue to do so for some time to come. The health and safety of our Scouts, volunteers and staff is our top priority. Out of an abundance of caution and in-depth discussions regarding our Summer Camp Program, we have decided to cancel our Scouts BSA Summer Camp and Cub/Webelos Summer Camp programs for this summer.
This decision was not reached easily and involved a lot of conversation amongst our Executive Board Members, Risk Management at National BSA, our Council Attorney, local physician and our Vice President of Program. Our primary goal has been and will always be to operate camp in the safest manner possible.
We understand that Scouts BSA troops have been unable to meet for several months and that leaders and Scouts are ready to have more than a virtual camp out. Many troops graduated Webelos, who came to only one meeting, before face to face meetings were suspended. In support of the Scout units, families and leaders of the Occoneechee Council, Camp Durant has developed, what we believe to be a Win/Win situation for everyone involved since Summer Camp is not an option.
So, beginning July 3rd and concluding August 3rd, we will be running a series of weekend troop events that will be supported by the Camp Durant program areas. These weekend unit camp outs will offer one day instruction for certain merit badges, primarily those that cannot be earned online, as well as unstructured activities that are available to everyone. The resources that we have at camp will make these weekends less stressful for leaders and more fun for scouts than just a normal troop weekend camp out. These weekend events will operate within the stated guidelines of the State of NC and the Moore County Health Department. We anticipate the following will be critical components of the safeguards for this camping opportunity:
- social distancing
- group sizes restricted to 50 and
- strict sanitation strategies
Regarding sanitation, and other safety measures, we are currently planning to follow the same guidelines of the Summit Bechtel Reserve to operate our base program. If the Moore County Health Department adopts guidelines issued by the state that are more stringent, then they will become our primary guidelines.
Troops can use this opportunity to bring their Scouts together, fellowship and perhaps earn a merit badge. Troops are encouraged to use this trip to offer new scout skills in the campsite, as well as merit badges such as Cooking and Camping. Troops will be responsible for providing and cooking their own meals in the campsites, this will remove the challenge of social distancing in the dining hall. Each program area that is opened will be limited to 50 people. The scouts that sign up for a merit badge session will stay in that session all day. We will not be rotating to different sessions throughout the day.
Perhaps Camp Durant’s greatest strength lies in the staff that brings camp to life each summer. We will be hiring Senior Staff and Area Directors and the Camp Medic for each weekend. We believe that by doing this we can insure the succession of Senior Staff Leadership for the Summer of 2021. Like the Troops in our Councils, the staff needs this opportunity to come together before the normalcy of college and school come back into the picture in early August.
We look forward to seeing you at Camp Durant this summer.
Henry Goodson – Camping Director
Occoneechee Council, BSA
Update – Tuesday, May 5. 2020
During these unprecedented times, the safety of our youth members, staff, board, adult volunteers and community drives the difficult decisions we are making regarding Council operations. It is our desire to help slow the spread and flatten the curve while keeping you safe during these challenging times.
After careful consideration of Governor Cooper’s recent announcement concerning his three phase plan to reopen North Carolina because of COVID-19, we are extending our Service Center and Camp closures and all previous guidance on meetings until Monday, June 1st. Specifically, we will continue prohibiting all in-person Scouting meetings and activities of any type through June 1st. Please continue monitoring our Council’s website for program ideas to do at home.
Thank you for your patience and continued understanding. We will continue to update you as the situation develops. We appreciate your partnership in helping us keep our youth, volunteers, staff and community safe.
Friday, April 24, 2020
Thursday, April 16, 2020
How to order ranks and badges during COVID-19 shutdown.
Units that would like to purchase items related to rank or badge advancement, can follow the following steps.
1. Unit Leader emails in the Advancement report (pdf format) to [email protected]
Advancement report MUST be generated from either Scoutbook, or Internet Advancement 2.0, only.
No hand written advancement reports.
2. Include a contact phone number for our Customer Service Team to contact for payment, in email
3. A Customer Service team member will contact the Unit Leader for credit card information, shipping and billing information, along with verifying the correct Council and Advancement.
4. Advancement awards will be shipped out in approx. 1-3 business days, and the Advancement Report will be sent via E-mail so the Council has this documentation
Monday, April 13, 2020
Monday, April 13, 2020
Request of Time Extension During COVID-19 Crisis
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Eagle Scout Service Project Final Report Approvals During COVID-19 Crisis
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Eagle Scout Service Project Approvals During COVID-19 Crisis
Friday, April 3, 2020
Thursday, April 2, 2020
The camp card sale has been extended again until August 15. Money from sales is due to council the week of August 17.
Friday, March 20, 2020
Dear Occoneechee Council Scouting Family,
First and foremost, I hope you are doing well and staying safe during this time of uncertainty. Our primary focus is to do our part to protect our youth members, staff, board, adult volunteers and community.
We are doing our best to limit the spread of COVID-19. To that end, effective Monday, March 23rd, be aware that within the Occoneechee Council the following policy is in effect until April 30, 2020:
- No face to face meetings in the Occoneechee Council through April 30th
- All in-person Scouting activities are canceled effective immediately through April 30th. This includes unit meetings (Troop, Pack, Crew, Patrol and Den meetings), campouts, activities, trips, Pinewood Derbies, Blue and Gold Dinners, in-person fundraisers, service projects, Court of Honors (including for Eagle Scouts), etc. There are no exceptions to this rule. Please continue to work with your Scouts via digital and electronic methods.
- All in-person council-level and district-level events and meetings are canceled through April 30th. This includes Roundtables, district board and commissioner staff meeting, activities and training events, etc. There are no exceptions to this rule. Please continue to work with your Scouts via digital and electronic methods.
- The Council Service Center and both the Raleigh and Fayetteville Scout Shops are closed through April 30th. Our staff will be working remotely and responding to all calls, emails and postal mail.
- All Council Camps are closed through April 30th.
Below are some resources from ‘Bryan on Scouting’ to help you continue Scouting at home:
Scouting Magazine’s Bryan on Scouting blog explores how some units across the country are using technology to meet and offers a few merit badges to consider working on.
Even though units can’t meet in person now, that doesn’t mean advancement has to stop. Here are tips on conducting a Board of Review using teleconference online.
Thank you for your understanding. We will continue to keep you updated as the situation develops. We appreciate your partnership in helping us keep our youth, volunteers, staff and community safe.
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Hello Scout Leaders:
We know that during this trying time, your priorities have shifted from the everyday issues and tasks. Since all Scouts are out of school and looking for something to keep them occupied (and possibly the parents, too), they may be turning to Scouting for activities. Camp cards are still currently on sale, and given the unique circumstances in which we find ourselves, we want to share some guidance and suggestions on how best to sell while maintaining the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations:
As a first step to address the changes brought on by the current situation, the Council has decided to move the turn in date for camp card sales to Friday, May 29th. We will continue to update our policy as more information becomes available and decisions are made.
Here are some ideas for alternate ways to sell:
- Scouts should consider selling cards to their immediate and extended families.
- While person to person sales are not currently recommended, Scouts may consider selling camp cards online or via social media and deliver via mail.
Recent studies have shown that the new coronavirus (COVID-19) may be able to survive on plastic for up to 72 hours. A recommendation is that each camp card sold be placed in a sealed envelope at least 3 days (72 hours) prior to mailing. (Source: https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/new-coronavirus-stable-hours-surfaces)
Remind customers that cards can also be wiped with a disinfectant wipe (such as a Clorox wipe) as an additional safety precaution.
Yours in Scouting,
Alicia Embrey | Office Assistant
Tuesday, March 17, 2020 evening update
All Scout shops will be closed through March 31, 2020. They are tentatively re-opening on April 1st at 9 am.
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Dear Occoneechee Council Scouting Family,
There is no higher priority to me than the safety of our Scouts, Scouting families, volunteers and staff.
With the Executive Order announcement from Governor Cooper today and the rapidly escalating health concerns related to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the following is in effect beginning Tuesday, March 17th:
- We will be offering reduced service at the Council Service Center through Monday, March 30. A small crew of our professional staff will continue to report to the Service Center while all others work remotely. Note: All will be available for our Scouting Family via telephone, video conferencing, or email. Also, the Scout Shops will remain open until further notice.
- Additionally, all district and council activities and events (indoor and outdoor) between now and March 30th are either cancelled, postponed, or will be conducted virtually. Please check with the respective event leadership for further guidance.
These decisions (to offer reduced services and to cancel or postpone our events) were not made lightly. We are doing our part to try to limit the spread of the virus.
With regards to unit level activities (including meetings, outings, and other events), at this time the Occoneechee Council offers the following guidance: If over 100 people anticipated to attend, cancel the event. While individual Scouting units and chartering organizations have the ability to determine whether or not their regular meetings and activities should continue, safety should be the number one priority. Please utilize guidance provided by your local authorities, school districts, and chartering organizations in determining whether to cancel your event or not.
Remember to refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) .
Thank you for your vigilance and understanding. We will continue to keep you updated as the situation develops. We appreciate your partnership in helping us keep our youth, volunteers and staff safe.
Bill Davis, Council President
Nick Long, Council Commissioner
Charles Flowers, Scout Executive