Restarting
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Programming

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Restart Scouting in your Pack, Troop, Crew, or Ship

As always, the safety of our Scouts, volunteers, employees and the communities we serve is our top priority for the Great Trail Council.

Over the course of the last several months, we have found ourselves battling the coronavirus pandemic. This battle has brought many changes to our every-day lives, including how we deliver Scouting to our young people in our local Packs, Troops, Crews, and Ships.

In June, we released guidelines for units to begin meeting again. We've come to realize that in addition to those guidelines, our units need some additional support in beginning to start their regular meetings again. This page www.gtcbsa.org/restart will be your go-to spot for resources on how to work with the Scouts in your unit while we continue battling the pandemic.

It is our hope that a blended option of in-person and virtual activities will allow your unit to continue to be successful while also allowing your Scouts to enjoy the great outdoors and continue to advance on their journeys through Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouts.

Should you have any questions - or need additional support, do not hesitate to contact us at the Great Trail Council by calling (330) 773-0415 or e-mailing gtcbsa@gtcbsa.org

You can also consult our Staff Directory to find the contact information for your District Executive.

Updated Guidelines for Unit Activities

(Updated as of 9/2/2020) We have created an updated chart to help your unit guide its activities utilizing the Ohio alert levels for counties. This document should be used to determine which activities can take place and how given the current risk level in your area. To download a PDF click here.

Updated Camping & Camp Use Guidelines (Updated as of 8/31)

To provide liability and accident insurance coverage to all our units who choose to camp this year, only Boy Scouts of America resident camping properties in the state of Ohio are approved for Great Trail Council members’ use. This means Camp Butler, Manatoc, or Stambaugh of the Great Trail Council, and any BSA Resident Camp Property operated by an Ohio BSA Council are approved under this plan. This includes all Council, District, and Unit camping programs. Our first priority is to keep our Scouts and families safe while allowing them to put the “outing” in Scouting. We believe this will be best achieved due to the strict regulations required by Ohio Department of Health for Resident Camp properties and also the National Camp Accreditation Program through the National BSA Council, it is because of these reasons that we are only allowing camping at certified BSA Resident Camp Properties.

Additionally, the following procedures must be followed at all times:

General Camping Updates

  • When traveling to and from activities, it is recommended not to car-pool, and all individual families should drive themselves to and from programs.

  • Temperatures must be taken and documented prior to departure for any program and should be taken daily during any programs.

          • Prior to arriving at camp, all participants must complete and bring with them the Covid-19 Questionnaire form with parent signature (for those under 18 years old) and receive a temperature check upon arrival at any GTC property. This temperature check will be completed by the unit leader upon arrival at any GTC property, with assistance from Campmasters if needed. This temperature check will be documented at the bottom of the Covid-19 Questionnaire.

          • We understand there may be a need for a Scout or leader to leave at some point during the trip with plans to return. If this is to happen, the participant’s temperature must be taken again upon return to camp.

          • If a temperature screening is 100 degrees or more, you should not attend any Scouting function.

          • If the temperature of an individual rises to the 100-degree threshold during an event, they will need to leave the event.

  • Masks or Face Coverings should be worn by all leaders and Scouts during any camping programs.

  • Proper Social Distancing should be practiced by all those at events. A 6-foot distance should always be maintained, unless it is physically impossible, such as when preparing meals.

  • Proper sanitizing measures (hand sanitizer, surface cleaner, soap, and water) and handwashing should happen at regular intervals throughout the event.

  • Scouts and Adults should be limited to one person per tent unless they are immediate family members.

  • Group Sizes may not exceed 10 individuals.

          • Multiple groups of 10 may participate in the same activity, but the groups of 10 should not intermingle youth or adults in between groups.

          • For example, if a Troop of 24 Scouts plan to camp, 6 adult leaders would be required, and the group would need to maintain 3 separate groups each with their own camp site, programs, and meal preparation.

  • All Youth Protection Policies and Guide to Safe Scouting Policies must be followed.

  • All programs and outings should be less than 72 hours in length

Cabin Camping Updates:

  • Cabins at the Great Trail Council Properties will begin to open for rental following Labor Day. Our cabins have sat dormant since February, and we need help getting them ready for Fall and Winter programs. If you or your unit are interesting in “adopting” a cabin to help get it cleaned up for Fall and Winter camping, please contact our Director of Camping at: Nathan.Watson@scouting.org to set up a time to come out to camp.

  • Groups sizes in cabins are limited to a maximum of 10 participants, unless a smaller number is otherwise posted.

      • For example: Buena Vista Cabin at Camp Manatoc has 16 beds, but due to Social Distancing requirements, we are only able to have 8 campers inside the cabin.

      • For Example: Atwater Lodge at Camp Butler has 52 beds in it, but due to Social Distancing requirements, each large bunk room can only accommodate 10 campers, and the small bunk rooms can only accommodate 4 campers, for a total of 28 campers in the cabin. (Cabins that can accommodate more than 10 campers must be able to be separated by a barrier and mixing of these separate groups should not occur.)

      • If your group size is larger than what your cabin can accommodate, you are permitted to set up “over-flow” tent camping outside of your cabin for a maximum of 10 campers, the same rules listed above apply for mixing groups.

  • Sleeping arrangements in the cabins:

      • Each cabin will have bunks marked off with caution tape to prevent campers from violating Social Distancing guidelines.

      • Each bunk that is appropriate to sleep on will have tape or a sign designating where the camper’s head should be to ensure proper Social Distancing between campers.

      • Each group will be responsible for sanitizing common use areas at least three times per day. A bottle of sanitizer spray will be provided at check-in. Please return it to the Campmasters at check-out.

Council Shooting Sports Updates

Our shooting sports ranges will be open this camping season like in years past. Due to Covid-19 the following guidelines must be followed. Check out of materials will remain the same.

Archery Ranges:

  • Prior to and immediately after shooting, all Scouts must wash and sanitize hands.

  • All Scouts must wear a mask, finger guard, and wrist guard while shooting the bow and arrow.

  • All Scouts are only permitted to retrieve the arrows fired from their specific bow. Retrieving others’ arrows will not be permitted.

  • All Scouts on range must be at least 6 feet away from each other.

  • The Range Officer or their designee must sanitize all bows, arrows, bowstrings, wrist guards, and finger guards before allowing another Scout to use them. All items must be sanitized before leaving the range. Materials to clean and sanitize will be provided.

      • Failure to complete these steps may result in your Range Officer Training being revoked and the range being closed by Council Shooting Sports Committee members or their designees. No refunds will be offered.

BB Gun Ranges:

  • Prior to and immediately after shooting, all Scouts must wash and sanitize hands.

  • Anyone on the range must wear the proper safety protection.

  • All Scouts on range must be at least 6 feet away from each other.

  • The Range Officer or their designee must wipe down with sanitizing solution all BB Guns and BB trays, spray sanitize all benches, resting blocks, and commonly touched areas, and dip sanitize all safety glasses before another individual can utilize them. All items must be sanitized before leaving the range. Materials to clean and sanitize will be provided.

      • Failure to complete these steps may result in your Range Officer Training being revoked and the range being closed by Council Shooting Sports Committee members or their designees. No refunds will be offered.

Hosting an In-Person Meeting

Recently, we have received several questions from volunteers about hosting in-person meetings given that group sizes need to be limited to 10 individuals. The important part to remember about these in-person meetings is that limiting small groups to interacting with each other on Scouting activities does not mean that you cannot bring your entire unit together in a common place to see each other and interact from a distance.

We've seen a lot of creativity from several of our units and would like to share some ideas for bringing larger groups together for full Pack, Troop, Crew, or Ship meetings.

  • Utilize a Large Parking Lot

      • A great idea we got from one of our Troops was to use the parking lot at their Chartering Organization to be able to hold in-person Troop meetings, patrol meetings, and PLC meetings.

        Each Scout brings a folding chair with them and they each sit in a parking spot so that they are able to interact in-person.

      • Another great idea that we noticed one of our Cub Scout Packs using a parking lot for was to be able to hold a Pack meeting. Each family parked their car all facing in the same direction so that the Pack leadership could create a stage to be able to hand out awards and conduct other activities such as songs and skits.

        In this situation, leaders can bring dens out of their cars one at a time to maintain the group size of 10 individuals at a time and still be able to bring the whole Pack together for a regular meeting.

  • Outdoors, outdoors, outdoors!

  • Come out to Camp

      • Did you know? The pavilions at Camps Manatoc, Butler and Stambaugh are available for rentals without having to stay overnight for camping? If you'd like to make a reservation to use a pavilion, call the Council Service Center at (330) 773-0415.

      • Camps Manatoc, Butler and Stambaugh are all open for Unit Reservations and we would love to see our Scouts out at Camp. Use the space of camp to host your unit activities.

          • Weekday Rentals are available to units at a reduced cost to utilize pavilions and other areas of camp for weekly unit Meetings.

          • Make reservations by going to http://campreservation.com/433

Activity Ideas for our Cub Scout Packs

In these uncertain times, we know one of the most difficult to plan activities for is our Cub Scouts. Our younger Scouts tend to have a more difficult time practicing their social distancing and might not fully understand the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. We've gathered up some activity ideas that we hope will be helpful for our leaders to plan activities, but also to allow our Cub Scouts to see each other and have fun at Cub Scouts!

Click to Expand:

Family or Den Hike

    • Assign groups of 10 (including two leaders/parents) before gathering

        • Could group it by Den

    • Stagger start times to limit interaction

    • Send out/hand out meeting notes to avoid large group gathering

Local Park or Chartering Organization Activities

  • Find a park with picnic tables

  • Ask families/dens to sit at alternating tables to keep socially distant

OR

  • Find a large grassy area at your Chartering Organization or another public use area

  • Ask families to bring a blanket and chairs - set up blankets at least 6ft apart

  • Families could pack a dinner

  • Turn social distancing into a game for the kids

      • Tell kids “the floor is lava” between picnic tables or blankets

      • Reward the kids with following social distancing


Treasure Hunt

  • Separate Pack into teams of 10 people or less

  • Hide items around a park/charter org that relate to the 12 principles of the Scout Law

      • Cost effective: write each of the 12 tenets on their own piece of paper and hide in old easter eggs (included candy if you want!)

  • If at a park:

      • Separate area into segments based on # of groups of ten you have

      • Hide each of the twelve items in all segmented areas to keep groups from overlapping

          • Ex: 3 groups = 3 sets of of the 12 tenets (36 eggs total)

  • Once the Scouts find them, ask & explain what each principle means

Stargazing

  • Ask leaders and Scouts to download the SkyView App

Chalk the Walk

  • Bring sidewalk chalk to your Charter Organization or local park

  • Ask the kids to reflect on quarantine

  • Ask them to draw what they enjoyed about quarantine, missed during quarantine or maybe something they’re looking forward to or something they’re grateful for.

Scout Foosball

  • Meet in your charter org’s parking lot with a soccer ball or other kind of ball

  • Draw horizontal lines with chalk spaced 6-10 feet apart

  • Make sure kids stay inside their designated foosball area

Click Here to View a diagram of how to set-up the game.

Family / Den Game Night

  • Charades

      • Each family writes at least 5 items for Charades

      • They act out their words in their own area (picnic table, blanket, etc.)

      • Or use the Charades! Kids App

  • Talent Show

      • Have families in your Pack sign up to participate ahead of time.

      • Organize the order of events so that each family knows when it will be their turn.

      • Hold at your Charter organization Parking Lot and have a loud speaker to use for sound so that everyone can hear what's happening.

  • Pictionary

      • Ask families to submit topics for pictionary ahead of time.

      • Have each family bring their own dry erase marker to the event.

      • Use a dry erase board that can be wiped down with sanitizer in-between each round.

Den Meeting Resources for
Cub Scout Leaders

Our friends at the Sam Houston Council in Houston, Texas have created a wonderful resource for Cub Scout Leaders to plan their programs and have comprehensive activities to work with multiple dens all at once while focusing on each specific den's advancement needs.

We invite you to check out their Cub Scout Program Planning page by clicking here. It is definitely a resource that will not disappoint!

Cub Scout Adventure Video Resources

This summer, local councils from across the country worked together to support Den Leaders with virtual meetings. This Content can be used to aid your programs, but does not take the place of the program as designed and presented in the Den Leader Experience or Cub Scout Handbooks.

During the current pandemic, virtual resources may be used to complete requirements such as virtual tours in place of den outings. The standard of Cub Scout advancement is for the Cub Scout to do their best.

Click here to view all of the video adventures.

G-Suite Tools for All Great Trail Council Units

It's important integrate technology and virtual options paired with your in-person options for all on-going events to keep your entire unit engaged.

At the beginning of July, the Great Trail Council released the G-Suite tools for all Packs, Troops, Crews, and Ships to have access to a unit Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Meet, and Classroom under the umbrella of the gtcbsa.org domain.

Your Unit Leader (Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Crew Advisor, or Skipper) and Committee Chairs received information about these tools and how to start utilizing them. If you are a Unit Leader or Committee Chair and you didn't receive this information, contact our Director of Field Services, John Brkic at john.brkic@gtcbsa.org so that we can get you setup and running.

By having access to these tools, your unit now has an opportunity to keep all of your Scouts engaged in a virtual setting while also continuing to move to in-person options as well. Take this time to leverage the opportunity to reach all of your Scouts using the technology we all carry around with us in our pockets every day.

For information on youth safety and working virtually, make sure you read these guidelines from the national service center.

Additional Resources for Leaders and Parents

How to Make Face Mask Using a Scout Neckerchief

Did you know?

Boy's Life magazine did a great story on how to fashion your own face mask using a Scout Neckerchief. Read the full story here.


You can also watch the YouTube video here.

Local and National Scouting At Home Resources

The national service center has a great resource on Scouting at Home Activities. Check out their website at www.scouting.org/scoutingathome

Below you will find our GTC File Bank of Scouting at Home Activities as well.