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 firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also consult our Staff Directory to find the contact information for your District Executive.
Updated Guidelines for Unit Activities
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.
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!
One of the biggest pieces of advice that we've received from our local health department in Summit County is that hosting your meetings in outdoor settings is a much better practice than attempting to host indoor events. We know that trying to find places to hold outdoor meetings might be difficult, so here's a short list of venues that might work for you:
The parking lot at your Chartering Organization
A local park - often times, Pavilion rentals are free for residents!
Plan Hikes at our great local, state, and national parks!
Local Park Systems
State Parks in our Council
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
Family / Den Game Night
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.
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
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!
Coming Soon! Video resources to help Cub Scouts of All Ranks in EVERY Cub Scout Adventure
The Great Trail Council is excited to announce that coming soon there will be video resources to help parents, Den Leaders, and Cubmasters work with their Cub Scouts in every rank. This project is being produced by local Councils all over the country and will be released in mid-August of 2020. Check back here for more information on how to utilize these resources.
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 email@example.com 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.
Additional Resources for Leaders and Parents
How to Make Face Mask Using a Scout Neckerchief
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.