Guidelines for Unit Outdoor Programs
As of June 19, 2020
On June 16, Governor Lamont issued Executive Order 7ZZ permitting social and recreational gatherings pursuant to DECD Rules for Gatherings and Venues which allowed private gatherings as large as 100 people outdoors and 25 people indoors. These limitations apply to Scouting activities when followed in conjunction with Youth Protection guidelines.
At this time, our camps remained closed as we develop an operating guide that provides a safe and fulfilling experience for our Scouts and Scouters. Camp openings and restrictions will be announced separately.
The following guidance pertains to all units conducting activities.
- Adherence to all aspects of the Guide to Safe Scouting is required.
- Aquatics activities are guided by BSA Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat. Face coverings should not be worn in or near the water.
- All State guidance on group sizes and social distancing must be followed, including the use of face coverings. Each member should have a clean and dry face covering available to wear. Face coverings should be worn when social distancing is not possible.
- Each unit must check with its Chartered Organization regarding any limitations on meetings or activities and follow that guidance.
- Units leaders should maintain an accurate roster of participants attending Unit activities, to facilitate contact tracing by the State or local health departments in the event a member becomes ill with COVID-19. Unit leaders should keep a copy of the roster for their records. As has been the practice of the Council, for an activity taking place at a Council Property, a copy of the unit roster should be provided to the Camp Ranger or Campmaster.
- Any units traveling to a BSA camp owned by another Council must be prepared to follow the guidance of that other Council, in addition to the guidance provided by Connecticut Yankee Council.
- Any units traveling to an activity outside the State of Connecticut must be prepared to follow the guidance of the other state(s) including any restrictions on travel to the other state and returning to Connecticut, and any required periods of quarantine.
The following Best Practices are recommended:
- BSA has developed a “Model Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist” (linked here) which has been adapted by our Council. It is recommended that Unit Leaders use this checklist when preparing for each activity. It is recommended that temperatures of each member be taken before leaving home.
- Youth members should be transported to and from an activity only by their own parent or guardian.
- Should any adult or youth become ill during an activity, they should be isolated from other members and be sent home as soon as possible.
- Each member should bring their own food and drink to an activity. Food or drink should not be shared (except among family members). Consistent with State and CDC guidelines, buffet style feeding or pot luck meals are strongly discouraged. “Plate Service” is an alternative recommendation provided that all food handlers and servers wear face coverings and gloves. Individual condiment packages should be used rather than common containers.
- Units should check with facility owners regarding restrictions, and cleaning and disinfecting practices, in particular for bathrooms and latrines. Units should be prepared to disinfect bathrooms or latrines at the activity location, as appropriate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes a list of approved disinfecting agents which should be consulted.
Best Practices Recommended for Overnight Camping
- When our Council camps reopen, overnight camping will be initially limited to tent and leanto sites. It is recommended that camping activities at non-Council properties be similarly limited.
- Cooking activities should be assigned to reduce exposure to germs. Utensils should be handled by only one Scout in each patrol. Only one Scout in each patrol should handle food preparation or cooking; Scouts must wear a face mask while preparing, cooking and serving food, and must wash their hands thoroughly before and after food preparation and before and after cooking.
- Patrols should consider using disposable utensils and paper plates for meals. If that is not possible or practical, all utensils and cookware must be thoroughly washed and rinsed in hot water and properly sanitized with a bleach solution and allowed to air dry.
- Units should consider and encourage hammock camping rather than tent camping.
- Consider limiting one scout to each tent, an exception being siblings may tent together. If that is not possible, scouts should not sleep closer than 6 feet from one another. Scouts sleeping next to each other or in bunk beds should be arranged to sleep head to toe. Leantos may be used at 50% of the normal capacity of the leanto. To promote airflow, tarps should not be used to cover the front of the leanto.
- Note: Solo tenting is not prohibited under the Guide to Safe Scouting. Some units may have policies which include a buddy system for tenting. Units are encouraged to reconsider such a policy.
- Sleeping with a face covering is not recommended.
- Social distancing should be observed at campfires. Face coverings should be worn when social distancing is not possible.
- Based on the known risks of the spread of germs, singing is not recommended at campfires unless both social distancing can be observed, and face coverings worn.
- Members should use this time to update their BSA Medical Forms. As is our normal practice, updated forms should be collected by each unit’s leader.
- Parts A and B of the Annual Health and Medical Record must be updated on or after May 1, 2020.
- BSA encourages anyone whose medical condition or history has significantly changed since their last physical exam to have approval from their health care provider prior to participating in unit activities
- Units participating in programs sponsored by other Councils must also follow the health and medical guidelines and requirements of those Councils, which may differ from the requirements listed here.