The Scouting community has shown remarkable resilience through this pandemic: units have continued providing vital, socially distant community service, volunteers have facilitated merit badge classes online and outdoors, and thousands of young people have even attained the rank of Eagle Scout.
But it certainly has not been easy. And as we rightfully celebrate the initial distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, and perhaps the beginning of the end of this pandemic, it’s important to remember that we must remain vigilant in our daily efforts to combat this deadly disease.
We each have the responsibility—as members of the Boy Scouts of America and as role models for the next generation of leaders—to continue following guidance from public health officials so we can protect not only ourselves but also the people in our dens, packs, troops and crews, as well as the individuals they go home to after attending a Scouting activity.
Scouting is a diverse organization with people of all ages and backgrounds, some of whom are at increased risk for contracting the virus and suffering severe symptoms. Whether you’re a Scouting parent, leader, or employee, you have the power to help protect everyone in the Scouting family by taking basic precautions.
To aid in your efforts, we recently updated our national statement on Covid-19 to include general mitigation measures, also included below, based on the CDC’s latest guidance. When coupled with guidance from your local council and local health department, these simple measures empower us to safely deliver and participate in Scouting programs.
Covid-19 Mitigation Measures for Everyone in Scouting
- Isolate if you are sick, and do not attend any activity/meeting/event if you, anyone you live with, or anyone you have recently been around feels unwell.
- Do not attend any activity/meeting/event if you or anyone you live with or have recently been around has been tested for COVID-19 or another illness and does not have the results back yet.
- Stay at least 6 feet apart from people who do not live with you. (Properly executed Scouting cohorts at council camps may be an exception).
- Avoid crowds.
- Avoid poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
- Meet outside if you can.
- Wear a face covering or mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others whenever you are around people who do not live with you.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid international travel if possible.