Based on the most recent developments regarding COVID-19 (commonly known as the coronavirus,) and following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC,) the Central Florida Council is making temporary changes to our operations in an effort to keep Scouts and Scouters safe.
UPDATE: APRIL 25, 2020
Over the last month, the staff and volunteers of Central Florida Council, specifically those tasked with program and maintenance at Camp La-No-Che and Cub Scout Day Camps, have been hard at work preparing for the eventual reopening of facilities and restarting of program Council-wide. While we do not have an exact date established, we are busy working on new procedures, timelines and contingencies forced by our current situation. Below are just a few of the items that we are taking into consideration:
CAMP LA-NO-CHE AND GENERAL PROGRAM PROCEDURES TO HELP ENSURE CAMPER HEALTH:
Attendee Medical Screening: All attendees (youth and adult) will be required to submit a “Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist,” confirming that their Scout is healthy enough to attend camp, in accordance with state, local and Central Florida guidelines and mandates. (https://scoutingevent.com/attachment/BSA083/document_15877376570_4212.pdf)
BSA Annual Health and Medical Record: Campers (youth and adult) will also be required to confirm the completion of a current BSA Annual Health and Medical Record as appropriate (including part C when required*.) Campers (youth and adult) may be required to complete an in-person medical recheck with Camp Health Officer at the discretion of the Camp Health Officer and/or Camp Management. (https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/ahmr/)
Check-In Process: Procedure is being updated to meet current health and safety conditions.
Mandatory Quarantine and/or Removal: We are working on the logistics to ensure effectiveness and confidentiality. Strict policies will be enforced. A Scout is Obedient.
Common Area and Program Area Cleanliness Protocol: There will be strict and detailed procedures in accordance with the most effective cleaning methods. All campers are expected to assist in keeping camp clean. A Scout is Clean and Helpful.
Social Distancing Requirements: While local/state/federal guidelines require it, Camp La-No-Che and all District/Council programs will adhere to social distancing as a best method for limiting the spread of disease, including COVID-19. We are taking into this into account and are working on a viable solution that involves all of the areas Scouts, Scouters, and Staff will be using. A Scout is Courteous. For more information on the current Federal guidelines and restrictions, visit: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Guidelines-for-Opening-Up-America-Again.pdf
Program Limits/Closures: Some program areas must remain closed or operate on a very limited basis until updated recommendations allow for expanded/full operation.
OPENING OF CAMP POSSIBLE TIMELINE:
Using the Federal “Opening Up America Again” Guidelines (https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Guidelines-for-Opening-Up-America-Again.pdf), Camp La-No-Che and District/Council programs will resume on the following tentative schedule:
- Camp must remain CLOSED.
- No District/Council Activities/Events
- Camp reopens for limited usage.
- Unit-level Camping allowable; limit of 10-15 campers per designated campsite.
- Limited usage of common/program areas of Camp; 50 people or less.
- Restricted use of limited programs.
- No District/Council Activities/Events
- Camp Reopens for full operation.
- District/Council Activities/Events resume as scheduled.
While exact dates for each Phase is unknown, our best guess is that we will not progress into Phase Two until late-May. Additionally, the following will be factors impacting our ability to open operation of camp and/or District/Council events:
- Current guidelines/phase of reopening and local/state/federal guidance and restrictions.
- Selective closure of areas/programs designed to reinforce current social distancing requirements and facilitate safe usage of camp.
- Progress in thorough cleaning/disinfecting of camp common areas, program areas, and equipment.
- Establishment of updated protocol (some of which is listed above) and completion of training for all Staff.
Please Note: Programs in June will likely be limited by local/state/federal guidance to a degree that Summer Camp would not be feasible in June (see below.)
May: Most program will be suspended/cancelled. The potential for opening for Unit-level camping is only likely in late May and will ONLY occur if Florida progresses out of Phase One.
June/July: Potential for Summer Programs at Camp La-No-Che and District/Council wide with limitations.
August: Return to normal operation of Camp La-No-Che and District/Council programs, limited only by any extended recommendations from local/state/federal agencies.
ALL DECISIONS ABOUT CAMP OPENING WILL BE INFORMED BY THE BEST INFORMATION AVAILABLE AND WILL ONLY OCCUR IF FLORIDA PROGRESSES OUT OF PHASE ONE.
SUMMER CAMP PROGRAMS
While there are still many unknowns related to our timeline, we are developing plans to meet our Scouts’ needs based on a number of likely scenarios. Due to the ever-changing flow of information and updates, we have developed the following scenarios based on the information we have now on April 25, 2020:
Cub Scout Day Camp 2020:
Delayed start to Day Camp programs until July. Moving forward, more accurate dates will be decided based on health conditions and mandates.
- All procedures outlined above will be required of Day Camps, including sanitation and health/safety protocol.
- If a local Day Camp is canceled, registered Campers will be given the opportunity to transfer to another Day Camp program (including VIRTUAL Day Camp) or receive a full refund of any/all fees paid, including deposits.
Virtual Cub Scout Day Camp 2020:
Beginning in May, Cub Scout families will have the option to register for a VIRTUAL Day Camp program.
- Each session of Virtual Day Camp will offer educational seminars, games, and crafts, designed to give a Cub Scout the best possible camp experience while at home.
- Each registered Virtual Camper will receive a “Day Camp in a Box” with materials needed to complete a series of hands-on activities guided by an online instructor.
- Each day, sessions will be offered focused on rank requirements, STEM Nova content, and more. There will also be fun group sessions modeled after camp experiences, such as flag ceremonies and campfires.
Scouts BSA Summer Resident Camp 2020:
Delayed start is likely, with the target start date of July 5, 2020. If delayed to this day, we will offer 4 weeks of traditional summer camp, with a total camp capacity set according the to current guidelines/phase.
- Capacity limits will be established by June 15 using the most current information available. Any registrations impacted by a reduction in planned capacity would be offered a transfer opportunity to another session (including Virtual Summer Camp) or be given a full refund of any/all fees paid, including deposits.
- All Unit/Scouts currently booked will be given the opportunity to transfer to one of the four available July sessions or a Virtual Summer Camp. Anyone not able to transfer, or anyone not able to attend, will be given a full refund of any/all fees paid, including deposits.
- Any Scout/Unit that would like to register and pay deposits NOW may do so at NO RISK; if camp is canceled or if they are unable to attend for any reason, they will be able to transfer to a virtual session (see below) or given a full refund of any/all fees paid, including deposits.
Virtual Summer Camp 2020:
On May 4, Camp La-No-Che and the Central Florida Council will open registration for a VIRTUAL SUMMER CAMP OPTION. The program will run for 3 weeks in June, with additional weeks possible based on interest and informed by the current guidelines/phase as of June 15.
- Virtual Summer Camp will follow a 5-6 day schedule, offering merit badge programs, group activities, guided hands-on experiences, and more.
- Each registered camper will receive a “Summer Camp in a Box” as part of their registration, giving them the resources they need to have a robust camp experience even while at home. There will also be fun “camp-wide” sessions modeled after common camp experiences, such as flag ceremonies and campfires.
- Merit Badge classes will operated through a mix of online seminars taught by familiar Camp Staff and experts in a field, as well as home study opportunities, video media, and more. The Central Florida Council Staff has demonstrated great success with Virtual Merit Badges.
- Every Scout participating virtually will be invited to attend one of several “practical study” weekends at Camp La-No-Che in the fall/winter to give them the chance to complete requirements not possible through a virtual platform. Think Sailing or Rifle Shooting…the practical study weekends will give Scout the chance to put their online learning into real-life action! The cost of the practical weekends will be covered in the cost of Virtual Summer Camp Registration.
- Camp La-No-Che and the Central Florida Council are continuing planning and development of programs for the Fall/Winter season as scheduled.
- At this time, with the information that we have, we do not foresee interruption to programs and camp usage scheduled to begin on or after August 1.
Central Florida Council will continue to make decisions based on the most readily available and reliable information to provide unparalleled experiences for more youth in the safest conditions possible. When changes occur, they will be communicated in a timely manner to all Scouts and Scouters.
Thank you for your continued work on behalf of Scouting and our youth. In these challenging times, your commitment will help keep the Scouting Spirit alive and well!
CENTRAL FLORIDA COUNCIL CAMPING AND OUTDOOR PROGRAM COMMITTEE (COPC)
CAMP RE-OPENING SUBCOMMITTEE TEAM LEADERSHIP
*Part C of the BSA Annual Health and Medical Record is required for events/activities lasting longer than 72 hours. The National BSA is evaluating all options while being mindful of those who have valid exams, those new members and adults who may have never completed a Part C exam, state and local authority requirements, and the special review required by high adventure programs.
CURRENT STATUS: CLOSED
(effective March 18, 2020)
Effective immediately, and through at least May 11, the following measures are being taken by the Central Florida Council:
Central Florida Council Camp Properties:
- The Leonard and Marjorie Williams Family Scout Reservation, Camp La-No-Che, and all Central Florida Council Camp properties, are closed until further notice.
- All events/activities/bookings set to occur during that time frame are cancelled and will be rescheduled.
- Events/activities/bookings that are not able to be rescheduled will provide a transfer or refund opportunity via e-mail.
District and Council Activities:
- All District and Council activities during the above period are cancelled/postponed.
- Detailed announcements for each activity/event scheduled within the affected time period will be sent through separate communications.
- All District Roundtables for March and April are cancelled until further notice.
- District leadership meetings (Committee/Commissioner) should use digital/phone conference resources.
Regular weekly Unit Meetings/Outings:
- Unit leadership and Chartered Organizations should consider suspending regular unit meetings until further notice.
Wayne Densch Scout Service Center and Scout Shop:
- Will maintain operations during normal business hours but with limited services and staffing.
Camp Card Sales:
- To help accommodate Unit fundraising, the Council Camp Card sale will be extended through May 30.
Council Refund Policy for Cancelled Events-Activities:
- The current policy has been suspended
- Any participant who chooses not to transfer their event fee to the rescheduled event date may request a full refund via email or in writing. All requests must be made within 30 days of the original event date.
Information related to Camp and the Central Florida Council will be updated regularly via our Camp La-No-Che Health and Safety page:
BSA and Council Policies to Prevent the Spread of Illness
The Boy Scouts of America and Central Florida Council continues to have policies and procedures in place that help protect participants from contracting an illness at large Scouting events. These include the Annual Health and Medical Record and the Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist. IT IS ADVISED THAT ALL GROUPS ATTENDING CAMP REVIEW THIS CHECKLIST WITH ALL PARTICIPANTS AND BRING A SIGNED COPY WITH THEM TO CAMP TO PRESENT AT CHECK IN.
Everyday Preventive Measures
Even with those important policies in place, it is critical that we all take these everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:
- Stay home when you feel sick.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands before and after doing so.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve/elbow, not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Do not share personal items such as cups, water bottles, eating utensils, etc.
- Avoid shaking hands.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
If you have a fever, cough, or other symptoms associated with COVID-19, or if you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should isolate and not attend any Scouting events. People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
Should you have any questions or concerns about a specific upcoming event or activity, please reach out to your local district executive. We will do everything we can to answer your question using the information available to us.
Yours in Scouting,
Camp La-No-Che Management
Mike Evano (email@example.com)
Director of Camping
Matt Ragan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Director of Support Services