While many Scout units have a desire to return to Scouting activities, they have questions about how to do so safely during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. During the recent webinar on how to hold meetings safely during COVID-19, attendees received tips on the key steps they can be taking right now to find a safe way to return to their meeting activities.
Step 1: Check your local requirements to see if you can meet. The safety requirements vary greatly around the nation, so it’s vital to check on what your local government requires and abide by those regulations. The BSA SAFE Restart Scouting Checklist has been specifically created to help you guide you through this as you build a framework for getting back to your Scouting activities.
Step 2: Call the families in your Scout unit to see how they’re doing. Check in by phone to connect personally with these families. Listen to their responses and gauge their readiness to return to Scouting activities. If laws in your community permit meeting, and you’ve met the other requirements of the SAFE Restart Scouting Checklist, spend some time talking about your process and the intention to return to Scouting activities safely.
Step 3: Connect with other leaders and families to find solutions for ways the unit can meet safely.Currently, some traditional meeting places for Scout units are not available because of the pandemic, but there may be other viable, safe options for meeting that can be discussed. Some of these options may be outdoors using social distancing. Other options may be virtual. Be sure to use the guidance for Digital Safety and Online Scouting Activities when meeting virtually.
Step 4: Engage your chartered organization.Especially if you’re having difficulty finding a meeting place, talk with your chartered organization to see what other options they might be able to provide. While a meeting room might not be available, perhaps the parking lot, a field, or a park could be a safe alternative. Whatever the proposed location, the chartered organization should be made aware of the issue and brought into the discussion.
Step 5: Reach out to the school in your community. If you’re used to working with your local school for a recruiting night, meeting space or otherwise, connect with them to talk about ways your Scout unit could be of service and assist them during this time.
Step 6: Make sure you’ve updated your BeAScout pin and are using all of the available easy-to-use online registration tools. As you get back to Scouting, help new families find and join your unit without ever needing any paper to change hands.
Though the times remain uncertain, Scouts and Scouters are resilient, and following the above steps can help you to Be Prepared and ease the process of getting back to Scouting quickly and safely whenever local requirements allow it.