Mount Baker Council – Healthy Washington – Scouting Update

Updated: February 01, 2021

The Mount Baker Council is reaching out to our Units, Charter Organizations, and other stakeholders to share our understanding and interpretation of the new “Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery” Plan. We believe that the new plan will have significant impacts on the outdoor program and daily operations of our units moving forward.

As always, the Guide to Safe Scouting should continue to form the foundation of your activity planning. When considering the safety of activities planned under COVID restrictions, the Charter Organization remains the ultimate authority on what program activities are safe and appropriate for their Scouting Unit(s). Our understanding and interpretation are offered to assist Charter Organizations in making those decisions.

The Roadmap to Recovery Plan offers no specific guidance to Scouting Units for how to operate, but we have been able to develop guidance for Outdoor Program activities that is equivalent to the guidance offered for Outdoor Sports.

In Phase 1, the Roadmap to Recovery Plan permits:

Low and moderate risk sports permitted for practice and training only (no tournaments). Outdoor guided activities, hunting, fishing, motorsports, parks, camping, hiking, biking, running, snow sports, permitted.

In Phase 2, the plan further permits:

Low, moderate, and high-risk sports competitions allowed (no tournaments), maximum 200 including spectators.

Note that decisions on activities and group size limits should be made based on the phase of your destination and/or venue. For example, a unit from Snohomish County (in the Puget Sound Region) wanting to camp at Fire Mountain should follow North Region phase guidance.

Please remember that this guidance is being offered within the context of an ever-changing public health environment. We all want our Scouts to be able to get back into the outdoors this year, while staying as safe as possible. While the specific timelines above are directly tied to the Washington State guidance, please continue to take these broad guidelines into account in your activity planning.

Guidance applicable to ALL scouting activities at ALL risk levels

  • Stay home when sick or if a close contact of someone with COVID-19
  • Scouts, parents, leaders, and any other volunteers should be required to stay home if they feel unwell, show any signs of COVID-19, or are a close contact of a confirmed case.
  • All Scouts and leaders should be screened for signs/symptoms of COVID-19 prior to a meeting or activity using the “Mount Baker Council COVID-19 Screening Worksheet.”
  • Any person with symptoms of COVID-19 or who is a close contact of someone with confirmed COVID-19 should not be allowed to participate and should contact his or her primary care provider or other appropriate health-care professional.
  • Those who are excluded from participating due to COVID-19 symptoms or because they are close contacts must follow DOH and local public health isolation and quarantine guidance before returning to Scouting activities.
  • People with underlying health conditions should consult with their medical provider regarding participation in Scouting activities.

Masks

Masks are required for Scouts, and leaders during participation in all Scouting activities. Any parents or volunteers attending must also wear facial coverings. This expectation is held per the Department of Health facial covering order – and will remain in place until that order is modified.

Physical Distance

Physical distance of at least 6 feet must be maintained between leaders, parents, and any other volunteers at all times. Six feet of distance must be maintained among Scouts unless the activity cannot be conducted without close contact. Troops should carefully consider whether such an activity is vital to the integrity of the meeting or activity.

Hygiene

Require Scouts, leaders, parents, and any other volunteers to practice good hygiene including washing their hands frequently and covering their sneezes and coughs. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after activities, especially after touching shared objects or blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Scouts should not share water bottles, snacks, or other supplies.

Plan for handwashing or hand sanitizing stations at all meeting or activity locations.

Cleaning

Clean high touch surfaces and disinfect shared supplies before and after each use. Ensure restrooms are cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Ventilation

Outdoor locations are preferred to indoors locations and should be utilized to the greatest extent possible to allow for maximum fresh air circulation and social distancing.

Transportation

Limit exposure to those outside the household unit during travel. Encourage only those in the same household to travel together, and if not in the same household, travel in separate vehicles if possible.

For travel groups, (groups that include more than one household in the same vehicle whether in a carpool or on a bus) all members of the travel group, including the driver, must wear a face covering and spread out as much as possible within the vehicle. Limit travel groups to those who have been in regular contact (e.g. patrol members). Encourage family members to sit together. Maximize ventilation in the vehicle by opening windows.

Cooking

Individual food preparation is highly encouraged on overnight or extended day trips. Snacks and trail food on shorter trips should be pre-packaged and only opened/handled by each participant. Leaders should take care to ensure that youth are not sharing communal snacks (i.e. large bags of chips, beef jerky, etc.).

Tenting

It is recommended that only Scouts from the same household share tenting arrangements. All other individuals should make plans to tent separately. Appropriate prior planning for campsites should ensure that there is enough space for all tents required.

Remember that, per the Guide to Safe Scouting:

  • Cub Scout Camping: a Parent and Child may share a tent
  • Scouts BSA Camping: a parent and Child may NOT share a tent
  • Scouts more than 2 years apart in age may NOT share a tent.

Records and Contact Tracing

Keep a roster of every Scout, leader, parent, and other volunteer present at each meeting and activity to assist with contact tracing in the event of a possible exposure. Similarly keep a roster and seating chart for each travel group. Keep attendance rosters and seating charts on file for at least 28 days after the meeting or activity.

If you have any questions about this document and the guidance offered within, please feel free to contact Eric Buher at the Everett Council Office. Eric can be reached by email at: eric.buher@scouting.org and by phone at: 425-341-0307.

Scout On!

Suggested Activities for Units as they re-engage in Outdoor Program:

These suggested activities are divided into categories based on how difficult it is for a unit to access them without specialized skills/supplies. Activities which are tied to a Scouts BSA merit badge are indicated with (MB).

Note: For full details on athletics activities available in each phase, see the Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery plan at: https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/HealthyWashingtonPhasedChart.pdf

 

Visit the Restart Scouting Council site for more resources