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 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 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.
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.
Clean high touch surfaces and disinfect shared supplies before and after each use. Ensure restrooms are cleaned and disinfected regularly.
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.
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.
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.).
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: firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone at: 425-341-0307.
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
From MBC Membership Committee
Spring is just around the corner and hopefully more group interactions for our Scouts. It’s the perfect time for your unit to work on retention, recruiting and reach back.
Start by reviewing your program calendar. How are virtual meetings going? What are innovative ways to keep your scouts engaged? These are great topics for discussion during your parent or committee meetings and Patrol Leader Council meetings. New ideas and resources are just a click away as the internet is flooded with them. You can find creative ideas on how to host a virtual Blue & Gold events or pinewood derby. There are also sites that cover fun troop meetings and outings!
Spring recruiting will still look a little different; but as Scouters we are excellent at adapting and moving forward. Have you checked out any “Scout Bytes,” presented by the Scouting at Home Program? Every Wednesday a new topic is presented. There are a few geared towards recruiting like, Creative Content to Promote Your Unit and The Ins and Outs of Yard Signs. Yes, yard signs! This is a great tool to help promote your unit. On Saturday, March 20, from 9-11am we will be offering a drive-thru yard sign pick up at the Everett Scout Office. Please note that the current stock of yard signs are geared towards Cub Scouts. Register to pick-up signs by March 17 and your order will be ready for pick up. You won’t even have to get out of your car! Our goal is to have yards signs posted by April 1st (no foolin)!
Signs are posted – check! It’s time to reach back. If your unit had families that put Scouting on hold, give them a quick call. See how they are doing. Let them know what your unit is up to. Share your unit’s plans for summer camp and when the next pack or troop meeting is and that it’s a great time to get involved, again. It could be as easy as that.
With the release of the Healthy Washington plan from the Governor’s office, we are pleased to share the following guidelines for the re-opening of Fire Mountain for Unit activities.
Camp is located in the North Region of the Healthy Washington Plan, and will follow the Phase Restrictions of that region.
Please note that groups using camp must always follow general COVID safety guidelines applicable to all Scouting activities.
While Fire Mountain is in Phase 1, please contact Emily in the Scout Office to make a reservation – she will provide an access code for the online system.
Emily.email@example.com | 425-338-0380 ext. 100
OA Unit Elections
Recognizing Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law, the Order of the Arrow has a history of over 100 years, encouraging others to live those same ideals. Even during these challenging times, Scouts and Scouters have continued to endure and set the example for others. It is time once again to recognize those individuals worthy of this great honor.
Sikhs Mox Lamonti Lodge of the Order of the Arrow is now setting up unit elections. While we are in these COVID restrictions, the Order of the Arrow has adjusted the requirements for membership:
- Be a registered member of the Boy Scouts Of America.
- Scouts must have experienced at least 15 nights of camping in the previous two years, prior to election. Only five of those nights can include one long term camp, virtual or otherwise, under the guise of Scouting. The remaining 10 nights of camping must be made up of short–term camps, virtual or otherwise, conducted under the guise of Scouting. Ship nights count for Sea Scouts as camping.
- At the time of their election, youth must be under the age of 21, and hold one the following ranks corresponding to the type unit in which they are being considered for election: Scouts BSA First Class rank, the Venturing Discovery Rank, or the Sea Scout Ordinary rank or higher, and following approval by the Scoutmaster, Crew Adviser or Sea Scout Skipper, be elected by the youth members of their unit.
During these COVID restrictions, the Lodge will be conducting unit elections virtually. Units can schedule their unit elections for youth members by filling out this Unit Election Request form. There the unit leader can request an election date (provide up to three optional dates) and list those youth that meet the criteria above. Your Lodge election team will contact the unit leader to schedule the meeting and answer any questions or concerns.
Adult leaders at the unit, district or council level are nominated by their units or peers and must have an application filled out and approved by the Lodge Adviser and Scout Executive. Adult leaders should meet the camping requirement above, but exceptions can be made with approval of the Lodge Adviser and Scout Executive. You can find the form at the Lodge website here.
We look forward to a great year and look forward to helping you recognize those who are deserving of Scouting’s National Honor Society.
If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach out to Steven Glenn, the Associate Lodge Adviser – Inductions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Scouting @ Home Committee has been hard at work creating fun activities and ideas to help our Scouts “Scout On”. The Mount Baker Council website has many resources to help your unit be successful.
Check out the Monthly Scouting @ Home Themes for recommended monthly themes. From monthly meeting resources to awards and merit badges, there are many ideas and opportunities for scouts of all ages. Visit Scouting@Home Themes to spice up your calendar.
We also have information on Virtual Merit Badges, Virtual Meeting activities, Virtual Games and Advancement Resources for every rank from Lion through Eagle. Be sure to check out the Mount Baker Council Scouting at Home Resources.
Beginning in December, we will be having weekly instructional webinars called “Scout Bytes”. Each webinar will be on Wednesdays at 5:00pm and will be approximately 15 minutes long. Most of these webinars will be recorded and uploaded to the Mount Baker Council website for viewing at a later time if you aren’t able to make the scheduled call. We hope you are able to attend these informative webinars to help our youth Scout @ Home. Here is a schedule for the next 5 webinars (registration for each webinar will be sent out via email):
- Dec. 2nd: Brainstorming Spectacular and Zany Zoom Antics (look for information from this session to be posted on the website)
- Dec. 9th: Virtual Merit Badge Classes How-To, a lesson in technology
- Dec. 16th: Volunteering in a Socially-Distanced World
- Dec. 30th: How to run a Virtual Pinewood Derby
- Jan. 6th: Summer Camp Staff
Many Scouts attended the Tougher Scout Challenge on Nov. 6th and 7th, and it was a great success. We had many Scouts throughout the Council putting their skills to good use, and the finished products that were shared were nothing less than spectacular!
I would like to share a story with you about a couple of Scouts that were involved with this event – one that attended the event, and one that helped run the event. Kai Schley, a Star Scout, is the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader for Troop 4007 in North Cascades District. Kai was responsible for running all the Kahoot Challenges for the event. One of the challenges was a First Aid challenge. Andrew Stauffer, a Scout in Troop 4026 in North Cascades District, took the Kahoot challenge, and loved it. He learned many things from the challenge, which he shared with his family. A few days later, while his parents were at work, Andrew choked on some food and was unable to speak or breathe. The information he shared with his family a few days before was instrumental in what happened next: His older brother saw what was happening, yelled to his other siblings that Andrew was choking, and his sister was able to perform the Heimlich maneuver on him, clearing his airway, and allowing him to breathe once again. The quick thinking of each and every one of them saved his life.
If you ever wonder if what we do makes a difference, this is proof that we do. This is leadership and life skills at its finest. I am so proud to be part of this amazing organization that teaches our youth invaluable lessons and help prepare them for a lifetime of success.
Are you familiar with Scouting’s Order of the Arrow? For over 100 years, the Order of the Arrow (OA), Scouting’s national honor society, has recognized Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. This recognition provides encouragement for others to live by these ideals as well, and advances the OA’s purpose of promoting responsible outdoor adventure, developing young leaders, and crystallizing the Scout habit of helpfulness into lifelong leadership in cheerful service to others. The OA emphasizes service to the unit—Arrowmen give back to their troops through the leadership skills and values of service learned through the Order.
The Mount Baker Council BSA is served by the OA’s Sikhs Mox Lamonti Lodge #338, which marks its 25th anniversary as a lodge this year. In a typical year, Lodge members contribute thousands of hours of service at Fire Mountain Scout Camp and in their communities across the Mount Baker Council, including organizing district camporees; visiting units across the Council to promote camping; and convening for fun-filled gatherings, high adventure, and leadership development training at the council, regional, and national levels.
During 2020 Sikhs Mox Lamonti Lodge has continued building momentum, even amid the significant challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was among the first wave of lodges nationwide to conduct Virtual Inductions for Scouts and Scouters selected by their peers to become OA members. During October and November, 30 new members across the Council were inducted into the Order, completing collectively more than 200 hours of service in their communities. Additionally, seven Lodge members were inducted as Vigil Honor members—the highest honor the OA can bestow upon its members for service to lodge, council, and Scouting: Matthew B., Mary Jo Brentari, Gary Garstin, Ryean H., Jacob J., Logan K., Blue L.
Calling All Arrowmen: Get Involved!
Sikhs Mox Lamonti Lodge is looking ahead to an exciting year of programs and service in 2021, including officially commemorating the Lodge’s 25th Anniversary, supporting units across the Council, and hosting the 2021 Section W-1N Conclave including all lodges from western Washington and Alaska. To do this, we need your involvement!
Update your Membership Information: If you are an OA member, please click on the below link to share with us your updated contact information, so we can be sure to keep you updated on all Lodge news and activities!
Sikhs Mox Lamonti Lodge #338 Member Registration Form
Troops, Ships, and Posts: We look forward to visiting you in 2021, including to support your units’ camping programs and to conduct OA elections. We will be contacting your units in early 2021 to arrange these visits.
We would love to see you at our upcoming OA Chapter meetings and other Lodge activities. For more information on the Lodge and opportunities to get involved, please contact Lodge Adviser Sean Connell at email@example.com.
The Mount Baker Council Trading Post is having a Year-End Clearance sale in the Trading Post! Find that perfect gift for the Scouting person in your life.
Download the flyer
Dear Scouting Family —
As the national organization reaches a significant moment in its bankruptcy case, the Mount Baker Council wants our Scouting community to know that we share in the Boy Scouts of America’s heartfelt support for victims of past abuse in Scouting.
Tens of thousands of individuals submitted claims in advance of the November 16th deadline set by the court in the national organization’s Chapter 11 case. We are moved by their bravery. Millions of youth across our country have benefited from Scouting for more than 100 years, but the number of individuals who have been affected by past abuse is devastating.
Now that all claims have been filed, the next step will be for third-party advisors to review the claims in order to uphold the integrity of the process, while the national organization works to develop a plan of reorganization to fund the proposed Trust.
It is important to note that while any instance of abuse is one too many, the overwhelming majority of abuse claims filed in the national organization’s bankruptcy case relate to allegations of abuse that occurred before our modern youth protection policies were put in place more than three decades ago. We want to underscore what many of you already know: The safety and protection of the children in our programs is our absolute top priority. The BSA has multi-layered safeguards in place, all of which act as barriers to abuse, and we can assure you that our volunteers and staff members take these measures extremely seriously. We encourage you to review our safety policies and procedures to better understand our commitment to youth safety and ask that you share this information with friends, neighbors, and family members who ask about this topic. Some helpful resources include our Youth Safety Infographic and Video.
he Mount Baker Council remains committed to delivering Scouting’s unparalleled experiences to young people throughout our communities, and we thank you for your continued support.
If you have any other questions about the policies in place to keep kids safe in Scouting today, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions about the recent news regarding the national organization’s bankruptcy case, please reference this FAQ.
Yours in Scouting,
Charter Renewal 2020
By: Ed Reger, Council Commissioner
I look back at articles I wrote in December 2019 and February 2020 and where we are now in Mount Baker and Scouting throughout the Country. It is nothing like we expected it to be. It has been, and still is, a year of significant impacts and has required a great deal of creativity, flexibility and stamina. Now that we at the time to renew Unit Charters we will be completing the process in a different manner, with minimal contact. Due to the pandemic “contactless” has become the way we do most everything. We are separate and remote in most meeting, doing “drive-bys” with limited contact for Courts of Honor and even with a completely virtual Annual Auction.
Not only will we be completing our charter renewals in contactless manner, but we are also changing our Council’s charter year. The decision to change was made prior to the impact of COVID-19 and with a great deal of consideration. The early Fall is the time of the year when we see the largest number of youths, and adults, joining our program. And with our old Charter Year we found ourselves working to renew charters during the “holiday season”, from Halloween through Christmas. The decision was to change to a Charter Year from November 1 thru October 31. This year we are doing a 10-month charter, which has also contributed to the confusion.
Our Registrar, our VP of Marketing, council professionals, our District Commissioners and the Commissioner staffs have worked hard to create a process to allow for charter renewal, with limited paper and minimal contact, including a new website and all Unit Key Three members should have received instructions and a specific units access codes from your District Directors.
This year has had many challenges, and this will be another, but I have watched you, our volunteer leaders step up to the challenges and maintain an active and vital program for our youth. Thank you for what you have done in the past, what you are doing now and what you will do for Scouting in the future (stealing the closing from our Council Executive, Kevin Nichols!)
Let’s start at the very basics! Do you know where to find up-to-the-minute safety information for Scouts and Scouters? The scouting.org website. Take time to become familiar with all the safety information under Scouting Safely to help all of us keep Scouts safe.
GENERAL INFORMATION – Check out these sections of the Scouting Safely page:
- Scouting Safely Alerts—Keep up on the latest safety information and advice, from insurance issues to firearms and rocket safety.
- Guide to Safe Scouting—The Guide to Safe Scouting is an overview of Scouting policies and procedures gleaned from a variety of sources. For some items, there are complete policy statements. This is a valuable resource for unit leaders to review prior to conducting activities.
- The Sweet 16 of BSA Safety—In a continuing effort to protect participants in Scouting activities, the BSA’s National Health and Safety Committee has developed 16 points that embody good judgment and common sense for all activities.
- Annual Health and Medical Record—The Annual Health and Medical Record is completed at least annually by all participants in any Scouting activity. Scouting adventures, camping trips, high-adventure excursions, and having fun are important to everyone in Scouting—and so is your safety and well-being. Completing the Annual Health and Medical Record is the first step in making sure you have a great Scouting experience. Find out what forms you need for which activities.
- Incident Reporting—Timely and complete incident reports support analysis that is critical to identifying needed improvement of BSA programs. This section also includes incident reviews for your use.
- Answers to Your General Health and Safety Questions—Review this page for answers to frequently asked questions about anything ranging from Scouts on zip lines and pets at campouts to the Annual Health and Medical Record and insurance coverage.
- Wilderness First Aid Training—Learn about practices that go way beyond what Scouting leaders may already know as “first aid.” Wilderness first-aid training can help you cope with medical emergencies in the wild and, perhaps more importantly, to be a more effective manager in any crisis.
- Safety Moments—Safety Moments are exactly what the name implies: opportunities to prepare for an activity, review safety measures, and report incidents correctly. Topics in this series include incident reporting helps, weather-related safety, winter activities, and winter sports…all good topics to know this winter season!