Dear Friends and Family of Scouting,

We hope you and your family are healthy.

We are writing to you as the Mount Baker Council urgently needs your help.

Scouting has never been more important to our youth and communities. We are committed to the mission . . . actively planning service projects and our character-building youth programs.

But, we need your help!

Like you, we have been deeply affected by the Coronavirus.

We temporarily closed our stores, asked our employees to work from home, and advised our members, volunteers and staff to heed all public safety recommendations.

Our traditional fund-raising activities, including our Community Fund Raising events and our annual Family Friends of Scouting (FOS) campaigns have always been held in groups and provided the opportunity for personal connections. As we do our part to participate in social distancing we have had to delay or cancel these events.

It cost $205 per registered Scout to continue providing a quality Scouting experience for the youth of the Pacific Northwest. You have supported us in the past, can we count on you to help today? Your recurring contribution of $20.00 per month will make a big difference for youth in our area. Please go to mountbakerbsa.org/giving/friends-of-scouting/ or text mountbakerbsa to 41444 to make a gift today.

Thank you for your continuing support of the mission of the Mount Baker Council. With the support of our volunteers and people like you, the mission will continue.

Mount Baker Council, Boy Scouts of America

Steven Davis, Council President

GaryBazzell, Senior Vice President of Development

Kevin Nichols, Scout Executive

The Mount Baker 2020 Camp Cards are here!

Let’s use this opportunity to test our online sales skills. These cards hold great value, especially the restaurants that have take-out and delivery. Who doesn’t want a discount on their pizza while stuck at home?! And with most vendors, the new expiration date of March 2021 allows for plenty of time to use the card. We have also extended the campaign through the end of June to give units more time to sell. Please be in touch with your District Camp Card Captains for distribution details.

Good luck with your sales and always remember – Do Your Best!!!

From the National Boy Scouts of America.

Cub Scouting/Scouts BSA/Venturing/Sea Scouting

Rank Advancement and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The following questions regarding advancement have arisen as we deal with closures, cancellations, or other issues caused by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Although there are difficulties and constraints, advancement can continue. Youth, parents, and leaders should work together to implement creative, common sense ways to facilitate advancement while adhering to the Guide to Safe Scouting and following the rules of Youth Protection training.

Please follow this link to the Guide to Advancement (GTA), which remains the primary source for information related to Scouts BSA advancement. It is referenced throughout the answers provided here.

Please send additional questions to advancement.team@scouting.org

All Scouting Programs

Q: How can advancement be tracked remotely?

A: Scouting units should use ScoutBook* to record and track advancement.

To track advancement remotely, parents should:

  1. Connect with their child’s member profile via an invitation that the unit leader sends within ScoutBook.
  2. Once a connection is made, the parent should use the Scouting app, found in both the App Store and Google Play, to stay connected with their unit.
  3. The Scouting app provides parents the ability to report any advancement that was completed at home.

Go to https://help.scoutbook.com to learn more about how to start using ScoutBook and how to connect parents to their Scouts.

Cub Scouts

Q: May parents sign off on Webelos and Arrow of Light requirements?

A: Yes. Through July 31, 2020, parents and other adults in the Cub Scout’s family, may sign off on Webelos and Arrow of Light requirements. We strongly encourage that parents use the Scouting App or ScoutBook to record completion of their child’s requirements.

Q: If my den is behind in advancement due to COVID-19, can my Cub Scout continue to work on advancement through the summer?

A: Yes. Cub Scouts can continue to work on their current den’s advancement through July 31, 2020. This is to provide any additional time a Cub Scout needs to complete their badge of rank; if they earn their badge of rank prior to July 31, 2020, they may advance to the next rank.

Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts

Q: May merit badge requirements or rank requirements be modified?

A: No. All requirements must be completed as written. If meetings or activities are canceled or limited, youth should continue to work on requirements as far as possible. By employing common sense and creative solutions, many requirements–even Scoutmaster conferences–can be fulfilled through videoconferencing or telephone calls.

Q: Can merit badge counseling or Nova/Supernova counseling be done using digital technologies like Zoom or WebEx?

A: Yes, registered merit badge counselors or Nova counselors/Supernova mentors may work with youth using digital platforms, ensuring that all youth protection measures noted in the Guide to Safe Scouting and BSA’s social media guidelines are in place. In addition to youth protection, the advancement guidelines in GTA Section 7 are required.

Q: May time missed due to canceled unit meetings count toward active participation requirements?

A: Yes. If youth are registered and in good standing, a disruption from COVID-19 virus can be the “noteworthy circumstance” that prevents participation. This policy has been in place for many years and is explained in GTA Topic 4.2.3.1.

Q: May time missed due to canceled unit meetings count toward position of responsibility requirements?

A: Yes. If youth are registered and unable to meet the expectations of their positions because of COVID-19 disruptions, then units may need to waive or rethink the expectations. Just as youth must not be held to unestablished expectations, they must not be held to expectations that are impossible to fulfill. See GTA Topic 4.2.3.4, “Positions of Responsibility,” with its six subtopics.

Q: Does the National Council grant extensions of time to complete rank requirements beyond the 18th birthday for the Eagle or 21st birthday for Summit or Quartermaster?

A: Yes, but only for the Eagle Scout rank as described in GTA Topic 9.0.4.0 or for Venturing Summit or Sea Scout Quartermaster as described in GTA Topic 4.3.3.0. Unit leadership must become familiar with the five tests under 9.0.4.0. The tests were designed to accommodate such obstacles as those presented by COVID-19 disruptions.

Q: Will youth who are not yet Life Scouts be allowed to apply for an extension to earn the Eagle Scout rank?

A.   Extensions are considered only for Scouts who are Life rank. If, once a Scout achieves Life rank, it turns out that COVID-19 disruptions along the way have left them with insufficient time to complete Eagle requirements, then this may be cited when the time comes to submit an extension request.

Q: If youth have already received an extension, can they request additional time due to COVID-19?

A: Yes, at the Council’s discretion.

Q: What should be done while an extension request is being considered?

A: Youth should continue to work on advancement in so far as they are able—e.g., independently, or over the phone or videoconference—and at Scouting activities once they resume.

Q: Are extensions required when an Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster board of review must be delayed?

A: No. Councils may grant Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster boards of review up to six months after the youth’s 18th/21st birthday. See GTA Topic 8.0.3.1, “Eagle Scout Board of Review Beyond the 18th Birthday.”

See also, GTA Topic 8.0.1.6, “Boards of Review Through Videoconferencing.”

Q: Are electronic or digital signatures acceptable for rank advancement or for the Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster packets/applications?

A: Yes. Electronic or digital signatures will be accepted through September 30, 2020.

Q: How can a youth continue to work on advancement requirements if they don’t have internet or high-speed internet for videoconferencing?

A: Youth may take a picture of their completed activity/requirement and share the work with unit leaders. In keeping with Youth Protection Training policies, all communications from youth should be sent to at least two adults. Parents or guardians may send advancement work on behalf of their child. We encourage the child to write the message and utilize the adults email to send the communication when the youth doesn’t have their own email.

*If your unit is not using Internet Advancement 2.0 (not Scoutbook) then your parents can use the Scouting app requirements for their Scout. (iPhone) (Android). For units using Scoutbook, which is free to all units, follow the directions above.

April 03, 2020 Update – Council Service Centers and Trading Posts are closed through May 4th.

March 26, 2020 Update – Council Service Centers and Trading Posts are closed through April 8th.

March 17, 2020   

Dear Mount Baker Council friends,   

Our Council leadership has previously written you of cancellations of council and district Scouting programs in our area. Like you, we’ve heard plenty of important information about the Covid-19 novel Coronavirus disease, so we are taking more precautions today which we hope won’t impact you and your family much. 

Beginning March 17th at noon, we are closing our Scout Service Centers/Trading Posts in Everett and Bellingham through March 28th. We hope to reopen on Monday, March 30th.   

The Mount Baker Council Staff will be still be working just as hard for you through this process. Many of our staff are already working remotely and others will begin today. During the next two weeks, certain staff members will cycle in and out of the Council Service Center to collect and distribute mail, respond to phone messages and conduct other critical business functions. Please continue to reach out to your District Executives with questions you may have.  You can find the staff directory on our website.  

There is a lot of Scouting that can happen at home, particularly advancement and planning summer activities and I hope you will challenge Scouts to safely help others in their community during this time of need. We anticipate a great summer and our camp managers are busy planning programs and hiring staff in anticipation of having you camp with us. 

Lastly, we need your financial help. Many of the events where we raise money for Scouting have been paused and may not happen. The scouting program delivered and supported by the Mount Baker Council, through its people, facilities and activities provides a quality Scouting experience for our families. You can help our council during this tough time by making a gift. Donate Today.  

Visit our website or Facebook page to keep up-to-date on all the latest news from the Council.

Thank you for your understanding and past well wishes and for all you do for Scouting, especially in Mount Baker Council. 

For the Council Key Three, 

Kevin Nichols 

Scout Executive 

March 13, 2020 Announcement

Dear Scouting Family, 

As always, your safety and the safety of all our members, volunteers, and employees is our top priority. We know there are questions and concerns about how COVID-19, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, could affect local Scouting programs in Mount Baker Council. Please know that we are monitoring developments along with our Council Enterprise Risk Management committee regarding COVID-19 including information from our Local County Health Departments (please review their websites), the State of Washington and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). First and foremost, the decision to participate in Scouting is voluntary, and each family should make a personal decision for what level of participation, if any, it will have in Scouting meetings and activities during this outbreak.

The following information regarding events and prevention measures is based on the latest available guidance. As this is an evolving situation, this information is subject to change. We will continue to update you on relevant developments, and we appreciate your understanding of any necessary adjustments in the interest of health and safety.  

Status of Council Events  

Last week, the Mount Baker Council announced the following Council events and activities have been cancelled or postponed through March 31st, 2020.   

Any of these events that required payment will be refunded or funds transferred to another council event.  If you were registered for an event that has been rescheduled your registration has automatically been transferred to the new date. Please contact the Everett Service Center for assistance or with any questions.  

As we monitor this situation, we will continue to review and make the needed decisions on activity and events in the month of April and update our communications based on those actions.   

Status of District Events  

District level volunteers are currently evaluating all district level events. Please be on the lookout for further communication from your District Executives on status of those events.   

All District Roundtables in March have been cancelled.  


Unit / Den Meetings and Activities 

Decisions about unit meetings and activities should be made by unit leadership and chartering organizations based on the unit’s individual circumstances, current CDC and local health department guidelines, and common sense. The chartered organization may have policies or protocols that have been put in place in response to COVID-19. Remember that the Chartered Organization “owns” your Scouting unit and has ultimate authority in these decisions.

If your unit’s meeting place is a different entity than your unit’s Chartered Organization, the unit leadership should consult with the meeting place as to any policies or protocols that they have put in place in response to COVID-19. For many Cub Scout Packs, this will be a school campus. Arrangements for alternate meeting locations may be needed. 

For any outside activities, contact the facility’s management to determine if that facility has put any restrictions or policies in place in response to COVID-19. 

If units cancel or postpone large group meetings and continue to meet in small groups in dens or patrols, it is encouraged that all participants understand the everyday preventive measures that are reviewed in this communication and the county health department web pages. Any den, patrol, or other Scouting related gathering, regardless of size, must adhere to the two-deep leadership rule and Safe Scouting Guidelines.   

After consulting with the Chartered Organization, unit committees should determine the most appropriate path forward in delivering the Scouting program for its families. The unit leadership should respect any family’s decision not to participate during this outbreak and make plans to help Scouts that do not participate re-engage after it is complete.   

BSA Polices to Prevent the Spread of Illness 

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) 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.  

Additionally, Scouting families and leaders are encouraged to share this Safety Moment to help prevent the spread of illness. 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR SCOUTING UNITS 

EVERYDAY PREVENTATIVE 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: 

This summary is provided as an update to MBC families, staff, and other stakeholders on preparations being considered by the Mount Baker Council. This is not a replacement for self-education through access to current information from sources such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Washington Department of Health, or your own physician. 

Should you have any questions or concerns about a specific upcoming event or activity, please reach out to our local Service Centers. We will do everything we can to answer your question using the information available to us. 

We encourage you to share this message with your Scouting families and parents through your communication channels. 

With all of this, keep in mind the Scout Oath and Law. The values there ultimately will help you do what is right for our Scouts, KINDLY letting families chose, or HELPFULLY postponing. Also, remember that a Scout is CLEAN, and that proper hygiene should be practiced for all. 

Please be sure to stay educated and informed as you continue your Scouting adventures. 

Yours in Scouting,

Mount Baker Council’s Key Three 

Did you know about the Mount Baker Council Text to give program?  It is an easy and quick way to make an FOS donation with a credit card! 

Fast and easy way to support Mount Baker Scouting!   

So how does it work?  It is just filling out a form.  

A Simple Three-Step Process: 

 

  1. Text MountBakerBSA to 41444.   

A text is sent to you with a link with the FOS Donation form.  Just click the link sent to you.   

  1.    Fill out the Form 

Donors can select a preset amount for a one-time gift or choose a monthly recurring gift.   

For a recurring gift, select Other, put in the monthly donation amount and select Monthly. Remember to fill out the form in its entirety in order for your Unit to get credit for the donation.   

  1. Hit DONATE 

If you want the Council to receive your entire donation amount, do nothing.  The box is already selected for you to pay the credit card processing fee.  If you would like the council to pay the fee, just unselect the box. The amount at the bottom of the screen is how much you will be charge monthly.  

This program is another useful tool to help our council reach our FOS objectives.  Submit your Friends of Scouting donation today! 

Trails End Popcorn is Phasing out the Scholarship program  

If your Scout Sold $2500 or more in popcorn in 2019, they have until March 31,2020 to enroll in the Trails end Scholarship Program.  After that date there will be no more applications accepted.  Those who are registered will be able to add to their accounts for the next three popcorn selling seasons. 

Why is Trails-End phasing out scholarship and enhancing 
TE Rewards?  

•    Only 1 out of 5 eligible Scouts ($2500+ in sales) actually enrolls in the scholarship and collects their scholarship funds. This utilization is too low. 
 
•    TE Rewards has already released gift cards for over 96% of Scouts and the number increases daily. With TE Rewards, Scouts get what they earn. 
 
•    Scouts who claim their scholarship funds wait an average of 10 years, whereas with TE Rewards all Scouts claim their gift cards immediately. 
 
•    TE Rewards offers Scout families with more flexibility, as gift cards can be used to purchase Scout prizes or everyday items, or even be converted to cash and saved in a private scholarship account.   

What do I need to know regarding these changes?  

•    Scout families must turn in their 2019 scholarship forms by March 31, 2020. 
 
•    Scouts enrolled in the scholarship by March 31, 2020, can continue to submit scholarship forms and their account will be credited 4% of their sales for the popcorn fundraiser in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Sales in later years will not be credited to the scholarship program. Sales after December 31, 2022, will not be eligible for credits to a Scout’s scholarship account. 
 
•    There will be no new Scout enrollments into the scholarship program after March 31, 2020. 
 
•    TE will continue to pay out existing scholarship funds to eligible recipients under the current scholarship program. 
 
•    Scholarship changes were decided by TE, not your local council. 
 
•    TE will be notifying Scouts who sold $2,500+ in 2019, as well as active Scouts enrolled in the scholarship program. 

Now that you have completed your position-specific training for your Scouting role, it’s time to take your knowledge to the next level. Wood Badge is a 6-day advanced leadership training course. Held over 2 separate weekends in September and October, Wood Badge offers leadership skills training that benefits your unit and all of Scouting, increases personal confidence, and forms an enhanced social and professional network. 
 
Private corporations pay thousands for the Wood Badge course content to be presented at a business conference. Scouters pay a fraction of the corporate price for 6 days of food, fellowship, camping, and a ton of fun. Unleash your inner child as you form patrols, build rockets, sing songs, play games, and enjoy late-summer weekends at Fire Mountain. 
 
Early Bird Registration (with a $50 discount!) opens March 1 online through the Council Calendar. Course dates are Sept 25-27 and Oct 23-25. Participants must attend both weekends. 

The other day I heard about a unit driving around in ATV’s. Pictures were shared on their Facebook page. It looked fun, they were wearing proper gear…but something didn’t seem right. I looked in the recent copy of Safe Guide For Scouting. Sure enough, ATV usage is prohibited on the unit level activity.  

Did you know using Boomerangs, playing Dodgeball, or even climbing trees are prohibited activities? 

Sometimes you just say “no” to an activity when you “know” the program of the Boy Scouts of America. So, did you “know” there are activities and programs that should NOT be part of any Scouting experience? Or that there are limits for when some activities should be introduced? How you can find out about them and why they are on the “list” are what this safety moment is about. 

GENERAL INFORMATION 

First, ask this question: Is the activity in a handbook or other current literature of the Boy Scouts of America? 

If it is, great. Then you know it is part of the BSA program. 

Wait, it’s not in a BSA handbook or literature. Then ask: Does it support the values of the Boy Scouts of America? If the activity helps to create good conduct, respect for others, and honesty, then most likely it is good to go. (Note: Values do not use fun, exciting, wilder, crazy, or faster as a test, nor do they include “We have always done it.”) 

The next test: Is it age appropriate? For instance, by design the program limits the use of throwing knives and tomahawks to youth in Scouts BSA and above, and limits the use of pocketknives in Cub Scouting to Bears and above. A list of age-appropriate guidelines is in the appendix of the Guide to Safe Scouting. 

So, the activity you want to do isn’t in the handbook, but you think it supports the values of the BSA and it appears to be age appropriate. Last test: Is it prohibited or unauthorized? Look at the list of prohibited activities in the Guide to Safe Scouting. 

So how does something get on the list? From time to time, cross-functional teams of volunteers and professional staff are asked to evaluate programs or activities to incorporate into Scouting. Sometimes it’s a near miss, social media, or an actual incident that brings an activity forward for review. Other times it’s a request for a new or revised program or merit badge. These requests are reviewed by a team using various risk assessment tools found in the Enterprise Risk Management Committee Guidebook . As of this writing, 21 activities are on the prohibited listing. Prohibitions include failing to deliver program as designed or contained in our literature and common sense restrictions that include extreme sports, pyrotechnics, shooting or throwing at each other, and power tool use. The list is not comprehensive, but it serves as a definitive list of prohibited activities and it offers a broad sense of what is not allowed as a Scouting activity. 

In addition, our program literature outlines restrictions or age-appropriate activities. For example, the National Shooting Sports Manual has a list of restricted activities including boomerangs, spears, crossbows, and blowguns; COPE literature restricts belaying. 

Finally, there are some activities that may be restricted at the unit level but are allowed as part of a council-level activity. These include all-terrain vehicle and personal watercraft use and the pistol safety and marksmanship program for youth in Scouts BSA. Additionally, certain activities are specifically authorized at the high-adventure bases, such as crossbows at the Summit Bechtel Reserve and reloading ammunition at Philmont Scout Ranch. 

RESOURCES 

 

The Annual Business Meeting of the Mount Baker Council, Boy Scouts of America  

Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 7:30 am 
Stillaguamish Senior Center 
18308 Smokey Point Boulevard – several blocks north of 172nd  
Arlington, WA 98223-7825 

 This will serve as notification to voting members, including:  

All registered Chartered Organization Representatives and registered duly elected Council Members-at-Large, including current Executive Board members.  

The annual meeting will be for the purpose of:  

All those planning to attend, please RSVP to Emily Shanahan at Emily.Shanahan@scouting.org or at (425) 338-0380 by Thursday, May 14, 2020.  

Suggested nominees: 

Suggestions for Nominees to the Mount Baker Council’s Executive Board may be offered by any registered Scouter in our council.  Please submit nominees in writing, prior to April 1st to:  

Council Nominating Committee 

Mount Baker Council, BSA 

1715 – 100th Place SE, Suite B 

Everett, WA  98208