UPDATE 5/14/2020: NCAC summer camp programs have been cancelled for 2020. Alternative summer programs will be announced soon.
UPDATE 4/30/2020: “Scouting at Home” has been extended until further notice. Please see this post for details.
UPDATE 4/2/2020: The Marriott Scout Service Center will be closed until further notice. Please contact your District Executive or staff adviser for assistance.
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 coronavirus, could affect local Scouting programs in National Capital Area Council. Please know that we are monitoring developments regarding COVID-19 both locally and through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The following information regarding local 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
After much discussion by NCAC’s Executive Board, it has been decided that all in-person Council and District events, activities, and meetings will be postponed or cancelled. This decision has been made out of an abundance of caution and concern for the health of our Scouts, Scouters, and their families. [Note: this paragraph has been edited. Please see this post for details.]
Further, NCAC strongly suggests that individual Scout units follow this policy. The final decision on continued unit activities will be the responsibility of the unit committee in consultation with their chartered organization and, in some cases, their meeting facilities until such time as new guidance is issued by the CDC.
We strongly encourage that districts, units, and council committees consider using technology to continue with as many of their normally scheduled meetings and events as possible. Free or low-cost options include Free Conference Call, Skype, and Google Hangouts.
Currently, all summer programming – day camps, summer camps, etc. – will continue as planned. We will be extending the Goshen early bird registration deadline to April 30 in order to give units more flexibility in planning. The Reduced Price Early Bird Deadline for all NCAC Day Camps and Twilight Camps has been extended through Thursday, April 30. The Priority Deadline for all NCAC Day Camp and Twilight Camp camperships has also been extended through Wednesday, April 15.
The National Capital Scout Shop, and North Virginia Scout Shop will closed indefinitely. Please feel free to find all your Scouting needs on scoutstuff.org!
Our council camping facilities will be closed through April 30. If you have an existing reservation, we will give your unit credit for a future date.
When possible, we are encouraging events to reschedule for a later date. If you are registered for an event that gets postponed, your registration will be transferred to the new date. If you are unable to attend the rescheduled event, you may request a refund according to our standard policy.
For events that are cancelled outright, we are in the process of reviewing our council refund policy. Given the number of events, and that many events have already incurred substantial costs for supplies and reservation fees, it may be difficult to issue full refunds. Our team is working to determine what is possible.
If you are able to do so, please consider not requesting a refund and allowing your registration fee to support Scouting. This will help us offset the costs and lost income from cancelled events.
BSA Polices to Prevent the Spread of Illness
The Boy Scouts of America 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.
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. A Scout salute or wave will suffice.
- 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 district executive. We will do everything we can to answer your question using the information available to us.