Andrew Jackson CouncilCoronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update #1

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 coronavirus, could affect local Scouting programs in the Andrew Jackson Council, Boy Scouts of America. Please know that we are monitoring developments regarding COVID-19 both locally with our Council Health & Safety Office Dr. Steve Zachow and through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

 

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 

The following events or meetings have been rescheduled, postponed, cancelled, or moved to an online venue due to COVID-19:

The Scout Service Center (SSC) & Scout Shop will be closed for visitors and customers until further notice effective Tuesday, March 17. A mail slot at the front entrance to the SSC is available to drop of documents of all kinds: Advancement Reports, Eagle Scout Applications & Workbooks, Recharters, Applications, etc.)

All District Roundtables, Committee Meetings, and Commissioners Meeting are cancelled until further notice.

March 19 | Council Calendar Committee Meeting (Moved to Conference Call)

March 27-29 & April 3-5 | NYLT (New Date: July 10-12 & July 17-19)

April 17-19 | Cub-O-Ree (Registrants will have the option of moving to Cub Scout Summer Camp June 4-6 or July 9-11; Cub Scout Day Camp June 6 or June 27; or request a refund)

April 23 | Council Quarterly Program Committee Meeting (Moved to Conference Call)

May 1-3 | Red Cross Wilderness First Aid (New Date: May 15-17)

May 9 | HSR Beaver Day (New Date: May 16)

 

Decisions about unit meetings and activities should be made by the Pack, Troop, or Crew leadership in consultation with the Charter Organization based on the unit’s individual circumstances and current CDC and local health department guidelines.

 

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, & mouth, and wash your hands before & 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 & disinfect frequently touched objects & 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.

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 local District President, District Commissioner, or District Executive. We will do everything we can to answer your question using the information available to us.  

 

 Yours in Scouting,

 

Dr. Steve Zachow Anthony D. Haines

Health & Safety Officer CEO | Scout Executive

Andrew Jackson Council, BSA Andrew Jackson Council, BSA


Questions and Answers

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: May local councils grant extensions?

A: Normally, that is not allowed. However, due to the current situation—effective immediately and through September 30, 2020—council Scout executives may grant extensions, or delegate authority to the Council Advancement Committee to grant extensions under the following limitations:

1.It can be established that COVID-19 disruptions were the only circumstances that delayed work on Eagle Scout/Summit/Quartermaster advancement requirements, such as the service project or merit badges. If any other causes were involved, the extension request must go to the National Council following the process outlined in the GTA.

 

2.Extensions shall only be granted to youth in Scouts BSA who have already achieved Life rank.

 

3.When the council receives a COVID-19-related request for a time extension, the council reviews the request and approves it if appropriate. A written response stating the outcome of the extension request must go to the youth. If approved, the notification must be attached to the youth’s Eagle/Summit/Quartermaster rank application. For Eagle, the extension must not exceed 3 months from the youth’s 18th birthday; for Summit/Quartermaster, the extension must not exceed 3 months from the youth’s 21st birthday.  

4.Upon turning 18, the Scout must submit a completed adult application and successfully complete YPT; their participant code will now be UP for SBSA or VP for Venturing and Sea Scouting.

 

5.Extension requests for more than 3 months beyond the youth’s 18th/21st birthday must be sent to the National Service Center following the process outlined in the GTA.

 

Note: A “month” in BSA advancement is defined as a day from one month to the next. For example, March 5 to April 5.

 

The authority for councils to grant extensions is temporary, lasting only through Sept. 30, 2020.

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

A: Yes. Council Scout executives may grant extensions, or delegate authority to the Council Advancement Committee to grant extensions under the limitations listed above.

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.

ANDREW JACKSON COUNCIL
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA

855 Riverside Drive
Jackson, MS 39202
[Map]

Phone:601-948-6111
Fax:601-948-6117
Web:bsa-jackson.org
 

JACKSON SCOUT SHOP

855 Riverside Drive
Jackson, MS 39202
[Map]

Phone:601-355-7047
Web: scoutshop.org
 

HOOD SCOUT RESERVATION

8065 Old Port Gibson Rd
Hazlehurst, MS 39083
[Map]

Phone:601-948-6111
Web: hoodscoutreservation.org
 

Andrew Jackson Council - Boy Scouts of America - bsa-jackson.org