It was March 16, which seems like a very long time ago, when we hurriedly closed the Mechanicsburg and York Service Centers and Scout Shops after Governor Wolf ordered all non-essential businesses to shut down to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. No one that day would have predicted what all was to come in the days, weeks, and months that followed.
But hopefully, the worst of the pandemic is finally behind us, and we can look forward to better days ahead and be able to return to some semblance of normal day-to-day life, including sorely missed Scouting activities. Toward that end, I’m pleased to announce that the Mechanicsburg and York Service Centers will be reopening on Monday, June 1, followed by the Mechanicsburg and York Scout Shops on Tuesday, June 2.
Things will be a bit different in our offices and stores, but we’ll be OPEN, and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone! First, here’s what you need to know about our reopening plans for our service centers:
- Service center hours will be 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM in both offices. These new hours are a schedule change for our York Service Center.
- Staff and visitors must wear facial coverings and need to social distance. Remember, a Scout is courteous!
- We’re implementing enhanced cleaning routines in the service centers, and hand sanitizer will be readily available. We’ve installed Plexiglass screens in areas where our staff routinely interacts with visitors.
- The majority of our professional staff members will continue to work from home most days, even as the service centers reopen. If you’d like to meet with a member of our Council’s team, please contact that person and schedule an appointment in advance. Our professional staff members will be scheduled on a rotating basis to be in the service centers only on certain days of the week.
- Visitors to the service centers and Scout Shops must use the front doors only when entering the building. Employee and rear entrances will not be accessible by visitors.
Please note that the operating schedule for the Mechanicsburg and York Scout Shops has been modified. Both Scout Shops will operate Tuesday through Friday from 10 AM to 6 PM and Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 2 PM (Scout Shops will not be open Mondays). Both Scout Shops will close each day (Tuesday through Friday) briefly from 1:30-2:00 PM for lunch.
Cash will NOT be accepted as a form of payment until further notice to limit the risk of spreading germs. The Scout Shops will continue to accept credit/debit cards and checks. Payment systems have been updated to need fewer signatures and to accept Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.
Social distancing markers are in place in the Scout Shops, and Plexiglass sneeze guards are present at checkout points.
For additional details on plans for the operation of the Mechanicsburg and York Scout Shops, please refer to their reopening newsletter.
Please Share This Information
We all tend to be creatures of habit. One of my concerns as we reopen the service centers and Scout Shops is that people might hear that we’ve opened and simply assume that everything will be the same as before COVID-19 arrived on the scene. There have been schedule changes, especially with the Scout Shops, so I’d appreciate unit leaders sharing this information with their fellow leaders and Scouting families to minimize any inconvenience.
One last thing – special thanks to everyone in Scouting that did whatever they could to keep Scouting alive and going during the pandemic. From unit meetings and merit badge counseling sessions held online, to camp-ins, to service projects done from home … Scouting continued, which was crucial.
Hopefully, we’ll succeed in minimizing the spread of the COVID-19 virus until a vaccine or therapy is developed shortly. We’re looking forward to being able to see everyone again and resume Scouting’s critically important work in the lives of our youth here in south-central Pennsylvania.
Yours in Scouting,
Ronald M. Gardner, Jr.
Scout Executive & CEO