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June 2020 Roundtable Follow Up

Thank you to everyone that joined us for the June 2020 Council-wide Virtual Roundtable.  We had a great meeting and we hope that all of the participants were able to get get a lot of good information on how to KEEP SCOUTING and to do so safely.

We shared that during the prevention we would share both the slide deck and the recording from the meeting.  A list of Frequently Asked Questions is below.

Updated 6/8/2020

June 2020 Roundtable Recording

June 2020 Roundtable Slide Deck

Questions and Answers from the June 2020 Council-wide Roundtable

The following questions and answers were compiled from questions asked during and after the roundtable.  Questions have been organized by section.  Similar questions from the meeting have been merged into a single question where appropriate.

Remember that more detailed information on this information and more is available in The Hub.  

Section 1: Unit Program

Q: Will there be adjustments to requirements for the Outdoor Activity Award since participating in a resident camp or day camp is required?  

A: At this time, National has not announced any changes to the Outdoor Activity Award or the National Summertime Pack Award.   If the National Council makes any changes to these requirements they will be posted here or on our page through The Hub.   Cub Scouts can also check out the Virtual Summer Camp Activities that are being planned.  These camps will meet the requirement.  These awards are locally awarded so unit leaders do have some discretion in completing these specific awards.

Q: Are there any updates on Virtual Cub Scout Courses in the Going the Distance Academy?

A: Not yet.  We are still working on some potential programs.  We invite everyone to check out the Virtual Summer Camp Activities that will be held in July.  

Q: Do units need to get written approval from their chartered organization to resume in-person meetings and activities?

A: The New Birth of Freedom Council does not require written approval.  Having an exchange of emails between the unit and the chartered organization would be great for the unit to keep on file.   

Q: If a unit is planning a camping trip/hike/activity in a “green” phase county, what rules apply?

A: Follow the guidance of your “home” county.  If your “home” county is in the “green” phase but you are going somewhere that is in the “yellow” phase, you would need to follow the more restrictive guidance.

Q: Is there any guidance on the BSA swim test and options that are available to units since many camps are closed?

A: National has not provided any specific guidance on swim tests for this summer.  If they do, they will post it here.  Units are not limited to taking a swim test at a BSA summer camp.  You can find information on how to conduct the BSA swim test at a unit level along with the requirements to certify the test by following this link.  

Q: If we enter the “green” phase by August, will the Order of the Arrow hold its Ordeal?

A: Not sure yet – please stay tuned.  Announcements will be made on our website and social media posts.  

Section 2: Summer Camp 2020

Q: Do I have to request a refund for summer camp or will it be sent automatically?

A: For Scouts BSA Resident Camp, Webelos Resident Camp, and Cub Scout Resident Camp, you must request a refund so that we make sure that check amounts are correct and go to the correct person.  An authorized user on the UNIT Tentaroo account must complete the request.  Units must request refunds on behalf of the families that were registered to attend camp.  Please use the Summer Camp Refund Form.  Day  and Twilight Camp Participants will have refunds processed automatically.  If you have questions about the refund process, please contact Todd Weidner at Todd.weidner@scouting.org.

Q: When will 2020 summer camp payments be refunded and how will they be refunded?

A: Refunds will start to be processed on June 1.  We will process refunds as quickly as possibly once we have received the Summer Camp Refund Form.  Funds will be returned to the unit directly.  New Birth of Freedom Council units can elect to have the refund made to their unit account.  If you have questions about the refund process, please contact Todd Weidner at Todd.weidneer@scouting.org. 

Q: If we opt to rollover our summer camp deposit to lock in the 2020 rates, when will the 2021 dates be announced?

A: The 2021 dates are part of the form.  The dates for 2021 are as follows:

Cub Scout Resident Camp – Camp Tuckahoe

  • Session 1 – June 20-22
  • Session 2 – June 23-25
  • Session 3 – August 13-15

Webelos Resident Camp – Camp Tuckahoe

  • Session 1 – June 27-July 1
  • Session 2 – August 1-5
  • Session 3 – August 7-11

Scouts BSA Camp – Camp Tuckahoe

  • Session 1 – July 4-10
  • Session 2 – July 11-17
  • Session 3 – July 18-24
  • Session 4 – July 25-31

Scouts BSA Camp – Hidden Valley

  • Session 1 – June 20-26
  • Session 2 – June 27-July 3
  • Session 3 – July 4-10
  • Session 4 – July 11-17
  • Session 5- July 18-24

Tiger/Family Camp Weekend – July 24-25 (Hidden Valley)

Q: It was announced that Tuckahoe and Hidden Valley may be available for family camping or unit camping once the counties enter the “green” phase, hopefully by July.  Is there anyway that we can start reserving dates early so we can plan for summer activities with our families?

A: Not just yet. We are working to set up our reservation system so that reservations can be made once we have the green light to do so.  

Section 3: Virtual Summer Camp

Q: If the Cub Scout Camp program includes Lions, does that mean Lions can join now?  I thought that Lions couldn’t join until kindergarten starts in the fall.

A: Yes, Lions can join now.  National’s definition of “fall” is intentionally vague to accommodate different parts of the year when the new school year starts.  In a typical summer, there is no approved program for Lions over the summer in an outdoor setting and that is why we usually encourage units to wait until August/September.  This year, the virtual program provides an opportunity for everyone, including Lions.  So, Lions who want to finish up work or new Scouts that want to join as Lions can both participate in the Cub Scout program.  They do need to register before they can participate.

Q: For Cub Scout Camp, do we sign up for the current year program or the program year our Scout is going into?

A: Either is perfectly acceptable.  Due to COVID-19, Cub Scouts have until July 31 to complete rank requirements.  If they are prepared to move on to the next rank, they should sign up for that program.  If they have advancements they want to finish but did not complete because of COVID-19 then they can sign up for their current rank program.  

Q: Can units register Scouts for Virtual Summer Camp or must each Scout register independently?

A: Scouts should register independently for Virtual Summer Camp.  Registration opens on June 16.  Here are instructions on how to make an account in Tentaroo.

Q: Is there an opportunity for someone that was going to be a CIT at camp to participate in Virtual Summer Camp?

A: Yes.  We plan to welcome our CITs (counselors-in-training) to join us for campfires and to help our adult staff with classes.  We will be in contact with all our staff.

Q: Are there staff opportunities for Virtual Summer Camp?

A: Spots are limited, but if you are interested please reach out to our Camp Leadership:

Section 4: Advancement

Q: For Eagle Scout Candidates that turned in their Eagle Binder before offices closed, will their approval and Board of Review be able to proceed?

A: Yes. We are working with our Eagle Coordinators and Advancement Chairs in each district to get them the materials that they need to get these moving forward.

Q: Will Scouts be able to begin working on Eagle Scout Projects in the “green” phase?

A: Most likely.  Without knowing the specifics of each project, as long as CDC and PA Department of Health Guidelines can be followed, project should be able to resume.

Q: In order to participate in a Scout’s Board of Review, do the adults need to be registered leaders?

A: Each board should be made up of 3 to 6 committee members.  If the unit does not have enough registered committee members, parents or other adults over the age of 21 may participate as long as they are knowledgeable about Scouting.  This is designed to help accommodate smaller units and should be more the exception than the rule.  You can find all of the details in the Guide to Advancement.

Q: If a Scout puts up a tent at his/her house and sleeps out for multiple nights can it count towards rank advancement and the Camping Merit Badge?

A: National has provided details on camping nights at home and what can be counted and what cannot.  You can get all of these details here.  

Q: Are there any modification for swimming requirements for Second and First Class ranks due to limited pool access?

A: National maintains a list of changes to advancement.  You can get all of the details here.  

Section 5: Fundraising

Q: What reports will be available for virtual camp card sales so we can connect sales to each Scout?

A: We will send a report to each unit that had Scouts participate.  The report will list the Scout and the number of cards the Scout sold.  Now that we are reopened, we hope to be able to share this information in the next couple fo weeks with a final version at the end of July.

Q: Are we exploring any alternatives for the popcorn and nut sale?  Our unit is concerned about being able to conduct Show and Sales and door-to-door sales.

A: We are not looking to replace the popcorn and nuts sale this fall.  We share many of your same concerns and are closely monitoring progress.  We are looking at additional options to assist units including online ordering and contactless delivery.  We hope to have these details worked out for our kick-off events in July.

Q: Are we open to considering new methods of fundraising?  In the past, we have not looked at raffles, but if Scouts were able to join efforts with their chartered organization or local community fundraisers to engage in raffles for camping equipment or other supplies, it could help with new avenues that avoid social distancing issues.  Is the Council open to brainstorming new methods beyond our traditional methods?

A: We’re always open to new ideas.  Raffles, however, are considered games of chance and are specifically prohibited as fundraisers by the National BSA.  If you attempt to connect the Scouting name with a raffle (i.e. “we’re doing a raffle to benefit the Scout troop), that is not permissible.  Feel free to reach out to any of the professional staff if you have new ideas.  We are open to them as long as they don’t violate guidelines.  

Section 6: Membership Fee Increase

Q: If a new Scout joins our unit in October, what do they pay to register?

A: They would pay the October prorated fee, plus the $25 initiation fee.  The new rate breaks down to $5.50 per month, so for an October registration a Scout would owe $16.50 ($5.50 x 3) +$25 or $41.50 to register from October until the end of December.  Then they would pay recharter fees in December. 

Q: What are the new membership fees for?

A: All registration fees (100%) go to fund the operation of the BSA National Council.  

Q:  What is the $25 fee for first time registrants to pay for? 

A:  It is basically an initiation fee.  That is the best comparison.  100% of it goes to National same as all registration fees.  Registration fees fund National Operations.  For more details on the fees and National FAQs visit this page.  

Q: Can you explain the timing of the fee changes and when they become effective?

A: The new fees go into effect on August 1.  They have NO impact on Scouts and leaders that are currently registered.  Currently registered Scouts will not pay the new rates until recharter.  New Scouts that join after August 1 will pay the $25 joining fee plus a prorated fee for the rest of the year.  That fee will be based on $66 instead of $60.

Q: Can I sign up Scouts now to avoid the $25 New Scout Fee?

A: Absolutely!

Q: Will the council be charging a membership fee in addition to the National fee?

A: We currently charge $3 for insurance.  Since we didn’t yet know how much National was going to charge, we were waiting on that announcement first.  At this point a decision has not been made, but we have to look carefully at our situation.  

Q: What is the difference between the insurance that we pay to Council ($3 per person) and the insurance that we pay into for National (part of the $66 fee)?

A: The $3 you pay locally pays for our local insurance coverages, such as the health and accident insurance for all members and leaders, property and vehicle insurances, etc.  National is the provider for liability insurances for all of the BSA.  Liability coverage is the most expensive of all insurance coverages.

Q: Will there be an increase in STEM Scouts fee?

A: STEM Scouts follow their own fee schedule.  An increase was not announced as part of the National Annual Meeting.  It currently costs $200 a year to participate in STEM Scouts.  

Q: I’ve had someone reach out to me to “sponsor a scout” and we’ve always declined due to our ban on soliciting donations.  Given the circumstances, fee increases, etc – are we allowed to accept?  Are we able to solicit?

A: Units cannot solicit money.  This is still a BSA policy.  There is some great guidance listed in this article.  Individual donors are free to give money to whoever they want.  If someone gives your unit money to support a Scout, they may do so.  However, if they are looking for a tax document or statement, they will not receive one.  Units are not charitable organizations or 501c3 organizations.  They are part of their chartered organization.  If you have further questions, please reach out to your district executive.  

Q: Did National apply for stimulus funds and, if so, did they receive them?  What other initiatives is National taking to raise money other than from Scouts directly.  Are increases due to loss of membership as a result of the large increase last year?

A: The National Council was not eligible for stimulus funding.  National does not approach fundraising for their operations in the same manner as a local council does.  National doesn’t want to compete with a local council’s ability to fundraise for local operations, so National’s fundraising is more targeted.  National has not indicated that any of the increases are due to a loss in membership.

Q: Do we have staff at any level of Scouting whose position includes seeking grants and grant writing?

A: All of our professional staff are looking for new sources to support Scouting locally.  On our staff, Brian DeBease is our specific point person who writes grant requests on a regular basis.  National does some, but only for specific projects, not general operating.  Most councils have a fundraising staff member who does grants.  

Q: What efforts is the National Council doing to reduct costs in running their program at the national and council levels?

A: Tom Steckbeck discussed this during his live presentation.  He mentioned the elimination of over 60 national positions as well as the freezing of the BSA pension plan for employees.  If you have more questions, please email Ron Gardner at ron.gardner@scouting.org.  

 

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