On November 23, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced additional mitigation orders designed to curb the spread of COVID-19. These measures include that “unless impossible, all businesses must conduct their operations remotely, through individual teleworking of their employees. Where telework is impossible, employees may conduct in-person business operations, provided that the business fully complies with this Order and all existing and future applicable guidance.”
To comply with these orders, we are taking several steps regarding the operation of the Council Service Centers in Mechanicsburg and York:
- Starting Tuesday, December 1, we will have fewer staff members scheduled to work in our offices each day. Compared to last March, when the pandemic first began, our staff is now much better prepared to work remotely. All of our team will be working and available from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM daily. Please refer to our staff directory for phone numbers and email addresses.
- Starting Monday, December 7, the operating hours for the Mechanicsburg and York Service Centers will be reduced to 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Again, all of our staff will be available from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM daily.
- Our camps (Conewago and Hidden Valley) remain limited to 10% of maximum occupancy in indoor facilities. Outdoor camping is still available at Conewago and Hidden Valley. Camp Tuckahoe is currently closed indefinitely to allow for the removal of hazardous trees throughout the camp.
- The Mechanicsburg and York Scout Shops will remain open following their regular business hours as of now. Hopefully, Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 mandates will continue to permit non-essential retail stores to stay open indefinitely.
If you need to drop off materials outside of our operating hours, there are several options:
- If the Scout Shops are open, you may leave your items with the Scout Shops. The Scout Shops will give your materials to the Council staff the next business day. Please keep in mind that Scout Shop employees cannot answer questions or provide additional assistance beyond accepting your materials.
- In the York Service Center, there is a small drop box in the lobby. There is a drop box outside the building’s front doors (the doors closest to the Scout Shop entrance) at the Mechanicsburg Service Center.
- Council staff members will send out email receipts for any items dropped off. Please include your name and email address with those materials to assist our staff in receipting your items if you are dropping off materials.
Employees at many businesses have been working remotely since the beginning of the pandemic back in March, so this is nothing new. As soon as PA mandates permit us to bring more of our team back into the service centers, we will do so. But until then, we’ll be implementing these changes to do our part in helping to curb the spread of COVID-19.
And we’ll continue to work hard, whether remotely or in the office, to help our units to keep Scouting going through the pandemic. Processing charter renewals is a top priority at this time of year, and we’ll remain focused on that critical task.
We have also recently updated our guidance on conducting unit meetings and activities to incorporate Gov. Wolf’s new orders. During this current resurgence in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, unit leaders are encouraged to consider using virtual meeting platforms.
While it’s exciting to hear that highly effective vaccines have been developed and are ready for use once approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the current surge in the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations is alarming. Hopefully, with the impending arrival of these vaccines, we can all look forward to better days ahead and a return to normal. We’re all tired of the restrictions and disruptions to our lives. But we need to remain vigilant for a while longer yet.
Yours in Scouting,
Ronald M. Gardner, Jr.
Scout Executive & CEO