December 2020 Council-Wide Roundtable Follow Up

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

We shared that during the presentation we would share both the slide deck and the recording from the meeting.  A list of additional resources is below.

Updated 12/17/2020

December Roundtable Recording

December Roundtable Slidedeck


  • The January and February Roundtables will be virtual and are scheduled for January 7th and February 4th.  Sign up links will be posted here
  • Staffing changes
    • Donna Spangenburg will be moving to a new role with our Finance Department
    • Jennifer Radel has joined our team responsible for registration, office operations and additional administrative functions – you can contact Jen at
  • Thank you to all of our units for participating in Scouting for Food – check out our wrap up video here.  
  • Save the date for the Great Rendezvous which will be held September 25-26, 2021.
  • If you missed this year’s Eagle Recognition Dinner you can watch it on Youtube
  • Information about the 2021 Wood Badge course can be found here.
  • Information about the 2021 NYLT course can be found here.  
  • Please join us for the 2021 Cub Scout Adventure Camp Kick Off that will be held in January.  This Summers Theme is: A STEM Adventure in Weird Science
  • Thank You to everyone that supported Friends of the Scouting in the council in 2020
    • Thank you notes and patches for $150+ donors have been sent
    • Donors who qualified for other thank you items should have received an email to order their thank you gift – any questions should be directed to Brian DeBease at
    • 2021 FOS Presentations – 3 formats: 100% Virtual, Virtual with a Live Presenter, and in-person
  • Recharter Reminders
    • Recharters due to District Executive
    • Recharters received by Friday, Dec. 4 will get notified of any outstanding issues by Dec. 11
    • Merit Badge Counselors and STEM/NOVA Counselors need to complete renewal by Jan. 15
    • District Volunteers need to compete renewal by Dec. 15
    • Journey to Excellence Free Rank Advancement Program suspended for 2021
    • Instructions to print Membership Cards and Charter Certificates can be found here.
  • Make sure you don’t miss any upcoming events by downloading the 2020-21 Council Calendar here.  

Study to Consider Local Council Program Fee

  • We want to be a GREAT Council.  The roundtable presentation shares our plans for examining the possibility of a Local Council Program Fee.

COVID-19 Updates

  • Service Centers
    • Most recent COVID-19 mitigation orders mandate telework whenever possible
    • Our offices will only have 2 staff members present daily, but all staff will still be reachable from 8:30am to 4:30pm daily either by email or dialing through the phone directory
    • Starting December 7, physical office hours will be reduced to 8:30am to 12:30pm M-F
    • Scout Shop hours will continue and will not follow the council hours
    • If looking to meet with someone, please make an appointment or call ahead
    • After hours, items can be dropped in drop boxes or with the Scout Shop
    • Read the full announcement here.  
  • Unit Updates
    • Indoor gatherings reduced to 10 people
    • Outdoor gatherings limited to 50 people
    • Masks must be worn by everyone regardless of ability to social distance
    • For full details and guidelines visit here.  
  • What should my unit do?
    • Comply with health guidelines and standards
    • Pay attention to changing guidelines
    • Communicate with your chartered organization
    • Keep our Scouts, Scouters, and Scouting families safe
    • Consider the pros and cons of in-person or virtual meetings
      • Virtual resources are available on The Hub

Staying Informed

Popcorn and Nuts Sale

  • All shorted NUTS products in and available for pick up
  • Shorted popcorn has still not been delivered
  • Payments have been extended to December 21


  • Camp Tuckahoe Timber Project – Get updates here
    • Forester has been secured
    • Trees are being marked for removal
    • Working to secure a timbering company 
    • Looking for volunteers to help
      • Chainsaw Basic Training 
        • December
          • Zoom December 13 and 14 –  7-9pm
          • In-person December 19 – 9am to 5pm
        • January
          • Zoom January 10 and 11 – 7-9pm
          • In-person January 15 – 9am to 5pm
      • Service Days – First Saturday of Every month – Check website for details
        • January 2
        • February 6
        • March 6
        • April 3
        • May 1
  • Summer Camp 2021
    • Get more information and sign up for the 2021 Cub and Webelos Camping Opportunities here.
    • Get more information and sign up for the 2021 Scouts BSA Summer Programs here.
    • Find out more about being a volunteer commissioner at summer camp here.
    • Join our 2021 Summer Camp Staff by applying here.

Advancement Updates

Questions and Answers from Roundtable

Membership and Recharter

Q: Why should my unit care about Journey to Excellence if the recognition program is going away in 2021?

A: Just like any other award, Journey to Excellence is an award that your unit can earn and where everyone can be recognized.  Additionally, Journey to Excellence is a great tool to help make sure your unit is serving Scouts and families according to best practices standards established from evaluating programs across the country.  Units can still qualify for Gold, Silver, and Bronze Awards.  If your unit is not interested in completing and earning those awards then you don’t have to participate.  The free rank advancement is something we have been able to provide as a council to our units in previous years, but unfortunately, in 2021 we will be unable to continue the program.  

Q: There are Scouts that want to transfer into my unit from another unit, but we have already turned in the recharter packet.  What is the process for getting them registered?

A: You will need to get applications from the Scouts as well as collect the appropriate fees for the coming year.  As soon as you have those items, please turn them in to your district executive or to one of the council service centers.  We can add them to the charter.

Q: I submitted an application for a Scout several weeks ago but they don’t show up on my roster.  How do I proceed with the recharter process?

A: Please, contact your district executive to verify that the Scout has been registered and that there is not something missing preventing the application from being processed.  If registered, it may require a refresh in order for the Scout to appear on your roster.

Q: If an Executive Officer is also going to register as a Chartered Organization Representative do they need to complete an adult application even if they don’t come to any meetings and are not involved with the Scouts directly?

A: If the Executive Officer is only the Executive Officer they do not need an application or clearances. Chartered Organization Representatives are registered members of the unit and require both an application and clearances regardless of how much contact they have with youth. So if the Executive Officer is also serving as the COR, they must complete an application and submit clearances.

Council Program Fee Discussion

Q: Why does the camping chart show such a big drop in 2017?

A: Both of our camps rely 50-50 on in-council and out-of-council unit participation.  In 2017, both in-council and out-of-council attendance was significantly lower than average attendance years.  

Q: The charts show a drop in product sale revenue and participation – what is the difference in performance between popcorn and camp cards?  Is one failing more than the other?

A: Popcorn and nuts generate a larger net income to both units and the council.  Overall, the popcorn and nuts sale has decline more than the camp cards sale (not using the data from 2020 since both sales were adversely impacted by COVID-19).

Q: Is the New Birth of Freedom Council listed on the United Way list of organizations for donors to select as part of donor designation?

A: It depends on the United Way.  We only receive an allocation from the York United Way.  In the rest of the United Ways, it is likely that we are not on the list of donor designation because we are no longer receiving a direct allocation from them.  In most cases, we can be written in and will still receive the designation whether we are listed or not.  Please note that some United Ways set a minimum donation for donor designations and any gifts below that threshold go to the United Way general fund and not the designated recipient.  

Q: Does the council advertise that they are a recipient of gifts through Amazon smile?

A: Anyone who wishes to designate the New Birth of Freedom Council as their chosen charity through Amazon smile is welcome to do so!  Every little bit helps.  If you are looking for more information on how to do this you can read about it here or contact Brian DeBease at  

Q: How will membership on the Program Fee Discussion Committee be determined?  

A: The committee will be made up for 5 executive board members, 1 district-level representative from each district, and 2 unit leaders from each district.  This 20 person committee is intended to have representation from all of our program levels and from different engagement levels across the council.  

Q: How can leaders and volunteers who are not asked to be on the committee provide input?

A: We are building our strategy now but plan to have our committee members seek input from other volunteers as we explore options.  This may include feedback through surveys, phone calls, or other means.  We will communicate this opportunities as we develop them.

Q: Are council program fees capped by the National Council?  If so, what is the cap?

A: Yes.  The local program fee cannot exceed the annual registration fee for the National Organization.  If national fees are $66 then the council fee can also be up to $66.

COVID-19 Questions

Q: If our Chartered Organization is closed for the remainder of the year and with no clear date of reopening, do we need to get approval from them to meet as long as we are able to do so following safety guidelines?

A: Yes.  You should talk to your chartered organization before you move to an alternate meeting plan.  If your chartered organization has questions or concerns, please reach out to your district executive and they can help you with the conversation and determining alternatives.

Q: Is there a form that needs to be completed if someone tests positive for COVID?  Do we have to notify the council or national?

A: Yes.  This form is intended to be used if there was a potential or known COVID exposure at a Scouting activity.  This form does not need to be filled out if a member of the unit has COVID but has made no contact with anyone else in the unit. If you have further questions, please contact your district executive.  If needed, the form is available here.  


Q: Is Basic Chainsaw Training at Tuckahoe open to youth?

A: No.  All registrants need to be 18 years of age or older.

Q: Will there be opportunities for youth to help with the Tuckahoe Tree Project?

A: Absolutely! Many of our workdays will include opportunities for youth.  Please check the website more information about what help is needed at our work weekends and potential weekends between.

Q: When are interviews for Camp Staff?

A: We are working on securing our top leadership.  Once they are in place we will begin other interviews.  Interviews are likely to start over the Christmas break.

Q: How will summer camp prepare for ongoing mitigation efforts in response to COVID-19?

A: We are paying close attention to every change in mitigation efforts and how those changes impact Scouts right now and also in the future.  Our planning will include numerous contingencies to make sure that we are in full compliance with the standards that come from the Centers for Disease Control and the Health Department.  Our preparation will change as the guidance changes.  Our goal is to make sure that all of our Scouts and Scouters are safe and healthy while participating in our summer programs.


Q: Has there been any new information about the Diversity Merit Badge and when it will be required for Eagle Scouts?

A: There has not been a full announcement yet.  We hope to be able to share some more information at January’s Roundtable.




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