Fall Scouting Planning - How to Think about your Program during COVID-19

Let's Reflect on What Cub Scouting Looks Like Now

Starting around mid-March of 2020, in-person Den and Pack activities -- including field trips and other visits to community resources -- were suspended on account of the risk of transmission of Covid-19, under guidance and directives about physical distancing. At this time, we lack good information about what August and September recruiting season will look like in schools and other communities.  Nor can we predict what the rest of the 2020-2021 program year will look like.

Plan "A" (In-Person Group Activities) and Plan "B" (Family-Led Activities). 

Given the uncertainty, Packs may want to plan for both situations.

  • “Plan A” for Packs and Dens assumes active in-person Den adventures (meetings) and Pack activities like hikes, campouts and field trips, with parent leaders as part of those groups.
    • Under Plan "A", as in past years, the bulk of Advancement activity would occur at Den meetings and Pack outings.
    • Even if governmental entities allow group activities (likely under certain conditions that need significant attention and vigilant adherence following the guidance on the Northern Star Scouting COVID-19 page
    • Even under Plan "A", group in-person activities are going to be different unless and until Covid-19 is completely eradicated to a point that no new risk presents itself.
  • Plan "B" assumes that group activities are limited, either by regulation or by reluctance and that Dens and Packs who want to do Scouting will want a “Plan B” program of Family-Led Activities.  Under Plan "B", few or no group in-person activities will be held because most of the Cub Scout program can be done through family activities and virtual Den and Pack connectivity and communication.
    • Most of the program would be done at home by families, and maybe sometimes done at the same time (or approximately the same time) as a "virtual" Den or Pack activity.
    • Under Plan "B", the main role of a Den or Pack Leader changes from "lead the Scouts in program activity" to "guide the Parents so they can lead their Scouts in program activity".
    • More on "What Do Den and Pack Leaders Do" is below.
  • Plan "B" may become Plan "A".  Packs and Dens may switch "back and forth" as needed because maybe physical distancing will still be common when the Program Year and School Year starts.
    • Maybe things will get better in the fall, and you can be in person again (and switch to Plan "A").
    • Hopefully, by Spring 2021 you switch back to Plan "A", and there will be a full summer schedule of in-person activities like summer resident camps and day camps.
  • Plan "A/B": Some Families May Not Want To Do Plan "A" This Year - At All.  Even when things get better in the eyes of many, when governmental, Chartered Organization and other leadership authorize a return to in-person group activities, and a Pack or Den agrees to switch to a Plan "A" program, some families may still be concerned and may want to continue Scouting remotely.
    • We hope that Packs and Dens will provide them the opportunity to do family-led activities.
    • That's the purpose of creating our Adventure by Adventure resource pages -- those tips will help Dens do Adventures both at home and in person.
    • To serve all families, Packs may want to have a Plan "A/B" Program:
      • Where you have in-person group events, you may do them smaller, more physical distance between participants.
      • Plus sharing with all families resources to replicate (as much as possible) the activity at home.
      • This might include live broadcast (e.g., Facebook Live) of the in-person group events, and certainly much sharing of photos and videos of Scouts and families in action -- both from those at the in-person group event and from those at home.

Let's look at “What Does Cub Scouting Look Like in this Program Year (2020-2021)?

Plan “A”:  An in-person program for a Cub Scout Pack (“what Cub Scouts do”) has looked like this over the past several years - and will again someday (hopefully very soon):Plan “B”:  With a Family-Led plan, the program menu for “what Cub Scouts do” may look more like this:
Den Adventures (meetings):  Commonly twice a month (but some Dens meet more, and some meet less), led by a Den Leader, with at least one other registered leader present.  These meetings cover most advancement elements.  Parents usually invited to help lead – some help, some don’t.

Family Activities:  Usually just a few advancement items done “at home” when assigned by a Den Leader (like chores and Family Faith Adventures).

Pack Activities:  Usually monthly, often an activity like a campout or hike or field trip or Pinewood Derby or bike rodeo or fishing outing or other activity.  Sometimes a classic Pack “meeting”.

Family Activities: Family-led and on the family’s schedule, led by a parent with guidance from a Den or Pack Leader – almost all advancement elements done at home by Parent and Scout or with the full family.  Parents essential as leaders of their Scouts – Den + Pack leaders lead the parents to be leaders of their Scouts.

Den Coordination (Some Virtual Meetings): Den Leader primary role becomes guiding parents about how to do Cub Scout activities at home; secondary role is “checking in”, with parents and Scouts, either in group calls or Zooms.  Maybe some “virtual” meetings (likely shorter than “in person” meetings).

Pack Activities:  Maybe monthly or less often since group outings are limited and larger “virtual” events are difficult. Some events can be “virtual” - campouts on the same night, hikes on the same day, or Pinewood Derby over video feed.

In these pages, we’re calling that “Plan B” for your Pack.

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