11/19/2020 The State of Minnesota has issued guidance related to COVID-19 that goes into effect on Saturday 11/21/20. This new guidance goes further than last week’s orders, discouraging gathering and interaction with people outside your immediate household at both indoor and outdoor gatherings.
Northern Star Scouting follows the guidelines for Youth Programming as outlined on Minnesota’s Stay Safe website. However, in light of Governor Walz’s recent announcement that placed a pause on most in-person events through 12/18/2020, we are strongly recommending that all Scouting activities in Minnesota and Wisconsin follow a virtual format for the duration of the current order.
In line with this recommendation, we are limiting the usage of our camp properties and facilities to reservations by only individual families (immediate household) through 12/18/2020. The Base Camp Campus will remain open for the Scout Shop, distance learning program, and office functions.
We know that this is discouraging and disappointing, but here are some resources to help Scouts make the most of Scouting while at home:
Our [email protected] web page includes a variety of resources on Scouting at a distance and/or virtual Scouting. Some of the resources include running your own virtual meeting. This page also includes a tab to search for Merit Badge Classes, trainings, and events that are happening virtually. This page can also link you to our Cub Connections Page which is our virtual Pack with Den Meetings and Pack Meetings each month. Cub Connections is in place to help provide programming while we aren’t able to meet in person.
We are also looking at some fun and easy ways to stay in contact with all of our families and units during this time with some interactive events. We’re looking at adding a Minecraft Wilderness Survival event, dress a snowman like a Scout event, and more. Keep your eyes peeled. One of the best ways to stay up to date is to join our Cub Scout and Scouts BSA Facebook groups.
Our Northern Star Camp properties will continue to remain open for individual household reservations. Another great way to continue to visit our camps, get outdoors, and have some scouting fun with your family. Details on what buildings and camps are available can be found on the Northern Star Camping Website.
Virtual Scouting Options
During this time, we'll do our best to give suggestions and guidance on ways Scouting can continue virtually (digital meetings, at-home advancement, etc). Stay tuned to this page, our new Scouting From Home Page and our social media channels for that. In addition, our Scouts BSA and Cub Scouts Facebook groups have been very active with volunteers giving tips to each other. Check them out as well!
The Twin Cities Scout Shops and Base Camp Customer Service Desk for Drop-offs/Pick-ups will open within safety guidelines on Tuesday, June 2.
To find the open hours for each Scout Shop location, please visit our Scout Shop page. Please note that these hours may change often and with short notice because of COVID-19.
All will follow current state guidelines and social distancing practices
COVID-19 AND CAMP
Over 5000 youth connected with each other, the outdoors and Scouting at camp this past summer and fall. We are proud and fortunate to share that we did not have any reported cases of COVID-19 attributed to a camp experience. See the Health and Safety section for information on our precautions.
Weekend Camp operations
In line with the Minnesota Governor’s recent announcement, we are limiting the usage of our camp properties and facilities to reservations by only individual families (immediate household) through 12/18/2020.
Families wishing to reserve a building for day use only (inclement weather, cooking, etc.) should contact our customer service team at 612-261-2303.
Families will need to follow published guidance as it relates to group size, distancing, sanitation, face coverings and other accommodations aimed at reducing the risk of spread of COVID-19.
We are excited to welcome whole units back to camp once the current pause on in-person programming expires on 12/18/2020.
Family cabin rentals
Two of our properties have opened cabins for rental by individual families throughout the winter. We encourage all Scouting families to take advantage of this unique opportunity to get some extra time outdoors surrounded by the beauty of your favorite camps.
Check out Family Cabin Rentals for additional information and to make your reservation today!
Winter Camp Programming
Based on demand seen during the summer we are making changes to our line up of winter programming in 2021. At all levels, we will maximize outdoor fun and minimize time indoors! We continue to plan for our in-person camp programs to be available this coming January and February.
Polar Cubs will be offered at just Phillippo Scout Reservation and Rum River Scout Camp in January and February. Registration opened on November 1.
Traditional Scouts BSA programming at North Wind Winter Adventures at Stearns will not operate. However, the Spearhead program at Snow Base will run as a single overnight with Saturday arrival. The Snow Huskies program will be offered as a day camp only. Registration opened on October 1.
HEALTH AND SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS
Working with physicians and following state guidelines, we developed protocols enabling us to successfully open our camps this past July. Those effective strategies include:
- Small group sizes (reduced capacity)
- Minimal mixing between participant groups
- Social distancing
- Maximizing outdoor time
- Use of face coverings indoors and when social distancing is difficult outdoors.
- Increased sanitation of high touch surfaces
- Additional emphasis on handwashing.
- Self-administered daily health screening for all participants
- Exposure and testing response plans
PAYMENT DEADLINES & LATE FEES
All planning and financial deadlines remain in place.
We understand that our current situation requires both flexibility and accommodation. So, if you are unable to meet deadlines, contact our office (612-261-2303) prior to the payment due date to discuss alternate arrangements.
We want to ensure that all families feel safe and comfortable sending their children to camp.
If a family decides to no longer attend camp due to health risk, we will refund all fees paid if the request is received by our office at least two weeks in advance of the start of their camp session. Requests outside of this timeframe will be evaluated individually.
This practice will continue through the end of March 2021 and will be evaluated on a quarterly basis.
We understand that more families may now be faced with economic hardship due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the economy. Please communicate to all that financial assistance (camperships) is available to those in need. More information can be found following the button below.
We strongly recommend that all Scouting activities in Minnesota and Wisconsin follow a virtual format from 11/20/2020 through 12/18/2020.
Once the current pause expires on 12/18/2020, we recommend following the guidance below, which is consistent with standards for Youth Programming established by the Minnesota Department of Health.
All state guidelines with regard to social distancing and sanitizing should also be observed.
Can my unit hold our activity, meeting, or event? (Flowchart) Unit Camping FAQ Health Screening Checklist
Q: We cannot find a meeting location, can we hold our Scout meeting at a camp facility?
A: In order to help units stay active and keep Scouting strong during the pandemic, select camp facilities will be available, at no cost, to hold regular pack, troop or crew meetings. Check out Unit Meetings at Camp for more information.
Q: When should we wear a mask during Scouting activities?
A: Following state guidelines, all people should wear a mask when social distancing is difficult, either indoors or outdoors. Additionally, masks should be worn when in indoor spaces or vehicles containing multiple people. Masks are not necessary if the group of people all live together in the same household.
Q: What if a participant cannot wear a mask during Scouting activities?
A: Unless a participant has a medical exemption, all participants must comply with state guidelines requiring use of masks indoors and when social distancing is not possible outdoors. Those who have a medical exemption should sign the exemption sheet to be kept on file with the unit or activity leader. Those with a valid exemption will be asked to wear a face shield and indoor activities will be restricted to well-ventilated spaces that provide at least 144 square feet of floor space per person. If a participant cannot wear a face covering of any type their involvement in indoor programming, or outdoor programming without social distancing at all times, will be limited.
All About Face Coverings
Q: What if participant has symptoms or tests positive for COVID after attending a Scouting event?
A: The symptomatic person should isolate and follow physician’s advice for personal care. Use the Suspected COVID Case in a Scouting Activity Flow Chart to determine what actions to take with other participants who attended the Scouting activity.
For guidance we are following the detailed recommendations that can be found here for reference:
We want to ensure that all families feel safe and comfortable sending their children to camp this winter. If a family decides to no longer attend camp due to health risk, we will refund all fees paid if the request is received by our office at least two weeks in advance of the start of their camp session. Requests outside of this timeframe will be evaluated individually.
If camps are forced to close this winter, units will be given a choice to credit all fees toward a future reservation or receive a full refund.
For other events and weekend camps, we are recommending fees and deposits be carried forward to a new date. If preferred, we will make full refunds upon request.