Are Outings and Campouts OK?

Are Outings and Campouts OK?

Many of you have questions about how to conduct outings within BSA guidelines during the pandemic.

As you plan, first check out Scout Unit Trip Planning Tips to ensure you are meeting basic Scouting guidelines.  Second, please check for regular updates to the Council’s COVID-19 page. Look for the brown tab labeled Unit Meetings, Activities & Outings.

Q: Is it ok to hold an event or outing?
A: We have created a flow chart to help you make that decision.  Please note that your plans should follow state guidelines and have the endorsement of the parents of the youth who are attending.

Q: Can we go camping?
A: Yes, published guidelines note that campouts with people from different households are acceptable if social distancing and increased sanitation procedures can be maintained. Groups sizes should follow current state guidelines.

Q: Can individuals share a tent?
A: Best practice is to encourage all participants to either tent with a member of their household or by themselves.  If individuals from different households must share a tent, social distancing (6ft) should be maintained. Sleeping head to toe is recommended.

Q: Should we require participants to complete a health screening prior to attending?
A: Yes, we recommend that you use our camp health screening tool. If anyone shows signs of illness they should stay home.  Additionally, you should rescreen individuals on a daily basis for all events that include overnights.

Q: Can we carpool?
A: Best practice is to encourage only members of the same household to ride together in a vehicle. Other arrangements are at the discretion of individual parents and effort should be made to increase physical distance among passengers.

Q: How should we deal with a suspected case of COVID-19 while on an outing?

A:  Any individual suspected of COVID-19 should be immediately separated from the rest of the group.  With the assistance of a parent or unit leaders, the individual should seek and follow medical guidance from a physician. 

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.

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