8/06/21 – The recommendations below are in sync with guidance from both the Centers for Disease Control and the Minnesota Department of Health because most of the counties in our council are at or above substantial rates of virus transmission.
The following guidelines are in place for Northern Star Scouting operations because:
- Vaccines are still not widely available for Scouting youth of all ages.
- Community spread of COVID-19 and daily new positive cases continue while prevalence in youth has increased.
- Suggested guidelines closely mirror Minnesota Department of Health standards for school operations.
- Vaccines are strongly encouraged for all who are eligible. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after receiving final required dose.
- Individuals may choose to continue wearing face coverings even when it is not required.
- Individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and close contacts must still follow state guidelines for testing and isolation.
- Some local and community orders may supersede these guidelines.
Unit Activities & Council Events
- Face coverings are recommended for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, while indoors and when social distancing is not possible.
- Indoor groupings of 25 persons max are still recommended as this may help prevent widespread impact if an individual in attendance is infected.
- Face coverings will be required for all participants when indoors or in an enclosed space during programs where youth are present.
- All participants should follow posted capacity limits of indoor spaces.
Summer Camp Operations
- Units attending camp as a unit will be treated as a ‘household’ and will not be required to practice social distancing or wear face coverings (unless indoors). The assumption is that these individuals will spend from 3 to 7 days with each other and so level of long term exposure is greater than a short event or outing.
*All guidance will be under continuous review and will be updated as the situation evolves.
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!
COVID-19 AND CAMP
Over 7000 youth connected with each other, the outdoors and Scouting at camp this past summer, fall and winter. 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
All of our properties are open! Additionally, our indoor facilities have reopened for overnight sleeping use. We have been able to do so because we met the benchmarks below that were set out by our volunteer physicians and risk management committee.
- The Minnesota weekly COVID test positivity rate (7 day average) fell below 5% and
- The Minnesota daily new COVID cases per 100,000 residents (7 day average) fell below 10.
Indoor Sleeping Arrangements - Because public health officials note that face coverings should NOT be used while sleeping, we are:
- Reducing indoor sleeping to 50% of normal capacity and asking participants to sleep 6ft apart from each other.
- Encouraging windows to remain open to increase air movement.
- Recommending that unvaccinated adults continue to sleep outdoors or in spaces that don’t contain other unvaccinated individuals.
We will continue to monitor the situation and make updates accordingly. We are eager to get back to normal as quickly as possible.
Family cabin rentals
A few of our properties have opened cabins for rental by individual families. 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!
SUMMER Camp Programming
Adventure is Open! It’s time to…Reconnect at Camp!
Building off of our success in 2020, all of our summer camp programs will be in operation in 2021. We’re using our experiences last year to help us get back to a more ‘normal’ camp experience while still maintaining a high level of safety.
Cub Summer Camp will be offered at both Kiwanis Scout Camp and Phillippo Scout Reservation.
Scouts BSA Summer Camp will be offered at both Many Point Scout Camp and Tomahawk Scout Reservation.
Family Camping Opportunities will be available across many of our properties.
Weeklong Discovery Day Camp and Discovery Overnight Camp for all kids in our community will be also be available at multiple locations.
Here’s what we are planning for changes in 2021:
- Increased Individual Choice
- Advancement/Merit Badges
- Older Scout Activities
- Free Time
- Dining Halls/Prepared Food at Many Point and Tomahawk = Ok
- Indoor Housing Available at Cub Summer Camp
- Assemblies/Group Gatherings/Campfires = ok with limitations
- Visitors = Ok
- Out of State Travel = Ok
- Regular Trading Post Operations
Here’s what is staying similar to last summer:
- Pre Camp and At Camp Health Screenings
- Smaller Group/Rotation Sizes
- Moderated Sanitation with Increased Emphasis on Hand Hygiene
- Tent Sharing = Ok
- Carpooling = Ok
See a full list of Frequently Asked Questions below.
HEALTH AND SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS
Working with physicians and following state guidelines, we developed protocols enabling us to successfully open our camps this past July. The strategies planned to continue include:
- Smaller group sizes
- Minimal mixing between participant groups
- Social distancing
- Maximizing outdoor time
- Use of face coverings indoors.
- Increased sanitation of high touch surfaces
- Additional emphasis on handwashing.
- Self-administered daily health screening for all participants
- Exposure and testing response plans
The safety of all of our participants, volunteers, and employees continues to be our top priority.
Using guidance from health agencies at the local, state and federal level, we have updated our protocols for operating camp during the continuing pandemic. All protocols have been reviewed and endorsed by our camp physicians.
These important precautions reduce risk but do not completely eliminate the potential for exposure to COVID-19 or any other illness while at camp. Please be mindful of these considerations as you make the choice to join us at camp this summer.
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, less the deposit, if the request is received by our office at least three 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 December 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.&nbs Please communicate to all that financial assistance (camperships) is available to those in need. More information can be found here.
Units attending camp as a unit will be treated as a ‘household’ and will not be required to practice social distancing or wear face coverings (unless indoors) while with each other. The assumption is that these individuals will spend 3 to 7 days with each other and so the level of long term exposure and level of close contact needed is greater than a short meeting or outing.
Though we will still have some mitigation protocols in place, we expect your camp experience to be far more ‘normal’ when compared to Summer 2020. However, prior to camp we suggest that you discuss with your families how your unit will travel to and function while at camp in light of the ongoing pandemic. It is important to ensure all families have a level of comfort with your plans.
Q: Can participants tent together?
A: With the exception of following regular youth protection guidelines there are no additional restrictions on tent partners.
Q: Will we be required to wear face coverings or practice social distancing?
A: Face coverings will be required for all participants while indoors and in enclosed spaces. Additionally, in situations where multiple units are participating in a single program (e.g. merit badge classes or subcamp campfires) together, participants will be required to practice social distancing with those outside of their unit.
Q: What will sanitation protocols look like at camp?
A: Hand hygiene will be prioritized. Expect more frequent reminders as well as greater access to hand washing and hand sanitizer. High touch surfaces and shared program equipment will be sanitized regularly. Units will be provided with a sanitizing spray for surfaces that can be refilled at their request.
Q: What will food service look like at camp?
A: We are planning for indoor dining operations to resume. All indoor dining rooms will be open with no party size limits for tables seating individuals from the same unit or group. However, units or groups will be spaced at least 6 feet apart from other units/groups, which may require us to serve meals in shifts. Outdoor dining options will also be provided.
Q: What will happen if we need to take shelter in a storm shelter?
A: Our camp physicians and risk management advisors agree that the imminent threat of a storm would take precedence over all else. When needed, we will use storms shelters as in the past but will work to limit time spent in them as we are able. Face coverings while inside will be required.
Q: Will health screenings be required?
A: Prior to your departure from home on the day of arrival, each participant will need to complete the participant health screening checklist. Additionally, each participant must monitor themselves daily for symptoms of COVID-19. We will not be requiring temperature checks.
Q: Will you require a negative COVID test in order to attend camp?
A: While we are strongly encouraging all campers to get a COVID-19 test 2 to 3 days prior to arrival, we are not requiring it.
Q: What if someone at camp exhibits symptoms of COVID-19?
A: The participant will be isolated from the rest of the group and remain so until results of a COVID-19 test can be received. In the interim, the rest of the unit can continue with program as normal. Individuals with a negative test result can return to program as normal.
Q: What will happen if someone tests positive for COVID-19 while at camp?
A: The participant and their ‘close contacts’ would need to remain in isolation until they return home. Unless a unit can prove otherwise, our assumption is that everyone in the unit of an infected individual will be considered a close contact.
Q: Will you require a COVID vaccination to attend camp?
A: While we are strongly encouraging all eligible campers to receive a vaccine, we are not requiring it. Those who can show proof of vaccination will not need to isolate if they are identified as a close contact.
Q: Will I still be required to isolate if I am vaccinated?
A: You will not need to isolate if you are determined to be a close contact of an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 while at camp. However, if you are symptomatic you will need to isolate until results of a COVID-19 test can be received.
Q: Will there be limits on visitors, partial week leaders, group sizes or town visits?
A: No, but we will ask all individuals to follow our health and safety protocols both inside and outside of camp while we are in operation.;