The Camping Department has been reviewing current recommendations for operating youth programs and determining how guidelines will impact our program delivery. Many units have asked some really great questions. Below you find some answers that start to explain what camp will look like.
Please continue to review the updates on the Northern Star Scouting Website. There is more camp info there as well as general Scouting information.
Northern Star Scouting & COVID-19 Information
FAQ Video Session 1: Group Structure and Programs
FAQ Video Session 2: Health Screenings and Programs
FAQ Video Session 3: Showers, Trading Post, Equipment
It's important to note that this situation continues to evolve and change daily. Should our targeted start date of July 5th be altered, we will let you know promptly.
What are the payment timelines and refund options?
Our full payment deadline has been shifted to June 15th.
In the unfortunate circumstance that camps are forced to close this summer, units will be given a choice to credit all fees paid toward a future reservation or receive a full refund.
We want to ensure that all families feel safe and comfortable sending their children to camp this summer. 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 one week in advance of the start of their camp session. Requests outside of this timeframe will be evaluated individually.
Any cancellation for 2020 does not impact 2021. If you’d like to cancel, please indicate so through the estimated attendance survey sent out by the Camping Director. 2021 Reservations are being taken on a first come, first served basis.
Health and Safety
Are there restrictions on who can attend camp this summer?
We are asking those participants with serious underlying medical conditions as outlined by the CDC to not attend camp for their own safety. Those who are in this group need to have a conversation with their medical provider when considering attending camp.
Will we be required to wear masks at camp this summer?
Based on guidance from our camp physicians we are recommending that participants wear masks when social distancing cannot be maintained or when in a shared space that includes participants who not from your unit. We recommend bringing 3 cloth masks to camp so that they can be on a rotation of wearing and washing.
You must bring a mask with you whenever you leave your campsite.
Face coverings must be worn when:
• Social distance is difficult to maintain.
• In areas where there are other troops
• Riding in vehicles with others
• Inside any shooting range
• Inside any climbing area
• Inside any building
• Inside the Storm Shelter
• In the Trading Post
• Mounting horses at the corral. Mask can be taken off once ride has begun.
• Riding ATVs
• Passing others on narrow trails
Face coverings do not need to be worn when:
• In your campsite where social distance can be maintained
• Walking down the road to activities where social distance can be maintained
• In merit badge where social distance can be maintained
• In close contact with someone from your household who is also in your patrol. Siblings in different patrols should maintain social distance throughout the week.
What are the expectations for travel to and from camp?
We encourage people to travel to and from camp as families or household groups. However, the final decision on travel arrangements will be at the discretion of each parent.
What will happen if we need to take shelter in a storm shelter?
We’ve discussed this with our camp physicians and agreed that the imminent threat of a storm would take precedence over all else. When needed, we will use storm shelters as we have in the past. Social distancing is difficult in a storm shelter so we advise all participants to wear a mask while in the shelter. A roster of participants in the shelter will be maintained.
What will health and sanitation look like at camp this summer?
Expect more frequent required handwashing, greater access to handwashing and hand sanitizer, additional cleaning of high touch surfaces, sanitizing program equipment between each use, elimination of self-serve dining and program supplies, as well as additional mandatory health screening protocols before travel to and once arriving at camp.
We have identified cleaning materials and are planning to have our camp staff sanitize common area buildings (shower houses, trading posts, camp lodges) twice a day, and clean program equipment between user groups. Units are expected to clean their campsite amenities, and we recommend at least twice a day for latrines and shared spaces. Camp Staff will sanitize campsites in between user groups.
All campers will need to wash their hands frequently throughout the day. When soap and water is not available hand sanitizer may be used, but only if hands are free of dirt and oil.
• Wash your hands before and after all activities. Some activities will require washing or sanitizing hands during an activity.
• Wash your hands after using restrooms and showers.
• Wash your hands before and after visiting the trading post.
• Wash your hands before and after meals
• Wash you hands after you get back to the campsite and before you leave the campsite.
Camp is a big place and there is a lot of room to spread out. You should never gather more than 25 people in one place at one time. Maintain 6ft between campers in your campsite as much as possible. Have people spread out during meals and around the campfire each night. During meals you can sit 3 people in the same patrol on a standard 6ft picnic table. Other people may eat on a camp chair, bench or a nice grassy spot overlooking the lake.
Setup multiple rain flies to create dry spaces for when it rains. Use any tarps you have and get creative.
What changes will there be to tenting or housing arrangements?
We are encouraging all participants to either tent with a member of their household or by themselves. Camp does have some equipment available for use, but we encourage units to utilize their own. If you are utilizing a 9×7 canvas wall tent from Camp, make sure you have mosquito netting! For the 2020 camping season, it’s okay for a parent and Scout from the same family to share a tent if they so choose.
Will units be required to bring any additional PPE or cleaning materials?
As answered above, masks are required at some points during the week. Troops are also encouraged to bring additional hand sanitizer, sanitizing sprays, wipes and towels for use in the campsite.
Will participants need to be screened before they attend camp?
Based on guidance from state and national organizations, we have developed a screening tool for all campers to use. All participants will complete the screening tool and take their temperature prior to traveling to camp. Once arriving at camp, campers will be reassessed by our onsite health officer. If a camper does not pass the recheck the entire vehicle will be asked to return home.
How will campers and staff be monitored throughout their time at camp?
All campers and staff will complete the screening tool on a daily basis. Temperature checks will be conducted periodically throughout the session and be led by adult participants. We are asking each unit to bring a temporal thermometer with them to camp.
All camp staff will receive training in identifying basic symptoms as well as protocols for dealing with suspected illness.
How will you deal with a suspected case of COVID-19 at overnight camp?
Any individual suspected of COVID-19 would be immediately separated from the rest of the camp population. With the assistance of a parent or unit leaders, the individual would sent to a clinic to be evaluated by a physician.
If a test is conducted, the individual and his or her unit would need to remain isolated until test results are returned. Isolation could be done in the campsite or the unit could return home to await results.
What if a participant shows symptoms of COVID-19 after camp?
Our expectation is that any participant who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 would promptly contact their physician for evaluation. If a test is administered and the results are positive for COVID-19, a public health official will contact the individual. Please discuss the individual’s involvement in a Scouting activity with them and provide Northern Star’s contact information (Kris Burbank: 612-261-2450 or [email protected]). Public health will reach out to us directly.
If the symptoms occur greater than 14 days after conclusion of the activity the risk of COVID related to the activity or transmission to others present at the activity would be extremely low.
PHYSICALS FOR CAMP
Due to the current climate we understand that scheduling your annual physical examination may be difficult for those attending Many Point and Tomahawk.
The National Office of the Boy Scouts of America has announced a six-month extension of Part C (Physician Exam) of the Annual Health & Medical Record for physicals completed after February 1, 2019. This extension will only be valid for this summer as it ends on August 31, 2020.
Alternate exams, such as virtual/telephone doctor or local clinic check-up visits will be accepted for campers who did not get a physical last season, or had their physical conducted before February 1, 2019. These visits will still need to use the Annual Health and Medical Record form.
Northern Star is still working with the Health Departments of Minnesota and Wisconsin to confirm that state guidelines align with the BSA's exception.
Group and CAmpsite ORganization
Will there be limits on group size or capacities at camp?
With adjusted capacities, the majority of campsite will allow for 20 people. If your troop plans on bringing more than 20 we will find another campsite for your unit to expand into.
Based on information gathered, we are planning for campsites to be split into individual sections that house a patrol of 10 participants. Each patrol of 10 will do all activities together throughout the entire camp session. We are asking that each unit make patrols as close to 10 as possible, and to have the minimum number of patrols as possible. Patrols should be grouped as best you can by age and rank advancement need. If you need to have a small patrol, we would like you to first have your smallest patrol be comprised of adult leaders, and then secondly make your older Scouts smaller patrols.
Multiple groups of 10 can set up in a campsite. Each group should set up with either a physical barrier or 30 feet apart from another group.
Social distancing within each group is expected. Our health supervisors believe at some point this summer patrols will be able to function more like households. At a later date, our health supervisors are optimistic that Troops and Crews will be able to function more like households.
Please also note, if an adult leader is driving a youth not from their household, that car will be in the same group for the week. Plan your carpools accordingly if parents are not driving kids to camp.
If you have 16 Scouts and 6 adults, we would recommend two groups of 8Y/2A, and then a 3rd group of 2 Adults. You may want to make one group of 9Y/1A, one group of 7Y/1A, and 4 adults in a third patrol this is okay. Please do not make two groups of 5 and one group of 6.
If you have 29 Scouts and 4 Adults, we would recommend 3 groups of 9Y/1A and a 4th group of 2Y/1A. Another option might look more like this: 8Y/1A, 8Y/1A, 9Y/1A, 4Y/1A.
Additionally, large group gatherings such as assemblies and campfires will be replaced with unit level versions in your campsite.
Can we have adult leaders who stay for a partial week?
Using best practice guidance to reduce the risk of exposure to coronavirus, we're asking that units maintain the same adult leadership throughout the entire session instead of a rotation of leaders. If this is not possible, we ask that you limit the amount of changes necessary and encourage that rotating adult leaders be from the same household as a youth already at camp.
One night visitors and court of honors will not be allowed in 2020.
What will the schedule look like?
Our camp schedule will be adjusted so that units will participate in all activities as a unit and patrol and not as individuals. If your Troop or Patrol goes to the beach or to the shooting range it will be during a specific scheduled time for your unit. Free time programs where Scouts travel in buddy pairs like open shoot, open climbing, and open swim are not on the camp schedule this season.
We are planning for four 2-hour program blocks each day, Monday through Friday. Each unit’s schedule will be unique from every other unit.
What merit badges, troop activities, and older Scout programs will be offered?
Refer to the Updated Programs for 2020 page to see a list of programs we feel we’ll be able to offer this summer.
Merit badges will be taught in two ways. 1 - hybrid learning style within these program requests. For example, a Scout seeking canoeing merit badge can complete requirements individually within the campsite or prior to camp, and then demonstrate the physical skills during a unit canoeing program with the merit badge counselor. 2 – Camp counselor coming to your campsite to deliver a badge to your patrol or units.
We are removing the age tiers from our older Scout programs to accommodate patrols to be able to do these activities together. The only restrictions a Scout may have in doing an older Scout program would be age guidelines in the guide to safe Scouting.
How will Unit Activities work?
Scouts will sometimes do these activities as pods, and sometimes do these activities as a unit staying distant from other groups.
How does our patrol sign up for programs?
The “Register for Programs” Section of the Summer Camp Management System (SCMS) will no longer be applicable to how camp program sign up will be managed. This requests will be set to a declined status and program requests will be taken through a different method and by patrol instead of by the individual.
You should review the programs available this year to your patrols and ask them to start picking programs that they can agree on. Be prepared to rank these.
We will be sending out new explanations and asking units to rank their program preferences in order to create a unique schedule. A method in which to communicate your ranked choices will be made available by June 13th. You will have until one week prior to your arrival date to complete this survey.
Is All Star (Independent Scouts Camping) still available?
All-Star is cancelled. As our model is built upon Scouts coming from similar communities, we feel bringing Scouts together from different communities is counter to our plan. We will continue to monitor guidelines and if we are able to operate an All Star program, we will re-open this program.
What is happening with Counselor in Training (CIT) Programs?
At Tomahawk session 1 of CIT's has been cancelled. Session 2 and 3 will operate on their advertised dates. If you are in sesion 1 and would like to reschedule to session 2 or 3 email Emily Heidelberg [email protected] to make the change in your reservation,.
Food Service in 2020
What will food service and dining look like at camp?
Due to group sizes and social distancing requirements, units will be cooking food in their campsite at the patrol level. Camp will be delivering all ingredients, portioned for your campsite, 45-60 minutes prior to the mealtime. There will be instructions included with each meal to help Scouts know how to prepare the meal. We are using the Many Point Voyageur Menu 2020 as our baseline menu. We are also drafting a low-cook menu that will give Scouts one meal a day that is easy to assemble.
Dietary restrictions accommodations will be the same as previous years, and Scouts who bring their own food will receive the limited service fee. The new menu will be published 6/22.
Each campsite has a food service container for the unit to use. If you’re anticipating overflow, please utilize your unit trailer or locked vehicles to follow living with animals guidelines.
Additionally, each group will receive a staple crate full of snacks and basic items like salt and pepper, peanut butter and jelly. You can replenish this crate at each meal by submitting a request to our food staff.
Any troop that wants to choose a limited service option and provide their own food can. Each person providing their own food will receive a $50 discount off their fee.
Do we need to bring our own plates and mess kits?
Camp will not be supplying mess kits or dishes to units. Some units have shared with us that they are already making plans to use paper products to reduce dishwashing time and to make santitation easier.
Will camp provide cooking equipment?
Yes, but supplies are very limited. Please bring any cooking equipment you can and only request equipment that you absolutely need. We will do our best to fill in the gaps.