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
We plan to publish official program opportunities by end of day on May 29th.
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.
Will there be limits on group size or capacities at camp?
Overall camp capacities as well as group sizes will be adjusted to follow emerging guidelines from the Departments of Health and Centers for Disease Control.
Based on information gathered, we are planning for campsites to be split into individual sections that house a group of 10 participants. Each grouping of 10 will do all activities together throughout the entire camp session.
Will there be changes to the camp schedule and program offerings?
Yes. Our camp schedule will be adjusted so that units will participate in all activities as a unit and not as individuals. Tentatively, we are planning for four 2-hour program blocks each day, Monday through Friday.
The camp schedule will be Sunday to Saturday instead of Saturday to Saturday. This will allow more time for cleaning and sanitation between weeks and more staff support for check in.
Fees will be reduce to $306 per youth and $124 per adult.
Additionally, large group gatherings such as assemblies and campfires will be replaced with unit level versions in your campsite.
Merit badges will be offered in a 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.
When we have finalized program opportunities, we will be sending out new explanations and asking units to rank their program preferences in order to create a unique schedule.
Will there be changes to the older Scout program offerings?
Yes. Older Scout programs are being changed to be available at a unit level, not as individuals. As shared above, these programs will be a part of the lengthened program blocks.
Off-camp older Scout programs will not operate, but some on-camp ones will. Examples under consideration include Scouts staying in their groups of 10 and climbing the mega tower followed by a session at the Aqua Rig.. Or within their groups of 10, using camps mountain bikes and going on a guided trek on some of our awesome trails.
All currently accepted reservations for weeklong programs at camp are cancelled as we work to build our new model. When we have finalized program opportunities, we will be sending out new explanations and asking units to rank their program preferences in order to create a unique schedule.
What social distancing measures will be in place at camp this summer?
We fully anticipate social distancing will be a part of summer camp in 2020. In addition to the measures above, we are requiring participants and staff to maintain a six-foot distance from each other at all times. We are also limiting capacities of campsites, buildings and program areas to comply with social distancing requirements.
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.
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. 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 will ask all groups that can provide their own patrol boxes and gear to do so but our inventory of equipment is available for those that cannot. 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.
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.
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.
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 9x7 canvas wall tent from Camp, make sure you have mosquito netting!
Will units be required to bring any additional PPE or cleaning materials?
While official guidelines are yet to be released, we are encouraging all participants to bring items that will make them feel comfortable while at camp. These could include hand sanitizer and masks for situations when social distancing is difficult.
Troops are also encouraged to bring additional sanitizing sprays, wipes and towels for use in the campsite.
Can Adults swap in and out throughout the week?
This season we are making a lot of efforts to minimize risk of spreading the novel covid-19 virus. As an additional measure, we're asking that units do their best to provide the same adult leadership throughout the entire week instead of a rotation of leaders. We understand that some units must have leaders rotate in and out, please minimize this as much as possible. Additionally, we encourage units to utilize as many adult leaders as possible that are from the same household as a youth attending camp.
Are visitors allowed at camp?
This season we ask that units don't host family nights or have visitors come for short durations. This will affect Court of Honor plans for some troops. Parents are allowed to drop off and pick up Scouts.
Will Camp Work Parties still be held?
Work Parties at Many Point and Tomahawk, scheduled for the end of May, have been cancelled. Please make sure all families are aware as we would hate for someone to show up and then be sent home. Look for additional opportunities this fall.
Are you still holding the Free Physicals Day ?
Our Free Physicals Day on May 30th is cancelled. Please view www.northernstar.org/covid19 and click on the camps tab for updated information on the recently granted extensions for camp physicals. Please make sure all families are aware as we would hate for someone to show up and have the building be vacant!
What is happening with Counselor in Training (CIT) Programs?
Expect adjustments to the current CIT programs. These programs will not be operating in June. Camp will be reaching out to individuals currently signed up for the program and providing them more specific details.
What is happening to Family Island reservations?
Reservations for June sessions have been cancelled and refunds are being issued to families. Remaining summer availability is limited so rescheduling will be on a first come, first served basis beginning on June 15 at noon.
What is happening with Pre-Order T-shirts?
Heritage Embroidery and Design will reach out directly to you to confirm that you still want to proceed with your order before they print any shirts. They will be starting orders on Tuesday, June 2nd. Please contact Heritage Embroidery and Design at Ben@hedusa.com before June 2nd to cancel or place an order.
Are you taking reservations for All Star (Independent Scouts Camping)?
June sessions of All-Star are cancelled. Registration for future sessions are currently suspended. Remaining summer availability is limited so rescheduling will be on a first come, first served basis, beginning on June 15 at noon.