Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2020
To: Blue Ridge Council Scouting Family
From: Greg Balog, Scout Executive/CEO
Due to the recent spike in Coronavirus cases, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order on Thursday, March 19th requiring all non-essential state employees to stay home from work effective Friday, March 20th. The Blue Ridge Council Risk Management Committee has made the decision to follow the lead of the Governor’s office.
Effective 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the Blue Ridge Council Service Center will be open by appointment only. Until April 1, 2020, the Blue Ridge Council will be operating with a reduced office staff plan, but we want to be responsive to your needs. In most cases we can handle business by phone.
In the event you may need to drop off materials, an appointment will be needed, and there will be a basket in the lobby where the materials can be placed. All items dropped off will go through a mandatory 72-hour quarantine before Blue Ridge Council office staff access and open all materials.
While “taking the outing out of Scouting” creates challenges in program implementation, the Blue Ridge Council’s Scouting programs are still important to keep a level of normalcy in the lives of our children. We must continue service.
The council Board, Executive Committee, council staff and volunteers are currently working to develop various program offerings that can be held virtually. It is our goal to begin offering various merit badges for our Scouts BSA through ZOOM effective April 9th. We also plan to offer virtual Cub Scout activities with the same effective date. A calendar for the month of April will be released April 1st.
We encourage each district team to be innovative during this time. Do your best! We can still meet as leadership virtually, and we can still serve youth! Better usage of technology has always been a need in Scouting. Now is the time to show how it can be done!
Our council Executive Committee will be setting up discussion forums to highlight best practices from across our territory. These forums will keep information transparent, current, and in the best interest of our Scouting families. The forum dates will be released with the April 1st calendar.
We thank you for your shared love of Scouting. During this removal of “outing” from Scouting, I look forward to working with you to place the “in” back into Scouting! Our young people are counting on us!
Date: Monday, March 16, 2020
To: Blue Ridge Council Scouting Family
From: Blue Ridge Council Risk Management Committee
Yesterday, South Carolina Governor Henry McMasters announced a state-wide closure of all public schools. The Blue Ridge Council will be following the lead of the public schools over the duration of the Coronavirus outbreak. As a precautionary measure, effective immediately, all local Scouting units should suspend their activities and meetings until public schools are back in session.
All Blue Ridge Council supported activities and trainings have been postponed until further notice. The council will work to reschedule all activities and trainings for a later date yet to be determined. Please check our council website at www.blueridgecouncil.org for the latest information.
We sincerely appreciate your understanding to this disruption in service. The safety of our Scouting family is of our highest priority.
Date: Friday, March 13, 2020
The Blue Ridge Council, Boy Scouts of America is closely monitoring the effects of the COVID-19, commonly known as Coronavirus. The safety of our youth, volunteer team, and staff are of our highest priority.
Currently, no council or district activity has been cancelled due to COVID-19. However, the Blue Ridge Council has amended its Activities Refund Policy to refund 100% of fees for any activity that is taking place over the next 30 days as long as a registration is canceled before the start of the activity. This refund policy adjustment is effective immediately and will last until April 30, 2020.
Each upcoming activity will be discussed by the Blue Ridge Council Risk Management Team and the related volunteer leadership as the activity approaches. Decisions about adjustments in the planned activity schedule and/or implementation details, including programming, will be made, when applicable, one week in advance. Please expect programming changes in activities. Any change will be made in the abundance of caution. Please visit www.blueridgecouncil.org to get the latest updates on all upcoming activities.
We recommend that all adult volunteers monitor closely recommendations coming from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Following is the link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. Decisions about unit meetings and activities should be made by unit leadership and chartering organizations based on the unit’s individual circumstances and current CDC and local health department guidelines.
We sincerely thank you for your attention and understanding. Future communications may be found at www.blueridgecouncil.org. As always, be safe and be prepared. We will do our best to keep you updated as things progress.