2020 Summer Camp Update

The Montana Council has taken every consideration in determining how to move forward carefully, safely, and thoroughly regarding 2020 council summer camps. We are and continue to weigh health department recommendations, government protocols and financial responsibilities to create a plan for the summer. All of this is done with the health and safety of our Scouts, volunteers, Scouters, and staff as our utmost concern.

First and foremost, the state must be in Phase 2 of reopening. We recognize we must be flexible as new information and recommendations come to light. It is with that in mind that we move forward with the following plan.

We intend to move forward with camp at K-M Scout Ranch for in-state units. Because of travel restrictions and quarantine directives, we can’t host out-of-state Scouts at this time across any of our camps.

With the updated facility at K-M Scout Ranch and with employing additional staff, safety precautions and funds – including medical resources, close attention to health and safety guidelines, capacity changes, food service alterations, etc. – we are confident, as things stand, that we can provide an excellent, exciting and adventurous summer camp experience at K-M.

The way program is delivered at K-M this summer will look a little different. This, in no way, is diminishing our excitement. We plan to have many Adventure Quests where patrols of Scouts will have opportunities to work towards advancement with fun and adventure being the main objectives. This will be a truly unique and patrol-style agenda allowing Scouts and Scouters to enjoy an immersive summer camp experience while following the recommended health and safety guidelines.

In our planning for the summer, it became quickly apparent that we are not in a position to maintain four fully operational camps. Because of the extreme and difficult logistics of operating at Melita Island, we are unable to support camp there this summer. Considering food safety, moving people on and off the island, the necessity of single-use items, trash disposal, limiting the number of attendees, and out-of-state travel quarantine directives – among other issues – it simply isn’t feasible for us to move forward responsibly.

The silver lining is that we can focus energy on the other issues – such as the Melita Island Woodland Rehabilitation Project – to make 2021 an even better camp experience.

Montana Council is also closing Grizzly Base and the summer Webelos resident camps. We are extending invitations to dens to move their registration to K-M Webelos week or cancel and be refunded. Out-of-state and in-state units who qualify under the most recent health and safety guidelines can reserve a space at the facility. We will not be providing staff or facility support. Up-to-date quarantine rules and health regulations will be enforced.

Montana High Adventure Base (MOHAB) will not operate as a Scout camp in 2020 and will not be able to host out-of-state Scouts. In-state Scouts may be able to register for a MOHAB trek through the Boone and Crockett Club in Missoula.

Although we are unable to facilitate a fully operational camping season across the state, we are honored and prepared to move forward where we can to support an exciting experience for our Scouting youth and leaders.

The council is investing heavily in this experience to ensure we have adequate staff, resources, food services and medical services. The extra cost is not being passed along to you. 

Therefore, anything you can do to help support the council financially is greatly appreciated and needed. Donations can be made here: https://donations.scouting.org/#/council/315/appeal/138.

Thank you for understanding. Thank you for your support. And thank you for being a part of Montana Council.

Baby Season Activity

Our friends at Giant Springs State Park have put together some fun activities for kids. This week we can learn all about the Babies at Giant Springs.

Below you will find a presentation and an activity page.

Special thank you to Emily at Giant Springs State Park for letting us share this great activity!

May Volunteer Spotlight: Kelsie Tilman

This month we would like to highlight the outstanding efforts of Pack 1’s Assistant Cubmaster Kelsie Tilman.

Over the past few months, Kelsie has gone above and beyond to ensure the each of the Pack’s dens are meeting and advancing. She put together packets for each Scout to ensure they had all the supplies they needed to #ScoutOn.

Please join us in thanking Kelsie for everything she does for Scouting!

A Scout is Helpful – Especially in Times Like the Present

Boy Scouts of America CEO Roger Mosby has a message from you, watch his video:

Now more than ever, social distancing protects us, but Scouting connects us.

And that is why we are excited to invite ALL American families to join us in a National Camp-In on May 2nd – a nationwide day of virtual adventures, skill-building, service, and of course, camping, that we hope will provide a respite of fun for families. I encourage you to attend, and I ask that you also invite neighbors and friends to do the same because we all know that everybody can benefit.

Families can count on the Boy Scouts of America to help make the most of the time we have together, but we are also the organization that will stand shoulder to shoulder with others in times of need.

Roger Mosby, Boy Scouts of America CEO

Family Investment in Character and Leadership Campaign Ends SOON!

We are wrapping up our Investment in Character and Leadership Campaign for units and their families. Make an investment in youth in our community and help your Pack or Troop meet their goal!

Many of our Packs and Troops are very close to reaching their goal and earning rewards like free pinewood derby cars, and discounts at the Scout Shop, and free adult training! Push them over the edge!

Resources & Upcoming Activities

I know everyone is starting to get a bit batty with the physical distancing restrictions and the stay at home orders but the good news is that it is working and that the governor is talking about ways to start getting some segments back to more  normal activity over the next few weeks.

While we still don’t know what that will look like, we DO know that we can keep on Scouting, just in creative ways! There are SO many opportunities which are rolling out every day, so please be sure you are continuing to have regular den/patrol/unit meetings, even if they look different than in the past. We want to continue to be present for our Scouts and for their families!

Camp Connection

National Camp-In

Mark your calendar for May 2nd!

You’re invited to join the Boy Scouts of America’s “National Camp-In”, a fun digital event for all families featuring camp-themed activities and a virtual 5K hike benefitting Feeding America.

From camp-style cooking to campfire singalongs, this virtual event will bring the best parts of Scouting to life! And…you don’t need to be a Scout to join the fun! All families are welcome – even families whose children are not currently in Scouting.

Tune in all day, or jump in and out for particular activities. We hope you’ll join us from your living room… backyard… or wherever you happen to be!

The event will stream live on Facebook. Search for the Boy Scouts of America on Facebook and you’ll find it!

For a schedule of events and more about the National Camp-In, visit www.Scouting.org/CampIn.

Please share your excitement and experiences on your social channels using #CampIn and #ScoutingAtHome before, during and after the event

Day Camp

We know that nearer-future activities are still up in the air. We continue to plan for day camp, while still keeping an eye on state and public health information. Expect an announcement on May 16th.

Summer Camp

For our longer camps, we are waiting for guidance about BSA medical forms, since doctor visits may not be possible currently. For those of you planning out-of-council summer camps, please stay in touch with those councils about the situation in their states.

Some camps have been canceled; most are still hopeful that they will be able to have a season. Also be alert to the state orders for quarantine (both going and returning home) and take those into account for your planning. Montana Council camps are still planning to hold programs at this moment. If you are registered for one of the Montana camps, please be sure you continue making payments on schedule – if camp does get cancelled, your fees will be refunded in full.

Trainings

Likewise, NYLT and Wood Badge courses are still proceeding as scheduled and continue to take registrations.

Jamboree 2021

And it isn’t too early to be thinking about Jamboree 2021! Registration is open for youth and for adult leaders to be a part of this awesome experience!

Leader Training

We know that this is an unsettled time, but for many people, it is also a time with extra time on your hands due to the Stay at Home orders. If you have been putting off completing leader-specific training until you have more time, this may be your perfect opportunity! Did you know…

Current Leader-specific Training
Current Youth Protection Training (due before June 15 for District registrations, including Merit Badge Counselors)

Resources Round-up

Keep watching our Facebook page – we’ll share resources there as we find them (and you can as well!)

Montana Council offices are closed, but you can still reach out directly to Scott. Scout Shops are also closed, but if you reach out to Deb, she’ll do her best to fulfill your order.

BSA National COVID FAQs – includes guidance about what may and may not be adapted for the current situation. Cub Scouts have some extra time to complete ranks. MB/Nova counselors can use teleconferencing. MB visits to locations can be virtual but most other MB requirements must be completed as written. Scouts BSA ranks have some adjustments through 9/1 to allow completion virtually – things like virtual campouts and planning for future activities allow Scouts to continue to advance during  this time. Info is also included about time towards leadership and active member requirements plus Eagle/Summit extensions.

Meeting options:

  • BSA Digital Safety – includes important info like don’t record unit meetings/activities (since youth are minors and not able to legally consent).
  • Here is a good round-up of various options for meeting with your unit, along with pros and cons of the options.
  • The district has a Discord server and I’d be happy to work with you to have a channel within that server for your unit.
  • We also have a Zoom account and shared use of the Lifesize account for video calls.

All program areas:

Cub Scouts:

Scouts BSA/Venturers:

Big shout out to Bitterroot District Commissioner Cammie Edgar for compiling all these resources!

Support Scouting in our Community

It might seem like the current pandemic situation would put a damper on Scouting, but the opposite is true! Scouting is once again showing how resilient our program is: Scouts and Scouters are adapting to being stuck at home, social distancing, by pivoting meetings with online sessions using technology, and Merit Badge and NOVA Counselors are using a plethora of tools to facilitate advancement and awards. The Montana Council is even hosting weekly “virtual” campfires from our camps around the state.

Invest in Character & Leadership

There’s lots of Scouting happening in spite of the pandemic but we need your help to ensure that it happens well, and Scouts come out of being stuck at home feeling excited for the time when we can have in-person Scout meetings and camping trips.