The COVID 19 pandemic has made its presence felt across our local communities and nation. What does this mean for the 2021 summer camping season? Currently, the Leatherstocking Council is committed to providing a summer camping experience for our Scouts. We will continue planning for camp this summer as long as we can open camp legally and safely.
Some decisions may be out of the Councils’ hands. State and local governments will have the final say in whether summer camps operate. This is the legal requirement that needs to be satisfied. Safety-wise, the Council is committed to operating under all the safety guidelines that are currently required and may be required to operate this summer. Our camp management is in contact with the local health departments and BSA National. Please be assured that the Council has always prided itself in the past on meeting local and national safety standards every year.
There may be policy and procedure changes for camp this year. If and when any changes of this nature are decided upon, we will contact you immediately via, email, phone calls, the Council website, and the Council Facebook page. In addition, there may be a program offering changes based on the availability of supplies and materials.
If summer camps do not operate in 2021 full refunds will be made. Units can choose to have funds already paid refunded or rolled over for 2022.
We certainly hope that things return to normal sooner than later, if they do by this summer, we will provide a safe and exciting summer adventure for your Scouts. Below are some Frequently Asked questions about camp this summer:
2021 Summer Resident Camp FAQs
Q - Will there be resident camp this summer?
A - In January, New York State declared that summer camps will be allowed to open in 2021. Guidance from the State on how exactly camp will be run has not been made available. We do need to have enough campers attend camp to make the program financially viable.
Q - What will be the requirements for COVID Testing?
A – The Governor has stated in his January message that as a part of opening summer camps, Covid testing will be required. That is the last that the State has put out on that matter so we cannot say what exactly the requirements will be.
Q - What other safety measures relating will be in place?
A – Prior to camp, units and families must monitor their personal situation and not let anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been around anyone with COVID-19 symptoms attend camp. Per BSA policy, all camp attendees receive an individual medical screening upon arrival, including communicable disease screening. These screenings apply to camp staff, participants, and adult leaders. Individuals who do not pass this screening will be sent home. We are reviewing and updating our camp cleaning policies, with an emphasis on high traffic areas and shared equipment and plan to hire additional staff to see that this is done.
Q- How will dining take place?
A - Based on current guidance on restaurant and banquet facility guidelines we expect capacity in out dining halls to be limited. This means a combination of rotating units through the dining hall, the use of “grab and go” meals, and units cooking in-site will be used.
Q - Are we going to have to stay in our campsite the whole time?
A – No. This question originated with a misunderstanding of what camp would look like if the requirements from the State of New York require cohort-based programing. A cohort will be a group of troops or troop staying in the same campsite and travelling to program areas as one group. This would be done to minimize close contact with other groups. At this time, we don’t know if this method will be required. This method was successfully used in states where camping was allowed in 2021.
Q - What merit badges will be offered?
A – Please go to https://www.leatherstockingcouncil.org/HSRSummerCamp for a list of current Merit Badge offerings. This list will change as the Council receives better guidance from the State of NY.
Q - Will there be campfires?
A – At this time we believe that campfires will be unit or campsite based. Again, the idea is to limit contact between groups in order to isolate any potential spread of Covid at camp.
Q - What do you know won’t be offered?
A – Out-of-camp trips to the Cooperstown area attractions will not be offered in 2021. There is a strong possibility that the Climbing and Rappelling program will not be offered in 2021. This is due to the small numbers of campers that take this badge and the manufacturers current requirements for equipment sanitation that would lead to the degradation of this specialized equipment.
When is money due?
A - Campsite deposits, along with an estimated number of campers is due by April 15th, 2021 for Henderson Scout Reservation and April 15th Kingsley. Full payment is due by May 15th, 2021. The dates were moved back due to Covid.
Q - Can I get a refund if camp is cancelled?
A - If any of our summer programs are cancelled as a result of COVID-19, any payments made will be subject to full refund automatically.