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Home / Events / Covid-19  
 

Covid-19 Updates

 
2020.03.31 (download full update here)
The below topics cover Troop 629’s next steps regarding the current COVID-19 situation the nation is facing. Please note that these can change depending on guidance from the CDC, Georgia Department of Health, State of Georgia, BSA National, Atlanta Area Council BSA, Mt. Pisgah UMC (our charter organization), and others. Updates will be made as needed.

Important! Please note that during ALL communications (email, text, GroupMe, video conferencing, etc.) between scout youth and adults that we must maintain two-deep leadership for BSA Youth Protection Guidelines. For any scout that reaches out to a leader as directed below, a 2nd adult (another leader or one of your parents) MUST be on the communication or the communication will be ignored by the adult leader.

Please review each topic below.
 
  Topic Discussion Points
1 Troop Meetings Meeting Dates:
  • March 16th, 23rd, and 30th cancelled, no meeting (previously announced).
  • April 6th there is no meeting scheduled due to spring break.
  • April 13th will be a virtual meeting. More info will be posted soon.
  • April 20th will be a virtual meeting. More info will be posted soon.
  • April 27th is TBD. The current Georgia state mandate is that all schools are closed through April 24th, so an assessment for the April 27th meeting will be made in the coming weeks and communicated.
Virtual Meetings starting April 13th.
  • Details are still being worked out and will be available before April 13th, including the platform the virtual meeting will be held on (most likely Zoom), how to connect, and how attendance will be counted (particularly for those that have to join by audio-only).
  • Several things to expect during the virtual meetings:
    • Virtual meetings will start at 7:15pm as usual but will be concluded by 8:15pm for a maximum 1-hour virtual meeting.
    • Scouts are encouraged to wear their Class-A uniform, or at minimum Class-B t-shirt, during the virtual meeting.
    • Virtual meetings will start with the Pledge of Allegiance, Scout Oath & Law, and SPL notes as usual.
    • There will be no Patrol Time during the virtual meeting.
    • There will be an activity for each virtual meeting, to be planned by the PLC.
  • A virtual PLC will be held on April 2nd to determine the meeting structure and activity for the two scheduled virtual Troop meetings.
2 Merit Badges
  • We are still following our Merit Badge process (http://www.troop629.org/advancement/mbprocess.htm), just electronically.
  • Blue Card. To get a blue card in order to start a merit badge, the scout should email the Scoutmaster Mr. Sutton (jason@grubbyboys.com) stating which merit badge you want to start on. Please have another adult leader or your parents on the email. Mr. Sutton will respond with his approval and any guidance if needed.
  • Merit Badge Counselor Assignment. Once the scouts has completed the requirements, read the book, and is ready for a merit badge counselor, the scout should email one of these approved merit badge counselors only (be sure to include another adult on the email as explained above):
  • Name email
    SM Jason Sutton jason@grubbyboys.com
    ASM Mr. Benton jon@jonbenton.com
    ASM Mr. Hundt gkhundt@mindspring.com
    ASM Mr. Pearson evanmpearson@gmail.com
    ASM Mr. Tostenson paxston@gmail.com

    The counselor will let you know if they are approved as a merit badge counselor for that particular merit badge and whether their work schedule will allow for arranging a virtual meeting.

  • Merit Badge Conference/Review. Virtually meet with your merit badge counselor using web video conferencing tools such as Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype, FreeConference, or Facetime. The scout will need to work out the best platform with the merit badge counselor. The two will then review the merit badge requirements, and the scout’s completions, as before. One of the scouts parents MUST be in the room during the video conference to meet the two-deep leadership / YPT guidelines – the virtual meeting cannot be held without this. Note: As you would for a face-to-face review, the scout should be prepared to show or demonstrate any activities that are part of the merit badge. This could include diagrams on paper, pictures, videos, etc.
  • Merit Badge Counselor Sign-Off. After the conference, the merit badge counselor will email the Troop Advancement Chair Mr. Jackson (randallfjackson@outlook.com) that the merit badge was completed for the scout, and the Troop Advancement Chair will update the Troop records. The merit badge counselor will include the scout on this email for their records.
  • Merit Badge Patch. The scout will receive the actual merit badge patch at the next physical meeting held by the Troop.
  • Merit Badge Books. If the scouts does not have the merit badge book to read, your options include purchasing the book online, purchasing it on a kindle, or borrowing from a friend. The Troop is currently working on a process to check out books from the Troop library (which will be relocated to an adult leader’s house) and we will let you know soon how that process will work.
  • Suggested Merit Badges. Not sure which merit badge to tackle? The Atlanta Area Council has put together a suggested list here: https://www.atlantabsa.org/scoutingathome, and here’s another list on a Scouting Magazine blog: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2020/03/20/merit-badges-for-social-distancing/. But also feel free to ask your Patrol Leader, scout friends, or simply browse the list of merit badges here: https://boyscouttrail.com/boy-scouts/merit-badges.asp. Please follow the blue card process, outlined above, before you start the merit badge.
3 PLC
  • The April PLC has been moved up and will be held on Thursday, April 2nd. Same time, 7pm – 8pm, but virtual. All PLC members have already been notified via the Troop PLC GroupMe regarding the Zoom virtual PLC meeting logistics.
  • The May ILST and Annual Planning PLC is currently scheduled for May 14th, there is no change to that plan at this time.
4 Rank Advancement
  • Patrol Leader signoff. Signoff on rank advancement by a Patrol Leader should be held virtually:
    • The Scout needing advancement signed off should contact his Patrol Leader (either by email, phone, or text) and work with him to schedule a video conference.
    • Once items are completed, the Patrol Leader PL will send the information to the Troop Advancement Chair Mr. Jackson (randallfjackson@outlook.com) to update the Scout’s records. An adult leader or parent should be included on this email as explained above.
    • The Troop Advancement Chair will update the Troop records and acknowledge back to the email that the advancement has been logged.
    • The Patrol Leader can physically sign off in the scout’s handbook when we return to physical meetings.
  • Meeting Participation. The tracking of meeting participation is only required for Star rank and above. Current processes are that a scout must attend 75% of the Troop meetings during the month in order to get credit. March and April are adjusted as follows:
    • March – there are only 2 meetings during the month of March, the 2nd and 9th. If you attended either meeting you will get credit for the month of March.
    • April – due to spring break, there were only 3 meetings scheduled, so to get credit a scout must attend 2 of the 3 meetings (66%). This stays the same, but virtual meetings will start April 13th and attendance will be taken at those meetings until we return to physical meetings.
  • Outing Participation. Participation at outings is key to the scouting program, for all ranks starting with Tenderfoot. March and April are adjusted as follows:
    • March – the USS Alabama trip was cancelled a few days before. All of those signed up for the trip received credit.
    • April – we are awaiting guidance from BSA National and the Atlanta Area Council, as the April trip to Cloudland Canyon has already been cancelled. In addition, Troop leadership is currently working on “family outing” or “virtual outing” type of activities that will qualify, more information will be coming out soon.
    • May – The flyer for the trip to Stone Mountain from May 1st – 3rd will be coming out soon. We will move to a virtual sign-up, more information will be provided on the flyer.
  • Eagle Projects. There are no changes, work on Proposals and Plans should be continuing and the Scout should be keeping their Project Coach up-to-date on their progress. Right now, there is some guidance from BSA National on Eagle Scout extensions beyond a Scout’s 18th birthday – but please don’t count on this. Any Life Scout should reach out to the Scoutmaster Mr. Sutton (jason@grubbyboys.com) for a more detailed discussion about their situation. An adult leader or parent should be included on this email as explained above.
5 SM Conference
  • Any scout wanting a Scoutmaster conference should follow the same process as before, but virtually.
  • The scout should contact the Troop Advancement Chair Mr. Jackson (randallfjackson@outlook.com) to verify all requirements are signed-off / met and they are ready for a Scoutmaster conference. An adult leader or parent should be included on this email as explained above.
  • Once given the OK from Mr. Jackson, the scout should reach out to the Scoutmaster Mr. Sutton (jason@grubbyboys.com) to arranged for a video conference. An adult leader or parent should be included on this email as explained above.
  • On the video conference, there MUST be one of the scout’s parents in the room during the entire time to meet the two-deep leadership / YPT guidelines.
  • Once completed, the Scoutmaster will email confirmation to the scout and the Advancement Chair, who will then log the advancement into TroopMaster.
  • The Scoutmaster can physically sign off in the Scout’s handbook when we return to physical meetings
6 Board of Review
  • The Troop Advancement Chair Mr. Jackson (randallfjackson@outlook.com) will be notified that a scouts is ready for a Board of Review by receiving the email from the Scoutmaster about the completion of the Scoutmaster conference.
  • The Troop Advancement Chair will then work with the scout and other adults to schedule a virtual Board of Review.
  • After the Board of Review, the Troop Advancement Chair will log the advancement into TroopMaster.
  • You will receive the actual Rank advancement patch at the next physical meeting held by the Troop.
7 Summer Camp
  • At this time, we are still planning on attending Woodruff Summer Camp June 14th – June 20th. Information and the flyer is available at http://www.troop629.org/camping/summercamp2020.htm.
  • Registration Extended. Registration has been extended to Monday April 13th. Please continue to send your schedule of classes to the Troop 629 Summer Camp chair Mr. Benton (jon@jonbenton.com) and cc the Scoutmaster Mr. Sutton (jason@grubbyboys.com). An electronic scan or picture with your phone of your registration page will work.
  • Summer Camp Orientation. Summer Camp Orientation for new parents is still scheduled for Monday May 11th and is being combined with the overall Troop 629 New Parent Orientation.
  • Other forms. Other forms are due May 11th, this includes new Health forms. Please note that health forms CAN NOT be emailed per BSA policy.
  • Payment. Payments can be mailed to the Troop Treasurers Mr. & Mrs. Tostenson (kjtostenson@yahoo.com), please email them for their address. An adult leader or parent should be included on this email as explained above. Please note that full payment is due May 11th.
  • Please note that Summer Camp is High Adventure (HA) account eligible. If you wish to use your HA account, please email the Troop Treasurers Mr. & Mrs. Tostenson (kjtostenson@yahoo.com). An adult leader or parent should be included on this email as explained above.
8 Camp Cards
  • Camp cards have been extended, they are no longer due April 13th.
  • The new date is still TBD and will be communicated as soon as we find out.
  • Please continue to practice social distancing when selling the cards and try and get creative!
  • If you need more information on camp cards, please contact Troop 629 Committee Chair Mrs. Hundt (kelleyhundt@gmail.com). An adult leader or parent should be included on this email as explained above.
9 Outings
  • April 17th Cloudland Canyon is cancelled. Credit for the outing is being worked out per the “Rank Discussion” topic above.
  • May 1st – 3rd Stone Mountain flyer will be out soon, extended to Friday night through Sunday noon outing (instead of starting Saturday morning).
10 Court of Honor
  • The April 27th Troop COH is not currently in jeopardy, so there is no change right now.
  • The Eagle COHs that are currently scheduled will be re-evaluated and moved if necessary.
11 AOL Crossovers
  • Registration. For the new crossovers that did not make it into a Troop Meeting in early March, the Troop leadership will be reaching out to you via email (and phone) to discuss registration and summer camp sign-up.
  • New Parent Orientation. The new parent orientation that was previously scheduled on April 20th will be postponed and merged into the Summer Camp Orientation on May 11th.
  • For any questions or concerns, please contact our Troop 629 AOL Liaison Greg Hundt (gkhundt@mindspring.com).
12 Treasurer • For any payment or reimbursement issues or questions, please contact Troop 629 Treasurers Mr. & Mrs. Tostenson (kjtostenson@yahoo.com).

Note: For Meeting changes (Troop, Orientations, etc.), cancellations, and any events please be sure and check the Troop calendar on the website.

2020.03.15
Troop 629 Scouts & Families –

By now you should have seen COVID-19 messages sent by both BSA National and the Atlanta Area Council. Both are advising local units to evaluate the continuation of their programming while considering guidance from health officials and their charter organizations, which includes “social distancing” practices to slow community spread of the COVID-19 virus. Please reach out to us if you have not received these e-mails so that we can ensure your scouting contact information is the most current possible.

With this guidance, Troop 629 will cancel both our March 16th and March 23rd regular troop meetings.

The Troop 629 Committee will be meeting this coming week to consider options that can support program continuity and youth advancement if guidance is received to continue social distancing practices beyond March 29th. We will share these plans with you once they are developed.

In the meantime, here are some reminders and updates for all to be aware of:
  1. Any electronic communication (e-mail, text, Facetime, etc.) from a Youth Member to an Adult Scouting Leader, or vice versa, must have a parent or second Adult Leader copied on the communication to ensure we are adhering to Youth Protection Guidelines.
     
  2. Troop 629’s March 16th and March 23rd meetings are cancelled. There will be no March Board of Review. The Northern Ridge District Life-to-Eagle Seminar on March 19th is cancelled, as is the NYLT Staff Development on March 27th. The Northern Ridge March Roundtable Meetings are canceled.
     
  3. Woodruff Summer Camp Registration (which includes merit badge class selections) is still needed to meet our Troop registration deadlines. Registration forms may be sent electronically to Scoutmaster Jason Sutton (jason@grubbyboys.com) or to our Summer Camp Chair Jon Benton (jon@jonbenton.com) following the electronic communication YPT guidelines above.
     
  4. Scout Day at the Capital, scheduled for March 17th, is canceled.

Lastly, if your family is in need of anything (food, supplies, etc.) please reach out to us as well. Several of our Scouting families have graciously offered to help where needed. We will gladly coordinate connections between families with needs and those that have offered assistance.
We will be providing additional information and guidance as it becomes available.
Please stay healthy and safe, and please feel free to reach out with any questions that you may have in the interim.

Yours in Scouting,

Kelley Hundt   Jason Sutton
Troop 629 Committee Chair   Troop 629 Scoutmaster
 
   
       
       
       
       
       
       
     
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