COVID-19 put a halt to numerous activities as strict social distancing regulations canceled a wide range of long-awaited events, from sporting events to wedding nuptials. However, as ordinances ease, many are learning to navigate public gatherings with new-and-improved safety regulations. One group making a resurgence as restrictions lift is the Boy Scouts of America.
As transmission rates continue to decline in California, troops across San Clarita Valley have resumed meetings and outings with the help of CDC-approved protocols. Leaders should check local laws, implement proper safety measures, and check-in with troop members to ensure a smooth transition to in-person activities.
Luckily, outdoor activities like campouts are great for troops looking to re-enter Scouting while avoiding high-transmission events. Troop leaders should engage in diligent planning, provide disinfecting supplies, and implement social distancing guidelines to ensure safe, happy campers. If you’re looking for other non-camping routes to bring your Scouts back together, there are plenty of socially distanced activities available to get your troop up and running.
A popular, COVID-friendly scouting activity sure to excite your troops is shooting sports. Firing ranges offer a safe, easily distanced space to pass off merit badges by allowing your group to be split up between lanes while maintaining social distancing. Shooting facilities are significantly reducing capacity and providing ample disinfecting materials to ensure safety. Call ahead to schedule a reservation and explain regulations to your troop thoroughly before heading out.
Keeping your troops safe doesn’t stop with hygienic guidelines. Ensure your troops know how to handle a firearm before visiting the range. Start with basic firearms safety rules like pointing the gun down when not in use and keeping your finger off the trigger unless shooting to keep your scouts free from accidents. In addition to basic rules, teach each Scout how to empty the gun, properly fire, and put the safety on. After they’ve mastered proper firearm handling, start them off with guns like these that are comfortable and safe for beginners.
Another COVID-friendly activity you can plan for troops itching to pass merit badges is knot tying. Set up sanitized stations and sit scouts apart from one another before you walk your scouts through the challenges of knot tying. Those who struggle to get the hang of tying techniques can look to online learning segments posted by the official Boy Scouts team. Their instructional videos provide easy, step-by-step directions with pictures that your Scouts can follow along with and quickly complete.
Play games together
Sometimes your Scouts will need a break from completing merit badges and should come together for wholesome fun. An excellent activity you can do safely is playing bond-building games together. As long as you have a large room that can accommodate the six-foot rule, your troop can enjoy games like Scattergories or two truths and a lie while socially distancing.
While many sports are on pause due to strict regulations, there are options for troops looking to start up again. Driving ranges are perfect for socially distanced fun, allowing troops to get out of the house and pass off merit badges without compromising their health. If you choose to take your group golfing, make sure they bring their own clubs if possible or wipe down rented equipment before use.
To wrap up
Although pandemic-induced regulations can make gatherings difficult, there are safe, socially distanced activities available for troops looking to continue progress. Before you embark on merit-earning adventures, stock up on sanitizing supplies, follow guidelines, and check local laws for safe, bond-building fun.