Seneca Waterway Council Boy Scouts of America officials announced on Tuesday that traditional summer camp programs will be going virtual for 2020 due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns.
“Over the past couple months, volunteer and staff teams have spent countless hours trying to find a solution in which we could run a safe and fun summer camp program for our Scouts. Based on their conclusions and hard work, we have determined that offering a physical summer camp program this year is not in the best interest of the health and safety of our Scouts, volunteers and staff,” said Stephen Hoitt, Scout Executive/CEO, Seneca Waterways Council, BSA. “However, the summer camp experience will continue in a virtual format for 2020. The Scouts BSA Camp and Cub Scout Virtual Summer Camps are both stocked full of activities to keep children of all ages very active.”
Both virtual camp programs will deliver age-appropriate challenges for youth that revolve around three key areas:
– Advancement needs;
– Individual learning and competition; and
– Unit competition and team building.
Camps will have evening programs as well including campfires, and Scouts own inter-faith services just like at camp.
The organization states that the decision came down to two key issues:
1) Could they guarantee a safe environment for campers? The daily changing of facts related to COVID-19 made it impossible to develop a Health and Safety Plan they felt confident would address all the issues.
2) Could they guarantee a quality experience? While many safety protocols could be implemented, several most popular program areas such as aquatics and shooting sports (providing safety training and education) could not be effectively managed.
Also taken into consideration were concerns about whether families would be permitted to travel from one zone to another to attend summer camp. The Council operates three camp facilities in different regions of the state which are in varying reopening phases: Massawepie Scout Camps in the Adirondacks; J. Warren Cutler Scout Reservation in Naples; and Camp Babcock-Hovey on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake.
Virtual Summer Camp registrations are open and Hoitt commented that “this is a great time for parents to look into Scouting to help keep their kids active through the summer with some fun activities.” For more information, visit www.senecawaterways.org or call the Council at 585-244-4210.