Scouting From Home
Virtual Rank Requirement Sign-Offs
When a Scout is ready to have some requirements signed off (please do not wait until you have a whole rank,) they should contact any one of the Leaders to schedule a virtual sign-off meeting.
Scouts need to contact the Leader of their choice via email making sure they include another adult, (either a parent or guardian, Troop 22 email, or Mrs. Vreeland) stating they are ready to schedule a sign-off meeting. That Leader will reply to all on that email to arrange a time, date and how to meet up. When meeting up, the Leader will sign onto Zoom, Google or Facebook site with Scout and Parent/Guardian in full view of camera, (to comply with BSA YPT policies.) At that time the Scout can discuss, demonstrate, etc. their items to be signed off. After the meeting, the Leader will make a list of what requirements were signed off. We are also asking parents/guardians to put a post-it note in the Scouts handbook annotating which requirements they had signed off along with date and leader’s name. When we meet again in-person, that Leader can officially sign the Scout’s Handbook.
Rank Advancement – SMC & BOR
Likewise, when a Scout is ready for a Scoutmaster’s (SM) Conference, the Scout will need to contact Mr. Somers and Mrs. Vreeland (for YPT protection) via email. SM will reply-all directly to Scout and add an Leader to be in on the Zoom meeting for the SM Conference because it is preferable for the parent/ guardian not be involved in Conferences. We will keep a list of Scouts who have completed SM Conferences, but we also ask the parent/guardian to place a post-it note in the Scout’s handbook (for backup,) so when we meet again in-person, the SM can sign off the handbook.
Scheduling a Board of Review (BOR) is a bit more complicated. When the Scout has completed his SM Conference, they should notify Mrs. Vreeland. Their name will be put on a list and when we get a few Scouts ready, we will schedule a BOR with a few Troop Committee members in a Zoom meeting. Each Scout will be contacted with their appointment time and date to sign onto the Zoom account. We will do our best to hold virtual BORs at least once per month, or more frequently if there is the need.
Merit Badges & Blue Cards
For those wanting to work on MeritBadges, we are adapting our policy for obtaining a Bluecard. As you know our current procedure is for the Scout to speak with the Scoutmaster, Mr. Somers, or Mrs. Vreeland and Mr. Japhet at the Advancement Table during any Tuesday meeting. At that time, we discuss the merit badge(s) and its age appropriateness with the Scout. We also ask if they have a counselor in mind or assist them to find one. Once everything is agreed upon, we issue the physical blue card to start their merit badge(s).
Since we are not able to meet in person, here are the new procedures to follow until we meet in-person again:
1. The Scout should send an email directly to our Scoutmaster, Mr. Somers and Mrs. Vreeland requesting a Blue Card.
2. Scout will be counseled as always, via email or other virtual means (following appropriate BSA Policy.)
3. When everything is agreed upon, a Blue card will be filled out and the Scout will be notified via email that they ‘virtually’ have the Bluecard.
4. Contact your Counselor to begin the merit badge process. They may use the email to show their Counselor they have permission to begin work.
Physical Blue cards will be issued when we meet again. They will be at the Advancement Table with Mrs. Vreeland or Mr. Japhet. Please keep in mind, your Scout might or might not finish any given merit badge at this time. The idea is to keep them engaged in Scouting. Most merit badges have requirements that are not able to be completed while being sheltered at home. Once things return to normal, they will be able to finish up their merit badge(s). We just do not want any Scout or Parent to be disappointed they do not finish during this time.
Please note when working on a merit badge virtually or otherwise, if the badgesays “show” you must show, if the requirement says “or” it means or, if the requirement says “demonstrate” you must demonstrate and “discuss” means you need to have a conversation with your Counselor. ‘Show and Demonstrate’ can be accomplished by recording a video that can be sent to your Counselor or live during a virtual meeting. As per BSA Policy, “All requirements must be completed as written. If meetings or activities are cancelled or limited, you should continue to work on requirements as far as possible. By employing common sense and creative solutions, many requirements can be fulfilled by video conferencing or telephone calls.”
Reminder: If you had started a merit badge prior to “physical distancing” you may continue it with your merit badge counselor virtually.