COVID-19 Protocols for In-Person Activities and Meetings
Verdugo Hills Council
Reopening Protocols for Indoor and Outdoor Meetings and Activities
August 16, 2021
These protocols will be reviewed and updated as we receive changes from the CDC, State of California
and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Restrictions on meetings and activities imposed by the LA County Department of Public Health due to COVID-19 were updated on July 16, 2021 due to an increase in transmission rates in LA County.
This document and Protocols provide an update on what units can do now. We encourage and request that everyone comply with appropriate health guidelines, get vaccinated (everyone aged 12 years and older) and be flexible in the planning and execution of all Scouting events.
- Meet in-person indoors or outdoors following all Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidelines. (Please refer to the next section for a review of protocols.)
- Conduct overnight activities including camping and backpacking following the current County Health Guidelines in the county. (Please refer to the following sections for a review of relevant protocols.)
- Schedule outdoor unit meetings in parks and at your chartered organization if permitted.
- Attend VHC programs, reserve Camp Verdugo Oaks for unit overnight camping and for unit day events. Cub Scout units and individuals - sign up for Haunt-On. Scout units/patrols - sign up and get prepared for Fall Camporee.
- Develop a unit program plan for the next 12 months. You can combine in-person and virtual activities to best suit your unit.
- Encourage all members ages 12 years and older to get fully vaccinated.
Updated VHC Protocols for In-Person Meetings and Activities
The following is a summary of Protocols for holding in-person Scout meetings and activities.
- Meetings and activities may be held indoors or outdoors; however, it is recommended that units meet outside as much as possible.
- EVERYONE participating in indoor meetings and activities are required to wear a face covering. The 7/16/2021 LA County Department of Public Health has ordered that face coverings be worn in indoor settings regardless of vaccination status. For meetings and activities held outdoors, attendees are encouraged but not required to wear face coverings. The use of face coverings is recognized as an effective means of reducing COVID-19 transmission risk.
- Talk with your Scout families. Not all families are ready or want to start in-person meetings now. Tell them they have participation options. Do not force families to attend.
- Conduct fun in-person meetings.
- Eagle Projects no longer need to follow cohort protocols. Participants should follow the protocols for meetings and activities as updated on or after 6/22/2021. If the Eagle project includes overnight activities, then participants should also follow the protocols for overnight outings.
Note: The main impact to Scouting activities of the relaxation of state and county COVID-19 protocols is to eliminate the use of cohorts for meetings. Units should still encourage safe COVID-19 practices which include minimizing close contact, wearing face coverings where the risk of transmission may be higher, hand washing and other sanitation measures. And emphasizing activities that are outdoor as much as possible. The Verdugo Hills Council encourages all adults and youth age 12 and older to get fully vaccinated.
Protocols for Overnight Outings (Unit Based)
Units can hold their own overnight camping activities effective June 13, 2021. The following is a summary of the overnight unit camping trips following State and County protocols.
- All protocols for in-person meetings outlined in the previous section apply to overnight outings. Additional protocols as outlined below also apply.
- All outing participates are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated if eligible.*
- All must follow Youth Protection Training (YPT) guidelines.
- As much as possible, follow social distancing. Stress the importance of personal hygiene and camp sanitation to reduce the risk of infection.
- If sleeping in tents the current VHC protocols are that tents are limited to 50% capacity. For example, if you are using a 2-man tent then only 1 person sleeps in the tent. If you are using a 4-man tent, then you can have 2 sleeping in that tent. If more than 1 person is sleeping in a tent then all must sleep opposite each other. If you are using a 3-man tent, it then is a 1-man tent.**
- Due to the LA County indoor mask mandate, the Verdugo Hills Council strongly recommends that units do not sleep indoors until further notice.
- Perform a COVID-19 screening of all outing participants.*** If someone develops symptoms of COVID-19, then isolate them from the rest of the group and get them home as soon as practical.
- Under current LA County guidelines of July 16, 2021 all individuals in a carpool must wear a face covering while in the vehicle. It is also recommended to have the windows open.**
- Read the National reopening guidelines.
- When cooking at any activities, the cooks must wear gloves, face shield or face covering. There can be no buffet type serving allowed.
*People are considered “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19 two weeks or more after their second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series, such as Moderna or Pfizer, and two weeks or more after a single dose COVID-19 vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson.
**The CDC, State and County health departments stress the importance of good ventilation as a risk mitigant.
***A COVID-19 screen consists of checking if outing participants are exhibiting any known COVID-19 symptoms. It is highly recommended by the Verdugo Hills Council to include temperature checks as part of the screening process.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for COVID-19
Unit Indoor and Outdoor Meetings & Activities
What heath protocols are the Verdugo Hills Council following?
The Verdugo Hills Council is following the National Boy Scouts of America, CDC, State of California and the Los Angeles County protocols for all indoor and outdoor meetings and activities.
Do units still need to follow cohort protocols?
No units do not need to follow cohort protocols at this time.
Do units need to continue with COVID-19 related record keeping?
Yes, Verdugo Hills Council strongly recommends to continue to keep a record of all those in attendance at indoor or outdoor meetings and activities.
Are participates required to wear face coverings at meetings and activities?
The updated (7/16/21) LA County Department of Public Health requirements state that all adults and youth must wear face coverings when indoors, regardless of vaccination status. For meetings and activities held outdoors, participants are not required to wear face coverings if they can maintain social distancing. The use of face covering is recognized as an effective means of reducing COVID-19 transmission.
Are temperature checks required at the beginning of a unit meeting?
Temperature checks are no longer required at the start of a meeting. The Verdugo Hills Council strongly recommends to continue the practice of temperature checks for all unit activities.
Is carpooling for Scout activities and meetings permitted?
Private carpools with members of multiple households are permitted. Everyone is required to wear a face covering regardless of vaccination status. It is further recommended that windows be down to increase airflow.
Will sharing a tent be allowed?
The Verdugo Hills Council policy is that all tents will be at 50% capacity for both youth and adults. If the capacity of a tent as stated by the manufacturer is a 2-man tent, then only 1 person can sleep in the tent; if the manufacturer states it is a 4-man tent, then 2 may sleep in that tent. In the case of odd numbers, the capacity will be at the next lowest number. In Cub Scouting, families may share a tent at 100% capacity. Scouting families cannot share tents per the Guide to Safe Scouting.
Can units travel outside the council, county and state for overnight camping activities?
Yes. Units must comply with all protocols for the county they are camping in.
Do I need to register unit meetings and activities with the Verdugo Hills Council?
No, it is not a requirement to register your unit meetings and activities with the Council at this time.
Council Camps and Council-Run Activities
What are the vaccination/testing requirements for youth and adults attending Council camps and activity programs?
It is strongly recommended by the Verdugo Hills Council that everyone 12 years and older be fully vaccinated. For those not fully vaccinated, it is recommended to have a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to attending camp or activities.
Will there be temperature checks at Council events?
Yes, at all Council programs and training activities there will be temperature checks.
Will we have to fill out the Camp COVID-19 checklist?
Yes, for all Council events and training it will be necessary to fill out the COVID-19 pre-camp checklist and bring with you.
VERDUGO HILLS COUNCIL, BSA, (VHC) has adopted the Reopening Protocol for Youth Sports Leagues (LA County Protocols) described in the Order of the Health Officer, County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health (as revised 8/20/2020) with additional rules and interpretations for outdoor Scout meetings and outdoor Scouting activities in small groups (called “cohorts” in the LA County Protocol). ALL of these rules and protocols are NOT optional, and ALL protocols — both VHC protocol and County of Los Angles Youth Sport Leagues Protocol — MUST be followed.
IMPORTANT: The Chartered Organization must approve any outdoor meeting or activity by any unit they sponsor. The Chartered Organization is the legal entity that is responsible for their Scouting programs and activities.
VHC policy will be reviewed as updates and revisions are needed.
Unit should also continue to use the Guide to Safe Scouting and the Sweet Sixteen of BSA Safety to plan activities. In regards to planning under COVID-19 specifically, units should make use of the Safe Restart checklist to make sure that all activities are as safe as possible.
Send your questions to VHCcovidregistration@vhcbsa.org or call the Council Service Center at 818-243-6282.
Need to get tested? Here’s where you can in L.A. County.
|8/16/21 UPDATE: VHC Protocols for In-Person Outdoor Scout Meetings and Activities||Updated protocols based on the CDC, State of California, and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.||Download|
|COVID-19 Screening Form, CVO||COVID-19 pre-camp checklist to aide in determining clearance for participation at VHC events and training sessions at CVO.||Download|
|Leaving the COVID Cave Presentation||Presentation Slides from the Forum sponsored by the Council Committee for Accessible Scouting (May 21, 2021)||Download|
|Post-COVID Resources for Scouting Leaders and Families||Links to online resources for understanding the post-COVID Scouting environment. (From the May 21, 2021 forum)||Download|
|SAFE Restart Checklist||A checklist to help your unit evaluate how to start meeting again. Using this checklist is required by the Verdugo Hills Council protocols and the checklist requires following the Verdugo Hills Council protocols.||Download|