For the past few months, the DAC has been working to help #KeepScoutingGoing while also ensuring members of your troop stay safe and engaged. Our youth thrive off of the social opportunities, leadership development and other self growth that occur when they are Scouting. As such, this post focuses on how to find and access a good in-person meeting place.
Bring a Unit Action Plan to Your Charter Organization
Many Charter Organizations may still allow you to meet in their facilities. If you are getting pushback, try using the Unit Action Plan.
Even with a solid action plan, your Charter Organization may not be comfortable letting you back into their space. Remember that it is their right to refuse their space, but it is technically part of your Charter Agreement that your CO will “Ensure appropriate facilities for the unit for its regular meetings to facilitate the aims of the Chartered Organization and Scouting”. As such, if your CO does not allow physical meeting in their space, try to engage them to work with you on finding an alternative arrangement.
If you find your pack, den, troop or unit in a situation where you need to arrange finding a location on your own, there are other options available to you. Remember to follow current CDC and local health guidelines for health and safety when meeting in person, regardless of the location.
The Great and Vast Outdoors – #GetScOUTside
The easiest solution is obviously to meet outside. Parks, green spaces, back yards and other open air environments are great and safe places to host your group! The location can even allow for some outdoor activities and allow the kids to get active before or after the official meeting[LY3] . (If you’re looking for activity ideas, check out the DAC Cub Scout Activity Kits provided by the council for every Cub Scout pack!) Remember that even in these spaces, honor social distancing guidelines and precautions whenever possible.
We are fortunate to have an abundance of outdoor space here in Colorado. However, as the weather gets colder, the outdoor spaces that many troops are meeting in will no longer be viable options for meeting with your troop. While this is still a few weeks away, it is important to start planning NOW to find your next locale. Here are some options to consider for your pack:
Come to CAP
Did you know that there is a 20,000 square foot adventure and multi-use space on the west side of Hamilton Scott Headquarters? Colorado Adventure Point (CAP) has half a dozen classrooms and program spaces that are available to host your meetings! What’s even better is that they can provide activities and entertainment for your Scouts in conjunction with your meeting. Learn more here.
Survey your Parents
Do any of the adults or parents in your unit own their own business? Do you have access to some office space? How about a restaurant owner with an events room? There are so many businesses and workplaces that could be perfect alternatives for your meetings. Be sure to gain the proper permissions from the owners or bosses of these companies, but many will surely be receptive to enabling kids to hang out and participate in something as wholesome as Scouting!
Research Alternative Community Locations
People don’t have to be personally involved in Scouting to want to help! Check with nearby community centers, schools, restaurants, rec centers, fire stations and other businesses to see if you can meet in their facilities once it is too cold to meet outdoors. Other social organizations like the VFW or American Legion may also be able to host. You can even utilize a unique space to facilitate a meeting activity. Meeting in a fire station? Have a safety moment that focuses on fire safety!
Some members of your den may still feel unsafe with in-person activities, even with social distancing, masks and other precautions. That is JUST FINE! Invite them to join your meetings through Zoom, Google Meet, Facetime or another streaming app. If you find that you have a lot of members that are only interested in virtual meetings, consider how you can adapt your activities and meeting agenda to help keep them engaged from afar.
Some units are even implementing the Patrol Method as a means of hybrid virtual meetings. Have the smaller group of your Den or Patrol meet in person at a location, and join with the rest of your Pack, Unit or Troop virtually after some in-person activities.
There are a plethora of alternative ideas that we haven’t covered here. What has worked for you and your Scouts? Share below and we can help inspire others in the DAC! Also remember you can always tag us @DenverBoyScouts on any social media site.
Looking for more resources as you navigate Scouting during Covid? Check out the Restart Scouting page on our website today!