Author: sharlamerrick

OA NEWS: Temporary Camping Night Policy Due to COVID-19

Posted on


More information about the Order of the Arrow’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak can be found ​here.OA star

In light of the extended period of camping restrictions attributable to COVID-19, the following temporary modification is being made to the camping requirements for OA eligibility:

Virtual camping (i.e., backyard or solo camping) may be counted toward the required nights of camping for OA election eligibility if all the following stipulations are met:

  • To be counted, all virtual camping nights should be a direct result of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and be part of a BSA unit-organized unit camping event (i.e., multiple members of the unit are involved and camping simultaneously at remote locations).
  • Some form of unit-organized communications should occur either during or immediately following the event.
  • All existing youth protection policies and digital safety guidelines should be followed.
  • No more than three (3) nights of virtual camping are to be credited in any month in which government- or council-imposed COVID-19 restrictions are in place.

This change is in effect until September 1, 2020.

Units which have already held an election between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020 are authorized to hold one additional election for any individuals who were ineligible at the time of the election due to the camping requirement, but would have been considered eligible at the time if this temporary policy had then been in effect. This second election must be completed no later than July 1, 2020. Those who were previously considered for election in the first election may not be reconsidered on this second ballot (i.e., no one can be considered for election more than once in a year).

Given that virtually all councils have either cancelled or reduced their summer camp programs this year, creating a situation where a high proportion of Scouts will not have the opportunity to attend an in-camp summer camp in 2020, a temporary provision to allow for “virtual” long term camping credit for OA eligibility is necessary.

Virtual Long-Term Camping Authorization

Two situations have developed associated with the current pandemic that may prevent Scouts from having an opportunity to qualify for OA eligibility due to not having attended a long-term camp this summer.

  • The local council camp is closed and not offering a traditional summer camp experience.
  • Scout parents are unwilling to allow their child to attend traditional summer camp programs due to health concerns.

In order to address these circumstances, virtual long-term camping of five (5) consecutive nights is authorized to be counted toward the long-term camping requirements for OA eligibility consistent with the above guidance and the following additional guidelines:

  • A long-term camp plan must be developed and approved by the unit leader prior to the commencement of the long-term camp. This plan is to be individualized to each Scout’s capabilities and situation and should strive to include:
    • Progress toward advancement for each Scout
    • Outdoor relevant experience consistent with local conditions and restrictions
  • Unit-organized communications should occur on a daily basis during the camping experience and include discussion of progress made on summer camp goals.
  • An end-of-camp assessment must be conducted with the unit leader to report on progress made during the experience itself and discuss how future virtual long-term camping experiences can be enhanced. During this assessment the unit leader will make the determination if the Scout’s participation warrants granting credit for a completed virtual long-term camping experience in terms of OA eligibility.

This virtual long-term camping authority is not meant to substitute for attendance at traditional council summer camp programs, but rather to provide an alternative for Scouts who fit in one of the two categories mentioned above.

If you have any questions, please reach out to

Update on Facilities usage

Posted on

Facilities at the CAC camps that are open, may ONLY be reserved by the Council for Council sponsored activities and by Districts for District sponsored activities.  A Covid-19 plan must be submitted and approved by the Council, no later than 30 days prior to the event.

University of Scouting – Nov. 14 2020

Posted on

usccoutingThe University of Scouting (scheduled for November 2020) will be done virtually – which classes, and how it will be done are still being planned.

Every Scout deserves a trained leader. The University of Scouting, one of the premier training events in the council, is one of the easiest ways for you to achieve this goal. This single-day training event, offered by the Crossroads of America Council, is designed to supplement any Scouter’s training.

UPDATE ON Training (new Scouts BSA training coming soon!)

Posted on

A new online and facilitated version of Scouts BSA training will be available on August 3rd. If you are currently completing the training please complete prior to this date as we will be changing the Learning Plans for all positions – Scoutmaster/Assistant Scoutmaster, Committee Chair, Committee Member and Merit Badge Counselor. If you do not complete by August 3rd you will have to restart the training using the new learning plans and modules.

The new online learning combines content resulting in fewer modules. We have also streamlined courses to help reduce the total time it takes to complete the training. The new facilitated course uses offline versions of the learning modules to facilitate maintenance on any future changes – thus the online and facilitated content are simultaneously updated to ensure consistency in the versions of the training.

Please note: Completion of the appropriate portion of the Scouts BSA facilitated session will meet the requirements for

Scoutmaster & Assistant Scoutmaster: S24 Scoutmaster Specific Training

Merit Badge Counselor: D76 Merit Badge Counselor Orientation Training

Troop Committee Chair & Committee: WS10 Troop Committee Challenge

Thank you for being a trained leader and working with the youth!

ALL LEADERS are encouraged to do ‘TRAINING’ through  ALL LEADERS MUST be “TRAINED” for their registered position prior to recharter.  The ONLY exception will be the IOLS training for Scoutmasters and Asst. Scoutmasters.  The IOLS training is being deferred until recharter for 2022

BSA’s Commitment to Act Against Racial Injustice

Posted on Updated on

Dear Scouting family,
As our country reckons with racial injustice, we all must consider our role and our failures and commit to meaningful action.
The twelve points of the Scout Law that define a Scout are all important, but at this moment, we are called on to be brave. Brave means taking action because it is the right thing to do and being an upstander even when it may prompt criticism from some. We realize we have not been as brave as we should have been because, as Scouts, we must always stand for what is right and take action when the situation demands it.
There is no place for racism – not in Scouting and not in our communities. Racism will not be tolerated.
We condemn the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and all those who are not named but are equally important. We hear the anguish, feel the heartbreak, and join the country’s resolve to do better.
The Boy Scouts of America stands with Black families and the Black community because we believe that Black Lives Matter. This is not a political issue; it is a human rights issue and one we all have a duty to address. That is why, as an organization, we commit to:
  • Introducing a specific diversity and inclusion merit badge that will be required for the rank of Eagle Scout. It will build on components within existing merit badges, including the American Cultures and Citizenship in the Community merit badges, which require Scouts to learn about and engage with other groups and cultures to increase understanding and spur positive action.
  • Reviewing every element of our programs to ensure diversity and inclusion are engrained at every level for participants and volunteers by applying a standard that promotes racial equality and denounces racism, discrimination, inequality and injustice.
  • Requiring diversity and inclusion training for all BSA employees starting July 1 and taking immediate action toward introducing a version for volunteers in the coming months.
  • Conducting a review of property names, events and insignia, in partnership with local councils, to build on and enhance the organization’s nearly 30-year ban on use of the Confederate flag and to ensure that symbols of oppression are not in use today or in the future.
These are our next steps but certainly not our last.
We will also continue to listen more, learn more and do more to promote a culture in which every person feels that they belong, are respected, and are valued in Scouting, in their community, and across America.
As a movement, we are committed to working together with our employees, volunteers, youth members, and communities so we can all become a better version of ourselves and continue to prepare young people to become the leaders of character our communities and our country need to heal and grow.
Yours in Scouting,
The Boy Scouts of America, National Executive Committee
Dan Ownby – National Chair
Roger Mosby – President and CEO
Scott Sorrels – National Commissioner
Devang Desai
Jack Furst
Skip Oppenheimer
Nathan Rosenberg
Alison Schuler
Michael Sears
Thear Suzuki
Brad Tilden
Jim Turley

Reminder: Don’t forget 2 Deep Leadership and Program Integrity

Posted on Updated on

During these crazy times Scouts and Scouters have gotten creative about ways to make scouting happen during a pandemic.  We are meeting on-line.  We are camping with friends virtually.  We are making videos, learning new technologies, and sending emails/phone calls/and Zoom codes.

Things sometimes get forgotten in our quest to provide awesome programming for our youth.  We must still follow all protocols and guidelines.


  1. Two Deep Leadership and No One on One contact is always the rule.  In person, on Zoom, on the phone; wherever Scouts and Scouters meet we follow the two-deep leadership policies.
  2. No changes to requirements except those made by National.


Some changes to requirements have been approved at the National level.   No changes can be made at the Unit/MBC level.


from Byon on Scouting:

Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse

The BSA has adopted the following policies for the safety and well-being of its members. These policies primarily protect youth members; however, they also serve to protect adult leaders. Parents and youth using these safeguards outside the Scouting program further increase the safety of their youth. Those who serve in positions of leadership and supervision with youth outside the Scouting program will find these policies help protect youth in those situations as well.

  • Two-deep leadership is required on all outings. A minimum of two registered adult leaders — or one registered leader and a participating Scout’s parent or another adult — is required for all trips and outings. One of these adults must be 21 years of age or older.
  • One-on-one contact between adults and youth members is prohibited. In situations requiring a personal conference, such as a Scoutmaster conference, the meeting is to be conducted with the knowledge and in view of other adults and/or youth.
  • The policies of two-deep leadership and no one-on-one contact between adults and youth members also apply to digital communication. Leaders may not have one-on-one private online communications or engage one-on-one in other digital activities (games, social media, etc.) with youth members. Leaders should copy a parent and another leader in digital and online communication, ensuring no one-on-one contact takes place in text, social media, or other forms of online or digital communication.


Posted on Updated on

Scouting is about character and leadership.

The Scout Oath and Law – our very foundation – call for helpfulness, bravery, common courtesy, and respect among all people. Our values call us to stand up to injustice, as we strive to help other people at all times.

The Scouting movement recognizes and celebrates that the attributes that make us different actually draw us together as Scouts, citizens, and human beings. We refuse to accept violence or injustice toward another human being.

As Scouts, we recognize that much work remains to be done. We are committed to empathy, compassion, and to meaningfully improve. Scouting teaches young people to come together to find peaceful solutions, to work to become the best versions of themselves, and to create a better world.

CAC Camp Properties to Open

Posted on Updated on

The Crossroads of America Council is opening our camp properties. Starting June 3rd, reservations may be placed for camp facilities beginning on or after July 3rd. While there are restrictions and not all facilities will be available, CAC will also be providing select program resources, many free of charge with a camp reservation. Please read our FAQ for information that can be found here: on limitations and changes to our properties and reservation process. We will reevaluate our guidelines on September 1st.