Parents and Scouts,

Happy May Day!  I hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and staying safe.  And not going crazy.

Sadly the news is not good.  Over the past week, California has averaged 1,542 new coronavirus cases and 73.3 deaths per day, despite stay-at-home orders and our efforts to maintain social distancing, wear masks, etc.  Los Angeles leads all California counties in number of cases (LA Times graph attached).

The troop’s first priority is the safety of our Scouts and their families.  For this reason, we have cancelled our traditional May/June events, including Family Camp and Court of Honor.  

We have also decided to cancel our long-anticipated Minnesota Summer Camp.  This trip would involve many hours of travel on planes and buses as well as close-contact activities over a two-week period, some days of which would be spent in wilderness settings far from medical help.  There is too great a risk that Scouts or adult leaders would be infected and bring the virus home to their families.  My hope is that we’ll be able to run this program next summer.

Many Scouts have been working on merit badge and rank requirements that can be completed online.  We had planned to conduct Board of Reviews on May 18 and June 1.  The troop has decided that a Board of Review will NOT be required for any merit badge earned this semester with a troop counselor.   Online Board of Reviews WILL be conducted for ranks that have been earned.  I’ll be asking ASM’s and interested parents to volunteer for Zoom meetings to conduct these.

I’d be delighted if any ASM or parent is interested in running a merit badge class over the summer.  There are a number of badges whose requirements can be done at home and then demonstrated online.  Written work can be submitted via email.  We would typically limit a class to 5 or fewer Scouts, so that Zoom meeting discussions with full participation are possible.  Please contact me if you’d like to discuss badges you’re interested in or that might work.

We don’t know yet whether the troop program will resume in the fall.  We need to wait and see whether SMMUSD is permitting its facilities and whether we can run a program that is safe for everyone.

Please share your thoughts with me, and again let me know if you’d be willing to offer a merit badge class this summer.  The list of BSA merit badges can be found here:

Be well!

Steve Marcy

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