Camping Out at a (Social) Distance

The Boy Scout motto is “Be prepared” and scouts from Troop 607 at Bethany Union Church were well prepared when they organized a troop campout in mid-April. The Troop usually camps out at least once a month, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the March outing was cancelled.

“We were not going to be deterred by a pandemic for April, so we got creative with an old fashioned (socially distant) backyard camp out,” said Michael Rudd, Scoutmaster for Troop 607. The troop has been using the Zoom platform to hold weekly meetings and Rudd thought that connection could be extended to the scouts’ backyards. He presented his idea to the Youth Leaders at the Patrol Leaders Council Meeting, and the “social distancing” campout planning was put into action.

“The scouts applied their scouting skills to do the menu and activity planning on our Wednesday night Zoom troop meetings and individually leading up to the April campout,” Rudd said.

The outing brought the scouts “together” to have some fun and share the campfires they built.

Working with Assistant Scout Masters Michael Crispo (also Cubmaster for Pack 3607) and Olivia Patch Stevenson as well as parents and scouts, they put together a pandemic-appropriate event.

“It brought the families together for fun and fellowship through the scouting program, which was very much welcomed in these stressful times, Rudd said. The scouts prepared dinner and breakfast for their families using a combination of campfires and their home kitchens.

The April campout included eight scouts, three leaders, several siblings (including cub scouts) and about eight parents.

“Even though the temperature was cold, hearts were warm with family time and the Zoom virtual campfire hanging out with their friends,” Rudd said. 

On May 19, Troop 607 will be 99 years old! The scouts and leaders have already begun planning

The 100th anniversary celebration for next year, organizing 10 months for 10 decades of service projects to give back to the community starting in August. Share ideas for the projects and connect with past Troop members on Facebook at Bethany Union Church Troop 607 100th Anniversary.

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