Over the last eight weeks, Scouts and Scouters in Upstate New York haven risen to the challenge of our times. Volunteers from across the Twin Rivers Council have worked tirelessly and flexibly to develop innovative new ways for our programs to continue. As each of us do our part for the health and safety of our families and communities, we have continued to Scout On with pride, delivering on our promise for thousands of youth.
Since COVID-19 began to affect our communities there has been a cloud of uncertainty surrounding our ability to offer a safe, fun, and successful summer camp program this year. We have spent the last eight weeks working diligently to make this happen. The council leadership, the camping committee, and key camp personnel have been problem-solving a variety of scenarios while engaging in proactive discussions with our local representatives of the New York State Department of Health and our Scouting partners at the national, state, and area level. We have actively monitored guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Camping Association to inform the development of our plans. Hundreds of hours have been dedicated by volunteers and council staff to the pursuit of running safe and successful camps this summer.
We have listened to the families of our Scouts, who have shared both their enthusiastic support for the importance of summer camp, as well as their concerns about safety and the effect that mitigation efforts would have on the camp experience.
Upon careful consideration of the best guidance available from the BSA and public health officials, as well as the input from you, our Scouting families, the Twin Rivers Council Executive Board has determined that all in-person summer programs in 2020 will unfortunately have to be cancelled.
Early next week, individuals and units who have registered and provided payments for camp will receive information on how their refunds will be processed.
Our most important responsibility as leaders of a camping program is to ensure the safety of all participants. While we are frustrated and disheartened, like many of you, we are confident that our decision is the correct one and in the best interests of our Scouts, leaders, camp volunteers and staff.
This decision creates an opportunity for us to once again show the same resolve and creativity that our youth have benefited from these past eight weeks. We continue to be there for our youth and will shortly be introducing fun new summer programs for Scouts of all ages. Please watch for those announcements in the coming days on our social media and website (www.trcscouting.org).
We know this decision will be met with mixed emotions. Our camps are special places and the emotional bonds are strong. We recognize that this is a particularly difficult set of circumstances for all of us who were looking forward to celebrating 100 years of Scouting at Camp Wakpominee with events throughout the spring and summer. While we cannot be together in person, our focus now will be to build fun, educational, and engaging programs for this summer while looking forward to the day, hopefully soon, that we can all reunite around the campfire at Camp Bedford, Camp Wakpominee, and Rotary Scout Reservation.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in Scouting,
Ken Clough Drew Chesney Brian Murray Mark Switzer
President Commissioner Vice-President of Program Scout Executive