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Samoset Council COVID-19 Updates

Samoset staff continues to operate in a virtual capacity with a limited number of staff returning to the Wausau Homes Service Center (WHSC) starting on Monday, June 1. Here is a summary of announcements that appear in detail on these pages:

  • Staffing of the WHSC facility will be during regular hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  WHSC remains closed to in-person business & Scout Shop customers.  
  • We have made the decision to delay the opening of our summer camp program until July 5.
  • There are many Scouting activities that can happen at home, particularly advancement work. We encourage creativity in providing online and remote meeting/learning opportunities. Visit our Scouting at Home page for more information.

As this is an evolving situation, this information is subject to change. We will continue to update you on relevant developments, and we appreciate your understanding of any necessary adjustments in the interest of health and safety.

Council Update June 24, 2020

On Wednesday, July 1 Samoset Council will begin Phase II of our Scouting reopening plan.  The Wausau Home Scout Service Center (WHSC) will allow a limited number of visitors in the facility and Scout Shop under social distancing restrictions.  Wearing a face covering is optional.  All visitors will be screened in the vestibule before entry.  Visitors will be required to provide basic information (name, phone #) for our new visitor log.  A summary of services (while maintaining social distancing standards) available are:

  • Scout Shop shopping (mail order and curbside pick-up still available)
  • General customer service actions
  • Meeting with staff
  • In-person volunteer Council Committee meetings (Schuette Hall will have a max. of 20 people and the Eagle Room a max. of 5 people).

Its important for everyone to know that the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes is NOT opening to visitors at this time.  Please be mindful of this when you visit the WHSC.

In addition to in-person services at the WHSC, unit meeting, activity and outing restrictions are being reduced as of July 1.  Please use the Can My Scout Unit Hold Our Meeting, Activity or Outing decision guide.  Most counties in the 13 county Samoset Council area are moving to 50 people or less mass gatherings with social distancing.  As a unit leader, you need to ensure you have a comfort level of this many people.  If you are not, you are encouraged to provide guidance to your unit that has less people per gathering.  Look at your county’s website for more information.  Continue to reference the Campout Safety Checklist and updated Event Screening Checklist and the new National BSA Restart Scouting Checklist.  Through a little preparation, your Scouting unit can have more people at meetings, activities and outings in a safe manner.


Council Update June 1, 2020

Samoset staff continues to operate in a virtual capacity with a limited number of staff returning to the Wausau Homes Service Center (WHSC) starting on Monday, June 1.  Staffing of the facility will be during regular hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  WHSC remains closed to in-person business & Scout Shop customers.  Curbside pick-up and drop-off of Scouting business can be coordinated by calling 715-355-1450.  The Scout Shop will continue shipping orders and begin curbside pick-up.  Call 715-355-9680 or ScoutShop@Samoset.org to place an order. 

Starting Friday, June 12 Scouting units can begin weekend camping programs and Go See It (Cub Scout Pack) day activities with social distancing of 10 or less participants.  See the Samoset guidance document along with the companion Event Screening Checklist and Camping Safety Checklist documents.

We anticipate that the next phase of Samoset’s reopening plan will be implemented later in June or early July.  This will include less restrictions to weekend camping, guidance for Cub Scout Pack SuperTrips and in-person business/Scout Shop transactions at WHSC.


Council Update May 21, 2020

On Tuesday, May 26 Samoset Council will take a small step away from Scouting at Home, and toward in-person group gatherings.  Per the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and local governments, groups of young people and adult leaders that number ten or fewer and follow all social distancing (including 6' spacing) and self-screening safety standards may again meet in person for committee/Patrol Leaders’ Council meetings, den/patrol meetings, merit badge programs, roadside cleanups, Eagle service projects, and more.  In-person meetings & activities must adhere to all youth protection policies.

If maintaining six feet of distance between people is not possible, then masks should be worn by participants.  Realize some participants or parents may not be ready for in-person meetings and to respect their decision.

Any meeting of more than ten people in any single meeting space or outdoor gathering is not allowed by state and BSA standards.  Units are encouraged to continue virtual meetings if more than 10 people are participating.

Guidance on weekend unit camping will be the next step in our return to in-person Scouting.  We plan to release these details around June 1.  As this is an evolving situation, this information is subject to change.  Safety is and always will be our number one priority in Scouting.


Council News May 14, 2020

We acknowledge that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has struck down the Safer at Home order.  Until there is more clarity from state and local agencies on the pathway ahead, we need to continue to refrain from having in-person meetings, activities, and camps.  Acts of civic service can be coordinated by the unit, but should be facilitated by families while we all do our best to adhere to social distancing practices.

We have had several consultation sessions since mid-March with representatives from the Council Risk Management, Camping, and Properties Committees as well as other key council volunteer leaders to help guide our council leadership on camp and program decisions.  We will continue to align decisions with best practices and policies set forth by state and local governments and recommendations from the CDC.  Safety is and always will be our number one priority in Scouting.  Council leadership is actively working on plans to issue further guidance to Scout leaders and parents.

Continue to monitor this page for updates.


Council News May 2020

Samoset Scouting is actively monitoring the Centers for Disease Control and Wisconsin Department of Health communications and following their guidelines and recommendations.

For the safety of all, based on the guidance of the governors of Wisconsin, all units are to discontinue their in-person meetings, activities, and camping. Within our council area, schools are closed and several businesses have been urged to cease normal operations to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus (covid-19). Our Samoset council camps will also be closed until such time that schools reopen, and extracurricular activities resume. There are many Scouting activities that can happen at home, particularly advancement work. We encourage creativity in providing online and remote meeting/learning opportunities.

At this time we are cancelling most council events (see list below). Samoset Council will refund and/or apply fees paid to future events.

  • Introduction to outdoor Leader Skills (May 15) - this event is cancelled. Another course is scheduled for this fall.
  • Cub Scout Spring Camporee (May 29-31) - this event has been postponed until the fall.
  • National Youth Leadership Training (June 14-20) - this event is cancelled and will not be rescheduled.
  • STEM Day Camp June 22 - This event will be postponed.

If you have a fever, cough, or other symptoms associated with COVID-19, or if you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should self isolate. People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the Samoset Council Service Center (715-355-1450). We will do everything we can to answer your question using the information available to us.

Scout Shop

Our Scout Shop is still open for business. This includes the purchase of uniforms, awards, and camping gear. We are taking orders by email and phone (715-355-9680 or scoutshop@samoset.org). All orders will be shipped.  Beginning July 1, visitors will be allowed to shop in our store under social distancing restrictions.  Guests are encouraged to call ahead to schedule an appointment if they plan to shop in-person.

Summer Camp Update June 10, 2020

We know there are questions and concerns about how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect summer camp.  Our program team has been busy preparing updated programs, procedures, and resources for this summer.  See the links below for more details regarding Tesomas this summer.


Summer Camp Update May 21, 2020

As always, the safety of all our campers is the top priority.  We have taken a careful and informed approach in evaluating whether to run summer camp this year. Since the spread of this pandemic, we have been continually monitoring the situation, and consulting with health experts, government officials, and other camp professionals.

We know there are questions and concerns about how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect summer camp.  We are working daily on the details and plan to release updated leader guidebooks around June 5. These guides will contain details for this year’s program and how we will maintain social distancing throughout all aspect of camp.  Below are some items we can share at this time.  Check out our video for changes to our program this summer.

Video of Camp Changes

Camper Screening

  • All campers will be required to complete a pre-event screening checklist.  This form should be turned into your leader prior to leaving for camp.  Unit leadership will be asked to turn these in upon arrival at camp. 
  • All campers will be re-screened upon arrival.  If an individual in your vehicle does not pass the screening, all campers in the vehicle will be asked to leave camp.  
  • Units will be expected to complete daily wellness checks of all campers at the campsite.

Camper Groups

  • Troops at Tesomas will be assigned to a circle consisting of 45 or less individuals.  This group of campers will participate in all camp programs without interacting with other circles on the property. 
  • Packs at Akela’s World will be assigned to a den consisting of 45 or less individuals.  This group of campers will participate in all camp programs and meals without interacting with other dens.

Campsites and Tents

  • Most troops at Tesomas will be assigned their own campsite.  Every camper should have their own tent or tent by family. 
  • At Akela’s World each pack will be assigned to a village as in past years.  However, all tenting will be by family. Families are encouraged to bring their own tent if possible.

Dining Hall

  • Troops at Tesomas will eat meals in their campsite.  We are currently working on a menu that will allow for food to be delivered to your campsite.  A list of minimal unit equipment will be provided to each unit in our updated leader guidebook. 
  • At Akela’s World meals will be served in the dining hall.  Packs will be assigned a specific shift and section of the dining hall to ensure proper social distancing.

Other Items

  • All program areas will be sanitized after every camper group visit.  Participants will be asked to wash their hands before and after participating in activities.
  • No bikes will be allowed at camp this summer.
  • Shower time will be scheduled for each unit.
  • Flag ceremonies will be done in the campsite, and camp-wide campfires will be moved to campfires in the campsite.
  • Visitors will not be allowed at camp this summer. This includes all campfires, ceremonies, and other camp activities. This includes the family camp area. Family camp is closed this summer.
  • Partial week adults at Tesomas will only be allowed to check in on Sunday and Wednesday.  Partial week adults can leave any day but will only be allowed to check in at the beginning and middle of the week.
  • Units and/or campers who fail to follow outlined guidelines will be asked to leave camp.
  • Campers (youth and adults) will not be allowed to leave camp once they arrive. 

Health Forms

The BSA’s annual health and medical record (AHMR) currently requires completion annually for all participants, in all Scouting events. Parts A and B are a consent, authorization/risk acknowledgement and a detailed health history. Part C, the pre-participation physical is recommended for all participants but required for any event lasting over 72 hours, including traditional resident camping.

For 2020 Summer Camp at Tesomas Only

  • Participants with a Part C completed on or after February 1, 2019 will be accepted provided Parts A and B of the AHMR are updated within two weeks of your camp session.
  • Participants with no Part C or one prior to February 1, 2019 may attach a completed alternate exam (sports, school, annual well exam at pediatrician) completed on or after February 1, 2019. This will be accepted as a valid Part C until August 31, 2020.

Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. If you are in this group, please ensure you have approval from your health care provider prior to attending camp.

We would also encourage anyone whose medical condition or history has significantly changed since their last physical exam have approval from their health care provider prior to attending camp.


Summer Camp Update May 8, 2020

The current pandemic has changed our lives. Our state, region, and the entire world continues to deal with the evolving situation. We realize the nature of this virus presents significant challenges for our outdoor programs this summer. The decision to operate our camps will be based on our ability to operate safely within the CDC's summer camp guidelines, in addition to recommendations from local, state and BSA authorities.

Over the last month, council volunteers and staff have been reviewing several options for camp. Considering the current Wisconsin’s stay at home order and decisions that other community entities have made to close, we have made the decision to delay the opening of our summer camp program until July 5.

Please know that if we open in July, our camp programs will look different to allow for appropriate social distancing. We have begun implementing the following steps to promote a safer environment:

  • Developing pre-arrival and on-site screening protocols.
  • Increased cleaning and sanitization in shared spaces, buildings, and program areas.
  • Large gatherings will be limited or eliminated.
  • Adjustments to the food service operations.
  • Additional measures will be implemented per CDC guidelines.
  • Any participant in a high-risk category for protection from COVID-19 should not attend camp this year, because of established protocols by our country’s medical experts.

It's important to note that this situation continues to evolve and change daily. Should our targeted start date of July 5th be altered, we will let you know. We realize this will raise a number of questions. To help answer some of those immediate questions, we’ve included updated FAQs.

Questions should be directed to camp@samoset.org. If your unit is looking at moving later in the summer or cancelling, please email us so we can make necessary changes.


Summer Camp Update April 30, 2020

Camp staff, volunteers, and council leadership continues preparations to conduct camp programs in a variety of ways this summer. We are monitoring the latest information and guidance from national, state, and local officials. At this point we are hopeful that summer camp will be possible in some format. We know it will look different then past years. Our top priority guiding our decisions is the health and safety of our campers, staff, and community. Thanks for your patience. We hope to release more information in early May.

Below are what we know right now.

  • Additional cleaning and sanitation will be required at camp this summer. We are taking the appropriate steps now to make sure we are prepared to meet these requirements. Bathrooms, showers, and common areas will be cleaned multiple times a day.
  • Final payments will be due two weeks before your scheduled session of camp.
  • If your session of camp is cancelled full refunds will be given and the unit space deposit will be moved to 2021.
  • The National Council is actively reviewing and discussing annual health and medical record policies. We are all aware that many people are not able to get their annual physicals for summer camp and will be past the 12-month window by the time camp will start. Once we hear guidance, we will let you know.

 Samoset Council, Boy Scouts of America
 3511 Camp Phillips Rd, Weston WI 54476
 715-355-1450 (phone) | 715-355-9849 (fax)

Samoset Vision: Every youth prepared for tomorrow's challenges.