Sheltering-in-Place Special Edition
Dear Marin Council Volunteers, Supporters, and Families,

On our website you'll find information about COVID-19 and the limitations it has placed on your units and upon us as a council; see updated information here.

However, this special edition of our newsletter is not about limitations!  During the last few days we've heard from many of our local volunteers about unit meetings they were conducting online.  We've heard from those who are performing community service.  We've heard from those who are adapting Scouting in a positive manner to fit these unusual times.

So we've compiled some of those ideas, added some others, included a few updates you should know, and put them all together in this special edition Dispatch.  We hope it helps you while sheltering at home with your Scouts, and ask you to share it with others in your unit. Also, they can click here to subscribe to our newsletter. 

We hope you are all well, that you are caring for yourself, and that you know if you need to reach out in any way, the Marin Council is part of your family.
Scouting @ Home Ideas

New Marin Council Online Program
Feeling a bit of cabin fever? Fighting boredom? Tired of the virtual classroom? Missing out on all the usual Scouting fun?
In response to our regional "Shelter-in-Place" directive and "Social Distanc ing" recommendations, we are pleased to offer a new "Scouting @ Home" program geared toward fun, learning and advancement opportunities.  Click here  for many exciting details and resources!

Virtual Field Trips
There are many interesting web resources available for easy access including museums, the National Parks, and more.  We found a great collection conveniently located all at one site; click here!

BSA National Council resources
In the coming days, this web link will be updated with some of our favorite Scouting activities for each age group  that can be done at home. Please check back regularly, and let your friends know that theses activities are a great option for at-home fun and learning for Scouting families and non-Scouting families alike.  Click here!

Jamboree-on-the-Internet (JOTI - Special Edition) April 3-5, 2020
The World Movement of Scouting announced a special edition of Jamboree-on-the-Internet (JOTI), the largest digital Scout event held annually!  This special JOTI will be both educational and fun, bringing Scouting to the homes of young people around the world. It will be a space for young people and Scouts to connect, learn and build friendships during this challenging time of social distance.

Through a dynamic virtual engagement program, young people will be able to learn about safety measures, mental and physical health tips, and more while digitally engaging as global citizens through a range of activities - from webinars to concerts. The special edition of JOTI will also enable Scouts to connect to peers from different countries, hear from special guests and share ideas about Scouting from home.  The online platform will provide National Scout Organizations and Scouts with helpful resources, ideas and initiatives to adapt regular Scouting activities to engaging initiatives that can be done at home. 

As we navigate uncharted waters, together, we can turn this challenge into an opportunity to continuously showcase and share what Scouting is all about - unity, friendship, education and resourcefulness. Help us spread the word about this JOTI special edition today, and join us online this April 3-5!!!
Adult Training reminders

Sheltered-in-Place and trying to pass the time? Now is a great opportunity to renew your YPT! As a reminder, almost everyone needs to update their Youth Protection Training this year. So find a quiet corner and take the online training modules.  It only requires about an hour, and needs to be completed every two years.  Log on to  my.scouting.org  or  Youth Protection now!

Hazardous Weather training is also required for any registered leader to be considered trained.  It only has to be taken one time, although it's not a bad idea to review it before any high adventure outings. It can also be taken at my.scouting.org or Hazardous Weather.

Are your unit leaders trained for their direct-contact positions serving our youth?   We have a variety of leader-specific trainings scheduled for Saturday, April 18, and hope to be able to continue with these assuming the shelter-in-place order has been lifted as planned.  Register for any of the above courses at this Marin Council website   training link  or at the following course listings:
 
Cub Scout Leader Position-Specific Training:  Saturday, April 18, 9:00 am to 12:30 pm at the Marin Community Foundation in Novato.
 
Scoutmaster/ASM Position-Specific Training Saturday, April 18, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Marin Community Foundation in Novato.
 
Venturing Advisor Position-Specific Training:  Saturday, April 18, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Marin Community Foundation in Novato. 

BALOO (Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation) for Cub Leaders :  May 30-31 overnight at Camp Tamarancho in Fairfax.  For pack campouts, it is required that an adult who has received the BALOO training must be present camping overnight. BALOO training includes lunch, dinner, and learning materials. Every pack should have at least two adults signed-up for this training. You do not have to be a registered pack leader to attend!

Wood Badge 2020This newly updated  course is shortened to just 5 days spread over two weekends. If you're a registered Scout leader and have completed Youth Protection Training, then you're eligible to participate. Session dates are September 11-13 and 26-27 at Camp Tamarancho in Fairfax.
Let us share your Scouting on Social Media

Highlights of unit meetings and virtual sharing
We know the shelter-in-place order is temporarily taking the "outing out of Scouting", but some units are getting creative! Social Distancing just means physical separation. There are still ways to connect socially virtually! Some units holding meetings online via Zoom, while others are challenging scouts with scavenger hunts through Goosechase. Don't despair, there are options out there!

If your unit has found another clever way to keep the fun and learning going, please let us know. We will share on Facebook, Instagram, and these occasional email blasts. Keeping the Scouts engaged and feeling the normalcy of unit activities is helpful, so keep those ideas coming!

And speaking of social media, when you capture your Scouts doing something Scout-like, share your photos by email with Nancy Rozell or Michael Andrews so we can post on our sites (marincouncil on Instagram, and on Facebook it's Marin Council, BS
A; Camp Tamarancho, BSA; and Camp Marin Sierra, BSA). You can also add the tag #ScoutinginMarin to your postings. Let everyone know we're still being Scouts!

Remember, a Scout is Helpful!
The Scout Slogan:  Do a Good Turn Daily

Some of our volunteers have reached out in search of service project ideas that can be conducted while adhering to the Shelter-in-Place requirements.  While many of our "traditional" approaches will have to wait until regular Scout meetings can resume, here are a few ideas:
  • Mini-Food Drive: Most grocery stores have Food Bank collection barrels.  Even Scouts alone at home can sort through the pantry for a bag of surplus food that can be placed in the collection barrel.  Or buy a few extra groceries on your next trip to the market so your Scout can donate.
     
  • A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed:  most Packs, Troops, and Crews have email distribution lists.  Maybe now is the time to shoot out a note to see if anybody needs something . . . be that a little help picking up groceries, an extra container of disinfecting wipes, or even just someone who has extra art supplies to help keep the kids entertained.  A shareable Google-doc spreadsheet and an opt-in email may be all you need to get the ball rolling.  (Credit to Calen McEldowney and Pack 76 for this great idea)
     
  • Letter writing: Many in our community, especially senior citizens, are not able to leave their residences at all.  Let's see if we can let them know that people care about through an old fashion letter.   Have your Scout write a senior - maybe it is a grandparent; maybe it is someone they don't even know. 
Not sure what your Scout should write about?  Here's a few prompts: "I'm a Scout, I like doing (____), (_______), and (________) in Scouting.  Were you ever in Scouting?"  "I'm (__) year's old.  I like to play (______).  When you were my age what games did you play?" - you get the idea.
 
If your Scout would like to write to a senior citizen in Marin that they don't know, send the letter to the council office and we will forward it to either an elderly Scouting supporter or even to a senior living facility.  We would ask that should the Scout want a reply they do so through the Marin Council Office with the following information:
Scout's Name
c/o Marin Council, BSA
225 West End Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901.
(Scanned letters can also be emailed to mdybeck@boyscouts-marin.org .  We will print them and mail a paper copy on your behalf)
 
Has your unit thought of any unique ways to be of service during this unusual time?  Send those ideas along and we'll share them across the Council.
Marin Council Closure & Staff Availability

What's Happening and What's Not during Shelter-in-Place:
As a reminder, under the "Shelter-in-place" directive, only essential businesses are to remain open.   That means that the Marin Council office and Trading Post (as well as the camp properties) are closed until the order is lifted. 
 
Our Executive Staff is working remotely and can be reached daily via email:
    Nancy Rozell, Senior District Executive:   nrozell@boyscouts-marin.org
    Michael "MJ" Andrews, District Executive:   mandrews@boyscouts-marin.org
    Michael Dybeck, Scout Executive & CEO:   mdybeck@boyscouts-marin.org
 
Other office staff, including Office Manager Cynthia Mueller, are only to engage in essential or minimal business functions.  They will not be reporting to the office except for very limited time periods, and even during those periods we will remain closed to the general public. This will mean some items such as advancement submissions, unit camp reservations (for May forward), etc. will be delayed.  We ask your patience and understanding.  Please email Scout Exec Michael Dybeck with any questions or concerns.
In Gratitude for your Support

The Marin Council depends of the generosity of many donors to remain in operation. Those donations are part of a diversified revenue model that includes income from camp operations, endowment funds, Trading Post sales, and other activities. We do not know how the Corona Virus outbreak or the economic downturn will impact us as a council because we do not yet know its impact on many of our families and supporters.  We would ask though if you are financially able that you consider a Friends of Scouting donation to help us bridge these uncertain times. You can donate online at:  MC Friends of Scouting.  All gifts are greatly appreciated and will make a genuine difference in serving the youth of Marin.
Summer Camp Programs

We remain positive and confident about our many wonderful Summer camp programs. Don't forget to reserve your space at Family Fiesta Memorial Day Weekend or Cub Scout Day Camp weeks in June and July. For Troops and Crews, there is still space at Camp Marin Sierra for your Summer Camp week. Plan for a fantastic summer; we look forward to your youth joining us in all the fun and adventure!
 
As a reminder, the early bird deadline for Camp Tamarancho Day Camp is March 31, and April 1 for Scouts BSA troops attending Camp Marin Sierra If for some reason we are forced to cancel camp programs due to the continuing threat of COVID-19 into the Summer months, there will be full refunds.

We are still in need of dynamic youth staff for both operations. If you know someo ne aged 14 or older who may want to join our team this summer, please point them to our way!  Being a part of Summer Camp staff is a fantastic first job experience!
Special Ordering from the Marin Trading Post . . .

Many publications can be found online, but perhaps there is a requirement book or some other program material you essentially need.  While our Trading Post is currently closed, we can accommodate unit orders on a very limited basis per the following:
  • Orders will only be accepted from authorized unit volunteers. (If an individual family needs an item they should communicate with their unit leader to place the order.)
  • Order inquiries are only accepted via email to  Mary Vassar.
  • Orders must be placed before 12 noon on Tuesday to be available later that week.
  • Order will be charged against unit accounts only (no cash, check or credit card).
  • Curbside pick-up will be available only through pre-arranged limited time windows.
The store is not open for normal business until the local shelter-in-place directive is lifted.  We apologize that no walk-in customers can be accommodated.
Some Parting Words . . .
 
A Scout is Cheerful: A Scout looks for the bright side of life.
 
We look forward to seeing you soon,
 
Your friends at the Marin Council.
Marin Council BSA, 225 West End Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901
415.454.1081    www.boyscouts-marin.org