COVID19 and Northern Star Camps, Meetings & More

Information on Camping, Unit Events, Scout Shops, and Scouting Activities

03/16/21 Here are changes to unit COVID Guidelines:

  1. Volunteer led unit meetings/gatherings/campouts - Units must continue to follow COVID safety guidelines found in the 'Unit COVID Safety Guidebook". We have combined group size limits from private social gatherings and youth sports guidelines to increase sizes for groups to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors (Mask wearing and social distancing still apply).
  2. Outside Events and Entertainment - A Scouting unit can attend paid/purchased events or programs and vendor must follow Minnesota State Industry COVID guidelines applicable at said facility regarding masking, social distancing and group size.

02/26/21 We have made some minor adjustments to the Unit COVID Safety Guidebook (which can be found in the Related Articles section of this page).

  1. Units can again eat indoors at meetings and activities - check out the guidelines on page 6.
  2. We've added a page that was created to help you find creative, safe ways to get more than 15 people at an event or gathering while still following the COVID guidelines.

01/11/21 Last week the State of Minnesota announced changes to the current restrictions on gatherings and businesses.

The bulk of the changes impacted restaurants, gyms and entertainment venues.

Guidelines for youth programming remained unchanged from the previous update in December.

As of January 4, 2021, units are able to resume gathering in-person for meetings activities as long as they follow the guidelines outlined in the Unit Covid Safety Guidebook. In line with state guidance, current group size is limited to 15 people maximum, indoors or outdoors.

12/18/20 Earlier this week the State of Minnesota announced changes to the current restrictions placed on gatherings and activities. We have looked at all of the changes, including that families may socialize with other households with limitations, and youth sports can start practicing in the new year. As a result, starting January 4, 2021, as long as they follow the guidelines outlined in the Unit Restart Guide, units can resume gathering in person for meetings and activities.

Units who are uncomfortable meeting in person, or unable to meet the guidelines are still encouraged to meet virtually.

Base Camp will reopen for group program reservations starting January 4, and Northern Star’s Winter Camp Programs will open on January 15th. You can find out more information about our winter camp programs that follow COVID safety guidelines on the camping website.

11/19/2020 The State of Minnesota has issued guidance related to COVID-19 that goes into effect on Saturday 11/21/20. This new guidance goes further than last week’s orders, discouraging gathering and interaction with people outside your immediate household at both indoor and outdoor gatherings.

Northern Star Scouting follows the guidelines for Youth Programming as outlined on Minnesota’s Stay Safe website. However, in light of Governor Walz’s recent announcement that placed a pause on most in-person events through 12/18/2020, we are strongly recommending that all Scouting activities in Minnesota and Wisconsin follow a virtual format for the duration of the current order.

In line with this recommendation, we are limiting the usage of our camp properties and facilities to reservations by only individual families (immediate household) through 12/18/2020. The Base Camp Campus will remain open for the Scout Shop, distance learning program, and office functions.

We know that this is discouraging and disappointing, but here are some resources to help Scouts make the most of Scouting while at home:

Our [email protected] web page includes a variety of resources on Scouting at a distance and/or virtual Scouting. Some of the resources include running your own virtual meeting. This page also includes a tab to search for Merit Badge Classes, trainings, and events that are happening virtually. This page can also link you to our Cub Connections Page which is our virtual Pack with Den Meetings and Pack Meetings each month. Cub Connections is in place to help provide programming while we aren’t able to meet in person.

We are also looking at some fun and easy ways to stay in contact with all of our families and units during this time with some interactive events. We’re looking at adding a Minecraft Wilderness Survival event, dress a snowman like a Scout event, and more. Keep your eyes peeled. One of the best ways to stay up to date is to join our Cub Scout and Scouts BSA Facebook groups.

Our Northern Star Camp properties will continue to remain open for individual household reservations. Another great way to continue to visit our camps, get outdoors, and have some scouting fun with your family. Details on what buildings and camps are available can be found on the Northern Star Camping Website.

Virtual Scouting Options

During this time, we'll do our best to give suggestions and guidance on ways Scouting can continue virtually (digital meetings, at-home advancement, etc). Stay tuned to this page, our new Scouting From Home Page and our social media channels for that. In addition, our Scouts BSA and Cub Scouts Facebook groups have been very active with volunteers giving tips to each other. Check them out as well!

The Twin Cities Scout Shops and Base Camp Customer Service Desk for Drop-offs/Pick-ups will open within safety guidelines on Tuesday, June 2.

To find the open hours for each Scout Shop location, please visit our Scout Shop page. Please note that these hours may change often and with short notice because of COVID-19.

All will follow current state guidelines and social distancing practices

COVID-19 AND CAMP

Over 7000 youth connected with each other, the outdoors and Scouting at camp this past summer, fall and winter. We are proud and fortunate to share that we did not have any reported cases of COVID-19 attributed to a camp experience.  See the Health and Safety section for information on our precautions.

Weekend Camp operations

All of our properties are available for units wishing to participate in tent / outdoor camping.  At this time we are still not opening indoor accommodations for overnight sleeping use*.

However, we encourage units to reserve a building for day use only (inclement weather, cooking, meetings, etc.) and should contact our customer service team at 612-261-2303 to do so.

Units and families will need to follow published guidance as it relates to group size, distancing, sanitation, face coverings and other accommodations aimed at reducing the risk of spread of COVID-19.

*Our benchmarks for reopening facilities for indoor sleeping would be as follows:

  • The Minnesota weekly COVID test positivity rate (7 day average) falls below 5% and
  • The Minnesota daily new cases per 100,000 residents (7 day average) falls below 10.

Family cabin rentals

A few of our properties have opened cabins for rental by individual families.  We encourage all Scouting families to take advantage of this unique opportunity to get some extra time outdoors surrounded by the beauty of your favorite camps.

Check out Family Cabin Rentals for additional information and to make your reservation today!

SUMMER Camp Programming

Adventure is Open! It’s time to…Reconnect at Camp!

Building off of our success in 2020, all of our summer camp programs will be in operation in 2021.  We’re using our experiences last year to help us get back to a more ‘normal’ camp experience while still maintaining a high level of safety.

Cub Summer Camp will be offered at both Kiwanis Scout Camp and Phillippo Scout Reservation.

Scouts BSA Summer Camp will be offered at both Many Point Scout Camp and Tomahawk Scout Reservation.

Family Camping Opportunities will be available across many of our properties.

Weeklong Discovery Day Camp and Discovery Overnight Camp for all kids in our community will be also be available at multiple locations.

Here’s what we are planning for changes in 2021:

  • Increased Individual Choice
    • Advancement/Merit Badges
    • Older Scout Activities
    • Free Time
  • Dining Halls/Prepared Food at Many Point and Tomahawk = Ok
  • Indoor Housing Available at Cub Summer Camp
  • Assemblies/Group Gatherings/Campfires = ok with limitations
  • Visitors = Ok
  • Out of State Travel = Ok
  • Regular Trading Post Operations

Here’s what is staying similar to last summer:

  • Pre Camp and At Camp Health Screenings
  • Lower Capacities in Dining Halls – indoor and out
  • No Family Style Meal Service
  • Smaller Group/Rotation Sizes
  • Moderated Sanitation with Increased Emphasis on Hand Hygiene
  • Tent Sharing = Ok
  • Carpooling = Ok

HEALTH AND SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS

Working with physicians and following state guidelines, we developed protocols enabling us to successfully open our camps this past July.  Those effective strategies include:

  • Small group sizes (reduced capacity)
  • Minimal mixing between participant groups
  • Social distancing
  • Maximizing outdoor time
  • Use of face coverings indoors and when social distancing is difficult outdoors.
  • Increased sanitation of high touch surfaces
  • Additional emphasis on handwashing.
  • Self-administered daily health screening for all participants
  • Exposure and testing response plans

PAYMENT DEADLINES & LATE FEES 

All planning and financial deadlines remain in place.  

We understand that our current situation requires both flexibility and accommodation.  So, if you are unable to meet deadlines, contact our office (612-261-2303) prior to the payment due date to discuss alternate arrangements.

REFUNDS 

We want to ensure that all families feel safe and comfortable sending their children to camp.

If a family decides to no longer attend camp due to health risk, we will refund all fees paid, less the deposit, if the request is received by our office at least three weeks in advance of the start of their camp session. Requests outside of this timeframe will be evaluated individually.  

This practice will continue through the end of August 2021 and will be evaluated on a quarterly basis.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

We understand that more families may now be faced with economic hardship due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the economy.  Please communicate to all that financial assistance (camperships) is available to those in need. More information can be found here.

We recommend following the guidance below, which is consistent with standards for Youth Programming established by the Minnesota Department of Health.

All state guidelines with regard to social distancing and sanitizing should also be observed.

Can my unit hold our activity, meeting, or event? (Flowchart) Unit Camping FAQ Health Screening Checklist

Q: We cannot find a meeting location, can we hold our Scout meeting at a camp facility?

A: In order to help units stay active and keep Scouting strong during the pandemic, select camp facilities will be available, at no cost, to hold regular pack, troop or crew meetings. Check out Unit Meetings at Camp for more information.

Q: When should we wear a mask during Scouting activities?

A: Following state guidelines, all people should wear a mask when social distancing is difficult, either indoors or outdoors. Additionally, masks should be worn when in indoor spaces or vehicles containing multiple people. Masks are not necessary if the group of people all live together in the same household.

Q: What if a participant cannot wear a mask during Scouting activities?

A: Unless a participant has a medical exemption, all participants must comply with state guidelines requiring use of masks indoors and when social distancing is not possible outdoors. Those who have a medical exemption should sign the exemption sheet to be kept on file with the unit or activity leader. Those with a valid exemption will be asked to wear a face shield and indoor activities will be restricted to well-ventilated spaces that provide at least 144 square feet of floor space per person. If a participant cannot wear a face covering of any type their involvement in indoor programming, or outdoor programming without social distancing at all times, will be limited.

All About Face Coverings

Q: What if participant has symptoms or tests positive for COVID after attending a Scouting event?

A: The symptomatic person should isolate and follow physician’s advice for personal care. Use the Suspected COVID Case in a Scouting Activity Flow Chart to determine what actions to take with other participants who attended the Scouting activity.

For guidance we are following the detailed recommendations that can be found here for reference:

https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/socialdistance.pdf

https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/aboutdnr/covid-19-outdoor-recreation-guidelines.html

We want to ensure that all families feel safe and comfortable sending their children to camp this winter. If a family decides to no longer attend camp due to health risk, we will refund all fees paid if the request is received by our office at least two weeks in advance of the start of their camp session.  Requests outside of this timeframe will be evaluated individually.

Cancellations

If camps are forced to close this winter, units will be given a choice to credit all fees toward a future reservation or receive a full refund.

For other events and weekend camps, we are recommending fees and deposits be carried forward to a new date. If preferred, we will make full refunds upon request.

Contact us

Customer service and Reservations

612-261-2300
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