OA National has updated the policies regarding permissible virtual long-term camping counting towards OA membership requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. The newly added section reads as follows:
Virtual Long-Term Camping Authorization
Two situations have developed associated with the current pandemic that may prevent Scouts from having an opportunity to qualify for OA eligibility due to not having attended a long-term camp this summer.
- The local council camp is closed and not offering a traditional summer camp experience.
- Scout parents are unwilling to allow their child to attend traditional summer camp programs due to health concerns.
In order to address these circumstances, virtual long-term camping of five (5) consecutive nights is authorized to be counted toward the long-term camping requirements for OA eligibility consistent with the above guidance and the following additional guidelines:
- A long-term camp plan must be developed and approved by the unit leader prior to the commencement of the long-term camp. This plan is to be individualized to each Scout’s capabilities and situation and should strive to include:
- Progress toward advancement for each Scout
- Outdoor relevant experience consistent with local conditions and restrictions
- Unit-organized communications should occur on a daily basis during the camping experience and include discussion of progress made on summer camp goals.
- An end-of-camp assessment must be conducted with the unit leader to report on progress made during the experience itself and discuss how future virtual long-term camping experiences can be enhanced. During this assessment the unit leader will make the determination if the Scout’s participation warrants granting credit for a completed virtual long-term camping experience in terms of OA eligibility.
This virtual long-term camping authority is not meant to substitute for attendance at traditional council summer camp programs, but rather to provide an alternative for Scouts who fit in one of the two categories mentioned above.
You can find the complete temporary membership requirements rule adjustments for the pandemic at https://oa-bsa.org/coronavirus/temporary-camping-night-policy-due-covid-19