It is with great enthusiasm that we announce our vision for a safe and dynamic summer resident camping program for Vermont Scouts in 2021. We feel confident in making this announcement today, even as many details remain to be addressed in the coming months, as we come together to meet this moment for our young people.
The Green Mountain Council adopted a moonshot approach to planning for a resilient resident camp program in this time of pandemic. Over the past two months, 11 volunteers, nominated by Scouters across the council, rose to the task of reengineering camp from the ground up. Nothing was taken for granted, and the mandate remained clear: Create a camping model that meets the needs of all Scouting families, while building in maximum flexibility to address evolving health guidelines.
With these twin goals in mind, we – the undersigned steering committee – unanimously recommended staffing a single unified Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA summer resident camp location in 2021 for four weeks from July 11th to August 6th, and the Executive Board supports our vision.
Focusing on a single property provides a number of program advantages, while ensuring Green Mountain Council preserves maximum flexibility and the highest safety standards for campers and staff.
Our plan to organize a unified resident camp prioritizes your safety above all. Concentrating on one camp also will:
- Help us attract and train the highest-quality program staff that would not be possible without a 4-week-long season.
- Allow us to camp Packs, Troops and/or families. Programs will remain distinct for Cubs and Scouts while allowing the council to serve families who would prefer to limit their children’s contact with others.
- Help us keep camp affordable by eliminating redundant costs associated with purchasing new equipment, retrofitting facilities, and training staff at multiple locations.
- Create the opportunity for us to market camp to a broad range of families who have never experienced Scouting or who are looking to rejoin following the period of isolation.
- Keep our collective energies focused where they should be: On the Scouting Program.
Mt. Norris Scout Reservation was selected as the Council property that would provide the best opportunity for our scouts to have a high-quality program experience in 2021. The relative advantages to staffing a unified resident camp at Norris include a higher permitted total occupancy, program infrastructure like climbing towers and shotgun ranges for older Scouts, a suitable shower house, and the reservation’s ample space, which is more than double Camp Sunrise’s. Green Mountain Council has experience delivering the exciting programs Cub Scouts love at Mt. Norris. This year Cub families will enjoy separate, but parallel age-appropriate programs like BBs, archery and aquatics delivered by a dedicated staff of familiar councilors. Arrow of Light Scouts may also benefit from the opportunity to engage with future troop mates through organized activities that might not have been possible in the offseason.
The Camping Committee intends to provide both Cub and Scouts BSA programs concurrently in separate areas of the reservation for all 4 weeks. An exciting addition of Family Camping will be offered as well. Again, this plan is for 2021 only.
Camp Sunrise will remain available for unit camping and other qualified district programs.
Having determined our overall structure, we would like to take this opportunity to once again appeal for your help nominating volunteers to join task forces that will focus on areas ranging from program, food & dining, to health & safety, and staffing.
We believe that this summer resident camping season offers the opportunity for us to reinvigorate our great Movement and appeal to Vermonters who are hungry for the rich experiences that Scouting offers. If you know someone who can help or would like to answer this call, please email Scout Executive Mark Saxon at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours in Scouting,
Members of the Green Mountain Council Camping Committee
Dave Sem - Camping Vice President
Russ Baker John Dyer Scott Herring Clint Buxton Randy Gates Kevin Laverty
Dan Coutu Ed Gelbar Phillip Stocken Alison Hampson