Local scouts continue activities during pandemic

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Over the course of the pandemic, Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops have done as much as they can to meet and complete annual activities while still keeping members safe. 

“We’ve tried to make lemonade out of lemons,” said Trip Sanders, leader of Cub Scout Pack 198 of Cheshire. “... We’ve continued to meet either in person or virtually, depending on what the conditions were.” 

Pack 198’s meetings have been held outside at the Mixville Park pavilion.

“Because Cheshire Public Schools permitted outdoor recess and other mask-free opportunities, we’ve continued that,” Sanders said.

“So we’ve followed the policies of, obviously, Connecticut DPH (Department of Public Health), Chesprocott, which is our local department of public health, and the school system. … They permitted us to be mask-free as long as we’re social distanced outside.” 

Sanders said the scouts have done campouts during the pandemic with one scout to a tent. Next month, they are planning a campout at Lime Rock Park in Salisbury. 

“That’s still on as far as we know,” Sanders said. “But there are some pretty strict COVID protocols … You need to show that everyone is healthy prior to going. It’s a pretty cumbersome process.” 

At the height of the pandemic, Boy Scout Troop 4 of Wallingford held meetings and events virtually. 

Scout Master Tony Mosher went through a leadership training course last summer called the Introduction to Outdoor Leadership and Scouting training.

“Most of the focus of that training was how to go forward carrying out scouting activities while practicing social distancing and hygiene and sanitation,” Mosher said. 

Troop 4 meets at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Wallingford. In-person indoor meetings with masks resumed in May.

For campouts, scouts are either alone in a tent or with a family member. 

Michelle Sirois, service unit manager of Cheshire Girl Scouts and co-troop leader of troop 60252 and troop 60749, said they were creative during the height of the pandemic.  

“Girl Scouts of Connecticut offers many virtual program opportunities for all girls,” Sirois said. “Cheshire Girl Scouts had a virtual camp out, where the girls all camped in their backyard, but we did crafts, activities and singing together via Zoom.”

After not having annual events these past two years, Sirois is hopeful they can resume soon.  

“We had to cancel our annual Camporee for the past two years due to COVID,” Sirois said.

“We normally hold this in the spring at a Girl Scout camp as a town wide camping weekend for all Cheshire Girl Scouts. We have missed being able to have our Camporee and are hoping we will be able to hold it this year.”

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