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An Update on Greater New York Councils from President Ricky Mason

April 24, 2020

Dear New York City Scouts, Parents and Leaders,

First and foremost, I hope that you and yours are well as we weather these extraordinary circumstances.

These are challenging times for the Greater New York Councils and the Scouting movement overall. As you might expect, most of our local operations, from our iconic camps to our Scout shops and headquarters office, are currently closed. Because our fundraising calendar is in suspense, we have taken dramatic measures to reduce costs and conserve resources. These have been difficult decisions, but they are necessary to preserve Scouting in New York City as we weather this worldwide crisis.

The comforting news is that Scouts, parents, staff and volunteers are adapting while we await the passage of the storm, and are pitching in to help their communities in a demonstration of true Scouting spirit. We all knew that this would be possible — this is, after all, what Scouting’s values are all about — but to see it “in action” has been truly inspiring.

The staff of the Councils is working remotely to support our units and volunteers. Our district roundtables have moved to a virtual setting, as have our business and law enforcement Explorer programs, with extraordinary participation. And many of our units are conducting online Scout and Patrol meetings, Boards of Review and merit badge sessions, and even campouts at home, just to name a few innovative ideas.

In fact, thanks to some incredible Scouters, we have launched scoutingathome.org . I invite you check it out. This new site, launched just several days ago, is already growing in popularity here and beyond our city borders. Under trying conditions for everyone, we are “open for business,” so please contact us at info@bsa-gnyc.org if you need help or have ideas.

We are also grateful to be donating over 17,000 Scout neckerchiefs to those in the city on the front lines of this pandemic. You can read about this great news here.

And a group of staff and volunteers have been working tirelessly on planning for our summer camps, as we await word from government authorities on whether and how we might be able to open and operate them safely. Parents and Scouters will hear more about that from us soon.

The Coronavirus will leave a lasting memory for all of us. As we grapple with the pandemic, and how we will move beyond it, we look to our institutions for comfort and support. Scouting has been in New York City for generations. With your continued support and generosity, we will be here for generations to come.

Yours in Scouting friendship,
Ricky Mason
Greater New York Councils