SPRING 2021 SCOUTING
How do we participate this fall?
In this difficult time, many families are having a hard time finding activities that they can do with their entire family. Just as always, Scouting is a great way for kids and their parents to go on new and exciting adventures in their every day life.
For those who are already registered as a Scout, you will have the choice of meeting with your unit in person or to meet with our Virtual Dens or Troop. The choice depends on your current comfort level as well as state and federal health orders. Please check the "New Updates" Button for the most up to date information.
For more information on Virtual Scouting, scroll down the page a little further.
HOW DOES THIS WORK?
Drive-In Sign-Up Night
Heard about Scouting and think it might be the thing for your child? At several locations around the region we will be holding our sign up nights. All you need to do is drive up, fill out an application on your phone, and take a box of supplies home. All without getting out of the car. It's that easy. Just want to talk to someone about details about the program? We'll have that available too!
Virtual Meetings held over Zoom
For those not meeting in person with a Den or Troop, we will have Virtual Meetings available over Zoom. We will have separate meetings for each grade of Cub Scouts (called Dens) and the older Scouts will be grouped together by the rank they have earned. For each of these meetings, we will be filming a meeting in person and streaming that live to the Scouts at home. The person running the meeting, called the Den Leader (for Cub Scouts) or Scoutmaster (for older Scouts) will be able to coach Scouts and their parents joining online in the best ways to participate in the activities from home.
Where can I find all of this?
We will be hosting all of these materials over Scoutbook, which is the site that we use to log in our badges, ranks, and other awards. This platform will be how we send out announcements, share videos and will track your advancement progress. Having trouble accessing it? Don't worry, we've got a more in-depth guide below. We will also include the Zoom links further down on this page.
What it is and how it works
Like we said earlier, we will be meeting together by either age group or rank. Our in-person meetings will be matching up with these dates as well, just in case state and federal standards no longer allow us to meet together. Just as a reminder, there is time slotted for additional time for Troop business after regular meetings.
Monday Tuesday Thursday
Arrow of LIght
Star to Eagle
Want to know what is being taught each week?
The portal to all virtual programming
Logging in to Scoutbook
Alright, now that you know basically what we are doing, let's get started. What you'll need to do first is to create an account with Scoutbook. If your Scout becomes a part of the Virtual Pack or Troop, the parent will automatically receive an email invitation from Scoutbook. If they don't see it, have them check their spam folder. Still having issues? Give our office a call at 575-622-3461.
If you are a parent and you'd like to track your youth's progress and haven't received an email you can also use this video to walk you through.
Finding the Meetings
Each meeting is set up as a calendar appointment for each rank. We will be holding our virtual meetings over Zoom. You can find information and invitations to join in the conference calls on each of these calendar appointments. In these calendar entries, you'll find what the group is working on that day as well as things that you might need to do at home. Each group will be using the same meeting codes each week.
Can't make it to the meeting? We'll record the meeting and post it later.
How to Earn Awards
In each of our meetings, your Scout will have the opportunity to earn awards or ranks. Anything passed off during your Den or Troop Meetings will be inputted into the system. However, in order to earn everything, your Scout may need to do some work at home.
If your Scout is in grades K-5, awards can be marked off by a Parent or Guardian as well as the Den Leader. Any youth that are a part of the Scouts BSA program need to have one of their Troop adult leaders pass them off on requirements. The videos to the side of this will describe how that will work.
How do the Scouts get awarded their awards?
Normally, each Scout will be given their awards in a ceremony called a Pack Meeting or Court of Honor. Those groups meeting in person can award those as usual, so long as they hold to the current standards such as group size.
We currently are working on plans on how to host Virtual Courts of Honor. We will announce that as soon as it is available. If you have any questions, call Greg or Patrick at 575-622-3461.
ZOOM CONFERENCE CALLING
Where we are doing all virtual meetings
How to get started on Zoom
At this point, many of you are probably masters at the ancient art of Zoom calling. For the rest of us, it can look kind of intimidating. Because of that, we are going to walk you through the whole thing.
First, you are going to need to install Zoom. We recommend doing this well before you try to login to your first meeting. Here is a tutorial video on how to do that. (Don't stress about making your own account. All you need is the plug-in)
How to get into the meetings
When you go into Scoutbook and find the meeting on the calendar, you will see a link to join the meeting. When you click on that link it will take you directly to the meeting. (if you don't have the plugin, it will ask to download it now)
If for some reason that doesn't work, we will also have the meeting ID and password in the calendar. you can go to www.Zoom.us and you can put in that information to get to the meeting.
Here are a couple of tips to make your meeting go a little better:
Mute yourself when not speaking (in case of background noise)
Go into "Participant" and change their name to their real name (if it isnt already. It helps us know who is there)
Find a quiet place to do the call in. Let everyone at home know you'll be busy for a while.
Use the chat function or use the raise hand emote to ask questions.
Merit Badges and Virtual Tours
There's more to Scouting than just going to meetings. It's also about getting out into the world and doing a little adventuring. In the current health crisis, that can be a little hard though. In order for you to get a fun breath of fresh air we have a couple of really fun things your Scout can do in addition to their Den or Troop meetings.
We have partnered with many great organizations in our area to bring your Scout new adventures throughout this fall. Even though they are close by, many Scouts never get the opportunity to see inside some of these really fun places. These adventures are fun for both Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA Scouts, though some are better for one or the other. When this is the case, we have labelled them in parenthesis.
The coolest part of living in Southeastern New Mexico is how many qualified experts we have in a ton of different fields. It makes it so we can offer some great badges. Want to get a hint of cool fresh breeze? Try some of the merit badges you might have missed at Wehinahpay Online Camp this summer! While all our classes will be very interactive, there may be some assignments you need to do at home.
To access a merit badge class, register by clicking on the class you'd like below.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
For a longer list of additional questions, please visit the National BSA website (scouting.org) and the COVID FAQs listed there.
Conquistador Council Statement on COVID-19
As always, the safety of our Scouts, volunteers, employees and communities is our top priority.
Our response to the coronavirus pandemic continues to be informed by the guidance of official bodies, including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whose framework for mitigation for community groups is based on the level of community transmission of COVID-19, and the New Mexico Department of Health.
The Boy Scouts of America has advised local councils to consult with their local and state health departments, as well as local chartered partners, in order to implement the appropriate protocols to help keep our members, volunteers, and employees safe. Units should look to their councils for guidance on whether to conduct in-person meetings and activities again. If a unit’s local council is allowing in-person activities but has restrictions in place (e.g., no more than 10, social distancing of 6 ft. etc.), the unit must meet and abide by those restrictions – even if the unit is traveling out of council/state.
Conquistador Council is taking similar steps as a national organization as we continue to evaluate the current environment with the best interests of our members, volunteers, and employees in mind. We will continue to update impacted groups about event decisions as they are made.
We thank you for helping meet the needs of our communities throughout these difficult times.
Q: What COVID guidelines is the Council using to direct Scouting activities?
Conquistador Council is following the New Mexico Public Health Order and using the New Mexico Department of Health COVID Safe Practices directives.
Q: How long will the current Public Health Order remain in effect?
The Governor of New Mexico has indicated the current order will remain in effect through August 31, 2020. If things change the Council will notify the volunteers and update this website.
Q: Can we hold in-person Scouting meetings?
With safety in mind, the Council is strongly advising that indoor in-person meetings be conducted only within the guidelines outlined by state and local health officials, as well as under the direction of your chartered organization. This applies to youth and adults. Please review the In-Person meeting Guidelines for specifics on how your unit can resume in person meetings.
Q: I’ve read the In-Person Meeting Guidelines as well as the Restart Scouting Checklist and the list of requirements to hold an indoor meeting is daunting. Does my unit really have to follow these guidelines?
Yes. Please remember the Council and BSA are committed to the safety of the youth and volunteers within our communities, meaning their health and well-being.
Q: What about meeting outside?
As discussed in the Council’s In-Person Meeting guidelines meeting outside is preferred if the Charter Organization has the space to do so safely.
Remember to adhere to the following criteria:
Everybody wears a mask and stays 6 ft. apart
Disinfect everything used at the meeting (chairs, benches, tables, flagpoles and flag stands, etc.) before and after the meeting
No carpooling to and from meetings
Q: What about hikes or other day trips?
As discussed in the Council’s In-Person Meeting guidelines day hikes and events are permitted.
Q: Can troops go camping?
Not at this time.
Q: Is there some process to accumulate camping nights for Camping Merit Badge and Order of the Arrow eligibility?
Virtual camping (i.e., backyard or solo camping) may be counted toward the required nights of camping for OA election eligibility and Camping Merit Badge if all the following stipulations are met:
To be counted, all virtual camping nights should be a direct result of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and be part of a BSA unit-organized unit camping event (i.e., multiple members of the unit are involved and camping simultaneously at remote locations).
Some form of unit-organized communications should occur either during or immediately following the event.
All existing youth protection policies and digital safety guidelines must be followed.
No more than 3 nights of virtual camping are to be credited in any month in which government- or council-imposed COVID-19 restrictions are in place.
(For further details about Order of the Arrow eligibility, please see https://oa-bsa.org/coronavirus/temporary-camping-night-policy-due-covid-19.)
Q: What do we do about selling popcorn?
Popcorn sales and other fundraising activities (peanut sales, Christmas wreath sales, jerky sales, and such) should be conducted on-line if possible. Door-to-Door popcorn sales should be conducted utilizing the same criteria as Outdoor Activities as noted in the Council’s In-Person Meeting Guidelines. Storefront sales are not allowed at this time.
Q: My unit meets virtually using a commercial video conferencing platform. What are the youth protection guidelines for using one of these platforms that allows for breakout rooms?
All breakout rooms for youth must have at least one registered adult and either another registered adult or a parent/legal guardian of a participating Scout.
Q: How can advancement be tracked remotely?
Scouting units should use Scoutbook to record and track advancement.
To track advancement remotely, parents and leaders should:
Connect with the Scout’s member profile via an invitation that the unit leader sends within Scoutbook. You may also connect to your youth via the Scouting app “Add a Parent connection.”
The Scouting app provides parents the ability to report any advancement that was completed at home.
Learn more about how to start using Scoutbook and how to connect parents to their Scouts at Scoutbook.com.
Is it possible to transfer over to all-virtual part way through the fall?
Sure thing. All you need to do is to let us know and we'll get you added to our virtual unit. You can stay a member of your old unit if you'd like. All of our units should be on the same schedule this fall just in case something like this happens. If you have questions or need to change over, just call the office at 575-622-3461.