COVID-19 Update and Action Plan

The Gateway Area Council continues to monitor the rapidly evolving situation regarding COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus.  As always, the safety of our Scouts, volunteers and council employees is our top priority.  We are following the guidance of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local governmental authorities.

Local Scouting will do its part to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.

Some plans and considerations:


Unit Meetings

We are strongly recommending that units do not hold meetings, activities or outings during the statewide school closure.  Individual Scouting units and chartering organizations should determine whether their regular meetings and activities will continue with safety as the number one priority.  Please utilize guidance provided by your local health authorities, school districts and chartering organizations.  Remember that the custom for many units and families is “no school, no scouts.” We encourage unit leaders to consider ways to continue your Scouting programs via technology and virtual meetings.

Look for program ideas that Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA participants can do during this time period.  There are advancement areas that can be worked on from home. See the very bottom of this email for some suggestions from our Council Commissioner and keep an eye on our Facebook page for further ideas. There are many Scouting activities that can happen at home, particularly advancement work. We encourage creativity in providing online and remote meeting/learning opportunities.

Please keep in mind that national and local health recommendations for social distancing are to keep from gathering in groups above ten persons.


Service Centers & Scout Shop

The Scout Service Center and Scout Shop are closing for the time being. The Council Key 3 leadership team will continue to evaluate and revisit this regularly and hope the situation allows for us to reopen soon. The Gateway Scouting team is working remotely at this time and continuing to service Scouting.

Please contact any member of the team for assistance. All staff are ready to assist as they typically would be. Visit for staff contact information and contact the individual directly as needed.

We are ready to handle Scout Shop orders by phone and email.

For registration, unit service, program, or camp questions, a District Executive will answer and assist.

If you are not sure who to talk to please contact Scout Executive, Joe Carlson, at 608-615-0298 or, and we will direct someone to provide service.

We remain available to assist you with your needs. Safety and Service remain our top priorities.


Status of Council and District Events

Currently all District and Council events are postponed/cancelled through April 5 (the same as the state school closures).

This includes the Cubs & Camp Preview Event scheduled for March 29th as well as all training events.

A decision on the upcoming April events (District Committee, Roundtable, District Pinewood Derbies – April 18, and Eagle Recognition Social – April 21) will occur closer to April 1 and be communicated at that time.

The decision to postpone programming which had been planned and supported by many dedicated volunteers is not one taken lightly but we must be diligent in providing the safest Scouting opportunities we can.


Temporary Camp Closures

Starting on Tuesday, March 17, Camp Decorah will be closed for Scouting activities and camping. Camp Decorah will reopen for rentals as health conditions allow. Cabin reservations will be refunded or can be rolled over for future use.


Above all, Gateway Scouting is dedicated to protecting our Scouts, volunteers, and staff by providing a safe Scouting environment.  We will continue to update you on new developments.


Additional Resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Boy Scouts of America

Gateway Area Council


 A note from the Council Commissioner, Elizabeth Kramer:

Scouting families, we understand the next few weeks will be challenging with all the school closings and sport / activity cancellations.  Here are some ideas that might help your stay-at-home family by using some of this time on some Scouting activities together.  There are also ideas at the end of this email with other ideas people are sharing about things to do while home.


Cub Scouts

- Practice the Scout Oath, Law, motto, sign, salute
- Work on advancements done with the family

  • nutrition
  • exercise
  • nature
  • duty to God
  • family hike
  • weather
  • projects
  • create skits or plays


Scouts BSA

- Work on advancements that are done at home and/or with your family:

  • Scout rank - You can work on many of the Scout rank requirements including practicing the scout oath, law, motto, sign, salute, and practicing knots
  • Tenderfoot rank - Assemble your first aid kit, work on your fitness requirements and your 30 day plan, learn the EDGE method, practice knots
  • Second Class rank - 7a After completing Tenderfoot requirement 6c, be physically active at least 30 minutes each day for five days a week for four weeks. Keep track of your activities.  8c With your parents or guardian, decide on an amount of money that you would like to earn, based on the cost of a specific item you would like to purchase. Develop a written plan to earn the amount agreed upon and follow that plan; it is acceptable to make changes to your plan along the way. Discuss any changes made to your original plan and whether you met your goal. 
  • First Class rank - Work on weather, GPS, nature requirements. 7b. By yourself and with a partner, show how to: • Transport a person from a smoke-filled room. • Transport for at least 25 yards a person with a sprained ankle. 7c. Tell the five most common signals of a heart attack. Explain the steps (procedures) in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). 7d. Tell what utility services exist in your home or meeting place. Describe potential hazards associated with these utilities and tell how to respond in emergency situations 7e. Develop an emergency action plan for your home that includes what to do in case of fire, storm, power outage, and water outage. 7f. Explain how to obtain potable water in an emergency. 8a. After completing Second Class requirement 7a, be physically active at least 30 minutes each day for five days a week for four weeks. Keep track of your activities

- Work on Merit Badges that you can work on while school is closed.  Most of these do not include a "visit" requirement, or if they do, you can do that via a virtual visit or meeting!  Talk with your Scoutmaster to get a signed "virtual blue card" and then get started.
- It is expected that you have a Cyber Chip to work on many of these, as research is needed; many also require drawing or creating models, which can be built then shared with your MBC later on!

Checkout the merit badge requirements at


Timely and Topical Merit Badges:

  • Emergency Preparedness: 
  • Public Health: 
  • American Heritage: 
  • Chemistry: 
  • Cooking: (except for the camping and backpacking requirements):
  • Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation and Citizenship in the World:  Complete the study sections and letter writing and you may even be able to attend a virtual meeting!
  • Communication
  • Digital Technology 
  • Dog Care
  • Energy
  • Family Life: You can get a lot done, do a family project and start on your 90 day shore list!
  • Game Design: Create and prototype your game, and playtest it via Skype, Twitch, Zoom or Google Hangouts!
  • Genealogy: 
  • Home Repairs: Great if one of your parents or neighbors is a MBC, and bonus, you can help your parents around the house!
  • Inventing: You can visit a virtual museum, or if you're part of the robotics team at school, you're covered!
  • Model Design and Building: 
  • Moviemaking: Shoot a movie at home with your siblings and pets!
  • Painting: Help your parents finish projects around the house!
  • Personal Management: Play with a Stock Market simulator, research, and work on your time management skills and get started on this Eagle Required badge- you may also find chances to earn money around the house helping your parents!
  • Pets Since you're home, might as well teach that old dog new tricks!
  • Plant Science:  Its about time to start seedlings for your spring gardens, so why not work on a merit badge while helping with seedlings?
  • Reading: No need to be online or gaming all day every day while you're home; why not read the 6 books required to complete this merit badge?
  • Scouting Heritage:This requires a bit of research and writing, why not learn more about the program you're a part of?
  • Scholarship:  Already a great student? Complete the workbook and be recognized for your hard work!
  • Space Exploration:


Scout Leaders

Use technology to have meetings via video conference or conference call with Zoom Meeting or Free Conference Call

Take the online training that you've been meaning to get to:


Other ideas for your stay-at-home family

Outside fun

  • Go for a walk, a bike ride or, if possible, a family hike.

Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions due to School Closings (Updated)
12 Famous Museums that offer virtual tours
Check out some interesting online learning

  • Duolingo for language learning
  • Tynker for coding
  • Khan Academy for academic subjects
  • Epic is a subscription service with endless books and comics for tablets, searchable by age.

Video chat fun

  • Get creative with video chat. In addition to checking in with grandparents, try setting up a remote play date for your kids. Some long-distance families stay connected with a Zoom or Google hangout portal that just stays open. Try playing hide-and-seek by carrying a laptop around the house!
  • Use video chat to continue learning opportunities: piano lessons, tutoring or Sunday school with your child's regular teacher. A company called Outschool does live online classes for kids.
  • There are even physical screen-time options. GoNoodle offers both physical dance/movement and meditation videos, and this is a great time for everyone in the family to learn TikTok dances like the Renegade.


And here's a wild card: While everyone's home, try giving the kids more responsibility around the house, including cooking a meal or doing the laundry. And cleaning — there's going to be a lot of cleaning to do!