Council News

 

Update from Scout Executive

June 18, 2020

Dear Jersey Shore Council Volunteers and Families:

With Governor Murphy’s announcement including the lifting of the stay-at-home order and the state’s multiphase re-opening, we are pleased to share the Jersey Shore Council’s plans for getting back to Scouting.

Unit Meetings:

  • Aligned with the state’s phase 2 plan we are pleased to announce that Scouting Unit’s may begin meeting outdoors in groups of no more than 100 people. Units are required to follow all State and Federal safeguarding guidelines including washing hands, wearing masks and respecting social distancing.
  • Aligned with the state’s phase 2 plan we are pleased to announce that Scouting Unit’s may begin having indoor meetings.  We encourage our Units to meet outdoors, however for indoor meetings we require our Unit’s to follow the state’s plan restricting gatherings to 50 people or 25% of a building’s capacity - whichever is lower. Units are required to follow all State and Federal safeguarding guidelines including washing hands, wearing masks and respecting social distancing.   Unit’s must consult with their chartered organization representative to ensure that their meeting plans are following any restrictions and guidelines of their chartered organization.

Scout Shops and Service Center:

  • The Clayton and Galloway Service Centers will open back up to the public effective Monday, June 29, 2020 with normal business hours.  Please know that we have added precautions to help ensure social distancing (e.g. screens & signage throughout the building.)  We will be taking temperature checks upon your arrival at the Service Centers to ensure your safety, and the safety of our staff.  We also request that volunteers and Scout families call ahead to the Service Center prior to arrival, for two reasons:
    • Much of our field staff works outside the office and are not present in the building on a daily basis. Similarly, some of our administrative staff may well be working from home periodically; we want to ensure that the individual you wish to meet with are present to help you.
    • The State of NJ has put in place guidelines on the number of people that can gather in a building simultaneously; we need to ensure we stay inside these guidelines, especially in our Scout Shops.
  • Our Scout Shops is planning to resume regular service on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.   Again, we ask that you call ahead prior to arrival so that we can maintain compliance with all state and local guidelines.  

Camping:

  • We anticipate opening Citta Scout Reservation on July 6, 2020 for Scouts BSA Adventure Day programs per executive order that allows youth camps to open beginning on that date.

Cub Day Camps will be offered at Egg Harbor City Lake & the Joseph A. Citta Scout Reservation.  Both day camps offer an active program for Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts, including Archery, Swimming, Sports, Nature, Science, Handicrafts, and much more.   Youth can attend either or both day camps. 

  • Cub Day Camp at Citta – July 27-31.   Cost is $220.  For more information and to register, go to https://www.jerseyshorescouts.org/CS-day-camp
  • Cub Day Camp at Egg Harbor City Lake Park – August 3-7.  Cost is $200.  For more information and to register, go to https://www.jerseyshorescouts.org/EHCDayCamp
  • Unfortunately, Scouts BSA resident camp at the Citta Scout Reservation will not be offered based on Governor Murphy not lifting the restriction allowing for youth camps to have resident programs. We are however offering the following programs for our Scouts BSA youth:
    • Adventure Days at Citta -- A daily program that provides Scouts BSA with opportunities to enjoy outdoor fun at Citta Scout Reservation while learning outdoor skills and completing merit badge requirements.  Plenty of hands-on opportunities in Aquatics, Shooting Sports, Ecology, Scoutcraft, Handicrafts, and more!   Three 4-day sessions are offered: July 6-9, July 13-16, July 20-23.  

Cost is $60 per day.  Some sessions require Scouts to purchase program supplies (such as basket kits for basketry merit badge).  For more information and to register, go to https://www.jerseyshorescouts.org/adventuredays.

  • Virtual Camp – Camp Cittarific offers Scouts BSA an opportunity to complete merit badges and continue their Scouting advancement from their homes.    Class size will be limited to 15 Scouts per session so Scouts can participate fully in the sessions.   Sessions will be offered during the weeks of July 6-10, July 13-17, July 20-24, July 27-31.

Cost is $20 per merit badge.   Some sessions will require Scouts to purchase program supplies, which can be purchased at www.scoutstuff.org.   For a list of merit badges, more information, and to register, go to https://www.jerseyshorescouts.org/campcittarific

  • The New Jersey Health Department has not issued guidelines for overnight camping for youth camps, but as soon as they do, we will let everyone know so that we can all get our units camping soon.  We are hoping to open the Citta Scout Reservation for Family & Troop Camping programs as soon as we are permitted to do so.

Sincerely,

Jim Gillick

Scout Executive & CEO

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June 12, 2020

To: All Jersey Shore Council Scouting Families

From: James Gillick, Scout Executive & CEO

 

Dear Jersey Shore Council Scouting Family,

As you know, the National Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy earlier this year to equitably compensate victims of past abuse and ensure that Scouting’s mission continues.

The bankruptcy case recently reached a milestone when a bar date was set for November 16, 2020 ­– the deadline for submitting claims in the case. This milestone triggers a series of mail and email notification to individuals and groups (Scouts, parents of Scouts, alumni and volunteers) who have been part of the BSA within the last eight years and means you may soon receive a notice.

This notification process is part of an effort to ensure that the BSA reaches as many potential claimants, survivors of abuse, as possible so they may file a claim.  In addition to these email and mail notifications, which will reach more than 10 million individuals, the BSA will run targeted advertising this fall as a required part of the bankruptcy noticing process.

To be clear, receiving a notice does not mean that you have a claim or that your child was harmed while in Scouting. The BSA is just being as thorough as possible. The BSA encourages all survivors of abuse to file a claim by November 16, 2020. More information about how to file a claim is available at www.BSArestructuring.org.

Although the national organization is navigating through bankruptcy, the Jersey Shore Council’s local programming is continuing – subject to current COVID-19 policies.

Please know that in Scouting nothing is more important than the safety and protection of children in our programs; It is our top priority. The BSA has developed and implemented some of the strongest expert-informed youth protection policies found in any youth-serving organization. I can also assure you that our volunteers and employees take youth protection extremely seriously and do their part to help keep kids safe. To learn more about how the BSA keeps kids in Scouting safe today, I encourage you to visit www.scouting.org/youthsafety

At Jersey Shore Council, we remain as committed as ever to delivering Scouting’s unparalleled experiences to young people throughout our communities. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time at James.Gillick@scouting.org should you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Jim Gillick

Scout Executive & CEO

 

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March 20, 2020

To: All Jersey Shore Council volunteers, staff & scout families

From: James Gillick, Scout Executive & CEO

The health, safety and welfare of our Scouting participants is the top priority for the Jersey Shore Council.  As I mentioned in my last update, due to the very nature of the COVID 19 virus, plans will continue to change on a regular basis.

Given recent developments, in the interest of public safety Jersey Shore Council is closing public access to the Clayton and Galloway Service Centers, as well as the Joseph A. Citta Scout Reservation for the next two weeks.  It is our intention that this is a temporary measure and will keep you apprised of any and developments. 

However, the does not mean that we are not here to serve you.  Please know that even amid this crisis, Scouting Continues!  Our staff is working from remotely and will be at the offices periodically to check mail, special projects, etc.  Your local executives are more than willing to come to your doorstep to pick up applications, drop off materials, etc.  Please feel free to reach out to them via email, or a message at the Council Service Center.

We will be posting regular information on ways that you and your family can continue your child’s Scouting Journey.  For the most up to date information, please refer to our Council Website at www.jerseyshorescouts.org or Council Facebook Page (Boy Scouts of America, Jersey Shore Council.)  Should you have specific paperwork to email I would recommend using the address JerseyShoreCouncil@Scouting.org (This latter option is especially recommended when dealing with time-sensitive information.)

With regards to local unit meetings, please keep in mind government warnings regarding groups of 10 or more individuals and practice all the precautionary safety measures that has been shared in recent days.  I am confident that by working together today, we can flatten the curve of this illness and its effect on our community.  Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at James.Gillick@scouting.org.

Sincerely,

Jim Gillick

Scout Executive & CEO

 


 

March 16, 2020

To: All Jersey Shore Council volunteers, staff & scout families

From: James Gillick, Scout Executive & CEO

The health, safety and welfare of our Scouting participants is the top priority for the Jersey Shore Council.  Earlier today, Governor Phil Murphy held a press conference at which he mandated the closing of all public & private schools until further notice, as well as enacted a curfew on all non-essential businesses between the hours of 8:00 p.m. & 5:00 a.m. 

Given these recent developments, in the interest of public safety Jersey Shore Council is making some alterations to its Scouting Calendar.  For the most up to date information, please visit our Facebook Page or our website at www.JerseyShoreScouts.org.

  • Service Centers – Both the Galloway and Clayton Service Centers will remain open for the foreseeable future.  The front counter at the Clayton Service Center will be staffed from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.  Should you not wish to visit the Service Centers, most issues can be handled via phone at 732-349-1037, or remotely via email at JerseyShoreCouncil@Scouting.org (This latter option is especially recommended when dealing with time-sensitive information.
  • Citta Scout Reservation – The Joseph A. Citta Scout Reservation is currently open for day and weekend adventures!  Should your group have a reservation and wish to reschedule, we ask that you contact Bill Zinky at William.Zinky@scouting.org.  That being said we recognize many families are looking for outdoor activities at this time and would love to accommodate you!  Please realize that certain group restrictions may apply, so we ask that you contact Mr. Zinky ahead of visiting Camp to make sure we can accommodate your group or family.
  • District & Council Activities – as you may be aware, some of our District level activities (e.g. Pinewood Derbies) have already been rescheduled to later dates. 
    • The Council level NYLT Training scheduled to begin this weekend is postponed (participants will be emailed separately regarding alternative dates.)
    • The Council Wood Badge Dine-in scheduled for March 26th will have to be rescheduled.  We are working with the Captains Inn and will get you a date in the near future.
    • The Council-wide Six Flags Camporee slated for late April is not being rescheduled at this time.  Please realize of course that this situation is fluid and might change.  We are working with our friends at Six Flags and will keep you apprised as we get closer to the event.
  • Unit Meetings & Activities – the decision to suspend weekly unit meetings and/or weekend programs is the responsibility of the unit committee & unit leadership in conjunction with the unit chartered organization.  It is our recommendation however, that in the interest of public health all weekly unit meetings be suspended until at least April 1, 2020.
  • For more information
    • For the latest information on the COVID-19 virus we would direct you to visit the Center for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov.  In the meantime, to protect yourself and others:
      • Scouting members should take the same precautions they would for any common cold or flu.
      • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
      • Hands should be washed before eating, after using the bathroom, and when you come inside from outdoor activities that caused hands to get dirty.
      • Avoid touching your mouth, eyes or noses.
      • Cough and/or sneeze into your elbows and not your hands.
      • Distance yourself from anyone coughing or sneezing.
      • If you are sick, stay away from school, work, Scouts and others.
      • If you have any symptoms of the virus, seek medical attention immediately and follow the advice of your medical professional.
    • For the latest updates on Scouting at the Jersey Shore Council, we ask you to contact your local District Executive, or visit us on the website at www.JerseyShoreScouts.org.

I am sincerely grateful to our outstanding staff and thousands of volunteers who work tirelessly on behalf of our young people.  I am confident that if we work together today in taking proper preventative measure, we can limit the effect of this disease on our community.  Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at James.Gillick@scouting.org.

Sincerely,

Jim Gillick

Scout Executive & CEO

 


 

February 18, 2020

Dear Jersey Shore Scouting Community,

Today, the national organization of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to achieve two key objectives: equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in Scouting and continue to carry out Scouting’s mission for years to come.

So how does this impact life here at the Jersey Shore Council? 

Four things to know ...

  • The Jersey Shore Council has not filed for bankruptcy. Our Council is legally separate, distinct and financially independent from the national organization.
  • Scouting programs will continue. Unit meetings and activities, district and council events, other Scouting adventures and countless service projects will take place as usual. In short, we expect no changes to the local Scouting experience along the Jersey Shore.
  • Scouting is safer now than ever before. Over many years, we’ve developed some of the strongest expert-informed youth protection policies found in any youth-serving organization. I can also assure you that our volunteers and employees take youth protection extremely seriously and do their part to help keep kids safe.
  • Restricted donations – past, present or future – can only be used for their designated purpose. In addition, Friends of Scouting (FOS) and other annual donations made to our Council will continue to fund necessary day-to-day expenses that are critical to local Scouting programs.

While we do not anticipate the national organization’s bankruptcy filing will have any direct impact on the local Scouting experience or your involvement with our Council, I understand you may still have questions about these issues and things you will see in the news. To that end, the national organization has established a dedicated restructuring website, www.BSArestructuring.org

This site includes a helpful Resources page, where you will find a short video explaining what Chapter 11 means for Scouting, as well as a FAQ. The site’s Milestones page will be your best source for the latest updates throughout this process. 

If you have any questions about local Scouting, you can always feel free to reach out directly to me or your usual contact within our Council. 

Through your engagement and dedication to Scouting, the Jersey Shore Council will continue to bring adventures, values and lifelong benefits to youth and our communities for generations to come. Thank you for your trust and support as we continue this important mission.

Yours in Scouting,

Jim Gillick

Scout Executive

 


 

October 11, 2019

Dear Scout Leaders:

Families today have many options, but we are confident you’ll agree there is no program providing the leadership training and character development Scouting provides. Keeping the safety of our youth at the forefront of all we do, we felt it important to share with you the following information. 

Since 2003 the Boy Scouts of America has conducted criminal background checks on every new adult leader, and in 2008 a background check was conducted on every registered. On or about October 11th, all registered leaders in the Boy Scouts of America will be receiving an email communication regarding an elevation in our Youth Protection Policies.  The BSA will now also perform periodic rechecks of criminal backgrounds to support the continued safety of youth in our programs.

All volunteer leaders will need to sign a background check authorization form and these forms be returned to the Volunteer Service Center before your 2020 registration can be processed.

I understand some may have concerns regarding the wording on the Background Check Authorization & Disclosure Forms.  National BSA has informed us that the wording on the forms is required by both state and federal law.  I have attached a list of Frequently Asked Questions that will hopefully alleviate any lingering concerns.  Please allow me to assure you of the following however

The BSA is NOT performing credit checks on its volunteers as part of this process.

The BSA is committed to its policy of not releasing any data to third party vendors.

Regarding the “subsidiaries, affiliates, etc.” language on the Disclosure Form.  Depending upon the result of a criminal background check, it may be necessary to share certain information with a subsidiary organization (e.g. your chartered organization head.)  This is not a new process, and I assure you we are not releasing any information to a 3rd party vendor.

The information gathered through these criminal background checks serves one purpose, and one purpose only … to provide the safest possible environment for our youth members. Should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to email us JerseyShoreCouncil@Scouting.org.

Thank you for patience, your support, and your commitment to Scouting.

Sincerely,

James Gillick

Scout Executive & CEO

 

File Name Description
Criminal Background Check FAQ's Download