Aloha Council COVID-19 Update
March 23, 2020
Aloha Scouting Family,
During this time of uncertainty, we are all concerned about the health and safety of our families and communities. This is uncharted territory, as such, we need to focus on helping each other, and assisting our communities as they respond and adapt.
With safety at the core of everything we do, Aloha Council BSA is observing the recommendations provided by our state and county leaders.
At this time:
- All offices and Scout Shops are closed through April 30. Our staff will be working remotely during this time and are still available to you.
- All storefront and face-to-face sales for Camp Cards are canceled. The Camp Card sale itself is not canceled, however storefront sales and other face-to-face sales are not permitted as we all adhere to social distancing at this time.
- All in-person activities, events and gatherings will be suspended until advised as safe by our county, state, and federal authorities. We anticipate resuming regularly scheduled activities beginning May 1, such as our annual Memorial Day volunteer service at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) and Summer Camp, however we will monitor the situation and follow all guidance and restrictions by the authorities.
The National organization has created https://scouting.org/coronavirus to keep you informed during this time. This includes resources on safety, health and hygiene, as well as 58 merit badges that can be earned from home.
We are monitoring the situation closely as it evolves and will continue to keep you informed as circumstances change. As we navigate this global pandemic, the future of how we work and serve our communities is changing. We will continue to find solutions to accommodate Scouts, leaders, their families and our communities.
I personally want to assure you that Aloha Council BSA, as an organization is doing all we can to protect and support the health and well-being of our communities. We would also like to extend our sincerest gratitude for your support of Aloha Council BSA in both the sure and trying times. Working together, we know we will make our island home a safer place for all.
Aloha Council - BSA Response to COVID-19
March 16, 2020
As always, your safety and the safety of all our members, volunteers, and employees is our top priority. We know there are questions and concerns about how COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, could affect local Scouting programs in the Aloha Council. Please know that we are monitoring developments regarding COVID-19 both locally and through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The following information regarding local events and prevention measures is based on the latest available guidance. As this is an evolving situation, this information is subject to change. We will continue to update you on relevant developments, and we appreciate your understanding of any necessary adjustments in the interest of health and safety.
Status of Council Events
After much discussion by Aloha Council - BSA, it has been decided that all in-person Council and District events, activities, and meetings between Monday, March 23, 2020 and Wednesday, April 1, 2020 will be postponed or cancelled. This decision has been made from an abundance of caution and concern for the health of our Scouts, Scouters, and their families.
Further, Aloha Council strongly suggests that individual Scout units follow this policy. The finaldecision on continued unit activities will be the responsibility of the unit committee in consultation with their chartered organization and, in some cases, their meeting facilities until such time as new guidance is issued by the CDC.
We strongly encourage that districts, units, and council committees consider using technology to continue with as many of their normally scheduled meetings and events as possible. Free or low-cost options include Free Conference Call, Skype, and Google Hangouts.
Currently, all summer programming – day camps, summer camps, etc. – will continue as planned.
Currently, the Scout Service Center and scout shop will also be closed for business. All committee meetings will not be held in person. If you are coming to visit a staff member, please consider calling instead. Our council camping facilities will be closed through April 1, 2020. If you have an existing reservation, we will honor your reservation but will not accept future reservations.
When possible, we are encouraging events to reschedule for a later date. If you are registered for an event that gets postponed, your registration will be transferred to the new date. If you are unable to attend the rescheduled event, you may request a refund according to our standard policy.
For events that are cancelled outright, we are in the process of reviewing our council refund policy. Given the number of events, and that many events have already incurred substantial costs for supplies and reservation fees, it may be difficult to issue full refunds. Our team is working to determine what is possible.
If you can do so, please consider not requesting a refund and allowing your registration fee to support Scouting. This will help us offset the costs and lost income from cancelled events.
BSA Polices to Prevent the Spread of Illness
The Boy Scouts of America continues to have policies and procedures in place that help protect participants from contracting an illness at large Scouting events. These include the Annual Health and Medical Record and the Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist.
Everyday Preventive Measures
Even with those important policies in place, it is critical that we all take these everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:
- Stay home when you feel sick.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands before and after doing so.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve/elbow, not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Do not share personal items such as cups, water bottles, eating utensils, etc.
- Avoid shaking hands. A Scout salute or wave will suffice.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
If you have a fever, cough, or other symptoms associated with COVID-19, or if you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should isolate and not attend any Scouting events. People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
Should you have any questions or concerns about a specific upcoming event or activity, please reach out to your district executive. We will do everything we can to answer your question using the information available to us.
Aloha Council Event Updates:
Oahu Eagle Banquet Postponed, Oahu Onizuka Day of Exploration (ODE) Canceled
March 12, 2020
Due to the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation, the Aloha Council is announcing that the 2020 Oahu Eagle Banquet, originally scheduled for Saturday, April 11, 2020, has been postponed to Saturday, September 12, 2020. The venue will remain the Honolulu Country Club.
Additionally, the annual Onizuka Day of Exploration on Oahu, scheduled for Saturday, April 25, 2020 has been canceled. Given the event’s historical attendance of 8,000-10,000 people, our volunteer leadership has determined that cancellation is the best course of action to ensure that safety of our Scouts and the community. We look forward to the 2021 Onizuka Day of Exploration.
For questions or concerns, please email Development104@Scouting.org.
COVID-19 Updates from the Aloha Council BSA
March 9, 2020
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Face touching may be the most frequent route of transmission, as the average American unknowingly touches his or her face over 90 times a day.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday to You” Twice.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid handshaking. For the time being, use the Scout “fist bump”.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched items and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Stay home when you’re sick!
2020 Hawaii Camping Adventure Sold Out!
March 4, 2020
The Hawaii Camping Adventure, a special summer program for Scout units visiting from outside the Aloha Council, has sold out for 2020. This once-in-a-lifetime, week-long experience features some of Hawaii's top historical, cultural, and outdoor attractions, combined with camping and merit badges. To get on the email notification list for 2021, please email Camping104@Scouting.org.
The Boy Scouts of America Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy to Equitably Compensate Victims While Ensuring Scouting Continues Across the Country
Local Councils, including the Aloha Council, are Not Filing for Bankruptcy as They are Legally Separate and Distinct Organizations
IRVING, TX – February 18, 2020 – The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) today announced that the national organization has filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to achieve two key objectives: equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in Scouting and continue carrying out its mission for years to come. The BSA intends to use the Chapter 11 process to create a Victims Compensation Trust that would provide equitable compensation to victims.
Scouting programs, including unit meetings and activities, council events, other Scouting adventures and countless service projects, will continue throughout this process and for many years to come. The BSA fully intends to maintain its commitments to its members, families, volunteer leaders, employees, retirees, donors and alumni to the fullest extent permitted by bankruptcy laws. The organization also will pay its vendors and partners for all goods and services delivered from today forward.
Local councils, which provide programming, financial, facility and administrative support to Scouting units in their communities, have not filed for bankruptcy. They are legally separate, distinct and financially independent from the national organization.
“The BSA cares deeply about all victims of abuse and sincerely apologizes to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to harm innocent children,” said Roger Mosby, President and Chief Executive Officer. “While we know nothing can undo the tragic abuse that victims suffered, we believe the Chapter 11 process – with the proposed Trust structure – will provide equitable compensation to all victims while maintaining the BSA’s important mission.”
Establishment of the Victims Compensation Trust and Support for Victims of Abuse
The BSA has an important duty to keep children safe, supported and protected while preparing them for their futures, and the organization has every intention of continuing to fulfill these important responsibilities.
Tragically, there have been times when individuals took advantage of the BSA’s programs to harm children. The BSA firmly believes that a proposed Victims Compensation Trust structure is the best means of compensating victims in a way that is equitable and protects their identities. The BSA encourages victims to come forward to file a claim as the bankruptcy process moves forward and will provide clear and comprehensive notices about how to do so.
The BSA has, for years, funded in-person counseling for any current or former Scout who was a victim of abuse as well as victims’ family members, by a provider of their choice. As an extension of this commitment to supporting victims, the BSA recently announced a partnership with 1in6, a trusted national resource for male survivors, to expand their services so that victims of abuse are able to anonymously access vital support from trained advocates when and how they need it. Victims can access 1in6 services at www.1in6.org/BSA. This is a multiyear commitment, which the BSA feels is an important component of its ongoing efforts to support victims.
Maintaining Programming and Upholding Commitments to All Stakeholders
Scouting will continue to provide unparalleled programs to young people – keeping them safe, supported and protected as it prepares them for their futures. The BSA today has some of the strongest, expert-informed youth protection policies found in any youth-serving organization, including mandatory youth protection training and background checks for all volunteers and staff, as well as policies that prohibit one-on-one interaction between youth and adults and require all volunteers and staff to report any suspected abuse to law enforcement.
Additional information about the BSA’s multilayered safeguards, our commitment to support victims, and our efforts to be part of the broader solution to child abuse is available at www.scouting.org/youth-safety.
Read the BSA’s Open Letter to Victims here.
More information and updates about the restructuring are available via the national organization’s dedicated restructuring website, www.BSArestructuring.org. Victims, as well as vendors and other potential creditors who have questions about their claims may contact Restructuring@scouting.org or call 1-866-907-BSA1 for the fastest response.
The BSA is represented in the restructuring by Sidley Austin LLP as legal counsel and Alvarez & Marsal North America LLC, as financial advisor.
About the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be “Prepared. For Life.®” The Scouting organization is composed of nearly 2.2 million youth members between the ages of 5 and 21 and approximately 800,000 volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.Scouting.org.
Learn about the BSA’s youth protection policies in place today at www.scouting.org/youth-safety.
January, 2020 - Aloha Council Welcomes New Scout Executive Jesse Lopez
Jesse began his Scouting career as a District Executive in the Monterey Bay Area Council in Salinas, CA. He moved on to become the Sr. Exploring Executive and later District Director with the Pacific Skyline Council, San Mateo, CA. He was promoted to Field Director of the Golden Empire Council, Sacramento, CA and on to DFS at the CA Inland Empire Council. Most recently, he was Scout Executive of the Southern Sierra Council, Bakersfield, CA.
Jesse enjoys travel, outdoor adventure and golf. Jesse is a life-long Pittsburgh Steelers fan.
Jesse and his wife Tracy have 2 children. Kaela (21) and Nikolas (17). Both are camp staff members with the BSA. Both are studying in school.
Please join me in congratulating Jesse as he joins in partnership with the volunteers and staff of the Aloha Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.
November, 2019 - Farewell to Scout Executive Jeff Sulzbach
Mahalo from the Sulzbach Ohana
Dear Aloha Council Scouters:
I would like to personally thank each of you for your many hours of service to the Scouting program throughout the year. Our Scouts have such a great program because of our dedicated leaders. I would also like to thank our generous donors who support the program and who are helping us to improve our camps. Amazing volunteers and generous donors together, make for a great program. Mahalo nui loa!
You may have heard that the Sulzbach ohana is relocating to the Los Angeles area where I have accepted a new position with the BSA as Scout Executive/CEO for the Greater Los Angeles Area Council. We have met so many wonderful people over the past 6 years and made many lifelong friends. The aloha spirit will forever be part of our souls and for that we are grateful. We will miss the islands and hope that we can return often!
A hui hou!
Jeff Sulzbach, Scout Executive and family (Patty, Zach and Luke)
October, 2019 - Official Announcement from the National Council of Boy Scouts of America Regarding 2020 Membership Fees
For more than 100 years, Scouting has helped build future leaders by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun and adventure in the outdoors. At Boy Scouts of America, we are dedicated to developing leaders of character by preparing young men and women for life by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. The timeless ideals of the Scout Law, such as being trustworthy, helpful, kind and brave, make up the foundation young people need to address and overcome challenges in their lives and the issues facing their generation.
Now as we continue the Scouting mission, it is important that we keep pace with an ever-changing world. While costs to the organization have increased every year, the Boy Scouts of America has worked to keep the annual membership fee as low as possible by subsidizing core costs, including liability insurance we must carry to cover all official Scouting activities. Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to subsidize at the level we have in the past, especially as the cost of insurance has increased dramatically. We kept the cost low to make Scouting available to as many young people as possible but keeping the cost artificially low for many years now magnifies the impact of changes.
To ensure we have the resources to fulfill the promise of Scouting despite increasing operating costs, the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America has made the difficult but necessary decision to increase the annual membership fee effective January 1, 2020 to:
- $60 for youth members in Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing and Sea Scouts,
- $36 for youth members in Exploring, and
- $36 for adult members
- $60 per unit charter fee
Every dollar of the national membership fee will go toward the cost of essential services, including liability insurance for those participating in approved Scouting activities, program resources, safety standards, youth protection and personal safety training, and services to councils nationwide to sustain Scouting. The National organization will also continue to develop and improve resources that support our volunteers and youth members such as online registration, Member Care and Scoutbook, which now includes the Den Leader experience to ensure the safe and consistent delivery of Cub Scouting; as well as improvements aimed at simplifying the annual renewal process.
Across the country and in our own community, we know that Scouting remains one of the most valuable investments we can make to support young men and women today so they can become the leaders we will turn to tomorrow. From once-in-a-lifetime adventures to merit badges that spark interests and future careers; from campouts under the stars to service projects that leave a lasting impact on our communities; Scouting’s year-round program expands horizons and provides young people with a safe and welcoming place to learn, grow, and thrive.
That is why we are committed to ensuring that all youth can experience the character-building benefits of Scouting regardless of their financial situation. In addition to our existing council and unit membership assistance, we have established a national Growing Future Leaders Fund, which is funded entirely through donations, to provide additional financial support to those who need it.