The state of California shut down schools and other activities on March 13, 2020, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, and ever since, Troop 407 hasn’t been able to meet or go on any troop outings. Scouts and parents are continuing school and work from home. It’s been hard to not be able to interact with friends and fellow Scouts, but it’s also been an opportunity to spend more time with our families and learn some new things.
Many patrols have continued to meet using Zoom, and we also have some merit badge classes going on, including Cooking, Gardening and Citizenship in the Community. A lot of Scouts are working on home gardens and other projects with their families. Some families have camped in their backyards. And even though the trails were closed for a long time, they reopened on May 8, so now Scouts can go with their own family to hike again, as long as they wear masks and stay at least 6 feet away from people who aren’t in their families.
Scouts are working on advancement, too, as a group and on their own. David Hastings became Troop 407’s 111th Eagle Scout during the shutdown. And other Scouts are coming close and have been working on completing their Eagle projects, including Phillip Quintanar and Jude Emmert. Phillip’s project brought a lot of Scouts out to help fix up an adobe in Pomona. The Scouts had to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart, but got a lot done. Jude’s Eagle project is a virtual tutoring program for refugee kids in the area. The kids and tutors meet on Zoom or Facetime to work on online schooling. Zach Martin was able to finish his Eagle project, too, right before the shutdown happened.
So far, summer camp has not been canceled, and neither has the Philmont high-adventure trek. Everyone is staying tuned for updates and trying to figure out what’s the best way to move ahead. We hope the shutdown will end soon and we’ll be able to meet again in person, but in the meantime, we’re making the best of this situation and doing what we can.