COVID- 19 Update Scouting Operations in North Florida

CLICK HERE for March 25 Message from Scout Executive Jack Sears

CLICK HERE for April 3 Message from Scout Executive Jack Sears

CLICK HERE for April 13 Message from Scout Executive Jack Sears

Unit Meeting and Weekend Camping Guidelines Updated 6/16/2020

Updated June 5, 2020
Next update- please check back often as guidance from State and Federal authorities is changing constantly

We hope that your family is safe and healthy during these uncertain and challenging times.  As government restrictions in the State of Florida to be safe at home are relaxed, we are beginning a gradual return to Scouting operations.

The State of Florida has developed a safe, smart and step by step phased approach to get all us back in business.  We have now moved to Phase 2:

  • Those 65 or older or with compromised health conditions should remain safe at home.
  • Those who can continue to work from home, should do so.
  • Physical distancing among individuals continues- 6 feet apart, minimum.
  • No assembly of 50 or more people in a group is permitted. 
  • Retail and restaurants may welcome customers-75% maximum occupancy.
  • Wearing of protective face shields/masks are recommended but not required.
  • Given the State of Florida’s Phase 2 level , the following North Florida Scouting operational changes are in effect and will remain so until otherwise announced.

Thompson S. Baker Scout Service Center

  • The Service Center is now open and welcoming visitors.  Council staff are operating on site and remotely to assist Units and Volunteers from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday-Friday.  Visitors are requested to wear face coverings, adhere to physical distancing and follow posted signage and sanitation protocols.
  • Please CLICK HERE for a North Florida Council staff directory and contact information.
  • If you need to drop off items, there is a drop box at the Service Center to the right of the front doors.
  • If you need to add money to your Unit's Registration or Scout Shop accounts, please use the links on the Home page of or mail in a Unit check.
  • CLICK HERE for resources to facilitate Scouting at Home.

North Florida Council Scout Shop

  • Jacksonville Scout Shop remains at Phase 1 operations, until advised differently by the National Council.  Please re-visit this section often for updates.
  • Jacksonville Scout Shop is now open.  Note new hours.
    • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday-  10 am - 5 pm
    • Wednesday 9 am - 12 pm
    • Saturday- 10 am - 2 pm
  • You may place orders at Instructions to order advancement items are located at the top banner of the page.
  • Visitors are requested to wear face coverings/mask while visiting the store.  50% occupancy limits in the store will be followed- that means no more than 12 shoppers at one time.
  • If you need to add money to your Scout Shop account, please use the links on the Home page or mail in a Unit check.

Regular Weekly Unit Meetings

  • Consistent with physical distancing and the limitation of no more than 50 people gathered at a time, Unit’s may consider in-person meetings activities if permitted by the Unit Committee in consultation with the Unit Chartered Organization.
  • Scouting participants aged 65 or older or with compromised health conditions should remain safe at home and continue Scouting participation virtually.

Scouting can continue at home, virtually, as government guidelines are updated, revised and restrictions for larger gatherings are permitted.

Camp Shands and St. Johns River Base remain closed for Scouting unit use as we are actively preparing for Summer programs at these facilities, subject to government authority to do so and operational plans that will be adjusted to meet the safety and sanitation requirements for participants.  

Summer Day Camps & Aquatics Camp

We have made the difficult decision to cancel Cub Scout Day Camp and Aquatics Camp programs.  Plans are to welcome Scouting units back to the camp for unit programming and camping beginning on July 1 2020.  For a menu of program opportunities and to schedule use of the camp please contact the Program Experience Team 904-388-0591 or email

Resident Camp at Camp Shands

Camp Shands resident camp will be in operation this summer with modifications and a delayed start. We are currently planning to begin 4  weeks of Scouts BSA resident Camp beginning on June 28, 2020.  Scouts BSA Troops that have reservations for earlier in June are being contacted personally and provided an opportunity to move to a later week in July, apply deposits to future programs/camps, make a contribution to support Camp Shands or request a refund.  

We know that Summer Camp at Camp Shands will be very different than in previous years.  Physical distancing, increased sanitizing procedures and group size restrictions will limit the camp’s ability to offer all merit badge programs and activities.  Participants can expect medical screenings before departure, upon arrival and daily while on site.  Revised dining hall operations and tenting/accommodations will be in effect.  All program areas will not be available.  

Further, while precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while at camp will be in place, participants are advised that these precautions do not remove the potential for exposure to COVID-19 or any other illness while at camp. Some people with COVID-19 show no signs or symptoms of illness but can still spread the virus, and people may be contagious before their symptoms occur. These factors mean that an infected person may pass the required health screenings and be allowed into camp.

We also know the very nature of camp makes social distancing difficult in many situations and impossible in others. 

To reschedule your reservation please call the Program Experience team at 904-388-0591 or email

District and Council Activities continue to be suspended and will remain so for the time being

  • Rescheduled dates and information will be provided by respective event and activity leaders.

Council Refund Policy for Cancelled Events-Activities

  • As shared earlier the current policy has been suspended.
  • Any participant who chooses not to transfer their event fee to the rescheduled event date, may request a full refund via email or in writing.

What can all Scouting members do to protect themselves 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. *(Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol content can work in a pinch, but they’re generally not as effective as soap and water). 
  • 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.
  • Encourage Healthy Habits, like eating a healthy diet, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
  • 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.

Let’s all set the example to be safe during this time.  If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out.  Thank you.


Jack L. Sears, Jr.| Scout Executive/CEO

North Florida Council
521 S. Edgewood Ave.
Jacksonville, FL 32205
P 800.232.0845 | F 904.387.4148
D 904.265.3800 | C 904.945.0050



521 S. Edgewood Avenue, Jacksonville, Florida 32205
(904) 388-0591 (904) 387-4148
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