There won’t be any camps this summer at Camp Sidney Dew, the 81-year-old Boy Scout hideaway in Floyd Springs.
The Northwest Georgia Council Boy Scouts of America board made the decision to shut down all overnight and multi-night camp events during a meeting Thursday morning.
Scout Executive Matt Hart said it was a hard pill to swallow but Camp Sidney Dew is just one of well over 100 Boy Scout camps to shut down for the summer in response to concerns over the spread of COVID-19.
“The governor and CDC have said you can open camps — but our model has it where if a troop comes to camp with 20 folks, whoever they come with they stay with,” Hart said. “So you can’t do things like campfires and ceremonies. You’re taking out the character and a lot of things that folks remember about camp.”
There is some good news for the youth and teens who participate in Scouting.
“We’re working on some summer programming,” Hart said. “We’ll be running some (day) activities to get Scouts into the outdoors and let them experience camp and earn some badges.”
The summer camps are a large part of the council’s operation but Hart could not say specifically what the shutdown would mean to the organization financially.
“It is going to ripple through the entire council for a while, no doubt about it,” Hart said.
Anyone who has already signed up for a summer camp will be given a full refund of all fees and deposits. For information regarding payments, contact Angela Goodson at 706-235-5545 or by email at email@example.com.
The Northwest Georgia Council serves approximately 4,000 Scouts spread across seven counties of Northwest Georgia. Camp Sidney Dew has served Scouts from all over the country, even international Scouts. Just last year a large contingent from the United Kingdom spent a week at the camp.
All of the Cub Scout Twilight Camps will be done virtually this year. That decision was made more than a month ago.
“You can’t teach a 7-year-old social distancing,” Hart said.
Hart, who has been the council executive for just two months, is worried about what else can go wrong since he returned to Rome from Valdosta.
Since that time, they’ve lost longtime Scout wood carving instructor Horace “Ed” Edmondson, who died in mid-April, and now summer camp is being shut down.
He’s hoping things really don’t happen in threes.
“We’ll step back and regroup and we’ll come back stronger next year,” Hart said.