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Plano Boy Scout troop camps out at Lake Gladewater

Tyler-Longview KLTV logo Tyler-Longview KLTV 6/8/2020 Alex Leroux
a person that is standing in the grass: WEBXTRA: Plano Boy Scouts camp out at Lake Gladewater © Provided by Tyler-Longview KLTV WEBXTRA: Plano Boy Scouts camp out at Lake Gladewater

GLADEWATER, Texas (KLTV) - When a Scout Troop from Plano’s trip to North Carolina was canceled, they decided they’d camp at Lake Gladewater with COVID-19 precautions.

“My first thought was, we’ve got to figure out a way to get these guys camping,” said Scott O’Mary, the Scout Master for Troop 259.

With a lot of planning and researching guidelines to follow, that’s what scout troop 259 did; go camping.

“You need to think about what’s the best thing you can do for the boys in your troop,” said Michael Marciniak, a senior patrol leader for the troop. “What will give them the best experience but not put them at risk of getting COVID. Look at their options, figure out what’s affordable, what’s least threatening, and what’s the best experience and figure out what’s best to do for their boys.”

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“Even before we got to camp we structured the camp quite differently,” said O’Mary. “We’ve made sure we limit the number of participants here, so we have maybe a dozen to 14 scouts here, for this session. Come Wednesday, those scouts leave and our advance ranked scouts come onto the property. So, we’re keeping the attendance low.”

When they aren’t able to stay six feet apart, everyone at the camp wears a mask and scouts who usually sleep two or three to a tent are now staying in one alone.

“It’s the first time I’ve slept in a tent without anybody,” said Alex Andersmith, a scout with the troop. “It’s been different than most camp-outs because there’s not a lot of people here.”

Usually the troop car pools as much as possible, but this week they asked parents to make the two hour drive to bring each kid separately.

“We made the tough decision, a burden on our parents, that each parent had to drive their own scout out and drop them off at camp,” said O’Mary. “The parents were very supportive, they understood the precautions and they understood these were baby steps we’re taking to get back into camping for our scouts.”

The troop also has a Ph.D. nurse with them during the week to take everyone’s temperatures, every morning.

“As scouts arrive at camp, we’re taking the temperatures of all the scouts as well as all the parents in the cars, to make sure everyone is well,” said O’Mary. “And we’re doing a health screening when they arrive.”

O’Mary said they suggested that any scouts who have immunocompromised family members not come on the trip, out of an abundance of caution.

Even with limited people and all the safety measures in place the scouts said they're learning a lot and still having fun.

“I feel really safe. I know we have a very good troop of boys and adult leaders and I feel like we’ve all taken the necessary precautions that we need to,” said Marciniak. “I feel as safe as I can be.”

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