p18 - BSA Staying Safe; Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update


Media Advisory

For March 13th, 2020


BSA Staying Safe; Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update


See PDF Version Here


BATON ROUGE, Louisiana:

To the Scouting Families and Volunteers of the Istrouma Area Council,


As always, our top priority is to keep our youth, families, and community safe.  With recent concerns regarding COVID-19, (Coronavirus) the Risk Management committee and members of the Executive Board met to discuss a plan for upcoming Scouting events.

At the recommendation of the Risk Management committee, the Council is postponing all Council and District Scouting events that were to occur between March 13 and April 13, 2020. This delay is in line with the schedule outlined for Louisiana public schools by Governor Jon Bel Edwards. This will give us time to assess the impact of the virus on our Scouting community and how we can mitigate any spread among our members.

This postponement will include, but is not limited to:

  • Round Tables
  • Merit Badge Day
  • Eagle Reception
  • District Meetings and Events
  • Order of the Arrow Events
  • Council level Trainings

We recommend units follow the same four weeks postponement, including campouts, Blue & Gold banquets and other gatherings.  Decisions about unit meetings and activities should be made by unit leaders and chartering organizations, taking into consideration current CDC guidelines and local health department guidelines.

Our plan is to hold all District Family Camps and Camporees the weekend of April 17-19, 2020 at Avondale Scout Reservation. Wilderness First Aid, NYLT and Summer Camp are still scheduled, and will be included in our future assessments. We are working to reschedule Merit Badge Day and the Eagle Banquet. We hope to notify you soon of the new dates.

We are encouraging all staff and volunteers to take all precautionary steps to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Please refer to http://Idh.la.gov/ for additional information.  We realize we all have a part in keeping each other safe.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your District Executive or Council Executive staff. We will do everything we can to answer your questions.

We appreciate your commitment to our Scouting Community,


   Bill Ragsdale                 Bob Warner                   Gary Mertz
Council President       Council Commissioner        Scout Executive



Update;  March 20, 2020:


Scouting Families:

The health, safety and welfare of all Scouting participants is a top priority for the Istrouma Area Council.  Given the recent developments to close schools, public gatherings, restaurants, government offices, etc…. The Council Leadership has made the difficult decision to make the following operational changes that are in effect IMMEDIATELY and will remain until at least April 13 or otherwise announced. 


Pennington Scout Service Center and Scout Shop

  • Hours of Operation - 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m, Monday through Thursday (Closed Fridays)
  • Scout Shop is closed to walk-ins. 
    • Please call ahead and give our staff your list to pull.  We will gladly meet you at the door to finish the transaction.
    • Please call 225-925-8465 to place an order.
  • The Scout Office - While visitors are welcome by appointment, email and telephone access to service center staff is now preferred and encouraged at this time. 
  • Please call (225) 926-2697 to schedule an appointment with any of our staff. 
  • Sanitizing and extra cleaning of restrooms and office spaces is currently underway.




Update;  March 23, 2020:


Pennington Scout Service Center and Scout Shop

  • Effective March 24, 2020 the Service Center is closed until further notice.
  • Scout Shop is closed until further notice.
  • Please call (225) 926-2697 and leave a message and someone will return your call.




Update;  April 8, 2020:


Dear Scouting Families, Den Leaders, Assistant Den Leaders, Cub Masters, Scout Masters, Venturing Leaders, and Crew Advisors:

I hope you are all doing well, as we work through the tough times that we are facing with Virus issues.  I would like to ask each of you a favor from one Scouter to another.

Attached is information that pertains to food locations for kids, of which some, are part of our Scouting family.  A few of them might not know where to turn or where they are going to get their next meal.   I’m asking you to reach to your Scouting families to make sure they know where they can get their next meal or support.

There is also a lot of good Scouting activities and how to run a Den Meeting on our web-site.  Visit https://www.iacbsa.org/scoutingathome.  Please reach out so that our families have a good scouting experience during this “time off.”

The Council will continue to work on rescheduling past and upcoming events, both District and Council Events.  We are working with the Day Camp Leadership  to have the camps ready to go, when we are open to be in big groups again.  We will be working with the team to also discuss Summer camps.  Please keep an eye on the Council Facebook  page “Istrouma Area Council” and the Council Website https://www.iacbsa.org/ for more information.  THANK YOU!


God Bless and Stay Safe!

Gary Mertz

Scout Executive





The Istrouma Area Council, (IAC) serves 13 parishes in Louisiana and Wilkinson County, Mississippi. We provide a quality Scouting program to more than 5,000 co-ed youth. Over 3,000 adult volunteers support 285 Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, Venturing Crews and Exploring Posts.

It is the mission of the Istrouma Area Council, Boys Scouts of America, to build character, citizenship and total fitness while preparing young people to make ethical and moral choices over the course of their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.


Istrouma Area Council

Pennington Scout Service Center

9644 Brookline Avenue

Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70809

Phone: 225-926-2697

Fax: 225-926-7552


Istrouma Area Council Service Center: M-F 8:30 AM-5:30 PM

Istrouma Area Council Service Center: Closed on Saturday