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Gateway Area Council Updates

Latest News on the Council's Key Programs for outdoor adventure, family fun, character building, leadership and so much more!

Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturing, & Exploring!
Summer Camp 2020 Status
The health and safety of our Scouting families, volunteers and staff is our number one priority as we continue to prepare and plan in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. This situation is truly unprecedented and as we look towards this summer and our camping operations, we are committed to remain proactive and make decisions that will protect the families we serve.

Our council’s camping committee has been reviewing all scenarios in an effort to make the best recommendation possible for this summer’s camping operations. We are following recommendations of our local health officials and are committed to providing a safe and fun environment for our Scouts and adults this summer.
Programming at Camp Decorah will be postponed until July 5, 2020.  This will allow for more time to space out from the state of Wisconsin Safer at Home order and will allow for additional time for staff training, procurement of health and safety supplies, and planning for camp program changes which may be necessary due to COVID-19.

Troops which are currently registered for session 1 are in the process of being scheduled for either the July 5-11 or July 19-25 sessions.

Other key things to know:
  • Some families financial situations may have changed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.  For information on applying for a campership please email
  • Adults vacation or PTO plans may have changed as well. If you have concerns on meeting the two-deep leadership requirement for your unit please be in touch and we will discuss ways to work with you.
  • If a youth from your unit cannot attend during your re-scheduled week we will work with you to place them with another Gateway Area Council Troop during the other week.
  • There will be some parts of the typical and traditional summer camp program which will need to be changed and adjusted for summer 2020.

An announcement will be made soon with the new dates for Cub Scout Resident Camp and Webelos Resident Camp. We are still making plans for these programs to occur in late July / early August.
If you would like to discuss further please reach out to a member of our camp leadership team and we will be glad to share updates on our summer 2020 planning.

Cub Scout Summer Programs 

An exciting program line-up is in place for summer 2020 Cub Camping at Camp Decorah.  We are excited to have your family, Den, or Pack join us.

The summer 2020 Cub Scout camp line up includes:
  • Cub Scout Resident Camp – new dates TBD. This camp is for youth entering grades 1-3. Belt Loops are part of the program as well as many other special activities. 2020 theme is “Cubs of the Roundtable!”
  • Webelos Resident Camp – new dates TBD. This camp is for youth entering grades 4-5.  Join us for a variety of challenging adventures for our 2020 theme “Are You Tougher than a Cub Scout”
  • Week Long Day Camp – August 3-7. The perfect program for Cubs looking for full week of adventure.  Join us for special activities and guest speakers each day.
Find information on all these programs here: (PDF)

Brownsea Camp and Scouts BSA Merit Badge Camps: July 26-July 30
Brownsea Camp is the perfect option for first or second year Scouts who require a flexible schedule. This program helps a Scout earn the majority of the requirements for Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks as well as two key merit badges: Swimming and First Aid. If you need to leave camp for other commitments we will let you know the requirements you may have missed. Program runs from Sunday morning to Tuesday evening and includes an outpost campout Sunday night to help complete additional requirements. This camp is also great for younger Scouts who may not want to be as far from home or for high-flying Scouts who want to earn merit badges at summer camp and also earn their first advancements.  Register and find more information here:

Daily Merit Badge Programming will also be offered at Camp Decorah July 27-July 30.
Find the full listing of merit badges and register here:
COVID-19 Update:

As you are aware due to Wisconsin's "Safer at Home Order", all in-person programming for the month of May has been postponed until a later announced date. Our staff continue to serve Scouting by working remotely from their homes. Learn more below about the cool online programs we created to keep Scouting alive and well in your own homes!   

Scout Service Center
In cooperation with the State of Wisconsin Safer at Home order the Scout Service Center is closed at this time with the staff working remotely. Although the service center is closed at this time the Gateway Area Council staff is here to support your unit. Contact a staff member for support:

Scout Shop Orders
Although the Scout Service Center is closed we are still fulfilling orders for families and units. In need of a new handbook or uniform shirt?   Interest in activity resources or organizing unit advancement items? We can help you out!
Email orders and inquiries to Lisa Tippery, . We will work out payment via phone and can ship the items to your or arrange for delivery / pick up.
Scouting at Home - Earn Your Free Patch

Get connected and have fun with the "Scouting @ Home" Challenge!
Start these virtual Scouting adventures and challenges - for youth and adults!  Scout on while keeping a social distance! You can even earn a FREE patch! -

30 DAY CHALLENGES:  Work on any of the youth or adult leader challenges found on the website

VIRTUAL MEETINGS/ EVENTS: Learn how to host your own virtual Den or Troop meetings.

SCOUTING @ HOME PATCH:  To receive the patch, complete the challenge, then:
- Use the online completion form and submit

SHARE YOUR FUN:  Share a photo or video of your Scout and Family in Action on the all-new, private Gateway Scouting Family Connection Facebook Group.

ONLINE MERIT BADGE CLASSES:  Week 6 starts next week and some Merit Badge Counselors have opened up a few more slots to Scouts. Please keep checking foe the offerings.
Thank you to everyone who sent in video submissions and participated in our first ever Gateway Scouting Virtual Campfire Program! We hope you and your family enjoyed the evening program and it was great to see many families participating the the National BSA Camp-In this past weekend on Facebook!

The Tomah VA Medical Center is asking for letters and cards for Veterans restricted in the VA Community Living Center. They are in need of uplifting and positive messages, children's artwork, etc.
Address letters to:
Tomah VA Medical Center
ATTN: Mail Call (135)
500 East Veterans Street
Tomah, WI, 54660
They are hoping to have enough letters so that all patients can get at least one card/letter, they need about 200 for just one week.

If you participate – please grab a quick picture and share it so we can put together a summary of Scouting’s impact.
Thank You to everyone who supported our Giving Tuesday Now Campaign and helped us raise over $400 for scholarships for Scouts in need to attend
Camp Decorah!

Save the Dates


The Gateway Area Council and the Order of the Arrow continues to monitor the rapidly evolving situation regarding COVID-19, or commonly called the coronavirus.  As always, the safety of all our scouts, volunteers, members, advisers and council employees is the top priority. We will all be following the guidance of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local governments, and the National Boy Scout and Order of the Arrow Office.

Important Updates: 

INDUCTION WEEKENDMAY 29-30 AT CAMP DECORAH has been MOVED to August 14-16th 

Virtual Unit Elections 
The National OA office has approved that Lodges can hold virtual unit elections through July 1, 2020. Units that decide to do a virtual meeting election — please contact Harvey Geary at (608) 792-4144 or and Lodge Chief Jaden S at

See latested Smoke Signal for more details on updates with the NST Lodge.

Jamboree 2021_Final.jpg
Plan now for the National Jamboree: July 21-30, 2021

The Gateway Area Council will be sending a contingent of youth Scouts BSA members to the 2021 National Jamboree at The Summit in West Virginia. Scouts must be at least 12 years old and have the rank of First Class at the time of the Jamboree.

Only 36 spots for Scouts BSA members are available. We will be working with neighboring councils to do a shared contingent for female Scouts BSA members.

What: Every four years the BSA organizes the ultimate Scouting experience, the National Jamboree, an event that brings together over 40,000 Scouts and adult leaders from throughout the country. It is the ultimate in Scouting experiences where you will be able to take part in mountain climbing, kayaking, rafting, shooting, SCUBA and many, many more activities, while meeting Scouts from around the world.
When: The Jamboree will occur July 21-30, 2021. Plan for several days travel each way for a trip which could be up to 14 days total.
Who: Youth attendees must be age 12 and at least First Class rank when they attend the Jamboree.
Where: The Jamboree is held at The Summit Bechtel Reserve, the BSA high adventure base in the mountains of West Virginia. (
Cost: The final fee will be set based on the full trip itinerary which is selected by the contingent families, but will likely be between $2,000 - $2,500. Fundraising opportunities will be available. The amount will be spread out in regular payments. Scholarships may be available as well from BSA National for families who register early. All costs to attend as well as all travel fees (meals, transit, tours, etc) are included in the fee. If we opt to travel to the Jamboree without any pre-touring the cost could lessen.

Check out the video here for more information on the action available at the Jamboree:

To hold your spot plan to make a $100 deposit and complete the online form found at Gateway Scouting National Jamboree Deposit Fom                                         

Training Team Updates

The volunteer training team has a variety of training's planned to help volunteers in their role as Scouting leaders.

Online Leader/Parent Training

While in-person training's can't happen, and while many of us are at home looking for ways to grow and learn. Now is a great time to complete your online Scouting Position Specific training, online outdoor safety training, or making sure to retake Youth Protection Training before it expires. Every Scout deserves a trained leader who has the training to provide a safe and fun Scouting program! Log-in or create your online portal for training at and complete as many training's as you can while at home. Learn more about what training you need for your position here

July 26-31, 2020

National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) is the pinnacle of Scouts, BSA leadership training for youth. Every Troop and Crew deserves a Senior Patrol Leader that is trained and prepared for the responsibilities he or she faces. The NYLT course centers around the concepts of what a leader must BE, what a leader must KNOW, and what a leader must DO. The key elements are taught with a strong emphasis on HOW TO. The skills come alive during the week as each new patrol embarks on a Quest for the Meaning of Leadership.

Register online here:

  • In the case that NYLT does not occur due to COVID-19 a refund or credit for future programming would be issued.

Facebook Posts - Share Your Scout in Action!

Share pictures of your Scout in action while they continue Scouting at home. Especially community service projects, 30 Day Challenges, working on Merit Badges, or meeting virtually with their unit! You can send your pictures in the Gateway Scouting Family Connection Group, via a Facebook messenger to the Gateway Area Council Facebook Page, or via email to

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2600 Quarry Road | La Crosse, WI 54601

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Gateway Area Council · 2600 Quarry Rd · La Crosse, WI 54601-3939 · USA

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