You’re missing going on campouts since the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the shutdowns of many places. What can you do instead?

How about “camping in”?

The Boy Scouts of America invites families with children of all ages for a National Camp-In, starting at 11 a.m. EDT on May 2. You don’t have to be in Scouting now to enjoy this free virtual event. Just log on to the BSA’s Facebook page that day for a full schedule of fun — and invite your friends; this is a great way to show them all the cool activities Scouts can do.

Some activities planned for the Camp-In include camping hacks, a cooking demonstration, at-home exercises, skits and songs. Special guests include Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Inc.; Francis Lawrence, a film director/producer who directed three of the four Hunger Games movies; and Golden Globe Award-winning film producer Shannon McIntosh.

Everyone is encouraged to participate in the National Good Turn virtual 5K hike to benefit Feeding America to help replenish food bank supplies across the country. Here’s how to donate and download a bib. Paralympian gold medalist and Eagle Scout David Blair will lead everyone in warmups and kick off the hike.

You can tune in all day or follow the activities off and on throughout the event. Set up a tent in your backyard during the Camp-In’s campsite building contest — or set it up beforehand. Prepare songs to sing at the virtual campfire. Grab pen and paper to create a movie storyboard for the Moviemaking merit badge before seeing a behind-the-scenes virtual movie-set tour from Hollywood costume supervisor Jessica Pazdernik, who worked on Pirates of the Caribbean films and Captain Marvel.

Check the National Camp-In page later this week for a full list of events and share how you’re participating via social media using the #CampIn and #ScoutingAtHome hashtags. And yes — there will be a patch for this event; stay tuned!

When you register for updates on the National Camp-In here, you will be entered to win one of two $200 gift certificate prizes, provided by Polaris Industries, a leading manufacturer of off-road vehicles, for its online store. The deadline to enter is Sunday, May 3, at 11:59 CDT.

Online guidelines

If after the Camp-In you’re inspired to host a virtual campfire or other fun online activity with your Scouts, remember that all Youth Protection policies still apply. Opt for online platforms built for business, rather than other purposes, like gaming. They have better safety and privacy features. Check more online guidelines here. If you have questions regarding advancement, meetings or camping this summer, check the BSA’s COVID-19 frequently asked questions page.

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