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Seabase 2014

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  • #16
    Thanks, Qwazse -- I always appreciate your replies, which invariably give me something to think about :-).

    Guy

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    • #17
      Just one poor hobo telling another where to find food ...

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      • #18
        So -- the lottery opens today :-). Just finished putting in about 12 choices. Interesting new addition -- summer sailing in St Thomas.

        Guy

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        • #19
          We just got our lottery results back with 3 crew for the Coral Reef sailing adventure. I think the crews of 6-8 give good flexibility. We have 30 days to get an idea of how many boys are interested - so far we have 10 within 24 hours. When you are awarded a number of crews, you have the option of only taking one or two. The last time our troop went, we recruited a couple of boys from other troops and it worked out well. I plan to have one of our older scouts that went last time (2010) to talk about the trip and get the boys excited.

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          • #20
            Oh my -- I just realized I should do a followup -- we were selected for two crews, Coral Reef Sailing. Just this last Monday, I got enough firm commitments that we can get the minimum for each crew. I'm pretty excited about this. Seabase opened up about the same time I aged out, and it's always been a dream of mine to go there.

            The only bad part -- they said I'd have three weeks once I received the letter -- not true -- the letter was sent out and I received it with just over two weeks to go. So I'm scrambling to collect deposits, and get an SE signature (why?) just so I can drop the form in the mail with a little over 7 days to go before the real deadline.

            I looked into Blue Sky Adventures, for ground transport, and some S. FL touring. At a little over $400 per person, estimated, I'm not sure that's going to make the final cut. I appreciate that businesses still need to make money, but I also think we have an obligation to manage the trip costs for our guys. Right now, I'm looking at somewhere between $1600 and $1900 each, depending on lots of factors. For example, I perfectly tickled (sarcasm implied) that we have to commit a deposit without knowing what the final Seabase cost will be, for 2014. They could have a 30% price increase, and I'd have no way to deal with that.

            Guy

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            • #21
              Doncha just love these lotteries that, by winning, you're the one who owes $$?

              Don't worry about deadlines. If your slow with the paperwork, the day you put it in the mail give them a call to let them know it's on it's way. Frankly, I would let them know that your troop's commitment is contingent on the cost being less than $X. (I.e., let them know that you "know when to fold 'em.")

              Talk to your contingent about their options. Some folks are happy to just land in Miami, stay at a hotel the night before and hire vans to take them down the next day, and do the reverse on the way back. You can usually get package deals that include airfare and two night's hotel stay there and back.

              Anyway if you've been collecting $100/person/month since January, you should be on target. If not, up it to $120/month (or even more if you want to put your in your deposit on transportation well ahead of time).

              BTW, this is supposed to be a learning experience. So, have an older trustworthy youth serve as your contingent's treasurer. He collects the checks and turns them in to your troop treasurer and with your help keeps track of who paid what.

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              • #22
                Test the camp test.

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                • #23
                  I had the opportunity to take a group of boys to Sea Base several years ago. This isn't necessarily the direction that this thread has taken but, (in my opinion) is still on topic. The leader that took care of the logistics for us did a supreme job. We are from the Kansas City, Missouri area, we flew into Ft Lauderdale and rented a 15 passenger van. We then drove to Key West and stayed the night in the local Hostel. It was educational and interesting to say the least. It was just a very basic bunk room with all the boys in one room and us 3 adults in an adjoining room. If I remember correctly it was a cost of less that $10 / head. We spent the afternoon and evening exploring what Key West had to offer. The next morning we drove back north to Sea Base South and proceeded to our Out Island Adventure, a program that I would recommend by the way. When we left Sea Base South we proceeded north to the Everglades to some kind of Gator Farm and Air Boat tour, which the boys really enjoyed. Then we stayed the night in another Hostel. This Hostel was really neat because it was run by a couple of old hippie throw backs that really enjoyed talking to the boys about the importance of community. They would fix a huge dinner every night and charge $2 to anyone in the neighborhood that needed a good cheap meal. They had several families that ate with them a couple of time per week. I thought at the time that this was a real good lesson on sharing and looking after ones neighbors. The next morning we returned the van and flew home.

                  The point of all of this that I really enjoyed was that we really were able to create 2 trips into 1 for around $100.

                  Also I like the idea of a monthly payment plan. Our High Adventure has also been collecting lead acid batteries for recycling (easy money if you have a place to collect and store them). Also we just did a smoked pork butt and smoked pork rib fund raiser. This is the first time that we have attempted this so did it on very short notice. All orders were pre-sold so we only bought what had previously been paid for. A group of leaders, since this was our first time didn't have any of the boys help, stayed and smoked butts and ribs for about 50 hours. Since it was only leaders it was also a good time for program discussion. After is was all said and done the High Adventure crew raised just under $2000.00. And, these were delivered on an "off" weekend. There were many customers that suggested that in the future we deliver closer to "Prime" weekends, ie Memorial Day, Labor Day, Super Bowl Sunday, Graduation, etc.

                  I hope you have enjoyed my ramblings.

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                  • #24
                    Thanks for your response, bwest. I haven't been on this site lately, and just recently read your response.

                    Guy

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                    • #25
                      Hello all -- just another followup, seeing as how we are 4 months out from the trip. Just paid the final installment to Seabase, so we're really going! Airfare purchased -- much angst to get that going -- I kept watching fares climb up, realizing that I'd lost a window of great opportunity and thought we were going to have to blow the budget. But one adult leader kept his eye on Southwest.com (BOS-FLL). Caught it the morning they were opening up new routes. I signed on early, and got 8 seats for a really great price. He delayed by about 15 minutes, and all cheap seats were gone, so his seats were way up again. On average, though, we did well.

                      We don't have a full crew yet -- two crews of six on two boats (Coral Reef Sailing). So we have room for four more, and while I am thinking of the prospects of dropping the overall cost for everyone by adding four more, we also will run into exorbitant airfare at this point.

                      By the way, just this last month we entered into the lottery for Philmont, summer 2015. The good news is that our first-ever national high adventure base trip to Seabase will be followed up by a 2015 trip to Philmont :-). The plan gets sketchy for 2016 and beyond -- I'm not sure who will be our Scoutmaster at that point (I will probably still be CC, though).

                      Thanks for everyone's input over the course of this thread. I've learned a lot from all of you.

                      Guy

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                      • qwazse
                        qwazse commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Looking good. Our provisional sailors were responsible for their own transport. You should make it clear to late-comers that they will owe their share of the extra transport costs.

                    • #26
                      Thanks for the advice, Qwazse -- I already saw that one coming

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                      • #27
                        Consider The New Swampbase or the New Galveston Seabase in 2016

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                        • #28
                          Hello all -- just got back from our trip yesterday. What a fantastic week! Everything went extremely well (except for one minor nutty I had: we had two crews -- the other one left shortly after dinner on Sunday; our boat stayed on the dock Sunday evening...it agitated me, so in the morning, I sought out the sailing director, didn't find him, so I unloaded on the program director -- his first response was "well, we don't guarantee that boats go out the first night". And I responded "I've been hear for 19 hours already and I'm still here". I could have handled that better -- but it really stems from the idea that I think they knew all day that we wouldn't be out that night, while the other four boats would get out, including our other crew, and they just didn't tell me. I don't like surprises, like at 8:30pm getting told "we'll be leaving in the morning").

                          Anyway, it was great. Clear water, warm weather, no rain. Good wind most of the time, and I think FSB did well overall.

                          Logistically, everything went well. We're from MA, and it shouldn't have surprised me that we met four other crews from MA down there at the same time. Flew from Manchester, NH to Fort Lauderdale, rented a 15-passenger van (which holds 12 people and some duffel bags, if everyone packs lightly!). We had one late-joiner to the group who arranged his own transport to FSB (frequent flyer miles, and relatives picking him up and delivering him) and we had two more who made their own flight arrangements (but joined us at the car rental place). We didn't really do much for ground tour -- just a stop at the Evergaldes Alligator Farm on the way down. Wasn't that expensive, and was mildly interesting. I kind of wished the airboat ride had been longer than about 15 minutes. Maybe if we do this again we'll check out Everglades N.P. instead.

                          So -- one more thank you to everyone for helping me through this trip. On our flight back, we started discussing a 2016 Northern Tier trip :-). We already have a Philmont slot for 2015...

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