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How do you coordinate logistics for campouts?

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  • How do you coordinate logistics for campouts?

    Hi there,

    From the adult perspective, organizing a campout requires logistical coordination for transportation, carpooling, expense sharing. I've seen some coordinators:
    1) Handout hand printed directions
    2) Let the kids choose what car they drive in
    3) Reimburse each parent who drives with the same amount of money

    Is that how other coordinators handle this?

    Are there any online tools / software that any of you use to help with this process?


  • #2
    Hiya jamesprepatrip! Good question.

    Are yeh talkin' about a Cub Scout pack or den outing? Boy Scout troop? Venturing Crew?

    They're pretty different.

    I don't do much work with cubs any more (that was always Mrs. Beavah's thing anyways ), so I'll let someone with more recent cub scout experience answer that.

    For Boy Scouts, the boy leaders should be handlin' most of the logistics for campouts, eh? A good troop might have some adults coaching the younger boy leaders in the process, but it's stuff that they can handle. Loading cars, making directions & navigating, figuring out car assignments, even deciding budget and such. Most troops (but not all), the adults do handle the money/reimbursement, and have some set procedures for how they handle payin' for gas and such. So in terms of your questions, for Boy Scout troops, I'd say:

    1) the boys do it how they see fit.
    2) the boys do it how they see fit.
    3) the troop has some standard procedures for handling, but they'll vary by troop. Sometimes boys will bring cash to give their driver, sometimes the driver will submit receipts for reimbursement, sometimes there won't be any reimbursement, or only for the fellow who drives the trailer, etc.

    For Venturing Crews, just put down "the youth should handle it" for everything.

    Are there any online tools / software that any of you use to help with this process?

    Scouts use Google maps a lot. :P What sort of online tools are yeh thinkin' of for da other stuff?

    One thing I've seen a couple troops do to great advantage is send out "driving statement balances" along with scout account balances. Can be as simple as "average miles driven in the last year per family" and "miles your family has driven".

    (This message has been edited by Beavah)


    • #3
      Driving Statement Balances? Is this a crew specializing in accounting?

      We have a directions to our most frequent campsites in anyone wants them. If it's someplace new the guys putting the trip together provide directions.

      We ask anyone driving to the campout to park in a line behind the troop trailer. Once everything is loaded, the SPL has the troop go stand with their driver and car as one last check. But the boys decide where they ride.

      We don't pay or track it. Our rule is "A Scout is Courteous." The courteous thing to do is to offer to help your driver with gas money. It's up to the driver to accept it or not.


      • #4
        I believe that jamesprepatrip is simply plugging his trip organizing web site prep-a-trip.


        • #5
          Scoutnut, yes I created a tool to help my friends and I organize our own trip, and am not going to hide that fact, check out my intro here awhile back

          Plugging is not my intention at all, and was not even going to mention it, I'm simply trying to see what other scout troops nowadays are doing things. Learning about what's out there is part of my way of continuing to share that knowledge with others. I have only been exposed to my old troop, my venture crew, and my nephew's troops processes which I now help out at.

          Sorry if my post offended you and if you some good tips, I'd love to here them,


          • #6
            I'd say it varies by trip. But as a driver and participant as adult leader, I like:

            A map and directions on one page. Cell phone numbers of the drivers or navigators.
            Obedient kids, which ones decided at departure. At least one should have an MP3 player with a decent selection.
            An open seat or two, if at all possible.
            A mileage estimate that I can use on my tax returns if I forget to log it or fill up on gas after the trip.


            • #7
              We have sign up sheets at the meetings, and then follow up with emails to the troop. We then have a full list.

              we have an adult coordinator both as a position in the troop, and one specifically for each campout to arrange the campout. They get the permits, reservations, tour approval, etc.

              Since 2we have a list of who is going, and who is driving, we meet at the charter organization at a predetermined time. the boys pick which vehicle they go in. Once everyone on the list is crossed off, we leave.

              very seldom do we have any request for reimbursement. sometimes for long summer camp trips, or where the trailer is pulled for 3-4 hours each way we get it. Troop pays for it, and it is divided among the scouts who attend out of scout accounts.

              we do adult meals the same. emails go out, adults pick a meal they want to cover, and take care of it.


              • #8
                Question - When your scouts choose vehicles to ride in, do they ride by patrols, or do they mix?

                Comment - when I was SM, I asked the SPL and ASPL to ride with me. Gave us opportunity to talk about their plan for the weekend.


                • #9
                  We have a standardized equipment list we modify. Include contact info for the parents and a GPS coordinate. Bottom is a tear off permission slip with a box to check off for payment used: cash, check, scout account. We try to have a Life and up scout organize the event with the SPL and PLC. Mostly collecting forms, checking off names, and keeping track of how attendance is shaping up for transport needs.

                  We fill out the 14 seat church van first--newbies have to go in the van. Boys can ride with their Dads. Then we see who is left and distribute as boy/driver sees fit. Usually have a dad on standby. Most always works out.

                  We build in a fuel fee per scout. We will reimburse drivers up to a point.

                  Loading of Troop and Patrol gear is up to boys. Occasionally over-ruled by adults due to vehicle loading capacity, hitches that sort of thing.

                  Seems to be working well.


                  • #10
                    V. - our scouts mix. If all the boys from a patrol were present, we couldn't fit them in one vehicle. But then, we're not that tight with the patrol method anyway.

                    Shotgun may go to SPL in the SM's car (or crew president in mine) if there are loose ends. But I usually leave it for the youth who's willing to keep up any sort of conversation (and move the playlist along if it brings up any sort of cussin').


                    • #11
                      So exactly how does plugging numbers into a website help the boys learn how to plan and budget for a trip????


                      • #12
                        B.D. - I found that when the tour plans were a fillable PDF, my VP-Admin (who was actually SPL at the time) found them quite helpful for planning activities.


                        • #13
                          when it cubbies it was family camping and each family took care of it themselves - as webelos it was close to the same though if a parent couldn't come they could designate person as being in charge of their child and carpool

                          now with boy scouts...

                          boys pick locations at planning meetings and activities at PLC meetings (unless it's a given based on location)

                          outdoor cordinator does reserve location and will print maps for drivers if needed

                          outdoor cordinator will look over number boys going and number of adults going and their vehicles to know if more drivers needed - if more drivers are needed SPL is told and he makes an announcement as well as Outdoor cordinator or I will check with a couple parents - it always gets taken care of.

                          after arrival for departure and gear is loaded - role call - drivers raise fingers for number can hold and boys go to car they want to go with. Typically the SPL/ASPL and QM rides with adult in charge SM/ASM the boys go over what they saw needs done and in what order and as SM just listen in and now and then makes suggestions. With ride home same vehicle only the discussion goes how did it go and what could be improved.

                          reembersment is only for person pulling the trailer. and troop has set amount and I forget how much it is.


                          • #14
                            I well remember as a new scout parent the attitude of "well, everyone else knows where camp is, find it". I think scouters need to be careful about assumptions of what new parents know, and what expectations of them are. This also goes to the large number of acronyms we use. NYLT. COH. BOR. POR. The list goes on and on.

                            When we are going to a camp we've not been before, I'll prepare a one page map, GPS location, physical address, phone # if available. I discourage caravanning. It is not particularly safe.

                            If we're stopping for food along the way, we'll name a city/location where we'll stop, and we meet up within a usually tight time window.

                            If we are camping close, (within the county) we don't charge a gas fee. If we're further out, we charge a flat $10.00. We reimburse drivers who carry scouts (more than just their son) actual cost. We use the honor system, and don't require gas receipts. This works well, and doesn't over pay or short drivers, which happens when dividing a pool of cash.

                            Our budget allows some cushion to absorb the actual gas costs. Popcorn sales subsidizes gas throughout the year.

                            Scouts choose who they ride with, and what vehicle. It's not a big issue, and have never had hurt feelings about how they choose.

                            No, no tools or software needed for this. Just some organization.