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Data management for unit campouts

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  • Data management for unit campouts

    Looking for ideas on how you manage your data for camp outs We have a family camp coming up and our existing spreadsheet (excel) doesn't quite meet our needs. Any ideas or suggestions on how other units track all the information? Hoping to learn from others and not recreate the wheel.....


  • #2
    Just curious as to what you think you are lacking???????

    I print a roster then simply check off who is going by underlining the name and putting a number beside the scout designating how many are coming and when paid a PD goes beside that.

    Day of the event I have the Parent sign in the family members on two rosters the day of the event, one for me and one for the camp master.

    With that I can file for a tour permit, set a menu and shopping list.


    • #3
      Like your idea. Much simpler than what we did last year. Here is a little more...

      We created the spreadsheet out of desparation as we had 70 people camping from ages 1 to 65. We also had several different rates to contend with - the facility was a council property. It had a camping fee vs day use fee. Those fees also varied by age and if the person was registered with the Council. It also had activity fees that had mininum $ and also varied if the person had camped or was a day use. It was a nightmare to figure out. So we created a spreadsheet to try and manage the people coming, their status (child free under certain age, registered cub scout vs youth, registered adult vs adult)

      We also had difficulty accessing the information on the spreadsheet while at camp since it was on the computer.

      We have an event coming up this fall and it will have camping vs day use fees, but no difference based on age or registration status. That will help. Also no activity fees. (whew!)

      I will be submitting my tour permit based on the rsvps received by due date. We don't accept any after that.

      I am curious how you handle folks that rsvp they are attending and they either cancel or change the number attending at the last moment after you have started purchasing the food items. Do you issue refund and are they full or partial refunds? Does it matter what caused the change in attendance? (ie death in family, work conflict came up, etc) Does it matter when you get notified of the cancellation?

      Looking to see how others have handled this issue.



      • #4
        I am curious how you handle folks that rsvp they are attending and they either cancel or change the number attending at the last moment after you have started purchasing the food items. Do you issue refund and are they full or partial refunds? Does it matter what caused the change in attendance? (ie death in family, work conflict came up, etc) Does it matter when you get notified of the cancellation?

        We require payment prior to the event. We purchase food based on those that who have paid. If the food has not been bought, camp fee not paid, etc, then we may refund if special circumstances. Once the unit has incurred cost, that fee is not refundable.

        If they want to add extra people, it depends on many things. Is there available space at the camping area for addtional people? Is it one more or a car load of people unit wide. When I purchased food for the pack campouts we usually had 90-100 confirmed but I planned to feed 125. Almost never had leftovers. Some would not attend but others would bring extra people or extra appetites.

        Patrol food buying is smaller quantity and sometimes 1 extra person creates havoc with portions. Other times it is no big deal. We have had several occasions where one patrol forgot to bring food and the other patrol forgot their patrol box. SPL introduced the patrol leaders to each other and problem worked itself out.


        • #5
          We have a partial refund policy, first is one the campsite is reserved 50% only once the food is bought no refund. Period. Most people understand this.


          • #6
            Thanks for the posts! I will share with the committee.


            • #7
              I'll also submit a couple other solutions for this-- there's a lot of good software out there that does event management, too. A lot of it is also online and accessible, such as ,, and so on.

              I'll admit to being biased-- I'm interning with the non-profit developing ScoutSpirit, which has a lot of event-management functions, and Advancement tracking w/personnel records, etc., besides--but you shouldn't have to use an Excel spreadsheet when there are programs that do registration, email lists, etc.

              Hope that helps!

              Paul Lukehart


              • #8
                First, bless your families who participate. This must be a lot of fun for your boys.

                For my crew, I use Google spreadsheets, which allows me to create an online form for sign-ups. The basic data goes directly into the spreadsheet. I use this to collect general stuff (last name, how many can drive, what your paying for, etc...). PM me and I'll send you an example form.

                Second (since you don't have internet/power/computer whatever on site), whatever you use, stop online collection the week before. Print everything up on 3-hole paper, and have it in a binder for the trip. From there, work from paper.

                That way, I get a rough idea of numbers for a tour plan, and who owes me money and more detailed info (e.g. driver stuff, etc ...). I DO NOT gather personal info online.

                Refunds depend on the cost relative to participants. Some activities we get a group discount or there is a fixed fee per group, so cancellations can cause the budget to explode for the rest of the particiapnts. In those cases, no refund, the preson who cancelled is responsible for finding a replacement and they can get money (or not) from thier replacement.

                In other cases the only cost is food and fuel and we come in under budget, so we can refund cancellations. (Even for stupid reasons like "I thought my girlfriend was allowed to come but when her dad found out I'd be there he wouldn't let her go.")


                • #9
                  Data management?

                  I don't recall any of that stuff at the pack level. And with as many as 120 cubs, we looked like an army division coming through the woods.

                  We mostly handled registration by den. The den leaders forwarded a list of attendees and any money they collected. We kept the den lists and checked off who had and had not paid. No refunds once food was purchased regardless of reason.

                  We were clear that parents were responsible for their children. No formal check-in or out, but we did ask folks to let one of the key leaders know if they were leaving early. (BTW, I was also day camp director for years and understand the difference between "with your parent" and "got dropped off". Huge difference in responsibility. Our day camp had a staff of people who tracked rosters, attendance and dismissals in detail.)

                  And tell your council to put it in their ear. I'd SWAG a number and write them a check. If the want to know details, tell them they're welcome to come do a head count.


                  • #10
                    We used to have 150 bodies on a campout as well. We also did a SWAG estimate for the paperwork based on past experience. If we went over we would pay the difference. We also pushed the paperwork, money collection to the den level. That said we had a well financed pack and subsidized most of the campouts. We usually had the dens provide there own food.


                    • #11
                      Our web site vendor has an on-line event sign up. We use it to track who's going. People can sign up, but only the event admins / web site admins can correct the attenance numbers and mark people as paid. We use the comments field to clarify things. It also does automatic costing with three price levels.

                      At camp, we event out the event sign up (has phone numbers on it). Later, we update the on-line version from the paper. Works fine. Not great, but gets the job done.


                      • #12
                        Google Docs will do all of this for free.

                        Everyone is selling something


                        • #13
                          I would hesitate putting too much effort in this area, families add on and drop out of an event with little notice. Start as simple as possible with Google Docs or Excel if you got it until the system breaks.


                          • #14
                   - $12 per year and it handles all the registrations. Free full featured demo for 3 months. This has saved us countless hours managing registrations, drivers, menus, etc...


                            • #15
                              We'd have maybe 100 or so at some of our Cub Scout camping trips. We paid for the campground out of popcorn money. We'd have one group meal, where we'd set a hat at the end of the table and ask everyone to put in $3 per person (or whatever), and the rest of the meals were done by family (primarily) or by den (occasionally).

                              For any more complicated situations, we just used a spreadsheet to track it.