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  • Late Event Signups

    How do you folks handle late signups for troop activities such as campouts. So say you say the final signup date is Monday and then Monday comes, signup is done, patrols are figured out, meals are planned and then on Wednesday you get 4 or 5 scouts that say, sorry we missed the meeting but still want to go on the campout. Now meal buying needs to have some changes, car pooling needs changes, etc...
    We have been just allowing the late signups but it's really disrupting and making people have to go through a lot of effort. But we're suckers and we always want the boy to participate so we say yes. Sometimes they are late signing up also because parents don't pay attention.
    Do you just tell people after the date that they can't go or do you charge them a late fee, how do you handle it?

  • #2
    There are two ways to handle this: one do what you have done as the "last day to sign up" isn't really the last day to sign up and you scramble to accomodate, or actually let some Scouts miss an event or two and teach them the responsibility to get things done on time.


    • #3
      In general, we're suckers. If we know there's an extra seat we'll fit 'em in. It's up to the patrols how to figure out meals, but we usually buy a little extra.

      Parents, BTW, should not have to pay attention.

      I agree that it is disruptive, and if it was the same family every time, we would have a serious discussion.

      Worst case scenario (this happens with our Crew a lot): if not enough folks sign up, the event gets canceled. It's really depressing when you get a bunch of calls two days later with close to the minimums you needed! I'm usually pretty blunt and say "If only you had been more responsible and called in saying you were thinking about signing up."


      • #4
        our pack deals with the same thing..... usually nobody signs up, not even most of the leaders until the last day or two.... or even after the fact as you describe.
        We too, are suckers I guess. Want as many boys and families to come as possible.
        It seems to me though, that a lot of these trips would be better with smaller groups anyway.... so what I think we SHOULD do is this:
        If we guess that 60 people will come, we should make reservations for say 40.
        If the deadline comes and we can get a refund, cash in on any open spots and call it there. Be hard nosed....
        If we can't refund the spots, keep on taking new folks until the spots are full.
        No calling to get more, no juggling, no worries.
        It's a shame in many ways, but I think things generally would be a lot more enjoyable for everyone (except the extreme procrastinators)


        • #5
          In a Boy Scout Troop it is NOT the responsibility of the PARENTS to "pay attention". It is the responsibility of the Boy Scout.

          If you have 3-5 Scouts then you have an entire patrol. They will need to plan their own meals, do their own shopping, and provide their own transportation if there are not enough seats to go around.

          If it is only 1-2 Scouts then they are added to already existing patrols. They accept what ever menu has already been decided upon by their patrol. If more groceries are needed to make their portions they do the shopping for them. If there are no extra seats, they provide their own transportation.

          I would also consider charging more for the late comers. If you generally charge $10 for a campout, the charge for payment after the final date would be $15.


          • #6
            It really depends on the event and how it's handled. If it's fixed space, it's fixed space. If there is flexibility, then we will be flexible.

            For us, it's really only an issue if it is more than one or two scouts. We can almost always fit in one or two. If it is six or eight, then that is when the big headaches and adult complaints will start.

            Our "published" cut off is the troop meeting before the camp out. The scouts camp and eat with their patrols. So that's not a big issue.

            The more definitive cut off date is when the patrol buys food. Usually the night before the camp out. So, the real issue is does the person let us know before their patrol buys food. If they are a patrol of 10 and the 11th shows up, it's not a big headache. If they are a patrol of two and a third shows up, they will be hungry that weekend or need to scrounge from another patrol or the adults.

            It is hard to say NO because they learn the most camping. Saying NO will teach a lesson, but it can also start the process of separating the scout from scouting as they find something else to do that weekend.



            • #7
              Unless it's something that had to be prepaid (tickets for something) we fit them in.


              • #8
                If they miss the cut-off, they can still go, but they need to line up their own meals and travel arrangements. A lack of planing on one person's part is not an emergency for everyone else.

                Going with one's own food is not a big problem. I do it all the time. If the weekend has rotating 2nd adult, I just bring my own food. If two adults are going, we just figure out that one buys the food and the other cooks it and we split the cost. I don't mooch off the patrols for meals unless explicitly invited and then I'll offer to pay my fair share.

                I haven't starved to death yet. As a matter of fact, I generally eat better than the boys, so it's no hardship for me. I grew up in an era of mess kit cooking, so it works out nicely.



                • #9
                  They do it because you let them. If you are going to constantly make exceptions, don't complain about it.


                  • #10
                    We have more of a problem with cancellations than late registration, but we usually allow registration up to the meeting before the campout (and often will allow a later one). A few months ago, we had a boy who volunteered to be grubmaster back out of a trip the day after last signup. He never informed any other scout that he wasn't going (and wouldn't be buying the food). Thankfully, the SM knew the scout was grubmaster, and averted the catastrophe.


                    • #11
                      Food is by the Patrol - so no concern. Only issue is seat belts and enough tents packed. I HATE to keep a boy from an outing if I can.

                      That said, I am considering proposing to our Troop that Patrols be responsible for their own drivers, and that the Troop get out of the business of providing seat belts.


                      • #12
                        late sign up is allowed until food is bought by the grubmasters. Cancellation is allowed with money back as long as food isn't bought yet.

                        so this will vary from campout to campout depending on who is buying the food and when shopping fits in their schedule. When my son was a scout and still now when I am adult patrol cook I normally shop on thursday afternoon. But other families that might be wednesday or that friday.


                        • #13
                          Our troop does repeated verbal reminders at troop meetings and multiple e-mails. You snooze, you lose.