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  • #31
    Short - It's certainly true that crew-to-crew links are encouraged through VOAs and the Corps of Discovery, etc., but in no way are they a benchmark of a quality crew program.

    Agreed. Not a benchmark. But not healthy either.

    There are no other crews like them in the council. Under your way of thinking, none of those crews are real because they don't connect with other crews ... crews which have a completely different program focus and have utterly no reason to interact with them.

    I would posit that those "clubs" don't become crews until they promote themselves council-wide. They look good on paper, but if they don't have even one representative show up at at least one council/area event at least once a year, they do themselves and their council a disservice. Why? Because I bet there is at least one youth out there who would be interested in that church's religious outreach, or that hobby shop's RC plane event, or what-have-you. It's the very fact that crews have radically different program foci that they should network.

    And this goes back to Breany's OP. If you're just going to be a chapter unto yourself, don't bother with the paperwork. If you're going to be a crew that strongly encourages multiple membership with other units in council, bringing in youth who might otherwise not join scouting, service, etc ... it may be worth it.

    Calico ...
    As far as record-keeping within council, all of our youth who are members of multiple units have one memberid. My crew roster has a count of paid and unpaid youth and adults. (I.e., their registration fee was collected by our unit or some other unit. If they paid through our unit, their card comes to us to give to them. If they paid through another unit, their card goes there. Multiple units: one card.)

    Comment


    • #32
      I would posit that those "clubs" don't become crews until they promote themselves council-wide. They look good on paper, but if they don't have even one representative show up at at least one council/area event at least once a year, they do themselves and their council a disservice. Why? Because I bet there is at least one youth out there who would be interested in that church's religious outreach, or that hobby shop's RC plane event, or what-have-you. It's the very fact that crews have radically different program foci that they should network.

      Please tell me on what page of any Venturing handbook or materials I can find this interpretation of the program. Either you or I have a fundamental misunderstanding of what Venturing is.

      Comment


      • #33
        Shortridge, you arguments seem to be bouncing all over the place

        You state that camp staff pay is abysmal, and then in your next post you write about the summer camp staff being paid a reasonable wage. So which is it? Abysmal or reasonable? It certainly cannot be both.

        I never spoke of having a volunteer staff at summer camp. On the contrary, what I have a problem with is council employees being called a venture crew. How can you have any unit troop, crew or pack made up of council employees?

        (by the way, my council may only hire 20 to 30 summer camp staff members and they only serve for 4 to 5 weeks. You must be part of an exceptionally large council).

        And finally, imho, there is no reason to take an OA chapter and turn it into a venture unit.

        Are you a professional?

        Comment


        • #34
          Abel,

          Please read my posts again, as my arguments are perfectly consistent. I'll recap my main points to help you out.

          1. You wrote about your dislike of paying people to do what volunteers should do. I pointed out in my response that you can't run a resident camp program with only volunteers. As I said: If you don't pay people a reasonable wage, you're not going to have a summer camp. I was not saying that camp staff pay is reasonable at present. When you consider that it can work out to several dollars below minimum wage for even an experienced staffer, there's no way that can be considered reasonable. That barely counts as abysmal!

          2. You wrote: How can you have any unit troop, crew or pack made up of council employees?

          That happens because BSA requires all employees to be registered members. That's the rule of the corporation, not mine. Take it or leave it.

          3. You wrote: by the way, my council may only hire 20 to 30 summer camp staff members and they only serve for 4 to 5 weeks. You must be part of an exceptionally large council.

          Or perhaps you're part of an exceptionally small council. Mine serves just over 11,000 youth members in more than 360 units, spanning 14 counties. That may be large or small, I really don't know. We have two summer camps - one with an all-Boy Scout program, one split between Boy Scouts and Cubs. Both are booked fairly solid all eight or so weeks of the summer. The council is in the process of building a third camp to serve as a Cub World, allowing the second camp to offer just Boy Scout programs all summer long.

          4. I am not a professional, but I do count professionals among my friends and acquaintances. You apparently see most (or all) pros as conniving, manipulative, money-grubbing people, and I feel kind of sorry for you because of that.

          Though I'm no expert, I worked for five years on summer camp staff and attended NCS for Scoutcraft director training, and learned a lot about the behind-the-scenes operations of a camp. As a result, I strongly dislike unwarranted, knee-jerk criticism of a camp's staff or directors from people who have never even stopped to consider the work that they do.(This message has been edited by shortridge)

          Comment


          • #35
            Abel,

            I split this into another comment because it veers off topic.

            You wrote: my council may only hire 20 to 30 summer camp staff members and they only serve for 4 to 5 weeks.

            Those numbers caught my attention, because they seemed rather low, so I did some crunching. I'm assuming you have the standard camp setup and program areas.

            You need a camp director, a program director and a commissioner. The commissioner can have other duties, so let's make him the Scoutcraft director, as well. And let's say the camp director doubles as the ranger. You need a shooting sports director (who can run the rifle and shotgun ranges) and an archery instructor; a nature director and at least one instructor; a Scoutcraft instructor; a first-year camper program director and one instructor; a handicrafts director and one instructor; an aquatics director and 3-4 instructors and lifeguards (offering very limited instruction with that small of a staff); a trading post clerk; a support services/commissary/kitchen director - let's say he or she also doubles as the cook, for an 80-90-hour workweek easily - and 2-3 kitchen staffers; and a health officer.

            Thats about 23 people right there, for a bare-bones camp staff. If your camp offers a climbing or COPE program, if it has separate pool and waterfront areas, or if it runs specialty programs such as mountain biking or fishing or even if it offers more than two merit badges per area per time period more staffers will be needed.

            Does that sound like your camp? And how many people do you have attending each week?

            I would also point out that if your camp operates for five weeks, your staffers actually serve for six weeks at a minimum - probably more like six and a half to seven weeks. There's a week for setup and training at the start and several days for teardown, inventory and packing up at the end. And key area directors have to attend an extra week at NCS. So the senior staff is actually putting seven to eight weeks into your camps.

            Comment


            • #36
              I am going to make a few comments.

              Unfortunately there are those professionals who act just as Abel describes. They make life miserable for those pros who do care about the program, and usually force out those who care. Trust me on this. When two middle managers and 9 DEs/excutive trainees leave in a 20 month period, who can figure out what type of management you are dealing with.

              National states everyone has to be registered, and that includes employees. Even the part time clerks for Supply are registered with national. Again some summer camp staff are not normally registered scouters, i.e. contracters and TDY military come to mind. But I have also run into college students who do not want to make the commitment to a unit, knowing that they will be a "paper leader," and that their primary role is actually summer camp staff. Hence the creation of summer camp staff crews.

              I do not know if forming a Crew is mentioned at NCS or not, but every summer camp I've been to or worked on has had a Post/Crew (depending upon the year) for their staff. Some crews do activities year round, mostly helping to staff events and camp maintreience, but also some fun stuff, i.e. Christmas parties, trips, etc. Crews I've been with have customs and traditions, just like other units, and I would not consider the summer camp units fake.

              Also in the UK the staff, aka Service Team or Sevice Crew, act as a unit doing things year round. So it's not just a US thing.

              As for Crews who are not HA and outdoor oriented, so what? Venturing allows units to focus on specific areas. It is very possible to earn SILVER, and never go camping, although RANGER is a different story So I have no problems with a church youth group being a crew, or a RC club being registerd as a crew. In fact when Venturing came out, church youth groups had specific recruiting info printed out.

              As far as pay goes, it is not the greatest. I calculated that I was making about $1.56/hour as a COPE director back in the day. Most I made at camp was about $3.51/hour, and that was as a DE. You don't work camp for the money. One of my regrets in life was that I was unable to work summer camp as a youth since I had to support myself, and making $50-$100/week, about $.37 - $.69/hour depending upon years on staff and position would not be able to help me out. Again you don't work camp for the money.

              Comment


              • #37
                Short Please tell me on what page of any Venturing handbook or materials I can find this interpretation of the program. Either you or I have a fundamental misunderstanding of what Venturing is.

                Maybe I've got the Venturing handbook upside down, but here goes ...

                Nearly every third bronze award requirement reads something like this ...

                "Demonstrate by means of a presentation at a crew meeting, or a Cub Scout or Boy Scout meeting ..."

                Note that the wording is "a crew meeting" not "your crew meeting". This is much different than the Boy Scout Handbook (where we read "your" troop/patrol etc ...).

                The entire thrust of awards and recognition is to "nudge" venturers outside their own circles of association to achieve goals of personal development. The word "venturing" carries no implication of insularity.

                (I was going to say there was no "in" in "venturer", but I could see one of my crew replying, "But it's in venturINg!")

                National is not going to prevent a "club" from signing up as a crew on paper and doing it's own little thing, only recognising when a kid does something directly related to the club, never encouraging a youth to check out what crew X is doing or how they can support the mission of troop/pack Y or any other youth movement in their community.

                But as far as I'm concerned, that's a paper crew. It undermines the intent of what the program materials are trying to get these youth to do.

                And, pardon my "fundamental misunderstanding." It's basically what I got out of my Venturing Leader Specific Training. That, and the line "Congratulations, I'm sure you'll do a fine job."(This message has been edited by qwazse)

                Comment


                • #38
                  Your entire argument that crews aren't Real Crews until they connect with other crews stems from the word "a"?

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    qwasze

                    As far as "a presentation at a crew meeting" that refers to any meeting including your own crew, you need to refer to the Leaders Manual for a more complete explanation. In many councils there are district and council Venturing social events, outings, and trainings but they are supplemental to the crews own program, not required.

                    I agree that a camp staff Venturing crew lasting three months during the summer may not be a "traditional" crew, but if they are indeed doing service projects for the camp and meeting as a crew during that time they are as valid as any other crew for that period of time.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Short Your entire argument that crews aren't Real Crews until they connect with other crews stems from the word "a"?

                      If it were just one word, would that make it a flawed argument? Keep in mind that it's nearly every "demonstrate" requirement in each bronze award requirement that has this inclusive thrust -where your own crew is just one of many possible outlets - contrasted to the more exclusive requirements for Boy Scout rank advancement.

                      BP's correct, that inclusive language in itself does not preclude every youth in a crew seeking recognition by only doing everything within a crew. So, let's take a look at the Leader's Manual. I'll thumb to page 12 ... under Crew President's responsibilities ... "Represents the crew at Teen Leader's Council meeting and council TLC planning conference ..." This duty is listed before some of the other within-crew responsibilities that we might associate with a common club president.
                      Furthermmore, page 15 says the Administrative VP "Participates in council TLC program planning conference ..."

                      Generally, TLC's have been re-cast as VOA's. But the leadership guide is very clear that by definition, crew officers, if they properly fulfill their duties, will be agents of their Council as well as their crew. There is no indication that participation is "supplemental" or "not required".

                      Of course we try not to use the word "required" around these kids too often. And, if it's the crew quartermaster who attends VOA in the president or VP's stead, we'll take him/her!

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        qwasze

                        Quoting a passage from the leaders handbook does not make it so. In my council there is no TLC or VOA, we Advisors created a district wide created our own VOA and have organized our own joint outings and other activities. The SE came to me the other day and asked if we would like to organize a council wide VOA and I told him point blank on two conditions, the council will back it 100% with use of council facilities when needed,and that the other districts get their crews organized with their DE's help first before we go full bore into a council wide program. He agreed.

                        From my contacts in other councils Venturing is hitting roadblocks because of a lack of support by council or crews not caring to do joint activities. Qwasze, a crew can operate just fine on its own if it needs to, that was the way the program was set up, but it is always better and more fun to have multiple crew activities. However packs, troops, and crews can all work independently with a few district events thrown in for a change of pace. A crew president does not have to or required to participate in a VOA or TLC, especially if a council doesn't even have one, or a crew wants to operate independently.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          [He tells me to read the Leader's Manual. Then he tells me it ain't necessarily so. I feel like I'm in theology class. ]

                          We can have Lone Scouts, too. But that's not how Boy Scouts were designed to operate. If you had 8 Lone Scouts living within a half-mile of one another, you'd say "Dudes, form a troop already!"

                          When councils come up short with support for VOA's or what-have-you, the natural inclination of crews should be to pull together and do their own networking. Why? Because the officers read the Leadership Manual, go to their advisor, and say "Dude, how can we pull off this Teen Leader Council thing?" The advisor might say, TLC/VOA is non-existent in council, but a kid who's serious about what he/she just read will say, "Well, can't we make our own?"

                          That's what you did, that's what a neighboring crew did for our crew a few years ago when they had open slots for Philmont and communication through VOA was spotty, that's what our crew did this December for a neighboring crew that had newbies who wanted to try some winter backpacking (in turn they provided a female advisor for our YP requirement).

                          I've seen many a troop get by with zero district participation (on the boys' part, not the adults'). They pick up the handbook and work their patrols and advancement program as written, and they're fine. That's why when our PLC decides they don't want to do any camporees, we're fine with it.

                          But, even if crews work "independently" they need at least "a few district events thrown in for a change of pace" -- your words, not mine. That, my friend, is what we call networking.

                          A group of 14-20 year olds who gets a BSA charter and makes no effort to pick the phone and find out what their neighbors are up to is a club. They might be the sharpest club around -- with grey pants and kelly-green shirts full of bling, but a club nonetheless.

                          (Frankly, I have yet to see a youth with a shirt full of bling who wasn't also heavily involved in a VOA at some tier, but I don't get out that much.)

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            A group of 14-20 year olds who gets a BSA charter and makes no effort to pick the phone and find out what their neighbors are up to is a club. They might be the sharpest club around -- with grey pants and kelly-green shirts full of bling, but a club nonetheless.

                            Change the ages, change the uniform colors, and you've got the basic description of a patrol and a troop: Local youngsters banding together around a common interest. Yet you say troops don't also have to network?

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              "TLC's have been re-cast as VOA's."

                              Not really. What happened is most were called VOAs from the get-go. It was natural for VOA to be used, as the prior term was EOA (Explorer Officer Associations). Few used the new term National was pushing (which was used because they wanted to allow older boy scouts, varsity scouts, and explorer to be part of the mix). Its just that National realised most prefered the term and switched.


                              "But the leadership guide is very clear that by definition, crew officers, if they properly fulfill their duties, will be agents of their Council as well as their crew. There is no indication that participation is "supplemental" or "not required"."

                              Uh, the officers are NOT 'agents of their council'. The officers are representatives of their crew to the higher bodies (district or council VOAs). This is how it is in many organizations. For instance, in Toastmasters, club Presidents and VP-Education are members of the District Council, and club Presidents, VP-E, and VP-Membership are members of Area Council. Always remember that WE are the council. Its a bottom up structure. Crews to district/council VOAs and on up.

                              OA is similiar with their sectional 'council of chiefs' formed by the lodge chiefs.




                              Comment


                              • #45
                                qwazse

                                I really think we are pretty much in agreement on this issue. I was pointing out that the method does not always match the reality. That is why we started our own district version of VOA, council didn't have one and was not even interested until our district model became very popular. In fact we even got crews outside our district asking to participate, and now the SE comes and asks, almost begging us to start a council wide VOA. Reading the leaders manual is helpful and multiple crew activities are always great but there are always those crews, like the civil war reinactors crew and the veterinary tech crew who would rather just do their own thing and that's okay too.

                                In Venturing one model does not fit all crews and that is part of the flexibility of the program. Crews are not packs or troops wearing the same uniforms and following the same or similiar programs, and they should never be run like they are the same.

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