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219 scouts at summer camp, 9 leaders at pre camp meeting

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  • #16
    Well 219/8 is ~28. So to me that sounds like most of the troops going to that session sent a representative.

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    • #17
      Here's how I view it -- it is mandatory for anyone who calls an "all hands on deck" meeting to make it worthwhile.

      My first summer at a camp, I attended a mandatory leader's meeting that went over, in painful detail, everything that could have easily been put in a Leader's Guide (thus saving time for everyone involved). With questions, this meeting was going from it's second hour and into the third when I finally said "I really have to get back to the troop, is there anything else that I really need to know?".

      Later on, I pointed out that the present Leader's Guide (which was scant on administrative detail -- the stuff that was covered in the meeting) would better work for everyone if they split it into two parts: a Leader's Guide and a Program Guide (the program aspects were better suited for the Scouts going to camp, and the SPLs and PLs trying to organize activities during the week). I was distraught when I saw the next year, and the year after, and the year after, that the Leader's Guide only changed slightly from one year to the next (and no changes in program in those in-between years).

      So now we go to a different camp. One that actually works on program improvements from year to year. One that I feel takes comments from unit leaders more seriously.

      I know there are leaders that have their units go to the same place, year after year, and for them it suits their needs better. But I can also see a scenario where these same unit leaders skip the pre-camp meetings because nothing has really changed with the camp.

      Guy

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      • #18
        I do enjoy in-person meetings. I do. I often begrudge the email meetings we all seem to end up with. But I have NEVER heard of a in-person precamp meeting for BSSummer camp. All the camps I have had any contact with include (thank you GKlose) a detailed Leaders' guide and Program guide. Might be 75 pages total, but there they are, policy and suggestions and methods and instructions writ large and ready for any literate adult (or SPL!) to read. If you have a question , why, there's a phone number. Several in fact. And when we arrive at the camp parking lot, there are Scouts in bright neon red STAFF shirts, with clip boards, ready to point the jolly campers to their campsites and medchecks and swim chacks.
        I like the idea of making a precamp visit (?SM, ASM, SPL?) if you haven't been there in a while (or never been there). I see that as a means to make things easier, for sure.
        But a 250 plus meeting to "talk things over"? Almost sounds like Cub Scout Day Camp. Just did that last sunday. 100 plus staffers , most never been there, doing that, so the hotdogs and coleslaw were well spent , getting to know each other and walking the site.
        But Boy Scouts attending the camp? Strange to my mind.
        Is this a new camp? Are they stil planning and arranging things? Mmmmm, no, didn't really sound like it. Sounded like a camp director/developement director that is not all that confident about things yet.

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        • #19
          Our camp holds a pre-meeting, but we've never sent anyone, and I can't imagine why we would. I can't see any real benefit to going.

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          • #20
            Good points, all...I had forgotten about the rehash of the on-line guide. That was tolerable compared to the endless stream of questions from some of the scouters (easily 100 in attendance). Some general categories of listener pain:

            - Questions that were part of the briefing, and the guide, but asked anyway
            - Questions that had already been asked by another scouter earlier, and answered by the staff, but asked again by another scouter anyway
            - Questions that were rare cases/off the wall/esoteric what-ifs, presented in painful detail, that should have been dealt with one-on-one with staff afterwards, but were presented in front of the entire group, with the rabbit duly chased until it was dead, 10 mins later

            After 2 hours I got up and left.

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            • #21
              Yes, D-rat, that's exactly it. I swear the larger the group, the more people that don't listen. :-)

              But I forgot one of my particular pet peeves: purposefully withholding information from a Leader's Guide, so that one can only get it at the pre-camp meeting! A penalty for not showing up, as it were.

              Really, the world (Scout camps) would be a much better place if we had clear and complete Leader's and Program Guides available in advance of camp, and on top of that, if these pre-camp meetings were kept as short as humanly possible.

              Guy

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              • #22
                I don't do a lot of posting here, but this one caught my attention. I have sat on both sides of the table for the pre-camp meeting. Guy may remember when our Tecumseh Council Camp held a Thursday evening through Saturday morning SPL orientation the week before the troop checked in. I was the program director and the SPL's met all area directors, Commissary Director, DH Head Steward, and many more. We scheduled troop aquatic activities for the week, troop shoots on our ranges, and many more things important to the week. The Patrol Method worked for us. At this point in our camp's story, we served upwards of 1500 youth in a six week camp.

                The thing is, we never had huge adult pre-season meetings - with the exception of our Steak-A-Claim dinner and meeting that happened each fall. Well attended. Our key was a complete Leader's Guide with both administrative and program details for the season. If a change is not in the guide when it is published, it doesn't happen.

                I commend you, Fish, for attending the meeting especially with your distance travelled. As has been said by another before me...you are prepared for your week at camp. Enjoy it! My years on staff and as a camper are among the most memorable I have!

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                • #23
                  I don't do a lot of posting here, but this one caught my attention. I have sat on both sides of the table for the pre-camp meeting. Guy may remember when our Tecumseh Council Camp held a Thursday evening through Saturday morning SPL orientation the week before the troop checked in. I was the program director and the SPL's met all area directors, Commissary Director, DH Head Steward, and many more. We scheduled troop aquatic activities for the week, troop shoots on our ranges, and many more things important to the week. The Patrol Method worked for us. At this point in our camp's story, we served upwards of 1500 youth in a six week camp.

                  The thing is, we never had huge adult pre-season meetings - with the exception of our Steak-A-Claim dinner and meeting that happened each fall. Well attended. Our key was a complete Leader's Guide with both administrative and program details for the season. If a change is not in the guide when it is published, it doesn't happen.

                  I commend you, Fish, for attending the meeting especially with your distance travelled. As has been said by another before me...you are prepared for your week at camp. Enjoy it! My years on staff and as a camper are among the most memorable I have!

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    At my summer camp, the one I work at, we don't have a pre-camp leader's meeting. Leaders should read and be familiar with the emailed documents that list merit badge prerequisites and other important stuff (they're also available from the camp website). But there is a "first night" leader's meeting after swim checks are over and everyone's set up in their camp. The leaders of the troops and the department heads meet together to iron out the schedule irregularities that always come up. Usually, by far, most people have the same schedules that they signed up for on the website, but it's always good to attend our "first night" leader's meeting just to check and make sure that everyone's on the same page and that everyone's taken care of.

                    You know, Troop Whatever brought a few extra boys who all want the same merit badges and that puts us overlimit on some classes with limits so we need to rearrange their schedules. A couple boys from Troop A really didn't make their swim test at all so a retest likely won't help which means that they should sign up for something other than the Lifeguard class. The website borked out on Troop One Billion or they signed up last minute after a fire warning closed the camp near them, so they need to sign up for everything. Only one boy signed up for Merit Badge Y at Z o'clock, so it would work better for everyone else if we moved him and sent that instructor to split up a different larger class at the same time instead. Boys from Troop Theta signed up for classes that, when thinking about attending meals and the merit badges, will have them walking completely back and forth across camp five times every day, with only a few minutes to make most of the trips, so they might want to rethink their schedule. Again, most everyone has the same schedules that they signed up for, but things happen, so it's good to meet together just in case, to iron those things out.

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