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  • No Medical? No camp. No Refund.

    We've been sending monthly emails since February, had parent meetings in April and May, made lot's of announcements at Troop meetings -- all stating the same thing: medicals for Scouts going to summer camp must be turned in no later than June 21. We have about 80% with another 10% promised to be delivered this week.

    The other 10%? We seem to have a small group of parents that apparently believe the rules do not apply to them. They seem astounded and quite taken aback when we let them know there's consequences to their apparent inattention. In this case, that their son will not be allowed at camp without a medical filled out correctly with all the appropriate signatures.

    "Why didn't you tell us!", one said to me in angry accusation and then with a look of desperation, "What am I supposed to do now?". I just looked at her in amazement.

    Oh, well. No medical? No camp, no refund.

    Too harsh? What can you do?

  • #2
    I am too soft hearted to make the boys suffer for their parents laziness. I know we should just say "too bad, so sad", but I can't.

    So, I would tell the parents that they have until Wednesday but that they must pay a 10% late fee. So if the camp is costing $100, they owe you $10--to be paid when they turn the form in Wednesday. No late fee, no forms, sorry but Bobby can't go.

    And I would be very clear with Bobby--"sorry scout--your mom did not get the paperwork in. next time, remind her daily until she does so."


    • #3
      "No medical? No camp, no refund."


      Been told and told and told.

      WE do tell them as long as they hand us the med form be fore we leave the CO and when we arrive at camp, we can give it to the health director, then it is fine.

      But if they say they have it and when it comes time to leave the CO - and they don't have it - then

      No medical? No camp, no refund!

      But we do tell them they can call the scout office and have the money transfered to a different session of summer camp, a camporee, council program and maybe / possibly for use at the scout shop.

      But once the money is turned in to council, there are no refunds.

      Who'se fault is it? Not ours! WE been telling them every meeting since January, and sent who knows how many e-mails out to them.


      • #4
        I think you might want to get each parent who pays for camp to also sign a document saying they understand that. "We sent lots of emails" is not going to withstand a claim in small claims court. You'll be giving them a refund and told your communication is ineffective and lacks receipting.

        There are parents who don't want spam who don't even tell you that you don't have their email address. Or they give you an email address they never check, because they don't want you able to email their phone and ring it at 1am. There's all kinds of stories back there.

        I support your policy, but think having them sign they agree to the conditions when they pay would be an additional step your committee could take to protect the unit and prevent parental complaints and anger.


        • #5
          I don't know what the policy is in your state, but in mine, the "blame" can be placed squarely on the camp. State law requires that the camp have up to date med forms for all attendees. No form, and the camp won't allow you in the gate. There's no arguing with them about it.

          Do you tell parents that many doctors will sign off this year's form based on a physical within the last calendar year? That might help if the real problem is that their kid had a physical last August and insurance won't cover another one until this August. And usually, doctors (or their staff) can turn around a do-over form like this in just a couple hours.

          I know we've done that a few times - and while the staff always says "oh we don't know if the dr. will do that," the answer has always been "sure, I'll do that" when asked.

          About the refund: if the camp will give a refund, even a partial refund, then I think you must pass that along to the family. It would be unethical to deny the family a refund that they could have gotten, or worse, to keep the refund in the troop's funds. But if the camp won't give a refund at all, then you certainly aren't obligated to provide one to the family out of the troop's coffers.


          • #6
            CCbytrickery - the payment idea would likely get their attention, but still won't help a kid without a medical.

            BSA24 - Not so much a policy as the reality right now! The camp will not allow a Scout to stay without the medical form. As to the document to be signed with payment... interesting idea, but not sure if it would stand up in court any better than all the emails and summer camp guidance we've provided. So far that has not come up.

            Not trying to be harsh, just passing on camp rules! I'm frustrated that some don't seem to pay attention until it's almost too late. Just had a call from another in the "10%" scrambling as Lisabob describes -- we'll see if they get it together! They're supposed to drop it off tomorrow. I told them at this point we need them to make 3 copies!


            • #7
              Oh yeah, collecting summer camp med forms is a nightmare and it's my job every year for cubbies to day camp/webelos camp
              and for the last 2 years for the troop of 60 boys ("luckily" only 31 went to camp to nag about medical forms)

              I announce it by email, on the troop website, at court of honors, at circle up at the end of meetings, individually to parents, and the last 2 weeks before camp it is phone calls and txts if necessary.

              We have CVS and Walgreens that have minute clinic type places that will do camp physicals for under $50. sometimes I can rat out some coupons to get it down to $30.

              I explain to parents if I do not have your son's new medical form in this binder (hold up binder) by June 24th when we leave for camp, you will be sent to see if there is a minute clinic open and hope you can get a med form then for your son. But you'll have to drive your own son up to camp. Camp won't allow us to check in without the forms for each individual.

              This year I advised that if their son takes medication or has a special condition that leaders need to know about, it's imperative that they get the med form to us a week before we leave for review. and then we make a copy of the med forms one for us and one for the summer camp. If they show up the day we leave they are sent to CVS to make a photo copy and bring it right back.

              Amazingly enough we had med forms for everyone when we left.
              but about 4 of them came in that hour before we left.

              as for refunds, yeah we can't issue refunds, cause council gets the money and keeps it. if we haven't paid all of our $ to camp (like for late additional adults that decide to go) we can use their $ on that so they may get $ or they may not.

              At least the kid with the heart condition and a million meds went and got his med form from his cardiologist and brought 3 copies of the form. hopefully this year he doesn't go to the hospital about half way thru camp like last year.


              • #8
                So the troop went to summer camp last week. We had medical form drama for one boy, he did get his physical just before the troop left for camp so he was good. Another boy was missing Part C, the camp let him stay with his mother's promise to fax the rest. She couldn't get a fax through despite trying all week, nothing was said. Someone discovered upon the return of the troop that a third boy also didn't have Part C, and no one caught the lack at camp.

                So much for 'you can't stay if you don't have your medical form, parts A, B, and C.' No parent will believe us now.

                Still, we plan to tighten up procedures on the troop side and try to avoid the mess in the future.


                • #9
                  I am all about personal responsibility...a trait we are supposed to be teaching the scouts. It's not "us" who are punishing the's the parents, through their inattention to the details. Too bad, so sad? Absolutely. I would let the parents AND scouts know in no uncertain medical, they don't even leave the parking lot. As others have's not our rules and we can't make exceptions. I agree that the refund policy would depend on the camp refund policy...I always told the parents that they would have to call Council to arrange a refund. Once I turn in the money, it's not up to me. If it was a legitimate excuse (illness, death in the family) they would usually get their refund.


                  • #10
                    I just spent about 2 hours going over medical forms for 70+ campers. Of course about 15 of them aren't in yet, even though we had them due 3 weeks ago. Then a few aren't signed by the parents, a few are missing a sheet. Is it really THAT complicated? It is a state law in Wisconsin that a medical form must be on file. No form, No camp, no refund. I agree!


                    • #11
                      No medical, no stay at camp, no refund has been around a LONG Time. I know that was policy when I went to camp back in the 1980s.

                      Worked at a camp that sent a scout home until he could get a physical. If memory serves, the actual physician portion of the old form was a month or so out of date. SM drove him to an urgent care place to get it done, which took a few hours.

                      That said one thing that helps if you got the resource, is leaders or parents who are MDs, DOs, PA, RNPs, and others who can sign off on the physical in your unit. Just remember YP still applies if you get the physicals done through the unit.


                      • #12
                        That use to be my job when I was in the troop.. Summer camp registrations for MB the boys wanted, payments and Med forms.. Payments were a pain, but the worst were the med forms..

                        Each year the camps also got more & more picky.. First year, I am not sure they even looked them over. Second year, looked for insurance info (which was forgotten half the time), next year it was something else.. By the 3rd year, I had to check over about 5 to 7 things on the form before accepting it.

                        I always had at least 2 or 3 med forms that were not done and parents had to bring with them (in triplicate) to camp.. If they came with son & no med form, they left with son still in tow..

                        We never car pooled to camp. Each parent brought their own son up.. Normally we were close enough, and if the med form was not turned in early enough for the Nurse to have checked it over the week before camp, and state what was missing.. Parents stayed until the med form was approved by the Nurse.


                        • #13
                          I don't remember this being a problem for us, but maybe that's bcause a couple doctors give free physicals at a troop meeting in May every year. I'm sure a couple scouts still missed it, but maybe our firm handed treasure took care of late medicals. She had a way of making things happen. She still does even though all the kids have left the house.



                          • #14
                            no medical no camp no refund--YES

                            but, is june 21 an arbitrary date? how about medical by the time you leave for camp. if not turned in, no go. If you are leaving for camp on june 21, then yes, june 21 cut off. But if you are not leaving for another week, why not give them some slack. Isn't that why you set an earlier date.


                            • #15
                              We did this for two months and some folks waited to the last minute. If you do not have A,B,and C you are not getting on the bus. We also scan copies of everything as the folder with 60 or so people's forms has gone swimming on occasion. We have a separate thumb drive and a person back home that will email/fax copies as needed. But if someone doesn't do it and promised to fax it up, well, they would have to drive their boy to camp and check them in themselves. What if the bus had an accident on the way?

                              We were frequent flyers to the local Hospital emergency room this camp so I am a believer in doing this right.

                              The delay we had in forms was from folks whose employers or insurance provided free physicals but they were waiting for the date to line up. They decided to wait instead of paying for a quickie physical.

                              Unfair to a boy who has a lazy or unorganized parent. Absolutely. But they are transferring their guardianship to us for medical issues in an emergency. Got to do it right. Darn sure a lot of the same parents would try to sue us if something happened and we did it wrong.