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  • Camp Scholarship Issue

    I would like to ask for technical opinions as to how to handle a situation. I say technical as everyone has their own opinion and I already have as many of those as I do people in the committee... I am looking for how to properly proceed as a Committee Chair and keep things done properly.

    Situation

    Person who is Camp Master for the Summer Camp this year (not the SM) had it brought to his attention that a scout was not going to camp for financial reasons. As the Camp Master and SM (adult camper 1 and 2) get $100 off their fees, Camp Master made the decision on the spot and told the camper’s dad with financial issue, the troop would cover the fees of the camper as a scholarship. No need to go to the District and request a scholarship as only for one, the troop would cover it.

    Information about scout receiving scholarship, used to be heavily involved in troop, currently attends about 10% of meetings for last year due to sports obligation etc.

    We have several on the committee that thinks we should take back the offer of the Camp Master and have the amount change from a full scholarship to a partial or no scholarship.

    We have no bylaws stating in writing how financial issues are to go... so from what I can see the Camp Master broke no written rule.

    The standing unwritten rule is that amounts spent are run through committee meetings.

    The frustrations are that this was not taken to a committee decision.

    With no bylaws in place I only see this as a matter of poor judgment on a person’s behalf.

    My personal stand is that as no official rule was broke, as there are non written, I am assuming that the Camp master acted in what he felt was a proper way seeing that no scout was left behind for camp, and acted out of a good heart although flawed reasoning. Second, I do not feel it appropriate to change the scholarship after it has been offered as the Camp Master was acting as a person in charge of camp for the troop...

  • #2
    Unfortunately, it appears that your camp master exceeded his authority by taking this action.

    As Committee Chair, I'd consider what he might have done and should have done and have a tactful chat with your volunteer.

    I would consider it desireable to inform parents EARLY of the availability of camperships from your council or troop for families with financial issues, and encourage them to apply for such aid early.

    Just guessing, but perhaps that's what your campmaster should have done when the difficulties of this Scout became know to him late. Perhaps by making a phone call to the right person, he could have gotten support for this Scout even at a late date. Even if that wouldn't work, he could have referred this issue to the Scoutmaster, Commiittee Chair and Treasurer to decide.

    Personally, I wouldn't feel bound by a promiose made by mistajke by someone without the authority to make such a promise.

    I would start right away to call your Council camping department to ask about getting a campership for this Scout, and go from there.

    Comment


    • #3
      Agree with SP.

      The professional scouters state our Council has lots of camperships that go unused each year. So, you should ask your Council as SP suggests.

      Campmaster is also likely not aware of the financial position of troop.

      My scout son's troop does make parents aware of Council camperships and the troop's scout assistance fund. (Although, the troop's scout assistance fund is generally used for scout outings, insignia, activity t-shirt, etc.) Our SM/CC will take the anonymous parent's request for assistance to the Troop Committee for a decision on whether or not to use troop funds to help the scout. Good luck!

      Comment


      • #4
        Tough spot your troop is in. You can't have bylaws to cover every possible situation. This was just irresponsible of the leader to make such a large financial decision for the troop without consulting the committee.
        I would go the district/council route first, but honor the offer in the end, after a very candid talk with the leader and his lack of common sense. The troop should have a policy that any expenditure over say $50 needs at least a verbal approval of the CC.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks guys for the idea of the district scholarship... great idea... honestly after a year of this kind of crap, I am ready for someone else to pick up the CC torch... for being all about the kids we shure spend a lot of time jerking with adult size messes... can't we all just go camping.....

          Comment


          • #6
            Most district and council camperships are due at the council office between February and April.... You probably missed he deadline.

            Our troop goes to summer camp out of council so we don't qualify for camperships......

            Generally it is the Mr. B campership fund......This year it was only one scout who was short and I only ended up pay half of his fee..... Got off cheap this year. A boy coming to 10% of the meetings doesn't qualify for my scholarship. just that simple.....

            I am guessing the reason he doesn't have money for camp is the cost of the athletics.

            Since the Campmaster volunteered the troop without authority he should pay the fee for the scout.

            Comment


            • #7
              Wow. Sounds like you need a Bylaws amendment channelling all financial matters through you Troop Committee.

              Comment


              • #8
                Campmaster should have said "I will run it by SM and the committee." IMHO it's yours and the SM's call weather he/she has to go back to the scout and say "sorry, I spoke out of turn." The only reason it would be the larger committee's business is if it was counting on those discounts being added to the troop treasury. (E.g., if it's a line-item on the "income" side of your budget. Or, your budget includes paying for adult 1 and 2 at the discounted rate.)

                Is the low attendance an issue? That's entirely the SM's call. If he's willing to work with the boy, you all should support him.

                For situations like these, our troop has a scoutmaster's discretionary fund that only needs the SM, CC, and Treasurer's approval. At the committee meeting, the treasurer need only report that x$ were drawn from the fund. The Campmaster may or may not know who we're talking about, but the "who" and "what" is really none of the rest of our business. All we care about is that the boys who want to camp with us can do so. When a lot is drawn from the fund, we all know that we're going to have to bump up the fundraising.

                But, we usually ask anyone who needs assistance to apply for the district camperships before tapping the discretionary fund. Even if it's past some deadline, Call the DE and see if he/she can pull some strings for you. There's usually some interest in those funds being used. Those families over the long term can become your best FOS donors (not in big $ now, but steady contributions over the years).

                Now that campmaster might be frustrated that you're throwing down all these extra hoops. But, you need to make it clear that there could be this boy, another boy who talked to the SM, and a boy who talks to you -- all in the same bind. If you all didn't take time to communicate before acting, you could wind up with one *very* angry treasurer.

                Part of the CC's job is running herd over adults. Sorry. But thanks in advance for keeping at it.

                Comment

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