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    • I think it would be an absolutely monumental task to try and replicate a summer camp experience offering even half of what most camps offer. Many camps offer over 40 merit badges, finding that many willing and able MBCs for a week and coordinating all of that alone would be tough to pull off. Summer camps offer a pretty thrifty experience for scouts. From Sunday through Saturday everyone gets 17 meals in total. That probably eats up 1/4 of the camper cost right there. Throw in staff, facilities, equipment, extra programs, health and safety resources, training opportunities, insurance, bikes, boats, rifles, ammo, scoutcraft, games and activities, etc., and the cost is probably a bargain.
    • I haven't been to a council camp since my first experience.  I was stuck in the "First Year Camper Program" which meant no merit badges and really, not much fun.  I left it and Scouting shortly after I got home.  A couple of years later, my parents dragged me into a new troop.  That troop owned its own camp in southern Missouri.  It was fantastic.  The camp itself was small - maybe 17 acres.  It served as a home base with a flag pole, cannon, rec hall, shower house, fire ring, etc.  Around it was Clearwater Lake, the Current River, and several state parks.  As a general rule, everyone earned Pioneering, Motorboating, and Water Skiing merit badges.  If you didn't have some of the others, like swimming or first aid, those would get completed too.  We did the Mile Swim, played games, and had a blast.  I then moved to England.  The first troop didn't do a week long trip that I can remember.  The second troop did Philmont the first year I was with them and Kanderstag in Switzerland the second.  I didn't know TAC had a camp until recently.  No merit badges were earned at either camp.  Very few of our Scouts had enough merit badges to get palms.  I can see the value in getting exposure to other troops and the value in having special programs focused on getting merit badges.  However, I wouldn't trade the experiences we had 30 years ago.   Having a council camp is convenient, but I think work required to have great adventures is well worth it. 
    • The trick is to find a domain name that's cheap. Ex. from my business Hart and Hind Publishing Company:  hartandhind.com cost $1200 (yearly), BUT hartandhindpc.com cost $15 (yearly). There are lots of Wordpress meet-up groups and they're generally happy to have new members.  Also, Wordpress is easy to learn and use. It's easy to update and maintain a website yourself, so you just need to pay for the domain name and hosting. Honestly, I'm surprised there isn't a web development merit badge--most teens are tech savvy enough to create a webpage themselves. Maybe this could be a project they turn over to the kids.  
    • There is value in seeing “the wider world of Scouts” outside of one’s troop. I wouldn’t trade my memories as a Scout or an adult at camp for a reduction in cost. 
    • Just a suggestion, but what might help more is finding someone that understands websites. Maybe someone at roundtable. Maybe your CO. Maybe your council will let you put a couple of pages under their website. Someone in your town knows how to setup a website and host it. Bring them a box of pictures of your scouts doing fun things, pull on their heart, and ask for a donation of their time to help you out. The website itself might be free. A domain name costs money but, for the size of a website you need, it costs nothing to run. You just need someone to help set it up.
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