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Summer Camp

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All about planning and going to Summer Camp

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    • @The Latin Scot, I'd recommend swinging by the scout shop next week, picking up that service star, and pinning it on your uniform.  I understand your concerns but the truth is, oftentimes scouting is a pick up game.  And as much as I respect and enjoy the Norman Rockwell paintings, scouting is rarely that organized or cut/dried.  Even in chaos, we still have great scouting experiences.   
    • I like service stars. They're small, they're shiny, they're utterly impractical and yet one of the oldest and most historical insignia still in use. So here's my question - I wear stars for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and adult leadership. But, TECHNICALLY I was also a Venturing Scout for two years (from 16 to 18 years old), so TECHNICALLY I suppose I am entitled to wear a red-backed 2-year star as well - but do I deserve to?  Coming from a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unit, we never really implemented the Venturing program correctly. Sure, we still did some Scouting during my older years, and I earned some merit badges - and we were indeed a chartered Venturing Crew, and I was officially registered in the unit. We did LOTS of activities and outings, but never as a "Venturing" unit - at least not to my awareness. I never really got to know nor enjoy that program because my leaders were, for lack of a better term, clueless. I never got to wear the fabulous green shirts, never knew I could have earned special Venturing Awards (that Trust Award would have been right up my alley!), and I never even knew I was actually a Venturing Scout until long after the fact. So: a part of me wants to wear the star for those two years because, by jingo, I WAS a Venturing Scout, if only on paper, and I was still involved in Scouting to an extent. But it wasn't truly the Venturing program, so part of me feels like it's cheating.  I bring this up because a fellow leader and friend was a very active Venturing Scout, and he encourages me to wear the star if only for the sake of being properly uniformed (as in, I was in the program, so I should wear the insignia). But I'm hesitant. I don't really think there is a right or wrong answer, and I am still quite undecided at the moment, so I would love to read your thoughts and opinions. Thanks all!
    • Another corner heard from.... https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/19/what-boy-scouts-taught-me/  
    • The confusion with the old LDS program versus the "regular" BSA program is unfortunate. Merit Badges.... Hereabouts, once a person fills in the four pieces of paper, including having completed the YPT, and the Personal Record Permission , they are listed with the District Dean of Merit Badge Counselors. This list is correlated with the Council, and that is that.  Scout needs a MBCounselor?  Check with District Dean.   If the MBC counsels ONE Scout in a year, they are kept on the active list.  If no Scouts in the past year, chances are good they'll be kept "active"  anyway.  A few years back, Council purged all lists and required ALL MBCs  to sign up all over again, fresh from the word Go.  Mass hysteria and confusion ensued, as one might expect. But it got done and everyone was YPT'd and signed, sealed and delivered, so to speak.   Lost Blue Cards are not unusual.  Recreating them is tough but doable.   If the Scout is having a good time, and sees his/her time in Scouts as worthwhile (and you do too?),  that's what we're here for.     
    • One very bad example: my council. Through the wisdom of one staff they had one council property put into a conservancy (they can't add or increase any structures) and were paid around $750k to go into a trust. The council spent all that money. Recently, they did create a $6M endowment. They have already started spending it. To add insult to injury our CE got his job (some 10 years ago) because he was going to clean up the financial aspects of the council. Incompetent or corrupt? I understand the sentiment from people that say councils should have a lot less to do. This is why I think the purpose of the council has to be figured out. Our council's budget divided by the number of youth served is around $350/youth (and that was before the LDS departure). What do we get for that? Volunteers do the training. We get no marketing. Volunteers put on our own events. Our camps are not being improved nor used. We have a handful of DE's that are stretched to the limit and paid garbage (one is entirely paid from taxes on event fees that the volunteers put on). I always wonder what percentage of that cost per youth goes into the overhead vs how much directly impacts each youth. This is kind of an ultralight backpacking thing. The more stuff you carry the more you need to support carrying it the more stuff you carry....  Anyway, my guess is our DE costs less than $50/youth. I don't know what our camp costs are. I have no idea what a reasonable number is, but $350 + $60 to national is too high for each youth to pay. I honestly don't know the answer but taking a hard look at the core purpose of the council might enable some needed change.
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