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    • Yes, I agree.  I'm hoping that with my newest group of QMs, I can start working towards that process.
    • As with all things in Scouting, we as adults can do the research, shopping, etc... much more efficiently than the scouts. I always try to see how anything we as adults do can be a learning and growth opportunity for scouts. If an adult is a "tent expert", great! How do we utilize tgat expertise to help the scouts become more skillful and knowledgeable moving forward. Ultimate goal being the scouts become the future experts. If a scout cannot "do" yet, the adults should not just do it for them by themselves, but instead involve at least some scouts in every stage of the process. Even if the first step is the scouts "watch & listen". For example if I am calling a campground to inquire for camping availability, I do it with the SPL and ASPL there to hear the conversation. As they progress, they make the call with me listening. If I am internet shopping around for new tents, scouts will be doing it with me. Everything we do is an opportunity for scouts. They may not be ready to do it all by themselves, but they never will get there unless we show them and let them try.
    • I'm the Equipment Coordinator for my troop and I can tell you that we handle things in a variety of ways depending on the item.  For most equipment, I wait for the SM to tell me there is a need, then I go find whatever the need is at the lowest possible price.  If I happen to see something we could really use, but maybe don't absolutely need, I'll send a quick email to the SM, CC and Treasurer to see if anyone wants to veto and if not, I'll buy it.  If I happen across a fantastic "till the end of the day" price, I'd probably just buy it on my own "authority" and hope no one pitches a fit.  If there is a major purchase to be considered, it will get discussed at the committee meeting, but it's typically not a "What should we buy" discussion, it will be a discussion of "The EQ. Coord. is recommending we do X.  How does everyone feel about that?".  If I'm weighing a couple of options with pros and cons to be considered, I'll discuss that as well for input, but mostly, I just tell them why I've made the selection I have.  The two most aggravating discussions we've had about gear/equipment over the last couple of years have been when "What kind of trailer do we need" and "What kind of tarps/canopies do we need" were brought up for discussion in committee.  The trailer issue is going on it's second year of consideration at this point. I know that my primary qualifications for being the equipment buyer are the fact that I'm good at internet research, I have accounts on dozens of discussion forums and I get a positive joy out of finding the cheapest way to buy things.  (this doesn't mean buying the cheapest thing)  So if you can find that parent in your troop who is constantly talking about "buying the best value car/shoes/outerwear" and is always recommending sales and whatnot to people, I'd see if I could dragoon that person into the job. Tents are a tricky issue in general though.  There are often serious considerations to be made regarding quality vs price.  If I had unlimited funds, we'd be using entirely Timberline 4 Outfitters with the vestibules because they will last decades if properly maintained and I just like the quality and footprint.  However, in my troop most of the people using the tents are the 10-12 year olds and "proper maintenance and care" is a tough battle to fight, not to mention the $300+ price tag on the outfitters.  So what has tended to win the argument instead are the Taurus 4 from Alps Mountaineering because if you buy them on sale, you can get them for around $50-$75.  And while I KNOW they won't last as long as the Timberlines, I only need them to last 4-6 years at that price to be the better value. I will say, I'd never go back to buying tents without a vestibule.  ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ @Hawkwin Check out Hikerdirect.com Basically you can buy anything that Alps Mountaineering, Browning, Cedar Ridge at 45% off or more.
    • That is how it is typically done in functioning troops, but I remember when we started our troop, expert resources were thin. Starting with the procedure that you want to continue with the for years down the road is the right way to go. But, if you have a tent expert on the Committee, certainly consider all your resources while developing procedure for a scout run program. I hope I'm not saying something that breaks the Scoutmaster image, but I didn't know everything when I was scoutmaster.  There, I said it. No earthquakes yet. Delegate and watch. Barry
    • Because we are all brand new and trying to figure this out on our own. Until the first response in this thread, I had not even considered that we could simply leave it up to the SM.
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