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  1. 5 points
    New Key 3....Hillicourt, Beard and Seton
  2. 5 points
    The less we make it like school, the better. BSA also has this exceptionally obtuse notion that "management" is the identical thing to "leadership". I want to scream when I get district advancement people or Eagle coaches that like to harp at kids that "they need to show leadership on their project", meaning they better have 26 other scouts and umpteen adults helping. The leadership part is far bigger than the managing workers part- meeting with a beneficiary, finding out their needs, coming up with the plan how to meet those needs, how to finance it, and how to execute it. I'm far more interested in that interaction and critical thinking part.
  3. 5 points
    I was thinking about this the other night. I strongly argue that most adult BSA volunteers share their time because they like being outdoors, in camps, at camp fires, on a river, hiking, etc. But, we want kids to be in it to learn leadership and character. I think that's a bit hypocritical. I strongly believe scouting shines when we are more like a camping club. Friends planning meals. Friends helping setup tents. Friends starting a camp fire and singing songs. Friends planning their next adventure. Oh, as a side benefit, they learn naturally learn leadership and character and develop physical fitness hobbies. So, I'm 100% fine with saying scouts learn leadership, etc, etc, etc. But stop trying to teach it. Scouts learn better when we stop trying to teach.
  4. 4 points
    Skeptic, well said. I myself have certainly engaged in some of these behaviors. Yes, I'd say there is a dose of schadenfreude running through these discussions. I'd chalk it up to this: many of us have been loyal to scouting for years. Decades for some. We've done our best to provide a program worthy of the founder's original vision. We've done this despite obstacles put before us by pros, mostly above the DE level, and vols that sit on high level boards. I don't think the upper management of the BSA has been as loyal. Not as loyal as the unit level folks. Despite feedback from the field, years of negative media attention, huge financial set backs, and plummeting membership, they have persisted in their mismanagement of our once great organization. So the chickens have come home to roost. The initiatives from this national meeting are about 15 years too late. As for the foxes, I think their efforts have value. Discussion generated is robust, and it does seem therapeutic. And apparently some of our opinions have been observed by upper management. I'm a skeptic myself...I rather doubt our opinions will change much. They haven't listened to us for years--why would they begin now? But at least we'll have our say.
  5. 4 points
    That seems bad. Especially with everything being semi-shutdown for 6 months, it’ll be really hard to justify another fee increase.
  6. 4 points
    When those of us here on the forums gripe about Family Scouting, we aren't talking about girls, or families renting a campsite at camp outside of summer camp. We're talking about the BSA encouraging families to attend monthly troop outings. Most of us have seen it in our units, or others. It's normally a mess of helicopter parenting and demotivated youth. It breaks down the patrol method, and stifles team development and learning of self sufficiency. Nothing wrong with a parent coming along to volunteer or observe. I imagine the idea of having families camp at the summer camp while the program is going on is a total non-starter for most of us here. Scouts carpool to and from summer camp, so most of the families in my troop don't take their scouts to or from summer camp. This is a solution in search of a problem. As for the survey, maybe you got one, but almost nobody else on this forum did. Many of us have been longtime volunteers, involved in units, Districts and Councils for quite a long time. Many (although not me) have their kids in the program too. The data collection methods weren't really published, so it's impossible for us to know how valid the survey was, other than assurances from BSA national, and they haven't always conducted themselves with integrity or transparency.
  7. 3 points
    Very true. I think upper management has to go. If this can be accomplished without liquidating BSA, that would be great. If not, then liquidating BSA might be the only good option. We can rebuild after a liquidation. WOSM isn't going to give up on having scouting in the USA.
  8. 3 points
    Many here who never saw or participated in these "surveys" are eager to know more about them - who conducted, how many participated , demographics, questions asked, results,...
  9. 2 points
    This posting will include known upcoming changes to the national structure (area, region and national levels). Some will be announced over the next 24 hours. For this posting, please focus on sharing and commenting on actual announcements and facts. National Executive Board. The membership of this large entity will be re-elected today as-is, with no new members. This is because bankruptcy is not the right time to bring in new people. Deal with the difficulty, get through bankruptcy and then make changes. Further, some of the best people will not want to join until after the crisis is over – at least “formally” over. One change will be to “streamline” the descriptions of national volunteer and national professional responsibilities. I believe this is a good move. It implies downsizing and making clear what is and is not a professional or volunteer job or authority. The governance committee of the Executive Board will recommend substantial changes the Board to be put into effect as the BSA emerges from bankruptcy. I believe this will include a dramatic downsizing to a much smaller Board that will meet and decide things on a very regular basis. Fast decision-making will be necessary as we come out of the bankruptcy. National Program Council. Many of us have predicted the emerging national structure will focus on program. This week these predictions have largely been confirmed. There will be a new “National Program Council” that will focus on maintaining our program templates and materials. I believe it may largely replace the network of national committees, national standing committees, ad hoc committees and professional structures that comprise the bulk of program personnel at the national level. This new group will probably have the task to re-size national-operated activities above the council level. As an example, our above-council youth leadership structures for OA and Venturing would probably be evaluated. High adventure bases and the jamborees will be a significant topic, especially if we are not able to retain some or all of the bases. National Shared Services. Many others of us have predicted the emerging structure’s other focus will be shared services to councils that need to be done on a national scale. We have largely had this confirmed through statements made during the General Session that the national council in the future will make this it’s focus. We know this includes a new electronic IT platform to replace the crazy-quilt legacy systems that are currently in place. Bankruptcy allows the national structure to terminate any or all of its current contracts, so all services to councils can be evaluated, enhanced or discontinued. Replacing Regions and Areas. The current region/area structure will be replaced by a different means through which the national structure will relate to councils in the field. No details are out, but it is reasonable to believe that much of the current volunteer and professional structure will not be replaced at this intermediary level. There will be plenty of volunteer jobs in the movement, but the best opportunities will be at the District and Council levels – where I hope former national structure volunteers will return. What are your views on these and other changes to the national structure that are occurring?
  10. 2 points
  11. 2 points
    My guess are council paid membership programs. I.E. scoutreach, restoring the village, etc.
  12. 2 points
    In the video they state … "End youth programs at 18 and build a volunteer corp for adults at 18." I'll be interested to hear what that looks like and if we can leverage them as adult leaders. If so, that could be a win as I think we lose young adults who could serve as leaders. "Create membership category to allow families and individuals to join special programs developed by councils." Also looking to see what this would be. I'm curious what they meant by this statement.
  13. 2 points
    We have lost a lot of respected Scouters over the past few years. Don't ask them for FOS, council Eagle/UoS luncheon, popcorn, etc. But they see you selling spaghetti dinner tickets for a troop fundraiser, they'll pay for dinners to be given to local first responders.
  14. 2 points
    That's the beauty of the Council Service Fee, they are selling it by eliminating the Family FOS campaign. Not FOS mind you, just the campaign. Oh, and the fees for tent camping at council property, which were double the local state parks.
  15. 2 points
    After long consideration, I've written my last FOS check. From now on any time or treasure I donate, as humble as it may be, will be in support of local units only.
  16. 2 points
    Wait. You mean there was no program silo? I guess making one is good news. This means nothing to me. This is just org chart stuff from my perspective. My question is how will my council be kept honest. If national is smaller along with regions and areas, then my council will have even less oversight. I'd like to say this is good but it just isn't. There is currently nothing to keep my council accountable to its customers. I don't see how this change improves anything.
  17. 2 points
    I am a natural skeptic, and I take only about 10 percent of what I see on these pages as something to more than peruse. Having been on this board longer than most, I watched the drama between a number of posters that became sometimes almost abusive, and often hard to fathom or believe. The tendency of too many of us, and I am sure I have so exhibited at times, is to become bull headed and not willing to "listen" and "consider". This in turn leads to stalemates and often jaded attitudes and eventually to lack of involvement. But it also often becomes a crusade by the few, the ones that are like the proverbial dog with its bone. I cannot help but fear we have a few posters on here that may be foxes in the henhouse, pushing snippets of rumor and negative issues from the drawn out legal issues. Some seem almost to be virtually laughing and smiling at the worst of the possible outcomes. As I keep trying to stay focussed on local program, I hope that the more rational and silent supporters may somehow find a voice.
  18. 2 points
    Yes. Even in a crisis, they do somehow manage to keep a focus on their priorities.
  19. 2 points
    I don't believe that it is the purpose of Congress to step in and buy assets or property that would be primarily for the benefit of any particular business or non-profit org. The government already owns enough property that could be utilized if that were the case. As a taxpayer, if the government bought the properties, I'd want them opened up for public access, not kept nearly exclusively for the use of any particular private group.
  20. 2 points
    I'm appreciative of how it is working for you. And, that is how we handle it as well. The big problem is just the use of the term Family Scouting. Drop the 'Family'- it is just Scouting, and that moniker just seems to have invited a bit of the ignoring the second word in the two phrases for a few in the past year from what I have heard from other unit leaders in my district.
  21. 2 points
    Several messages got me thinking, but here are 2 of them. I hope there's enough flexibility to get more input from the parents as to what they really want for their kids. To me, the current program seems tailored to a narrow slice of society: The BSA is targeting parents that were scouts in their youth, those that want to camp every month, and those that want to advance. But I can see other parents that just don't understand this program. A lot of parents want their kids to be responsible and able to take care of themselves, to solve their own problems and own their own decisions. Doing that with character should be the starting point. My guess is that would be interesting to at least half the parents I know of that aren't in scouting. And, if it were economical, a lot of parents that can't afford the current program. I believe scouting can do that if the definition of success is opened up. For example, why is it that a troop should go camping every month? Honestly, going on a hike twice in one month or doing a service project at a lake could be just as beneficial. Why the push for advancement? When scouts are young they want recognition but come 13 or 14 years old, it's no longer what keeps them around. So why does JTE push advancement? I would much rather start teaching scouts how to generate their own ideas and their own definition of success. Yes, I'd like to keep the outdoors central, but if a group of scouts wants to focus on environmental restoration, yoga on a mountain top or mastering white water kyaking, they should be encouraged to go for it. If they can't find the merit badges that excite them and instead they find a local science teacher that gets them interested in growing food in their gardens then let's drop the push for merit badges. While I certainly enjoyed pioneering merit badge as a youth, who is to say that we should still be doing these activities?
  22. 2 points
    I find myself wondering where are all the "champions" or "connected" supporters of Scouting at this point? Those people that call on BSA to be on hand for public events; those people that reach out to BSA for service and that benefit from all the Eagle and other projects? Where are the loud braggart pols that line their public image with their support of Scouting or even that they were or are Scouters or Eagles? Where are the legal experts that should be able to combat the overreach of the lawyers that only want to grow rich off the mistakes of a group that has given so much to our society in the past century and a little? When are the voices of reason that can shed some balanced and fair justice going to appear? Can those youth deprived of a fine program, one that has contributed far more to society than most, sue the lawyers that drag their knuckles through the mud while leaning out of their ambulances? It would be different if BSA had denied making mistakes or had simply said too bad. But all, or most of us on here, and on other scout panels know how much more BSA has done to try to combat the sleazy people that work to prey on others, especially youth groups. I understand that our legal system is very much responsible for this type of illogical and overly zealous legal attack. Still, why do we not fix it, making it back into the actual scale of justice that is intended, rather than a bludgeon of destruction and a money grab? We can only hope that somehow, we in the trenches can survive, and that we elder Scouters will have passed enough to our younger followers to somehow keep the compass needle on target.
  23. 2 points
    This will require significant training of parents to not interfere by "stopping by to visit" or "bringing treats", etc... As it stands, parents are allowed to view all program, so nothing bars them from interference except training them to not interfere. But I suspect, that is truly what many parents want (b/c they do not understand the real purpose of Scouts) so to suggest program will not change is folly.
  24. 2 points
    My daughter and her friends were in Venturing primarily for the outdoor program. They have that now in Troops. Most young men I have spoken with were in Venturing for the outdoor program, to get away from "babysitting" in Troops, to leave the advancement program behind, and for girls 😜 With the young women leaving for Troops, many young men are bailing out.
  25. 2 points
    I agree that we must keep a stiff upper lip, but this is wholly unfair. BSA has been a huge net positive. BSA had a youth protection program in place years before others. BSA did the best to track and remove violators before society and police had similar structures. BSA is being uniquely targeted because of assets without parallel targeting of structures with similar assets that had arguably statistically similar abuse history: schools. sports. and almost every single youth serving organization. BSA is being targeted using 2020 standards / expectations / judgement that were not existing for 1970s / 1980s. BSA's huge mistake was not purging records that were decades old and of zero value / use to BSA before any hint of lawsuits happened. Every company I've worked established in the 1990s document retention policies, in large part due to liability risk. I think it's negligent BSA's legal team did not address this long, long ago. We must meet this as scouts, but I will never accept this as an acceptable penalty. This is a money grab. This is a smear campaign. Shame on the law firms. Shame on the individuals. Shame on the legal system that is blind to this.
  26. 1 point
  27. 1 point
    I think Area directors are where they put pros while they either wait for a SE position in a metro council, or place a lousy SE until they retire. The AD when I was a pro ended up a metro SE a few years later. And my lousy SE ended up being an AD until he retired.
  28. 1 point
    It's this line of thinking by legal counsel that got me thinking about BSA trademarks yesterday. If everything gets liquidated, I could foresee a wealthy individual who is anti-BSA buying the Eagle Scout TM. Then they'd hold on to it, not using it themselves, and but granting anyone else the right to use it either.
  29. 1 point
    I too hope the young adults are offered meaningful roles. It would be a shame to run them off by not giving them any responsibility. "Special programs"...this sounds suspiciously like the BSA's failed attempt at soccer. Perhaps it's another attempt to gain dollars and membership without the youth participating in traditional scouting. Of course, the problem with things like BSA soccer is that other organizations are already offer programs, and do so in a more efficient manner.
  30. 1 point
    Seriously? $66? For what purpose, to be paid over during the settlement? I've been thinking about my FOS contributions. If the organization is going to go bankrupt and slimmed down, where will that money be going? The settlement fund?
  31. 1 point
    Regions + Areas = Mutual Admiration Societies (MAS) MAS = zero value to units
  32. 1 point
    Actually the lead lawyer stated in an NPR interview on the Diane Rheem (sp) Show that he wants the BSA dissolved . It is towards the end of the interview, and if you end early, you miss it.
  33. 1 point
    The big talk right now is fees going up to $66 in August. Honestly, they could've raised it 1 cent and you will see an exodus just based on principle.
  34. 1 point
    @Cburkhardt, thank you for the insights The initiatives are sound but a phrase keeps ringing through my head: "Too little, too late."
  35. 1 point
    Raising dues last year was a deal breaker for many. Folks in the field didn't like it and said so. Too many financially struggling families. National's response: "Sell more popcorn." Those three words from a "commissioned BSA professional" will go down in scouting history, akin to the equally infamous "Let them eat cake." If the BSA was a sinking ship, the pros in Irving would be figuring out ways to charge people for PFDs and seats in lifeboats, how to bring more seawater aboard, and as the final waters swept across the deck, they'd present each other medals for a job well done.
  36. 1 point
    Please share. I'd love to be on these things. Maybe it's just the Covid-19 hangover, but this is like the high drama spectacle to see right now I think!
  37. 1 point
    Great. There's another lawsuit against BSA.
  38. 1 point
    You are right, helicopters have been around for a while. But as I said previously it is the term "FAMILY SCOUTING" is the problem, not girls in Scouting. The general population equates "Family Scouting" to "Family Camping," and not "brothers and sisters" in Scouting. BSA has advertised as Scouting for the whole family, and for the general public that includes adults. And BSA has not helped matters. Do you remember the Scouting Magazine issue dedicated to family camping? Do you remember that the ages of the children were SCOUTS BSA aged youth? That was a major mixed message. And I am seeing more of the helicopter parents since the term "Family Scouting" first cameout. I'm glad you have not had the issues I have faced. And I admit I did not agree with the decisions of the SM in my old troop. Instead of trying to mentor and compromise with the adults for over 19 months, after the third instance of the adult not following the instructions and interfering I would have had a conference and give them an ultimatum: follow the troops' rules, or we can help you find a troop that will meet your needs better. I told the other adults that they were hurting the other Scouts in the troop in their attempt to save the Scouts of the helicopters. But I can tell you the discussions on this matter all included the terms "Family Friendly" "Family Scouting," and "Family Camping" all interchangably. And those parents constantly reminded us that BSA gives them every right to accompany their child to any activity. At least until the 72 hour rule went into effect 0ctober 1, 2018. That is what the COR used to fix the problem,and save the troop. But even when parents camp away, I have seen issues. Remember the nightmare camp out I told you about? The two adults causing the problems were camping with the Webelos in a different campsite. No policy prevented them from driving from their campsite to the Scout campsite and taking over. And while the program you provided a link to is nice, It appears that it is a completely separate section of the Scout reservation. I don't know how many councils have the space to do that, mine doesn't, nor the financial resources to do it today, especially with the threat of bankruptcy and COVID-19. Heck even before all this mess started, I know the Council I was in 30 years ago with the 1600+ acre Scout reservation had to nix the creation of a new Boy Scout camp because they could not support two separate camps: a Boy Scout camp and Cub Scout camp Can I answer here? Regarding the term "Family Scouting," get rid of it. Use SCOUTING or whatever term the GSUSA will allow us to use since we apparently lost the rights to that name despite being the older organization. And keep "Family" out of it. As for Family Camping, keep it at the Cub Scout level. I would severely limit it at the Scouts BSA, and higher levels ( if they exist post bankruptcy). A troop's PLC may want one on occasion. But it should be stressed BY NATIONAL that PLCs are responsible for program and not adults. But adults doing program for the Scouts is a different discussion for a different day.
  39. 1 point
    I am an optimist and view things quite directly and simply. There are very lengthy and detailed discussions about the addition of female members and the concept of "Family Scouting" that anyone on this site can go back and read. I carefully followed the debate and read the surveys that were widely distributed back then and was convinced that admitting siblings who were girls into separate Troops was the right way to go. I'm not going to go back and re-discuss that content, other than to say it was very convincing and made common sense. The Family Scouting policy did not change one word in either the Scout Handbook or the Scoutmaster's Handbook. They just changed pictures to include girls. So, I am just following the identical program we always did with 32 girls, a 9-member Scoutmaster staff, a 10-member Troop Committee and an amazingly supportive CO. The Family Scouting policy did not change human nature though. The hovering parents we have always had have simply continued their same behaviors. The only difference I have experienced is that girl members are a lot better at telling their parents to not become over-involved. I'm happy to accept that you have experienced an excessive number of hovering parents in your Troops, because those personalities have always existed around Troops and must always be dealt with by Scoutmaster Staffs -- or they will over-run the sensible operation and program experience of our youth members. What I do not accept is that there is some explosion of additional numbers of hover parents because we now have multiple siblings of different sexes in separate Scouts BSA Troops. That is not my experience or the experience of the of the leaders of other Troops in our districts that are Family Scouting. Scout leaders who don't address the situation will experience negative results. It is that simple. It is not a problem in our Troop because in the four instances that arose, we dealt with it effectively. Policies that allow parents of Scouts to camp at the same location as their Scout is really a different issue. This is not Family Scouting, it is the Family Camping policy of the BSA we are speaking of. In our Troop, we do not allow it. It is easy to enforce because everyone must be a registered member to attend a campout. We also make it very clear that we don't want parents to come on weekend campouts in order to allow the girls to gain confidence. A Scoutmaster who allows excessive numbers of parents to camp on weekend campouts is asking for the trouble you relate. What we do allow if for any parent who wants to camp with us to do so in September. We do that under the Family Camping rules. But that is it. I would be happy to have families of our scouts camp elsewhere on our camp properties as long as they do not show up at our camp until Sunday pick-up time. This has been successfully engaged in at the Owasippe Scout Reservation since 1957. Here is a link to the family camp, which also operates in the summer and has a special program offered directly to the families: https://www.owasippeadventure.com/blackhawk-1-1 The Owasippe family camp has been so successful through the years that it was the model followed by Philmont when they designed the family camp there. In fact, if we hold on to the bases, there will be family camps at the other bases in the future. If you have a different view of Family Scouting or the Family Camping policies and wish to see them handled differently or even repealed in the post-bankruptcy phase, I invite you to directly address that issue in a posting.
  40. 1 point
    I will concur with you. Here is the real problem of the narrative to me- Boy Scouts (Scouts BSA) is about the youth running things, so what the parents want is not the opinion that should be the main opinion. While you would never get 100% response on any survey, you still should be asking them, as THEY are the customer, not mom and dads checkbook. if it means a smaller organization sticking to the core fundamental of youth led, for me, so be it.
  41. 1 point
    I wonder what the 18-20 year old ASMs think would be best since they are the future.
  42. 1 point
    DuctTape for National Commissioner!!
  43. 1 point
    Hmm, Actually my comments were more towards the older scouts attitude of babysitting, but I do also believe advancement or Eagle heavy programs also drive a lot of older scouts out. I found that most Eagle heavy type programs have an average older scout age of 14. Now I can't say how girl troops fit with my observations of boys, there are a lot of unknown variables there including that girls are different than boys. But I can say that less than 5 percent of the scouts in my troop were specifically in it for the Eagle. And, if the Eagle was the primary motivation, they eventually left for another troop. That being said, we averaged one Eagle every 2.5 months. You might find it interesting that 3 out of 4 new Venturing Crews are started by Troop leaders who need a program to keep their older scouts. AND, 3 out of 5 of Venturing crews close up shop just after 3.5 years. The crews that last the longest typically have no affiliation with a troop. Crews affiliated with troops that are successful typically require the Venturing age scouts stay involved at the troop level. That included the Venturing girls even before girls were accepted into troops. That Scouts stay in the programs mainly for the fun is really a myth. Scouts typically stay in their unit because of the way program they feel about themselves as a scout. Sure, the fun factor has a lot of drive in the beginning, but let's face it, after 30 camp outs, can number 31 really be the driver to come to next weeks meeting. The feeling of how they like themselves in the troop typically comes from the accomplishments of responsibility (character growth), not adventure or advancement. Responsibility in the troop typically includes some aspect of role modeling to other scouts. Camping and advancement are just tools for building character, they are not the goals of the program. Barry
  44. 1 point
    "WHAT IF OUR UNIT DOES NOT FILL/OVERFLOWS THE CAMPSITE WE HAVE CHOSEN? We understand that many units have a favorite campsite. Campsite capacities are determined based on location, available equipment, an impact on the environment among other things. It is important that we follow the set site capacities. If a unit does not completely fill their chosen site, it must be understood that another unit may be placed in the same campsite so as many Scouts are given a camp opportunity as possible. If a unit overflows their chosen campsite, they may be reassigned to a campsite that will fit their numbers, may have a portion of their unit moved into a nearby site with space, or, may have to provide their own camping equipment to set up additional tents in their chosen site." "The Atlanta Area Council encourages small Troops to merge when attending summer camp, so they can provide the adult leadership for their Scouts. Another option is the Atlanta Area Council provisional program for both male and female Scouts where individual Scouts are placed in a male or female Troop for their summer camp experience."
  45. 1 point
    Who is babysitting who! Doesn't matter, if babysitting is a word being used in your unit, they they are doing it wrong. And why would girls leave venturing for troops? If the boys are leaving because of babysitting, what is the attraction for girls? The unit leaders are doing it wrong. Chuckhardt has never hid his Troop's purpose of earning Eagles, but I know from experience that once the shininess of the Eagle wears off, the program better have something else. That something else is where the BSA will live or die in the future. Our troop when I was an active leader had the largest group of scouts 14 and older in the council. We were approached several times by council to start a Venturing Crew, but that didn't make sense to us. If our troop was so successful without venturing, why risk dividing up the program. Our formula for success was adventure. Besides our fun monthly camp outs, our troop averaged 6 High Adventure Outtings a year. And there were no age requirements or limitations. If an 11 year old was mentally and physically capable, they were welcome to the crew. That's not to say we didn't have Eagles, our troop averaged an Eagle every 2.5 months. But advancement was the scout's responsibility. The secret to our scouts earning Eagles was keeping them around until they were 18. The average age our scouts passed their EBOR was 16.5 years old. If a scout hangs around long enough, they trip over the Eagle. We had a program were scouts wanted to come and hang out. It was program where young adults were respected as young adults and they like that.
  46. 1 point
    We need to change. Even without the lawsuits and bankruptcy, we need to change. We're going the way of bowling alleys right now. I'm 50 and as a kid, I lived in a bowling alley. It was tough getting a open lane at times. People belonged to leagues. Since then, society changed and belonging to a league is not something people want to do. We can't be nostalgic. We have to figure out how we can serve today's youth. Lots of people think they have the answers. I don't claim to know who has the right answers. I suspect adults younger than me with younger kids will know better than people 50 - 70.
  47. 1 point
  48. 1 point
    Maybe the lack of mBs and no dining halls will allow scouts to have a real summer camp as described by BP instead of simply "living under canvas".
  49. 1 point
    I believe it was probably a Grumman or AlumiCraft, and I would bet that the beam (at the widest point) was 35-38", which is pretty standard for boat of this lenght (any similar lengthed vessel with a 24" beam would be extremely unstable and I cannot imagine this boat as a safe rental). Regardless, one of our committee members has a Grumman, probably a 20 year old canoe, with not a scratch or dent and still shiney. This is due to good care. Another of our committee memebers has a kevlar canoe, which is very strong and weighs 40-50% less than the Grumman. I have another friend with an Old Town (modern plastic) canoe which is also fine. My canoe is a 16' 1974 Mohawk fiberglass canoe; my neighbor has an identical one (different color). Mine is currently unservicable as I am in the middle of a very rustic restoration (replacing aluminum gunwales with ash/walnut, Peruvian alder decks-bow and stern, ash deck-inside, ash/caned seats, ash minor fiberglass repairs and repainting-inside and out). Consider these materials carefully. Aluminum is mostly indestructible, but dents and scratches easily. It can be welded if needed, but will usually take years before you get to this stage. They are generally loud when bumped and used. The newer plastic polymers are virtually indestructible, dents pop out, they are scratch resistant, but if holed are essentially disposable, as permanent repairs cannot be effected. Kevlar is not cheap, but is extremely strong and light. BrentAllen can tell you about repairs in the field which can be realistically accomplished. Fiberglass is heavier though less expensive than kevlar, and can also be field repaired. General use for these canoes should not require any field repair work, only whitewate and other more extreme experiences. After I finish doing the restoration on my Mohawk, I intend to begin work on a stripper (no, not some sleezy nightclub), a canoe build out of wooden strips. Even with minimal woodworking experience, these are possible to be built by relative novice. Cost for these is comperable to a nice canoe (less than kevlar), but if done right, finished value is double to triple the cost of an new kevlar. I agree with packsaddle, try out several before you jump into one. Remember too that transportation can sometimes be an issue. If you canoe lakes you can return to your starting point. If you canoe rivers, someone has to meet you at the other end and probably ferry around. Good luck.(This message has been edited by Buffalo Skipper)
  50. 1 point
    Before I can make a judgment about the GA state park experience, I'd need to know if those were Grummans or something else like AlumiCraft. From your description of the beam I doubt it...sounds kind of narrow. As for sitting in the floor of the canoe, you can greatly improve stability and control by kneeling on the floor with feet slid under the seat and merely leaning with your butt against the front of the seat. This tends to cramp your legs after while but it lowers the center of gravity and gives you the ability to control the canoe with your knees. I put pads down to reduce abrasion. On my whitewater craft the pads are glued into place permanently. You're my height but about 50 pounds heavier. I'm going to guess that your weight is distributed higher than average, otherwise I can't see a big top-heavy problem in a well-designed canoe. I take scores of students out in a fleet of canoes every semester and I see lots of problems, but rarely this one...only once could I not fit a guy into a canoe (we finally resorted to a Boston Whaler, no pun intended). He was so big that a canoe was simply impossible. OK, without more info, my advice is to get some more rentals under your belt before you make the long-term investment. Go to some good outdoor equipment places and see what's available with the Old Town, Mad River, or We-no-nah label..and there are others as well - Grumman is still a great canoe. They'll probably have a better idea of what you really need as well. I think you're on the right track with the high gunwhales and wide beam. I also know that if you're interested in a decent lake canoe, the 18 footer is about the right length but We-no-nah makes a couple that are 19 or 20 feet and designed for three paddlers. There's a carrying weight tradeoff. They'll cost more too. I'm partial to Old Town, mostly because of the classic design but the canoe you need might cost a bit more than the WalMart option. If you're going to stay on lakes or other flat water, aluminum is really durable and a good option. Fiberglass is also good and there are plenty of designs in both materials that offer great flat-water tracking and stability. A good outfitter will know about all this. Plastic canoes are great if you're planning to hit rocks or trees a lot (whitewater) and they are very forgiving if designed well. I have no knowledge about the WalMart canoe so I really can't comment...But my personal first inclination is to keep looking in the right places. Get a better set of personal experiences under your belt and then reconsider your options.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)
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