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fotoscout

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Everything posted by fotoscout

  1. fotoscout

    SE Revoking Membership's

    We seem to have Scout Executive who's first salvo in any disagreement with a volunteer is to threaten the volunteers' membership with revocation. Does anyone have experience with this? I'm not looking for information on revoking a volunteers membership. I am looking for experience with what appears to be an out of control Scout Executive. It seems that he has done this multiple times that I am aware of. I cannot begin to imagine how many times he has done this that I am not aware of. Thanks for your help.
  2. Finally had a call from my son as he waits for the bus to take him home. Here is his quote, "they had some really nice stuff but overall it sucked". First let me say that this was my son's second Jambo. He is no neophyte. Although I don't have all the details yet, it seems that the 2 1/2 days of scheduled time morphed into virtually everyday being scheduled. There was no time to just go out and explore. Additionally, the long walks to the Action Centers (or whatever they called them) created a situation where you basically committed most of your day to one activity, and when the weather shut things down your day became pretty much a loss. Apparently he and his buddies went to shooting sports, waited on line, got to the safety briefing and then had the place shutdown for lightening. Safety first, I'm all for it, but ultimately this left them with pretty much a wasted day. This seemed to be just one example. Each day had something that they HAD to do. Seems like a cub scout event where you have to point and direct their every move. In my 6 years a Council Camping Chairman I learned that Program, (followed by staff, then facilities), is the number one item when it comes to a successful outcome. It seems that they put the cart before the horse. Much work still needs to be done in the Program area. From a distance this whole event seemed to be a giant district camporee. I'm not sure that I like that format for the Jamboree. On a different note, I was told that some activities were restricted to Venturers. If this turns out to be true, someone will need to answer the question, why were all the activities not available to Boy Scouts at the Boy Scout National Jamboree?
  3. My reference point for this thing continues to be one of honesty. BSA did not follow the scout law in advertising and hyping the event. IF.......IF, they had come out at some point in time and informed the participants that not all the activities would be available to them, then I'd have nothing to talk about. They would have had to do this in some meaningful way, not in the fine print. But they did not do that. Instead, they hyped this thing to the bitter end, leading everyone on with the belief that they'd be able to participate in ALL the activities that were advertised. I believe that they were intentionally deceptive and dishonest.
  4. In the last week I've had the chance to spend time with a few of the leaders and scouts (BS and Venturing) that attended the Jambo. More and more my overall impression of the event is being validated by everyone I speak with! Most interesting, in a conversation I had with one of the leaders I was told that there was an exodus of adult staff before the Jambo even started and it went on into the first week. Apparently some of the adult staff simply decided that considering the distances and terrain, BSA was asking too much of them. They quit. As the story goes, it was just too strenuous and the setup was too inconvenient for them to stick it out.
  5. It was widely know that at AP Hill there was a parallel training and logistics agenda for the army to setup and support a civilian city of 60,000.
  6. Again I'm not sure what this number should be, but it's not based on 30,000. It's based on the number of kids that participated in primarily two activities (skateboarding and BMX), and we know that for multiple reasons not everyone participated in those activities.
  7. fotoscout

    Jamboree Menu (Meals)

    My son had nothing very negitive to say about the food. It seemed to be adequate. He didn't like the whole lunch thing, but was thankful for the exchange stations. Apparently that was something that worked very well. Actually his biggest gripe about meals were the scouts who couldn't even light a stove.....etc, etc......
  8. Let me throw this out there as possibly another example of something that might have gone wrong…………….. As the story goes, between the skate parks and the BMX courses, there were some 40 broken arms per day. I’ve heard variations of the number but I suspect its close. Statistically I have no idea what that number should be, but anecdotally it suggests one of a number of things: 1- facilities that were too difficult for the target audience, 2- Inadequate training for the beginners, 3-Inadequate policing of the activity, or 4-Poor equipment selection for the target audience. Any thoughts??
  9. I was not there. The opinion I’ve formed and the comments I’ve made are the result of discussions with over a dozen Scouts, Venturers, and Leaders that were there. And I’ll admit some the bitterness comes from my original recognition that this thing was over hyped, and lacking hard information during the sales and buildup phases leading into the event. I, like some of the rest of you was able to see a problem evolving early enough for some action to have been taken. That action might have been distasteful. But it would have been honest. Instead they buried the problems. What’s been really interesting is that the story has been consistent. The youth, the adults, the Venturers, and the Boy Scouts have all said the basically the same things. If you’re wondering if I prompted them for similar answers I’ll tell you that I was very careful to just let them talk.
  10. Last time around the kids in our troop did everything they wanted to do and yes some did everything. They invested the time, they worked at it, and they succeeded. It was very doable.
  11. I'm not saying it's the same, but just think for a minute.....................what would happen if you took your family on vacation to a resort that offered all sorts of great activities. The brochures had great glossy pictures of people doing all sorts of great stuff. You wanted to do this, that, and everything. You expected to be able to do everything because no one told you otherwise. On the contrary, the day before you left you checked the website and everything was hunky-dory. Then when you got there, you couldn't do most the activities that were advertised. What would you do, how would you feel??? One thing most of you would not be doing is touting the virtues of the resort and glossing over the shortcomings.
  12. I understand and appreciate what you've said, and I think we all have to say that it could have been a whole lot worse! But I won't give them a pass on this one. They knowingly oversold the event. Both literally and figuratively. Expectations for the scouts were nowhere near satisfied. The scouts all saw the hype, the scouts all saw the videos, and most of them said, "I want to that when I get to the Jambo". But they could not, not by a long shot. BSA took advantage of the good will and beliefs that the scouting community has for the program, they over hyped the entire event and then failed to deliver. I don't particularly care about the food, or the long walks, or the heat. They did not pull off the program in an acceptable way. Too many people that I've spoken to have confused their affinity for the larger program with the Jambo. We all support and believe in the program, and will when necessary defend it. Me included! But I won't allow that to get in the way of making a clear call on the outcome of this Jamboree. The bottom line is that they were disHonorable and unTrustworthy in promoting the event. They were very poorly Prepared to deliver on their promise and they devised some very shady manipulations to cover the deficiencies.
  13. I am not surprised that they would continue the Day of Service. Although I continue to believe that it's inappropriate, opportunistic, and possibly abusive, it's takes the high road and can be defended from the bully pulpit by the powers that be. I will paraphrase what others have said.................The Scouts are not at the Jambo to do Missionary work! If they and their parents wish to do that, they all know where to go to make it happen.
  14. After a few days of questions and answers my son's experience boils down to this, " It was like the most crowded week ever at Disney World, except at Disney World there is always something to do as you walk from one attraction to another". Simply too much wasted time because the lines were too long and there was nothing to do as you hiked from one area to another. As for staffing, pardon my shouting, WHAT DID THEY EXPECT ! They excluded what I would think is 50% of the available volunteer resource when they implemented the weight restrictions. I do have to give them credit for the absolute brilliance they exhibited by scheduling significant numbers of Scouts out of the Jambo proper for huge blocks of time. The marketing gurus even got some to pay extra for some limited availability activities..............rather elitist I would think. But it did get even more Scouts away from the Jambo for additional time.
  15. Sorry, I still believe that there is enough support for the neighborhood by virtue of just being there with everything that comes with it. As for BSA's assumption, it was a very poor assumption! It seems that the scenario that you've laid out basically allows the non-profit to compete with the local for profit operations. That's a long term kiss of death for whichever side of the argument you take. If they really want to be good neighbors, maybe they should start by not taking the bread and butter away from the locals.
  16. I certainly hope I didn't sound like my expectation was that the Jambo should be "Amazing" in a Disney like way. I think it should be anything but ,disappointing. Council OA does service in the council camp. But my understanding is that Service Core and Trail Crew do service anywhere. I didn't miss the memo.........I knew that the Day of Servie was scheduled from the outset. But what really gets me is this report of off site service being done. I think it compounds the insult. BSA doesn't need to curry favor with the locals. Locating there was more than enough. The community should be more than grateful. Job, Jobs and more Jobs. A local year round staff, summers full of campers, and still more staff. That's without knowing what National, the State of WV and the Bechtel family has done for the community. Any rural community would be thrilled to have this facility. Again, this idea of service at the Jambo is my opinion. I think its wrong in this situation.
  17. fotoscout

    Public invited to Jambo

    Although I'm in favor of the visitors being banned from participating in the activities, I don't like the idea that their access to the entire site was limited. The comment that all scouting activities should be open to parents is a fact. That fact was violated.
  18. Mentality noted, and thank you. But it doesn't explain why Boy Scouts should be excluded from anything at the Jamboree. And on still another note, some of you may have seen a facebook post about the Day of Service Project that took a different direction. Here is the part that interests me, "Scouts were building picnic tables, an outdoor learning space and a gravel walkway at the school". I've had a problem with this Day of Service thing from the start, but I tempered my opinion thinking that the tens of thousands of service hours were going to be done inside The Summit. Now we find out that that was not the case. This is, in my opinion, an outrageously opportunistic act of selfishness by the National Council. If they want to be seen as do-gooders, then arrange with the OA to have local projects done by Service Corp. But to do it on the $1800 that I paid for my sons trip, is manipulative, abusive. and deceptive. I believe that this Day of Service thing was just another way to take the participants out of circulation for a day. National knew that it could not handle the volume or throughput on most of the big advertised activities, so they just came up with a mechanism to remove a significant number of participant from the mix. To me the whole concept of this Day of Service at the Jambo is questionable. Scouts, all Scouts know what service is about. The Den, the Pact, the Troop, or even the Crew sends out a message that our activity for the day will be 'some service project'. You choose to go along or you choose to stay home. That's your choice. But either way, you haven't been asked to shell out thousands of dollars for the privilege of participating in the that service project without ever having the chance to decline. And the justification for declining would simply be, "my parents sent me here to participate in the Jamboree, not to build picnic tables". Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that the kids were able to help save the schools equipment and material. To me this is an issue of principle.
  19. The more I think about this, the more I’m inclined to think that the event has either lost or changed its focus. In the past it was billed as a gathering of scouts. That gathering was the prime focus. It was what all the advertising, reporting, and conversation were about. This time, it was all about the activities, and particularly about the grand facilities that have been built. Granted the facilities are grand, but the Jamboree should never be about the facilities, or even the activities! It’s about the scouts and it seems to me that to some extent the opportunity to mingle took a back seat. It seems to me that so much time and focus was spent in getting from here to there that mingling was distant bit of interference.
  20. fotoscout

    Jambo Hype !

    This is a duplicate of something I recently posted in the Jamboree thread. My appologies for it, but I think the topic needs a much larger exposure. Foto. I've had enough of the over the top hype being communicated about this Jamboree. It's time that we started to get some solid information and instruction passed along to us. To say it simply, my comfort level is low and getting lower! National needs to park the PR machine. The Jambo website has nothing but hype, the leaders guide is pitifully puny, and the leaders are frustratingly uninformed. As a parent of a Scout who plans to go, and past Jambo leader myself, I am really very concerned. It seems to me that National has not moved beyond the "sales" phase of this event. Yes, yes, I've heard all the rhetoric about the great things being done at the Summit. But none of it appears to have morphed into a logistically sound operation. At the bare minimum, I expect that we'd have had a thorough understanding about meals by now. We don't! As you all know, this is not an inexpensive event. I will give it until the end of February. At that point if my comfort level has not significantly increased, I will cancel my son's registration. Foto
  21. I've had enough of the over the top hype being communicated about this Jamboree. It's time that we started to get some solid information and instruction passed along to us. To say it simply, my comfort level is low and getting lower! National needs to park the PR machine. The Jambo website has nothing but hype, the leaders guide is pitifully puny, and the leaders are frustratingly uninformed. As a parent of a Scout who plans to go, and past Jambo leader myself, I am really very concerned. It seems to me that National has not moved beyond the "sales" phase of this event. Yes, yes, I've heard all the rhetoric about the great things being done at the Summit. But none of it appears to have morphed into a logistically sound operation. At the bare minimum, I expect that we'd have had a thorough understanding about meals by now. We don't! As you all know, this is not an inexpensive event. I will give it until the end of February. At that point if my comfort level has not significantly increased, I will cancel my son's registration. Foto
  22. fotoscout

    Jambo Hype !

    Very interesting. Disappearing posts, posts being moved from one forum to the another. Very suspicious. Who's trying to bury the conversation ???? Foto.
  23. fotoscout

    Jambo Hype !

    I started this thread because the groundswell of concern about the Jamboree is getting louder and louder as each week goes by. Many Scouters, virtually everyone I come in contact with is concerned. The professionals are putting on a good face, and the volunteers are desperately trying to reassure the parents that everything will come together. But the fact is that National needs to wake up and begin to produce the kind of solid information that will reassure both the parents and the professionals. I intentionally put this thread in two very visible places here on Scouter.com. Very specifically I put it in the Open Discussion forum because it gets the most traffic. I go away for a few days and what do I find. The moderators moved the thread to a lower profile forum. Now someones going to say that they moved it because the Jambo is a camping and high adventure activity. That of course is a lot of hooey. It may have elements of both, but it is neither one nor the other. The Jambo is a different scouting event. It is a one of a kind event that happens every 4 (or so) years and connects decades of scouting. It is a part of Scoutings history, and a part of Scoutings future. The Jambo owns a big piece of Scoutings legacy. This discussion has to happen. BSA will be decades rebuilding the Jamboree legacy if this one turns out to be the disaster that many see coming. There is still time to get it together. But obviously they need a push. Let us be the push. To the Moderators, let this discussion happen. Move the thread back into a more active Forum.
  24. fotoscout

    Jambo Hype !

    OldGreyEagle, as an adult I completely agree. We make decisions based on the things that excite us. Had I been able to go this year I may have made the same decision you did for the same reason. It could be fun to be in the middle of an unmitigated disaster. However, the decision making process is different for the kids. My son expects to have a first class adventure. He expects to be busy doing things all day. He expects that "Scouting" will put on a show that's organized, thoughtful, and fulfilling. He is not going to experience the adventure of an unmitigated disaster. He's a kid, he wants to have a good time, he doesn't want to spend his days being frustrated by the demons of Scouting. And that's why they need to get us more solid information. At this time, I just don't see the event coming off in a way that is satisfying to the kids. You and I may appreciate the chaos, and ultimately the rectification of an unmitigated disaster, but the kids will not.(This message has been edited by fotoscout)
  25. fotoscout

    Jambo Hype !

    Yes I agree, that happens at summer camp all the time. But I have to tell you that I don't remember one instance of a scout getting turned away from anything in 2010. Certainly they had to secure tickets or schedule some activities, and sometime they just arrived too late in the day, but as long as the scout did his due diligence he was not turned away. I respectfully differ with you...........the Jambo is different. No summer camp, not one of them anywhere in the country has the resources that the Jambo does. If the Jambo falls short, it only because the commitment by National was limited. Some of you might remember that one of the early plans floated for the first year at The Summit involved a plan to limit participants at the Jambo to approximately 15 or 20,000 total participants. That plan was obviously scraped.
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