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Posts posted by fotoscout

  1. 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.




  2. LETS GET Back to the Topic...............


    We paid $1500. Youth and Adults paid the same price. Included was the following:


    Jambo Fee

    Daypack,2 tee shirts, water bottle, patches, hats

    Bus transportation to and from Long Island

    2 nights in a hotel + meals with 1 1/2 days in DC (No formal agenda).

    Basic Council owned Jambo gear (tents, patrol boxes, stoves, tables, tarps, etc....)

    Gear transported both ways by volunteer driven rental trucks.

  3. We went to the Jambo with 5 contingent troops. A very good turnout for our council. But many of the scouts who came lacked the skills, maturity, and initiative to function in the patrol environment that is so much a part of the Jamboree experience.


    We had kids with issues, kids that were simply too young, and kids that actively avoided doing any work in the campsite. As I'm sure you all know, this results in more work for the kids who have the ability to get the job done. The bottom line is that we had more than one boy have his Jambo experience ruined because his patrol was totally dysfunctional.


    So the question is...... Is it right to screen jambo participants? Should we leave the boys with issues at home? Should we impose our own age restriction for attending the Jamboree?


    Is attendance at the Jamboree an Entitlement (Mommy pays and sonny goes), or is it an Honor and Privilege (only selected youth get to go)

  4. The booing was an interesting phenomenon. As the video taped message started, ALL of the participants, staff and visitors stood in respect for the President. Only after he started to speak did the booing start. It was spontaneous, loud, and heard from all corners of the Arena.


    The message was clear, "We respect you Mr. President, but we are profoundly insulted by your decision to stay away".


    I voted for the guy, but I am now convinced that he has sealed his fate and will be looking for a new job in two years.

  5. From my perspective, everything involving the jambo med forms is incompetent! For those of you that don't know this, BSA contracted out for the med form distribution, acceptance, review, and approvals. All correspondence and communication concerning jambo med forms is being done by a contractor. The initial distribution was a farce, the review so far has been a farce, the updates and resubmissions have been a farce, and I suspect that the final approvals will be a farce. With two weeks to go, we still don't know anything about the resubmissions that were made. Adults are still being rejected at this point in time and our ability to contact someone with knowledge and authority is non-existent.


    How many of us are going to show up in Virgina and have a big surprise waiting for us? Think of it this way, as participants most of us are spending from $2000-$4000 each for this event. If you were spending that much money with a travel agent for a family vacation would you accept the level of customer service that we've seen from BSA regarding the jambo?


  6. Ok so I'm finally getting around to buying a new uniform. The BSA literature shows the Left Sleeve patches aligned with the center of the shoulder seam on top, AND, centered on the small pocket below. Very nice except that the pocket is not aligned with the shoulder seam. The pocket is slightly forward of the shoulder seam.


    I have four of these shirts, and each is the same. So where do the patches really go?



  7. On a similar related thought. I've always believe the scouting is about new experiences and new challenges. Kids want and need those two things. If you continue to go to the same camp, year after year, where are the new experiences, new challenges, and new adventures.


    It's no surprise that Troops going to the same camp year after year see one of two things happen. They see reduced numbers of older boys going to camp, and/or, they begin to have more problems with the older boys that do go to camp.


    We do a week at our own camp and a week at some other different camp each year. For us it works and not surprisingly, many of the boys go to both camps

  8. Like many others I believe in supporting your council camp. If you don't then who would you expect to do so? However, that only goes so far.


    You did not tell us if your troop also does a second week of camp for the older boys. Some type of high adventure week. Without knowing that bit of information it's hard to give you an answer. But, if this one week is the only week of camp that you do, then the answer is right in front of you, and you already know the answer. Your older boys are bored with camp after three years and see no reason to go back again.


    So it's time to do some homework, find a camp with something special and different! Give it a try, maybe it will work maybe not, but at least your are doing something other than the same old thing that is not working for all of your scouts.



  9. From what you've told us, it seems that the boy's every thought is consumed with firing the gun then reveling in the aftermath. To me this is obsessive beyond what might be called a phase.


    If I were you, I would ask the Cubmaster or CC to join me in a conversation with the parent.



  10. 10 scouter's would probably answer this question 10 different ways. Then there are the people that go to the same camp every year, and in all likelihood would frame their answer in the context of the only camp they know of !!


    I think staff and program hold an equal place at the top of the list. The staff has to be friendly, welcoming, and capable, from the youngest to the most senior! I've been to camps where after 3-4 days in a MB class, the scouts still don't know the councilors name. To me that's a red flag and it tells me that the councilor is not interacting with the scouts.


    Program has to be firm and real. Don't tell me that you have this or that, then we show up and this or that isn't available. If it's advertised, it has to happen! Exciting program for the older boys is a must. We look for a camp with something special. Access to the ocean or saltwater, special staff members teaching MB's or advanced classes. One camp has an Olympic level archer doing an Archery program during the summer. Access to something special on the property or in the community is also a plus.


    Food, I believe that good, even great camp food is possible without breaking the bank. A little TLC in the kitchen is all it needs. I expect a camp to have food that is respectful to the scouts. Slop, poorly prepared, low quality food is insulting. I don't want to go home feeling embarrassed about the food our boys ate all week. So far I have only been to one camp that left me feeling like that. A big camp in New England, with absolutely the most disgusting food day after day.


    Facilities, everyone doesn't have the money to have great camp facilities. Many Council camps run great summer camp programs with outdated facilities. I think it's important that the facilities are safe, and that the bathrooms and showers all work. A great summer camp is not made by the facilities. Only staff and program can make a great summer camp.

  11. There is a story that Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York City and one of the wealthy men in the world, may have been the youngest Eagle Scout on record. Your committee and scoutmaster have no right to withhold your boys rank. TAKE THIS TO YOUR SCOUT EXECUTIVE AND IF THAT DOESN'T WORK, TAKE IT TO YOUR EXECUTIVE BOARD.


    And by the way, your son at 14.5 years old, is not so young. The national average for Eagale Scouts is 13.7 years old (maybe 13.3).(This message has been edited by fotoscout)

  12. So here's my bend on this thing....... Because this was intentional, manipulative, and some might say malicious, I think that the boys should have been sent home or suspended from the troop for 4-6 months. Severe, yes, but the message should be loud and clear.


    This kind of behavior is what sets the culture for a troop. If we let these boys get off with just a slap of the wrist, then everyone else will begin to think that they too can shuck their responsibilities and commitments. What did the younger scouts learn from this?


    Then there is another part of this that bothers me. I don't think that any of us would say that we know where the boys are every minute of the day while we're at Summer camp. However, we do know with almost 100% accuracy, where the boys are during merit badge sessions. Where were these boys, and what were they up to? I would be very uncomfortable with the realization that these boys were not where they should have been at a time when I thought (with 100% certainty) I knew exactly where they were.


    Just to finish this little story, I was not at camp while this was occurring. The leaders in camp thought it was cute and did nothing. The boys went home with partials from the MB classes.



  13. From what we've been told here in this forum, the boy is severely allergic. For the boy, this is a life and death issue. I don't think it's the time to play scout and worry about the patrol method.


    My son has a classmate who has a severe peanut allergy. One day a boy sitting at the lunch table with the boy opened a snickers bar. Within minutes the boy with the allergy ended up in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.


    This is very real for some people and it is not something to take lightly.

  14. There seems to be no question that this boy should bring his own food. It should be kept in a separate location from the rest of the troops food, and not handled by anyone other that the boy and maybe one other adult. He may also need or want to bring his own cooking utensils and pots...etc. Even washing his cooking gear can be a problem. I would think that his gear should be washed first before anyone contaminates the wash water. But I think that this is the easy part.


    My question would be this........how do you handle his tent mate who just sat around the campfire eating a bag of peanuts (or whatever) then crawled into a sleeping bag right next to the boy with the allergy. Exhale...inhale....exhale.....inhale....you all get the point???

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