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hicountry

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About hicountry

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  1. Just a few thoughts from a former SM who left in 2011 when his youngest aged out.......(Just had last scout who started under my scoutmastership make eagle so I am reminded to drop by here on occasion) 1.....Scouting USA in the 70's worked so well didn't it ? Apparently some haven't learned from that and want to try again 2.....My major reason for burn out when in scouts was dealing with the adults, the mothers were by far the worst. Thankfully they were not at the campouts messing things up, whining and interjection obtuse ideas and demands. There is no way on gods green earth I would have anything to do with family camping in this day of mandatory fairness, helicopter parenting, entitlement and the world revolves around me and my kid attitudes. 3....Two deep, YPT and program related issues are going to create many messes. 4....Boy Scouts are for boys to work with other boys on man things, this latest change destroys that dynamic 5....We all know this was only done as a cheap fix by national to prop up declining numbers. They want to keep their kingdom of paid scouters and all the things that gobble up money so they sell their souls for numbers/bucks. Great example they make. 6.....Girls are wanting into boy scouts but I haven't heard the public or media opine for allowing boys into girl scouts. Why is that ? 7....What is wrong with the existence of organizations that have their own membership standards and others seem to feel the need to force their way in ? If I have a house party and invite some of the neighbors do the uninvited neighbors have any right to force their way in too ? Same thing with BSA caving to allow in the perverts and trannys, afraid of lawsuits while the kooky left feels they have to infiltrate and destroy organizations where people who don't agree with their cause congregate. And the BSA who have become so bloated and corporate like top heavy are so tied to the mighty dollar and protecting their fiefdom that what they stand for is open to re-interpret or sell off. Simply disgusting. I have nothing against girls, they probably would do quite well in BSA, but that is the minor problem, the devils is in the details and BSA has proven again they can't be trusted. If my boys have sons and want activities in the scouting years it will be 4h or trail life or school sports or whatever. It is now scouting USA, Boy scouts is gone.
  2. hicountry

    Family Scouting Survey Results

    Appreciate folks opinions positions on this but I think we all know the realities surrounding this...... 1.....BSA already had made a firm decision a while back, the survey and whatever criptic communication on "family Scouting" they but out was simply window dressing to attempt to appease people and give the appearance that they wanted input from the membership before the decision was made. This makes the value of any survey moot in the end anyway. 2.....BSA won't release details of the survey but any info they do provide is likely cooked to support the decision already made by national some time ago. Some will say I am not trusting in national and maybe that's not scout like but this is what national gets for the manner in which they have operated in recent years. They have worked for and earned distrust from the units and volunteers, most of us didn't just fall off a turnip truck. 3.....There where plenty of posts and threads regarding he survey, the use of the term family friendly and the like. Most saw right through that, others tried to back up BSA and blame others for over speculating. And why did people speculate....because National has shown to anyone with a pulse that what they say and what they do are usually 2 different things which destroys peoples trust. Looks like the speculation gang on family camping being code for coed were correct. I am not surprised as it sounded like they wanted to start to roll in girls in 2018 so the announcement had to come in October/November time frame. Don't worry too long about the survey or opinions you would have given, BSA doesn't really care, they just want anyone who still believes them to think they care. They will keep plundering along with poorly made plans, decisions and implementations or do what they want and only try to look like they are including the volunteers. Pretty poor example of leadership if you ask me.
  3. hicountry

    Charter Org bankrupt?

    I see it the same as Stosh's buddy and the car. If he took it to the shop and the night prior to the Bankrupcy issue someone called the owner of the car and said.....Hey Joe, shop xyz you have your car over at is filing chapter 11 in the morning, you better get it out of there if you still want it. Stosh's buddy decides he is high and mighty and feels that is not the right thing to do, leaves his car there and loses it in the shops bankruptcy mess the next day. Some might think it is honorable, most would agree it was foolish. We didn't have to drop the CO and go to the new one but we did have an action plan that was partly engaged before things got mostly straightened out with the CO. All the funds and assets would have been 100% used for the purpose they were paid, donated, raised for.....Scouting. That is honest and ethical use of assets and funds. It is using the funds and assets as the payers, donators, fundraisers had intended, for scouting 100% and that is honest as far as I am concerned. To let someone else end up with the goods that were paid for 100% by others would be foolish. You can look at it anyway you want but losing what folks paid for and worked for to someone else is WRONG and I would never stand for it. To just stand there and let it all be taken because of some silly rules is lame. What is wrong with using those funds to pay for what they were always intended for ? Boys and families who put in for Summer camp, is there some law that says you cannot pay the full amount a couple months early ? Lets say there is 2 grand in the troop account that is in there due to family payments, fundraising whatever and 10 boys signed up for Summer camp. You find Charter org may go belly up and you decide instead of a down payment in the fall and payment in full by April, you decide to just pay the full amount in January before CO goes under in February and that's wrong ? Just leave the money there for the CO to take and then go back to those families to pay again for what they already paid for ? That is the stupidest thing I have heard in recent memory.
  4. hicountry

    An awesome merit badge fair

    I'd love to see scouts take the initiative to contact a counselor and work with them like it used to be but I recognize the world has changed, the Norman Rockwell days of scouting are long in the past. I think merit badge colleges, fairs whatever anyone wants to call them are here to stay, I recall going to one at a local firehall in the early 70'2 where I got started on Firemanship, First Aid and Emergency preparedness, it was a great experience so this is nothing new. It is the way the world functions today. I think they are great and encouraged my scouts to attend them, I advertised them and signed blue cards for them. I realize the quality of the experience of each badge varied widely and I saw some merit badge counselors/classes at summer camp that were far more lacking than the colleges I saw. The fairs/colleges at least motivated the boys to pay attention to their own advancement and look for opportunities to accomplish more. Where I did draw the line was parents signing up as MBC's and giving their kids a pass, or even worse, parents outright doing the work for their scout.
  5. hicountry

    Charter Org bankrupt?

    It struck me that I'm not illustrating this form the point of view as I see it. No disrespect intended but as I see it.... If I went to my troop the scouts all the parents etc and told them we had a problem with the CO (Financial or any other reason) and that the CO had rights per BSA to ownership of all funds and equipment. And if I then told them that the relationship with Co was likely to dissolve and the CO would take (Steal) the funds and equipment that the CO never provided in the first place. And then when asked if I would refund family moneys for prepaid campouts, summer camp, or do anything to protect the monetary or equipment assets of the troop and my answer was....No.....we have to leave it all there un protected so the CO can come in and take it all unjustified (Not do anything smart to protect what was rightfully ours)..... They would ask me if I had lost my mind......and they would be right in asking. And I would probably be kicked out and someone willing to protect the troops stuff would take rightful action If I had advance notice that my house would be burglarized while I went on a vacation, I would be stupid to not take all my valuables out of the house to my relatives for safe keeping to mitigate loss, despite if the town had some ridiculous rule saying I am not allowed to move/hide valuables for any reason. One thing is breaking what seems to be a very stupid rule, but to be a helpless victim and do nothing to help yourself seems to be far worse to me. It is part of taking care of me and those around me. I see nothing morally wrong, I see it very wrong to teach folks to be sheep like helpless victims and not take reasonable precautions in life.
  6. hicountry

    Charter Org bankrupt?

    I don't think character building is sitting on your hands doing nothing to pevent basically the THEFT of the material and funds the familys and the scouts and donors created, to me that is waiting around to be a victim. You can handle it your way, fine but I think it is foolish to knowingly let someone or an organization come in and take what others created. We didn't have to leave so none of this had to happen in the end, but if it had....... Families that put money into the troop to pay for their sons campouts in advance wouldn't have been stolen from tem. It would have been rightfully refunded to tehm prior to the potential theft Scouts that were going to summer camp would have had their camp fee reduced by troop money that was always meant to support scout activities so there is no wrong in that Replacing worn equipment early and using funds to benefit the troop so I see no wrong there Grocery store gift cards purchased by troop funds meant to support troop activities that would have been used to get supplies for troop campouts....using funds as they were intentioned so nothing wrong here Moving troop equipment that the COR had no hand in so the people in the troop were responsible for having to a place it couldn't be confiscated (Stolen) by a COR that had no moral right to had it come to it. We had 3 offers to have others become our new CO so the CO we had we were not desperate for, we really owed them nothing, for the meeting space we did projects to beenfir the CO. The tax number was one of the key issues in why were were looking to move, they wouldn't let us use thiers. (long Story) but my heart doesn't bleed for them, my loyalty is to the troop the scouts the families and those that donated, not to some very poor rules and a CO that really didn't care and was occasionally a pain in our rear.
  7. 1....BSA Overburden. Would have been worse but we mitigated a lot of this. Our council does not require Tour Permits or whatever they call them now so we stayed in district and avoided that paperwork. Ridiculous picky G2S2 rules and related, we kept the boys safe but ran a reasonable program and sometimes ignored stupid rules(must be 14 to use a wagon, no squirt gun wars, and other nonsense that makes you shake your head and drains you if you think about it too much). Troop had NEVER filled out a unit money earning form in their history so we continued that tradition too. Kept Council at arms length, out UC was a really decent guy so he was a joy to have visit, the meddlers we kept away. Still there was terrible hassles regarding summer camp a couple times, pushy FOS people and bad experiences, waste of time nonsense with council on various issues that were only resolved when I had to take a hard line. It wears on you, Council and national add more burdens to your life than any help they provide. Negative net gain. 2....Totally unruly, out of control scouts. Ussually accompanied by jerk parents of some unsavory flavor. Always a new crop of them every year but we did our best to weed these people out ASAP so they did as little collateral damage to the troop as possible. Sometimes lost a few good scouts and families here and there due to the behavior of the idiots but we kept that to a minimum as much as possible. 3....COR.....created some issues and one or two times pulled the rug out last minute on promises they made that we had to scramble over to mitigate. They provided a meeting space but made up for it with occasional, un-necessary heartburn. 4....Lack of help and some help that was there in name but did nothing forcing the doers to default into damage control far too often. Wears one out and sucks at your soul. Troop volunteers that were do nothings or created drama were dropped from the position next recharter. Folks that stepped up to do something then bailed last minute, frequently with no communication and never apologized or had any clue of the problems they causes. 5.....Lazy or whiney scouts who wanted to do nothing, complained non stop when made to do the smallest thing, expecting advancement when they did squat etc. The SPL and Patrol leaders dealt with it mostly but frequently boiled up to the adult leaders when the lazy whiners didn't like what the youth leadership had to say. 6......BIGGEST REASON.....the adults. We've all been there but is adults that wear you out and wonder why you did this. Difficult people at summer camps and council, snow plow parents, helicopter parents, parents that volunteer to help and don't show, don't know communications fail to get the message (Swim tests or other stuff) after numerous attempts then complain they missed the event, Parents with jerk kids that complain constantly how their little precious got cheat out of something, parents wanting to be MBC's so they can sign off their lazy kid on all the Eagle MB's so they can get to the trophy easy, people with wacko ideas on committee that cause disruption and politics because they cannot force their convoluted schemes through, the phsychotic/delusional CC I had to have removed by district and CO, parents that fail even though you coach them and then have the nerve to blow up at you when they cannot figure their way out of a paper sack even when you assisted them all along, people that expect to camp but never want to pay or raise money but whine about how it is all unfair, people that couldn't come up with a medical form in 6 months despite over a dozen face to face and phone and email reminders that were aghast when their son got redlined off campouts as a result, and I'm only getting started 7. The backbiting, politics and alternative agendas of many people. Wears you out over time. I strongly suspect that people were more civil back in the sixties and seventies but we have come into the me age where everyone has their "right" to be who they are and express and insist on their opinions and act like luntics and dammnn the greater good. Not only in scouts but little league and many other things. I have to put up with enough turkeys at work, I don't need more in my free time. Between cubs and Boy Scouts I volunteered 8 years, did 11+ as a volunteer fireman until politics ruined a great department so I have about done my time. Oldest son Eagle 6 palms) did Volly with me a year or so and moved on to another dept that was pretty much also destroyed by politics and he has soured now on volunteering as a result. These days family and friends volunteer as safety workers with an area vintage road racing club but the drama from several idiots is wearing on me (And some others) and soon now that younger son (21 eagle, 3 palms) and I both got our competition licenses, I think I will just be a driver, wife has had it with the volunteer side drama too and says from now on all she wants to be is the wife of a driver. It is a shame what is becoming of so many good organiztions and causes in our nation due to the luntics, the arrogant, the selfish, the big mouths etc. I honestly do not know whay anyone in their right mind would ever volunteer to coach or referee little league anymore with what is commonplace there. I was scoutmaster of the year in 2010 in our district and asked to become involved in district or council but was so relieved to be one I turned it down politely and walked away, have had KofC and Rotary ask me to join fairly recently too but at this point I think I put in my time and have joined the NAVY (Never again volunteer yourself) On a light hearted note, maybe it's time to start a thread on crazy experiences, always good to vent and laugh at ridiculous things I know we have all had to deal with.
  8. hicountry

    Charter Org bankrupt?

    Years ago we had an issue develop with our CO, not financial or bankruptcy but it created similar concerns. Background, our Co was "OK", about all they did was to provide a meeting place and storage closet, we did a service project for them on occasion, they never provided one cent in funds not any equipment. Like most they were pretty much disconnected from our troop. Rules may say the CO owns the troop, it's funds and equipment, but the reality is it was paid for by fundraising the boys and familys did, donations from former scouts, parents and friends of our troop, the CO provided none of it. The rules SAY it all belongs to the CO but they did zilch in contributing to those materials, funds and equipment being there so we say it belongs to the troop. Issue with CO eventually worked out but bottom line we were strongly considering going to a new CO and there was no way we were going to leave equipment and funds behind to an un-engaged CO that did nothing to help provide any of those assets. Our troop trailer was owned and registered by an individual, not the Co so we packed all the troops god equipment in the trailer that was parked off site. We filled Lockup with junk tents, junk cooking equipment and the like so if we went to new CO and old one wanted to claim the equipment they would be left with a lockup full of garbage basically. Troop funds were used to prepay summer camp, replace any worn equipment, down payments on wreaths for next wreath sale season and most of the balance was King Soopers gift cards used latter to buy groceries for campouts. Funds paid in advance by families for their sons activities were also refunded so those folks would not lose out. We did not end up leaving for the new CO and all moneys were used appropriately but had we needed to change to new CO the troop the boys and the families would not have been robbed of the funds they had created in support of the troop. Maybe these tactics would be of help to the original poster. The rules may say it belongs to the CO but if CO did not provide any of it, those that created those assets and saw them go to the CO due to an arbitrary rule, to me that just constitutes theft and to me that is the greater wrong.
  9. hicountry

    Leader Training

    Our council went to mandatory IOLS at the end of 2010, effected 2011 recharter. The SM taking over for me had nearly 20 years experience in Whitewater Guide, wilderness first aid, camping and running a cub pack 5 years before he took over for me. Had to go to IOLS, complete waste of time, when instructors figured out he knew more than them they proceeded to pick and argument with him on correct Marcus of Queensbury dish washing procedure. One ASM took the training too, he was an eagle with our troop, early 20's, led backpacking, hikes and campouts and was totally competent and again found it a waste of time, just there to check off the box. I stayed on in 2011 to assist the new SM if he needed it, was an ASM but even though I had 2 years as an ASM and 5 as SM and lots of success with the troop and it's camping program was mandated to take IOLS. I registered as a committee member instead and actually served the troop as an ASM to get around the nonsense. I understand the troop when they get new parent ASM volunteers since I left, they determine what camping and leadership experience they have regarding just IOLS......if they are very competent, they register these people as committee even though they serve the troop in function as ASM. Anyone with inadequate experience they make sure they do IOLS before register with troop as an ASM. Of course all take Youth Protection, SM fundementals or whatever it is called now, Safety afloat, weather, safe swim etc. By registering competent campers as committee they get new help with the troop that in most cases would have balked had they been forced to take training that was in their cases, un-necessary.
  10. hicountry

    Moving away from ISA’s

    I'm more about doing the right thing than doing things the right way. Lord knows there are enough rules/laws guidelines and some simply run contrary to what we are trying to do or make it 10 times more difficult to get from point a to point b. If a scout is active fundraising and it saves his parents from writing a few checks I don't see that as a personal benefit, it is not like he is allowed to go buy camping equipment or even uniforms, it covers his cost for a troop 2 night weekend campout, not enough for anyone to break a sweat. Jeff, the problem really kicks in with the families that not only don't help with fundraising at all but also don't write checks and have to be chased around for a check to at least pay their debit back up to zero. All anyone doing an audit is going to see is one account with funds inputting from donations, checks from parents, fundraisers etc. On the back side there are debits for badges, summer camp, local campout associated costs, troop gear repairs or replacement and such. Nice and tidy and clean. What cannot be seen is the scouts that had to be told you can't go on a given campout as your "account" is zero or below, pay up, or the checks that parents wrote to boost their scouts "account" to provide enough so that scout could camp as his "account" was getting in bad shape. All the spreadsheet we kept on the side was, is a "scorecard" of who has use of what portion of the funds that resided in the pot. The individual tabs in the spreadsheet per scout allowed me or the treasurer to show we were good stewards of the funds and precisely how we got to where we were, honesty through transparency. If Sam parent writes the troop a hundred dollar check to cover his scouts troop campout costs in advance for a good portion of the year, is it fair to see his son get 60 bucks of benefit and give 40 bucks of that to some other scout who doesn't fundraise and who's parents has to be badgered to cough up an occasional check ? Then if Sam parents scout son raises $100 in commission from some fund raiser as his portion of what he helped contribute, why should he only get $60 of that benefit and some other scout who couldn't be bothered receive $40 of benefit from that ? As I noted, when I took over the troop there was a problem regarding all this and we set up this accounting to fix it and it did. There was the one account with funds coming in and expenses going out but the account amount began to decrease alarmingly about 9 months in. We were asking parents in general to kick in funds and some got a little hot when revealed they had written decent checks already or had fundraised a boatload to cover their kids campouts already and why were we short so we looked into it. Same old problem, had a significant number of scouts that were attending campout after campout (Troop weekend deals) and didn't raise one lick of funds and parents never bothered to write a check, the net expenditures were outstripping the incoming funds so we came up with the spreadsheet scorecard and put and end to that nonsense. The freelaoders were sucking up the resources put in by others. Year two I had many private conversations with parents, many were good friends and got in their face and to the point at times. Told them your son isn't doing anymore campouts till you pony up a check, which of the other parents in the room do you wish to go up to and ask them if they will help fund your kids expense. Still took up to 6 months sometimes to get some of these folks to cough up money and I am talking abut parents who could very well afford to stroke a check for 60 or a hundred bucks. Until you show you can account clearly for things, people will continue to take advantage of you. The fundraising for the general troop doesn't work in the real world, the 10-15% of the kids in the troop who work at a fundraiser see the lazy kids who never help getting the same benefits they are, doesn't take long for the worker bees to decide to do nothing and get benefits just like their lazy scout friends and thus fundraising falls off to zero. No one is getting arrested at no score, no one loses feel good youth league for keeping track of the score on a scrap of paper and no one is going to get in trouble for keeping score of what portion of a pot of money is attributed to certain people. I know from experience, NOT keeping track of who is responsible for exactly what portion of that pot of money causes troop financial problems and gets you a lot of grief from some scout families who earned a whole lot better.d
  11. hicountry

    Moving away from ISA’s

    Jeff, let me try and answer how that would work in the unit I used to serve but need to maybe step back a bit. Lets say there was $8500 in the troop account pot in May so we are clear of the recharter, dues paying, boys life stuff all that is water under the bridge. Lets say 1500 of that was earmarked as troop general funds that covers troop overhead items and equipment replacement and repairs. $7000 remains and is attributed to the scouts that the money is used to pay for local troop campouts and regular summer camps. Assume 35 scouts that comes to an AVERAGE of $200 a scout but we have to account to just how those funds are there. Some parents write the troop big checks at the beginning of the year to cover their kids camping, some are making deposits to help cover summer camp costs, some kick a check into the pot once and a while to keep a positive balance for their kid so he never has to worry about campouts and avoids the hassle of needing to write checks to cover low balance. Some of that money is commission profits from fund raisers, popcorn being just one of those type sources. We designate those funds by scout based on who actually did work and generated troop funds, those who don't help and don't contribute don't reap any of those benefits. So some scouts may have several hundred dollars of the troop money rightly usable by themselves to camp, others are close to the average, some a little above or below and then the folks who end up with a negative balance of 30-60 bucks that we let slide on a few campouts and had to cut them off until the parent finally coughed up a check. So lets get to the 5 scouts you mention specifically within that theoretical 35 boy unit with $8500 total pot of money in the troop account. 5 boys going to summer camp at 200 a piece. Assume all of them have a zero balance going into this scenario. Scout A does 225 commission, he covers his summer camp cost and leaves 25 surplus in his spreadsheet tab account that he can apply to local troop campouts. Scout b does 200 commission, pays his summer camp and leaves no balance. Scout C sells 175 commission, he has to come up with the 25 balance by whatever means more fundraising, he pays in, parents write a check). Scout D does 400 in commission, he pays summer camp and has a 200 balance to apply to campout costs as the year rolls along. Scout E doesn't sell anything, if he wants to go to camp he has to come up with the funds (ussually his parents write a check). It doesn't matter how much money total is in the pot, that money arrived by others writing checks for their kids or the efforts of those who actually participated in fundraising. (Or the business donation that is earmarked to cover troop expense overhead) If the scout in question is one where a family has extreme finanacial or other problems we might discuss it but the failure to sell anything at all and then hope others will decide to forgo some or all their expense is a longshot.
  12. hicountry

    Moving away from ISA’s

    We had one account in our troop, all money deposited to it and we wrote checks from it to pay for any troop expenses. Inputs were fundraisers, some annual company donations and money paid in by scouts and their parents. Money out was general troop overhead costs and money to pay for campouts and summer camp also reg fees and the like We kept a spreadsheet separate and part of the pot of money was earmarked as general troop funds and part was what the boys could use for campout purposes only, no gear but for troop campouts. Of that portion of funds deemed to the scouts, each scout had a separate tab and showed in detail all transactions, ie: money paid in by the scout or parents, credit from fundraiser participation and money used for scout costs.....annual dues, boys life, campout costs. A scout local troop campout we would pay out x amount for food, propane, ice and the like. We debited each attending scout on his spreadsheet tally 15 bucks. If the scout didn't have the funds his parents were asked to write a check or their son couldn't go. We learned this from bad prior experience, basically resources will be consumed until exhausted, the lazy in the troop that never did any fundraising (Ussually the same people you had to badger for a check for 3-6 months) would just freeload on the work and money the others put in. I look at this much akin to no score, everyone wins, no one wins youth feel good sports leagues. Every parent and kid on the field knows in their head or on a scratch pad exactly what the score is and who one-lost etc, we aren't fooling anyone. If someone had the ability to absolutely enforce not keep track of who paid or raised what, who used up how many financial resources it would mean a complete and total end of unit fundraising. The general fund inputs would all go to troop overhead costs and everyone would write a check for each and every campout their kid did, razor clean and tidy. No more of the freeloaders riding along on the work and financial contributions of others. My unfortunate experience was most of those who had to be reminded over and over for a check were also the ones who never bothered to fundraise (or provide any kind of volunteer hours what so ever) and were in general, financially well off. I'm not doing anyone any favors in the building character department by letting them continually slide on the backs of others and I am not showing any decent leadership to those who pay and work into the system allow their results of those efforts sponged up by the lazy and clueless. As far as a scout is obedient, I am not blindly obedient to every rule out there when it runs counter to my running the troop right. No way am I going to enable lazy, clueless behavior and no way am I demonstrating to those who work for things that they have to spread the results of those efforts to support those who won't lift a finger or write a check. That would be a dis-service to everyone.
  13. hicountry

    Path To Save Bsa?

    Been down this road years ago, both my boys and a number of our troop eagles at about 16-18 years of age looked seriously into this at a camp in Colorado not far from us. Several were accepted after a long list of hoops to jump, delays and communications problems. Every single one walked away from the offer citing...... Pay similar to what is described above, meals and tent wasn't enough to make it worth it Had to buy 2 sets of dark green uniform and a footlocker which came out of their pocket and reduced the yield of the pay after taxes Were not allowed to stay on Sunday. There was a home in the area that would try and accommodate kids but camp and council tried to kill that with notarized acceptance of parents having their kids picked up and staying with other adults, youth protection and more red tape made a simple fix tot he problem the camp made, too much brain damage to bother with. I know communication, accuracy of messages, delays and lack of decision making through the process was a red flag to everyone of how it might be to work the camp. Our troop summer camped here for several years, one year where setting up staffing seemed particularly ugly, the kids in our troop found summer camp that year particularly bad, most all rooted in either staffing or food service problems.
  14. hicountry

    Update On Adult Leadership Standards

    Duplicate post removed.
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