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Balding Eagle

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About Balding Eagle

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  1. Thanks everyone for your replies Nugent725, yes we have arrowmen (myself included) and I am sure they would be interested in visiting the founding lodge. Although being Lodge 2 we always have to live in your shadow. LOL PhillyScout, I have checked with Resica Falls and unit of our size will not have to share a campsite.
  2. Looking for a Summer Camp for 2011. Considering Resica Falls. Anyone have any reviews?
  3. I have a battery that I use for weekend and summer camp. For Philmont I have made arrangements for a solar panel that is Military grade, paper thin, can be rolled up and weighs under 2 pounds.
  4. I was wondering if anyone had any experience or suggestions with going on Trek at Philmont with Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
  5. UPDATE: At the Executive Board Meeting, the motion to sell KMSR was tabled. The motion to suspend Summer Camp operations was amended to only suspend Summer Camp for 2010. Official Statement: Message Regarding KMSR and Camping Scouting teaches that leadership requires making prudent choices and inspiring others to participate. The Central New Jersey Council has made an important decision in the best interest of our Scouts, and we are seeking the support of everyone in our organization. The Council has decided to suspend summer resident camping at Kittatinny Scout Reservation (KMSR) for the 2010 season. The decision is based on the harsh reality that most Scouts in our Council who participate in summer camping have chosen to do so elsewhere. We are blessed with 10 excellent summer residential camps outside CNJC, within a roughly 50-mile drive. Scouting is a worldwide program, and the Councils work together. Clearly, our Scouts are well served at these other camps. Despite our best recruitment efforts, KMSR has not attracted sufficient attendance to cover the costs. Our decision was also driven by financial considerations to be sure. The spillway of the dam of Lake Ashroe needs significant renovations to meet current state regulations, the septic system serving the Comfort Station and Dining Hall has to be replaced, and the Dining Hall and other facilities require major overhauls. These projects cannot be delayed and will be extremely expensive. As leaders, we have a responsibility to exercise responsible stewardship over the Councils limited funds, which come from contributions by Scout families and charitable donations from both alumni and corporations. Especially in todays economy, we recognize that it is difficult for the families and donors to provide these funds. It is our duty to ensure that their dollars are used effectively. Rather than subsidizing a local camping program that is lightly attended, the Council should direct these funds into programs that will directly benefit our Scouts. I and many other leaders have fond memories of KMSR summers and the learning opportunities embraced there by our Scouts. A lot of money and energy has been poured into this camp, but we have to focus on the Scouts future needs rather than the past. I am grateful for the many individuals who participated in a careful two-year process to study the needs of our Scouting program and assess the viability of KMSR. Their reports have been diligent and thorough, which you can view "http://www.cnjcscouting.org/KMSR_suspended.htm">here. Very shortly, we will contact the troops that have already signed up for KMSR camping in 2010 to help them make other plans. We are confident that CNJCs future programs will live up to our commitment to the Scouts.
  6. Dear Fellow Scouters, I am filled with great sadness with the thought of KMSR being closed and sold. I love KMSR. I did a lot of growing and maturing at KMSR. There is not a section of KMSR that I can walk without a memory from my youth or as an adult with my son. My first camping trip was the Webelos-Dad overnight in 1976. I remember it as if it was yesterday. I slept in the center lean-to in Adirondack and caught my first fish with my Dad behind Johnson lodge. When my son was a Tiger I brought him up to KMSR for the Cub Parent weekend. I walked up to Adirondack and showed him the lean-to I slept in and where his Grandfather taught me how to fish. I always hoped that one day he would do the same once he was married and had children. Throughout my sons Cub Scout career we camped every summer at KMSR. As Cubmaster I also brought the Pack camping for a weekend in the fall and spring. My sons first summer camp experience as a Boy Scout was at KMSR. As an Arrowman the thought of closing a Camp goes against all the Order of Arrow stands for. I will always and faithfully observe and preserve the traditions of the Order of the Arrow. The three main areas that were mentioned for the recommendation to close KMSR were Capital expenses,Participation levels at camp and Northeast Region / National Council findings, recommendations, and policies. Capital Expenses: KMSR was able to function for almost 60 years without the comfort station. If it is overloading the septic system then close it down until a cost effective solution can be arrived at and the needed funds raised. What will happen when the dam completely fails? The water will flow down stream and the lake will recede. Short of the loss of the lake what are the other downsides? Scouts can still camp without a lake. Besides is the state aware of the dam failure? Will they simply let the dam fail, or perhaps maybe they can provide assistance to fix the dam. I keep on hearing the Dining Hall needs to be replaced, why? It was large enough for over 60 years and the capacity of the camp has not increased. Participation Levels: Reference is made to a goal of 900 Scouts in attendance at Summer Camp and it was almost reached in 2003 and 2008 but was not reached since 1999. However, in reviewing the 2009 budget it clearly states attendance was 995 in 2007 and 1054 in 2008. Also, as of October 16, 2009 there were 415 Scouts scheduled to attend. Further it was cited that only 12% of units camp at KMSR. I assume this refers to summer camp only. What percentage of the units camp at KMSR throughout the year. Although the Troop I serve did not always attend KMSR for Summer Camp, we kept it in our rotation and we camped two or three weekends throughout the year and some of our Scouts would attend KMSR as provisional campers for a second week of Summer Camp. Northeast Region and National Council findings: KMSR had 9 red flags out of the 15 traits of a successful camp. I wonder which of these traits had the red flags? Lets review these one by one. Camp operates for 6 weeks or more w/900+ campers: This goal was met for 2007, 2008 and was on target to be met for 2010. No red flag here. Camp income exceeds all year-round expenses: It is difficult to analyze this because of how the 2009 budget is broken down lumping the expenses and salaries from KMSR, YCSR and the Day Camps together. However, in reviewing the 2008 actual figures it appears KMSR brought in $252,472 in revenue as compared to $162,558 in expenses which includes KMSR, YCSR and Day Camps. No red flag here. Camp Ranger is full time, exempt, National Camp School Certified Council employee: KMSR has a full time Ranger. No red flag here. Camp has detailed maintenance plan that included scheduled major replacements (roof, etc.): Between OA ordeals, Fall and Spring fellowships and Beaver Days there should be no red flag here. If this is a red flag it lays at Councils doorstep. Complete operating statements (all income, year-round expenses and operating statistics included) is regularly reported: The budget is posted on the website. No red flag here. Camp property 50 miles from other Council properties or is best of those in 50 mile radius: There are several camps within 50 miles, but they have existed for years so why is it now a problem? Camp fees cover all year-round expenses: See item 2 above. If not, fees need to be adjusted. Camp staff - 50% over 18 years with low turnover: I dont have the facts for this one I believe KMSR meets this. 60%+ of Council Units camp in Council camps annually: I question the 12% figure for annually camping. Maybe its true for Summer Camp but not for year round. Also are the percentages based on Boy Scout Troops only or do they include Cub Scout Packs? That could skew the figures. All Camp personnel requiring certifications have current training cards for the positions they hold: I dont have the facts for this one. The Camp is Nationally Accredited: Based on the conversations I assume KMSR is not Accredited. Council has a current Strategic Plan that includes current asset and property management plans: The Strategic Plan is on the Councils website. No red flag here. Council system tracks year-round property use, Scout and non-Scout users: There is no reason this should not be done. If this is a red flag it lays at Councils doorstep. Council budgets, accounts for and reports all depreciation regularly: If this is a red flag it lays at Councils doorstep. Council surveys campers, leaders and staff regularly to determine satisfaction levels: I know for a fact this is done as I have filled out these surveys in the past. Bottom line, these are only traits and are not hard and fast requirements. Based upon my understanding of the traits I dont see 9 red flags or anything that would call for the selling of KMSR. I have heard that the decision to sell KMSR did not come easy and was studied over a two-year period by a special committee. However, as I review the December 2008 update of the Stop Light information of the 2007 2011 strategic plan there is no mention of the concern or the study of the special committee. The letter mentioned 6 different options were considered, I think we, the members of CNJC are entitled to know what the other 5 options were before this one is implemented. If CNJC no longer runs a summer camp program, can KMSR survive with only year round camping by both Scout groups and non-Scout groups? I know in the past Hunters and other organizations such as L.A.I.R.E. have rented the entire camp for weekends. I implore you not to act too hastily with your decision. Selling property for revenue is a one-time option. Just as in 2006 when the mountain side above the rifle range, the swamp area across the road from Baumann Lodge and even one piece of property behind Black Bear campsite that Council did not even know they owned were sold to the State to pay for the now failed comfort station. I thank you for your time and consideration in reading my comments. I trust you will come to the correct decision. Yours in Scouting and Brotherhood,
  7. December 7, 2009 Dear Scouter: We are sending you this special edition of the CNJC E-Scouter today because of a serious issue that has arisen affecting our camping operations. At its last meeting, the Council Executive Committee (consisting of the Key 3, the Vice Presidents and General Counsel) voted to send to the full Executive Board two motions, one to cease long-term camping (summer camp) within the Central New Jersey Council, and the other, to investigate the sale of Kittatinny Mountain Scout Reservation (KMSR). We are giving you a summary of the facts leading up to this decision, in order that you can submit your comments to the Executive Board prior to its December 17th meeting. (More on how to do this is discussed below.) At this meeting your comments will be considered while the Board will discuss and evaluate all options regarding future camping operations. Those options will include the recommended closing and sale of KMSR, moving summer camp operations to Yards Creek Scout Reservation as well as continuing present deficit camping operations. There are three main reasons why we think these steps are necessary. They deal with: Capital expenses; Participation levels at camp; Northeast Region / National Council findings, recommendations, and policies. Capital expenses. Recently, we have learned of two major problems at KMSR. The first, a potentially significant problem with leakage of the dam on Lake Ashroe, is currently being investigated by an engineering firm to assess the scope of the problem and the cost of repairs. The second is the failure of the septic system serving the new Comfort Station, the Health Lodge, and the Dining Hall. Currently, we are only able to make band-aid repairs, as the definitive repairs on these two items alone would require a major capital campaign, something that has been unsuccessful in this council in better economic times. We add these two items to an ever-expanding list of capital needs at KMSR, including replacement of the dining hall, replacement of the water tank, refurbishment of the health lodge, replacement of the Rangers house, and a possible move by New Jersey to ban pit latrines. The cost of all of these items is well into the seven-figure range, which is out of our reach by all good estimates. Participation levels at camp. Since 2001, we have made significant capital improvements to KMSR in the hope of attracting new troops and campers to the camp, and have consistently made improvements to the quality of the program we offer. It has been our long-term goal to operate six weeks of camp with at least nine hundred boys in attendance. We came close to that goal in 2003 and 2008, but we have never reached that elusive goal dating back to the merger in 1999. An analysis of our Boy Scout Resident Camp attendance shows that, on average, only twelve percent of the Boy Scouts registered to the Central New Jersey Council camp at KMSR in a given summer, compared with an average of forty-four percent of CNJC Scouts camping at out-of-council camps. These poor participation levels have generated a deficit every year to the point where the council is actually subsidizing the camping operation, and as a result is operating at a deficit each year. Northeast Region and National Council findings. The Northeast Region, with the support of the National Council, recently conducted an in-depth study of camping operations throughout the region. As a result of that study, they developed a list of the fifteen traits of successful camps, dealing mainly with finances, attendance, and proximity of other councils properties. A no answer to any one of the items was a red flag that something needed attention. We had nine red flags on the list. Their recommendations, which were accepted and approved at the November Regional Board meeting, were that the Area leadership could conditionally approve a camp if the council ran at a deficit and the camping operation was also at a deficit, and the council had more than 16,000 total available youth per unit-serving executive. If this continued for two years, the region could refuse the councils request to operate a summer camp. We have effectively failed these criteria for the past five years and do not foresee this changing in the near future. For these reasons, it was decided that we would recommend the cessation of our summer camp operations at KMSR and investigate selling the property. We did not think the option of moving the summer camp to Yards Creek was a viable option, because it would also require an outlay of capital money to bring the camp up to minimal standards, and there was no guarantee that attendance would improve, thereby continuing the deficit operation. We actually considered recommending the sale of both properties, but decided that it was important to preserve one property for district events, weekend camping, training, etc. In all, we considered six different options for the camps, and found this to be in our best interest as a council. So, when will this happen? If approved by the Executive Board, we are planning to put the changes into effect immediately. However, we still plan on operating KMSR for weekend camping through June 2010, and possibly later, depending on how quickly we can secure a buyer and go through all of the legal issues of a sale. For units that have reservations at KMSR for the summer of 2010, we have already taken steps to find alternate camp reservations for them for the weeks desired. Of course, that move would depend on the results of the vote as to whether we cease long-term camping now, after the 2010 season, or never. Wed like to know what you, as volunteer Scouters think. We invite you to comment on the plan by one of the three following methods: By mail to CNJC Executive Board, 2245 US Hwy 130 South, Suite 106, Dayton, NJ 08810-2420; By fax to (609) 419-4186; or By e-mail to cnjckey3@scouting.org Please make sure that your comments are sent to be received by the close of business on December 15th; the comments will be tallied and distributed to the Executive Board members prior to their vote. Due to time constraints, only comments submitted in writing will be distributed to the Executive Board. We will not be able to include verbal comments in the tally and report. As always, we thank you for your service to Scouting and to the youth members of our council. Yours in Scouting, John K. Smith Marc C. Richardson Gerard G. Case Council President Scout Executive Council Commissioner
  8. Thanks for the suggestions. I will check them all out.
  9. More like the Gap. Our Troop is located in Central Jersey.
  10. Just returned from Summer Camp and looking for a New Camp within 4-5 hours driving time from NJ. Any suggestions?
  11. Thanks raisinemright. I'm not getting my hopes up.......
  12. We had our Pack Fall camping trip. Despite it raining Friday into Saturday afternoon the Scouts had fun fishing and just playing in the rain. We took hike when the rain settled down. Saturday night we were invited to campfire of local Boy Scout Troop and another local Pack who happened to be camping the same weekend. It was one of the better campfires. The thing I will remember the rest of my life is on Saturday afternoon while I was hanging in the back porch of the lodge with the other Leaders and the Scouts were playing games and having fun a new Bear Scout came up to me with eyes the size of saucers and pointing to his throat. I saw him earlier with an ice cube he was sucking on. I went to hit him on the back and said no to myself I need to use the Heimlich maneuver. One short thrust and the ice cube went shooting out his mouth. He grabbed in throat in pain and I asked him if he could breathe. He nodded yes and I brought him to father. Thinking back I am amazed how calm he was and how naturally I responded. It was like I was on autopilot. Later I told the Scout the fact that he pointed to his throat I knew exactly what the problem was and what I needed to do. Hopefully he learned a lesson and wont suck on ice anymore.
  13. By your responses the consensus is to split the two Dens evenly. As engineers say, it looks good on paper now how do we go about splitting the Den up? Easier said than done. Any suggestions? Eamon, your wisdom is correct. History shows we do lose some scouts the Bear year.
  14. One more issue. We had a Scout sign up who is 7 years old and in the 1st grade that was supposedly a Tiger in another Pack last year. Should he be a Tiger again this year or a Wolf?
  15. How do we handle this? We have a large Wolf Den with 12 Scouts. Now with this years recruiting we have even more Wolf prospects. We have a father willing to be a Den Leader for a second Den but so far we have only signed up two new Scouts with the possibility of two or three more. I think if we have four or five new Scouts this second Den will be fine. My concern is what if we only have two or three Scouts for a second Den. Do we try to split the Den evenly or merge into one big Den with multiple leaders? Hopefully we will recruit enough Wolf Scouts for two Dens but I would like you suggestions in case we dont. On another note so far we only recruited one new Tiger. What do we do if we dont recruit enough Tigers? We have a few more recruiting dates scheduled. Hopefully all will work out. Thanks for reading and for your advice
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