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Posts posted by moxieman

  1. Two months to plan a camporee and you don't have a date or location set? It'll be difficult, but you could still pull it off. I've done it before on such short notice, but it's not easy.


    I've planned/participated on staff at more camporees than I'd like to count over the past 20 years in three different parts of the country (and New Brunswick, Canada). You need a minimum of six months, preferable 8 to 12 to plan a camporee, depending on how ambitious a theme you have and what the expectations are of those who would attend.



    With only two months to go, here are some quick suggestions:


    Contact your District Activities Chairperson for help. Do it now! He/she may have some great helpful suggestions. Maybe the weekend date/location has already been set, but the word was not passed onto your unit by accident.


    If it hasn't, contact your council and see if you can use your council's scout camp (or if you have more than one, the one closest to your district) for the camporee. Do this now and firm up the date for your camporee. This will cut down on the costs of the camporee as most scout camp properties have bathroom facilities. If it's early enough in the fall, maybe the water will still be on and that will eliminate another logistics issue. Another place to look at (but it'll increase the cost) is any local agricultural fairgrounds, which will also have bathroom facilities (if it's before they shut the water off for the winter--provided you are in a northern part of the country like me). However, on such short notice, they may not have a weekend available for you.


    With your dates in hand, turn to your troop's Youth Leadership Council/Patrol Leader Council/whatever you wish to call it. Let them know your troop has been asked to host the fall camporee on (dates here). The adult leadership has secured use of Camp X for the event. What do you think we can pull together for events for the camporee? What would make a fun camporee for you? Keep in mind, we only have 2 months (less then that by the time you meet with them) to pull this together.


    Give them some suggestions of stuff that won't take a ton of planning such as:


    Patrol/Troop Cooking competition--"Iron Chef-Scout" Competition?

    Pioneering--The district next to ours requested that each attending unit do a pioneering project that could be joined to the project of the units to either side of them in a large field. I saw the picture of the resulting project--real cool.

    Patrol Games--Have them open the troop's copy of Troop Program Resources and pick a bunch of patrol games that can be done on site, making it a fun camporee instead of a competition camporee.



    Once they've decided, you'll have your camporee theme and can plan a patch. However, with so short notice, you'll need to let units know that the patch will probably not be available until after the event.


    Get a budget together! If you can hold it at a council camp, council (hopefully) won't charge you for use of the property. So the only things you'll need to budget for are supplies and patches. What you'll need for supplies will depend on what you're doing for camporee. For example, if you're doing "Iron Chef-Scout", you'll need enough "Secret Ingredient" for all attending patrols. We did this one year and kept the cost down by making the secret ingredient saltine crackers--all Iron Chef-Scout entries had to use saltines in the entry. Patch cost will depend on the number of attendees, fanciness of the patch, etc. You can estimate this by estimating the number of attendees at past camporees. In our district, we usually spend no more then $2.50 per patch.


    Submit your budget to council.


    Get the WORD OUT to other units in your district. If your district has an email list or website, contact the list maintainer/webmaster and give them all the info as soon as you can. Contact your roundtable commissioner and get the word out at roundtable.


    Do you have a scout who's good at graphics/brochures/flyers? Make one up with info on the camporee for distribution through the above sources.


    I suppose I could go on, but rather than do that, I'll let others add to this and/or await to see if you have further Q's.


    Good luck and may the event turn out successful. Please let us know how things go afterwards!

  2. SctDad, you and me both. I've never heard of such a thing at a scout camp. Then again, we're blessed up here in the Maine wilderness as our council rings are set in natural kettle-hole formations, so that as long as you speak-up, the 300 or so scouts/leaders will hear you. We do have lights for safety reasons, but rarely use'em.


    As for project ideas, some our lodge have done have been mentioned before, like rebuilding the council ring and seating.


    However, the lodge also rebuilt the waterfront at one of the camps in 1999. This was no small project. The camp sits on a steep bank above the lake and after roughly 70 years of use, the waterfront area was eroding badly. Working within state regulations in regards to shore front property and the help of a lodge member who was a retired engineer, the lodge was able to shore-up the bank by building a retaining wall and put in ramps/stairs to prevent further erosion. That engineer has since passed away and the waterfront has been rededicated in his name/memory.

  3. I'm all for a "Home Ec/Shop" combo requirement. Back in my school system, EVERYONE had to take Home Ec/cooking/etiquette AND Shop BEFORE they could go onto high school. Personally, they were probably the two most useful classes I ever took.


    In Home Ec, we had a two part final. We put on a multi-course meal for the school faculty and then we went out at to a nice restaurant with all the friggin' plates/silverware. I honestly can't recall half of what it was all called, but I don't look half-the-fool that others do at fancy wedding receptions when I encounter that same almost intimidating layout.


    Anyway, as a result of those two courses:


    I can prepare nutritious, tasty meals without a box mix whether or not there's an open fire near by.


    I can do my own laundry without turning the undies pink or bleaching the color out of my dress slacks, nor am I afraid to clean the floors or bathrooms.


    I can mend holes in my clothing (and sew patches on my scout blankets). I had ripped my uniform at scout camp while on jr. staff. Thanks to knowing how to sew, I was able to mend it such that it was difficult to tell it had been torn. I had gotten lucky and had ripped it along the seam.


    I've made my own regalia for certain scout-themed events for a whole lot less then if I tried to buy it--I've even made a diamond shelter as a gift for my brother for less then half of what it would have cost to purchase one.


    I know basic power tools use and safety.



    Perhaps work it into the Family Living as some of the others have suggested.


    What to remove? Combine the Citizenship Badges down to one or two.


    And I'm all for seeing Cooking being brought back and have wished for it for over a decade. It was removed from the list long before I was a scout. For the record, I'm a lousy swimmer (nickname as a scout was 'Titanic'), and made Eagle via way of Sports (alternate at the time to Swimming) and Emergency Preparedness five days before turning 18 (had difficulty finding a counselor for my last badge).

  4. ManyHats,


    Is there a festival coordinator you have to go through to set-up your booth? You might want to consult with them to see if they know what the other food booths are offering and then make sure whatever you offer is different.


    Back when I was a scoutmaster (now district volunteer), our town had a huge Independence Day celebration (roughly 40,000 people would show-up in a town with a population of 8,000) down to the local park (an overnight layover point for Benedict Arnold on his failed attempt to capture Quebec City). The organizers were smart--no two booths could sell the same thing. Our troop had a "monopoly" on selling strawberry shortcake. The Pack had the monopoly on burgers/dogs. The fie department auxiliary had Pepsi product drinks. Project graduation had fruit cups, etc. There were always something like 30 some-odd groups selling food/drinks at this event and no two had the same thing.


    You had to go through the booth coordinator to make sure whatever you wanted to sell wasn't going to conflict with another group's sale. That way you weren't 'robbing' any other group of potential sales.


    If there isn't a coordinator for the food booths at your event, you may want to try and contact the other groups and see what they're going to sell. If they get suspicious, explain that you don't want the scouts to compete and possibly steal sales from'em.


    And, as the others have said, once you have an idea what you are really going to sell, fill out the unit fund-raiser form and submit it to your council office. Be conservative on your supplies. If you sell out, you'll know to get a little more next year.


    Caution on soft drinks. They are now date stamped and diet drinks have a shorter code because the artificial sweetener breaks down over time. If you're buying now for an event two months from now, double check those date codes before buying. Better yet, wait until closer to the event as soft drinks go on sale all the time.

  5. How often does he get paid? Back in my days on camp staff, we got paid twice--half way through the summer and at the end of summer.


    Send him some spending money for him to use at the trading post or when he gets to go to town.

  6. I am not a big fan of them for the reasons others have stated except at summer camp where our camps still use the large 2 person wall tents.


    However, my younger bro (and current scoutmaster in our hometown) also participates with a local mountain man group. He wanted either a pyramid or diamond shelter for a long time, but not having much cash, he couldn't afford one. You should have seen the look on his face when I gave him a diamond shelter I made for Christmas a few years back having followed directions found out there somewhere on the net. Didn't come out as water tight as I had hoped, but he still uses it quite extensively, including at scouting events.


    The challenge is finding real cotton canvas locally at a price that won't wipe-out your wallet. I had used a painter's tarp. The problem was it wasn't 100% cotton, so I couldn't the fabric to shrink tight enough so that the waterproofing (can't recall the name of it, they sell it through Cabella's specifically for canvas, but I hear Thompson's Waterseal works just as well) would work properly, despite washing it in hot water/hot drying in a commercial washer/dryer three times.


    Nearly wreaked my sewing machine too 'cause I don't own a heavy duty one. It can handle jeans folded over about three times. Once you started putting in the tie-offs on this thing it was the consistency of jeans folded over six time.


    I enjoyed the challenge and would love to try it again if/when I can afford a heavier-duty sewing machine.


    My total cost in materials/sewing machine repair/broken needles/commercial wash-dry fees for his diamond shelter/pack tarp came out to roughly half the price of the tent companies that specialize in that sort of thing (ex. Panther Primitives). I probably should have signed/dated the thing in a corner, but then it would have been less "authentic" for his mountain man rendezvous events.

  7. "There was a show about a family trying to survive on a homestead, 1800's style. There was a British show about a family living as Eritish gentry in the early 1900s. What I found interesting was the amount of work that had to be done without technology."


    GW, you forgot "Colonial House" in which a bunch of people were plunked down on the DownEast Maine Coast and had to make like the pilgrams for a summer. :)

  8. We hold our Cub and Boy Scout Roundtables on the same night and location in separate rooms. As we're a rural district, many of our leaders are volunteers in both the pack and troop (and sometimes the crew too) in their home town. Many have been in scouting for several years. So those leaders who find they have previously been through whatever the Cub RT Commissioner is presenting are always welcome into the Boy Scout session.


    Our Cub Training chair offered NLE and then Cub Leader Specific at our RT location this past fall and it was a big hit with the new leaders and got them into the habit of attending the RT meeting.


    Other then that, the others who have responded have covered it. There is a specific program that the Cub Roundtable staff is suppose to present.

  9. This was a terrible disaster and a moment of silence was held at the court of honor I attended this evening.


    However, it could have been a LOT worse. Imagine the headlines if this tornado had ripped through three or four hours later when most/all those scouts had been asleep in their tents.


    My thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and their families.

  10. You never know what you will get unless you ask.


    A little over a decade ago, my unit was sending a crew to Philmont, but didn't have any backpacking tents. So a couple of the scouts wrote a letter to Kelty Tents asking what kind of a discount they could get on their products.


    Kelty didn't send a response letter back. Instead, they shipped us enough backpacking tents (3 different designs) for the entire crew. The scouts sent a thank you letter in response.


    Maybe the right person opened/read that letter?

  11. As to the original question in this thread: Our council's camp supplies the two-man canvas wall tents with two cots. These tents are pitched up on platforms.


    When I served as an ASM in my grad school days in Lubbock, TX, South Plains Council DID NOT supply tents for either of their summer camps. Most of the troops I met down that way owned a set of the canvas wall tents for their troop. Why? 'Cause the intense West Texas sun did a quick number on modern nylon tents. "Modern" tents were saved for high adventure trips-only.


    Now something else for you to ponder in this topic.


    Back before I became a district-level "Voluntold" leader, I served as scoutmaster for five years in my hometown. A patrol's worth of our scouts wanted to go to the Canadian Jamboree. Our then twelve-year old four man tents (Eureka Vista tents--similar to the Timberline) were in rough shape. Our committee refused at first to fund replacement or repair of the tents.


    Then I found something in writing from the National Scout Office that stated that for long term/resident camping such as summer camp and jamborees, each scout needs to have a minimum of 35 square feet of tent space. Doing the math, our four man tents had a floor plan of roughly 7 by 8 feet or 56 square feet. We couldn't come up with the cash to replace the tents with something bigger, but with this written statement from an official scout source, the committee agreed to fund refurbishing the tents and to purchase a vestibule for each tent, adding an additional 14 square feet of covered space. This allowed us to meet that minimum requirement.


    And, of course, I can't find it in writing now, go figure, so either I simply can't find it, or it's no longer the minimum, or no longer available in writing.


    Anyway, if someone else can find this, please post it!


    If it is still the minimum, those of you who say you supply your own tents for summer camp, how do you meet this minimum square footage per scout?



    As for those tents my unit refurbished, the current SM, my brother, was forced to retire them last year as they finally gave out after 20 years of service. He contacted Eureka trying to find parts first. The company rep he spoke to didn't believe they still had some of those tents in use. It just shows you how well they make/made their product. They're looking into the outfitter Timberlines as a replacement, which uses the same frame, so they'll have plenty of spare parts.

  12. Pine Tree Council (southwestern Maine) has held this event for about five years or so and it has been very successful/well received. We hold it in the early fall right after fall recruitment, which gives new Cubbies a taste of what is to come in scouting.


    I last helped out two years ago. We had picture perfect weather and had to make a second run to the warehouse-shoppers club for lunch materials as 300 preregistered youth became 700 actual youth plus their parents.

  13. Personally, I'd push HA over Jambo. Why? 'Cause you can't go as your hometown unit to the BSA Jambo. You would have to go as part of your council's contingent and there's no guarantee that they'll keep your scouts together. They like to mix-up the Jambo units.


    With HA, your scouts, who will have been doing scouting together in your unit for a while before they get to HA, will remain together on an HA or split into group if your troop is really large, but you won't get mixed with scouts from other units like at Jambo.


    Of course, should you choose to attend a Jambo in another nation (as my boys did for the Canadian Jambo in 2001), then there is a good chance they could still go as a unit.

  14. You will find it on page 18 of the SPring 2008 Eagleletter


    "Life MEmbers of the National Eagle Scout Association can set themselves apart from other Eagles with a special Eagle Scout square knot--this one with a silver border signifying their support of Eagle Scouts through NESA Life Membership. (Only one Eagle Scout Award square knot may be worn.)..."


    And it looks like others didn't see this topic, so they started a new topic on it. I look forward to replacing the Eagle Knots on my three uniforms.

  15. I've never run one, only participated in one as a scout. At the time, our district got the local chapter of the American Red Cross involved. Victims had realistic looking wounds (some with gushing fake blood). At each station after our patrol did what we thought was necessary, we had a debrief by the Red Cross volunteers and then it was on to the next station.

  16. In addition to what others have suggested, some of your major outdoor retailers (LL Bean, REI, etc.) offer repair services like this. We dropped off a four man timberline tent at Beans (it's only 40 miles from here) with a 6 inch gash in the fabric. They mended it for us and for a reasonable fee with shipping. We didn't have to go back to get it.

  17. That's my punishment for supporting my scout shop 3 weeks ago. (chuckle) They go on sale afterwards. I'm glad they're altering them. I'm not happy with the pair I bought. They don't fit right. Oh, the waist is correct, but they don't fit right in other ways, just can't describe it well.


    AND I HATE THE SEWN IN WEB BELT! I'm going to dig out my seam ripper and unstitch that worthless thing and remove it.

  18. Personally, I hate that there are 'devices'/pins one uses in order to distinguish what award one has earned with a knot that can be for more then one type of award (for example the Key Knot: Scoutmaster's Key, District Committee Key, Commissioner's Key, etc.) for some awards, but for other similar awards there are different knots (the various Cub Scout Leader awards).


    Why doesn't National do it all one way or the other (few knots and lots of devices or NO devices and lots of knots)?

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