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About Stephen_Scouter

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  1. Stephen_Scouter

    Expensive Summer Camp

    $225 or so does not seem out of line at all. My last year of camp staff was 3 summers ago and we were charging around $180 in council and about $200 out of council. Plus there were some additional fees for kids wanting to do COPE and our other high adventure programs. I cannot remember for sure, leaders to meet the minimum leader requirements were free and each additional leader was 1/2 the youth fee. So we are probably creeping up towards $225 this season. As someone who has worked on both the program and the administration sides of summer camps I can attest to the fixed and variable cost that are necessary to run a summer camp. Plus, the camps with the best programs typically have older/more experienced staff members which cost quite a bit more than 16 or 17 year olds. Not to mention all the stuff like Camp School, CPR and first aid trainings, equipment, facility maintenance, vehicle upkeep, the list goes on and on.
  2. Stephen_Scouter

    two man backpacking tents

    I have used my Eureka Timberlite 2 (not Timberline) for about 10 years now and have never had an issue with it. It is light, easy to set up, and packs up pretty small. I go not see it on the Eureka page anymore, so they must of stopped making it. It looks quite similar to the spitfire 2. Most of these tents that are sold as two man tents, are a tight two for full grown adults. They will work well for youth.
  3. Stephen_Scouter

    My son got his letter today

    I am sure he will have a blast. I went in 2001 and had an amazing time.
  4. Stephen_Scouter

    Chapter adviser and the district committee

    When I was chapter chief about 7 years ago, the chapter meetings were at the same time as the district roundtables. I, as the chapter chief, would give the district rountable an overview of what the chapter and lodge had been working on the for the past month. In addition, we would put copies of our chapter newsletter in the roundtable room so the district and troop leaders could see what we had been doing and what was on the calendar. We were in charge of running the districts camporee, so the chapter advisor was a member of the district camping committee.
  5. Hello everyone, I just joined this board today and I am really enjoying it. A little about my scouting career. Eagle Scout w/ 4 palms, PL, ASPL, SPL, JASM, venturing, 6 summers of camp staff (1 CIT, 5 regular), Sea Base, 2001 Jamboree, Icelandic National Jamboree, 2004 NOAC, Chapter Chief, Lodge Vice Chief, Vigil Honor Member, Founder's Award Recepient. I have been active in scouting with troops and crews in both Oklahoma and Texas. I am finishing up my masters degree up here in Indiana in May and I am moving to Tucson, Arizona. So if anyone on here is from Tucson send me a PM because I am looking to help out with a troop while I complete my PhD at the University of Arizona for the next 4-5 years.
  6. Stephen_Scouter

    Where did you go to summer camp?

    I was either a camper or staff member at Slippery Falls Scout Reservation (Oklahoma) Kia Kima Scout Reservation (Arkansas) Raven Knob (North Carolina) Worth Ranch (Texas) Sid Richardson (Texas) Broad Creek Scout Reservation (Maryland) Camp Tom Hale (Oklahoma) I have been to a ton more for camporees, conclave, trainings, etc...
  7. Stephen_Scouter

    Scouting Memories

    Wow...just thinking about this for a few minutes I have been able to remember so many wonderful events. I certainly learned a whole lot in scouting and I built some of the strongest friendships of my life. The most memorable events are probably 2001 Jamboree - I had my Eagle Scout Court of Honor at the Jamboree, the NESA booth and national committee helped out, it was really nice. People from all over the world attended. Icelandic Jamboree - I went to the National Icelandic Scout Jamboree. My brother and I joined the BSA troop on the US military base in Iceland for the event. It was amazing. Not only is Iceland an exceptionally beautiful country, but there was scouts in attendance from all over the world. I remember our campsite had a Icelandic troop to the left, a Faroe Islands troop to the right, and a Scottish troop and Swedish Troop across the road. Sea Base - Sailing on a 100+ foot schooner in the Florida Keys for a week. I was the crew leader, it was a wonderful experience leading 35 people on a sail boat. Holding my Vigil - anyone who has received the Vigil Honor can certainly relate(This message has been edited by Stephen_Scouter)
  8. Stephen_Scouter

    Parent brag

    Congrats to everyone who had kids,grandkids, etc... complete their ordeal. I cannot wait for the day that I can share all of my joys of scouting with my son.
  9. Stephen_Scouter


    It's all about the "tone at the top", if the SPL and PL's are up on time, the rest of the boys will likely follow suit. When I was SPL, which was 7 or so years ago now, it was not much of an issue. I have always been an early riser, so I was typically the first one up (even before most of the adults). So for a camporee or something that had a 7:30 formation I would usually be up at 5:00am. I would get up and start the fire in the main camp and get some hot water going for cooking, coffee, and such. If by 6:00am I didn't see people moving around and such in the different patrol sites I would wake the PLs. This usually was not an issue, they were almost always up on time. Then the PLs did a fine job at getting their cooks and boys up. I know it can certainly be tough to correct a person's sleeping habits. I worked with many people on camp staff that had issues with it.
  10. Stephen_Scouter

    What is a good summer camp program?

    This is something we worked on a lot when I was in camp leadership. A group of us turned around two camps with declining reputations and numbers. Even within the first week we were getting feedback that far exceeded what the camp had been getting. These are some things that we pushed - staffers must look professional, nicely kept uniform, appropriate sizes, groomed, clean, etc... - staffers must be easily approached by other staffers, campers, leaders, etc... They need to know where merit badges meet, which campsite is which, what time meal formations are, when campfire is, when the mail is delivered, etc... - staffers eat with the campers, they do not sit at a table with all staff members. - staffers are the example, everything you do is seen by campers and leaders - you are a BLANK camp staff member first, not the intructor for BLANK merit badge. When your merit badge session is over do not just retire to the staff area. Stay in your program area and help out, talk with kids at the trading post, visit leaders in campsites, help in other program areas, help the kitchen, etc... - the vast majority of "staff traditions" are holding the camp back from being the best camp possible, this is a job and we are offering a service, this is not some off-beat fraternity - staffers do not tell campers and leaders how much they get paid, what they do after hours, what they do in town, etc... - staffers do not complain about food, facilities, troops, leaders, campers, staffers, etc... All legit complaints should be brought to the camp leadership in a private manner, not broadcasted all over camp. - staffers sing songs, do skits, play games etc... They start unscheduled sing alongs at the trading post, the form a on the spot horse shoes tourny when there are a lot of scouts wanting to play, they help troops come up with skits for campfire if needed, etc.. Of course, now when I go to camps not as a staff member I look for these same types of things.(This message has been edited by stephen_scouter)
  11. Stephen_Scouter

    Becoming staff

    A footlocker is certainly a must, it is a really nice and secure way to store you stuff. Plus it easily slides under most cots. Remember to bring a few changes of "civilian" clothes. Most camps give about 24 hours leave on the weekend (noon or 1 on Saturday to noon on Sunday) and often they give a night off (the two camps I worked at were 6:00pm - midnight). My first summer I brought quite a bit of stuff because I was excited about having electricity. As a first or second year staffer you may actually have some time to use this stuff. As you work your way up camp leadership you will have less and less time for yourself. During my final two summers I was up at 5:30am and usually not in bed until 1:00am. During those two summers I did not bring any of the extra stuff. The three things that I found to be of greatest use are the following. First off, a fan. You will certainly enjoy being able to switch that fan on when you sleep. Second of all, both the camps I worked at have large platform tents shared by two staff members. I nice addition to the tent is some thin carpet. You can go to Lowes and get some of that outdoor patio carpet. It is nice to put down between the two cots to give you a little nicer surface to walk and stand on. Finally, a large tarp. Again, those platform tents are known for having some trouble in rain, particularly with age. We covered our entire tent in a tarp, and then we would stake out the front of the tarp in front of the tent with polls providing a covered porch type area. I have seen some crazy things, so you can certainly go way out of this world. I have seen people put 8 tents together and live as 8 with coaches, TVs, video game systems, etc... I always thought that kind of distracted from your job though. Anyways, you will have a blast!
  12. Stephen_Scouter

    Camp Shoes/boots for New Boy Scout

    In all my years working summer camp staff, I have noticed that the vast majority of kids will wear a pair of tennis shoes, cross trainers, etc... Usually an older pair that they do not mind getting dirty. Unless they are taking hiking, wilderness survival, etc... the terain that they will be covering at a lot of camps will not require boots. I rotated in and out of the health lodge since I had EMTB cert. and I probably saw more kids with blisters that wore hiking boots than tennis shoes. A lot of these kids would get new hiking boots a week before camp and they would eat their feet alive. If you get your kid boots, make sure they break them in before heading off to camp. Also, get advice from the camping store on how to lace up the boots. I know there are several different methods based on where the boot may be a tad bit too big. Correct lacing will reduce blisters. Like others have mentioned, the boating merit badges will usually require footware. Thus send an extra really old pair of tennis shoes, or get some aqua socks. Now as a staff member who would easily cover 40 miles on foot in a week, I wore boots. I have always been a huge fan of the Vasque Sundowners. I would never buy them for a kid with growing feet though, they are not inexpensive by any means.
  13. Stephen_Scouter

    Hale Scout Reservation Comments?

    When I was on the PLC of my first troop in Oklahoma, before moving to Texas, I recommended that we switch from our council camp to Tom Hale. We had been having some issues with our council camp, so we decided to give it a shot. This was around 1998 or so, it was great. I moved the next year, but I know that the troop has never been to another camp since. So this summer will be 11 straight after making the switch. Sorry, I cannot give you too much in terms of sites, humidity, etc..., but I think your kids will have a great time.
  14. Stephen_Scouter

    Teaching Merit Badge Class Ideas

    I worked at two different scout camps over 5 summers and taught rifle, arch, mountain biking, fishing, fly-fishing, personal fitness, astronomy, communications, and cit. in the nation. From my experience in teaching MBs, and supervising others who taught MBs is that reading from the book and/or straight lecturing is the worst thing you can do. These kids want to have FUN, they want to learn, but they do not want it to seem like school. They are on break from school, so them feel like they are NOT at school. Be hands on, give them activities, hold discussions, try to answer their questions on anything that has to do with the subject (not just the straight forward requirements). Give them more than the requirements if you have time. Find a way to relate with them, talk a little football or basketball for 2 or 3 minutes before class starts.
  15. Stephen_Scouter

    CIT program

    I was a CIT the summer I turned 14. It was a two week program and I rotated to several program areas as well as the trading post and kitchen during the two weeks. We lived in the staff area, attended staff meetings, etc... We were not paid, but past CIT's are given preference in the hiring process in following years. I went on to work on summer camp staff for 5 summers at two different camps.