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Posts posted by WisconsinMomma

  1. OK, I am a new assistant scoutmaster, and we have two other new assistant scoutmasters. In addtion, the kids in our troop trend younger.

    We do not have a strong command of scout skills.

    However, the bright side is that the kids are having fun at the meetings. At our last one, scouts made an activity to play dodgeball and when you're out, you have to answer a question about hiking / outdoor safety to get back in. 

    This was a good idea and they had lots of fun but they did not have a ton of questions prepared. But it was a good effort.

    At our recent Zombie outing, the kids first task was to lash a Zombie fence before they could advance to other challenges. The kids struggled but that is OK. 

    But as a troop, the kids are going to need more skills so they can safely pursue more adventures. We don't want them to get bored with the basics.

    Any suggestions appeciated! Thanks! 

  2. I will brag about how awesome our local fire department is. They are very community oriented. Our fire chief is extremely into community partnerships and outreach to the schools and other community groups.  They are also working to promote work as firefighters and paramedics, dispatchers, etc. They need good people in the future generations. 

    I think that the only difficulty is that every troop in the metro area would want them as CO.  But talk about positive adult association.  It's possible that our PD's would also do this for outreach and community building. 

    Our fire chief is in the business of safety. I am sure they would learn the training, get the YPT and they know how to do things right. 

    And they're government. So  not as much liability sticks, at least as far as I can tell.  Everything has pros and cons but I cannot talk enough about how great our local fire department is. 

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  3. On 7/26/2021 at 2:05 PM, Eagle69 said:

    Here in Arkansas the Bishop has sent a letter telling all Methodist Churches to NOT sign a new Charter Agreement after 12/31/2021, but instead to go to a Facility Use Agreement between the Church, the Troop and the Council. Scout Units will now become a group that meets at the Church instead of a part of the church and the church basically has no connection to the Troop.  This agreement has to be formally signed by all parties.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    This totally sounds like they want to reduce liability in case of future abuse lawsuits. 

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  4. One of the things I enjoyed at scout camp this year was seeing the trailers and flags of units from all over, as well as seeing who some of the sponsors were.  Fire departments sponsor units.  VFW's sponsor units.  There are a lot of places that will help with this, and a lot of people who see the value in Scouting.  Our units are sponsored by parent-teacher school organizations. If we had to look for more sponsors, I would likely approach our local Friends of the Library and Friends of the Nature Center non-profit groups,  

  5. I am late to this and have not read all the replies but instead of giving out titles, delegate tasks -- hey, would you have time to do our Scout Shop shopping for all the awards?  Let them do it once. Then ask for repeat help.  Then slip them an advancement guide...  little baby steps.

    Hey, would you come along with grocery shopping for our campout?  

    Would you help plan our October outing?

    I'd start off with one-off, low commitment jobs.  Then see how they do with those, then give PROFUSE THANKS and invite again. 

    Do not forget the Profuse Thanks stage. People need to feel appreciated!

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  6. I was talking to another adult leader at camp who asked me, "is this your only camp this summer?"

    And I was like, "what? you go to more than one camp?"

    And they said, "yes, earlier this summer some of our scouts went to Tesomas and now we are here."  He mentioned that they sometimes struggle to get enough adults for the camp that's farther away.

    This sort of blew my mind.  Two summer camps?  I discussed this with my husband, but he quickly said that he does not have enough time to do two summer camps.  

    I also wonder, if anyone here knows, how hard is it to get into Tesomas?  I have heard multi-year wait but I am not sure.

    I also wonder, how hard is it to get into the high adventure camps, Philmont, Northern Tier, Sea Base and Summit.

    Our adult leaders had an interesting conversation while the kids were out at merit badges about portaging canoes and that it's not necessarily easy.  We were told a story of college age guys who went canoeing but did not bring enough food and were miserable on their trip. My husband and I are feeling old as age 50+ leaders.  I know that sounds weak but there are some things that younger people are better at.  Neither one of us are in good enough shape at this point to do a physically strenuous trip, and that's a sad state.  I just make the weight for high adventure but my kees are getting stiff.  He is currently above BMI. 

    Just making conversation.  Thanks!


  7. This is something that I heard for the first time while at camp, the Scout Vesper second verse...

    Listen Lord, oh listen Lord,
    As I whisper soft and low,
    Bless my Mom and bless my Dad,
    There is something they should know.
    I have kept my honor bright.
    The Oath and Law has been my guide.
    Mom and Dad, this you should know,
    Deep in my heart I love you so.

    The thing that struck me is the "mom and dad" mentions.  When I was recently having a discussion about culturally responsive teaching with our school superintendent, she mentioned an example from a kindergarten class with a young teacher who was often referring to "mom and dad".  However, one of the little 5 year olds did not have a mom and dad,  they had two dads.  

    I wonder if the verse with "mom and dad" still works for Scouts in the 21st century.  I very much appreciate moms and dads, but I wonder if this verse is painful for any Scouts. 

    Just thinking.

    Also, one of my female Scouter friends asked me to write on the adult feedback form that the camp store should carry feminine hygeine products along with the stuff they have.  I am at a point where I don't have to worry about periods anymore, but I thought she made a good comment.  Teen girl scouts (and venturers, and... are there female sea scouts? and adult female scouts) may need these supplies at times.



  8. Sorry if this is a big ramble, but I want to thank Scouters here for the discussion. We just returned from the first time at a new camp outside our council.  It was overall, very nice and obviously nicer,  more well maintained, and more functional/updated than our own council's camps.  We're not talking luxury or modern camping here, but you can tell that the property is loved, cared for, invested in. 

    I so appreciate the discussion about camps closing becuase we immediately re-booked for next year, anticipating that availability might start to get tight. (We are booked in with a deposit at Long Lake, kudos and thank you to all the camp staff.)  After next summer we will know so much more about the status of camps in the state.

    I remain hopeful that our council will maintain at least one camp property.  I pray that all Scouts will continue to have many camping and summer camp opportunities. 

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  9. I am going to keep talking because I am torqued up.  Sorry / not sorry.

    I have a couple favorite things about camp.  One of our camps has a big castle and it has a big mine.  These are basically huge play structueres with rooms, bridges, tunnels, etc.  The castle was used a a setting for our Wood Badge dinner, and you can have events in it.  It is outdoors but also has a smaller indoor room with a fireplace.

    But some of my best camp memorie are with Cubs in the camp kitchen and having dens do breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Kids love cooking and helping in the kitchen and it's even better when it's a team project.  I know Cubs could do outdoor cooking but the kitchen is good for Cubs.  Just a little easier? 

    I am thankful for what we were able to experience at our council's properties. 

  10. 2 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    Part of the problem, too, is that we are trying to create these country-club type experiences for people.  Swimming pools, air conditioning, hot showers and flush toilets, climbing towers, ATV programs, bicycle liveries, STEM centers with computer labs, bands, fireworks, catered food service...sorry, but we have lost the bead on what a week under canvas is supposed to look like.

    How much does a wilderness camp cost to maintain?

    I'm going to say that as a female, I really want a flush toilet at camp.  Especially when I was a Cub mom.  Especially when it is that time of the month.   

    I know we are getting crazy off topic but recruiting Cubs is a lot about the moms.

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  11. There was a time when we went to Cub family camp and there were no joke, like 5 or 10 families there.  It felt like we had the whole place to ourselves.  Camps seem to be under-utilized for sure.  

    At the same time, kids need places to swim and shoot BBs and do archery.   Where can the little cubs go shoot BBs?  We need people with big backyards and good umbrella insurance policies. 

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  12. 1 minute ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    WM, ultimately, you do not need the BSA to do Scouting.  The local unit is where 85-90% of it all happens, anyway.  Keep on Scouting, and do not fret.  Although it can make putting on program easier, you do not need a dedicated camp to implement the Scouting program.

    I get it but that is not 100% true.  The training provided by national, the publications, all of that is important. 

    And a good reason for keeping some camps reaonsbly close is that more adults need to be trained on how to camp and lead.  Especially now.  Adults need the outdoor skills to be able to work wth the kiddos.  I need more outdoor skills.  If we build the program, we recruit the kids and train the leaders so they can be confident with the kids and have good supportive teams and communities of adult leaders. 


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  13. I am thinking I would cash out our retirements to save the Cub camp portion (Camp Doerr)  at Indian Mound.  It's not enough and I don't want to be a bag lady, but dang.  Who wants to buy some lottery tickets with me?

    Really, faced with losing a camp, how many Scouters would throw in more cash?  How many businesses?  I get that it is unappealing to pay off another person's crime but saving a camp?  

    I guess the reality is that we will keep donating time and money to our Troop.

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  14. 2 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

    There are 18 camps in Wisconsin, going down to 16 pending more announcements (14 if we sell our 2).  

    Thanks for that detail.  :)
    Yes we must be in the same council and I also thought that the attachment to the service center building was too strong.  It's not a great building. It's not used all that much.  The scouting heritage museum, could be packed up and not many would care that much, or it could be relocated to camp.  I did not buy that it would cost a lot of money to relocate the scout shop either.  Of course it would be an expense, but let's prioritize -- a CAMP vs. a scout shop!  


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  15. I thought that, for having very little concrete information to share, it was a good and informative call.  

    The council mentioned that their team visited three other Scout camps in our area, not too far away, operated by other councils that may be good resources that can be shared.  I am of course concerned that these camps may be lost as well, but our council has communitated with the other councils and those camps may be in a more stable position to keep operating.  I am only familiar with one of the three camps mentioned. 

    Our Troop is going to Camp Long Lake (Potawatomi Council) this summer and i have heard very good things about their camp and program.

    The two other camps mentioned were Sol R Crown (owned by Northeast Illinois Council)  and Ro Kilio (owned by Bay Lakes Council).  

    I did not write this down but the council mentioned that there are currently (I think) 28 scout camps located in Wisconsin and that two will not be available going forward, so that makes 26.  

    My comment;  who knows how many more will be sold as we go through this.

    Our council shared that Camp Freeland Leslie (Three Fires Council) and Camp Indian Trails (Glacier's Edge Council) are both becoming unavailable. 

    Article about Indian Trails sale:

  16. Our council had a Zoom call last night.  I learned that our camps lose $400 million annually.  The council was already considering selling camps.

    We did not get our council's obligation numbers, those will come out later after court papers are made public.

    It sounded like from the # of councils in America and the total dollar amount, an average amount per council would be $2 million.  But that is not the exact number.

    I felt that the people making the presentation were all very professional and they are putting in a good effort to figure things out.  Since we have no numbers and there are no decisons about what they are leaning toward, there isn't much to talk about.

    They did say that everything will be done by the end of the year. I am concerned about a rushed (and low dollar) sale if things are moving that fast.  Then they said that the courts are moving slow, so maybe things will take longer.

    We have two very nice camps and I hope we do not lose both of them.  I hope that at least one is preserved if only for the sake of land conservation. 

    Praying for everyone who is going through this and that with God's help we successfully achieve the goals set out. 

  17. Yes, I have three Scout camps within an hour drive of my home.  But we also live in a larger metro area.  As I think more about this we need to keep our strongest cub camp and let the other, and the council building go, if that works financially. 

  18. I was talking with another local Scouter who had the idea of selling our council shop and office building as an alternative, or in addition to, selling one of the two camps.  I think this is a good idea -- it should be easy enough to get a small retail space to rent cheaply (or even donated?) for a scout shop, and many people can work remotely.  There is also a small museum that could be packed up or relocated to one of the Scout camps.

    Once a camp is gone, it is gone forever.  

    I would be willing to see our Council take on debt (or ideally, pick up donors?) to save our two camps.  Or, I think we need to save our nicest, most cub friendly camp because recruiting matters!  Start with where the little guys and girls have the most fun and then send the big guys and girls out for adventures that are further away, if need be. 

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  19. 4 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

    I was at our council camp last week.  Wandered around picking out my potential new home site.  Mountain and lake view preferred.

    Just kidding but sad that the properties are clearly in the discussion.

    You know, I would not might living on a site of a camp.  I would prefer to live adjacent to a working camp though.  Dreams are free...

  20. 2 hours ago, mrjohns2 said:

    We are in Wisconsin and we were told a couple of months back that all four of our camps that have supper camp programs will likely survive. I thought that was a bold statement. 

    That might be optimistic.  As long as our camps have enough space and time to give the kids a good outdoor experience and capacity does not get too over-full, that is good.  

    I have not spent as much time at camps as my family.  Our troop used to go to LeFeber (closed), then Gartner Dam (shifted focus more to cub programs), then Ma Ka Ja Wan (hit by derecho) and this year Long Lake.  We are staying closer to home.  Thunderstorms are scary for some of the kiddos who went through that severe weather in 2019. 

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