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About shaner

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  1. Thanks for the empathy...as many parents have said to me over the last couple of months: " I'm sorry, thanks for doing this. I wouldn't do it...". Our troop left this past Saturday (with all their paperwork). 9.5 hour drive with an over nighter on the way. A parent driving the paperwork up is unlikely, so I guess the fax thing would have to work. A bit of a conundrum here: You want the scout to go to camp for all that they learn at camp, and yet you want the scout to learn the lessons associated with not turning in paperwork on time (or following instructions, rules, etc.). Seeing that the scout suffers consequences when he doesn't turn in assignments at school, you would think that he would understand and accept that he may have to suffer consequences if he doesn't turn in his scout paperwork on time. This is where the parents enter into the conversation because most scouts can't set up an appointment at the doctor, much less drive himself there....and this is where the conundrum takes a nasty turn. Because, as many of you have noted: the hard deadline is departure day and they know it. So where should the focus be? Is it on the solely on the scout to see to it that his parents do right by him and get him the properly completed paperwork so he can turn it in? Or is it solely on the parents? Or is it solely on the coordinator to to bang his drum until all the paperwork is turned in? Or is it a combination of these? I think the latter. If I do as some have suggested and I keep in mind that this is all about the scouts, then my answer is that it's on the scouts to get it turned in on time and to learn the value of doing so and suffer the consequences of not doing so. It's on the parents to listen to their scout asking them to help with filling out the paperwork. And it's on the coordinator to make sure that everyone is aware of where we stand in the process.
  2. This is happening to us as well. We opened a discussion about it last night after the committee meeting...we'll kick it around some and hopefully come up with something that we can put on the table at the next meeting. 2 hours away? Try 9.5 hours. They actually stop overnight on the way up. They don't get in vans to leave if the paperwork is not in order.
  3. There's an interesting contrast of opinions here: It's on me, it's on the scouts, rules with teeth, suck it up....all good stuff. We are a very active and fairly large troop...85+. There are close to 70 people going to Summer Camp including adults (I stated originally that 50 were going and that number did not include adults). No matter how I look at it (even after considering cash flow and the timing of physicals as Bevah points out), I can not seem to accept that only half (remember, that's over 30 people) are turning in their paperwork in complete and on time, leaving the person "who volunteered for a service position" to scramble for paperwork. I totally get a few special cases, but 50%...over 25 families??. Bottom line here for me, and the reason I'm asking here in the first place is that this problem with compliance is why no one wants to "volunteer for the service position". One and done. The problem is real...it's not in my head, and I'm not just crying because I got more than I bargained for. The one and done syndrome has lead to the fact that there are no processes in place...no How-To's (training), no SOP's, no collection of useful documents, templates, calendars, etc. No one has been willing to step up and do the job in consecutive years and provide the next coordinator with some some guidance and tools to get the job done without being crushed...they just run away. I have literally been told "Oh, I'm sorry, good luck with that" when I've mentioned that I'm the coordinator. They run because of the "paperwork chase". There is no continuous improvement of the position. I feel obligated to change this (and add the tools I mentioned). I do not intend to turn this position over to the next service volunteer in it's present state. This is huge: "...day of departure..., and everyone know it." The committee, SM, and ASM's has partially created this culture by not clearly stating and enforcing deadline rules. The SM's and ASM's, while as helpful as they can be, have not provided the coordinators with everything that they need to get the job done without feeling totally used and abused when the job is over. To expect a first time Summer Camp Coordinator to step in with very little experience in a process like this and not get crushed given the culture and present state of the job is wishful thinking: one and done. At this point, and based on all of your input, I think I will have to go to the committee with requests for: Troop enforced missed deadline fees. More of the onus be put on the scouts...the SPL should be hearing from the coordinator a lot. That the committee, SM, and ASM's completely take over the paperwork collection process after the deadline has passed. Like I said, I partially blame the committee, SM, and ASM's for creating this culture in the first place...let them taste it for a week or two and I bet there will be changes. So you will all know: I have already volunteered to do this job again next year. I can guarantee you there will be changes. And tons of thanks for the input...good stuff.
  4. I didn't think the exact nature of the paperwork would be relevant. We made it clear that we needed it by a particular date and simply am not getting it by that date. For me, that's the problem regardless of the nature of the paperwork. But since you're asking, it's the BSA medical forms A, B, C and a copy of the insurance cards. Nothing happens to them when they don't turn them in on time....there are no consequences. Plenty happens to me as I am then required to track down parents and hound them for what we need. It becomes an unnecessarily time consuming process that runs off all of the Summer Camp Coordinators. Because there is no one taking on the position in back to back years, there are no S.O.P.'s, no development of useful tools like spreadsheets, no training (because the previous year's coordinator runs away), and therefore a tendency for the first-timer to make mistakes. I plan on addressing this issue with our committee after it's all over. I am now in the process of outlining the issues that i see with the position and am collecting ideas for solutions.
  5. In our troop's case, "a percentage of campers to procrastinate" is about 50% (25 scouts)...unacceptable.
  6. Hello, I am a parent that has volunteered to be the Summer Camp Coordinator for our troop. Among other duties, it is my responsibility to collect all of the necessary paperwork from all the scouts (and their parents) that are attending the camp. We are a fairly large troop with approximately 85 scouts...with approximately 50 going to summer camp each year. Problem: Getting these folks to turn in the paperwork on time is like pulling teeth. Only about half of the scouts and their parents will get their paperwork turned in on time. Not receiving them on time creates an additional workload that gives this position of "Summer Camp Coordinator" a real bad name...none of the parents who have done it in the past will touch it with a 10 foot pole. Not receiving these forms on time and the consequential increase in workload, time, and stress is by far and away the worst aspect of this position. Question: Does anyone have any suggestions, techniques, or processes that the troop can use to help in the timely collection of paperwork? Thanks, Shane