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Jameson76

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Posts posted by Jameson76


  1. Skymont (Cherokee Area Council) has cancelled for the summer.  

    Atlanta has cancelled Bert Adams for the Summer while Woodruff is delayed until Week 5 (June 28).

    Also a slew of program adjustments (see below)

    What kind of changes are you looking at for Summer Camp?

    We know this is a fluid situation and it will continue to change, Summer Camp will look different. At this time, we are evaluating the following likely scenarios at camp:

    Screening

    • Robust screening of all participants and staff upon  arrival including temperature check and specific screening questions
    • Elimination of Family Night at camp and ensuring that all people coming onto camp are medically screened
    • Twice daily temperature checks performed and recorded by Troop leadership

    Food Service

    • 1 meal a day cooked in your campsite
    • 1 meal cooked and delivered to your site
    • Lunch served in a “grab and go” manner
    • Troops being asked to bring some of their own cooking supplies

    Tenting

    • Single occupancy or limited to family members sharing a tent. Some larger Troops may be asked to bring their own tent to accommodate their campers.

    Program Areas

    • Limit class size to enable social distancing
    • Conduct some programs with social distancing including Outdoor Skills, Mountaineer (1st-year camper) and Nature
    • Not offering some programs where social distancing is not practical including COPE and Climbing, Lifesaving and Welding
    • Aquatics and Shooting Sports with greatly reduced capacity, limited program offering and robust cleaning of equipment
    • No campfires or mass camp activities (i.e. evening camp-wide games, etc.)
    • No whitewater rafting or offsite activities such as Horseback riding
    • Modified “free time”

    Enhanced cleaning of all camp areas

    • Staff would clean and sanitize common areas multiple times per day
    • Participants would be asked to assist (as usual) in ensuring camp is clean

    These scenarios will change as additional guidance is released. We appreciate your continued understanding as we adjust to this fluid situation. 


  2. 3 hours ago, scoutldr said:

    ♦ Q: If my summer camp is cancelled, can my unit get together with other units and have our own camp?

    No. Chartering organizations play an important role in the program and activities for their chartered units. Chartering organizations promote well-planned unit program for the units they charter and encourage their units to have active outdoor unit programs. Chartering organization are not authorized to plan, promote, and deliver programs for units outside of their charter.

    It is the role of the council to plan summer camps and the role of councils or districts to plan camporees and other outings during the year that give youth an opportunity to test their knowledge and skills in competitive events with other troops and/or patrols.

    When units with different chartered organizations do activities together, this becomes a district or council event and requires council approval. In fact, some states require such activities to be licensed.

    Should your troop, crew or ship decide to do a long-term summer camping program for their own unit (Cub Scouts units are prohibited from this activity) please note that the Scouter Code of Conduct and relevant program safety and training requirements are still in place, e.g., Safe Swim Defense, Hazardous Weather, Wilderness First Aid, etc.

    (From BSA Website)

    I saw that in the Scouting Wire e-mail

    Are they implying that if two Scout troops want to camp together and do something together, they can't?  That seems a bit far reaching in the control area and possibly stepping into unit program decisions.

    • Upvote 2

  3. 8 hours ago, MattR said:

    Proposal #1: refocus every member (employees and volunteers) of the BSA to the core principles of scouting - having fun in the outdoors as a means to develop responsibility and good character.

    Support #1: The program is the most critical aspect of scouting but it has been watered down because of a lack of focus. Rather, there seem to be silos in the BSA that are diluting the focus. There is advancement, popcorn, making money selling scout stuff, scouting-as-a-way-to-a-better-career, JTE, leave no trace, STEM and just a really bloated program that tries to be everything to everyone. This is expensive and has little appeal to young parents that have no history with scouting. By focusing on outdoors and responsibility the silo that should rise to the top should be developing scouts that the adults can trust to make their own decisions. That means improving patrol method and scout run programs. It means having more fun at summer camp and making it less like school. It means rewriting requirements so scouts are doing rather than talking about it. It means taking every aspect of scouting and checking it against the core program. If it's not supporting the basic program than consider chucking it. It's like cleaning your basement. Think of it as Start, Stop, Continue, only with focus on what makes scouting great.

     

    Pretty much that is it.  End of story, focus on the outdoor and youth development.  HAVE FUN. (Also sell the millstone that is Summit but that's another story)

    The Boy Scouts of America was never intended to be All Things to All People.  It was founded (as noted) to be focused on having fun in the outdoors as a means to develop responsibility and good character.  Simple and straightforward.

    Sometimes the BSA reminds me of the lifeboat station story, a group that seems to have forgotten why they were founded in the first place..

    ‘On a dangerous sea coast where shipwrecks often occurred, there was once a crude little lifeboat station. The building was just a hut, and there was only one boat, but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea and, with no thought for themselves, went out day and night tirelessly looking out for lost people.

    Some of those who had been saved, and various others in the surrounding area, wanted to become associated with the station and give of their time, money and effort for the support of its work. New boats were bought and new crews were trained. With commitment and energy the little lifeboat station grew.

    Some members of the lifeboat station were unhappy that the building was so crude and poorly equipped. They felt that a more comfortable place should be provided as the first refuge of those saved from the sea. So they replaced the emergency hammocks with beds and put better furniture in the enlarged building. Now the lifeboat station became a popular gathering place for its members, and they decorated and furnished it beautifully, and started using it as a sort of club. Fewer members were now interested in going out on lifesaving missions, so they hired lifeboat crews to do this work. Lifesaving pictures and mementos decorated the club’s walls where official meetings were held.

    About this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast, and the hired crews brought in boatloads of cold, wet, and half-drowned people. They were dirty and sick, with different personalities and temperaments and from other cultural backgrounds. The beautiful new club was in chaos. So the committee immediately had a shower house built outside the club where shipwreck victims could be cleaned up before coming inside.

    At the next meeting, the club membership was divided. Most of the members wanted to stop the club’s lifesaving activities, since they were unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal social life of the club. But some members insisted that lifesaving was their primary purpose and pointed out that they were still called a ‘Lifeboat Station’! However, they were finally outvoted, and told that if they wanted to save the lives of all types of people who might be shipwrecked, they could begin their own lifeboat station somewhere else, further down the coast. This they did.

    As the years went by, similar changes took place in the new station as well. It also evolved into a club, and consequently another lifeboat station was founded elsewhere. History continued to repeat itself and on that sea coast today, you will find a number of exclusive clubs along the coastline. Shipwrecks are still frequent in those waters, but most of the people are never reached and saved.

     

     

    • Upvote 1

  4. 9 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    On a side note, I feel like BSA has been spiraling downward since they implemented OPERATION FIRST CLASS back in 1989. They made it easier to advance, moving from a "Master the Skills" mentality of the 1979 and  earlier handbooks, and "The Badge represents what the Scout CAN DO (sic), not what he has done" of the current 'One and Done" mentality found in today's Guide to Advancement. And don't get me started on the changes to OA membership over the years.

    Agree that has been part of the issue.  I would also argue the big step off the cliff for the BSA was in 1973 - 74 as we implemented The Improved Scouting Program.  Literally one was able to attain Eagle Scout at that point without ever going outside.  This moved the program so far away from it's purpose it was ridiculous. 

    The 1974 Scoutbook actually advised that if you are on a hike and get lost the Scouts should ask a policeman for directions....oh how far we slid.


  5. 14 minutes ago, elitts said:

    The idea that YPT is a feature of the program seems to be a very unfortunate, yet common viewpoint today.  YPT is certainly a critical component of BSA activities, but a "feature"?  When you start getting to a point where limitations and risk mitigation requirements are viewed as features, it's a pretty sad state of affairs.  That's like choosing a school for your kids based upon the fact that they have metal detectors, bulletproof glass and regular armed patrols in the hallways.  .......................

    .................But the notion that anything put forward as "Being for Youth Protection" should be considered sacrosanct and incontestable is a dangerous idea.  There have been plenty of pretty silly and even destructive notions put forward over the years to "protect kids" that lead me to believe that saying something out loud in an appropriate forum is clearly what's called for when ruling bodies start going overboard.  BSA doesn't really accept much in the way of user feedback beyond their surveys, so I'm left with the option of forum posts and in-person discussions with interested parties hoping that maybe I'll strike a chord in someone who actually has an official ear listening to them.

    Agree - The reason for the BSA CANNOT be YPT, that is NOT our purpose.  It is part of the mechanics of program (like Guide to Advancement) and not the reason for the program.  

    We run the program to HAVE FUN, and engage the youth to be better leaders and citizens.  Anytime I hear that our NUMBER ONE PRIORITY is to protect youth (basically holding this up as a sacred talisman and selling point), I shudder and realize someone may not fully understand the real reason for the BSA

    • Upvote 2

  6. We are doing (or planning) or own summer camp for later in July.  Not sure of all the details and not 100% sure of the protocols, but we are stepping off the porch and working the plan.  Thinking we will have +/- 20 - 25 Scouts, plus leaders

    Some of our initial thoughts

    • No group transportation, parents drop off and pickup
    • Every Scout brings their own tent
    • You can hammock but no stacking hammocks
    • Still figuring out meals, cook some, disposable items, bring in other meals (Pizza night)
    • Instruction will be in smaller groups

    We are tapping into former leaders, troop alumni, and Eagle Scouts to help as possible with MB classes and skill instruction.  Lots to do but our feedback from families showed overwhelming support for a Troop Camp this summer.

    Will be somewhat old school

    • Upvote 1

  7. 12 hours ago, Jackdaws said:

    Our troop has made the decision to cancel for week 4  at Bert Adams.  We have a couple high risk scouts and couple adult's with travel bans.   Really hope they give us a full refund. 

    Indications are they will refund all fees.  Send a note to the council and they should process quickly

    • Like 1

  8. 8 hours ago, SteveMM said:

    • Pre-arrival screening

    • Extensive on-site screening

    • Increased cleaning and sanitization in shared spaces, buildings, vehicles, and program areas

    • Large gatherings, Merit Badges and programs that cannot accommodate social distancing, campfires and chapel services, will be limited or eliminated

    • Adjustments in our dining hall operations

     

    These are all great intent, but they will be executed by young staff, so it may or may not happen

    The biggest challenge will be dining halls, for the larger camps it's a non-starter.  If you have 800 in camp (staff / leaders / Scouts) that is 2400 meals a day.  Assuming you cut your dining hall capacity by 1/2, which is optimistic, the camp will need to be serving cleaning in a minimum of 6 cycles daily which will be 8 to 9 hours of time needed and varying dinner times.  Maybe go all meal pickup and eat in sire

    While needed, the elimination of campfires and and assemblies will really cut into the summer camp experience.  Also some merit badge classes will have to cut capacity significantly, adversely affecting program.  Not sure there is a good solution


  9. Atlanta Area Council has cancelled first two weeks of summer camp (Week 1 - 5/30 and Week 2 - 6/7).  This is for both Woodruff and Bert Adams.

    They will update 30 days out, so I guess 5/14 for week 3 which is scheduled to start 6/14.


  10. We are in the planning stages for a Troop summer camp at a State Park about 40 minutes from us.  We may get +/- 20 - 25 Scouts.  There is a large committee to support and the park has lake, swimming beach, trail, mt bike routes, etc.

    Should be fun and will likely be about 1/3 the cost

    Our council needs to to move beyond "planning" to have camp and give a firm YES or NO.  Though honestly a firm YES is unlikely, so we may go on our own.

    • Like 2
    • Upvote 2

  11. 4 minutes ago, Jackdaws said:

    Atlanta area council sent out a survey earlier.   Its where we are supposed to go.  Not a good sign.  

    They (Atlanta area council) seem to be looking to modify the program, which is why one would go to camp, so agree not a good sign.  The ones the Scouts want are aquatics, COPE, shooting and field sports, and rafting trips.  Take away or limit those, it's a challenge

    First question was very revealing, what would you do if camp is cancelled or delayed.....

    • Like 1

  12. Saw that Arizona Closed, GA / Carolina council closed. Flint River Camp Thunder will announce at 3 today.  Cherokee Council - Skymont Scout Reservation they are meeting today and should update next week.  Atlanta Area is "planning" to go ahead but is also floating the late start possibility.  Due to earlier school calendars the first week would start in 30 days.

    Philmont will update today, but no information yet.


  13. 1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

    April 20, 2020: Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania has canceled all summer day and resident camps.

    “We look forward to summer at camp as much as our girls and volunteers, but our priority is protecting the health and safety of everyone in our Girl Scout family,” said Patricia A. Burkart, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania, in a press release.

    The closure covers Girl Scout properties at Camp Hawthorne Ridge, Camp Redwing, Camp Skymeadow, and Camp Conshatawba through August 31, 2020. It applies to summer resident camps, troop and service unit camping, events, volunteer-led day camps, and rentals.

    Those who have already registered for Girl Scout camps will receive a full refund, including deposits.

    The Girl Scouts are working on developing “safe outdoor opportunities,” including virtual programs and guidance for earning badges at home. They will unveil their schedule of “remote outdoor programming” on June 1.

    More at source:

    https://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2020/04/20/Girl-Scouts-cancel-summer-camps-western-pa-pittsburgh/stories/202004200097

    Not discounting legitimate concerns, but I wonder if there may be more to this than just the COVID19 concerns?  Possibly the camps have been a money loser and this is the opportunity to limit losses and further move away from the outdoor program.  Then they could possibly move to the sell of one or more of the 4 properties.

    • Upvote 1

  14. 1 hour ago, SSScout said:

    Pet Peeve . . . 

    Ya ever go for a hike in the park, see the sign at the parking lot that reads "All Dogs Must Be On Leash . . .Please Clean Up After Your Dog"   and along the trail you find that folks have cleaned up after their dogs, picked up the poop in the little plastic bag, AND THEN LEFT THE BAG ON THE TRAIL . . . .

    I see that all the time and wonder...why??  You did 90% of the work...FINISH THE JOB!!


  15. 1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Reviving this one.

    I found out the other day what my council plans on doing if summer camp cannot be live: going virtual. The powers that be figured out what MB instruction be done online, and will offer only those MBs. Max class size will be 30 Scouts, and the cost will be 1/3 of the normal cost of summer camp.

    " I got a bad feeling about this."

    My experiences with this camp have not been positive in the past few years. My sons were given merit badges they did not fully complete because they ran out of supplies. Oldest got  a kit from Hobby Lobby to actually earn it. Youngest is waiting to get a kit to finish it up. (mea culpa I kept putting it off until the store closed.)

    I over heard a MB counselor state his class had earned the MB in 2 days, and they could goof off. There is no way everyone can earn Canoeing in just two days, especially when only 1/2 the class is on the water at a time due to not enough canoes and aquatics staff. It showed when the troop did a canoe trip, and B at that camp could handle the trip on calm, easy water. I would hate to have seen what would happen if they encountered serious weather like I did on my 50 miler in Canada.

    This is also the camp that did not have enough shooting sports folks, and did not provide outsidentime for Archery folks to practice outside of class.

    So many camps fall into the trap of trying to maximize profit while ignoring program

    It is really simple math

    There are X instructors and the camp has Y canoes that can each hold 2 Scouts, that means my class size is Y*2, and it takes Z hours in total to get the needed instruction.  You cannot change Z, the only variables that can change are X and Y.  

    Same for rifles / archery / etc.  For handicraft you have tables that are X feet of seating, only so many butts can be in a class

    Do the math

    On another note ----- our troop has an outline for our own summer camp roughed in, we are playing wait and see with the council.  Plans would be for later July.  Site selected and basic timetable.  We have a pretty deep bench of leaders and can stand this up fairly quickly.  Needless to say we will definitely bail if they only can offer online for a "reduced" fee


  16. Assuming the shelter in place etc is lifted sometime in the summer, there will be pent up demand to go camping, etc.  Most units camp monthly AUG - MAY, with summer camps and HA in June and July (your results may vary with geography).  As some have noted, there will likely be chances to have multiple outings in a month.  For our unit we do 9 troop outings annually (not including 2 summer camps and HA) plus a new scout outing, plus likely 1 patrol outings, and then 2 or 3 bonus small group outings.  In 12 months, not counting HA, a scout could get 32+ nights camping and 15 events easily.

    Just need a couple of leaders and some Scouts and BAM...you've got yourself an outing

     


  17. Dates are coming on when payments need to be made, so not sure when all the worlds collide.  Also the troops getting the fees will be problematic as all units are not meeting.

    Lots of moving parts and as the current "social distancing" will not be lifted until maybe May 1 (+/- a few days) that only leaves 5 to 6 weeks to get everything in gear.  That means staff disengaged from Schools etc and on-hand for camp, maybe completion of hiring the staff, filling staff holes with folks that were going to but due to circumstances but will now not be able to be there, etc etc etc.  Also camp schools that certify staff have likely been delayed.  Many of the typical bureaucratic BS stuff will need to be cut back so camps can run.

    Tough calls that will have to be made.  Local troops can likely stand up a camp much quicker for a week on their own than a council can for multiple weeks if rules are not updated to conditions.

    • Upvote 2

  18. 23 hours ago, Dixit said:

    Anyone heard from any lodges about changing unit elections to allow virtual elections if units won't be meeting in person anytime soon?

    Why not?  I am not versed in the minutiae of elections but this may fall under the broad auspice of contracts that assumes "That which is not specifically EXCLUDED is assumed to be INCLUDED".  Meaning that unless they specifically note that you cannot, then you can.

    The verbiage is - 

    Before the election, the OA team must secure from the unit leader verification that at least 50 percent of the registered active unit membership is present. If at least 50 percent is not present, an election cannot be held.

    It only states PRESENT - this does not state PHYSICALLY present at a physical location.  I see no reason that a unit could not hold a ZOOM type meeting, count those in attendance, have the Scouts e-mail or text their votes.  Drive on


  19. So...assuming we (universal WE) do go to summer camps / day camps / Philmont / Seabase / Northern Tier I wonder about health forms and ability to actually get updated ones

    Many of our Scouts and Leaders get theirs updated in the Spring.  Obviously that is not happening now, and if the COVID19 abates and we return to a more normal state, what are the odds of getting in for routine annual physicals?  More of a question on next steps and looking for opinions.

    My input would be BSA just says for 2020 the forms are good for 2 years and give a date in 2021 that they move back to 1 year.

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