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CubsRgr8

Campout Cancellations

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Two weekends ago, the troop went on a cabin campout (yes, I know, it's not a real campout). At that Tuesday's troop meeting, 29 scouts were going. By 5:30pm Friday, that number was down to 21, including 4 cancellations right there in the parking lot! There wasn't a blizzard, an outbreak of the pox, or a declaration of matial law. The scouts who cancelled had all sorts of reasons, none of them any good IMHO.

 

I forgot that I was in the school play Friday and Saturday nights.

 

My best bud cancelled on Thursday, so I don't want to go.

 

I changed my mind.

 

The troop rented a larger cabin than was needed, parent drivers showed up that weren't needed, and a lot of money was spent on food that ended up being wasted. How does your troop prevent this? I would really appreciate some feedback that I can bring to next Tuesday's troop meeting. Thanks in advance.

 

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Get non-refundable payments in advance, eh?

 

Or perhaps sit with lads and make 'em write letters of apology to the volunteer adults and youth leaders that they "blew off." Best if done durin' the fun game at a meeting, eh? ;)

 

Beavah

 

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This is what we do, which was suggested by our PLC a few years ago that has been enforced ever since:

 

If you committed to the trip at the meeting when menus and drivers were set, then you had to pay for food and any fees associated with the trip. The only way out is if you called the person buying food for the trip and let them know before they went to the store; the day the food buyer was going was communicated at the meeting.

 

This "policy" has cut down on the late bailouts in our troop. We have had some that have bailed at the last minute, and they did follow through and pay for the food that was purchased. I have even had to cancel going myself, and had to pay my portion of the food bill to the "adult patrol."

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We collect payment in full two weeks before the event, and thee are no refunds for cancellations. In the case of a legitimate illness, we will offer credit toward the next campout.

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If you committed to the trip at the meeting when menus and drivers were set, then you had to pay for food and any fees associated with the trip. The only way out is if you called the person buying food for the trip and let them know before they went to the store; the day the food buyer was going was communicated at the meeting.

 

We're in the same camp (no pun intended). The only exceptions we've made for this are illness or family emergencies, and if nothing else, it introduces the concept of personal responsibility and consequences...

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All excellent suggestions for the PLC to consider - thank you! I'll pass them on to the SPL and, if I remember, I'll let you know what they decide. I personally like the idea of reminding those who cancelled at the last moment about the word Trustworthy, which gets to the whole point of Scouting. Thanks.

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We make 'em pay up front 2 weeks in advance, no refunds w/o reasonable excuse and notice.

 

I've got one kid that does this often enough that I summed up his "failures to appear" to his father one night and what it had cost him. That ended his excuses for a time. He's still a flake unfortunately, and probably will be for the rest of his life, I just cannot seem to get accross to him that he's responsible or needs to try and be responsible for his commitments.

 

 

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I am a big one for reliability, responsibility, not accepting laziness and I fight the prevelant entitlement attitude in society and that has worked it's way into our troop. I also realize I can't fight every battle and since nearly all teh parents in the troop think there is nothing unussual about havng to cancel, or "ooops I forgot" etc, I have chosen to forgo this battle for a while. It is common to have nearly 50% of those in our troop drop out and maybe half that many sign up days before the event. I could try to fight this too, the irresponsibility really grates on me, but the idea that this is normal is so prvelenant amongst parents that I would be considered inflexible and out of touch if I chose to make an issue of it....pretty sad and pathetic isn't it. This is why patrol cooking won't work for us, the makeup of the roster that signs up is alwayys different that the roster that actually shows up. Boys who make a habit of late cancels get a talk from me, sometimes it includes their parents. We are implementing permission slips at sign up, they are a 2 part deal, one half teh parent keeps to magnet to the fridge as a reminder and it has contact info on who to reach in case they are not going to make it. the other half we get as an acknowledgement the parent knows of teh event and has bought in. This has helped a little but not much. I still get all kinds of BS about Johnny's team made the playoffs, or he siigned up for swim club and forgot it conflicts, or his brother is in from out of town, or he got an elk permit etc etc and they jsut expect me to understand. Yes this is another factor that helps wear one down and burn one out.

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We have implemented the money for food money is due at the meeting before the outing. That way no one gets stuck with the bill, we also stress in our scoutmaster minute the event and have Patrol leaders remind all particapents. This has helped we do get the occasional canellations that are dealt with individually.

 

Good Luck YIS

Doug Buth

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My son's troop instituted a very strict "permission slip due 1 month before outing" which has very few exceptions, such as they'll slip the due date if you missed school for illness and consequently missed the meeting to turn in the form.

 

After a few months and a few guys being left behind, the parents got the hang of it. Of course it would be too much to expect a bunch of junior high and high school kids to remember that they need to turn in some papers.

 

Food money? That's up to the patrols to deal with.

 

 

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Have had more of a problem with 1 scout deciding on Thurs that he wants to camp on Friday. He has called my house more than once wanting to camp and has been told there will be no food as he did not pay on Monday so he could be included in the menu. The last time he did this was a troop meeting nite bowling/pizza party. He showed up with dad(dad said scout told him about bowling and hour before)and that no pizza had be bought for him we'll see you next meeting. Well next meeting mom comes into meeting and says I'm not getting the information about these activities. So straight faced I say he's your son ask him we have it on the calendar and permission slips go out two weeks ahead. Since then it has not be an issue.

 

Collect money ahead and plan on that head count. If they don't show or cancel at least the troop will not go in the hole over it.

Eight scouts is alot of leftover food. If this happens again would it be possible for the "adult patrol" to recycle it(freeze it)and use at next campout. We have done this with unopened lunchmeat. I have a criper drawer in my frige with leftover condiments that are recycled each campout. How much mustard and ketsup can a patrol use.

 

My two cents

 

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If a boy was really excited about going, he would not change his mind and choose another activity, or "forget".

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