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Council Cub Scout Day Camp Chair

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I agreed to accept the Council Cub Scout Day Camp Chair position. (volunteer, of course!) I'll be working with the professional over Day Camp and all of the District Day Camp Chairs as Day Camp is planned.


Just wondering if anyone out there has held this position in their council, and if so, do you have any words of advice?? Thanks!

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I'm the Camp Director of our district day camp (also volunteer). I, with a co-director, actually plan and run the camp. Is that what you're doing or is this an administrative/supervisory committee?


Sounds like you guys are set up differently than we are. We don't really have a council day camp committee (at least not that I know of, and you would think someone would have introduced themself). On the district level, our day camp committee is the camp staff (again, all volunteers). As camp director I'm an at-large member of the district committee. Theoretically, I report to the camping chairman who reports to the program chairman who reports to the district chairman, but those guys are really more involved in Boy Scout camping and program. Realistically, day camp is fairly autonomous.


Each district in our council operates it own day camp independent of the council and the other districts. Honestly, if someone walked up and said "I'm the new council day camp chairman how can I help?" unless they can drive a bus or run the BB range, I'm not sure what I would want them to do.


Tell me a little more and maybe I can help. I can certainly help from the standpoint of camp operations.

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In a council I served from 1988-1998, the council had a Day Camp Committee. The theme for the year, t-shirt and patch design, week-long craft, etc. were decided by the day camp committee so each district day camp would closely resemble the other's and kids could attend another district's day camp if it was more convenient.


The committee was comprised of a council chairman, the district day camp directors, and a few ad-hoc members as well as a staff advisor.


The committee also agreed on interpretations of the standards and who would do the inspections of each camp.


It seemed to be a good system.


The other two councils I have served have done Day Camp on a council level (only 1) because they have considerably smaller geography than my first council, so the council day camp chairman ends up being the camp director.



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Yep, that's how we're set up. The district Day Camp Chairs meet with a professional and now, me, and we decide the theme, the registration form layout, the camp fee per boy, the patch design, t-shirt colors, cup colors, 4 game stations and 4 craft stations that the council will cover. We also decide other administrative or program issues. The fees for all of this are taken out of a per boy fee that the council charges. It's a council day camp, but it's run individually on each district. It has the advantages of being run in or close by the boys neighborhood, and since the council only provides 8 of the 20 or 24 stations, the districts can tailor the rest of the program to meet their needs. With the help of some great committee members, I've run our district's Day Camp for 6 years. I love day camp. Not every pack runs a summertime program, so I see it as a way to get boys started on their rank. Although we don't focus on rank, we try to make sure that if possible we include completion of some of the rank requirements. I really enjoy watching the boys have a good time. Taking on this position is a different twist to this, and I'm a little nervous about it!

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Have you been to camp school, Gidget? I would highly recommend it. Ours was the best training I've been to, regardless of subject. While you don't need to be certified to be the committee chairman, it goes into many of the issues you will be dealing with.

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Yep, went to Day Camp school for Program in February of 1999, and went for Administration in May of 1999. Also went in Feb 2003, as my certification ran out 12/02. Personally I prefer the old training over the new combined course.

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  • 2 months later...

I was Day Camp Director for a very small Cub Camp last year. This year, District felt like I would be a good candidate for a larger combined All-District Day Camp so I am directing a Camp again. This time I finally get to go to Council's Camp School in January and I also have last year's book for the course on Day Camp Admin. #13-626A. I am obviously still learning the ropes with all this.


The one thing I have learned that seems the most helpful is to keep an open mind and definitely what dsteele said, try not to micro-manage too heavily. I get that micro-manage tendency coming from the opposite end. District feels I am doing a good job and lets me run with it. I appreciate that. They also know if I need help, I am going to come directly to them and I will be open to suggestions but that I will ultimately make my own choices. I think it's important to allow intiative and foster creativity.


This year I have someone on my Camp Committee who has created a position for themselves (one that I did not intend to have in the Day Camp at all) and wants to do all the speaking up about things, including items that are my responsibility as Camp Director. This person even wants to suprceed the Program Director so they are not dealing with the fact that they aren't running things very well at all. This person also apparently has run a few Day Camps in the past several years but has consistently been difficult when it comes to working with other people/Scouters. That's why District nominated me after working with me last year. I suppose I am better suited for public relations and compromise? Either way I know it's going to be hard dealing with this person- in essence she continually tries to circumvent me and the Program Director and force me into agreeing to things I was never even a part of. My Program Director is easily swayed by her... I am not!


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A few years back I was involved in Cub Scout Day Camps.

Our council does not get involved. Allowing the District to run the show.

I had a great time as program director and almost as much fun as the Camp Director.

We are a very small district so we only had about 200 or so Cubs at camp.

What is really great is that I got to know so many of these little guys who are now not so little. They still come up to me and say Hi or start singing some of the Day Camp Songs.

I feel sure you will have a great time.


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Joni brings up a good "teachable moment."


Today's "teachable moment" is a phrase professionals use -- "Volunteer to volunteer, professional to professional."


In other words, a volunteer who yells at, or attempts to "set a professional straight" is usually out of line, the exception being a council officer, the board, etc. on a Scout Executive.


The reverse is also true. A professional is out of line if he/she yells at or "sets a volunteer straight."


If this person is on your committee and you're having trouble, let them know your expectations and where they're out of line. If they don't or won't comply, eliminate them.


If, somehow, you are on their committee and not the other way around (and readers, you can keep me out of the "my" "our" argument -- I have no use for that one) be prepared for the same thing.


sometimes people expect the professional to beat on a volunteer because they don't want to offend a fellow volunteer. Really, it isn't our job. Now, if one of my DE's isn't doing the job, come to me and I'll have a chat with the DE.


If this person on your committee is giving you trouble, lay down the law. Your Program Director will back you up. But don't expect the Program Director to initiate it -- he would be crossing a line.


Clear as mud?



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Hi, Joni. Interesting situation. One of the things I did this fall was put together a "What will I be doing" sheet for the Program Director and the Camp Director. While the camp book from Day Camp school has job descriptions, it doesn't really explain the practical application pre and post camp, and since they've merged the Day Camp school sessions into one, you don't get it there, either. It's been an eye opener for a lot of people, and it's ended up being a good check list so that tasks don't fall between the cracks. Our positions for camp on the district level are District Day Camp Chair, Camp Director and Program Director. We have sheets for each position. We kind of work together like a COR, CC and CM. (Sorry - that sounds a little odd, doesn't it!) What position has the person you're having a problem with assumed? One way to provide a clarification would be to put out an org chart and description of responsibilities. Is my response anywhere in the ballpark?



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Gidget, your response is right on target. I was already eyeing those "ready-made" job descriptions in the Camp Admin. Book and told my husband I needed to create an organizational flow chart as well as a little type-up Job Description handout. I don't want to have issues with this person but I know it's going to happen anyway. I have already been warned by our District Camping Director and our Senior DE. They have both had more than a few years experience working with her.


The person I forsee having difficulty with calls herself the "Camp Commissioner" because, as she said, "The Book shows the position, and I had one at MY Day Camp last year." While I appreciate her wanting to volunteer, the "ready-made" qualifications for that position in the Camp Admin. Book are a far cry from the characteristic traits of the person... I have respectfully told her that I was not planning on using ALL the positions in "the book" because they're all not necessary. It was certainly easier than popping her bubble and telling her few people want to work with her and hardly anyone feels she can handle Public Relations well.


I would really like to draw on her experience with Day Camp. She has been a Scouter for many years and has a great array of ideas. However, I don't want to keep her on the Camp Committee just to see her continue to try and grab the reigns and run the Camp. I was nominated for the Camp Director position after we both put our names in the hat. She has shown on more than one occasion that she feels she is better suited for the job; ie. speaking up over me at the last District Meeting, trying to circumvent me by going to the Program Director to get her to agree on changing the staff t-shirt color, etc. It's all very petty, I know. I would prefer to just work together as a team and not be so hung up on who is in charge and stuff.


The complaints people had about the Day Camp she was the Camp Director for;


1) She enlisted volunteers and then told them all exactly how to run their stations.


**I would prefer to surround myself with competent volunteers and allow them to put their best foot forward, run their own stations, yet give me a heads-up on what they're doing- with me having the fial approval.


2) When telling people what to do, she came off bossy and uncooperative.


**This is a no-brainer, you catch more bees with honey... la la la


3) She turned Scouts away who showed up at the last minute with registration in hand because she was unable to fit them into her schedule rotation.


**While I wasn't there to see the rotation, I can't imagine turning away wide-eyes Scouts from a Day Camp simply because I wasn't smart enough to think ahead and develop a rotation that would allow last minute check-ins like that. Why should the boy be penalized?


Well, we'll see. I really hope things will not be too unbearable. I have to remember this is for the boys. I know she has the tendency for running things from a chair and a using a loud voice. I am more of a hands-on person. I like to be involved but not to the extent that I feel I need to constantly assert my dominance and remind people of my position of being in charge.

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I have the last two versions of the Day Camp manual from school, and I don't recall seeing a "Day Camp Commissioner" position in my material. What is that?


Here's an idea. Ask her to write documentation for you. Like your Day Camp manual, with policies and procedures for lost boys, emergencies, YP, etc. And possibly to put together the program material or training material or camp orientation material for your walking den leaders or station leaders. You, of course, would have to review and approve it.


DS - Is there a different Day Camp school for military units?


Gidget(This message has been edited by Gidget)(This message has been edited by Gidget)

3 edits!! There should be spell check on this! If there are anymore errors they're staying!!!(This message has been edited by Gidget)

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I, too was baffled when she told someone else she was the Camp Commissioner.... the Senior DE and I both looked at each other with eyebrows up. I asked him if he ever heard of that.. he said "NO" so I did some resarch...


Camp Program and Property Management, Publication 20-920A, 2002, Managing the Council Outdoor Program, Page 1(dash)26..... there's the position!


In the flow of things, here's the hierarchy tree:


Camp Director

Camp Health Officer

Program Director

Program Staff

Camp Commissioner

Ecology/Conservation Director

Shooting Sports Director

Marksmanship Range Officer


Aquatics Staff

Camp Chaplains

Program Aides....


blah blah blah... there are several more positions before those staff paragraphs end.


However, the next paragraph clearly states, "There are no fixed rules for determining the number of staff members needed because of the varying conditions in camps." BINGO! And that's what I keep saying... I wasn't going to use the Commissioner position.


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OK - you can tell your buddy to put a sock in it! I called my council guy and he looked up your reference and told me that the Camp Comissioner (*Note - there is no such position as a Day Camp Commissioner) is similiar to a Unit Commissioner. They work with the packs to ensure camping opportunities. They report to and take direction FROM the Program Director. He said in our council, when they're used, they function like SM's at Boy Scout camp.

OK - I probably shouldn't be so aggressive in my response, but honestly!! Sometimes the cubs are more mature than the adults!!



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