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Should Scouts Get Reimbursed?

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I also agree that no reinbursement is in order. #1 responsibility to prepare for summer camp is the scout's responsibility. I agree that someone should have reviewed this with the scout, that it should be clearly stated in the leader's guide if it is not already, and it should have been mentioned at the start of class.



unfortunately it does not. Age limits are there for legal reasons if memory serves. However I would not consider it a total waste. Depending upon when the scout turns 15, and where AD is located, a skills check off and a second written test at the age of 15 may be appropriate. Need to talk to the AD though.

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When I was a lad, a few years ago, I took the complete Lifeguard course (Red Cross, I believe). When I told my mom all I had left was the mile swim and I'd be certified she quietly asked me if that was what I really wanted. She told me that if I were certified I'd have to sit on the dock watching everyone else swim. I swam .99% of the mile and stopped.


Was that a bad decision? Nope. What I learned I retained for the rest of my life. I have had to use the skills a few times and knowing what to do was great. Being pedigree made no difference and being a former Nationally Registered EMT-A has allowed me knowledge and experience that make no difference now that the certification has expired.


Maybe those 14 year old's won't get their certification, but had they paid attention and actually learned something in the course, they will have gotten their money's worth. Been there, done that. Of course, if they didn't pay attention and didn't learn, then they shouldn't have the certification anyway.


Your mileage may vary,


Stosh(This message has been edited by jblake47)

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Just a side note. Their was nothing in the camp brochure about age requirements for the lifeguard course. I guess we could say this all boils down to be prepared always and never depend on anyone but yourself, ever. Prior preparation and planning could have prevented the heartache these scouts had to face and they could have taken other couses instead. They can chalk that up to experience I guess. Thanks for everyone's comments.

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We had a scout last year who I recomended to take the BSA Lifeguard course. As was the case above, the camp leaders guide did not include the age requirement. However as SM, I advise and counsel every scout on every badge they take, so I researched the age requirement, which the scout met.


Different camps have different expectations on what merit badges scouts of different ages and experiences should take. I understand that for MBs, there is no age limit imposed by BSA, but I do respect the recomendations of camp programs.

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"So where does the blame get put and what could get done about it?"

Not getting what you want or expect is sometimes a tricky subject.

Take your car into the garage to be fixed?

My feeling is that you have a good case for getting the job done right.

Order something at a restaurant and get something that is well prepared, cooked right, but turns out to be something that you just don't like?

Again my feeling is that no one is at fault and you should pay for what you got.

I'm not sure what was sold to the Scouts?

I'd imagine they got/received everything that the camp had to offer: Food, other services and instruction for this lifeguard class.

What they didn't get was the certification.

If they were sold the class? Then that's what they got and no one is to blame.

If however they were sold the certification? Then maybe they have a case for some sort of reimbursement.


Very often here in the forum people post complaints about the poor quality of merit badge instruction at camp.

At a good many camps for a good many badges the requirements that should be met are cast aside and replaced with just a requirement to attend the MB classes.

Failure is not an option.

I wonder what would happen if MBC's started informing Scouts that they hadn't met the requirements and refused to issue anything other than a partial for what was met?

Some Scouts would be upset.

I'll bet some SM's would want to have a word with the people in charge. Some might go as far as to threaten not returning.

Some parents might feel that their kid got a raw deal.

Are we selling a summer camp experience?

Or Merit Badge classes with a guarantee of badges at the end of the week?


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Why would it be a poor line of reasoning? Everyone else gets to go swimming and you get to stand on the dock at every swim event where a LG is needed. I took my turn as LG lookout along with everyone else, but if there had been a problem, I would have been prepared to handle it whether I was in the water or on the dock. Having the pedigree does not guarantee anything, having the knowledge is priceless. Had I wanted to be a paid LG at the local pool and sit in the high chair for hours at a time and get paid for it, then swimming the last little bit might have been worth it. But I preferred to go swimming with my buddies.


I am trained way beyond T-FC first aid requirements. I am trained way beyond Wilderness FA, I am trained way beyond the Red Cross FA training, I was an American Heart Association CPR trainer, Nationally Registered EMT-A, and State Certified Emergency Rescue Technician, and 15 years experienced in emergency medicine. Today I hold no certifications except for the general public CPR training. I may no longer be able to run with any ambulance service in the field because I'm not certified, but if I come across a car accident in my everyday life, I surely know what to do.


Had I followed the line of reason that is being questioned, I would have kept up all my certifications over the past 20 years. Ain't gonna happen just to have a piece of paper in my billfold.


The pedigree Certification means nothing, the knowledge is everything.



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Sorry, got to agree with SeattlePioneer, the reasoning for not completing what you started is faulty. Maybe you had a lousy Troop and you would have had to be LG all the time but I can't imagine ever doing that to a boy. Even if nobody else was certified, I would never make a boy do it just because he was certified. If the boy said "I just want to swim, not be stuck watching everybody" I would understand but going 99% of the way and quitting is still quitting and I try really hard to teach the boys to not be quitters. JMO

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It's a selfish attitude, of course.


If a lifeguard certification is required for swimming (increasingly the case), it may well be that no one will be able to go swimming.


I don't think a person has an obligation to keep up the increasingly obnoxious variety of certifications that are being spun out, but I do think it's selfish to take the training and avoid the certification.


I think this is covered in the "a Scout is helpful" category.

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Maybe selfish, but true. I've had a number of boys shy away from guard instruction because the responsibility was onerous.


A year or two later, they'd join a VFD, or get EMT cert, or even get guard certified at a local pool. When they feel they have it in them to serve our unit in that caqpacity, we plan activities accordingly.


We avoid the guilt trip. We simply set the bounds of our program by the certifications of our members.

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Like so much else, a lot of this depends upon the expectations that were set. Did someone tell the Scouts that they could become lifeguards for sure if they took the course? Who signed them up for it? Who encouraged them to sign up for it?


Normally I would not consider reimbursement for this. But if someone in the troop led the Scouts down a path and gave them very misleading expectations, I might be more sympathetic. How much money does the troop have that could be used for reimbursement? Or is there something else that could be done to make up for mistake, assuming that there was one.

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I have written in the past on how my council would be unprepared to host summer camp (for various reasons). In the end, it was the Scouts who did not get the promised program for the fees they paid.


Should the kids get some reimbursement? Depends on if the the council made it clear of the age requirements in their summer camp manual. If there was nothing noted, then yes, the council failed the kids.


Perhaps the young lads who missed out hadn't received their communications merit badges yet. But quite frankly, the well trained summer camp director and staff should not have missed it untill Thursday either.

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Is it common for Councils to print the requirements for badges, awards, etc. in their summer camp manuals, or do they, like mine, just do a list of what's offered?


It's one thing if a Council has a requirement that a lad must be at least 14 to take Climbing through their program becuase that's not a requirement of the actual badge, but is a camp sepcific requirement based on some attorney's liability panic (and no, it doesn't add to the requirements - the Council isn't saying you must be 14 to get Climbing MB - they're saying you can't do their camp program until you're 14). It's quite another thing to hold them responsible for people knowing that one of the requirements of the award is being 15 if that requirement is printed in the BSA literature (is it in the handbook? Then the Scouts should have known).



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