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So my local council is boggling my mind. Myself and my troops scoutmaster ran a camporee last fall. It went very well and we actually turned a profit on it, something that usually doesn't happen. In our budget we planed on using the profit to purchase a portable AED that the council can take to off site events to have the EMS or first aid people use (or hopefully not use).


So now here it is, a year later and they still haven't made the purchase. We are being told my the financial guy that we aren't allowed to to that. We don't understand because we budgeted for a piece of medical equipment we felt we needed for our event but did not have available. On top of that this is a lift saving piece of equipment. AED's should be like fire extinguishers and they have a chance to get one without any cost to them and the are dragging their feet.


I will bet if it was some type to scouting equipment instead of medical equipment they would have bought it already. Anyways, what are your thoughts? does this sound right?



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Do you think they are worried about liability?

When we were CPR certififed last spring, AED training was part of it. I can't see how liability would be an issue since they are pretty much fool proof.

Considering CPR success rate is in the low single digits and AED is much, much higher, doesn't make much sense not to have one.

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What we do locally here is buy the item before we close out with council then turn in receipt with accounting of the funds. That takes the decision out of thier hands.


They now have the money and most likely won't but the item cause the excess is allready in the general fund and they spent it most likely.

(This message has been edited by nldscout)

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Oh the joy of dealing with Council Budgets.

I don't know how things are done in your Council.

Back when I was District Chairman, once a year the District Key 3 would meet and go over the budgets for all District Activities. (The Council Training Committee did the same thing for Council Training events.)

I would share these budgets with who ever needed to know about them. For a District Camporee, the District Activities Chair and the Organizer of the event.

Districts do not have any money of their own. As an arm of the Council, Districts don't own anything and all equipment is owned by the Council.

My "Big Thing" when I was District Chair was making sure that no event ran at a loss. Some Councils ask for every event to make 25% or a set percentage. Thankfully our Council does not.

Please don't think that I'm trying to be a book thumper or nasty in any way!

But you don't really have any right to be including this equipment in your budget.

The equipment would belong to the Council (not the District.) and as such should be included in the Council budget.

However in the "Real World".

I have done a fair amount of work with training Day Camp Directors. When no one is listening I tell them that if they have money left over, they need to spend it before they turn the cash over to the Council and turn in a receipt.

I got a little upset that our Camporees didn't have basic stuff so when we held an event we would go out and buy rope and other material.

Our Council hadn't spent any money on Training material for almost 20 years. So when we held a training I would go out and buy a TV/VCR combo. They only cost about $150.00.

When I was SM for Wood Badge I bought a projector for power point presentations. I have my own, but I don't like lending it people when I'm not around. I wanted to buy a laptop as well, but I thought that might be pushing it.

If you don't see this AED before the end of the year you might as well forget about it. At the end of the year all this years budgets close and unless it's in a new budget, it just isn't going to happen.

If you make a fuss, they will go back to telling you that you didn't have the right to include this in the Camporee budget.(Next time talk to the District Chair and the Activities Chair then buy the darn thing and turn in the receipt. There does need to be some sort of an agreement of who will keep it and where it will be stored. It is also worth remembering that it never will be owned by the District and is owned by the Council.)


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Maybe the concern is that they won't have enough of them. What if there's only one that is supposed to be transported to various events, and someone forgets to take it. Would there be a lawsuit because they own one but it wasn't available?


I don't know exactly how they work. Do they have to be plugged in to keep batteries charged (while in storage between events)? A "dead" AED isn't going to be very useful.


How about an AED to be kept at each council camp? Where's it going to be located? In the health lodge, locked up where you you can't get it before finding the campmaster or ranger to let you it, then get it to the person who needs it - probably too late.


How well were the need AND the logistics of its handling worked out before an AED was settled on as the "item du jour"?


Methinks that some additional communication and perhaps some buttonholing of key council staff needs to occur. Education needs to be a big part of this.




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Yah, the legal nonsense is just silly, eh. NO, there's no particular liability issues behind havin' an AED around, and even if there were, who cares?. Help other people at all times, be prepared, etc. Not "help other people only if there's no chance that some a** won't try to sue you." That's what insurance is for anyway.


But the rest are right, eh. If it was a camporee budget item, then it's the council's cash to do what they want with, same as any camporee surplus. If it was donated $, though, then they should buy the thing or return the money.


One thing you should do before buyin' an AED is check with your local EMS system. In some areas, they encourage standardization on a particular piece of equipment. That way, when the ambulance crew arrives, they can "hot swap" with their gear, which saves time and confusion.


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Since the camporee is over and done with there is little argument to say you need a piece of equipment for an event that is finished. If the equipment was truly needed for the event, the way to handle would be to include it in the budget that is written and submitted before the event takes place. Of course there must be enough income budgeted to pay for all the budgeted expenses of the event, including items that may have use at future events. Then buy it, hold the event, turn in all expense receipts, and all income.

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I do have a question though?


AED's typically cost about $1000-2000 apeice. You raised that much in fees from a district Camporee? If you did I submitt that you way overcharged for it.


I don't see an AED as a legitimate charge to a district camporee and I and several other SM's would be a bit upset if we found out thats what was going on with the camporee fee's, subsidizing council.

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The real thing is the How not the what!

I'm not sure if an AED is needed or not?

After not having one for so many years I'm not sold on the idea. But that isn't the point.

How someone goes about doing things in an organization is very important.

All District events are really Council events. The District is an arm of the Council.

The budget for all District events should be turned into the Council before the event.

Once the event is over all the final accounting is done and the event is over.

If there is extra money it belongs to the Council. If the event ran at a loss, the money to cover the loss would come from the Council (Yes the Scout Exec. Might need an AED!!)

Did you and your pal ask permission to buy this? Who did you ask?

Just because you organized an event that made money doesn't give you any special rights.

In fact I'd be worried that you might be guilty of over charging the Scouts for the Camporee? Who approved the budget?

If you feel that there is a need for AED's you need to bring it to the attention of the people who have that responsibility. The Council Activities Committee?

Spending $1,000 is big time in most Councils. While you might feel having one is vital, it could be that the fire extinguishers do need replaced and this has priority over the AED?

Can you imagine the mess we would have if every volunteer went ahead and did their own thing? No matter how well meaning?



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Wow, I guess this is what I get for posting and not checking it for a couple days!


Anyways, This entire plan was discussed with and approved by the higher ups (I don't recall who exactly but I know my SM knows who). There was no pulling the wool over anyone's eyes.


As far as the price, about $1800 is correct. We were very careful not to over charge for this event and actually charged less than normal. Due to the theme we expected a high turnout which got even higher when the other camporees didn't pan out. We had a large portion of the council there, not just our district.


As far as the legal aspects and benefits and such, this was all researched before hand and presented to the above mentioned higher ups.


On top of the I have worked in EMS for 7 year and my SM has been a registered nurse since the early 80's and worked in EMS before that. We are both very familiar with the benefits of this equipment.


The fact is that if AED's were like fire extinguishers we could save hundreds of thousands of lives a year. I would think that as someone else mentioned, "To help other people at all times" might fall in there somewhere.


So anyways, now that I am done ranting, the fact of the matter is that yes, it is the council's money and yes, they can do what they want with it. I have a feeling that when all of this was approved they didn't expect us to pull it off. Now that the money is there, maybe the fire extinguishers do need to be replaced.



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I know that I'm sticking my neck out.

But I do question the real need for this equipment at a Scout Camp.

I have been in Scouting for over 40 years and attended events with thousands of kids present and so far we have never needed one.

Our Scout Camps tend to be spread out and cover a large area so I have to wonder if by the time the equipment got to the person how much good it would do?

Sure it's great to have in a Mall where you find older people.

I would hope that having all us old timers who are active taking a yearly medical would help prevent the need to use one.

As for making $1,800 on a Camporee? I can't help but think the Scouts were paying way too much. - Even if there were 1,000 kids at the event.


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When a SM works with one other, makes the rules, runs the committee, decides on the kind of tents, etc., then whatever is decided upon is usually what is done. When the Troop gets bigger and there are multiple ASM's, a real troop committee, and parents then things generally get changed in the shuffle. When the District gets involved, then there are many others with their own good ideas and strong opinions. When you get the Council involved in making up the deficits of other poorly run programs with hundreds of volunteers and professional staff, then your ideas may/will probably never see the light of day. Things get changed for a variety of reasons and most are very good ones. Your idea may be very good with great reasoning behind it. At this level you are working with committees. Welcome to Scouting.


At our last planning session for District Activities, I thought we were brain-storming so I made several suggestions to the group/gang of twenty. I was told to put my weird ideas back inside the box. I had to grit my seat kind of tightly or I might have come unwound. Working with a group is an art requiring unparalleled emotional strength and possibly an AED. fb


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ASM416, that is a great idea! I wish we had thought of that when we were putting together the budget for our fall camporee. It's too late now, though. I am going to suggest it to the troop that is planning the district's spring camporee. Our events usually return $2-3,000 to the district and an AED would be a magnificent acquisition for our H&S team.


Thanks for the idea!

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Well, I can tell you that if we had had one in the dining hall at Beaumont, GSLAC, two years ago (may have been three) at an August Webelos camp a scout leader who had a heart attack might be alive.


If we had had one at Christ Memorial Lutheran Church in St. Louis (CO) where we were doing Scouting for Food four years ago (might have been five) a Scouter who had a heart attack might be alive.


Everything that could have been done was done for these two, but it's a fact that a much higher percentage are saved by the use of an AED than just CPR.


They are easy to use, can be used by anyone who can stay calm enough to follow the pictographs and should be left out in a windowed cabinet where anyone can see them.



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  • 7 months later...

AED's are popping up in discussions on Scouts-L. Just found this thread.


The cost shouldn't be a factor. There is plenty of grant money out there tagged to assist with the purchase of AED's. Some Councils have the foresight to buy several and have them placed at strategic locations at their camps, mainly are the program areas. Some Councils, due to the small size and weight of AED's, are requiring AED's to be part of High Adventure trek equipment. An 11 y/o can be taught how to use one.


You never know when that overweight leader will drop while on a backpacking trip, a scout will get hit in the chest with a line drive, be hit by lightning (2 of our CM's were hit at the same time at a soccer match, survived. A third victim required CPR and was successfully resuscitated).


I don't know the specifics on the response times of EMS at the last National Jambo, or availability or locations of any AED's, but the faster you can shock the heart back into a normal rhythm, the better the chances of survival. Continuous unbroken CPR has the potential to maintain enough blood-flow for survivability if you can get the AED to the victim fast, within 5 minutes if possible.


So, everybody get out there and get your grant writers busy working on submitting those proposals, not for one, but for several. Troops, there is no reason that your meeting place shouldn't have one. Talk with your CO about purchasing one with a grant or better yet, purchase one from your own grant proposal and fund-raising, and present it to your CO , to be kept and accessable at the meeting place.


You never know where your benefactors will come from. We had a little old lady in her 80's who purchased 8 AED's and gave two each to the village and township PD's to carry in four of the cruisers, one to the youth sports complex, and one to each of the three schools within the school system. It has saved at least one cardiac arrest victim since their purchase.

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