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What Do You Look For In A Summer Camp?

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Reasonable or passive?

 

No one stood up to A when A was CC and running the troop. The SM/ASM handle scouts and the program, not the CC.

 

No one stood up to A when A retired to Treasurer and continued to run troop. I wonder if A is following the BSA financial policies and procedures?

 

and using past to predict the future...

 

No one will stand up to A if A remains in troop. No amount of training will change that unless adults demand change. I sense no fire in the belllies.

 

If A leaves everything will change? Probably not. The troop culture, in this case a CC lead troop, will likely continue and a new A will appear.  And when the future retiree speaks as if he's the expert on everything forever, some people find it hard to resist.  No fire in the bellies.

 

I could ask where is your Commissioner in this drama, but unless more involved adults step up to deliver a scout-run troop, the troop culture will remain unchanged.

 

My $0.02

Edited by RememberSchiff

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I understand.  Everybody, or most people, seem to like the current system the way it is.  And as I said, it runs fairly smooth, but not boy led.

 

has already placed the next Scoutmaster (husband and wife) after this one's (husband and wife) tenure is up.  I do not know them well. 

 

said two meetings ago he does not trust anyone, and that he doesn't want just anyone to be Treasurer.

 

A's departure started as -- I am stepping down as cc but I will be in the Troop and retain my district position.  One month later, the new announcement is that he is leaving as Treasurer when a new one is found and I am leaving my district position and I am retiring from Scouting. 

 

We just need a new Treasurer.  I asked my husband if the new cc doesn't have a Treasurer in 3 months, would he volunteer? And he agreed.  My husband is easygoing enough to allow himself to be trained by A in how A wants everything done.  I do not think that A is messing with the finances in any sort of bad way and I am not familiar with the details of BSA financial policies.   He is very particular about things being done to his standards and processes.  I just started as secretary and changed the look and feel of the minutes. It didn't go over well, but so far, I have survived in the position!  Whew!  

 

I do not know who our commissioner is, and as a newer parent, I am still in the process of forming relationships with the more established families.  Making those relationships and building trust with them is most important.  Since the retiring cc is on the way out, and since he makes it sound as if he's popular at the district too, I don't think it's necessary to escalate.  

 

I would love to recruit my Wood Badge ticket advisor's son to our troop, and I invited them to visit us... but it seems their school typically goes to a different troop.  We need more leaders.  I agree! 

 

Also I have thought of donating money to the Troop in an ongoing scholarship for one leader every year to go to Wood Badge.  I need to discuss this with my husband and I also am not sure how the committee will react.  

Edited by WisconsinMomma

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If one is smoozing with the "powers-that-are", one needs to get in with the COR.  That is the person who dictates who is assigned to what position in the troop.  He/She says who the CC is, who the SM is, and who the MC's and ASM's are.  It cuts down on the drama to have a trained and sane COR running the troop's HR department, which is their job!

 

The COR, working with the Unit Commissioner, can go a long way getting the troop back on BSA policy.  Otherwise, one is subject to the personal whims of everyone who thinks they are King of the Troop.

 

I volunteer for the Red Cross, an organization that operates at a far higher level than anything BSA could even dream about.  There are certain phrases that keep popping up throughout the organization that make a big difference on the effective functioning of the huge relief operations they are involved with.  Trained people come from all over the world, from many different organizations, private, public, faith-based and governmental, and all interact under the direction of the Red Cross.  The phrase that comes to mind in your situation is "STAY IN YOUR OWN LANE!"  Every time I get deployed to a national disaster operation when I walk in the door, the only question I have in my mind is, "Who do I report to and who is my supervisor."  Once I have that, I know exactly what it is I'm going to be doing for the next 2-3 weeks.  If someone other than my supervisor tells me to do something, the standard answer is, "You will need to get with my supervisor on that, he/she will let me know what they feel is necessary for me to be doing."  I am trained and assigned to do a specific task.  I stay with that, and ignore everything else otherwise "kick it upstairs".

 

What the members of the troop described above need to learn this drama-less process of using volunteers effectively.  The adults in this scenario need to stay in their own lane, get the job done they were trained and assigned to do.  They have no business messing around in someone else's responsibilities.

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Our CO is an elementary school PTO that is very hands off, and interesting, our district commissioner is the person who is listed as Scoutmaster on our 7 page Troop bylaws.  

 

Guess I'll focus on my jobs -- being a good mom, and making great committee meeting minutes.  Honestly I don't want to make things messy, but it would be wonderful for the boys to have more opportunities to make decisions for themselves.  What can I do to help make things better in the Troop? 

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Our CO is an elementary school PTO that is very hands off, and interesting, our district commissioner is the person who is listed as Scoutmaster on our 7 page Troop bylaws.  

 

Then it's time to get a new UC that is impartial.  No one who is registered or has been registered with a unit should be it's UC.

 

Guess I'll focus on my jobs -- being a good mom, and making great committee meeting minutes.  Honestly I don't want to make things messy, but it would be wonderful for the boys to have more opportunities to make decisions for themselves.  What can I do to help make things better in the Troop?

 

I've been in scouting for 45 years, Ive been a UC for over 5 years, I've held positions from Cub DL to Venturing Advisor.  I am WB trained and trained as a leader from Cubs to Venturing.   With everything you've described, I for one would not know where to even begin to fix all the stuff I see wrong with the operation of that unit.  Good luck.

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Two merit badges max.

Chow Hall.

1/2 day per troop at rifle range

Baker Tents with cots

20-mile day hike

Salt water Mile Swim. (same summer Jaws came out)

Daily free swim & boating.

Wild Pigs in camp ever night while the adults hiked 2 miles into two to the bar.

Contraband fireworks (back then).

Patch trading

Making amends by serving on KP or KYBO cleaning

Faux indigenous campfire ceremonies

Night fishing

Night hikes

 

 

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I realize this is an old thread, but I wanted to mention a few things. I have been mentoring a new SM and a rebuilding troop, for a few months. Their CC desperately wants these new scouts to go to summer camp this year. This SM is already overburdened. I'm trying to help her recruit more adult leaders to take appropriate pieces of the work she does, and take some pressure off of her.

With many years as a SM myself, this troop is already behind in summer camp payments and merit badge registrations. Catch up all the way around. Also, money is tight, but the CC feels with council scholarships and last second fundraising, things can happen. Our summer camp is always short on staff (they don't pay enough) and the program is thin. If you look at their brochure, they offer every available merit badge. That of course, is impossible to do, but to this council, it's a selling point, and that's all that matters. I will say over the last 5 years or so, the overall program has gotten better (info from friends of mind). My point is, over my over 40 odd years as a SM, we never attended our own camp. Neighboring council camps always had a better program and choices.

 

So off subject a bit; at our parent's summer camp meeting last night where the SM is throwing all of this last minute info at the parents, merit badge choices came up. Earlier in the evening I had suggested to this SM that each scout (there all new and first year summer camp) choose 4 merit badges max. Two required and two non required (fun things). She felt that was a good starting point. All the parents agreed, except one. This dad wanted his son to take 6 merit badges (there are 6 merit badge classes per day scheduled) and all required for Eagle. He said that this is the best opportunity for his son to get merit badges. Notice he said "get" not "earn." I explained to him the benefits of a balanced schedule for his new scout( 10 years old), but he would have none of it. I mentioned the benefits of some "down" time and some fun. Nope, he said. that's not what summer camp was about. My many years in scouting told me to back off, and turn things back over to the new SM and let her deal with him. Oh, and did I mention he was the prior short term SM who was removed by the IH, COR, and CC, for yelling and screaming at his scouts (both Pack and Troop as his son graduated a month ago) at meetings and camping trips. Yes, several scouts quit because of this. This is why I was brought in to mentor this new SM. This dad moved his son to two other packs to get him his AOL, but his son wanted to be with his friends, so they came back. This new SM assures me she can take care of this bully. She shouldn't have to deal with him. Anyway, sorry for going off topic. My mentorship ends next month. I've been reminded why I retired as SM a few years ago. When the bad outweighs the good, it's time to go.

I plan on staying in touch with the new SM, and guide her scouts to a better summer camp experience in 2019. 

sst3rd

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7 minutes ago, sst3rd said:

I realize this is an old thread, but I wanted to mention a few things. I have been mentoring a new SM and a rebuilding troop, for a few months. Their CC desperately wants these new scouts to go to summer camp this year. This SM is already overburdened. I'm trying to help her recruit more adult leaders to take appropriate pieces of the work she does, and take some pressure off of her.

With many years as a SM myself, this troop is already behind in summer camp payments and merit badge registrations. Catch up all the way around. Also, money is tight, but the CC feels with council scholarships and last second fundraising, things can happen. Our summer camp is always short on staff (they don't pay enough) and the program is thin. If you look at their brochure, they offer every available merit badge. That of course, is impossible to do, but to this council, it's a selling point, and that's all that matters. I will say over the last 5 years or so, the overall program has gotten better (info from friends of mind). My point is, over my over 40 odd years as a SM, we never attended our own camp. Neighboring council camps always had a better program and choices.

 

So off subject a bit; at our parent's summer camp meeting last night where the SM is throwing all of this last minute info at the parents, merit badge choices came up. Earlier in the evening I had suggested to this SM that each scout (there all new and first year summer camp) choose 4 merit badges max. Two required and two non required (fun things). She felt that was a good starting point. All the parents agreed, except one. This dad wanted his son to take 6 merit badges (there are 6 merit badge classes per day scheduled) and all required for Eagle. He said that this is the best opportunity for his son to get merit badges. Notice he said "get" not "earn." I explained to him the benefits of a balanced schedule for his new scout( 10 years old), but he would have none of it. I mentioned the benefits of some "down" time and some fun. Nope, he said. that's not what summer camp was about. My many years in scouting told me to back off, and turn things back over to the new SM and let her deal with him. Oh, and did I mention he was the prior short term SM who was removed by the IH, COR, and CC, for yelling and screaming at his scouts (both Pack and Troop as his son graduated a month ago) at meetings and camping trips. Yes, several scouts quit because of this. This is why I was brought in to mentor this new SM. This dad moved his son to two other packs to get him his AOL, but his son wanted to be with his friends, so they came back. This new SM assures me she can take care of this bully. She shouldn't have to deal with him. Anyway, sorry for going off topic. My mentorship ends next month. I've been reminded why I retired as SM a few years ago. When the bad outweighs the good, it's time to go.

I plan on staying in touch with the new SM, and guide her scouts to a better summer camp experience in 2019. 

sst3rd

Most camps now have a New Scout program that is specifically designed to work on TF / 2nd / 1st requirements and maybe a couple of merit badges.  Also need to be sure downtime and open time is included for random fun

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Posted (edited)

@sst3rd, excellent mentoring! File the new dad's opinions under "you can lead a horse to water ..." The only chance you have of convincing him is if you or the SM know of a young adult who dropped out of scouting because of the "parent trap," and he is willing to have a sit-down with you, the SM and the dad.

Have you considered becoming this troops UC? Or, is somebody who you trust already in the position?

Edited by qwazse

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qwazse,

 

They have an active UC. This troop and pack recently changed sponsors. Actually going back to the one they had years ago. Great church with lots of support. The CC for both the pack and troop is a good friend of mine, and when they had to remove the loud mouth, they asked me to mentor. She's got her training and all, but needs support with using this knowledge in a practical way. She'll be fine if she doesn't overload herself. She's got a new assistant from the Webelos group. I'll be talking to them over the weekend at the camping trip. I'll fade away soon. I just hate that she's got to put up with a bunch of crap from that over zealous dad. The scout is fine. But dad will NOT be denied. This new SM knows she can call me anytime for anything.

 

Thanks for your comment.

 

sst3rd

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Yeah, that's fun.  Our SM/ASM's started not talking to parents about which MB's scouts take at summer camp.  Parents can discuss it with their scouts (or not), but we take MB requests from the scouts not the parents.  I made that mistake once--phrases like "he needs to take at least 4 eagle required badges!" and "we need to get our money's worth out of summer camp!".

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You can’t really know “oh this is going to be a fantastic summer camp!”. Until you actually spent a week there. If we like the camp, we go back for 2-3 years and move on

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Management change can drastically change the experience from on year to another.  I like to take a week 3-> and ask those from 1 & 2 how it went.

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40 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

Management change can drastically change the experience from on year to another.  I like to take a week 3-> and ask those from 1 & 2 how it went.

We usually go out of state so we are the only ones that go from around us.

Adding on from before, I suggest never go week 7 on because I guarantee you the staff will be tired out.

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