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Unsolicited Troop Hosting Of A Camproee

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Our only district event is a Klondike Derby planned and led by the SPL's of the district's troops.  They also, of course, run the individual events at the Derby. This approach seems like the opposite.  A truly terrible concept hatched by people who do not understand what Boy Scouting is supposed to be.

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Our only district event is a Klondike Derby planned and led by the SPL's of the district's troops.  They also, of course, run the individual events at the Derby. This approach seems like the opposite.  A truly terrible concept hatched by people who do not understand what Boy Scouting is supposed to be.

Yeah, that does not sound good, because the SPL's of all the troops have never bonded together as a team as would a patrol or a troop. So it would be hard for them to coordinate anything.. Also, if it is always the SPL, this is not volunteering to do it, but kind of foisted on a group and expected as the original OP stated..

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Now I am confused, you said it was a terrible concept hatched by people not understanding how Boy scouting is suppose to run.. (which I can see due to it not using the patrol method).. then you say it is working great for you..  First I am not sure if it is working or not working.. But if it is working could you explain why you think it is successful?

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As is often the case, there was an OP in this thread that set the topic: "If a district was to start a new policy of picking a Troop's name out of a hat to hold the next camproee (no matter if that troop wanted to host or not) would your Troop participate?

 

Before you answer, the hosting troop can not pick the theme or events, as the district will provide these to the troop, and  if the Troop decides not to host, they are not allowed to attend that camproee."

 

I should have been clearer.  I was attempting to respond to the topic of the thread and, in doing so, joining in the general denunciation of the district proposal set out in the OP.

 

Why successful?

 

The SPLs come to the organizing meetings with proposals for event that are to be selected by the respective PCL's.

 

The SPLs elect a Derby SPL to lead the Derby.  He supervises the events and leads the campfire/award ceremony.

 

The SPLs, acting as a committee, select the program for the Derby from the troop-proposed events by vote, following Robert's Rules of Order.

 

A troop whose proposed event is selected, staffs the event.  Typically, they practice it themselves and work out problems, judging practices and suggestions for participants.

 

This replaced a long-standing practice where a single adult picked the events and then begged for staffing Friday night of the Derby.  Staffing was thin and inconsistent between tours of duty due to lack of communication about judging standards.  Further, problems with the events became apparent only when the events were running.  Necessary supplies were often missing. Rules were changed in mid-day.  Charges of unfairness were rife - and accurate.

 

It has been twenty-three years since we started using this practice, and we can count the increased attendance compared to the old method,  The consensus of all involved is that the Derby all runs much more smoothly than under the former practice.  They coordinate just fine.

 

We ask every year at roundtable if we should stuck with this approach.  I cannot recall a vote not to do so.

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Re the SPLs working together:  I've seen good results from this.   SPLs are usually senior scouts, graduated PLs, and have been mentored by their adult leaders.   They've seen enough of scouting to know what scouts what, what they don't, and how to plan events.

Edited by desertrat77

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Oh, I know the original post, but the thread has meander from that to be more about if a district should be expected to run events for the unit with district volunteers only, or if districts can expect help from units in order to put on the event..

You could not have misconstrued the "meander" from the OP more. The issue is NOT having the district run events for units with district-only volunteers. The point is that district should 1) stop acting like we exist to serve them (FOS, JTE, etc,), 2) stop the us versus them mentality, 3) perform the mission outlined in the BSA manual on districts, and lastly 4) be innovative rather than continue to rely on how they THINK should be run.

 

But are districts who have units that are willing to step up and help better off or not? Emphasis on units being willing, not forced.. Are units who put on an event better off for doing so or not?..  This seems to be more where the thread has moved to..

Again, no one contends that districts that have volunteers that want to help voluntarily are better off. The point is that 1) districts should not cannibalize units to get volunteers, even if the unit people voluntarily step up, 2) again, districts should stick to their mission.

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Again, no one contends that districts that have volunteers that want to help voluntarily are better off. The point is that 1) districts should not cannibalize units to get volunteers, even if the unit people voluntarily step up, 2) again, districts should stick to their mission.

Difficult to understand why you say districts are better off with volunteers that want to help voluntarily, then that districts are cannibalizing units if they use volunteers who willingly volunteer and they shouldn't do so..

 

I would say it is perhaps cannibalizing units if they just take the adults and if a unit is pestered or pleaded by the district to take on an event more then every 4 years or so (aside from what TAHAWK proposes which seems like a working idea also, but note they only do the Klondike and not also hike-a-thons and camporees which would delfinatly overtax this working model)..  As for utilizing an adult who has a child in a troop.. All depends, does the adult feel they are being utilized at the troop level? Some troops are top heavy with adult leadership and if an adult can't break into that group and wants to do something, they may move to district.. Is it cannibalizing to use someone who is not being utilized at troop level? Perhaps later we loose these guys, they only stick around for a year or two because what they learn working at district level then makes them attractive for leadership at the troop level, so they get a position in their troop and leave district at that time.. We might see them again at district level when their son ages out.

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Did anyone ever sit down and ask the question, "Why do we have camporees anyway?"  There's a lot of volunteer resources being expended for something some districts really don't want.  

 

Email to DE: - Send this out to all district units. "We're going to be camping at Such-and-Such place, It would be nice to have everyone that can, show up.  We were going to do such Dutch Oven stuff for the weekend.  Hope to see you there.  Cost?  Whatever it costs for the number of sites you need."

 

Why do these things have to be so complicated?  Let the boys run them.  The troop officers, TG, SPL, ASPL, QM, Scribe, etc. can run the patrol competitions just as well as adults can.  And so what if they can't.

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Is it cannibalizing to use someone who is not being utilized at troop level? 

 

Read my posts. I address this specifically.

 

 

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Did anyone ever sit down and ask the question, "Why do we have camporees anyway?"  There's a lot of volunteer resources being expended for something some districts really don't want.  

 

Email to DE: - Send this out to all district units. "We're going to be camping at Such-and-Such place, It would be nice to have everyone that can, show up.  We were going to do such Dutch Oven stuff for the weekend.  Hope to see you there.  Cost?  Whatever it costs for the number of sites you need."

 

Why do these things have to be so complicated?  Let the boys run them.  The troop officers, TG, SPL, ASPL, QM, Scribe, etc. can run the patrol competitions just as well as adults can.  And so what if they can't.

 

Some troops in my councils plan at least half their year around getting ready to compete in district events.  They can do this becasue planning for the events is done months in advance.

 

Do all troops  need district or council program?  Hardly.  But some who need it still do not utilize it.

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Our camporees have moved away from patrol competitions and are now themed games/programs.  I don't know if I can take any more zombie survival or mission impossible outings any more.  At least they could do is pick a scouting theme instead of this other stuff.  The fall camporee is putting on the Cub Scout Spook-o-ree.  

 

I don't think the boys have a problem with camporees, but it's pretty much a crap-shoot as to what you're going to get.

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Some troops in my councils plan at least half their year around getting ready to compete in district events.  They can do this becasue planning for the events is done months in advance.

 

 

Just shaking my head...how Scout-like is that? Sad.

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Fred, serious question:   if a district ceases, what is the tangible impact on the units?   There are many units in the BSA that are not served, or ill-served, by their district.   If those kinds of districts vanish, what is the impact on a troop that is plugging along, taking care of business already without district help?

 

Districts won't cease.  Period.  Districts may be combined or redrawn.  And then staff mostly flows into the re-created district.  So if you have district staffers you don't get along with now, you will probably continue to have district staffers who you don't get along with.  If you think your district serves you poorly, then that will mostly continue.  That's just how it is.  

 

So it's not about ceasing?  It's about having a poor relationship with your district.  The direct impact is ...

 

----- Poor support.  Professional scouters don't have time to support each unit directly as they have many units and they will do what gets them the biggest result.  And that's through working with their district staff.  If you don't have a district or have a poor district staff ... OR your troop has a poor relationship with the district, your experience with the professional scouters will be much much worse.  Essentially, professional scouters don't support individual units except administratively.  The vast majority of the support happens through the district.  ... So if you don't want to mend your relationship with your district, fine.  But you are going it alone mostly then.

 

----- Pretending you can go alone.  You can't take care of business without YOUR district's help.  Merit badge counselors are a district positions and approved by the district.  Districts process registration, advancement and approve eagle projects.  Districts administer popcorn sales.  District staff contacts the membership lead contacts.  

 

It's fine to go to other districts for camporees and training, but you can't replace what your district does for you.  You might not value it or want to recognize it, but they do.  That's why I'd suggest fixing the relationship.  

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