Jump to content
oldisnewagain1

Unsolicited Troop Hosting Of A Camproee

Recommended Posts

I would think the older boys would tire of T-FC competitive skill training sometime after say about 3 years.  Then if nothing else is being offered, sports sounds nice as would just about any other program out there more designed age appropriately.

 

I'm with Bad Wolf on this.  The reason older boys don't hang around is because most troops never mature much beyond FC level activities, summer camp at council camps and MB's.  We've been there done that and at 15-16 it's time to leave.

Edited by Stosh
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I admit I liked themed competition camporees. This year, my council camporee's theme was Wilderness Survival, and the competition was interesting. We had everything from plant ID, to survival shelter building where they dumped water on the shelter, to no match and no flint and steel firestarting ( don't know if anyone used the waterbottle and water method, but know of 3 patrols that used batteries an 000 steel wool ;) ) to geocaching/first aid, to Tomahawk Throwing.  Everyone had a blast, especially the Cubs who ended up on the Tomahawk  range ;)

 

As others said, while competiions should focus on basic scouting skills, uyou do need "twists" to make them fun and challenging. I personally like the spaghetti tying event which combined firebuilding and knot tying.

 

You also need outside activitie to keep it interesting. Special Forces detachement was awesome. Historic reenactors is another favorite.  Unfortunately, the Blackhawk couldn't make it one year due to a hurricane, and the offer to my home council tohave a recon unit   do an insertion was nixed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@fred johnson, one last point.

 

Assume you are correct. Assume the only way to have a successful district is to recruit the best and brightest from the units. What type of cannibalistic model is that? You'd NEVER find that in a successful Fortune 500 company...at least not for too long.

 

You cannot cannibalize your units to have a successful district. You need to find another model or else you are building your foundation on sand, where the units are forced to constantly replace good leadership. Just build one good CS Pack and then suck the leadership out of it and see how long it sticks around.

 

Your model is broken and cannot work. The district model you propose is DOA. What districts should be doing is recruiting from outside BSA, as well as working hard to identify retiring scouters or those who have moved. Build in a scouter recycling program where you move people around. Do something innovative to get the blood flowing. Hire DEs that are not more concerned about getting to Council rather than doing their job. Make their promotions performance-based and actually make the goals hard.

 

The one reason these things will never happen is because you cannot build a power-base in such an environment, and THAT is something very few districts I have seen would voluntarily give up.

 

It's not what I'm talking about ... but Fortune 500 companies do as you describe.  It's often called the fast track.  But that's not what is being described.

 

"recruiting from outside BSA" ... I've seen that attempted many times ... usually as cold calling or paper mail of adult eagle scouts who has mailing addresses in the area.  Most times you get zero response.  Direct face-to-face asking is very difficult because those who you would ask are already busy.  So, you either get no responses or you get the type of volunteers who do more damage than good.   

 

The challenge is viewing districts as a one sided one dimensional thing.  Districts serve local units, but local units support the district.  In my experience, if every troop had one parent help at the district level, then you would have an absolutely outstanding district.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Say what?

----- 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.

My troop uses District for very little.  ALL of what we get from District are things that District (or BSA) requires of us.  Elaborate powerpoint training, complicated chartering, and, of course, FOS.

a- MBCs are all in the troop.

b- If we didn't have to do useless paperwork, District's help wouldn't be needed to fill out forms.

c- If EBORs were moved back down to the troop, maybe we could get some better Eagle Scouts instead of 23 pages of certification.

d- 'Districts administer popcorn sales'?  Really?  That's all you've got?

 

Now that you make me think about it, we'll be much better off without District...

***

 

Let's start a list of things that the individual Units NEED from BSA.  Only items that don't have a non-Official BSA replacement for the same or lesser cost can be counted.

 

Training:

 - First Aid - Red Cross

 - Shooting - NRA

 - CYA - Church programs  (CYA = YPT)

 

Council Camps - Nope.  Parks and troop run summer camping trips work fine.

 

 

Good values that would be hard to replace:

1- Summer Camp Waterfront.

2- Insurance.

 

Is there anything else?

Edited by JoeBob
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing sad at all.  Sound fine. 

 

So you support units practicing the games to be played at camporee in advance, even months ahead of time? That flies in the face of the intent of the competition.

 

In my district we had several of the larger units put all their guys on the local football team in to one "patrol" so they could take honors. Real trustworthy, huh? Give me a break! The games are designed to be a fun thing for existing patrols to build esprit de corps, not to build pretend patrols to get unit ribbons. Please!

 

It's not what I'm talking about ... but Fortune 500 companies do as you describe.  It's often called the fast track.  But that's not what is being described.

 

"recruiting from outside BSA" ... I've seen that attempted many times ... usually as cold calling or paper mail of adult eagle scouts who has mailing addresses in the area.  Most times you get zero response.  Direct face-to-face asking is very difficult because those who you would ask are already busy.  So, you either get no responses or you get the type of volunteers who do more damage than good.   

 

The challenge is viewing districts as a one sided one dimensional thing.  Districts serve local units, but local units support the district.  In my experience, if every troop had one parent help at the district level, then you would have an absolutely outstanding district.  

 

Districts and councils have no clue on to do outreach. They stick to the same old model that has not worked. The best thing they could do would be to throw their archaic model out and adopt some best practices from the corporate world. The councils could go after executives outside the non-profit industry to get a group of workers with a different mindset than the typical non-profit exec. I've seen this done with other non-profits and it has worked very well. BSA should give it a try.

 

I do notice that no one defending the current district model -- or the very existence of districts -- have yet to address what units get from districts. @@JoeBob notes the very same issues I pointed out previously. Why spend sooooo much time staffing an organization that gives so little in return?

Edited by Bad Wolf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on what the camporee is all about, if it is playing games like capture the flag, then not a good thing to spend a month or more practicing.. If the camporee is built on competing between patrols on scout-craft skills, well then the patrols are practicing their scout craft skills with a goal in mind.. Also our troop might need to rebuild Klondike derby sleds or build other things needed for the completion that they are asked to bring.. I remember one year they had to build homemade wooden mallets and of course each patrol decorated their mallets somehow, wood burning their patrol name into it, or putting beads & feathers on it.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think the older boys would tire of T-FC competitive skill training sometime after say about 3 years.  Then if nothing else is being offered, sports sounds nice as would just about any other program out there more designed age appropriately.

 

I'm with Bad Wolf on this.  The reason older boys don't hang around is because most troops never mature much beyond FC level activities, summer camp at council camps and MB's.  We've been there done that and at 15-16 it's time to leave.

 

Stosh,

 

I would agree on most camporees, but the older scouts in my troop absolutely love the Klondike Derby.  In a lot of cases, it is one of the few campouts that they will make the time to go to.  The boys are very competitive and as they got older, they learned from the older scouts how important it was to them and that "tradition" passed from year to year.  I could be wrong, but I think it has to do with getting out in the cold weather (and northern Ohio has some pretty cold weather) as to why Klondike is so popular but the fall camporee isn't.  We occasionally go to our district camporee, but when we leave it up to the boys, most years they choose not to go.  We sometimes get grief from our district, but it's the boys' decision not ours.  On the other hand, I think we would have a revolt if we decided not to do Klondike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Say what?

My troop uses District for very little.  ALL of what we get from District are things that District (or BSA) requires of us.  Elaborate powerpoint training, complicated chartering, and, of course, FOS.

a- MBCs are all in the troop.

b- If we didn't have to do useless paperwork, District's help wouldn't be needed to fill out forms.

c- If EBORs were moved back down to the troop, maybe we could get some better Eagle Scouts instead of 23 pages of certification.

d- 'Districts administer popcorn sales'?  Really?  That's all you've got?

 

Now that you make me think about it, we'll be much better off without District...

***

 

Let's start a list of things that the individual Units NEED from BSA.  Only items that don't have a non-Official BSA replacement for the same or lesser cost can be counted.

 

Training:

 - First Aid - Red Cross

 - Shooting - NRA

 - CYA - Church programs  (CYA = YPT)

 

Council Camps - Nope.  Parks and troop run summer camping trips work fine.

 

 

Good values that would be hard to replace:

1- Summer Camp Waterfront.

2- Insurance.

 

Is there anything else?

 

Fred,

 

JoeBob has summed it up quite well, hit the nail on the head...the truth is, the districts aren't really needed, if push came to shove.  Just some admin stuff that a council staffer could take care of.   I say this as a guy serving on a district staff.

 

So as I think about my service to the units, I remember that a) they really don't need me specifically to have a successful program, and b) whatever I do should bolster their unit program.   Districts shouldn't add extra work for the units, nor detract from their unit activities.   If we have a district event, it is for the units' benefit, not the district's.   Above all, we respect and encourage the units.   We work for them.

 

Too often a district can be a beehive of self-made importance and unnecessary activity.

Edited by desertrat77
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stosh,

 

I would agree on most camporees, but the older scouts in my troop absolutely love the Klondike Derby.  In a lot of cases, it is one of the few campouts that they will make the time to go to.  The boys are very competitive and as they got older, they learned from the older scouts how important it was to them and that "tradition" passed from year to year.  I could be wrong, but I think it has to do with getting out in the cold weather (and northern Ohio has some pretty cold weather) as to why Klondike is so popular but the fall camporee isn't.  We occasionally go to our district camporee, but when we leave it up to the boys, most years they choose not to go.  We sometimes get grief from our district, but it's the boys' decision not ours.  On the other hand, I think we would have a revolt if we decided not to do Klondike.

 

In the dead of winter, no outdoor type programs for a while, I would think Klondike would be really nice.  Our boys don't have a sled, neither did my other troop.  Really hard to compete using someone else's sled especially when they have had a chance to practice and your boys' first race is the first time they have touched a sled harness.

 

I do have to admit that the other troop that had a sled was basically designed and 99% made by the adults.  Light weight mahogany sled with plastic runners.  On a downhill course, the boys had to really run in order to keep from getting run over by the sled.

 

How about a camporee where the boys all unload at the parking lot.  Patrols all get coordinates to their campsite miles away.  The next day at 8:00 they get coordinates as to where the activities will be, then at 3:00 pm, they get coordinates where their Saturday night campsite will be.  Sunday am hike back to parking lot.

 

Pretty much guarantee that 99% of the troops wouldn't show because all the ringer patrols would be the only ones capable of the challenge and they would have pulled the leaders out of all the other patrols who would now not be able to function.  About the only thing it would accomplish would prove that the camporees all have to be dumb downed to the lowest common denominator and real challenges for real scouts is not on the table.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Post script:

 

 

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.  

 

Fred, when I think about the toxic districts I've been in the past, there is no "fixing" the relationship.   With these types of districts, there isn't a meeting of the minds.   The troops surrender to the will of the district personalities, or accept the fact that there will be conflict.   No middle ground, other than mutual avoidance.

 

Though I like my job on the district staff and it works with my crazy work schedule, it's not "mission essential."  So weighty responsibilities like recharter signatures and popcorn sales administration can gently fade away, and the troops will be just fine.

Edited by desertrat77

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my neck of the woods, you are required to have one "pre-camporee" camp out with the intent that you spend a month to two months prepping and have a practice campout before camporee competition. My son's troop spent 6 weeks prepping for camporee. They did a camp out with the intent to practice. With the exception of one district's camporee, usually the events are not known far enough in advance to have the PLC plan spending months.  And unless it's all Scoutcraft, I'm dead set against it.

 

Although I can see some accidental planning occurring. Like I mentioned, council camporee had a Wilderness Survival theme. We got the info in February. But guess what the PLCS decided to do in Novemebr of this year? Yep Wilderness Survival. So I can see a remote possibility of a troop "practicing"months in advance on events. 

 

As for "fixing" patrols, I am dead set against this. On the district level, one of the events is the annual uniform inspection, and it is a BIG DEAL. There have been times in the past where the uniform inspection decided who got first, second, and third.  It is there that you can find the "fixed" patrol because they are wearing 2 or more patrol emblems, and have multiple folks with a PL patch.

 

One year, a troop decided to have their Philmont crew compete as a patrol. Interestingly enough they had one of the lower scores in the competition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×