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shaner

Trouble collecting required forms

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You can't get a shot the day of departure. Besides why inconvenience the other 40 scouts and parents that can follow directions?

 

Actually you can.  We've had scouts who ignored communications, go get a physical and their parents drive them to camp and get there before the rest of the troop gets there.

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I feel your pain...in the same boat as we speak.  Second time doing this for summer camp and made the mistake of thinking the adults would take responsibility for their own while I take care of mine.  So now with two weeks to go I am chasing parents to get it done ASAP.  I can only say hopefully you learn lessons and develop a process that makes your job easier next time

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We had a parent who did not have a current tetanus and the form was turned in the day of departure. We had told him repeatedly that missing our deadline would mean we could not confirm his compliance with the camp policy. Come check in the camp director would not let him attend camp. He had to drive four hours to a clinic that would give him his shot and proof thereof. He missed two days of camp but had the audacity to be made at our scoutmaster for him missing camp.

 

Stuff happens.  He could have handed it in on time and someone still missed that detail.  I've seen that happen too.  People collected and inspected the form, but a key detail was missed.  Or a detail they thought was not that important.  

 

If the above parent was mad at the scoutmaster, then I bet that parent has been mad at other leaders and/or the scoutmaster at other times too.

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Stuff happens.  He could have handed it in on time and someone still missed that detail.  I've seen that happen too.  People collected and inspected the form, but a key detail was missed.  Or a detail they thought was not that important.  

 

If the above parent was mad at the scoutmaster, then I bet that parent has been mad at other leaders and/or the scoutmaster at other times too.

 

A person who misses deadlines and does not respect other people's time doesn't really have the right to get mad at anyone other than himself as far as I am concerned. I do not like conflict so I tend to stay out of such things. I think he should be mad at himself. If he chooses to do things on his own he runs the risk of having to jump through more hoops to get things done. We go far away for camp so he was 10 hours from home. If he wants to waste his time I guess that's up to him but he can't be mad at other people. That's just not right in my opinion.

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A person who misses deadlines and does not respect other people's time doesn't really have the right to get mad at anyone other than himself as far as I am concerned. I do not like conflict so I tend to stay out of such things. I think he should be mad at himself. If he chooses to do things on his own he runs the risk of having to jump through more hoops to get things done. We go far away for camp so he was 10 hours from home. If he wants to waste his time I guess that's up to him but he can't be mad at other people. That's just not right in my opinion.

 

But it seems like it was handled right.  He made the mistake and ignored the deadlines.  He's the one who corrects it for his own kid.  

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I call them arbitrary deadlines when you look at the repercussions and who's on the late list.  If the kid can still go or there is a way to make it happen, then it's arbitrary.  Call it a preferred date.  It's just not a deadline.  

 

The funny one is when I've seen these deadlines and who's missed the deadline.  It's usually the scoutmaster and his kid; the camp coordinator and his kid; other key leaders and their kids.  I always enjoy it when the person publishing the date misses the date too.  

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I feel your pain...in the same boat as we speak.  Second time doing this for summer camp and made the mistake of thinking the adults would take responsibility for their own while I take care of mine.  So now with two weeks to go I am chasing parents to get it done ASAP.  I can only say hopefully you learn lessons and develop a process that makes your job easier next time

Thanks for the empathy...as many parents have said to me over the last couple of months: " I'm sorry, thanks for doing this. I wouldn't do it...".  Our troop left this past Saturday (with all their paperwork).  9.5 hour drive with an over nighter on the way.   A parent driving the paperwork up is unlikely, so I guess the fax thing would have to work.

 

A bit of a conundrum here:  You want the scout to go to camp for all that they learn at camp, and yet you want the scout to learn the lessons associated with not turning in paperwork on time (or following instructions, rules, etc.).

Seeing that the scout suffers consequences when he doesn't turn in assignments at school, you would think that he would understand and accept that he may have to suffer consequences if he doesn't turn in his scout paperwork on time.  This is where the parents enter into the conversation because most scouts can't set up an appointment at the doctor, much less drive himself there....and this is where the conundrum takes a nasty turn.  Because, as many of you have noted: the hard deadline is departure day and they know it.

 

So where should the focus be?  Is it on the solely on the scout to see to it that his parents do right by him and get him the properly completed paperwork so he can turn it in?  Or is it solely on the parents?  Or is it solely on the coordinator to to bang his drum until all the paperwork is turned in?  Or is it a combination of these?  I think the latter.

 

If I do as some have suggested and I keep in mind that this is all about the scouts, then my answer is that it's on the scouts to get it turned in on time and to learn the value of doing so and suffer the consequences of not doing so.  It's on the parents to listen to their scout asking them to help with filling out the paperwork.  And it's on the coordinator to make sure that everyone is aware of where we stand in the process.

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I call them arbitrary deadlines when you look at the repercussions and who's on the late list.  If the kid can still go or there is a way to make it happen, then it's arbitrary.  Call it a preferred date.  It's just not a deadline.  

 

The funny one is when I've seen these deadlines and who's missed the deadline.  It's usually the scoutmaster and his kid; the camp coordinator and his kid; other key leaders and their kids.  I always enjoy it when the person publishing the date misses the date too.

 

I may or may not have seen a SM change a date on his own med form in the parking lot. His wife is a MD.

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I may or may not have seen a SM change a date on his own med form in the parking lot. His wife is a MD.

 

I've seen multiple scoutmasters and multiple parents sign a doctors signature on their own forms or their kid's form.  

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@@shaner, I think yeh have it right, it's a combination of things.   Good communication and reasonable availability on the part of the troop Paperwork Maven, parent responsibility, and scout responsibility to pester his parents :confused: .  The scout responsibility I reckon changes with the age of the scout.   Best yeh can do is the best you can do to make the process as easy as yeh can for as many families as yeh can.

 

I've seen multiple scoutmasters and multiple parents sign a doctors signature on their own forms or their kid's form.  

 

Yah, I reckon we all have, eh?   I confess a furry long-toothed critter might even have done that once, just because his AME was out of town. :o

 

@@fred johnson raises a good point here, eh?   A parent who pencil-whips a physician report is essentially sayin' "I think this is a useless exercise unrelated to safety for my kid".  No parent would do that if they really felt it affected da safety of their child. 

 

I wonder if those parents are right, eh?  Policy-wise, a policy that costs a million scout families an hour or more of their time, plus physician exam fees that add up to over $100 million, plus somethin' like 50,000 volunteers and pros spendin' hours trackin' paperwork is a very expensive policy.   Can we identify benefits that come anywhere near justifyin' that cost?  Can we identify any benefits at all?

 

Given how indoors and sedentary kids have become, we should be doin' our best to make it easier for kids to get outdoors Scoutin', eh?

 

Beavah

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I'm going through the same thing right now.  Not only not turning things in on time, but when they do turn them in they do a half a**ed job of reading directions and filling out the forms.  No signatures, parent signing where scout is supposed to sign, no health ID card, no date, Parts A and B but not C. etc. etc. etc.  I often wonder how some of these parents function in day to day situations.

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@@fred johnson raises a good point here, eh?   A parent who pencil-whips a physician report is essentially sayin' "I think this is a useless exercise unrelated to safety for my kid".  No parent would do that if they really felt it affected da safety of their child. .....

 and for probably 99% of the time it really is just an exercise, right?

 

We already know of any issues that would really be a factor.... such as asthma.  & The doc isn't going to magically find out that he's allergic to bee stings if we didn't already know it....

 

so yeah, mostly a waste of time & $ in reality....

as long as known issues aren't hidden

release forms and insurance information is conveyed

the truly important stuff is taken care of....

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Here is what I care about from the forms as a leader:

  • Allergies (food, bees, etc.). I know the two kids who pack epie pens (one for peanuts, one for bees). Knowing those risks is important.
  • Vaccinations. Mainly around Tetanus, but other vaccinations as well in case someone is sick. We luckily don't have any anti-vaxxers in our Troop right now.
  • Permission for meds - what can I give your kid.
  • Doctor approval for high adventure. More for the adults than the kids (I had one overweight Scout, but his parents were active in ensuring that he did not overstretch).

It can be tough for some parents to get through these depending on their insurance, income and community. Also there is a perspective of value as well from the parents. We have a large Troop, so all forms are in two large binders that travel in the Leader's truck on the way to the campout. It sits there in case of an emergency, but we have been fortunate to not have to pull it out.

 

Thinking further, this is a teaching moment for parents on Be Prepared. We make our kids carry a poncho, even though it doesn't rain in Southern California - because it can happen. We do an Earthquake prep day even though we haven't had a real one since Northridge in '92. 

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 and for probably 99% of the time it really is just an exercise, right?

 

We already know of any issues that would really be a factor.... such as asthma.  & The doc isn't going to magically find out that he's allergic to bee stings if we didn't already know it....

 

Any doc or EMS provider is goin' to recognize and respond to da signs of anaphylaxis without waiting for a med form, eh?   :) 

 

I wasn't really talkin' about da part B medical history, though.  I was talkin' about the physician exam.   If the parents provide us with allergies, medications, and chronic conditions on a simplified part B, what do we get from da physician that really is of any value?  Not sure we really get anything of value from da adult physicals for that matter.

 

Seems like da whole process could be reduced to a quick list of allergies, medications, and current conditions.   If we did this, we might even get folks to pay a bit more attention and give us a bit more information, like the severity of a listed allergy.   Havin' lots of pages I think reduces the level of thoughtful response we get.

 

Just curious.  I know when I'm siftin' through the forms, a page full of conditions with "no" checked just makes it harder to find what is really relevant.

 

Beavah

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...

Just curious.  I know when I'm siftin' through the forms, a page full of conditions with "no" checked just makes it harder to find what is really relevant.

...

Are you asking if a national standard electronic medical record listing positive history first (name of condition in bold, history standard font, treatment regimen in italics), followed by treatment measures to be avoided in a box, then cleared conditions as a footnote, would be easier for a clinician to parse? The answer is yes. Could this be produced by a parent and doctor (with notes from both merged and sorted by level of importance) using a common program? The answer is yes.

 

Could updates be made annually (say, moving a cleared condition to the concerned section or vice versa) and the thing still be readable? Yes.

 

Could it be made secure? Within reason, yes. (But the truth is, the more standard something is the more readily it can be "trolled" by someone with ill-intent.)

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