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Retirees as scout camp workers?

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Some camps have opportunities for retirees to come in with their RV's and work at various jobs around the camps. Some stay in the camp housing.

 

Do any scout camps do this?

 

Also at scout camps it seems most classes are taught by teens. Do any of them allow older persons to come in and work?

 

I know some people who would love to say, spend their summer at a scout camp and teach woodcarving or astronomy all day.

 

Do they do this anywhere?

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My council camp use to do that.  They were called CampMasters and had their own area of the camp where the coffee pot was always on for the leaders.  One could spend as much time as they wished in this area.  It consisted of older experienced scouters and scouters beyond the two-deep that their unit required.  It was a free week for these volunteers and they could put in as many weeks during the summer they wanted. They taught the T-FC instruction to the boys, held seminars, did the camp inspections, etc.  They dropped the program a number of years back.

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The cub camp my kids worked at all summer had several seniors or almost seniors working at it. The health officer was a retired nurse, still licensed in the state. Handicraft/scoutcraft was headed by a senior, was a waterfront director in his younger days. Kitchen had 3 oldsters on staff. Some stayed in their RVs, others were in adult staff housing. All were part of the staff and interacted with the younger staff, some good friendships were formed I think. The oldsters gave the youngsters a stability they needed and the youngsters gave the oldsters a reason to get up in the morning.

 

I spent a lot of time as a volunteer at camp this summer and enjoyed watching a teen interact with a 60 something. What was really cool was when they all agreed on a movie for staff night off.

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We had a retired Marine MGySgt. work at my camp for over 20 years. First Year Camper director was his position, and if he signed off in your book, you MASTERED the skill. Since I didn't go to summer camp my first year as a Scout, I missed out on him then. However I ran into him for mt religious award BOR. Intimidating is an understatement. I also had the pleasure of working with him on camp staff. Great man.

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We have several retirees on staff at our camp each year.  But make no mistake, this is not a relaxing gig, the days are long and hot, and it's a full five day work week.

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Our councils in this area rely heavily on camp masters.

 

Mrs. Q considered signing us up for training, but she wanted to bring the dog, and that is generally a non-starter for most facilities.

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From Scout Source

 

Campmasters:  Key Scouters in Weekend Camping

 

There are several drill down pages.

 

I've been a campmaster.  We are there to allow the Reservations to open up on the weekend, and allow Ranger some down time.  Council provides us office space, power, heat, and a kitchen.  We do the rest, and have fun doing it.

 

 

My Council also has volunteer labor weekends.  We come in, use our skills (plumbers, carpenters, electricians, painters, IT guys, ad infinitum) to help do the mantenance and repair projects that keep the camp at 100% season to season.

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Our camps have Campmasters for weekends in the Fall, Winter, and Spring, but I haven't seen them used for Summer Camp.  We also have something called "Camp Engineers" (I think that's the name they use), which is for skilled volunteers (Carpenters, Electricians, Plumbers, etc.).

 

Occasionally I've seen retirees volunteer at summer camp, they generally find a role for them but it may not be a paid position.

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Both of the Boy Scout camps near me use retirees as Commissioners and as Merit Badge Counselors.  The camps supply housing.

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Plenty of opportunities at our camp for older ladies and gentlemen. Some work the entire summer, some for just a session or two. We have roughly 50 or so positions reservation wide for the "commissioner staff." They might work in a trading post, or provide additional adult supervision in one of many program areas. They typically do not teach much, that is left to the 15-18 year olds on the staff for the most part. The full-timers usually have a cabin to bunk in.  The folks who come down for session work stay in their own tent village.

Although I'm not retired, 11 years ago, I served a session as a commissioner for one of the outpost programs. The main attraction for that outpost was shooting black-powder rifles. I actually learned a bit, and it was one of the most fun times I've had in Scouting as an adult. And, as a bonus, the food the staff cooked for the supper-time outpost operation was far, far better than what was served in the dining hall.  :)

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We have camp masters who like meyerc13's serve in the off season giving those using the camp for weekend camping a go to person other than the ranger.

Summer camp is usually about half and half. Adults (retirees and teachers) who work the full summer and stay in adult staff housing (cabins) and then the teenagers who work the full summer and stay in the staff housing area (older buildings and platform tents). All age groups work in varying positions throughout the camp.

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One drawback that I've noticed for the retired volunteers I've observed is that while the council places no value at all on volunteers whom they don't pay, it is the retirees among the overall volunteer group who seem most freely to decide when or where they feel like volunteering. I can't blame them really. The closest camp to us does not 'employ' retirees at all for summer camp, or really even any volunteers during summer camp other than unit leaders, as it should be.

Edited by cyclops

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One drawback that I've noticed for the retired volunteers I've observed is that while the council places no value at all on volunteers whom they don't pay, it is the retirees among the overall volunteer group who seem most freely to decide when or where they feel like volunteering. I can't blame them really. The closest camp to us does not 'employ' retirees at all for summer camp, or really even any volunteers during summer camp other than unit leaders, as it should be.

Well that is an issue with "volunteers" anytime. Volunteers are still employees and should still follow orders of supervisors and if not, they can be "fired" (asked to leave). Volunteers do not mean "free" workers as mentioned above they still get housing, food, insurance, etc...

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We have camp masters who like meyerc13's serve in the off season giving those using the camp for weekend camping a go to person other than the ranger.

Summer camp is usually about half and half. Adults (retirees and teachers) who work the full summer and stay in adult staff housing (cabins) and then the teenagers who work the full summer and stay in the staff housing area (older buildings and platform tents). All age groups work in varying positions throughout the camp.

That is another issue because it takes just the right "boss" to work with both groups. One cannot treat a retiree as they would a teenager and vise versa. Often the retiree has more experience than the "boss" also.

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honestly, it seems like an awesome resource to be tapped.

 

I am an RVer, currently only the occasion weekend or holiday type trips.  DW and I have talked a lot about hitting the road when the kids get older, and the whole work camping thing is somewhat appealing as a now and then sorta thing.  Given that I like doing the stuff that scouts do, I can totally imagine doing this, parking for a week or a month at a scout reservation someplace and helping out in return for free hook-ups.  In my case it would have to be a location close to a town or other points of interest for DW to occupy herself.  She might do some stuff around the camp, but I can't see her taking on a "full time" gig.

 

What this reminds me of though, is my push while doing the CM thing for the pack, to get grandparents of cubs, or other non-related old folks from the church that have previous scouting experience, or just plain interest in this stuff, to help the pack.... as scouters or not.

I asked our then CC who was in the knights, mens group, choir, and so on.... I mentioned it to the scouts and their parents, and even contacted others in the church.... and it's a big church.... and got ZERO responses.   I was surprised.... figuring there would be at least a few of the scouts' grandparents that would jump at the chance to be more involved with their scout grandsons.  Nope.

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