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RememberSchiff

Should camping at a scout camp (Sept to May) be required?

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RememberSchiff, good thoughts, but even with the CO issue aside, repeated trips to the local scout camp might backfire in the long run.

 

Several moves ago, I was in a rural council in the deep South.  They had a nice summer camp, small but good.  However, the council and the district had several events each month at the camp--OA, roundtables, training, camporees, etc.  There was a collective sense of "here we are again" and the specialness (for lack of a better word) that one usually associates with summer camp ("hurray, waited all year to get here!") was not there.

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I don't know why.  Spin and Marty went the same summer camp year after year.

But did they go to there every month of the year, year after year?   :)

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But did they go to there every month of the year, year after year?   :)

 

No.  Spin couldn't afford it.  He had to work a paper route all year round just to pay for half of the cost of summer camp.  

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Spin and Marty takes me back (here he goes a again).

 

A scout with a paper route could pay his own way to scout camp, no Scout Bucks, George Washington's. I did. On the books, I made just a few cents a week per customer, but I had one of the smaller routes with less than 40 customers.  Customers wavered with the editorial policy. The key was saving my Christmas tips. My troop never went to camp, just a 2 to 4 scouts went in summer. We thought "Provo" was Indian for "poor". 

 

There were more rivalries between troops back then, and all troops dumped on Provo. All week there was trash talk and pranks, then the Patrol Olympics. This is where the Patrol Method shined. In a few days we had to form a patrol that could compete with the well-established patrols of our rivals. Since none of us had been to camp before, we had to find out what the events were and prepare. Our merit badge work took a hit, but then provo's led the camp in partials. Each event had to be completed before a patrol could proceed to the next. Also, you had to rotate members so whoever started the fire in the last event could not draw the bow in the next. First patrol to finish all events won. That was us, Provo Roadrunner Patrol. Felt great.

 

My Dad picked me up on Sat and noticed my upbeat mood. So how many merit badges did you earn? I just got partials Dad. He wasn't happy but shrugged it off. Well your money. 

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Some people like to own vacation homes and enjoy the familiarity of a home away from home.  Other people prefer to travel about and not be tied down to one place.  It is the same with scout units.  To each their own.

 

There is some advantage to having a "home" camp.  You can focus your attention (and donations) to one camp, giving your unit a better chance of actually making a difference.   

Edited by David CO
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We challenged our PLC to camp at all scout camps within a 2 hour drive. In the last 3 years, they have camped at seven different camps, two of which are now in danger of closing. It stimulates concern in them. Of course, it is a coincidence that those 2 camps have the most real estate value.

Edited by RememberSchiff

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Uggh another camp, but note the Council response.

 

http://www.ktuu.com/content/news/Boy-scouts-get-hands-on-experience-in-soil-and-water-conservation-421542233.html

 

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) A group of nearly 150 boy scouts are getting hands on lessons in conservation of soil and water along with survival skills this weekend at Tozier Track.

 

It's part of an annual camporee session that takes place three times a year.

 

Ben Fish, camping chairman for the Great Alaska Council said it's a chance to unite local troops.

 

"It's important in that it gives an opportunity for all of the boys from the different troops throughout the Anchorage area and through the valley to come together, get to know scouts in other troops," Fish said.

 

Eagle Scouts like Puck Van Dommelen said they're also learning to lead by example.

 

"Boy Scouts has helped me a lot with my leadership skills, learning to organize projects similar to this," Van Dommelen said.

 

Leaders said while the scouts who are attending the camp are getting valuable experiences, they're seeing declining membership in Boy Scouts of America.

 

The Great Alaska Council voted in December to close Camp Carlquist near Chugiak, citing funding challenges, under-performing popcorn sales and declining camp attendance.

In a letter to its scouters and volunteers, the council said it would re-open the camp once membership and attendance improves.

...

According to its website, Great Alaska Council has 3 other camps in operation: Camp Gorsuch, Eagle River Scout Camp, and Denali High Adventure Scout Base.

 

Good luck with that approach.

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Or... it could be that the camp closest to Anchorage is drawing urban youth that aren't as excited about bugs as the more rural units around rural camps.  Having 4 council camps (yes, Alaska is a big state...but sparsely populated) is very expensive and as the council says, closing it down is not the same as selling it off.  I can see the handwriting on the wall.  I just got back from a district spring camporee.  My district is the "urban" district and did not offer a camporee, but the other two districts did.  I had to go outside the district with my boys this past weekend.

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As a scout, I was on camp staff at Camp Gorsuch for three summers, 78 - 80.  Camp Carlquist (can't remember if that is its historical name) is about a 15 minute drive from Gorsuch.

 

Back in the day, Carlquist was a church camp with nice facilities that the BSA would sometimes use for training and conclaves and such (Gorsuch was quite primitive then).

 

As far as I can determine, the BSA acquired Carlquist from the church at some point.

 

When I was a staffer at Gorsuch, we'd have four/five sessions for summer camp, plus a staff week.  Last leaders' package I read on line, Gorsuch is down to two sessions.  As with many summer camps, they might be increasing attendance during the sessions to save costs, or attendance has fallen off.

Edited by desertrat77

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This is why Camp Bartle in Ossawatomi Missouri has Tribe of Micosay. Its a camp honor program where the only way one can gain rank is to go back to the same camp year after year. They push Micosay like crazy. One could even say Micosay is what keeps Bartle going. Some other camps have also put in similar programs.

 

OTOH if it wasnt for Miscosay, Bartle would be forced to improve some things. The old guard who run things though dont usually care for that.

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Regarding "camp finances", my understanding is that camps are not their own separate cost centers. Council takes in camp revenue, year round, and parcels it out to various Council departments.  Is that correct? If so, I wonder what percentage actually goes to the camp?

 

My guess, Council overhead is greater than camp maintenance.

 

This has always been my suspicion as well.  Our local council spends a fortune on flying and boarding its staff members all over the country for various conventions, training and what ever else they do.  I knew one council staff member fairly well and he was traveling AT LEAST 3-5 days every month; and he was only one of 3 or 4 people with the same job. 

 

*I'd probably be less unhappy about that sort of thing if my council wasn't also incredibly inept at anything that resembles administrative work.  I've had to submit my Merit Badge councillor forms 5 times in the last 2 years*

 

The solution I'm pushing for  is to get my troop to send the portion of our fundraising that had been going to council to our preferred summer camp. (we don't sell much popcorn, we do a couple other fundraisers instead)

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