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ddubois

Unfortunate issue at Cub Scout Day Camp, seeking advice

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Hi Scouters,

 

I'm not sure what forum to put this in, but here goes.

 

My wife and my older Boy Scout sons are volunteering all week as Staff for the annual Cub Scout Day Camp for our District.   This event includes shooting sports.  Today, apparently some unknown Cub Scout aimed very poorly, or in some other way discharged a BB gun, into a nearby parking lot, hitting our rear passenger window, breaking it.  The bill is going to be nearly $300 for replacement.  We give a great deal time of our time to Scouting, but are thrifty with our money, and I'm not comfortable "donating" this cost.  I feel like council should kick in here.  These events are insured, right?

 

We do not know who the shooter was.  Notably, the event is NOT taking place on BSA property this year.

 

If you were in my shoes, how would you approach this situation?

 

YIS,

-Dan

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I think RememberSchiff's question is a good one, but in my opinion the next thing you should do about this is report this incident to the council office, if you have not done so already. That does not necessarily mean I think you will be compensated, because I don't know the answer. But any delay in reporting it may jeopardize whatever chances you may have.

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Tell us about about the adult rifle instructors and safety officer at the BB range.

No comment :(

 

I think RememberSchiff's question is a good one, but in my opinion the next thing you should do about this is report this incident to the council office, if you have not done so already. That does not necessarily mean I think you will be compensated, because I don't know the answer. But any delay in reporting it may jeopardize whatever chances you may have.

My wife is composing an email, although we're not sure how to word it.

 

Got a photo of the damages?

Yes

 

Did you report the damage to the Camp Director? That's step one.

The Camp Director, also a volunteer, saw the damage and quickly concluded it was a BB pellet hole in the middle of the shattered window.  Our District is currently between DEs, and so, for most of the event so far this week, there has not been any BSA staff on site, and there was none on site when the window was discovered at end of day.

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Wow, it sounds like the range wasn't setup properly.  There shouldn't be any way a car would be close enough to the range unless the boy was pointing the gun 180 degrees from the target.  BB's don't travel that far and fast, how close was the vehicle?  

 

I would assume the the district will work to resolve the situation.

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Wow, it sounds like the range wasn't setup properly.  There shouldn't be any way a car would be close enough to the range unless the boy was pointing the gun 180 degrees from the target.  BB's don't travel that far and fast, how close was the vehicle?  

 

I would assume the the district will work to resolve the situation.

 

This was my first thought as well.  It almost sounds like the range was setup IN the parking lot because, as you say, BBs lose velocity fairly quickly and the BB guns used in scout camp are usually low powered to begin with.  

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Three contacts for something like this the Scout Executive (SE), District Executive (DE) and the District Chairman (DC). In the back ground, the SE will contact the DE to learn of the facts as far as how the camp was planned to make sure all the proper procedures and paperwork were performed. The DC will contact the DE as well to make sure everything is official and get advice on how to proceed. Nip it in the bud as it were. Depending on your Key 3, the District Commissioner will be asked to help. If all is in order, BSA insurance will likely cover the windshield.

 

The issue of how this happened will likely follow. But just like in this thread, don't let the "Why it happened" distract from the "how to pay for it". Some folks just can't help themselves. Insist they deal with the two questions separately and the windshield cost promptly. You may have to repeat yourself in the matter depending on the professionalism of the players.

 

Barry

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1)  If the CD was informed, a report should have been made to the Council after investigation as to who, how, what etc.  This is a MAJOR accident, could have resulted in human injury (thank the Lord it did not ?) .  Ask for a copy of the report. FORMALLY, ask for a copy.

2)  Yes, the Council Insurance should kick in.   No "pro" on site?   then they will depend on the report from the CD.  If it was not forthcoming IMMEDIATELY, it must be pursued NOW. 

3)  Contact the "tempo" DE for your District. There should be one named, they are probably overworked , assigned to more than one, or the Senior Regional Executive (BSA makes up lots of titles for responsible Scouters) of that group of Districts.  Also, contact the Council Scout Executive.   Email is NOT sufficient. Write a "real" letter, detailing EVERYTHING you know about the event. 

4)   Who designed/approved the shooting range?   Who was the Range Safety Officer?   Did they make a report, sign off on the CD's report?   All appropriate stuff to pursue.   Something went wrong.  No BB should ever leave the range.   Same for arrows,  slingshot pellets, rockets, throwing knives, hatchets, .22bullets,  rocks....

5) Yes, "things happen".   I have stories too, having been a CSDC RSO many times, but responsibility must be taken and by figuring out the lapse in attention (?), perhaps (perhaps !)   this type of event can be avoided in the future.  Your efforts, dd, can  help make this true. 

 

I hope this poor accident does not sour you to Scouting in the future. 

 

See you on the trail.

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The Camp Director, also a volunteer, saw the damage and quickly concluded it was a BB pellet hole in the middle of the shattered window.  Our District is currently between DEs, and so, for most of the event so far this week, there has not been any BSA staff on site, and there was none on site when the window was discovered at end of day.

 

 

Ok.  The Camp Director, volunteer or not, has the responsibility to report it to the incident to Council.  Make sure that's been done.  If you have an actual quote on the replacement cost, include that in your e-mail to Council - word it with just the facts that you know and ask them what the next step is.  They may require you to file a claim with your insurance company.

 

Make sure you take some pictures of the location of the range and the location of the parking lot and where your van was in relation to where the range was. 

 

Now please take the following in the spirit in which it's given - I'm not trying to be negative here, just being pragmatic.  The Council's #1 job is not to provide programming for units - I know we wish it was but it isn't.  It's number one job is to protect the name and image of the Boy Scouts of America and to reduce any exposure of risk to the bottom line (the BSA may be a non-profit, but it's still a business).  In a rose-colored glasses world, the Council would just cut you a check for the loss.  This isn't that world - the Council will likely file a claim with their insurance company which may (emphasis on MAY - I said I'm not trying to be negative) trigger a brief investigation of the circumstances.  If I were the insurance inspector, the very first thing I would want to know is where was your van in relation to the BB Gun Range.  I'd be looking at two things - was your van in the normal line of fire of the range (was the range set up against the parking lot?).  The second and third would be how far away from the range was your van and was your van parked in a legal space (that last would be to try to shift at least part of the blame your way).  How far away is pretty important - the further away you get, the less force a BB has to penetrate glass.

 

The second thing I would be looking at is the BB Guns themselves - are they lever action (which propel BBs at speeds from about 85 meters per second to a maximum of 145 mps, with most ranging around 114 mps) which generally has a penetrating range of 60-100 yards or were they pneumatic pump powered guns which increases the velocity of the BB which increases the penetrating range of the bb or was is a CO2 powered BB gun which increases the velocity even further and has the longest penetrating range.   

 

The point is if the Council get's their insurance company involved, the insurance company may decide $300 is not worth the aggravation but they could also decide it's worth it to investigate and try to find some way to say it's not related to the bb gun range at all.

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First, if this is a council camp then the council insurance is the primary coverage. If this is private property, then the RSO/Instructor and district will have to have had the council sign off on the use of that land and suitability of the range. Land owner and council insurance applies. If this is public land (city park, etc.) then city insurance would kick in but the private land owner form/approval is still required. Lastly, many RSO/Instructors carry insurance either personally or through their certifying organization (e.g., NRA).

 

Second is the range. The RSO/Instructor is responsible for range safety. If a council camp then the range should be pre-certified for use (burm height, distance, clearances and suitability). If not a council camp then the onus is on the RSO/Instructor BUT the council must sign off on the location for use.

 

In short, council and the RSO/Instructor are responsible.

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This was my first thought as well.  It almost sounds like the range was setup IN the parking lot because, as you say, BBs lose velocity fairly quickly and the BB guns used in scout camp are usually low powered to begin with.  

 

I find it hard to believe that a Scout BB gun could shatter a window.  I don't doubt that one could chip a window.  

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This is more a safety issue than a dollar issue. 

 

Safety - It does need to be reported and addressed.  The goal is that the next time this camp happens it's not a person that's hit.  

 

Dollars - There are many ways this can be paid.  I think the key thing is I'd ask directly to the DE (and if no DE, than the scout executive) that you get reimbursed.  If it was me in the scout office, I'd want to get this paid. 

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