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Eagle1993

Girl Scout Camp/Organization Better than BSA?

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This is my first year as a parent of a Girl Scout, my daughter is a daisy. We just received the Girl Scout summer camp guide and to be perfectly honest it blows away the BSA. The Girl Scouts have weekly camps from early June through MID August.  They have a great collection of both day camps and overnights.  They have various speciality camps. They don’t require parents or leaders of local units to attend. If adult partners do attend, they are not charged and their daughter receives a discount.  The Girl Scouts offer bussing  to all their day camps.  Their guide is in color with pictures and have several corporate sponsor pages. 

The BSA guide looks like a joke in comparison. Camps are only offered from late June through July.  They give a very high overview and no specialized camps. No bussing. Parents or leaders must attend.. and no discount. No corporate advertising... so do businesses still value BSa experience?

If I were a busy parent that was not involved in the BSA I would think the GSAUSA is providing the far superior experience.  Perhaps in terms of summer camps.. they may be.   While I have been underwhelmed with their program to date, the BSA could learn a lot about improving their camp offerings from the GSUSA especially for the grade school age kids.  

I’m not sure if this is just my area or national but I was surprised.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What area are you in?

I ask because different areas do different things. In my neck of the woods, Day Camps are 100% volunteer driven. Even within the same council, day camps differ. Some are 2-3 days, some are nights only, some are all day for 5 days. Quality of program differs based upon the resources. One camp had enormous support from the military base in the district, others do not. Our fee is $75

 

Contrast to a friend's day camp. They run multiple weeks, have paid staff, and have a set program. They also charge $200+ per person. I could not afford that, especially when all three were Cubs at the same time.

 

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Just to provide another example of what Eagle94-A1 is talking about, in my council (at least as of 2000-02 when my son went to Cub summer day camp), there was what appeared to be a paid staff (which appeared to be mostly college-age kids, mostly girls.)  It was only day camp, I suspect that may be different today. I really don't remember what it cost, but $200 per week is somewhere in the ballpark.  It certainly wasn't less than that.  There were probably four weeks.   There were buses, we had to drive him to the bus stop but it was only a few minutes away.  They also bussed the kids to a nearby swimming pool several times during the week.  The pack leaders and parents had nothing to do with it and were not there, except to attend the end-of-week ceremony if they could make it on a Friday afternoon.  I assume the camp directors (directing the college-kid staffers) were Scouters, but I don't know who they were.  My son always came home in one piece and in good spirits with arts and crafts to display and a list of completed rank requirements. 

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I’m in Southeastern Wisconsin.  I’ll ask about paid staff at our district meeting.  Both Cub Scout and Girl Scout camps are in the range of $175 per week.  Some of the Girl Scout camps charge extra for bussing (the bus stop is two blocks from my house).  The Cub Scout camps do not offer bussing.  

One example... Cub scouts have In-town day camp which is similar to the Girl Scouts community Day Camp.  The Cub Scout in town day camp is led by adults (with some Boy Scout volunteers.  The Girl Scout community day camp is lead by their teen Girl Scouts.  I think that helps immensely as the adults can then focus on the other day camps that are offered.

i know of a parent who signed their son up for the standard day camp only to learn later the Pack (or parent) would have to provide the two-deep leadership coverage ... so he dropped out of the camp.

 

This is the Girl Scout camp guide that just arrived:

http://issuu.com/girlscoutswise/docs/summer_camp_and_events_book_17-18?e=4549039/56597642

This is the website for our Cub Scout Summer Camps

http://www.threeharborsscouting.org/camping/cub-scout-summer-camp/61330

Website for our Boy Scout Camps

http://www.threeharborsscouting.org/camping/boy-scout-summer-camp/64289

I do think we will eventually get a Cub Scout camp packet... but it is no where close to what the GSUSA generated.

 

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My mother was a GS Leader for at least 8 years, before my sister aging out. She had ran a huge camp of 200+ people (volunteer) for the district (I guess that's what they call them?). I was able to go once, and it was planned perfectly, no on the fly stuff, and it was the most organized camping trip I have been on. I was only about 10, but now the GS volunteers around our town refuse to let anyone else volunteer. My mother tried to volunteer again, handed in the application & all, but never heard back because the leaders are jealous.

They have their ups and downs just like BSA does.

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5 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

This is my first year as a parent of a Girl Scout, my daughter is a daisy. We just received the Girl Scout summer camp guide and to be perfectly honest it blows away the BSA. The Girl Scouts have weekly camps from early June through MID August.  They have a great collection of both day camps and overnights.  They have various speciality camps. They don’t require parents or leaders of local units to attend. If adult partners do attend, they are not charged and their daughter receives a discount.  The Girl Scouts offer bussing  to all their day camps.  Their guide is in color with pictures and have several corporate sponsor pages. 

The BSA guide looks like a joke in comparison. Camps are only offered from late June through July.  They give a very high overview and no specialized camps. No bussing. Parents or leaders must attend.

I'm glad to hear it.

I wouldn't want my unit going to camp Beverly Hills. 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, David CO said:

I'm glad to hear it.

I wouldn't want my unit going to camp Beverly Hills. 

For whatever it's worth, I thought my son's Cub Scout day camp was a reasonable balance between "rustic" and, well, Cub Scouts.  What I heard of it, and what little I actually saw of it (I tried to get to the closing ceremony, I think I succeeded two out of three years) seemed age- and program-appropriate.  These were kids going into the second through fifth grades.  It wasn't supposed to be Philmont.  :)

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My focus is on the grade school age portion (primarily Cub scouts).  If you read the guides you’ll see that GSUSA offers similar activities as Cub Scouts .... they just offer many more options.  This isn’t just Camp Beverly Hills... though that option probably exists. :)

 

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@eagle1993 - I'm a guy who votes for candidates by spreading out the campaign fliers on the table and seeing which one has the fewest colors, on the cheapest paper, with least pictures, and most complete scentences ... So I'm not wowed by all this brochure gibberish.

I'm not looking for a lot of organization either. Son #1 and I wound up being the only ones taking the nature trail on our time slot. It was a complete waste of camp resources ... one staff for us while rest were being swarmed by the hundreds of other Cubs in camp. But, that young lady was passionate about biology. She was also the first person to introduce me to Venturing (because I naively asked her how she liked Explorers). The other dog-and-pony shows were fine, but the one-on-one encounters determined which camps our kids would regularly return to.

I am very attentive to safety - especially in aquatics. If the guards aren't authoritative, they hear from me. Staff don't have to be polished. They just have to be quick to learn and adapt.

As for GS/USA camps, five great ones were closed and sold off in our area. A brochure on the last one standing is oh-so-much lipstick on a pig the former leaders who I know. I certainly hope that in other areas there is real substance behind the glossy pictures.

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13 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

 They don’t require parents or leaders of local units to attend.

I often wonder if summer camp would be better without as many adults.  I remember attending a week of summer camp when I was in 7th grade.  No parents.  No unit leaders.  It was just camp staff and campers.  I often think it was a better experience than troops camping at summer camps as too often the unit adults get in the way of the program.  More importantly, the unit adults get in the way of the scouts growing up on their own and learning their own way.

Edited by fred johnson
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Fred:   Sounds like "Patrol/Scout" method to me...

SM and his ASMs sit back and tell tall tales....

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I and my friends never camped (be it church or Boy Scouts, can't speak for Girl Scouts) with our parents.

One ASM was the dad of a couple of brothers. The rest were college students.

There were times when I was a little jealous of the brothers. The ASM was a rugged coal miner, but gentle and courteous. He would address either of his boys as "honey-bunch" ... Which might be odd to some boy's ears, but in Arab American  families, terms of endearment (especially "beloved" and "precious") were common, if not mandatory. So hearing it made me feel at home. Which was a good feeling to have on a frozen ridge while pitching a tent or cooking a meal.

In retrospect, I should have invited my dad or oldest brother to join us at camp.  I  think my SM would have enjoyed my brother's company.

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Hindsight from my youth in the 80s.... My non-scouting sister went to GS sleep away camp a couple of years. It was more like Y camps than BSA camps. Maybe that allowed them to serve more girls and create a recruitment pipeline or maybe that was  a distraction from the "core" mission... I really couldn't say.

 

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GS Day Camp for 2018 is $250-300, while overnight camp is $400+.  

Compare that to cub scout day camp, which is $85 (and includes a t-shirt), and you have got yourself a steal with BSA.  Those boys are also placed into smaller dens, based on rank.  They pull in over 250 scouts from the council.  They also pull in a LOT of volunteers, boy scout and girl scouts as well.  Probably 50 youth staff and another 75 adult staff.  And every single day, the boys are swimming, doing archery and bb gun.  Did I also say that if you as a parent volunteer, you get $25 off your $85 fee?  The biggest issue? Arranging carpooling, since its not in the kids backyard, as its at a real campsite.

Cub Scout day camp over here is meant for all boys to enjoy, regardless of income, where numerous siblings in one family can easily enjoy.  

 

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18 hours ago, JustAScoutMom said:

GS Day Camp for 2018 is $250-300, while overnight camp is $400+.  

Compare that to cub scout day camp, which is $85 (and includes a t-shirt), and you have got yourself a steal with BSA.  Those boys are also placed into smaller dens, based on rank.  They pull in over 250 scouts from the council.  They also pull in a LOT of volunteers, boy scout and girl scouts as well.  Probably 50 youth staff and another 75 adult staff.  And every single day, the boys are swimming, doing archery and bb gun.  Did I also say that if you as a parent volunteer, you get $25 off your $85 fee?  The biggest issue? Arranging carpooling, since its not in the kids backyard, as its at a real campsite.

Cub Scout day camp over here is meant for all boys to enjoy, regardless of income, where numerous siblings in one family can easily enjoy.  

 

Cub scout day camps in my area are all volunteer driven.  Yes - that are not that expensive, but the people organizing them spend months getting ready for one week.  They beg and beg for volunteers to help.  Ours is held at a local city or state park

Girl Scout day camps are more like BSA summer camps.  They are professionally organized and in my neck of the woods are staffed like summer camp - i.e., they have older girls serve on staff over the summer and they get a small stipend.  Around here, they are held at Girl Scout camps. 

So, I think it depends on what factors are important to a given family.  Cub Scout day camp is certainly more economical.  However, they've stopped holding Cub Scout day camp around here because getting volunteers is such an enormous task that no-one wants to take it on anymore.

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