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Tent Numbering - Help

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We have a new Quarter Master and he was assigned a few things to do. We have some new tents and I was hoping to get them numbered so I showed him the supplies and told him I would help him get started so that he knew how to paint and stencil. 

We have a new ASM that has a key to where we meet and store the tents - he tokk it upon himself to let the new QM and the SPL in to work on the tents without instruction or adult supervision. Both SPL and QM are sophmores in high school so I was pretty disappointed when I saw what they had done. On one hand its great that they took some initiative but they on the other they didn't wait for instruction. The picture is one of the better ones. most have over spray and drips all over. They numbered 3 tents, flys, pole bags and tent bags and most are unreadable and sloppy. My new ASM says I am making a big deal out of nothing so asking your opinions.

IMG_7048-5.jpeg

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Yes, it sure is a mess. But the tent still works?

Here's a different view of this: The gear is not the goal. The goal is the scouts. In particular, the goal is for the scouts to learn how to take care of the gear. What I'd do at this point is ask the scouts how they did and whether or not they had problems. i.e., get them to see that it was not a good paint job. Then work with them to fix the problem, cheerfully. What they learn is that they can fix problems and there are adults that will help them do that. That's a win. As for the gear, it still works. The scouts that use it don't care. It's all good.

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One could debate the sloppiness but the tent number is not clear so the job isn’t done.  I’d recommend you work with them on fixing the issue with the scouts and let them know they should feel empowered to ask questions if something doesn’t look quite right.  Overall a good life lesson is awaiting them!

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Good advice all - the funny thing is that he got the numbers all wrong, we are in the 30's for the tents so not sure how he even started at 23. regardless of sloppiness he would be re-doing them anyway. The PLC meets tonight and there is a suggestion that they provide some guidence to the QM. With only a few days left to Summer Camp they'll have to pitch in to get this done.

Maybe have the past QM write-up how to mark tents would help and maybe the PLC will suggest that. 

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Definitely a teachable moment.  Good effort and initiative, not so good a result.  I would suggest a redo.  Light overspray of the current number.  then begin again

As you work with them on correcting maybe some opportunity for them to develop a brief How To on tent numbering

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Numbers on a tent are an adult construct - the kids have no need for a number.  With that in mind, I would ask the purpose for numbering them to begin with?  And why make it so complicated that it needs instruction?

Yes, we number our tents.  We do it it so that we (okay, I) can keep track of how long they last.  This helps inform the decision of what kind to buy next time.  Since we tend to buy them in batches and never more than a couple per year, I use a simple Year-Number format, i.e. "2018-1", "2018-2" etc.  I write the number on the tent, fly and bag with a sharpie.  My rule of thumb is to number them on the corner to the right of each door for the tent body, and adjacent to the manufacturer logo for the fly.

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We have been numbering our tents since at least the 80's based on some of the bad tents I threw away. We use the numbers to audit condition on a yearly basis and to make sure tents with bad zippers don't go back into rotation. 

As SM I tried to get our troop to just mark each with a sharpie with year and number but that's not what the commitee wanted. I'll pick my battles and gear marking is not one of them. 

 

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At least they tried.  definitely a lesson to be learned.  we use an abbreviated year/number to designate how old the tent is.  18-01 for example.  We just use black sharpie on everything.  scouts receive whichever tent is pulled out of the trailer when they are standing there but this number is entered into the log so that the two scouts sleeping in that tent are now responsible for it.  If they open it and find something missing, the first people to be asked will be the previous two scouts.  Usually this would result in blank stares and I don't knows but it still emphasizes responsibility.  During use the tent number designates who should be in certain tent, billy and joey are in tent 18-01.  After using, one of the scouts assigned to the tent will take it home and clean it so the number also helps keep track of who has the tent at all times.  This is assuming the tents actually get entered into the QM log as they are supposed to be. 

Our troop has a big problem with gear not being returned and items disappearing so this numbering system is critical.

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15 year olds working on their own intiative are going to do things a 15 year old's way and to a 15 year old's standard.  if they got it "right enough" then you have a win.  If they didn't get it right, you have a chance to have them correct it.  If you want it done to an adult's standard then you need to do something different.

After some years of frustration we started numbering our tents.  We send our tents home to dry if they're wet when we come back from a trip, and the only way we can make sure we get them all back is by knowing who took which tent so we know which one is missing.  We also use it to promote responsibility, if you open a tent and it's a mess, you can look back and see who had the tent last and take steps to get the tent cleaned then and avoid having that happen in the future.   

Like jjash we incorporate a year in the number so that we know how well they're wearing.  We found that paint pens and stencils work better and are easier to read over time than just sharpies.

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4 minutes ago, thrifty said:

At least they tried.  definitely a lesson to be learned.  we use an abbreviated year/number to designate how old the tent is.  18-01 for example.  We just use black sharpie on everything.  scouts receive whichever tent is pulled out of the trailer when they are standing there but this number is entered into the log so that the two scouts sleeping in that tent are now responsible for it.  If they open it and find something missing, the first people to be asked will be the previous two scouts.  Usually this would result in blank stares and I don't knows but it still emphasizes responsibility.  During use the tent number designates who should be in certain tent, billy and joey are in tent 18-01.  After using, one of the scouts assigned to the tent will take it home and clean it so the number also helps keep track of who has the tent at all times.  This is assuming the tents actually get entered into the QM log as they are supposed to be. 

Our troop has a big problem with gear not being returned and items disappearing so this numbering system is critical.

I think thrifty is a member of my troop, but won't admit it.🙂

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I vividly remember a handbook (Webelos? BSHB?) that showed how to make and use stencils.

Show them how to use a roller and silk-screen ink. Overwrite the illegible numbers in a different color. Walk away.

If your committee gives you trouble, I think you can get bar-coded ribbon or even RFID tags and sew them to the "do not remove" warnings on each piece of cloth. If these are fiberglass poles, you could even hide certain tags in the poles. If it's a problem for the adults, have them occupy their time finding an adult-scale solution. Otherwise, any of the above boy-scale solutions is good.

Our troop solves this by having scouts bring their own tents. We have loaners (discount purchases or hand-me-downs) for new scouts. The QM stocks tarp and rope for any older scouts who forget. (Some older scouts only bring tarp, on occasion they remember their rope!)

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We used Silk screen last year and they all peeled off which is why the numbers they tried to use this year were off by 4 or 5. By the way the picture above is and example of how they use stencils,.

I didn't expect them to do this to adult or my standards but I did expect and tell them that I would give them some instruction before they started. I give them an A+ for effort and i'll let te PLC grade the rest which should be interesting since the SPL was the one who helped the QM. 

As for sloppiness of this not being debatable I'll ask you to enlarge the photo and take a good look. Coleman fuel worked great on cleaning up some of the splatter and all will be good once they redo. 

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, TMSM said:

We used Silk screen last year and they all peeled off which is why the numbers they tried to use this year were off by 4 or 5. By the way the picture above is and example of how they use stencils,.

I didn't expect them to do this to adult or my standards but I did expect and tell them that I would give them some instruction before they started. I give them an A+ for effort and i'll let te PLC grade the rest which should be interesting since the SPL was the one who helped the QM. 

As for sloppiness of this not being debatable I'll ask you to enlarge the photo and take a good look. Coleman fuel worked great on cleaning up some of the splatter and all will be good once they redo. 

 

 

 

I hope you didn't use Coleman fuel to clean up the splatter on the tents - that's a sure fire way to destroy all water resistance in that area of the tenant.

 

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PLC stepped up and helped the QM fix a sloppy paint job. They all learned how to spray piant and how to stencil and are happy with the results

IMG_7056.jpeg

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