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RememberSchiff

Your scheduled event suddenly canceled - facility conflicts

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Who cannot  relate to this.  Your unit is planning an event - a fundraiser, an Eagle Court of Honor, a Pine Wood Derby., something BIG! You reserve the facility from the school district, VFW, or church months in advance. All i's dotted, all t's crossed, you are in, only to have the rug pulled out just days before the event . . a wedding, a political rally, a  semi-final game, ...arrrrggg. Plan B?

A Star Wars event at Freedom High School put on by Boy Scout Troop 501 has been abruptly canceled, following reports that the high school told the troop they could not have full access to the gymnasium, despite a previous agreement..

Star Wars Days is a convention featuring artists, toys, collectibles, anime, sci-fi, fantasy, children’s activities, cub scout activities, Boy Scout merit badge opportunities, costume contests, photo ops and more. Proceeds go to support local Boy Scouts. This would have been the fourth Star Wars Days event.

“The Freedom High School football team is competing in the state semi-final on Saturday, and some of the preparation for that requires use of the gym,” 

More details 

https://potomaclocal.com/2018/11/29/boy-scouts-cancel-star-wars-event-after-schools-set-restrictions/

Edited by RememberSchiff

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I've seen this happen too.  Event time is not possible without prep time.  We've had our prep time taken and had to re-scope and re-plan.  It's not fun to take three hours of prep and do it all in 20 minutes.  

I feel sorry for the troop.  Once the visitors and vendors are burnt by the experience, I doubt they'll invest the time and cost to go again.  The troop just lost an event forever.

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That's awful. The football team doesn't need to actually play a game in the gym, they need it just for game prep, probably to stage equipment. That really can't be done elsewhere?

They're kicking out the scouts (who followed proper protocol to reserve the gym) just so the football team has somewhere to put the Gatorade cooler before the game. I'm not sure there is a more clear and blatant insult to scouting organizations and how the town/community/school views them as so significantly less worthy of support than the sports teams.

 

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Quote

Diana Gulotta, director of communications services for Prince William County Public Schools, told Potomac Local that Freedom High School did not cancel the Star Wars event, and in fact, was still open to hosting the event.

“The Freedom High School football team is competing in the state semi-final on Saturday, and some of the preparation for that requires use of the gym,” Gulotta said. “Freedom High School did not cancel the Star Wars event. In fact, we have reached out multiple times to the event coordinator to work on a compromise that would allow the event to be held in alternate locations in the building.

"We didn't cancel the event, we just made it impossible for it to happen." 🙄

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Just now, FireStone said:

"We didn't cancel the event, we just made it impossible for it to happen." 🙄

I think the troop is missing an opportunity. Yes, it is very hard to work with re-arranged spaces (classrooms? cafeterias? hallways?) and to prepare vendors to move stuff.  But, it is much harder to regain your customer base after a cancellation.

Speaking of customers, some basketball and football players are also fans of the franchise, and their parents still have some shopping to do for Christmas. State championship? A lot of fans are wondering how they are gonna make up lost shopping hours with their kids.

The squeeze would be tough, but lemonade sells just like lemons.

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Did someone at the troop level drop the ball by not communicating with the school after the offer for other options??  It appears the school realizes the inconvenience but is trying to make accommodations. 

 

Scotty

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7 minutes ago, Summitdog said:

Did someone at the troop level drop the ball by not communicating with the school after the offer for other options??  It appears the school realizes the inconvenience but is trying to make accommodations.

I might be assuming a lot here, but my guess would be that other accommodations might not meet the needs/expectations of the event organizers. If they originally had the gym, what suitable similarly-sized room would be available at the school? If they are being asked to use smaller rooms, split the event up into smaller venues, etc., that might not even be a viable option for this event, depending on how big it really is.

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I completely get that.  There will likely not be another location at the facility that will be appropriate.  Because it is a public facility, there are surely rules and regulations governing the use of the facilities.  An assertive letter from an attorney noting the anticipated losses from the troop and vendors because of the administrations disregard for the policies in place may get the administration's attention. 

 

Scotty

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3 hours ago, FireStone said:

That's awful. The football team doesn't need to actually play a game in the gym, they need it just for game prep, probably to stage equipment. That really can't be done elsewhere?

They're kicking out the scouts (who followed proper protocol to reserve the gym) just so the football team has somewhere to put the Gatorade cooler before the game. I'm not sure there is a more clear and blatant insult to scouting organizations and how the town/community/school views them as so significantly less worthy of support than the sports teams.

 

Well, in fairness to the school, the sports teams are part of the school's extra-curricular activities.  Unless the school is also the CO wouldn't they have a loyalty to their own programs first? 

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26 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

Well, in fairness to the school, the sports teams are part of the school's extra-curricular activities.  Unless the school is also the CO wouldn't they have a loyalty to their own programs first? 

Sure, but then they shouldn't open up their facilities for other organizations to use, or if they do they should make it known that they reserve the right to change/cancel any facilities reservations at any time.

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3 hours ago, qwazse said:

I think the troop is missing an opportunity. Yes, it is very hard to work with re-arranged spaces (classrooms? cafeterias? hallways?) and to prepare vendors to move stuff.  But, it is much harder to regain your customer base after a cancellation.

Speaking of customers, some basketball and football players are also fans of the franchise, and their parents still have some shopping to do for Christmas. State championship? A lot of fans are wondering how they are gonna make up lost shopping hours with their kids.

The squeeze would be tough, but lemonade sells just like lemons.

The article says the Scouts had to obtain a permit from the county to operate, and the permit was only valid for the approved space (the gym). On their Facebook page, they mention that the previous year's venue had a team qualify for the same game last year, but that school simply moved the team to another part of the school, and the two events never interfered with each other.

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The elephant in the room is the detrimental reliance the troop, vendors and participants have based upon the agreement(s) and promises made by the school. 

 

It is great that the football team made it to where they are.  That does not give the school the right to damage others in the preparation to move forward with the goal of the state championship.  Noteworthy is that other sports teams were going to bump the troop from the gym too.  It appears to be all academic bc the event has been cancelled. 

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59 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

Well, in fairness to the school, the sports teams are part of the school's extra-curricular activities.  Unless the school is also the CO wouldn't they have a loyalty to their own programs first? 

Not necessarily. Schools have obligations to the community who funded their construction ... of which taxpayers who believe in scouting are as much a part as those who believe in sports.

14 minutes ago, LVAllen said:

The article says the Scouts had to obtain a permit from the county to operate, and the permit was only valid for the approved space (the gym).

This is where having your fire chief as a former scout (and football player) comes in handy. ;) Permits can be revised at the last minute.

But, it could be that, beyond indoor space, the troop factored in things like parking. The state soccer semi-final that I attended a couple weeks ago had no empty parking lots. The host school had multiple events throughout its facility that evening.

At the end of the day, this is about helping citizens maximize the use of a shared resource. It's not always easy.

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1 hour ago, FireStone said:

Sure, but then they shouldn't open up their facilities for other organizations to use, or if they do they should make it known that they reserve the right to change/cancel any facilities reservations at any time.

We don't know that the school didn't have that in the agreement.

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