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walk in the woods

Opening Scout Camps to commercial camping

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https://rvdailyreport.com/industry/boy-scouts-to-open-its-facilities-to-high-adventure-family-camping/

 

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“Our operating councils have some of the most spectacular facilities in the world,” he explained. “For a long time, those facilities were used only a couple of weeks during the summer. We’d like to see youth and families using them all year long.”

Lambert credits Jim Rogers, the former chairman of Kampgrounds of America and an active Scouter, with helping to educate him about how camping is changing in America.

“KOA’s North American Camping Report is a powerful roadmap as to what the market wants,” said Rogers. “We’re trying to match the emerging camping trends with the outdoor program Scouting already has in place. The Scouting market is the perfect marriage for families looking to spend more time outdoors.”

Scouts used to be focused solely on tent camping, but have recently upgraded facilities to include dorms and even cabins.

“As I look at how Scouting uses these wonderful facilities, the unique programs that they offer and the variety of camps that we are blessed to own, I know the market wants that, too,” Said Rogers. “We need to align with that.”

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Scouting is even taking lessons from “glamping” by constructing upscale tents like people would find on safaris or Australian outback adventures. Some facilities may even provide a king or queen bed for parents, and an attached bunkroom for kids.

“Our plan is to place all the accommodations in a village concept with four units around a fire pit with tables and grills,” said Lambert.

“Ultimately, we will also install RV sites at our facilities to attract families who use small, teardrop trailers or even bigger motorhomes,” he explained, hinting that each facility may include up to 20 RV sites.

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Ultimately, all Scouting facilities will be oriented to the way families want to camp, and that has to include RV accommodations, said Lambert, if only because a huge percentage of RV owners enjoyed a Scouting experience as children.Ultimately, all Scouting facilities will be oriented to the way families want to camp, and that has to include RV accommodations, said Lambert, if only because a huge percentage of RV owners enjoyed a Scouting experience as children.

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The Scouts will formally roll out the BSA family adventure camps program in 2020.

 

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One question will be is how to make this financially viable.  The first thought by many local execs, oh well the ranger can take care of that.  Being a ranger and being a campground host are entirely different.  Also RV's and folks need power, water, sewage, etc.  Not saying it is a bad idea, but it needs to be well thought out.

What impact will this have on Scouts that are camping there or nearby?  Lot to think about

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The Scouts will formally roll out the BSA family adventure camps program in 2020.

2022, BSA sells their family adventure camps to KOA? 

 

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Posted (edited)

"Scouting’s 265 independent operating councils oversee more than 600 camping facilities that offer outdoor adventure programs to 2.5 million boys, girls, and adults every year.

Not all Scouting facilities will be opened to families. The organization will be particular in how it launches the program to ensure consistency in the quality of its family adventure program, he explained."

I would hope "independent operating  councils" would decide about allowing a "family adventure program" or  RV's on their camp property. Further not all councils actually own their camps. Some camps are in real estate trusts which are definitely independently controlled and  very likely would say they will only allow a "scouting program" and no RV's.

Here's an example of KOA camp rules and regulations:

http://koa.com/content/campgrounds/orlando-se/WhippoorwillRules.pdf

My $0.02, 

 

Edited by RememberSchiff

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11 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

One question will be is how to make this financially viable.  The first thought by many local execs, oh well the ranger can take care of that.  Being a ranger and being a campground host are entirely different.  Also RV's and folks need power, water, sewage, etc.  Not saying it is a bad idea, but it needs to be well thought out.

Well, if you're not saying it, then I will say it.  This is a BAD idea. 

 

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Sure sounds like this would negatively impact the Scouting program and the scouts attending the camps.  We go to get into the woods and away from all the hub bub of city life and traffic.  Having RV's driving thru camp would sure be a downer.    And do you think that none of those campers and RV's would have a frig filled with their beverage of choice?

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Having read the article, the only thing it really says is that Philmont and SBR are going to have some sort of family camping available soon.  I don't have a strong opinion about that.  The devil is in the details.

But for SBR I would like to see them open it up to weekend camping for scouts first.  We go to WV for rafting and end up staying in commercial campgrounds a couple miles from SBR.  I don't understand why we can't just camp there like we could at pretty much every other Council camp in the country.

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My thoughts.

1) As I stated, i saw this work in the UK. One camp was very successful in allowing  Scout Association, Girl Guides, School Groups, out of country WOSM and WAGGS units. One camp eventually folded. They followed all camp rules.

2) Local councils have been doing something on a smaller scale and limited. Two councils I have been in  had facility rentals, specfically the COPE Course. In fact Marketing the COPE Course to Outside Groups was a point in NCS COPE training back in the day. In the council that allowed this to happen, it was very successful and the cope course has expanded greatly since I ran it the inaugural year. The other course I ran, which was established and in great shape, eventually stopped having facility rentals, and the course is now not certified and an eyesore at the camp.

3) if a council does this, they need to make sure the rules are enforced, and not just selectively. We have a camp that the rules are not enforced. When the ranger has attempted to enforce the rules at some events, he is overruled, and that causes major problems when the same units show up outside the event and complain about being able to do XYZ before. AND IT GETS WORSE. We had an outside group with some members having a connection to BSA. They are use to the rules not being enforced at events, and that group abused the campsite they were in. Cars everywhere, fires where cars were not, and tents set up in the airondack shelters. OH and blocking the path on the outskirts of the campsite. one royal mess.

 

4)As mentioned, the devil is in the details.

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1 hour ago, T2Eagle said:

Having read the article, the only thing it really says is that Philmont and SBR are going to have some sort of family camping available soon.  I don't have a strong opinion about that.  The devil is in the details.

But for SBR I would like to see them open it up to weekend camping for scouts first.  We go to WV for rafting and end up staying in commercial campgrounds a couple miles from SBR.  I don't understand why we can't just camp there like we could at pretty much every other Council camp in the country.

The fact that SBR, even on just a limited number of weekends a year, doesn't have a handful of campsites available for unit camping is just a poor use of resources.  Such a small amount of the total area of land is "developed" , and it is an ideal location for some weekend backpacking trips, and there are numerous opportunities nearby, like you say, for rafting and there are several horse ranches that do day treks as well.  Let the place get used for more than summer HA, and jambos.

   

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