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Herkimer

When is Tipping expected and/or encouraged at BSA camps

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We recently returned from the Sea Base Coral Reef Sailing Adventure. We found out that there are different types of people working at Sea Base, Direct employees and contractors.

I do not know about the power boats but we found out that most of the Sailboats are contracted for the season. They are not owned by BSA or Sea Base. Some of those sailboats are run by the owner/captain and others the captain is hired by the owner to run the boat for the season or a number of weeks during the season.

What confuses us about this is that if the sailboats are contracted, should we consider tipping the Captain similar to hiring a charter fishing boat? I believe Sea Base has a strict No Tipping policy for Sea Base employees, E.g. those getting paid directly from BSA, but do sailing captains fall into this category? Is there someone from Sea Base who can shed some light on this?

What about at the other High Adventure bases or BSA Camps? Is the White Water Rafting company at Bechtel considered employees? What if our guide gives us a once in a lifetime run?

On the other hand, should that be our concern or is that a labor negotiation between the contractor and his employees?

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Interesting question.  

The Participant Guide is completely silent on the question of tips and I've always assumed that the fees paid by a scout were "all inclusive".  The only mentions of cash I find in the book are a section about how to make payments, and a bullet point that boys should bring $125-175 (presumably for souvenirs and snacks....but not for tips).

 

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We have always tipped our Sea Base guide or rafting guides after our trips. We did not tip the boat captains.   We don't do it blatantly, but discretely.  For the most part these young men are not highly paid, and if our tip can pay for a pizza or the like for them, we've done a good thing.  We build it into the fees for the trip

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We have always left a tip for our guides whenever we go on a trek since most of them are college students and these camps don't pay a high wage it more of a labor of love for the guides. Normally I ask everyone give $10-20 for adults and $5-$10 per scout if they feel the need to do so. We then have everyone sign a card with a short thank you and our youth trek leader presents it to our guide.  Our last trek was awesome and most everyone gave more than normal so out guide ended up getting close to $300 which when he thanked us he was tearing up since he was a grad student who lived on very little so a not to accumulate a huge debit while finishing college.  Its a small price to pay for someone who might have a life long influence on your scouts life.

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I have always discretely tipped my ranger/island mate/interpreter/etc.  However, last year at Northern Tier, they specifically said no monetary tips in the introduction presentation.  Instead we bought him gear at the trading post.

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Y'all are making some good points about why the staff might deserve tips for a job well done....but is that a judgment call that the adults are making themselves?   Is it something that the boys should be aware of?  Do you ask the boys to chip in?   

Seems like the practice might vary by camp (based on Tatung42's comment that he was told "no tips" by Northern Tier staff).

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