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InquisitiveScouter

NCAP for Short-Term Camps?

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That's my understanding from the webinar.  Too many Scouters breaking rules and then having issues. 

I'm sure there were lawyers who challenged that the BSA hadn't done enough to make sure that the Scouters knew the rules.  This in turn led to more liability payments for the BSA.

The downside is that this is major new initiative requiring substantial volunteer overhead precisely at a time where volunteer bandwidth needs to be focused on membership and unit support.  Not the best time for some new overhead initiative like this.

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Featherbedding? I see little need here. Are there any safety issues? any complaints? any units asking for this? I predict little interest from volunteers. There are plenty of other places to camp.

"The NCAP Local Council Authorization and Assessment Declaration also asks each camp to indicate the purpose of the camp. We think that camps should be able to articulate why the camp is being held and make sure that like Baden Powell said, what we do has a purpose."

Good grief.

We already have ACA and state regulatory organizations overseeing camp safety and operation, no need for redundancy. NCAP should just focus on training staff and volunteers to insure Program quality.

My $0.02,

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Interesting that the standards apply to all camps with   a few carve out exceptions most notably The National Jamboree. The attempt to state the Jambo is subject to more stringent standards is laughable. If that were the case, no need to exclude it.

Edited by DuctTape
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They are using camp to denote an event, not a place. 

This applies to basically all overnight events longer than 1 day and less than 4.  If your district has a camporee it applies.  If you district has two troops camping together for a weekend in a field, it counts.  Basically every camping event that it bigger than a single unit camping alone and is shorter in duration than necessary to qualify for resident camp qualifications.

Worse than the standards is now that we have to find people to go through this training.  Ugh.  I want people to focus on membership, program, and unit service.  Not more paperwork.

 

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21 hours ago, ParkMan said:

They are using camp to denote an event, not a place. 

This applies to basically all overnight events longer than 1 day and less than 4.  If your district has a camporee it applies.  If you district has two troops camping together for a weekend in a field, it counts.  Basically every camping event that it bigger than a single unit camping alone and is shorter in duration than necessary to qualify for resident camp qualifications.

Worse than the standards is now that we have to find people to go through this training.  Ugh.  I want people to focus on membership, program, and unit service.  Not more paperwork.

 

@ParkMan, if two units decided to camp together why would these standards apply?  Not sure I'm following your logic.

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2 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

if two units decided to camp together why would these standards apply?  Not sure I'm following your logic.

♦ Q: If my camp is cancelled, can my unit get together with other units and have our own camp?

No. Chartering organizations play an important role in the program and activities for their chartered units. Chartering organizations promote well-planned unit program for the units they charter and encourage their units to have active outdoor unit programs. Chartering organizations are not authorized to plan, promote, or deliver programs for units outside of their charter.

It is the role of the council to plan long-term or resident camps and the role of councils or districts to plan camporees and other outings during the year that give youth an opportunity to test their knowledge and skills in competitive events with other troops and/or patrols.

When units with different chartered organizations do activities together, this becomes a district or council event and requires council approval. In fact, some states require such activities to be licensed.

Should your troop, crew or ship decide to do a long-term camping program for their own unit (Cub Scouts units are prohibited from this activity) please note that the Scouter Code of Conduct and relevant program safety and training requirements are still in place, e.g., Safe Swim Defense, Hazardous Weather, Wilderness First Aid, etc.

https://www.scouting.org/coronavirus/covid-19-faq/

As this is not printed anywhere I can find other than in FAQ (can anyone please help?) I'd say get forgiveness vs. permission...

I think they may have written this with full knowledge they'd be implementing their NCAP policy...

Another aside...if both CO's agree, and provide leadership for their own units, I say "Giddyup!"

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
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On 9/29/2020 at 3:27 PM, RememberSchiff said:

NCAP should just focus on training staff and volunteers to insure Program quality.

My $0.02,

The purpose of the BSA National Camp Standards are to:

1) Promote the health, safety, and well-being of every camper, leader, visitor, and staff member while participating in a BSA-accredited camp program.

2) Guide councils so that each camper and leader obtain a quality program consistent with the BSA brand.

If you would like to actually review the standards, resources and FAQ's (for the source on the above statement) on Short Term Camp:   https://www.scouting.org/outdoor-programs/camping/short-term-camp/

Edited by RichardB

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I have and IMHO,

1. Redundant. There are already state agencies, local BOH, and ACA to ensure health and safety.

2. Yes, function as a training provider for camp staff.

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Hi @RichardB,

As always, thanks for taking the time to share some insight with us on these topics.  I've got very little insight how to communicate this feedback to national, please permit me to proactively share a few constructive thoughts.  This is not criticism.  Also, don't feel compelled to respond - I'm not asking you to defend this new program.  I just wanted to share what I think are pretty common thoughts from out here in the trenches.

Frist - and to be clear - I'm taking an open minded approach to this particular topic.  I sat through the recent webinar and am likely to take the short term camp administrator training.  I do this because I generally try to extract the value from these sorts of opportunities for our programs.  My motivation is to run the best Scouting programs possible and I will take input from whatever quarter I can.

Second - I would share the perception that this is being perceived as yet another bureaucratic imposition by national.  No one I know likes this.

If I, for example, look at the two things listed in the materials you quoted as the purpose:

1 hour ago, RichardB said:

1) Promote the health, safety, and well-being of every camper, leader, visitor, and staff member while participating in a BSA-accredited camp program.

This seems fair.  I would tend to agree with others that I don't see why this is needed all of a sudden.  Yet, I can certainly imagine that national is receiving pressure to tighten up the application of health and safety rules.  If this is part of the motivation, I would strongly encourage the national staff to simply admit that.  We all can appreciate that liability rules continually place increasing challenges on everyone.  

The problem is that the language in the materials provides no compelling reason why national needs a new program for this.  We have many thousands of very capable adults across the country doing a great job at this.  To now say that these individuals need to sit through a course to teach them how to do this is a difficult sell and strains our credibility with these valued volunteers.  I have inferred that this is for a) insurance reasons, b) to try and cut down on the number of safety mistakes being made.  So I tell people that and they generally can accept it.

1 hour ago, RichardB said:

2) Guide councils so that each camper and leader obtain a quality program consistent with the BSA brand.

If this standard is really about making programming better, then this needs to be communicated very differently.  If this really is all about communicating and teaching best practices for event programming, then make this all about national providing increased program training for district and council volunteers.  Hold seminars and webinars on best practices for events.  Record them, put them on a website.  Play it up.  Provide some sort of recognition after a person has completed enough of the different units.  Rejuvenate training at the local level and incorporate this into it.  Imagine a yearly ongoing training for district/council event planners.  Again, this could be great stuff.

Selling it

The problem NCAP has it that is comes across with all the excitement of a new rule from my state's Department of Motor Vehicles.  It could be (and hopefully is) great stuff.  Yet, it's being imposed on everyone.  Pronouncements of new required training, new administrator roles, new forms and rules, are very heavy handed.  Just look at the first paragraphs on the website at https://www.scouting.org/outdoor-programs/camping/short-term-camp/.

Quote

What is a Short-Term Camp?

Effective January 1, 2021

A short-term camp is any council-organized overnight camping program, whether one-time or continuing, that is one, two or three nights in length where the council or its agents provide the staffing and may provide program and food services, and includes camps conducted off council properties. National training courses are subject to the short-term camp requirements, regardless of format or duration. 

Short-Term Camp Administrator Job Description:  Each short-term camp must have a short-term camp administrator. This person is responsible for ensuring that the planned camp complies with the NCAP Short-term Camp Standards.  This means walking the property to ensure that it is appropriate for the event; ensuring that paperwork is filed and any written BSA approvals are completed and obtained through the council; confirms facilities and program are safe and in good order before starting operation; and that appropriate health, safety and sanitation provisions are made.  This individual also ensures that all activities at the short-term camp comply with the applicable BSA National Camp Standards.

The intro page on short term camping immediately jumps into the rules and standards.  It makes national come across as being more concerned about the rules than about the program quality.  In our area we do all these things.  Other than filling out more paperwork, we do all of this.  These first two paragraphs do absolutely nothing to make me excited about the national team's great work.

Again, it's important for us all to understand why.  There has to be value in it for volunteers and clear impact to local programs.  If the value is not obvious, then people need to help us see the value.  This is crucial.  Volunteers will eventually comply to rules that are rolled out, but it costs National and the Council credibility with volunteers when decisions are imposed on them.  Helping volunteers see the value goes a long way towards building credibility for national amongst the volunteers.

Thank you!

If you made it this far, thank you for reading through it all.  I do greatly appreciate what the national professional staff does.  Thank you very much.

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The aggravating part is that this will simply drive more units away from BSA Camps, just when they need the support.  A lot less paperwork to camp somewhere else.  And if 2 troops happen to be camp next to each other . . . 

Remember, at its core Scouting is a movement, not a command and control structure.  

 

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