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600 straight months (50 years not 5000) of Camping!


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9 hours ago, fred8033 said:

50 years is hard.  But not every camp out is 85% of the troop.  Some might end up with a few scouts and a few leaders.  Some months might have multiple small camp outs.  One OA.  One new scout patrol.  One high adventure.  ...  Even then it's really hard to not miss some month over 50 years.

One thing I do miss.  Under our first SM, our troop never canceled.  Bad weather.  Bad scheduling.  Ya make it work.  

POINT:  Having a troop mentality that you don't cancel is important.  Otherwise, it does become a bit too easy to cancel one or two a year.

I kind of disagree. Having the mentality that you don't cancel for bad weather is the opposite of what I think scouts is supposed to teach. We teach be prepared, which includes being prepared to change plans. Even D-Day was weather dependent. This is scouts, not the military. 

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I'm good with it. I have 30 years of scouting experience in one of the most violent storm states in the union. We've camped in zero degree weather as well as 110 degree weather. We have camped in more

That is what I'm talking about -- be prepared to change plans. My nephew was badly injured during a camp out that should have been cancelled or changed because of weather. It's no joke. 

Curious take on your part considering many think you take on CO's is fringe/fanatic. Really, I have never hear of an IH that was not the head of the institution. But that does explain a great d

6 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

This^^^

The only reasons we cancel trips is if the roads are treacherous (ice storms) or we have a hurricane blow through ;)

There have been many times we have changed destination at the last moment and camped in the field behind our church.

That is what I'm talking about -- be prepared to change plans. My nephew was badly injured during a camp out that should have been cancelled or changed because of weather. It's no joke. 

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1 hour ago, yknot said:

I kind of disagree. Having the mentality that you don't cancel for bad weather is the opposite of what I think scouts is supposed to teach. We teach be prepared, which includes being prepared to change plans. Even D-Day was weather dependent. This is scouts, not the military. 

Yes.  Imagine how people would react if a coach said he would never cancel a game due to weather.  He would be fired.  

 

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1 hour ago, David CO said:

Yes.  Imagine how people would react if a coach said he would never cancel a game due to weather.  He would be fired.  

It's not the same thing.  No one ever ever says let's endanger our scouts.  

Problems are rarely to do with weather.  And, when it is weather, you adjust.  Leave earlier or later.  Relocate.  Adjust. 

The real cause of canceling is usually too few leaders or too few youth or conflicts or not prepared (forgot to reserve a site).  The real impact is scouts begin to get jaded.  Scouts that wanted to go are frustrated and absolutely less excited to sign up the next time.  

Scouts want to depend on their troop to be there.  A mentality of you don't cancel is important.

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2 hours ago, yknot said:

I kind of disagree. Having the mentality that you don't cancel for bad weather is the opposite of what I think scouts is supposed to teach. We teach be prepared, which includes being prepared to change plans. Even D-Day was weather dependent. This is scouts, not the military. 

Yep.  I would hope that the mentality is that you just don't cancel for bad weather but look at how to minimize any risk due to the weather.  Sure, maybe that is move the camp out to the back of the church or what ever, but is there is process to assess and then develop mitigation efforts.  And you have to be willing to cancel if you cannot mitigate the risk.

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22 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

A mentality of you don't cancel is important.

I totally disagree.  This sort of mentality borders on fanaticism.  I have seen my fair share of fanatics in scouting and sports.  My job was to keep them in check.  

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3 minutes ago, David CO said:

I totally disagree.  This sort of mentality borders on fanaticism.  I have seen my fair share of fanatics in scouting and sports.  My job was to keep them in check.  

Agreed. Kids shouldn't be dropping dead of heat injury during sports practices or drowning on scout hikes. 

A phenomenon I've seen the past decade or so is an overreliance on phone radar apps and online weather services as if they never lie or conflict. People have lost the ability to look up or use common sense.

 

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15 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

There is a saying, "If you are uncomfortable with the weather, you aren't dressed right.".

Barry

Yep. Says the person right before their scouts are killed by a lightning strike or a fallen tree branch.

Just as reminder: currently BSA policy is that direct contact leaders who are "positioned trained" must take Hazardous Weather training every two years and at least one person per outing/event has Hazardous Weather Training.

https://training.scouting.org/courses/SCO_800

 

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10 minutes ago, David CO said:

I totally disagree.  This sort of mentality borders on fanaticism.  I have seen my fair share of fanatics in scouting and sports.  My job was to keep them in check.  

Calling it fanaticism is offensive and argumentative.  It's dependability. Ya do what you say.  

I've been in a troop that canceled at least two a year.  Too few scouts.  Too few adults.  Scheduling problems.  Then mix when they camped only six or seven times a year.  You end up canceling 30% of your camp outs.  ... It seriously affects the program.  
 

Perhaps we should get back to just congratulating the original poster on a really cool achievement.

 

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They have a good PLC along with a large contingent of ASMs and have been doing this for decades.  Good bet is they have fall back plans all ready.  I am 100% sure that those 600 campouts had several that were rescheduled (within the month) due to bad weather.   I think many of our Troops could learn a lot from this one.  Unless I hear otherwise, I assume they did it safely and with good scout spirit!  

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18 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

Perhaps we should get back to just congratulating the original poster on a really cool achievement.

Nope.

The first thought I had when I saw that cake had nothing to do with achievement.  I thought about liability.  Imagine if a scout gets hurt during a bad weather campout.  Now imagine if that scout's lawyer sees this cake on the unit's website.  It would be fairly easy for a lawyer to connect the dots and make a case for negligence.  

So no, I am not going to congratulate the scouters who created that policy, decorated that cake, and posted a picture of it on the internet.  

 

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13 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

Yep. Says the person right before their scouts are killed by a lightning strike or a fallen tree branch.

Just as reminder: currently BSA policy is that direct contact leaders who are "positioned trained" must take Hazardous Weather training every two years and at least one person per outing/event has Hazardous Weather Training.

https://training.scouting.org/courses/SCO_800

 

I'm good with it. I have 30 years of scouting experience in one of the most violent storm states in the union. We've camped in zero degree weather as well as 110 degree weather. We have camped in more thunderstorm than I can count. Take the training and know what to do and you are good to go. 

Barry

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On 9/11/2021 at 4:26 PM, David CO said:

I totally disagree with all of this record-making stuff.  The boys in the troop should feel perfectly free to cancel their activity, if the situation calls for it, without feeling like they are letting people down by spoiling a perfect record.  

I feel the same way about youth sports.  They are way over-doing it with the stats.  Too many boys are worrying about their stats when they should be focused on the game, getting exercise and having fun.

And who says the youth can't make the call to cancel? I know of a local troop that is big into hiking, their kids take great pride in it. Another that is into canoeing, and a crew that is big into backpacking. It's what they are excited about. The troops youth tell visiting cubs what they are about. Some of those cubs join that unit for that very reason. Other youth avoid them because it is not their thing. 

I know of a unit that has been keeping track of hiked miles for decades. They have board in their meeting place with milestones on it. Once a youth hits a milestone his name goes up on the board. It started with patrol hikes (back when patrols could do things without adults) that want to go to Philmont together. As those scouts got older, the idea spread to the rest of the troop. 

My troop as a youth was heavy into cycling. 

All units track the miles their scouts hike or ride for merit badges, nights camped etc. So these units do it to a greater level. Everyone of the units I listed about is thriving because their youth are into their program. In some ways I think it is better than how my units have done it, but our scouts chose their path as well. 

The fact that you disagree with how they run their program would like get a resound reply of "So what."

 

On 9/12/2021 at 4:03 PM, InquisitiveScouter said:

Agreed.  I find it extremely difficult to believe that, over 50 years, not a single month was without camping.  Record keeping, weather, unit leadership, what constitutes camping (was it in one night in someone's backyard just to keep the record going??)...too many variables, with too much possible human error, bias, and stretching, to get to something like this.

Knowing what I know from 35+ years of Scouting experience, I glance sideways at things like this...much like a Scout earning (actually, "being awarded") every merit badge.

I don't see it as difficult to believe. There is a saying in the data world. "You track what is important to you."

As for records, I can go back almost a decade and tell you exactly how may outings my unit has had. Not because I was tracking them for posterity as much as just having them on the calendar to know what to plan for. I have long since thrown them out, but as a youth I used to keep my calendars every year and it had all my outings listed on them. My handbook had some details of almost every outing.

We preach to scouts to track your progress, this is just step further. 

As for what they considered camping, I don't know.

I don't get adults that want to knock the unit for having a program most would love to see.

I will say this, kudos to them for having a program has clearly been active for the last 50 years. 

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