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how Scouts sign up for outings

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On 3/17/2023 at 3:23 PM, 5thGenTexan said:

Feb camp was cancelled due to lack of adults.  


This just touched a nerve with me.  This is terrible to tell or have the Scouts know this is what cancelled their outing.   I try to let units know if they have to cancel an event due to lack of adults, let their commissioner staff know asap and see if they can help get it covered.  Lack of adults participating is different than having enough trained adults attending.  

 For the well-seasoned adults, some of us remember filing trip plans/reports for council approval before you could go.  Some did it, some just went.  I can't imagine withholding outing information from parents or scouts.  The more notice, but better.  And, some may just come for the site location.

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On 3/17/2023 at 8:45 AM, InquisitiveScouter said:

For "regular" events, our planning horizon is 90 days.  Prior to the 90-day clock starting, the PLC has to designate a Youth Planner for the event. 


On 3/17/2023 at 11:19 AM, InquisitiveScouter said:

I give it about eight months after I depart to fail... unless a like-minded dedicated Scouter comes along to shepherd the process and hold feet to the fire.

Sounds very familiar. I came back to help the plc plan, as events were waiting to the very last minute to have a plan. Sometimes that resulted in events getting dropped. Wait too long and campsites can't be had. Wait too long and there's no enthusiasm and nobody signs up.

So, the importance of having a calendar with enough detail far enough out can't be stressed enough. We just had a committee meeting and all sorts of problems stem from not having a plan with enough detail that people will look forward to doing it.

Bringing this back to the original post, our cutoff used to be the meeting before the campout because we never canceled events when we had a good calendar. Recently, the plan has been too vague and we did cancel a campout because only one scout had signed up prior to the meeting. This alone really hurt me but anyway a couple of parents complained and there was a big discussion about when the deadline should be. My view is to work on the calendar process and get it back to what it was.


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When you load an event in TWH, you can set a cutoff date for signup.  We normally make it the last meeting before the outing, mainly so the grubmaster(s) know who to shop for.  Nice thing is RSVPs are visible to everyone on the website.  I would say 95% of Scouts regularly use this.  Grubmaster SOP includes a final check of registrations for the Patrol right before the shop to account for late adds/drops.

When someone does not sign up and still intends to come, the Scouts seem to know.  I am 100% fine with last minute adds, I always prefer a Scout to come out with us than not over a "deadline".  As long as it can be safely accommodated (enough food, if we had to reserve canoes, etc.)  So far, and my experience is shorter than many, it's never been an issue to make it work for late adds.  Our policy on last minute drops is you are responsible for your share of actual costs.  If we paid the venue for your camping, if the grubmaster bought food for you, if we rented you a canoe and you no-show ... you're responsible for those fees. 

We have a decent size troop and a decent bench of registered adult leaders.  I still find from time to time I'm scraping by to get enough adult attendance at outings even with tons of advanced notice.  Mostly due to schedules.  Next year I worry it'll get worse with the new "fee required position" requirement but I'm working to get ahead on that.

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Our troop uses TroopKit for event and meeting calendar, event sign-ups, carpools and emails. Most deadline dates are set a week before the campouts and the system automatically sends a reminder to those undecided two days before signup deadline. It's simple for scouts to set up and coordinate sign-ups. We use Quickbooks and scout accounts to collect funds and charge for outings.

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On 3/17/2023 at 1:02 PM, RainShine said:

Yeah I was expecting Scoutbook and SignUp Genius, and Ive learned some troops use CheddarUp. One Scoutmaster I spoke with locally is enthused about troopwebhost for all this.

InquisitiveScouter, you guys are light years ahead of us. If I quit my job and started now, how long would it take to set all that up?

Our pack had just started using CheddarUp for payments in fall of 2019. I liked it, but then the pandemic hit and there wasn't much to pay for for a while, then most of our leaders' kids (including mine) aged out.

I was looking at it again to possibly help the pack start using it again, but it looks like they've removed the option of bank transfers as a way around most of the fees? 


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