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Word to the Wise on Equipment

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If you are with a Unit that uses equipment that belongs to an adult member of your troop. Make very sure that you inventory and mark all of your equipment. I was contacted this week by a troop complaining that when the former SM moved he took almost every bit of their camping gear. That he took all the camp stoves and lanterns. I called this person and was informed that that equipment had belonged to him personally and he was allowing the unit to use it.


So CYA and make sure that everyone knows what equipment belongs to the troop and what is on loan.

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About 10 years a nearby troop was restarted after a few nonactive years. A seemingly nice fellow stepprd up to be Scoutmaster. I tried to help him out, let him borrow several books and videos to get started. Then he quit going to meetings. I never saw him again. I made out better them the new troops CO. He left with canoes, camping equipment and other Scout stuff they'd had for years before he showed up. Terrible loss. No way he could have claimed any of it had been his.

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I've been in that Scoutmaster's position before. As new people join the Troop and old people leave, the newcomers assume that lanterns, stoves, Dutch ovens, backpacks, and even tents, must all belong to the Troop.


Even recently, a couple of years ago when our Venturing Crew brought in new outsiders, the question "May we use your propane stove this weekend?" became "Where is the propane stove?"


It seems obvious, but if you loan equipment to your Troop:


1) Mark your personal equipment in some way.


2) Keep your receipts (if you still have them) where you can find them in the future if necessary.


II. If your Troop has little money and you purchase new equipment with your own money with the understanding that you will some day be reimbursed:


1) Submit the receipts for consumables (neckerchief material), things that are likely to disappear (used backpacks), and things that you would not want to take with you before you submit receipts for stuff that you would not want to donate to your Troop if you moved.


2) Keep copies of any receipts that you submit to your Treasurer for reimbursement if the check is not always written at the same time as you submit the receipts.


III. Organize fund raisers or equipment donation drives so that the Troop can obtain their own equipment.




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Over the years I have spent thousands of dollars on camping equipment. That which I wish to remain "mine", I take home with me and store it in MY shed. That which I have "donated" goes to the troop shed. One suggestion would be that whenever someone "donates" equipment, give them a written receipt "for tax purposes" which itemizes the gear and it's condition. Leave it to the donor to assign a value. This also protects the unit (and CO), by establishing ownership. If the stuff disappears, you have a written record that it was donated.

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