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SN95GT50

Who decides equipment to buy?

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This came up recently when during a leader meeting it was decided that we should buy equipment for each patrol to have for Patrol cooking. Currently we just have a hodge - podge of cooking equipment. It was suggested that the Scouts decide what to purchase as the troop money is their money, later it was decided that the SM would decide what to buy and order it off the internet to save the Troop some money.

 

So, in your Troop, who decides what equipment to buy?

 

SN95GT50

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In our troop, we prefer actually going out and shopping for the gear. The committee decides on the amount that can be spent, and then we (MC in charge of gear, the SPL, and myself, the CC-with-the checkbook! :) ) make a day of it. We shop stores ranging from Wal-Mart to camping specialty stores depending on what the troop and/or patrols are in need of. The SM generally chooses not to come along, although he is of course welcome and encouraged. He seems to trust our judgement enough! (Not that we've never made mistakes!) I just think being able to see/touch what you're buying is much better than thumbnail internet photos.

 

As far as who decides what we need? The SPL gathers input from the troop QM and the PLC, gives the list to the SM, and the SM brings the list to the committee meeting. He and his boys know best what they need, so their requests are always honored.(This message has been edited by FrankScout)

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I would also mention, that if your boys are relatively young and "green" and don't have much knowledge or experience with camping. (such as a new, or newly-revived troop), then the experience of the SM may very well be the way to go. Otherwise, let the boys decide!

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In the begining, we adults wanted better patrol boxes because the old ones were wearing out. And our troop was basically starting new all over, so it seemed appropriate. An old Eagle donated A LOT of money and spend a lot of time building us some the best patrol boxes anyone has ever seen. They could be used for tornado shelters if they were a little bigger because they are some stout boxes now.

 

Three years later our troop wanted to experiment with becoming a backpacking troop, but there was some adult concern the Patrols would not want to leave the boxes behind. So we asked them to experiment for one campout without the boxes and see how it went. You would have thought we gave them $1000 to leave those things home. They hated those boxes and we have been a backpacking troop for over 15 years. I wished we would have included the scouts in the decision process at the begining. That money used for the boxes would have gone a long way to the SM retirement fund.

 

Barry

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My view is that the mony belongs to the Troop not the leaders and that they should determine what to buy. Granted, I am not willing to let them run rampant, but, I think that they know what is needed to assemple a camp kitchen. I also believe that they will treat the equipment better if they are invovled in the process of choosing and acquiring the equipment. Unfortunately I believe I am fighting a loosing battle...

 

SN95GT50

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Hiya SN95G%50!

 

So, let me ask yeh this.

 

If there were some money saved up in your bank account that you had worked to earn, how would yeh feel if someone else decided what kind of car you needed and went out and bought it for you? Even though they were never goin' to drive that car, and you were goin' to use it all the time?

 

B

 

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Well put...

 

I kinda likened it to the government, I put a lot of money in and I don't like some of the places that it goes.

 

SN95GT50

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Timely posting... I just volunteered to step into the adult QM role, and am facing this one. I have a budget to buy fuel, and replace missing items from the patrol boxes.

 

Anything above that goes to the committee for discussion and approval.

 

Where the boys are involved is in deciding what equipment they'd like to add to the collection. That gets balanced out in discussions between me and the youth QM...

 

For our patrol boxes, we use plastic footlockers containing some of the basics -- fry pan, boiling pots, serving spoons, spatulas, foil, scrubbers, soap, etc... We also have a few stoves, and about a dozen tents which I've never seen come out of the carry sacks.

 

When the question comes up on buying more equipment, I plan to answer with a question: how often will it be used, and who is going to find a way of disposing of some of the other unused gear? ;)

 

Once I get an answer that has been thought thru, we can take it to the committee to get the funds released, assuming it's not something I can just cover in my budget. But I'm not rushing out and buying stuff just yet.(This message has been edited by eolesen)

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My view is a little different than the others here. First of all, I see a lot of "it's their money." Well, true, they may have worked to earn it, but by the book, at that point it belongs to the charter organization. Anyway, continueing on...When your talking about major purchases, this isn't something that you give to the youth and let them go. How many youth really make good, thought out decisions about things that may not involve them in a few years without outside input. The PLC should definitely be involved, but the SM should be guiding this discussion if it goes awry. In some cases, the funds may be the result of a major fundraiser, and the Troop may not get such community support for a few years. Now the purchase is affecting Scouts who are not even members of the Troop yet. Additionally, the Committee has final say on what funds are spent on.

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How many youth really make good, thought out decisions about things that may not involve them in a few years without outside input.

 

Actually, most of them ... If they've had to put up with the crap most adults have foisted on them for at least a season of camping!!!!

 

As a practically matter, the SM tells our committee we should spend $ on equipment. Committee checks budget and adjusts fundraising goals accordingly. How the SM interacts with the boys to determine what is needed is between him and the boys. Committee never sees a written list.

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>>

How many youth really make good, thought out decisions about things that may not involve them in a few years without outside input.

 

Actually, most of them ... If they've had to put up with the crap most adults have foisted on them for at least a season of camping!!!!

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Pack,

 

With all due respect, you are thinking like a Cub Scout leader. Not knocking you, especially since I am one too, but as Green Bar Bill said, " Train them, trust them, LET THEM LEAD!" (I beleive the emphasis is in the original, sorry don't have the bookin front of me.)

 

Boy Scout and Venturers can do just find making major purchases if you let them. Heck I know in one instance they did a better job than an adult.

 

My troop as a youth was growing. While we needed new tents and other gear, and the QM spent some time doing the research and finding a deal. Everything was sent to the committee to buy. When the order went to the treasurer, they found "a deal" on some disncontinued tents that was not what we wanted. Needless to say we were disappointed when we got the tents, especially since 1/2 broke on the first camp out, and the otehr 1/2 broke on the second one a month later. And because of the way they were designed, they were the "pop up" tents that had the poles built into the tent, once the cheap poles broke, you could not repair them.

 

We ended up having to order the original tents we wanted anyway, and wasted money of the "deal."(This message has been edited by eagle92)

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Yah, this is an area where the lads know as much as the adults, and often more than most committee members. I've seen stories like Eagle92's play out again and again in different troops.

 

This is definitely somethin' yeh can delegate to the boys, or at least work with 'em as equals. They won't be perfect, but they won't be any worse than the adults, and a lot of the time they'll be better.

 

Beavah

 

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Yes. There are 14 year olds who have a couple hundred miles of hiking experience in our Troop--all their family did was backpack summers.

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