Re: SME = FOS???
(no name) ((no email))
Thu, 7 Nov 1991 13:04:00 EDT
In most of the Districts in your Council, you have a "two man professional
staff"...a Senior DE and a DE. (In some of the more urban areas, there may
be more...three; or a District Director and a couple of DEs or a District
Director and a DE...)
So, you are right in saying that in some places $50k or more is a acceptable
goal. However, in most "class 2" councils (with youth between 3-7 thousand),
the finance goals rarely get above $23k (goals, not acutal contributions.
The Lincoln Trail District, for example, in Elizabethtown Kentucky, had
that goal a while back and raised $5K more, or $28K total. Talk about making
the Council happy!!!).
I did forget the other parts of the SME/FOS drive...the businesses and
industries in the District are asked to contribute as well. I explained it
in a earlier posting, so I won't repeat it all except to say that your unit's
success is tied into the success of the DE to raise monies successfully for
This week's new question.......
Without saying the location, name or area of the country (I am going to make
this as generic as possible to allow all participants to adapt it to their
own council's situation....), here is the situation:
The Cardinal Council had two medium-sized and one large camp. The two medium-
sized camps were located in suburbs of the Council's headquarters' city of
Diammert. One was used as a Council training center; the other as a summer
camp and OA facility. All of the camps were well-liked by all of the Scouters
and Exploring leaders and many of the units camped there (free of charge) on
the weekeends, making it a very popular center of Scouting.
In 1988, after the Council did a ten-year study (all Councils were required to
do this in compliance with the Foundations for Growth studies), they discovered
that it would be "benefical in the long run" to SELL all THREE properties and
use the proceeds, along with special project sales, to build a brand new camp
more centrally located in the Council's territory. They sold the small training
center the year after.
When the volunteers of the Council heard about this, including the "go ahead"
selling of the training center, they were all upraged about it. "you are messing
with tradition", many cried. "My father and his father both camped there...and
you are going to just up and sell it all!" A big-time architechure firm was
hired to develop the new camp. The largest camp, located off of one the state's
larger lakes, was sold the year after (to the dismay of many that stated "tha
the end of the canoeing and boating for our kids at camp!!). The site was select
ed, the land purchased (for a dream price, considering that it is located not
even a mile from a subdevelopment in this rural city...), and construction start
Two years later, in 1990, the old camp closed for the last time. Covered Wagon
Camp was sold to a real estate developer for almost 7 million dollars. the
Developer wanted the old OA building (called Cardinal Point), the old health
lodge and the Rotary Buildings as well as the large dining hall to serve as the
centerpiece for an exclusive housing development (Scout's Way, tis called).
In 1991, (last year), the new camp opened.
Folks, this is the Caddy of Boy Scout Camps. If you ever imagined ANYTHING that
Scout Camp is "supposed to have", this one has it. Seventeen campsites and
nine half campsites; a large man-made lake complete with two waterfronts and
a handicapped-accessible ramp for fishing and looking out. A large arena and
a smaller one for OA activities. A larger dining hall which was designed from
a Church in a nearby city....a health lodge with modern equipment. A COPE
Course, a training center complete with its own classroom and campsite. A Cub
Scout camping area with RV hookups.
And all built on the cheap. Immediately, the camp started to have problems
even before the camp officially opened. Lots of problems. Like, for example,
the COPE course was built too cheap and was closed two weeks into the camp
season. They could not hire a Health Director, so medical care was extremely
limited. The camp staff was hired, but most of them would rather be off doing
their own stuff rather then to counsel kids. The rifle range was unsafe and
at one time during the season, one of the Scoutmasters (who worked at a
military installation) served as "rifle range director" to insure quality
The Buildings are moving off of their foundations, and the sewer system
needed lots of repairs. The Camp Ranger did many of these, unsafe, not-even-
called-for things in his contract willingly and many times at great personal
expense (the council could not repay him right away for those repairs because
the Director of Support Services, the professional in charge of the camp
property, and the Camp Ranger do not like each other.)
So after the Camp Ranger, whom was tired of hearing complaint after complaint
about this "new camp" not even two years old, told the DSS about the "newer"
problems and how "you guys built this place so cheaply, where is the money
to keep it up??", he was canned. The Camp Ranger turned around and wrote the
federal Office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), telling
them how unsafe this "caddy" really is. OSHA did their inspection of the camp
a week ago and sent the Cardinal Council notice that :
* One, your Council Camp is unsafe....
* Two, the fines for what WE found wrong amount to $30,000
* Three, the guy you let go (Gus Travers), can sue you guys under
the federal "whistleblowers" law....
* and Four, where was the BSA's inspection team during this time???
We work closely with them and, folks, they are sharp.
The Cardinal Council has 20 days to respond. When the Daily Examiner talked
with Council officials about the lack of medical care and the sewage problems,
the Council replied "No comment".
BOTTOM LINE AND QUESTION:
The Cardinal Council *knew* that they were building this "showplace of Scouting"
on the cheapside...*knew* that Scouters would be unhappy...and *knew* that
they cannot run a camp without sufficient staffing. The BSA *knew* of the
camp's deficencies, when their regional Camp Inspection team came and gave the
camp a "A" rating (they had to...the OSHA guys found these things right off!).
Scouts and parents *knew* that the camp "looked good" but lacked that "camp
feeling". The Council *had* to move its older camp from the suburban area where
vandals were coming in and using it as a beer and make-out point BY FOOT ( the
gates were locked.
As a Scouter that is planning to take their kids to camp next summer,
one, what would you say to parents that want their kids to go to camp with you;
two, what would you say to parents of the Scouts that you took there this past
year; and three, if you were a District or Council-level Scouter, what would
you recommend to the Camping committee of the Council and to the Scout
Executive (oh, by the way...he's new. The past SE, Lloyd Johnson, was promoted
to Area Director in Illinois..the new guy was on a Regional Camp Inspection
team years ago in a different Region!)
Sorry this is sooooooo long, but I wanted to make sure that everyone got
all of the background about this before we talked about it. This is a REALL
Council's problem...I just created the names and locations not to cause more
embassment for the Council OR its Scouters that they already have coming to
them. (and no, I won't release the name or location in private messages, either.
I will say this: As a former Scouter and Scout in that Council, I feel really
really, betrayed and embarrassed for both scouting and that Council. I hope
that they...well..that's my opinion and I wanted to hear yours.
Mike Walton ("Man, I tell you, he writes NOVELS when he's on here!)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City