Troop Software & The "Caddy Camp"
(no name) ((no email))
Thu, 7 Nov 1991 18:53:00 MST
With 35 scouts I can, to some point, see the usefulness of the Troopmaster
programs. But to be honest, this computer consultant would not recommend
any software to a troop, unless their leader was a statistical freak. The
Troop record books works just fine for most troops, they are less work, and
you normally are not worried about bringing it along on a camp out.
(Unless you carry a notebook computer around with you.) Sure you get nice
neet print-outs with the scouts history on it real easy. But how often do
you really need that? When the young man reaches Eagle or when he
transfers to another troop? To get information out of the computer, you
have to enter it (usually after the fact at home) for ALL the scouts in
your troop. (Sometimes you just can not tell who will be the future Eagle
and who is going to move.) That's a lot of input for such a small amount
of output. Yes, I know you can get all kinds of other bits and pieces of
information out of the computer, but I still think it is more work using
the computer, as opposed to manual records. (But then, I am quite convinced
that ever since I purchased accounting software for my business, I am doing
three times the amount of work I did before I had the software and most of
the neat reports these pacakes print are really useless to me.)
Our troop uses the troop record books, but then we only have 14 scouts. I
do, however, use Paradox (a realational database) for my merit badge
counselor lists. These change too much and people are always asking for
RE: the camp, BOY AM I GLAD I AM NOT ON THAT COUNCIL'S PLANNING COMMITTEE
OR CAMPING COMMITTEE!
I once worked with a cub day camp leader to help her put the camp together.
Many people in the district did not like the lady (I think because she was
a she and did not fit into their click) so I became the district
representative for the Day Camp. When I got a lot of resistance, because
people did not like this lady, I resigned. The reason for the resistance
was not really why I resign. I resigned because I could not produce a
National Standard Day Camp with most people in the district refusing to
help in my attemps to meet certain criteria. They were all getting too
personal and did not listen to anything I said. Their reaction was it that
Annette person, when in fact it was National. That year Camp did go on
without either of us. It was no where near as good as it could have been
and they only had about 1/4 of the cubs we had the last three years.
By the way, It was not National standard, like it was the year before. The
last year this lady was in charge and the only year it met national's
As far as what to tell the parents. Be honest, the camp was not what it
was advertised to be. Then I would discuss going to other coucil camps
this next year. Future years would depend upon what, if any action the
council took. Some troops go back to the same camp year after year, after
year. What a bore! Most troops I have work with have frequently changed
camps (in and out of council), if for no other reason than to keep camp
different and interesting to the scouts. I also think, when the council
sees it troops deserting en mass, they will either have to do it right or
continue to catch the h e double toothpicks word from the scouts in the
council. They do need to think about what this will do their FOS campaign.
One of the big selling points for years and years is the council camps.
As far as what councils do and what your FOS money does, the camps are a
VISABLE selling point. If the council does not get it act together, I can
see it's FOS campaign going down the tubes (if it has not already started
because they made the old timer's mad by selling the old camps).
I really think this council took a short sighted approach to what should
have been considered in a strictly long range plan. If you build a new
camp, it should be built to last a minimum 50 years, and probably for a lot
more. Selling three camps and building one CHEAP camp may have helped the
balance sheets in the short haul, but it is sure to hurt in the long run.
It almost sounds to me like they are going to have to go in and tear a
bunch of it up, then re-build it. I do not know where the council is, but
I am sure glad, that I am not moving there!
Sometimes I think Council Executives need to have someone who will pull
their heads out of the clouds. Sometimes they seem like George Bush, busy
working on their pet projects and ignoring and not understanding everything
else that is going on.
I hope to see some more on this topic, it could happen to any of our
councils, it we do not keep watch!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City