Re: Do you have a trailer?
Marc Solomon (msolomon@TEK1.TEKNIQ.COM)
Tue, 24 Oct 1995 16:33:11 -0500
At 07:09 PM 10/23/95 -0400, Roddy Trull wrote:
>My troop is starting to act on a long time desire to get an enclosed trailer.
>The first step is to decide exactly what we want, and how to pay for it. We
>intend to store the large items that go with us on all trips, then just
>load the extras the night we leave.
To begin with, since you asked about size, I'll talk about that first.
Every troop I have know that has a trailer has collected more than enough
equipment to fill them. The larger the trailer the more stuff it will
gather whether you need it or not. The smaller the trailer the more you'll
learn what is essential and what isn't! The size also will determine who
will get stuck hauling it on every trip. As the size increases, the fewer
vehicles that can haul that load, the fewer adults you'll have with
vehicales to haul it. In one troop I know of, the SM retired and no parent
left with the troop had a vehicle powerful enough to haul their 'larger than
Next, let's move onto storage. Once you get a trailer to store all your
equipment between trips, where are you going to put the trailer! The SM of
one troop I know is about to be lynched by his wife if he doesn't get that
'monstrosity'out of the driveway where it has lived since he inherited it
from the previous SM two years ago. Another troop stores theirs under a
water tower courtesy of the local park district. Another stores theirs on a
vacant lot twenty miles from the troop owned by one of the parents. Both
sites have access problems, one due to its distance and the other due to a
limited number of keys to get through the gate.
Lastly, have you checked out all the costs of owning a trailer? The ones
that come to my mind are insurance, maintenance and repair. When the
trailer is being pulled, the insurance on the vehicle towing the trailer
should cover the trailer (Can any of you insurance people verify this for
me?), but what about when it is just sitting around? If you are storing it
on somebody's property, will the homeowner insurance cover the contents of
the trailer if the trailer is stolen, broken into, set on fire, or has a
tree land on it? Will your troop's emergency funds be sufficient if your
trailer breaks down while your out of town? Is there a local business that
will give you low maintenance and repair rates on you trailer as a
charitable deduction (many will!). These are questions you'll need to get
answered before purchasing the trailer.
Now after I have said all that, let me get on my soapbox. DON'T BUY THE
TRAILER! It sounds like a wonderful idea but it is fraught with headaches
and it inhibits the teaching of many of the lessons available through
Scouting. Instead of teaching the boys to make due with what they can
carry, they can make due with whatever you can haul! Why make a camp gadget
at camp when you can make it at home with all your tools available to you
and put it on the trailer. Why make it at all when you can buy it premade
and leave it in the trailer. What ever happened to teaching the boys to use
their ingenuity and their creativeness? What ever happened to teaching them
to BE PREPARED? Why be prepared when everything you could ever need is in
I look at many of the troops these days and their campsites look more like
they took their home with them instead of learning to survive (and enjoy)
the great outdoors! I look at them and weep. This is not Scouting as I
know it can be.
I spent three years with one local troop that use to rely heavily on their
trailer. After many headaches with insurance, hauling, and repairs, the
Scoutmaster came to me and suggested we start teaching the Scouts how to get
along without the trailer on every trip. I was thrilled! The trailer only
goes on less than half the trips, those being mainly Camporees, Summer
camps, and a few special occassions. This troop no longer has senior Scouts
that cannot tie their knots or do lashing. I know that wasn't so when I got
I'll get off my soapbox now.
| Marc W. Solomon | Unit Commissioner |
| firstname.lastname@example.org | Sycamore District |
| email@example.com | Blackhawk Council, IL |
I use to be a wise old owl . . . Now I am just old
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City