Re: Quality Unit! Yes or no
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Mon, 1 Apr 1996 02:34:44 -0500
The Quality Unit Award requires attendance at a long-term camp without
specifying that be a BSA owned camp. This may be in part purposeful
because some Councils have leased properties for camp programs without
owning them and some use properties held in trust by an organization
other than BSA where the trust agreement allows BSA use.
Ownership of the property is not the real issue. The quality of the
program is the issue. BSA maintains fairly high standards for the camps
it operates and inspects them regularly to assure that these standards
are maintained. From a Council's perspective, there is no way to assure
that a Troop spending a week at a Troop campsite has the same level of
program quality and services that the Troop would have at its own Camp.
And the language speaks to a long-term camp, not to a one-week Troop outing.
While your Troop may have tried its very best to offer a quality program
with a high level of adult support (for which you can justifiably be
proud), there are many other Troops that have not done as well. I know
of a Troop locally that had its own camp area on private land and I also
know the results - not good.
Take a second to look at this from your Council's perspective. From their
perspective they may see:
* You don't offer the fellowship associated with meeting other units.
* You may not have leaders certified by the National Camping School for
key adult positions to offer a full program; e.g. Field Sports,
* Your facility may not meet the standards for safety, health, and
the like that BSA uses.
* Your facility is not subject to external inspections for quality
* Your Council's Risk Assessment Committee may have established a
policy to discourage unit "camps" for liability reasons.
I think that the question of fees is a red herring. Most Councils try
very hard to provide camperships and reduced-fees to needy youth in order
to provide the opportunities that costs would otherwise foreclose. Yes
they need to keep the numbers up to make the camp viable, but this is a
bit different than making decisions strictly to get a higher fee.
If you can understand your Council's possible viewpoints, perhaps you can
talk with your Council's program staff about recognizing your camp or
making an exception. If you do talk, I would suggest that you also be
prepared to hear the other side of the story. Perhaps you can work out
understandings that will solve the problem, perhaps not.
Yes your boys are getting a long-term camping experience, but it is not
at a long-term resident camp. If the Council can't provide camperships
and sufficient help to get the boys to camp, I would be inclined to hope
an exception might be made. However, this is something you will have to
address with your Council.
In either case, I applaude any effort to get a Troop into the outdoors
where the boys can experience all the fun of camping and adventure.
Speaking Only for Myself in the Scouting Spirit, Michael F. Bowman
a/k/a Professor Beaver (WB), ASTA #2566, OA Vigil Honor '71, Eagle
Scout '67, Serving as Deputy District Commissioner for Training,
G.W.Dist., Nat. Capital Area Council, BSA - firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City