Re: Fwd: Re: Quality Unit! Yes or no
(no name) ((no email))
Mon, 1 Apr 1996 22:16:01 -0600
Dave Hills wrote:
>>I have my progam notebook for 1995-1996 in front of me, and it says:
>>"7. Outdoor Activities. The troop will conduct six highlight
>> activities (such as hikes, campouts, trips, tours, etc.) and attend a Boy
>> Scouts of America long-term camp."
It was added to the Quality Unit requirements, Dave (and Matty) because
a lot of Troops were doing what you described earlier and have gotten
into some trouble one way or another as a result.
"Trouble" can be defined in many ways. Please note the THIS IS NOT, as
many have wrote here, NOT A MONEY THING...it is a PROGRAM thing.
Please also note that I have used the spring break to do a weeklong
"Spring Camp" equal to and with almost as much programming as the BSA
summer camp we went to later on...the idea was that many military kids
"rotate" back to the States before going to a summer camp or having a
summer-camp-type experience and we wanted to provide that kind of
experience for them.
One way that units get into trouble by holding their own "summer camp"
is through the insurance deal. I didn't have to deal with the "insurance
deal" when I was a Scoutmaster, because it wasn't as important as it is now.
Nowadays, you leave with a group of Scouts, and one returns sick and
their parents and everyone else around them wants to sue you for such
stupidity as "malnutrition".
Another way that units get into trouble can take the form of the program
offered during the camping event. While you may have merit badge
counsellors, are those counsellors "official"? How about your swimming
"hole"...is the location clean (as "clean" can be nowadays?)? Do you
have an "emergency indoor facility" when everything gets flooded or
in the case of a severe thunderstorm or tornado? While I can side with
those of us "old timers" that appreciate the wind blowing everything down
only to have everyone pitch in and rebuild (and re-rebuild) everything
again, many of today's Scouts just don't have the "endurance" to withstand
two large storms and you may end up cancelling the event after one or two
days if there's not a backup facility there in place.
Still another way that units get in trouble is through "extra hands". We
want to provide our Scouts with ample opportunities to participate, and
naturally, this means extra adult supervision. Are those folks registered as
BSA leaders? Do they understand the BSA's Youth Protection Plan and how
it applies to them? Are they willing to conduct themselves according to the
BSA (and the chartered partner organization)?
Finally, are there ways that the parents and guardians can reach and receive
their Scouts if for some reason an emergency exists at home or at camp? Can
you quickly get medical attention to the facility? How about police protection?
This is a big deal today, because parents WANT TO KNOW where, when and
how their sons are being protected and by whom.
You don't worry about any of those matters with a BSA-certified camping
Those things are built into the annual camping inspection procedure that each
camp has to pass before they are allowed to operate. For this matter, many
same elements can be found in the National Camping Association's standards as
well, so as long as your camp has been certified as a NCA facility, you
have to worry about those "trouble areas".
Only thing, they are NOT "BSA" facilities.
I want to add two other notes to this, because this is something that really
bothered me. Somebody stated that the only reason why the BSA wrote that into
the QU requirements is to get "our money" and "to make more money for BSA".
That's not true. While it is true that places like Philmont, the Sea Base,
Outdoor Adventure facility, and the Northern Tier facilities are all
expensive, you get
much more per person than the price. Those places have experienced,
highly motivated volunteers and professionals that make it their business to
stay there the best thing that has ever happened in your life. If that's
not true, then
please explain to me why year after year, the SAME FOLKS return back to
the Sea Base or any of the other facilities, and why they tell their fellow
The local Council camp is available 365 days (366 on a leap year like this
one!) a year,
and for a very small fee. You can arrange to have a "summer camp" during
that the camp is down, or a "district camp" or even a "community camp" as I
did in 1978
at the summer camp facility. You don't have to use their food, nor their
you can bring your own. You can run your own operation, assisted by the
that knows how everything works and perhaps a Council staff member that will
and camp (maybe) because he or she misses the personal aspect of being a
The other point is that compared to other recreational facilities, we in Boy
many Girl Scouting facilities) get a "deal"!! The only way you would even
beat the cost
of the facility and staff and patch is if you did it all yourself...and you
won't *really* enjoy it,
because you would be too busy *running it*. One of the things I enjoyed
camp is that every day after breakfast, I can roam the entire camp,
coffeemug in hand, talking
with other Scouters, working with Scouts on an individual basis, sitting by
the dock, having
the third or seventeenth mug of coffee, going to the trading post and
standing there, having
a mug of coffee with a brand new Scoutmaster, and NOT having to worry about
except what time dinner will be and where I can "mooch" another mug of
Like I stated earlier, I too, took my Scouts to an "summer camp" during the
spring break of
each year I served as Scoutmaster. The experiences were grand, the places
Germany) was super, and the training and "outdoor adventure" that my Scouts
was in my opinion, was just as equal as going to a week at Camp Bayern, or
or McKee Scout Reservation or Camp Covered Bridge.
But it *wasn't BSA Summer Camp*.
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle) (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Services of Kentucky (502.826.7046) __)_
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