Re: Equipment Storage Survey
Scott Begin (sbegin@MCS.NET)
Sat, 25 Apr 1998 11:06:41 -0500
At 09:11 AM 4/24/98 -0700, Michael Derleth wrote:
>--Do you store gear at your Charter partner/meeting location, or at
>--In a room in the building, outside/storage barn, or permanently in the
First of all, some background on the troop/area:
Oak Forest, IL (suburb of Chicago), Troop is about 20-30 kids and we have
15-20 active parents / others, most of whom are registered and have been to
training. The troop is chartered to the Men's Club at the Church/school
where we meet (not chartered by the church/school directly).
Our equipment is NOT stored on Church property. At one time, we used to
have a room with equipment in it, but we had problems keeping it secure,
problems with a leaky roof, and it wasn't convenient anymore (couldn't get
except when school was open/meeting nights). A bigger problem was where it
was located, in that we needed access to a different room, and were having
problems keeping that (it was a storage room within a storage room, only
accessible from another storage room). We gave that up when the school
wanted their space back.
Even with this space, the troop had a 40' intermodal container (the type
that can go on a truck, railcar, or ship). When I joined the troop, it was
stored about 30 miles from where we meet, wasn't convenient, and we didn't
have 24 hour access. Because of this, it wasn't used much.
About 3 years ago, we convinced the City of Oak Forest to allow us to store
the container on the Public Works property near the city recycling center.
This was done by our scoutmaster who was a good friend of the Mayor. This
location is accessible 24 hours and we work with the city recycling program
as well so we are good neighbors.
Inside the container, we have shelves to store all troop property,
including camping gear, supplies/equipment used for our Pancake Breakfast,
Klondike Sleds, and even our trailer. Our trailer is a 4x6x6 former rental
trailer, which fits nicely in the container, with room to get around it.
We have a set of lights and have installed an exterior electrical outlet on
the recycling center building 25 feet away (so we have lights/electricity
when we need it via an extension cord)
Since we moved equipment around and got stuff in place, it has been MUCH
easier to manage equipment with everything all in one place. Prior to
getting the container easily accessible, the trailer was shuttled from
leader's house to leader's house, depending on who went on outings. Most
times, the trailer wouldn't be emptied between outings, and we would take
more equipment than we needed just because it was already in the trailer.
Now, we empty the trailer after each outing, which is easy, because the
trailer is stored where the equipment is stored. Before an outing, only
the equipment needed on the outing is taken, which allows us to get MUCH
more equipment into the trailer. Because we have a central place for
equipment, it is all in one place before an outing, as opposed to trying to
remember which leader's house it is stored at.
I like repacking the trailer before each outing because you can teach the
scouts to think about what they need for an outing (they are supposed to
prepare this list every outing) and make sure they have it rather than
relying on the fact it "is in the trailer." Repacking the trailer is more
work, the learning opportunities are much greater.
Currently, I feel there are two problems with this setup:
1) Historically, the troop did a poor job of cleaning equipment at the end
of outings. Anything that wasn't clean at the end of the weekend was sent
home with scouts on the outing, who were supposed to bring stuff back clean
to the next meeting. This caused problems 1) knowing who had stuff, since
I (as Adult QM, and often not on outings) was not given a list of who had
what, which was compounded by 2) kids either didn't clean it and still
brought it back dirty, or would forget about it when they missed the next
couple of meetings. Often, I'm sure, Mom was given the stuff to clean.
We may have the solution, although time will tell. The new troop policy is
to either bring the equipment back from the outing clean and ready to go or
the next troop meeting will be spent cleaning the equipment (losing the
Game part of the meeting, which is the most popular part). I'm hoping this
works, although I think the adults on the outing need to watch the youth
leaders and make sure everything is kept clean during the weekend
(minimizes cleanup on sunday, which will make it easier to bring back clean
equipment). The only thing we will send home with scouts is tents that
need to be dried (dew / rain). I feel getting adults/youth to think about
keeping stuff cleaner on the weekend will take some time, but I think it
will be better.
2) With this large of a space, the troop tends to keep a lot of stuff we
don't need/use. We have 5 Klondike sleds (some came to us when another
troop folded), although I've never seen this troop send more than one
patrol to klondike (1 sled per patrol), and I expect sending more than 2 is
not likely. We also have a lot of old tents, some are Voyagers, most of
which need repairs to be used, some are old cabin tents, some are too big
to use, some we don't know how to set up, some are junk. We've been
saying for two years we need to go through the tents, but we haven't done
that yet. Unless you are adamant about refusing "donations" of things you
will never use, you have to be careful or your equipment will grow to fill
whatever space you have available/provide for it
Yours in Scouting,
Scott A. Begin Troop 348, Oak Forest, IL, Calumet Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City