Re: Seabase or Other Long Term Plans
Robert Losee (rlosee@UNLINFO.UNL.EDU)
Fri, 17 Jul 1998 12:52:26 -0500
> One of the ASM's and I are considering approaching the Troop Committee and
> scouts with the idea of a long term planning for a trip to seabase. Say
> 2-3 years. He has prior experience with planning a trip there in 96.
Two years ago when I was ASM I felt strongly that our new troop needed to
experience camping as something more than hauling lawn chairs out to a local
lake. So I proposed to the Adult Committee we pursue getting slots to Philmont
and Boundary Waters. Happily this is my first day back at work after having
gone through BWs. It was a great experience for our troop and as SM I'm looking
forward to the changes I think High Adventure will bring to the troop culture.
Things like maybe learning knots isn't just some funky thing SM's like to test
you on but become essential if you want to keep your food away from a bear. Or
that being prepared in first aid and lifesaving can be very important (we're
told by Northern Tier we're the first troop to total a canoe (and nearly drown
an advisor-thru no fault of our own) in five years-but that's another story).
> I would like to hear from other scouters, their ideas and experiences
> regarding this type of long term planning.
> How did you approach it with parents?
First of course with the adult committee. I came with the information on cost
of camps, described to them what they were like, even brought my backpack
filled with my equipment to point out that this would have a big impact on the
troop because boys and the troop would need to start getting this type of
We made a leap of faith and optimistically got slots for both Philmont and BW.
Then at a court of honor I brought old slides from my time at Philmont (26
years before (boys like seeing that I had longer hair)) , people who had just
been to Philmont and BW, .... Then we had sign up, first come first served for
40 BW slots. We filled them and had about eight people waiting to get in. We
were shocked by the volume of people who wanted to go out of a troop of about
35 scouts. Nearly half the contingent was adults. I hoped to shake a few of
those out so we had room for late arriving scouts so I more or less required
all adults going to take training in SM Fundamentals. I'll be darned they
pretty much all did it. We had more adults from our troop attend training than
the rest of the counsel combined. Cool, we have a lot of trained adults. In the
end some people left because of job changes and illnesses meaning a couple
months ago we dropped a whole crew of eight (empty slots) to take 32. In short
we had almost a 20-30 percent drop out rate. I'm curious if this is normal.
> How did you deal with scouts that left during the time?
The first couple were replaced with people who wanted in so they got all their
money back. Toward the end some lost quite a bit in deposits because we
couldn't replace them and we weren't getting any money back. I think we need to
work on this more.
> How did you deal with new scouts that came in?
A couple scouts who came in got open slots or were put on a list. I think it'd
be impossible to manage if things kept shifting as to how many were going. My
philosophy was that if a few scouts can't get in it makes it a more precious
commodity and with a yearly adventure they'll have other chances if they stick
around long enough.
> I know about the 1 day signup/call in thing and am not looking forward to
> that. Any advice?
I just had my phone redial and redial and redial till I got Philmont and made
reservations. It took about 2 hours as I recall. It was already full for '98 so
we took '99 slots. Then I made one or two calls to BW before I could get
reservations there. That was exactly what we hoped would happen as the troop
wanted to canoe first but get a slot for Philmont. Our current plans call for a
troop planned trip in 2000, and Sea Base in 2001 but these are goals not solid
> I believe that teaching scouts about "long term" planning is important.
> Too often I hear "we can't do that, we don't have the money" or 'That's
> tooooooo expensive". I think this will help them learn that they CAN plan,
> They can go after the bigger piece of pie.
This is my theory. What I more or less forced the adult committee to do was
have enough money earning projects available so that a scout could, over a year
or two, get enough money to pay for it. The reality in our troop is that mostly
the parents paid (we live in a relatively affluent area).
I also think that keeping these things available will help the retention rate.
Two older scouts had announced before the trip that this would be their last
event with the troop. Coming back they told me they're thinking of staying in
so they can go on future trips. A few other scouts mentioned the same thing.
After the bus arrived back home about 23:30, and we confirmed it was cleaned
out we gathered for a closing prayer, and ended with the shout "Next year to
Philmont!!!" Keep 'em thinking what they'll miss if they don't participate.
Hope this helps.
Bob Losee, SM T25-Lincoln NE
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City