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Friends of Scouting Mandatory?

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#41 Krampus

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Posted 09 December 2015 - 03:17 PM

I know there are a lot of complaints about some of the stuff being built at camps. Heck I was ticked off at the pool that was built at my old camp, when we have a gorgeous man-made lake with built to Safe Swim Defense specs waterfront. I thought it was a waste of money.

 

BUT, I found out that there are a lot of laws, both federal and state, that are being pushed on camps. That was why my old camp had to build a pool.

 

That's why all BSA camps have to deal with the National Camp Accreditation Program, which replaced the various National Standards. A lot of the improvements are being mandated.

 

I could buy all that, HOWEVER:

  • Wouldn't better sanitation take priority over a $3m training center?
  • Wouldn't better food safety take priority over a $50k storage garage?
  • Wouldn't higher water quality take priority over $60k for new golf carts?
  • Wouldn't a better med hut take priority over a $2m welcome center for camp directors?

I've looked through the standards and local laws. What is being done in my camps has nothing to do with standards. It has to do with making the camp look nice for those who matter....and that's not the people who pay the annual dues.


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#42 JasonG172

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 01:15 PM

Krampus I honestly didn't see anything wrong with the bathroom facilities and used them pretty frequently at the home camps.  Until recently that's all we had, we just put in 12m into our two camps but I make sure I visit the old latrines.   

 

I am rather upset we spent so much to upgrade our dinning hall, yea its SUPER nice but what's the point have having such a nice dinning hall when all you do is hurry up eat and GET BACK OUTSIDE!


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#43 scoutldr

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 01:36 PM

Krampus, your latrines look like our camp. I complained when they installed A/C in the dining hall, but it was amazing to me how many troops avoidedour camp because of the lack of creature comforts. On the other hand, our neighboring council sold their camp due to encroaching residential development (I could literally take a leak out the back flaps of the tent and hit someone's back yard), and built a beautiful facility on the river with an air-conditioned leader's lounge with WiFi, modern dining hall, and flush toilets and hot showers in every site. Earlier this year, they handed the deed back to the bank and walked away from it. Now the scouts have nothing.
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#44 Krampus

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 01:39 PM

Krampus I honestly didn't see anything wrong with the bathroom facilities and used them pretty frequently at the home camps.  Until recently that's all we had, we just put in 12m into our two camps but I make sure I visit the old latrines.   

 

The point is that the trap johns are horrid in 103F heat. The smell is god aweful. The kids cannot stand the smell and all head to the staff (flush) latrines. Wash up facilities are bad too. Compared to other options outside of council these facilities are in the Dark Ages. Then they spend millions on a facility that is only used by the staff and super volunteers and OA? We won't even talk about the $12m still in the bank which was given specifically for camp upgrades by Ross Perot.

 

But okay, fine. Don't upgrade the stuff the units use frequently....but don't come asking us for money either. Go ask the OA or the district our council folks to dig deep.


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#45 desertrat77

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 01:48 PM

There are latrines, then there are latrines.

 

The outdoor latrines in the photos indicate neglect.   The wood is old, exposed to weather, and looks like heck.   Everything else looks shabby and repaired piecemeal.   The one photo shows a giant cement circle on the floor.   Stool is broke?   Don't repair it or replace it.   Just put a cement circle over the hole and cover it up.   Yep.   Good enough.

 

I have no problem with outdoor latrines and cold water wash ups.   But doggone it, there has to be a standard.   Good design.  Painted.  Fixtures, primitive as they may be, should be sturdy, clean and in good repair.

 

But I didn't pick that up from the photos.   The council spent all of that money on the training palace and other stuff.   They could have bulldozed the old latrines in camp, and built new similar structures.

 

It's not the austerity of the latrines that bothers me.  It's the neglect and misdirection of resources.  And I'm not even in that council.   Yet unfortunately it is not an isolated situation.


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#46 Krampus

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 02:05 PM

@desertrat77 is spot on. These facilities have not been upgraded in 40 years. Their are at least 10 years since the last repair. Ever seen what the Texas sun does to untreated wood? I encourage those folks that "see no problem" with those pics to come to Texas and visit the camps. The out-of-council boys get the worst of the facilities. 

 

Now, the council says they have plans to upgrade things across all four camps. And a few camps are getting some upgrades, but the point is the money is being spent in the wrong places on the wrong things. Add to that the insult of having someone say FOS is mandatory participation -- knowing he doesn't have to put his keaster on that john -- well, you might be able to see my point. If not, that's fine. Come to Texas, camp in our camps and break out *your* checkbook. ;)


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#47 desertrat77

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 02:36 PM

Krampus, I hope those council budget/project prioritization gurus on your list for an official seasonal visit, in full Krampus regalia!  :) :)


Edited by desertrat77, 10 December 2015 - 02:40 PM.

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#48 Sentinel947

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 10:27 AM

In Krampus's defense, those latrines are in worse shape than many of the latrines I used at Philmont.....
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#49 Krampus

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 11:01 AM

In Krampus's defense, those latrines are in worse shape than many of the latrines I used at Philmont.....

 

They are the worst facilities I have used in a loooong while. I camp in national parks, state parks, scout camps across the country as well as back country camping. Sadly the pictures do not do the facilities justice. They are actually worse than the pics show.

 

The point of my original post was this: I would not complain about the facilities if my council were some poor, cash-strapped group that had to choose between supporting our youth or making our constitutionals a bit less barbaric. But my council has MILLIONS in the bank. They received a HUGE amount of money specifically for camp upgrades. Instead of choosing to fix basic needs (food, water, shelter, sanitation) they opted for creature comforts for the elite of the council. And then they want to FORCE my unit to participate in funding MORE???!!!!  

 

It is not so much that I want greater comfort for my posterior; rather, I would appreciate the right to choose for myself where my money goes without the Council/District Goodfellas shaking me down for more.


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#50 Sentinel947

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 11:11 AM

They are the worst facilities I have used in a loooong while. I camp in national parks, state parks, scout camps across the country as well as back country camping. Sadly the pictures do not do the facilities justice. They are actually worse than the pics show.

 

The point of my original post was this: I would not complain about the facilities if my council were some poor, cash-strapped group that had to choose between supporting our youth or making our constitutionals a bit less barbaric. But my council has MILLIONS in the bank. They received a HUGE amount of money specifically for camp upgrades. Instead of choosing to fix basic needs (food, water, shelter, sanitation) they opted for creature comforts for the elite of the council. And then they want to FORCE my unit to participate in funding MORE???!!!!  

 

It is not so much that I want greater comfort for my posterior; rather, I would appreciate the right to choose for myself where my money goes without the Council/District Goodfellas shaking me down for more.

I know the feeling. My University had the nerve to send me an email about donating money to them on Giving Tuesday... They already have plenty of my parents and my money. Then they build giant expensive new press boxes for the football stadium, then have the nerve to come ask me for more of my money. ​


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#51 walk in the woods

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 11:29 AM

I know the feeling. My University had the nerve to send me an email about donating money to them on Giving Tuesday... They already have plenty of my parents and my money. Then they build giant expensive new press boxes for the football stadium, then have the nerve to come ask me for more of my money. ​

I know the feeling.  The U where I work sent an email to staff this fall saying there were looking to cut costs to fund faculty and research needs, then, about three days later, sent an email to staff asking us to participate in a 24-hour fundraiser for the U.  


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#52 Lurking...

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 12:09 PM

Gotta love the discussion on latrines.....  We've come a long way baby.

 

in the 1960's the ONLY permanent latrines we as scouts had were at summer camp.  They were the standard wood outhouses.   Every Saturday in the summer they got a new load of lye.  ALL other outings required an addition item on every duty roster, dig and maintain, and clean up the latrine. 

 

And then people wonder why I use the term Paper Eagle for all those boys that need flush toilets, showers, mess hall and a pool at summer camp.  We were happy with wooden latrines.  Flush toilets, showers, mess halls, and pools are all modern conveniences added over the years and still we call it "camping".  I think the new term that would be better suited for it is "glamping".

 

Oh, by the way, back then it wasn't just BSA either.  I was a junion in high school on a trip to Canada at a provincial park when I was privvy (pun intended) to my first campground flush toilets.  Even the state parks didn't have running water.  To this day we still have State DNR campgrounds with hand pumps and latrines, albeit cement and no longer wood.

 

I'm anticipating BSA scout shops having the string of Eagle lights to hang on your RV's awning any day now.


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#53 JasonG172

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 12:43 PM

Gotta love the discussion on latrines.....  We've come a long way baby.

 

Flush toilets, showers, mess halls, and pools are all modern conveniences added over the years and still we call it "camping".  I think the new term that would be better suited for it is "glamping".

 

I'm anticipating BSA scout shops having the string of Eagle lights to hang on your RV's awning any day now.

 

Glamping!  I have said that a time or two.

 

When we camp at our local camp we camp as far away as possible from the brand new Shower house/Toilet Bowls.


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#54 Sentinel947

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 01:59 PM

Gotta love the discussion on latrines.....  We've come a long way baby.

 

in the 1960's the ONLY permanent latrines we as scouts had were at summer camp.  They were the standard wood outhouses.   Every Saturday in the summer they got a new load of lye.  ALL other outings required an addition item on every duty roster, dig and maintain, and clean up the latrine. 

 

 

I actually dug my own cathole at Philmont a few times. Learned how to do it in ROTC. Was much better than the outhouses with somebody else's feces on the seat.


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#55 Krampus

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 02:05 PM

There's "glamping" and then there's extreme sanitation concerns.

 

Like I said, if anyone here feels this is overblown I'm happy to personally escort you to the camps in questions and watch you spend a week in 103F heat (during the day), 98F (at night), with water temps in the mid- to high- 80s. You'll eat in an open-air dinning hall with questionable sanitation that circulates the air with ceiling fans, most of which have 1 or 2 blades left on them from the 5 originals.

 

At the end of camp, I will gladly accept your check for $200 to go to our council to pay for the built-in ice cream bar they're putting in the training center. Then I will take your reservation for 2017 too.


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#56 John-in-KC

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 02:11 PM

Two comments:

 

1) That appears to be the BSA standard pit latrine structure, based on the location of the manhole.  While ours have full siding vice board siding, they're the same as yours.  In fact, I'm not sure our urinals have water to flush down to the tanks.

 

2) Facilities tend to come from capital improvement dollars,not general operating dollars.  About 15 years ago, I was part of a crew which helped a guy build a new Catholic Chapel on our Scout Reservation.  The two Archdioceses (we're on a boundary) covered 80%, the builder himself covered the last 20, and all the labor was volunteer.  As part of our labor that day (we were helping with the foundation concrete pour), we poured foundation pedestals for 48' containers being placed in a new boathouse on the property.  Again, all the money for that was gift for facilities only, not operating $.


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#57 Krampus

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 02:18 PM

@John-in-KC, so the $12m in direct funding for capital improvements for camps-only should cover it, don't ya think? 4 camps x 15 latrines each means they could use $3m to upgrade all camps with plenty to spare. But I can see how the power-to-be wanted that cherry training center. They've not spent a summer at camp (or weekend at camp) in 20 years.


Edited by Krampus, 11 December 2015 - 02:20 PM.

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#58 John-in-KC

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 02:33 PM

Concur, now the question is:  Who was the lead donor?  What did he donate for?  (Hint:  Probably his name is on the building)...

 

My council has been blessed, we had a wise steward lead us through the last capital campaign.


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#59 Krampus

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 02:51 PM

Concur, now the question is:  Who was the lead donor?  What did he donate for?  (Hint:  Probably his name is on the building)...

 

My council has been blessed, we had a wise steward lead us through the last capital campaign.

 

Actually, the donation of the full $12m came from one place. One person. His request was to use the money to "upgrade the camps as the council sees fit." The discussions and suggestions from the districts and units were to use it for the purposes I have enumerated. Council, as they do in most things lately, went their own route rather than to listen to the membership.


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#60 JasonG172

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 03:22 PM

We just upgraded our training facility as well, all the pictures can be seen at the Chickasaw Council Facebook page.  It was needed,  however I don't believe the kitchen needed that much upgrading.


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