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Unfortunate issue at Cub Scout Day Camp, seeking advice


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#1 ddubois

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 03:57 PM

Hi Scouters,

 

I'm not sure what forum to put this in, but here goes.

 

My wife and my older Boy Scout sons are volunteering all week as Staff for the annual Cub Scout Day Camp for our District.   This event includes shooting sports.  Today, apparently some unknown Cub Scout aimed very poorly, or in some other way discharged a BB gun, into a nearby parking lot, hitting our rear passenger window, breaking it.  The bill is going to be nearly $300 for replacement.  We give a great deal time of our time to Scouting, but are thrifty with our money, and I'm not comfortable "donating" this cost.  I feel like council should kick in here.  These events are insured, right?

 

We do not know who the shooter was.  Notably, the event is NOT taking place on BSA property this year.

 

If you were in my shoes, how would you approach this situation?

 

YIS,

-Dan


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#2 RememberSchiff

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 04:39 PM

Tell us about about the adult rifle instructors and safety officer at the BB range.


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#3 NJCubScouter

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 05:08 PM

I think RememberSchiff's question is a good one, but in my opinion the next thing you should do about this is report this incident to the council office, if you have not done so already. That does not necessarily mean I think you will be compensated, because I don't know the answer. But any delay in reporting it may jeopardize whatever chances you may have.
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#4 MrBob

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 05:25 PM

Got a photo of the damages?


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#5 CalicoPenn

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 06:15 PM

Did you report the damage to the Camp Director? That's step one.
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#6 ddubois

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 07:41 PM

Tell us about about the adult rifle instructors and safety officer at the BB range.

No comment :(

 

I think RememberSchiff's question is a good one, but in my opinion the next thing you should do about this is report this incident to the council office, if you have not done so already. That does not necessarily mean I think you will be compensated, because I don't know the answer. But any delay in reporting it may jeopardize whatever chances you may have.

My wife is composing an email, although we're not sure how to word it.

 

Got a photo of the damages?

Yes

 

Did you report the damage to the Camp Director? That's step one.

The Camp Director, also a volunteer, saw the damage and quickly concluded it was a BB pellet hole in the middle of the shattered window.  Our District is currently between DEs, and so, for most of the event so far this week, there has not been any BSA staff on site, and there was none on site when the window was discovered at end of day.


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#7 mashmaster

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 08:25 PM

Wow, it sounds like the range wasn't setup properly.  There shouldn't be any way a car would be close enough to the range unless the boy was pointing the gun 180 degrees from the target.  BB's don't travel that far and fast, how close was the vehicle?  

 

I would assume the the district will work to resolve the situation.


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#8 Gwaihir

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 07:03 AM

Wow, it sounds like the range wasn't setup properly.  There shouldn't be any way a car would be close enough to the range unless the boy was pointing the gun 180 degrees from the target.  BB's don't travel that far and fast, how close was the vehicle?  

 

I would assume the the district will work to resolve the situation.

 

This was my first thought as well.  It almost sounds like the range was setup IN the parking lot because, as you say, BBs lose velocity fairly quickly and the BB guns used in scout camp are usually low powered to begin with.  


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#9 Eagledad

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 08:24 AM

Three contacts for something like this the Scout Executive (SE), District Executive (DE) and the District Chairman (DC). In the back ground, the SE will contact the DE to learn of the facts as far as how the camp was planned to make sure all the proper procedures and paperwork were performed. The DC will contact the DE as well to make sure everything is official and get advice on how to proceed. Nip it in the bud as it were. Depending on your Key 3, the District Commissioner will be asked to help. If all is in order, BSA insurance will likely cover the windshield.

 

The issue of how this happened will likely follow. But just like in this thread, don't let the "Why it happened" distract from the "how to pay for it". Some folks just can't help themselves. Insist they deal with the two questions separately and the windshield cost promptly. You may have to repeat yourself in the matter depending on the professionalism of the players.

 

Barry


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#10 SSScout

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 08:25 AM

1)  If the CD was informed, a report should have been made to the Council after investigation as to who, how, what etc.  This is a MAJOR accident, could have resulted in human injury (thank the Lord it did not ?) .  Ask for a copy of the report. FORMALLY, ask for a copy.

2)  Yes, the Council Insurance should kick in.   No "pro" on site?   then they will depend on the report from the CD.  If it was not forthcoming IMMEDIATELY, it must be pursued NOW. 

3)  Contact the "tempo" DE for your District. There should be one named, they are probably overworked , assigned to more than one, or the Senior Regional Executive (BSA makes up lots of titles for responsible Scouters) of that group of Districts.  Also, contact the Council Scout Executive.   Email is NOT sufficient. Write a "real" letter, detailing EVERYTHING you know about the event. 

4)   Who designed/approved the shooting range?   Who was the Range Safety Officer?   Did they make a report, sign off on the CD's report?   All appropriate stuff to pursue.   Something went wrong.  No BB should ever leave the range.   Same for arrows,  slingshot pellets, rockets, throwing knives, hatchets, .22bullets,  rocks....

5) Yes, "things happen".   I have stories too, having been a CSDC RSO many times, but responsibility must be taken and by figuring out the lapse in attention (?), perhaps (perhaps !)   this type of event can be avoided in the future.  Your efforts, dd, can  help make this true. 

 

I hope this poor accident does not sour you to Scouting in the future. 

 

See you on the trail.


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#11 CalicoPenn

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 08:42 AM

 

 

The Camp Director, also a volunteer, saw the damage and quickly concluded it was a BB pellet hole in the middle of the shattered window.  Our District is currently between DEs, and so, for most of the event so far this week, there has not been any BSA staff on site, and there was none on site when the window was discovered at end of day.

 

 

Ok.  The Camp Director, volunteer or not, has the responsibility to report it to the incident to Council.  Make sure that's been done.  If you have an actual quote on the replacement cost, include that in your e-mail to Council - word it with just the facts that you know and ask them what the next step is.  They may require you to file a claim with your insurance company.

 

Make sure you take some pictures of the location of the range and the location of the parking lot and where your van was in relation to where the range was. 

 

Now please take the following in the spirit in which it's given - I'm not trying to be negative here, just being pragmatic.  The Council's #1 job is not to provide programming for units - I know we wish it was but it isn't.  It's number one job is to protect the name and image of the Boy Scouts of America and to reduce any exposure of risk to the bottom line (the BSA may be a non-profit, but it's still a business).  In a rose-colored glasses world, the Council would just cut you a check for the loss.  This isn't that world - the Council will likely file a claim with their insurance company which may (emphasis on MAY - I said I'm not trying to be negative) trigger a brief investigation of the circumstances.  If I were the insurance inspector, the very first thing I would want to know is where was your van in relation to the BB Gun Range.  I'd be looking at two things - was your van in the normal line of fire of the range (was the range set up against the parking lot?).  The second and third would be how far away from the range was your van and was your van parked in a legal space (that last would be to try to shift at least part of the blame your way).  How far away is pretty important - the further away you get, the less force a BB has to penetrate glass.

 

The second thing I would be looking at is the BB Guns themselves - are they lever action (which propel BBs at speeds from about 85 meters per second to a maximum of 145 mps, with most ranging around 114 mps) which generally has a penetrating range of 60-100 yards or were they pneumatic pump powered guns which increases the velocity of the BB which increases the penetrating range of the bb or was is a CO2 powered BB gun which increases the velocity even further and has the longest penetrating range.   

 

The point is if the Council get's their insurance company involved, the insurance company may decide $300 is not worth the aggravation but they could also decide it's worth it to investigate and try to find some way to say it's not related to the bb gun range at all.


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#12 Col. Flagg

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 10:39 AM

First, if this is a council camp then the council insurance is the primary coverage. If this is private property, then the RSO/Instructor and district will have to have had the council sign off on the use of that land and suitability of the range. Land owner and council insurance applies. If this is public land (city park, etc.) then city insurance would kick in but the private land owner form/approval is still required. Lastly, many RSO/Instructors carry insurance either personally or through their certifying organization (e.g., NRA).

 

Second is the range. The RSO/Instructor is responsible for range safety. If a council camp then the range should be pre-certified for use (burm height, distance, clearances and suitability). If not a council camp then the onus is on the RSO/Instructor BUT the council must sign off on the location for use.

 

In short, council and the RSO/Instructor are responsible.


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#13 RichardB

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 11:52 AM

http://www.scouting....ent_report.aspx contains everything you need to know about incident reporting but were afraid to ask.  Please notifiy the camp director and scout execuitve as soon as possible with your concerns.   Don't have to fill out a form but a clear recording of the who, what, when, why and where is needed.   


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#14 perdidochas

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 12:51 PM

This was my first thought as well.  It almost sounds like the range was setup IN the parking lot because, as you say, BBs lose velocity fairly quickly and the BB guns used in scout camp are usually low powered to begin with.  

 

I find it hard to believe that a Scout BB gun could shatter a window.  I don't doubt that one could chip a window.  


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#15 fred johnson

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 02:21 PM

This is more a safety issue than a dollar issue. 

 

Safety - It does need to be reported and addressed.  The goal is that the next time this camp happens it's not a person that's hit.  

 

Dollars - There are many ways this can be paid.  I think the key thing is I'd ask directly to the DE (and if no DE, than the scout executive) that you get reimbursed.  If it was me in the scout office, I'd want to get this paid. 


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#16 frankpalazzi

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 05:08 PM

Report everything to the Camp Director.  No E-mails!!!!   Ink to paper, sent Certified Mail, return receipt requested is the only way to go for something like this!!!  Do it today!

 

"We didn't get your e-mail" is a convenient dodge.  A green postcard returned to you with a signature is the only way to go.  $5 well spent.  CYA, as they say. :)

 

If you don't get a response within 7 days, contact the Scout Executive, by phone AND Certified Mail.  An issue like this is a serious safety issue which I'm certain the council will investigate right away.  It's not your job to point out the safety shortcomings, range officer qualifications, etc.  That is the job of the council, let them do their job.  You may be asked to file a claim with your own insurance company for the time being.  If so, do it.  The two companies can work out the issues, and you'll get your glass fixed.

 

And, of course, I'd suggest parking somewhere else from now on!  :)

 

Thank you for your service at CSDC, volunteers are often hard to find.


Edited by frankpalazzi, 14 June 2017 - 05:12 PM.

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#17 Col. Flagg

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 09:22 AM

 An issue like this is a serious safety issue which I'm certain the council will investigate right away.  It's not your job to point out the safety shortcomings, range officer qualifications, etc.  That is the job of the council, let them do their job.

 

It's not his job, but something to take note of. 

 

Just like a traffic accident, one should get as much information (names, dates, pictures, etc.) to show potential negligence that someone might try to cover up after the fact.


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#18 ddubois

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 04:31 PM

My wife finally got a reply from the council's Program Director:

 

Xxxxxx,

Thank you for your e-mail. I was out at Camp Xxxxxx when you sent the e-mail and did not have a chance to reply back to you timely as there is no service there.

 

We have investigated the incident, and we cannot determine the cause of the window being broken in the parking lot. I have spoken to both the Camp Director from camp and the Range Officer whom worked at camp at length, whom each indicate that they were present that day and that they could not determine how it occurred or what had caused the window to be damaged. I also spoke to you onsite at camp on June 13, when I visited there and I could not determine the possible source. You indicated you were having your window replaced under your insurance.

 

Xxxxxx Xxxxxx who was the RSO for camp,  is currently heading out of town to his Troops Summer Camp and said he will contact me when he returns. He stated to me earlier today when we spoke via phone that he was the person in charge of the Ranges at all times during camp, and that at no time did any incident(s) occur where any unsafe activity took place that could have caused damage to a vehicle as a result of the range operation. I can forward a copy of the report once received.

Thank you,

Xxxxxx Xxxxxx 
 

I'm disappointed, but not surprised.  I think it really short-sighted to play the "you can't prove it was our fault" game.  Were I in their shoes, I would hope that I would see it's so much easier to pay the $300 and keep the good will of someone who volunteers as much as I do.  Our last Troop sold over $4000 worth of popcorn, and that was entirely my doing; they would not have partaken had I not convinced them and organized everything, and I've already volunteered to be Popcorn Kernel and Membership Chair for my district, within months of my move within this council from one district to another.

 

The comment about "replaced under your insurance" bothers me too.  They're weasel words designed to weaken our position, as if insurance makes up for our harm.  We paid for it out of pocket, because driving around for days or weeks with a missing window is obviously not an option - it rains a lot here.  I'm sure going to Geico about this would be a waste of time, with deductibles and the ensuing rate hike.

 

This is a picture of the damage:

19179688_10212217158680869_1956221843_o.

 

For what it's worth, the "hole" area of the glass didn't fall in at the time of the initial damage, it collapsed later, when my unobservant children closed the door after retrieving something from the car.

 

Initially, I had some doubt about the ability of a BB to damage a car window, and wondered where the range was.  But when I went on site and saw where the range was located - it was diagonally adjacent to the parking lot, with "down range" running parallel to the parking lot - all my doubt was removed.  I think it fair to say 90% odds the initial shattering was from a BB gun.  Tempered glass like this is much more likely to break from pinpoint pressure, than from a blunt hit from something like a hammer or a fist.

 

Also, I've talked to the RSO, and "at no time did any incident(s) occur where any unsafe activity took place that could have caused damage to a vehicle" is over-stating his position.  He told me he saw nothing unusual or suspicious or indicative; but I'm sure he wouldn't go out on that logical limb and say unequivocally that certainly nothing happened; that would be like proving a negative.  It bothers me the program director used such absolute language.

 

So... if you were me, would you give up at this point, or should l pressure council harder to make this right?


Edited by ddubois, 07 July 2017 - 04:42 PM.

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#19 Back Pack

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 07:13 PM

If down range is parallel to the parking lot then the range should not be operating!

If you really want satisfaction then read the range sports manual and find the violations this range has. Then hand that over to a lawyer and have him contact council to get your money.

Don't expect council to step up and do the right thing.
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#20 Stosh

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 07:26 AM

Me?  I would just get the window fixed and then stop all FOS contributions until the cost has been met.  No drama, no hassle, no paperwork, no lawyers, no discussions with other scouters/council.

 

I seriously doubt there's some Cub Scout out there that deliberately shot out the window.  If he did, he wouldn't fess up to it anyway.

 

Just smile nice, be polite and tally the costs against contributions and be done with it.


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