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    • #73932
      Mike Heather

      My troop is having some difficulties getting some Scouts to Summer Camp. Mostly funding and discipline issues. What are ways for Scouts to get to camp where they can show initiative and what do you do with those Scouts who want to go to camp but have discipline issues? Thanks.

    • #73992

      Regarding funding, I find it can be helpful to keep summer camp at the forefront throughout the calendar year. If you can allow Scouts to start a payment account even the month after you return to start paying for the following summer’s fees that would be helpful. Push the fundraising opportunities, etc.

      Regarding discipline, I am all for giving every Scout a chance to go to camp. Be clear and consistent with the message leading up to camp that Scout-like behavior is the expectation and that discipline problems could result in mom or dad coming out early to give the Scout a ride home. I’ve dealt with a variety of discipline issues over the years at summer camp and the majority of the time I’ve found it had more to do with the youth learning how to deal with inter-personal relationships and working together. In the cases where it’s beyond that (physical aggression / violence, stealing, etc.) then it’s time to call the parents and for the young man to go home.

    • #73998

      Regarding discipline. We’ve done a number of things.
      For scouts with conduct or behavior disorders, a parent present in camp may help. That gives the boy someone to talk to regarding dealing with his very distinct problems. That assumes that the parent is a good “life coach” which is true about half the time.
      Other times, a designated leader will need to be prepared to drive a boy home, or sit at the program hall waiting for a parent to come get him.

      Fundraising can be a year-round thing. But choose things that the boys might be interested in. Cooking/serving a breakfast, lunch, or dinner might suit some. Running a holiday wreath stand might suit others. Other’s washing cars (or, I’ve seen some units wash airplanes) or hosting a car cruise might suit their fancy.

      Finally, an official summer camp might not suit your boys. Maybe they’d rather build their own camp on a location that’s available to them, and invite guests to come teach everyone the skills that interest them. Instead of dozens of different badges, everyone might only pick up three or four related badges.

    • #74318

      Funding…realistically, in our troop, parents just cut the check. However, scouts get commission on their fundraising sales that they can use for summer camp. We also have a scholarship fund for scouts that are truly needy. The troop also typically subsidizes the costs presented to the scouts. Also, I hate to say, but one can comparison shop for camps and choose one close to home to hold down transportation costs if this is an issue across the troop.

      Discipline issues…we typically don’t have a lot of real discipline issues. However, we have a number of scouts on the autism spectrum (not sure of the proper terminology) and with things like ADD/ADHD with behavioral issues. In these circumstances, we typically do not permit the scout to attend unless one of the parents attends as well. If the scout’s behavior cannot be controlled at that point, then we restrict their activities or expel them from the troop.

    • #75218

      Wow… powerful topics; motivation, discipline, funding, behavior.

      The first thing you need to decide is if you are running a Boy Scout troop or “daycare”.

      A Boy Scout troop is a CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT program disguised as “fun”. Scouting has MANY ways to teach discipline starting small and building up:
      1. Make the “sign” but never yell, “Sighs are up!”
      2. Uniforms – come to “work” dressed for success, or don’t come.
      3. Meetings – start on time, end on time, everyone SILENT during the closing SM Minute. Discipline, structure, and order. May seem small, but each is very important and is a part of the program FOR A REASON.

      Funding? There’s only 1 answer; “fund raising”. TEACH the value of earning/paying your own way. SCOUTS EARN THEIR WAY, period. Scouts EARN everything from Rank, to MBs, to Summer Camp. No work, no reward, no kidding. That’s Life baby, and it could be one of the most FORMATIVE life-lessons you ever impart on these young men.

      It may also be time to re-think how your program runs.
      Why do they have “no initiative”?
      What is it about your program/troop that they show up, but don’t care about anything? (takes some soul searching)
      IF you’re not doing “fun stuff”… why not?

      TALK WITH THEM… get them to understand what YOUR JOB is and what ROLE you want to play in their lives during these LIMITED scouting years. Get their buy-in that being a Boy Scout is something special. NOTHING ELSE (but Scouting) can offer the life-changing influences that they will carry forward… but it has to be “done right”.

      Be a “leader”, not a “manager”. A manager just maintains “what is”. A LEADER sets a VISION and motivates people to share and be vested in the vision. He doesn’t “maintain” he inspires MOVEMENT. Kick it up a notch! If you’re not thinking “big picture”, then you’re not thinking “Scouting”.

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