Monday, July 30, 2007

HORRIBLE CAMPS, PART ONE

What’s worse than a Haunted Camp? How about a Horrible Camp? See if you can top this one:

Although we paid a site reservation deposit a year in advance, we arrived to find another troop in our site. The council booked more troops than sites.

The staff took our older boys under their wing and coerced them to perform skits at the campfires as staff. The troop was unable to perform skits at the campfires because our leaders were with staff!

The staff at this camp participated in “vendettas” whereby they conspired to fail all boys from selected troops on their merit badges.

…it gets worse…

The aquatics director disobeyed the “no diving” signs at the pool and cracked his head on the cement. He went to the hospital and didn’t return.

The trading post did not stock required projects for Basketry or Leatherwork Merit Badges.

Campsite “raiding” and thefts happened daily.

One of our older boys, who then thought he was camp staff, began punching other boys in the face. The camp refused to honor my request to send him home.

…and the coups de gras…

After campfire on Friday night, the boys had been told (yes, the entire camp) that they were to go to Sentinel Peak for a program and NOT bring any adult leaders. The staff gave them beer!

Where was this dystopia? Our own council’s El Rancho Cima, summer of 1988. It took 3 years for the council to investigate our complaints and make an apology. Thank God things change!

Sometimes, when the weeks at camp fill for year after year, the camps forget who the paying customers are. No Scout or Scouter should have to put up with this kind of thing. It’s okay to go out-of-council once in awhile!

6 comments:

shannon said...

I can fully relate as I too have a small bit of trouble at Cima in 2003. It finally did resolved yet not through the proper BSA channels. After I did the probing it was handled correctly. I will state that the gentleman that was in charge that year did do a follow up call to me in regards to the incident. And when returned to Cima in 2006 he was still there and actually checked on the scouts during the week. Thankfully we did have the problem with the beer.

We did however have a problem with another Troop that the chief staff members could only respond as " They donate a lot of money every year to Cima." I could care less if they donate money to Cima or not. They should not be allowed to do the actions they were doing. The movements they did boarderd on YPT issuses. At the closing campfire this troop stood right across from us. We had a few parents and younger sisters there. This Troop has a troop yell ( which I think is great to show the scout spirit.). However, at the end of this yell they proceede to do a HUGE pelvic thrust.Having had to have dealt with this all week, our Scoutmaster tried to talk to their SM and SPL to which he got the response " We could turn our backs." As if that would solve the problem. The look on some of the womens faces was horrified when they did this. And the staff had been instructed to "let it go." Trust me , our Scoutmaster and myself did not let it go.
At Scout Fsair this past year this troop saw us again and made several comments about us " being the troop that was a pain in their ass." Of course several of our scouts there had no idea what this other troop was talking aobut.

Sorry for rambling on.

B C Justice said...

Thanks for sharing that story, Shannon. This is what things come to when the big city goes to camp. We are a small troop, so we don't count for diddly-squat against the megatroops we have here.

The last time we attended summer camp at Cima was 1995, and little had changed. My D.E. keeps telling me how great the council camps are, and I want to believe, but paying $200 a boy for a week of camp to find out is just too much risk.
-B.C.

Scoutmaster Steve B. said...

Wow, I have never heard of a camp having that many problems. Glas I have never attended a camp like that with my troop.

stevejb68
http://melrosetroop68.org/blog.html

B C Justice said...

Indeed, Steve, I'd never wish it on anybody.

With some camps it goes in cycles--a new director and his staff put on a great program. The camp fills. After a few years, the program gets "tired" and the quality slides. If the camp continues to fill, the quality slides further. Finally word gets around and the camp can't fill its campsites anymore. They hire a new director and the cycle starts over again.

But when you're a large council like ours is, the camps seem to fill no matter what happens, because big troops invest money in the camp. Problems are easily buried and covered over. But here in the blogosphere, we can tell it like it is.

I wish our council could be trusted to treat its "customers" with respect (maybe they do already, but can I afford to gamble on that?). Cima is a great property and the program itself offers some great Scouting.
-B.C.

SVEN123 said...

i want to see some haunted camps. ive always wanted to experience a supernatural phenomena.

B C Justice said...

Sure, Sven: check out the August 1 entry "IS THIS HELL'S GATE?" on my Byron's Campfire blog,

www.hauntedcamp.blogspot.com

-B.C.