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Western Mass. Council Inc., Boy Scouts of America Camping Program Changes FAQ 12-10

Western Mass. Council Inc., Boy Scouts of America Camping Program Changes FAQ 12-10

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Published by: MassLive2 on Jan 10, 2011
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Western Mass. Council Boy Scouts of America2011 CHANGES IN CAMPING PROGRAMSFAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What are the changes?
We are partnering with other Scouting councils to ensure that our Boy Scouts receive a quality,week-long summer resident camping experience. Boy Scout Resident Camp will not be held atChesterfield or Moses in 2011. Our other summer programs (Cub Scout Day Camp, Cub ScoutResident Camp, Webelos Weekend, NYLT, Eagle Week, and Venturing Week) will, however, beheld locally.
Why is WMC making this change?
 This is a step that strengthens the council overall, and helps lead us into the future. It is in the best
interest of our council’s youth to take this step now in order to be better prepared and po
for Scouting’s next 100 years.
What trends led to this change?
 In the broad context, many Boy Scout troops have sought variety in their summer campingexperiences. More than one third of our Boy Scout troops currently camp out of council or off site.In addition, there is an over abundance of Boy Scout summer camp programs within easy drivingdistance to WMC. Many of these camps offer excellent Boy Scout resident camp programs like wehave in the past here in WMC. The future trend will be for a much smaller number of high-quality,well attended, and well funded regional Boy Scout summer camping programs.
Why us and why now?
 We want to be pro-active. The council consolidation two years ago was a big step. This is anotherkey step in cont
inuing to strengthen the council. Becoming a quality operation and a “FinanciallySustainable Council” is a key priority. Despite a strong camp promotion effort and a very worthy
program, our Boy Scout summer camping program has been greatly under-utilized, and therefore,greatly under-funded for a number of years.
What are the numbers?
 The per-Scout council subsidy level has been very high for a number of years. In 2010, we had acouncil subsidy level of more than $100 per camper. Even with additional cost cutting measuresand further summer program consolidation efforts, the projected council subsidy level in 2011would have been over $100 per camper had we not made this change. We cannot sustain this. Thiswould not be fiscally responsible, and it is not fair to the other 80% of our members who do notattend WMC summer camp and to our donors.
What other factors led to this change?
 Both enhanced camping program standards and health/safety standards have increased greatly inrecent years. We applaud this. However, when combined with the increase in associated costsincluding staffing and other items, as well as other increases, it is no longer feasible for WMC tooffer a Boy Scout summer resident camp. In addition, the stressed economy and reductions in
some funding sources are a contributing factor in mitigating WMC’s ability to withstand more
years of large subsidies and losses at camp. Therefore, we must collaborate with other visionary,pro-active, like-minded councils to provide this service to our Boy Scout troops.
Page 2Does this fit into the National BSA Strategic Plan?
 The new National strategic plan includes the following objectives regarding sharing of services
with other councils: “Provide specialized shared
-service models for use across council boundaries
(e.g., special events, camping, activities, and production within a defined area)” and “The National
Council has piloted and delivered a useful model for exploiting economies of scale and/or the useof shared services
to reduce individual council expenses.” In addition, our own WMC strategic plan calls for action to “Consider financial implications, council subsidy level, and stewardship of 
resources regarding camping properties on a regular basis as recommended by our National
consultant, Mike Watkins. Research possible scenarios as and when appropriate.”
There has alsobeen serious talk at all levels for nearly twenty years about using this shared-services model.Regardless, the over-reaching goal is to provide the best possible summer camp program for asmany youth as possible.
Isn’t the camping experience more than just numbers?
 The numbers underscore both our necessity to exercise our fiduciary responsibility and to achieveour goal of providing the best possible Boy Scout resident camping programs to our troops. Weneed to partner with other camps in order to achieve both. Despite our emotional connections withlocal Boy Scout summer camp, this is the logical solution.
OK, so who are our partner Boy Scout camps?
 We have finalized cooperative Boy Scout summer camping agreements with the following:Albany, NY (Twin Rivers Council)
Rotary Scout Reservation
, Poestenkill, NY.In council pricing for WMC troops, $290 by 5/1; $340 after 5/1.East Hartford, CT (CT Rivers Council)
June Norcross Webster
, &
.Lowest rates for WMC troops, $330 by 5/20; $355 after 5/20.Rochester, NY (Seneca Waterways Council)
Massawepie Scout Reservation
(Adirondack HighAdventure Trek Center & Camp Pioneer), Tupper Lake, NY.Reduced in council pricing for WMC troops. For Pioneer, $295 by 5/16; $320 after 5/16.For Treks, $350.
Where can I get more information on our partner Boy Scout camps?
 The WMC e-
newsletter “
 Be Prepared 
” and our council
websitewww.wmascouting.org will provide additional information, links, contact information, and registration instructions. We alsoanticipate that the OA will assist in promoting our partner Boy Scout camps as well.
What about Campership support?
Camperships will be available from WMC for Boy Scouts camping at any of WMC’s partner Boy
Scout camps listed above. In addition, camperships will continue to be available for our in-councilweek long summer programs (NYLT, Cub Day Camp, Cub Resident Camp, Eagle Week, &Venturing Week).
What about weekend camping?
We are continuing to book reservations at Moses & Chesterfield during the school year.

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