Equipment

Hurricane Maria: An update on BSA members in Puerto Rico. Ways you can help.

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Bryan on Scouting has just posted this article on how to help after Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

To my view, the most important part of this article is that the councils and units affected have been slow to report their needs. This creates a risk of their needs being forgotten or overlooked by the rest of the BSA.

This slow response to state needs makes a lot of sense. First, the BSA is built on a diffused organizational system. National Council needs information from local councils. Local councils need information from districts. Districts need information from units. Units need information from unit leaders. Unit leaders are busy caring for their families, work or businesses, and places of worship.

Now the information trickle is beginning. The BSA has created several central clearinghouses of information. Units can make direct appeals for help. The BSA has created a central fundraising website. Now we know where to look for what is needed.

So the next question seems to be, “What can our unit do?”

What you can do is still limited by BSA regulations. Let’s take a quick look so that these are all fresh in mind.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Troop Gear and Trailer Protection

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Recently Troop 161 of Pioneer District had their trailer stolen.

Bryan on Scouting delivers again with a 2011 post about these types of issues.

From the article, a couple points interested me:

  1. Locks do not prevent theft. They slow thieves down and make their criminal activities more obvious. This means that locks are most effective where witnesses or cameras can observe the trailer.
  2. Multiple theft deterrence methods or locks is desirable to make the theft more obvious and the time to complete the theft take longer.
  3. Painting the unit number on the roof is a great way to help recover the trailer if it is lost or attempted to be hidden. Many thieves don’t think to camouflage the roof during or after the theft.
  4. A logo-painted (not one with pretty graphic wraps) trailer is worth less on the black market than an unpainted trailer. It requires more work to disguise it.
  5. Using self-storage areas is a great way to deter theft, even if it is more expensive and less convenient to the meeting location.
  6. Insurance is not a simple solution and may require the cooperation of your chartered organization, including having your equipment “scheduled” on the business-owner’s premises (“BOP”) insurance coverage. (Scheduling is just the process of providing the insurance agent with a list of specific property of value that the insured wishes to include on the insurance policy. This is very sensitive to the type of property being scheduled and the nature of the underlying BOP policy terms.)

Thank you to our Order of the Arrow Advisor John Ruggles for the links to these article.