January 4th, 2018

camp cook

That really chafes my dishes

I went out to camp to inventory the kitchen prior to our Winter Rendezvous. I couldn't find the chafing dish frames we need. It takes 16 or more chafing dish frames to set up two serving lines. And we can't just trust that one time through will do: there's a second seating, with two more serving lines, so keeping food hot is a must, for health reasons.

I asked the Ranger, who couldn't find them. He asked last year's camp director, who said that he thought that perhaps someone got rid of them as part of some trade-in-for-free-food deal. I said this means I have to buy what we need all over again. So much for "free" food.

This is not a new problem. It happens at camp, and it happens in churches. Stuff accumulates. It gets in some people's way, but you can't move it. "Oh, the UM Men need that 2x4 to prop up the fryer when they do their annual fish fry (once a year)." Well, can you put it somewhere else? "No." So, the sacred 2x4 remains in place for people to curse. And then, someone comes through with a vengeance. The UM Women (or somebody) decide it's time somebody clean up this mess, and throw everybody's stuff out, or move it. Because they're in charge, dammit, and you didn't need that, anyway. Lest you think that an exaggeration, I've seen one group of women do it to the other women in the church. California wildfires have nothing on church ladies when they're on a rampage. And crazy schemes like "get rid of that for free whatever?" Sure.

The problem is, no one person or body is in charge of the whole, and the various groups each think they have license to make decisions for everybody. Nor do the various groups have an understanding of the entire mission of the whole group -- and they don't care. So, there you go. I'll wind up buying a lot of chafing dish frames which I shouldn't have to out of pocket A, but the people in charge of pocket B think they've made out great for the camp, little realizing that both pockets belong to the same Council. Meanwhile, the Ranger (or the pastor) just shakes his head. Here we go again.

So, am I griping? Not really. I'm really just saying, this is why I always go out early to check things out for myself. "Take nothing for granted" is my motto. Or as we say in the Scouts, "Be prepared."