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Pancake Breakfast 2017

posted Mar 6, 2017, 7:11 PM by David Martin   [ updated Mar 8, 2017, 11:25 AM ]
Michael Hartford's overall debrief:
  • Set up on Saturday wasn't as smooth as it could have been. The auction went longer than anticipated, and there wasn't good communication about how the Scouts should work around items that needed to be moved out of the basement. If we have the potential for an overlap again, we should try to get a bigger buffer period before events and have some contact made ahead of time with people involved in neighboring events so expectations are clear. If the Scouts had come at 4PM instead of 2PM, it would probably have been a much smoother setup.
  • The event invitations sent out on Facebook and Nextdoor indicated the time as 8 AM to 12 noon, but in fact service was done from 8:30 AM to about 11:15 AM. We had a few early people who arrived while we were prepping, and maybe four or five people who arrived after we ran out of pancakes. So we should nail down the start time for Scouts at 8 AM, the start time for service at 8:30 AM, the end of service at 11 AM, and the completion of cleanup at noon.
  • The chicken & pork sausages received mixed reviews; they tasted a little different, but not spoiled different, just different different. We reserved them from the main service line until we ran out of the pork sausages, and then served them (and so far as I know didn't hear any complaints; we only had one person raise an issue during the first rush). Scouts will of course eat anything, and I contend that anyone coming to a Scout pancake breakfast should take that into account--at least we didn't roll them pancakes in gravel before serving them, as we would normally do at a campout!
  • We ran out of blueberry sauce during the first rush. It was pretty popular, so we should consider increasing quantities for next year.
  • We got some feedback on the final cleanup. I thought we had done a good job, but we had some extra scrutiny, so we should talk about a good process for confirming that we complete the checklist before declaring victory.
  • The soap dispenser in the janitor closet befuddled me when I was trying to set up the mop bucket. I worked around it, but I think we would benefit from having a short introduction to the cleaning supplies to be sure we're making the best use of them.
  • We went through 35 lbs of pancake mix, dipping into some of the church's supply. That's a number we should plug into planning next time; we didn't have any leftover pancakes, which is pretty great! We need to replenish any church supplies we dipped into.
  • I got good feedback on the posters we had about what the troop does that were on display in the dining area; let's build on that next year and make them even greater! (Maybe a slideshow running of troop activities? People like to see the awesome things that Troop 1 does, and connecting the pancakes with sending the best troop in the world out into the wilderness might open up some more donations.)
  • Overall, I saw Scouts working hard and having fun. They bussed tables, washed dishes, cooked pancakes, served food, and were very visible throughout the breakfast. I think the adults did an awesome job of mentoring without meddling, and I'm really proud of the work we did. Whether in the backcountry facing wilderness challenges, or in the basement of MUMC flipping pancakes and serving breakfast, I can't think of a finer group of young men that I would rather spend time with. 
Peter Johnson's notes for next time:
  • Cleanup is always an issue.  I've always thought the best way to do it was to have a dedicated crew that doesn't even show up until the event is over.  Everyone's too tired otherwise to be very effective.
  • Blueberries, I should have suggested that an older scout or adult dole out the berries.  Left for individuals to do, they'll pour them on.  We can get more next year
  • Sausage, We had 20 lbs of pork links for the meal.  The chicken/pork blend product was extra and shouldn't have gotten used until we were out of the other.  I saw them being prepped for cooking while I was there, but didn't dawn on me until later what was going to happen.
  • Pancake mix.  Don't worry about it.  There all of a sudden was a plethora of mix.  I'm not convinced there was some left over from last years breakfast.  

Dave Martin's notes about publicity:
  • Jim Sharpsteen loaned the Troop 6 sandwich boards; Jeanette Wiedemeier Bower added the lettering and positioned them on streetcorners.
  • Dave Martin gave flyers and tickets to Scouts at a Troop meeting about a month before the event, and explained their use.
  • Peter Johnson put a blurb in church bulletin (2 weeks and 1 week prior) and newsletter
  • Ruth Wickoff-Jones printed flyers and placed them in Lake Street businesses
  • Mark Haase sent an email to scout families about 3 weeks before the event
  • Mark Haase created a Facebook post (about 4 weeks before the event)
  • Dave Martin created a NextDoor post (about 4 weeks before the event)
  • Dave Martin printed half-sheet flyers, which Scouts distributed in the neighborhood the Monday before the event