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Area Scouts, LLC. Reviews
I first heard of Area Scouts from an online advertisement on a job site. The company was looking for an Evaluator to assess movement and biomechanical dysfunctions of athletes that want to play youth sports. I started to look into this company more closely and try to learn about the company as far as what they do, their mission statement, their operations and how they evaluate athletes. I then decided to attend their zoom meetings where I heard Lance Baldwin (CEO of Area Scouts) talking about his "vision" of area scouts. After about 10 minutes listening to his mindless and unorganized rants, it was pretty obvious he was NOT explaining what Area Scouts actually does. He talked about saving the kids from bad and money hungry coaches that take advantage of kids and their rich parents that are shelling out thousands of dollars for their kids to play sports. He mentioned that area scouts do camps and then does the B.A.S.E assessment in which this assessment is done with all participants; 20-50 kids all at the exact same time? At this point, things started sounding very suspicious, but I was still curious about the company and had a thought that I could make some money on the side as well from my full-time job (I am an Athletic Trainer and Certified Strength Coach). I decided to inquire about how to get involved with the company, but I just wanted to do their movement assessments. After calling the company several times and finally getting a "business Professional" on the phone, this person could not tell me ANYTHING about how a camp is set up, what the BASE Assessment was or what specific movement tests are done, all he could do is go over the franchise business with me. As it turns out; the Licensed Evaluator, Territory Manager, Assistant coach, Ambassador are all the exact same thing; a Franchise holder of territory that you run these camps out of (the License comes from Area Scouts which is approximately $5,000). The company Launched a Evaluator's program in which you can pay approximately $500 to get involved with them. So I tried to do this program. As soon as I joined their program. They gave me access to a website called Slack. There were no instructions, no onboarding videos or instructions, no course on how to get started in recruitment of young athletes for your "camp". The Only thing I got after reaching out to several people, was that I was on my own to go out and recruit at least 30 kids into a camp and find a facility to run these camps in(I still had no idea what the camp was or what was involved), then i had to do a BASE Assessment on these 30 kids, again, no idea what the BASE Assessment actually was, nor did any of the other "Coaches" they recruited had any idea either. I asked several of the coaches on this SLACK site what their background was and most of them had volunteered to help coach their son's little league or soccer teams; NO Background in Strength and Conditioning what so ever (the only person I saw that had any real credentials was their Director of Sports Medicine. He seems to be a DPT and a CSCS, but I am not sure if that is true). There is also no information on what the athlete is supposed to get as far as an paper evaluation or a price sheet listing the coasts per child for the camp when they sign up. I then got an email which allowed me to choose zip codes. I decided to pick some zip codes around the where I wanted to set up shop. I choose a total of 7 zip codes. When I hit next, a billing screen popped up and I saw that each zip code had a $25 fee which was a monthly recurring fee which was for insurance. At that point I knew this was a scam. Every Strength coach, Athletic Trainer, Personal Trainer, Fitness Professional knows that Insurance is billed/paid on a yearly basis which usually covers up to $3 million which is around $250 per year. When I saw this, I decided to go back on the SLACK account and ask some questions on their group discussion board. I asked about why each zip code had a $25-$30 monthly liability insurance fee, I asked what specific drills and exercises are done at the camps and how to set them up, and then I asked what the BASE Assessment was and what movement tests were. 10 hours later, I received a email from area scouts terminating my account and refunding my investment. There was no email explaining why, there was no phone call from anyone giving me an explanation. I decided to reach out to the Director of Training and Recruitment and asked what had happened. He did not know why I was terminated, nor had any idea why there was $25-40 liability insurance recurring monthly fee attached to each zip code I had. He assured me that he would get to the bottom of this and he will talk to the TEAM at Area Scouts and get back to me ASAP via Phone call. I never heard anything from again. I called his cell again and he had blocked my number.
As a Athletic Trainer and Certified Strength coach with the NSCA, NASM, and ACE for over 20 years, this company and what it represents is NOT scientific nor has anything to do with Athletic Conditioning. This is a classic Bait and Switch Scam. Lance Baldwin has no background education except a business degree. He has a LinkedIn account that just says he has a business degree. But he claims he has been coaching and doing Strength and Conditioning Training for over 20 years. I feel as a Licensed and Certified Professional and a Regional Representative board member of the NSCA, to inform the public that this is a fake company with no true experts with any sort of Strength and Conditioning program that is genuine. Steer Clear from this SCAM. If you need to Strength and Conditioning Training, you should hire a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) only.