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  • Should I be upset?

    Here's the quick version -

    My son's troop planned a four day campout for this weekend. The troop left on Thurs. and my son was unable to go at that time due to a scheduling conflict. Two mothers (one a registered leader) were going up on Friday and agreed to take my son. This has planned for two weeks.

    Friday morning the mother who is the registered leader called me to tell me that two girls (her daughter and a friend) from the Venture Crew decided they wanted to go on the campout as well. This would cause the vehicle to be overcrowded. The vehicle is super small and would barely hold three people and their camping gear let alone five people and the gear. The ride to the campout was about 5.5 hours.

    After much discussion it was decided that my son would not go on the the trip due to the close quarters in the vehicle.

    This is what I am upset about:
    1) this was a troop campout, not a crew activity; the Venturers should not have been allowed to attend and take precedence over a Scout
    2) even if it had been a Venturing activity the girls should not have been allowed to sign up the day of departure and throw everything into turmoil; this campout had been planned for weeks, the troop was already at the campground and supplies had been purchased for a specific number of campers
    3) I was also concerned about my son riding with two girls and two women. I am not sure of the requirements for co-ed traveling. I know there are supposed to me both male and female leaders on overnights but I am not sure about car rides. The vehicle they took would have put my son into extremely close contact with either both girls or at least one of them (depending upon seating arrangements).

    Would you be upset?

    My son has now missed the final campout before school begins; a campout he really wanted to attend. He was familiar with the area the troop was visiting and he wanted to show some leadership skills and make a strong impact on his new troop.

  • #2
    Scheduling conflict?
    Sometimes we have to make choices. Good lesson for your son to learn.

    Troops can do joint trips with other units.
    As far as the car ride goes, Youth Protect requires no one on one contact. Even one leader in a car with one other scout passes the test.
    Sometimes travel is crowded but did everyone have a seat belt? If so then not going because it was crowded (uncomfortable) was your choice.

    So I guess you didn't want to drive him 5.5 hours?(This message has been edited by Eagle732)


    • #3
      Bottom line: your son didn't go up with the rest of the troop due to some choice your family made. Isnt that the only issue?

      He was offered a ride up, you were uptight and demanding about girls in the car, and he missed going outdoors.

      You need to loosen up and either accept favors offered or decline them and be satisfied. No one is required to tote your son to camp.

      Be upset with yourself for not letting him go because ... "OMG! Girls!"


      • #4
        Trailblazing. Adults clearing the way for their kid.
        You can't stop it. Heck, it's hard to slow down.

        Not much you can do about a person, registered leader or not, going back on an agreement.
        Learn and go on.

        Find another ride or take him yourself.
        Don't dwell on it in front of your son. Let it go.

        Not every scout can make every event. That's ok.


        • #5


          • #6
            I would be mildly upset that the other parents went back on their offer to drive my son so that other scouts from a different unit who had not signed up could go. The fact that one of the other scouts was related to the leader who was driving is relevant, it isn't as though she went out and found other random scouts to drive around. So basically their circumstances changed and you and your son couldn't roll with the change so he lost out on a trip. Again, I'd be mildly upset that the other parents went back on their offer, but it is not worth putting any more energy than that into the situation.

            As far as the points you brought up, I don't think it violates any rules to put one male scout in a vehicle with 4 females, and if one of the parents is a leader I would assume that she had the food and sign up issues covered. Perhaps some other scouts backed out at the last minute. If your troop has a firm and unvarying rule that scouts must sign up for outings by the deadline and this had affected your son before, then you might have a reason to talk to the unit leaders. As it is, no.


            • #7
              Way to read into some of this. I am surprised at some of the replies.I expected some to tell me to get over it but the snarkiness was completely unexpected. What happened to a scout is kind and friendly?

              First - the poster who implied that my son didn't attend simply because there were girls is way off base; the idea is ludicrous. The issue is there was no room for my son because of the girls and their gear. The backseat of the vehicle is tiny, it may have fit three young children but not three teenagers. Yes, there were enough seatbelts.

              Two - the schedule conflict was school. My son's school activities have already begun and the school district the other scouts attend doesn't begin for another week which allowed those boys to go up a day early. This wasn't a problem because of the leader who had to work and couldn't go up early either.

              Three - I could have driven him but didn't think I needed to since the other adult had already volunteered and was going up anyway. The changes were last minute. There is no way I could have changed my schedule to accommodate an unplanned 10 hour round trip on a Friday evening. If I knew this was going to happen two weeks ago when the plans were made I would have been able to drive and it would have been a nonissue.

              Second Class - I think you hit it on the problem perfectly. I am upset because my son was told he had a ride and then when it came down to it there wasn't room because of last minute changes. Had we known about this in advance (we saw this family on Wed and nothing was said about the girls going at that time) we could have found a larger vehicle or found alternate transportation.

              These changes were also a surprise to the SM. He says the issue will be addressed at the next committee meeting.


              • #8
                I am going to take the other side here and say that you have some reason for being upset.

                The leaders that were going up late made plans with you that they would take your son. In my mind, that is a pledge of trust that you assumed would be honored.

                We expect that our scouts would not make a pledge and go back on it, and I would expect the same from the leaders.

                This may have made for a difficult conversation as in "I can take you (daughter) or your venturing friend, but not both since we have already promised to take (your son) and there will be no room. I know that is not what you want to hear, but I made a promise..."

                In the end...I believve that they decided on the easy wrong versus the hard right.


                • #9
                  Frankly, 2b, based on the info you provided, the responses have been fairly restrained.

                  The bottom line is you have a personal beef with another adult who behaved badly, wasn't Trustworthy, failed to live up to her commitment and put the whims of her daughters ahead of her commitments to your son and the unit. Unfortunately, even Scout leaders have the ability and freedom to be jackasses from time to time. On a personal level, you've learned something about the trustworthyness of this particular person. As a personal matter, you can write her a nasty letter, go whup her butt or leave a burning bag of doggie poo on her front step. My advice is to count it as a lesson learned about this individual and move on.

                  But where it goes from there depends on the type of commitment the leader made to the TROOP. If you make a commitment to help with transportation for an activity and back out on that commitment for ANY reason, it's an issue for the troop. If there is a policy issue (such as the last minute inclusion of siblings on a campout) it warrants discussion by the leadership. Frankly, our list of drivers for any given activity is very fluid. Parents back out of driving all the time, but we always have backups and have never left a Scout behind. But has this mom arrived in camp Saturday morning without your son and an explaination that her daughter's friend decided to come and bumped you son, I -- as a Scoutmaster -- would have been hot.

                  I dont' know how hot your son's SM is about this, but he's on the case. Your best bet is to back off (the responses to your continued involvement will probably look a lot like what you got here) and let the SM do his job.


                  • #10
                    This made the agenda at the next Committee Meeting? I must say that if I were called on the carpet at a Committee Meeting, or in any conversation rather than (maybe) a one-on-one discussion with the CM or CC, I would apologize for being untrustworthy and ask that that be conveyed to you.

                    And I would reassure those present that I would avoid the situation in the future by never offering transportation to Scouts other than my own children.


                    • #11
                      Sure, the driver kinda backslide on her commitment to take your son.

                      More importantly, though, if your son really, really, really wanted to go, and there was a seatbelt available for him in the tiny vehicle, he would have left behind most of his gear, taken just his pocket knife, canteen, bed roll and toothbrush, and squeezed in.

                      A sacrifice on his part? Yes. Worth it? Yes. A good lesson in setting aside personal comfort for going on a great outting. Plus, an 11 hour round trip drive, with someone else incurring the wear and tear on their vehicle, is worth it too, from a logistical standpoint.

                      I'm speaking from personal experience. As a scout, my parents rarely were involved in my troop, and many times I was the beneficiary of rides from other parents...sometimes in the circumstances you just described, and worse. Sure, cramped and unpleasant, being treated like the proverbial stepchild, but a good life lesson and once you get to the trailhead, all is well.


                      • #12
                        My son's troop planned a four day campout for this weekend. The troop left on Thurs. and my son was unable to go at that time due to a scheduling conflict....My son has now missed the final campout before school begins; a campout he really wanted to attend.

                        So which is it? Was there a scheduling conflict or did he really want to attend? If there was a scheduling conflict, then he (or you) clearly valued the other thing on the schedule more than the trip, which is fine. Part of life is making choices and deciding on priorities. You cant do everything, so learn to pick what's most important. Nobody else is obligated to accomodate your schedule if you can't fit into the schedule the Troop has already created. Your troop has several families in it - the Troop schedule is their effort to reconcile all the various conflicts and priorities of the entire Troop. If your family can't fit into that, then it's your family's responsibility to make something else work. Or just wait for the next campout.

                        Don't try to blame another family because they let you down. If your son had gone on Thursday with the rest of his troop, then none of the Crew (or cooties) issues would have mattered.

                        Besides, maybe you don't realize it, but it's really obnoxious for the trip leader to have to deal with Scouts coming and going other than with the group. When I'm leading a trip, especially a big Troop-wide one, I've got 20+ kids - other people's kids - that I'm responsible for. I need to keep track and make sure I don't lose, leave, or misplace any of them. Knowing there are 23 Scouts registered for the trip, that 23 were in cars when we left the parking lot, that there are 23 present at any given point during the trip, and that 23 got back into cars when we left for home, that's okay.

                        But when I have to start remembering there are 25 registered, but only 22 are driving up with the Troop, 2 others are coming up with another leader later, and 1 is arriving the second day, 2 are being picked up and going home early... yeah, I count Scouts and have to start thinking, is that how many I'm supposed to have? Where's Danny? Not to mention, it's even harder for the PLs, who are just learning to do the organizing, to deal with it. We've had grubmasters who weren't planning on coming until the second night, but the Scouts didn't realize it. Good lesson for them, but really.

                        Just fit into the schedule or wait until the next trip.


                        • #13
                          Did the driver say she couldn't take your son? It sounds like you deceided that it was to close for him to sit. You admit there was 3 seat belt so that was fine. Maybe he would have liked sitting between 2 girls. Young men do like that ya know. Its not like they have girl cooties ya know.

                          As far as gear, you put some on peoples lap, you make do. We have taken trips wher the boys were sandwiched in because we came up a driver short. They usually don't mind, but may gripe a bit, so big deal.


                          • #14
                            The troop needs to arrange transportation for all the Scouts that are signed up to go. It really shouldn't be up to each kid to figure out his own ride.


                            • #15

                              It is USUALLY a pain in the neck to deal with people who don't follow the program as planned. It causes compromises in program and a variety of organizational problems.

                              Frankly, it's rude, although something Scouting often tolerates.

                              If you make your own arrangements to come late, you take pot luck would be my attitude. Your ad hoc arrangements didn't work? That's unfortunate, but they were your arrangements.

                              I don't think much of the other family foisting additional people on the outing either.

                              Scout Troops and outings aren't doormats.