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Women and siblings on campouts

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  • #16
    We have women SMs and women ASMs. I guess your ASM would have a hard time with that too, but those women I've known who serve in such roles are among the very best scouters I've had the privilege to meet.

    Last week I went to an Eagle CoH. One of the people who the Eagle Scout asked to speak at his ceremony is a former ASM who was instrumental in guiding him through many challenging times. And (gasp) she is also a woman.

    So you might have guessed, I think the whole "no women camping with the troop" thing is stupid and you should not cave to the ASM on this. And I would add that while excessive "mothering" is of course to be discouraged while on a troop campout, so is excessive "fathering" and I've certainly seen plenty of that behavior from many dads. This isn't a gender thing; it is an expectations thing.

    On the other matter, no, a 10 year old sister should not be a tag-along on a typical boy scout camping trip any more than a younger brother should be. What would be really nice is if some other family in the troop offered to pitch in and help the mom come to some other solution. While of course not mandatory, it sure would be a nice gesture.


    • #17

      You've already heard some excellent advice. I'll I can do is echo what has already been said.

      But if I can tell a story about our small town, and one of the Scouting moms that enjoys camping, as well.

      We have a few troops in our area. Each have their distinctive traits. My troop is pretty darn good, not perfect, but we do run a good program. The biggest populated troop (with good program and parent support) is just a few miles down the road though.

      One of our valuable families (Two Scouts, ASM, and Committee Treasurer) moved just a few miles down the road, their two sons even had to transfer to the other school because of their new location. Their boys now have school friends and sports teammates in the larger troop down the road in the neighboring community. After some heartfelt discussions. Their family announced that they would be moving to the other larger troop. They will miss our camaraderie, but the boys will be camping and Scouting with their newest neighborhood friends and school classmates.

      After only a month, the family's mother signed up for the next troop's campout roster. The troop in the other neighborhood is large enough and been so successful over the years. Their campouts have only been 20-25 Scouts and a staff of 5-10 ASM and the Scoutmaster. For as long as they can remember, they've never had committee member attend a campout, nor any mothers attend any campouts, nor any siblings. No one had ever even asked. At least not in recent history that they could remember. Its just been Scouts, Scoutmaster and (just by coincidence) the all-male ASMs.

      In the neighboring community, as a long standing and experienced troop, the troop adult leadership just didn't know what to do, or what to say. The family saw some good traits in their new troop and some disappointing traits. We are all Scouters and friends in the district. While there is spirited rivalry, there is no hostility between troops and adults.

      So, the family (friends and former members of our troop) had their own sit down PLC between ASM dad, Committee member mom, Life Scout and Tenderfoot sons, and decided it was worth it to drive a few extra miles a week back to our troop, where all registered adults are welcomed to camp. Their Scouting sons will still see their friends in neighborhood activities, and will see their neighborhood friends at the district and council camporees, but are very happy to be back with us.

      I'm not advising your Troop or troop committee to change. But your troop may be more successful if you allow committee members to attend or allow ladies (moms) to accept any of the leadership responsibilities they are qualified for. I can certainly agree. You want the SPL to be in charge, and you want the SPL and PLC to understand whom the adult leaders are, whom the committee members are, and their differences. But if a mother readily fits the role of SM, ASM or Committee member, the take them in, and allow them to camp.

      Scouting Forever and Venture On!
      Crew21 Adv


      • #18
        We have women on our campouts. In fact, our adults function as a patrol and the adult PL is a woman. We also occasionally have siblings of both genders along. Since the patrols have their own sites and the adults camp away from them and are trained to not interfere in the boy's program, there is no issue. It is pretty simple.


        • #19
          as already mentioned - the real issue is sibling... only time siblings are allowed is when it is a family campout, webelos visiting, or bring a friend.

          as for the woman... I have camped tons with my sons troop... and the boys have learned while I may be the "female" I'm not "mom" at a campout for my son or any other boy. I've even talked to the male adults in that I am to be treated as any other adult - don't be trying to be the "macho male" type and doing things for me that I should be doing in our adult patrol duties. although I will admit and most of them will too - that they eat better when I'm the adult cook LOL

          as for bathroom facilities... send this link to any women campers... has come in handy for me a couple of times, mostly on long hikes and when out fishing.


          • #20
            A couple of thoughts to add to the mix. We have just 17 boys in our troop and about 10 adult leaders of various functions. We will have 14 boys at summer camp and had 6 adults who were interested in going along. As Scoutmaster, I did not want to see the cmapsite overrun with adults, so I limited the adult campers to four, including myself. I picked leaders who had the most camping experience and would have something to offer the program.

            We try to do the same thing with weekend camps. Limited adult participation. The game belongs to the boys. It is their club. If we adults want to get together and camp, fine. Let's plan our own outing. Even if I am not helicoptering, trust me, my son knows I am somewhere around. He is never really on his own. As our adult leaders become more experienced, I intend to not go on a couple of outings, just so my son can have that experience. I will not accompany him to the Jamboree for just that reason. It needs to be an experience that belongs to just him.

            So, I'm pretty tough on folks attending campouts. Unless you have a reason to be there and have something to offer, you are not contributing to the program. So you have no need to be there. Sounds kind of harsh, but in the end the boys are better off for it. Certainly that means no siblings at all. My 14 year old daughter is a great camper and could probably outhike most of the boys. But is she welcome? I don't think so...


            • #21
              If those SMs and ASMs have taken "Wood Badge for the 21st Century" training, they would have understood that Boy Scout is NOT a "men's club". And many women are fantastic SMs and ASMs.

              I agree with other posters that it all boils down to whether the moms are competent enough for campout. If they are, and they have taken the Youth Protection Training (which is a MUST), they should be allowed to participate.

              The "mothering" thing is really not an excuse. I personally witnessed many dads were "spoon-feeding" their sons at campouts, and some of these dads are actually ASMs (yes, they should know better). So the Scoutmaster and fellow ASMs just looked the other way. These sort of things are more common than you think.

              p.s. regarding the comment on no part of scouting is secret, I thought the OA is a secret organization...ha ha


              • #22
                I go on some of the campout with the boys, but being married makes it easier as other half is there too mosst times. I have also been on campouts w/o hubby. One was when  a sister of one of our scouts wanting to go (this was a river trip). She was of age for venturing but there was none in our area and she also wanted to keep an eye on her brother who was one of our older scouts. He was still recovering from a serious brain injury but wanting to get back to all the fun scouting things.  For her to go they asked me to be the buddy of the girl. I also go when one of the other moms would like to go as she has a mild mental handicap.
                If the female is unmarried or on the youngish side it just makes good sense to have another along. By having another female go along can reduce the 'no women' attitude.


                • #23
                  The real question is; Is she hot? I kid I kid.

                  I am in the opposite situation. My girls are in Girl Scouts and they want me to go camping with the troop as well as attend other troop activities. My wife is the troop leader and I am registered as well, but we have a two year old son. The only way I go camping is if he stays with his grandmother or aunt for the weekend. If it is a family type event we all go, if not, and we can't make arrangements for the little guy, he and I stay home.

                  None of the parents seem to care that I go camping with them. Maybe because I coach or have coached most of the girls in basketball or softball. As long as the sleeping and restroom guidelines are followed it shouldn't be a problem.


                  • #24
                    So the general concensus is the mom's in but the sister's out.

                    So let me throw a little Coleman fuel on the fire.

                    What did our Chief Scout Executive recently have to say about this? Didn't he tell us that we needed to start accommodating families on campouts? Don't we need to be reaching out to communities where the norm is for mom, dad, aunts, uncles and siblings to go on these activities?

                    Yeah, it's a blatant highjack and we've plowed this ground before, but I figured if the thread had degenerated to the point that bnkrtskt is trying to hit on the mom in question, it's open season.


                    • #25
                      When the Chief Scout Executive goes camping with the unit to which he is a registered volunteer, he can take whoever he pleases. I will do the same with my unit.


                      • #26
                        On my last major outing, I was taking inexperienced boys white-water canoeing. I had two other adults, both of which were inexperienced to a certain degree. We were an all-guy thing until I decided to take a canoe/kayak expert along to back me up on safety with the boys in fast water. SHE did an excellent job and as a former employee of the US Forestry Service, didn't mind the bugs, hardships, and bathroom arrangements.

                        When we hit camp, it was announced that our "guest" would be treated as such and the boys pitched her tent where she directed them, got her to the head of the line at meal time, and they did a little "hovering" over her to make sure she had a good time on the trip. Was it because she was a girl? or because she was a guest of the troop who had come along to assist the boys in being safe and having a good time.

                        I didn't go looking for a guy to be our canoe/kayak expert, I was looking for the best in the neighborhood and she fit the bill. I'm working on getting her a more permanent/registered position in the troop, but no luck so far. I'm thinking she enjoyed her "guest" status too much. :^)



                        • #27
                          Unless you are with a CO that holds women as 2nd class citizens, why is no one offended with the well off ASM that helps with equipment and sets a negative sexist example for the Scouts?

                          Whatever happens in this situation, the Scouts do not need a leader who sets a negative example.


                          • #28
                            we have about 5 troops in our middle school area and one is a "no women" troop. We joke with them that they are the "he man - women haters club". I dont agree with it and think its bit out dated. If this were leave it to beaver and everyone had a mom and dad at home that would be one thing but there are simply too many single moms that have a right to experience scouting with their sons.

                            As for the younger sister. no way. Its a boyscout campout. If its family weekend sure but of not then its only scouts.

                            One of our local SM's makes all attending adults be registered and fully trained including IOLS before they can come on a campout. his thinking is that he wants leaders not parents on a campout. I really like that and to me if she understands boy lead, patrol method, pitch their own tents, etc. she will be less likely to try and help her baby.


                            • #29
                              In my experience as a boy scout, it was GREAT and REFRESHING to be away from my parents.

                              Really good chance for personal independence; a breath of fresh air.

                              Paul Theroux's recent article in the NY Times also cites his similar enjoyment of being away from his parents and standing on his own two feet.


                              • #30
                                So you are advocating that no leader should have a son in the Troop he is registered with? That only NON-PARENT adults be allowed to attend camping trips?