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Can I bring my younger son to scout campouts?

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  • Can I bring my younger son to scout campouts?

    I am a new Boy Scout leader and I have a son that is a wolf scout. Some of the Boy Scout activities (one night overnight campouts) seem like a perfect opportunity for me to spend time with my son. When I was a younger scout my leaders would frequently bring their younger sons. One of the scout leaders is all for me bring my son, but the other is totally against it. I have read this page from the boy scouts website: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/...GSS/gss03.aspx

    To me it seems to say that younger scouts (bear and wolf) cannot go on campouts WITHOUT their parents, but I do not see it say they cannot go at all if they are younger. Please help me by clarifying this issue. Thanks.

  • #2
    Tiger, Bear & Wolf can not camp except at Pack campouts.. Webelos can do Den camping and can camp with a troop as a guest, but the troop has to invite and welcome them.. Here with Webelos our troops will not let them stay without a parent, but the Webelos can Den camp without all parents. Not sure if there is some sort of National rule, or just something Troops have created around these parts..

    Here is a chart of what is Age Appropriate for each rank.
    http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pd...Insert_Web.pdf
    In the outdoor skills you will find little a tiger/wolf/bear can do. Camporees "no", cooking outdoors "no", etc. etc.. Also look at trekking.. Backpacking, overnight Backcountry "no", Biking "no".. etc..

    All in all, my personal opinion is, I agree with the Scout Leader who is not for you bringing your son.. Many reasons for this. 1) Troop camping is not family camping, It is not like a Pack campout where they prepare for entertaining all age groups. 2) If you are there as a leader for the Boys in the Boy Scout program, then you are their leader, your attention should not be all about your 2nd grade son. 3) The troop may choose to do things that are physically not something for your younger son.. Hiking long distances, A service project that is long and tedious and will loose the attention span of a 2nd grader quick.. White Water rafting or even boating which cubs can't do unless supervised at a council organized event. Winter camping where a youth can not attend. 4) the Boy Scouts want to be with their older friends, not trying to entertain a young child. 5) There is a reason BSA sets up a slow evolve into what Cubs are allowed to do first because the majority is not mentally/physically capable, second because you want them looking forward to what they can do when the get older. If they can do it all at the age of wolf, by the time they reach boy scout age, all will be boring.

    If you need to be more with your younger son, over spending time with your older son who is joining the troop.. Think about volunteering at the Committee level, and not going on troop outings, until your younger son is of age, and moves over to the Troop.

    Even if there were no rules about what Cubs could do when, this does not mean you can force your troop to accept you bringing your son, then it would be up to the Troop to decide if they felt it was beneficial to the troop or not.. They would have perfect right to say "No" even when your son gets of Webelos level, and you start to insist he goes on all outings rather then just the few the Troop select to invite all the Webelos to..

    Comment


    • #3
      Generally no, but it depends.
      I agree with Moose to a T - age appropriate is the big issue.
      Now there is exceptions, it depends on a lot of things.
      Most activities your son will simply be to young to keep up.

      With BSA we did take the 5 year old from one of our ASMs to our Klondike Derby during the day, but we found he was to young to even understand the Troops embassy visit for example.
      In New Zealand the scouts go on a lot of tough hikes, and cubs cant keep up with scouts so no.
      We do have family camp once a year across all sections + family.
      Our youngest camper was 2.5 y/o girl, older brother a cub DL and big sister scout PL and dad committee, so no biggie.
      Our SMs youngest sons would go on hikes with us, but these cubs are tougher than venturers so no comparison LOL

      You just have to consider alternate activities for the young ones, they tend to need more rest, have a shorter attention span, cant handle big bows or 22s let alone fire or totin chit ...

      Comment


      • #4
        As a then second adult ASM, I took my son as a wolf on Troop campouts. Now he slept and ate with dad, eventually the older guys adopted him and he was one of the group. But I didn't force it.

        More importantly what does the Patrol Leaders council think????? It is their program after all.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would be concerned about "spending time with my son". Are you there to spend time with your younger son or your older son? Are you there for the troop for some personal concern you have with your family.

          I guess I'm a bit old-fashioned in that when I go on an outing it is 100% for the boys. My son hasn't been in scouting for over 20 years now and I am most often the only adult in the group that doesn't have divided loyalties. On occasion my wife has attended the troop's whitewater events, only because she is a expert kayaker in her own right and provides an additional safety service to the group. She can also out hike any parlor scout in the troop, too. When it comes to plant identification, if it grows in the woods, she knows what it is and most often by it's scientific name as well.

          So, if one is volunteering to help the troop, why would the question of non-troop people tagging along that aren't involved in helping with the troop?

          Stosh

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm sure it's a troop by troop thing as there are still some knuckle draggers out there who won't let women camp with the troop. In the troop I serve, everyone is welcome. But then we have 80 scouts, so the SM and 1 or 2 ASM's aren't quite enough to transport boys and gear. We need drivers with multiple seats and if that is all they do, we're good with that. If they want to bring their son or daughter, were good with that. Whatever it takes to get the help we need to deliver the program. That being said, we run a boy led program and the adults and their younger children are taught from day one to stay in their area and leave the boys and patrols alone. If we want to enter their patrol site, we ask permission just as they do when they need to enter ours. Also, the vast majority of adults that do camp with us are registered and have taken training for climbing/rappeling, shooting sports, etc. They can help where we need adults to deliver those proram elements that require adults or they can sit in their camp chair and chill all weekend.

            Comment


            • #7
              Well if they tell you no he can't go, then you reply well neither can I and see what happens.

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, then you go and ask the next parent to help out.

                Using one's son as political leverage doesn't really set well with me.

                I gave up trying to please the kid that takes his ball and goes home, a long time ago. Okay, no ball, how about tag... YOU'RE IT!

                Stosh

                Comment


                • Basementdweller
                  Basementdweller commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Ok then the outing gets cancelled because of the lack of two deep leadership. So be it.

                  The lesson is compromise.

                  Unless that Cub involved is a waste of a boy, the older guys will compromise.

              • #9
                I agree jblake.. Amazing how many people have made a troop outing into a Pack family campout.. Totally unfair to the boys in the troop, both the ones who want to get away from their family and their family tags along, and the boys whose family doesn't tag along and they still have toddlers biting him at the ankles because Sammy & Johnny brought their families with 3 and 4 year olds in tow.. That troop would need to be very, very hard up for Adult leadership to ever accept falling into this type of disarray.

                Our family didn't have younger children as my son was an only child. Still when the troop camp, my husband went as an adult leader, my son went and I stayed home, even though I have camped since I was a child.. Sorry, troop camping is not family camping, and I think the boy scout age appropriate chart states by age what is and is not acceptable.

                On top of that, by the way the OP wrote it, this is simply someone thinking his young son is exceptional, and wants to accelerate his scouting career.. Why not an 8 year old Eagle..

                Comment


                • moosetracker
                  moosetracker commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yeah, but you are infering your situation in this not looking at has been written, you are talking of a dying troop, therefore you are talking of a troop very, very hard up.. What has been described here is nothing about a troop who is hard up for leadership, or even a parent who can not go as a leader without bring his son. There is no statement of "without me the troop can't go, and I have no one to care for my son. Just as plausible is Mommy is sitting at home eating bonbons while Daddy takes sonny off to an outing meant just for older boys. The only reason why is that it seems like a perfect opportunity to spend time with son. And really this is not a good time at all, and his young son should not go unless the troop is in dire need of Adult Leadership and there is no arrangements that can be made to leave the young kid at home..

                  So with that logic, why not the Scout Master 2 year old daughter, and the ASM's 3 children and wife.. Wow, this seems like a perfect opportunity to spend time with family.. Sorry, this is a fine attitude for the Pack, which is family oriented, but not a good attitude for the Troop which is absolutely not family time outings.

                • jblake47
                  jblake47 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Moose,

                  I was responding to Basement's comments that without him there would be no outdoor program. That's cutting the adult leadership too thin and jeopardizes the program of a viable troop. Maybe this troop is not all that viable. It doesn't refer to any other troop where multiple leaders can keep the program flowing even if one or two adults with children can't make it at that time.

                  Stosh

                • moosetracker
                  moosetracker commented
                  Editing a comment
                  jblake my comment was mostly to Basement, who stated my argument did not hold water, because he took his son in a situation where the troop was dieing out and it was him and his son, or the event didn't happen.. Which I am stating my argument isn't against him because he meets my exclusion of the troop better be in dire need to agree to this..
                  But, that holds with your statement also.. You both are making up these "maybe" statements of talking yourself into a scenario that it is perfectly acceptable due to the troop is in dire need, if he doesn't go the trip is canceled and the troop folds.. Which I state, that is the only reason to even consider this.. BUT.. the OP does not say one word, that anything like that is the reason.. It is just because thinks it would be great to spend time with wolf scout in this environment. That is all the reasoning he is presenting.. You guys are supplying the what-if dying troop scenarios in order to give him the green light.

              • #10
                Blake, you know there is no one size fits all formula in scouting.

                Some troops are more adult rec club than boy scout troop, others have near zero adult involvement

                I am a HUGE opponent of the Adult/Family Scout troop, there is a huge difference between an ASM bringing his scout son along VS ASM bringing Wife, and 3 daughters or worse yet 15 year old daughter.

                Again, I would ask the PLC what their opinion is.......Then live by their decision.

                Comment


                • moosetracker
                  moosetracker commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Well your PLC will gladly welcome the 15 year old daughter !

                • qwazse
                  qwazse commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Not necessarily, MT. Our SPL/PLs have the option of extending an invite to our crew (or, any other unit, for that matter) for any troop activity. They usually don't.

                  There's this illusion among scouters that it's like flies to honey. But boys ain't flies, and though generally sweet, girls ain't honey.

                  My boots-on-the-ground experience concurs with BD. Bring it up at the PLC. The boys generally have a good sense about this sort of thing.

              • #11
                I'm throwing the BS flag. Heaven forbid a boy goes along on a boy scout trip. By all means, keep those younger boys at home so they can't experience what a troop actually does. Keep them home and do the arts and crafts like they are supposed to. Once they get it in their heads there is more to the program than that, the whole thing could collapse.

                Are your programs that shallow that an ASM is an integral part of any trip?

                Comment


                • duckfoot
                  duckfoot commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Moose, OP wants to bring his younger son on a troop campout. Just because the younger son is a wolf makes no difference in the world. That has no bearing on the son and dad camping with the troop, he's just being a son, not a scout.

                  Base, being thin on adult leadership is not the same as having a shallow program. Thin I can understand, shallow just means the boys aren't being allowed to lead, the adults have to birddog them to death....

                • moosetracker
                  moosetracker commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Fine then invite all the parents and all the siblings on the Troop outings.

                • duckfoot
                  duckfoot commented
                  Editing a comment
                  So you'd cancel the entire trip rather than let one non scout boy go? That really helps the scouts...

                  I'm sorry but I fail to see how one non scout son ruins a camping weekend.

              • #12
                Seriously?

                What do a Tiger Cub and Senior in high school have in common? A single parent maybe? Why is the troop putting that kind of pressure on the parent? Either you find a babysitter and show up or the troop will have to cancel it's outing.

                C'mon, is that really fair? A program needs to be a lot more robust than that. We all have conflicts on our calendars. Flexibility and coordination is needed to make it happen.

                My wife will be out of town that weekend, and I have to stay home with Little Johnny. I can drive up a few of the boys, but I can't stay. I can come back on Sunday to pick them up.

                Yes, I have done that myself. My boy has two sisters.

                Jeff

                Comment


                • duckfoot
                  duckfoot commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Tell me where it says you need adult leadership at all on that 15 mile day hike? ASM and son stay back at camp or go on as much of that hike as they want. SM and the rest of the troop carry on. Where's the issue?
                  Last edited by duckfoot; 12-04-2013, 04:24 PM. Reason: edited for the grammars

                • jblake47
                  jblake47 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Gotta read the whole story. The 15 mile hike wasn't the problem. The problem lies in the fact that at any time the little guy wants to go home, HE makes the decision for the whole group.

                  Stosh

                • moosetracker
                  moosetracker commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Not only that, although troops are different.. I know in my sons' troop, the older boys had some difficulty with the younger incoming scouts.. Sometimes the little guys were fine, and cool.. But, if they start whining, or being too goofy or are reluctant about doing work, or make an extra mess and then walk off for someone else to fix.. That's for 10.5 to 11 year olds.. They just wouldn't be more tolerant for a kid of 6 or 7 who shouldn't even be on the trip.

                  Then also my sons' troop for a long time had great SM's but the last year (and for several years after) they had a SM who was there for his sons only.. Everything was for their son's advancement, what their son wanted to do, it was just known.. It was not well received.. Even when he was not SM but just ASM and he wiggled for the privilege of his sons the boys knew it, and it was not well received. This guy was SM for over 5 years, and except for his sons ECOH's all the other scouts who made eagle called and asked for past SM's to please come back to be part of their ceremony and either gave the current SM nothing in the program to do, or they gave them something very minimal, and only because some adult said it was not courteous to not give him a part in the program.. His son's really did not fare much better in the minds of the boys in this troop.. They were not seen as 'earning' their eagle, but more having the road paved for them by Daddy..

                  So, yes, it is my inferring my own personal history to this story, but at least I have got the OP statement, and I am not making backstories up about "What if".. But, if the outing is not about his interest in the boys of the troop having a good trip, or the good of the troop, and nothing this being the only option, there being no other.. But, simply that bringing his scout to something he is really not old enough to be at, is all about his relationship with his son.. Then, sorry, this would be an ASM I would not ask to attend the event unless he was the last option. He is not there for the benefit of the troop. Boy's of a troop know when their adult Leaders are giving their son unfair preferential treatment, that the only reason they take a position is to give their son's some preferential treatment. Their resentment does not go away with time, it just gets worse.

                  Now, if you did bring your son's to a BS outing due to it being the only option you had, and you thought it was best for the troop and best for the boys of the troop, to deal with your young child then miss the trip.. I would think the boys of your troop will figure it out. It would be through your young child only coming when it was absolutely necessary, not whenever possible. It would be with you working to keep the child occupied and out of the older boys way, rather then expecting the older boys to curtail their plans to cater to him, or to expect them to take him with whenever possible. It would be by you verbally and in deed, showing them that the trip was all about the Boys in the troop, and not about getting your young son to be a boys scout years before he was mentally and physically and maturity wise ready to be.

                  Bottom line, your reasoning for bringing young child with you is key.. If it is for the benefit of your young son and you.. Then you have lost me.. BSA rules aren't bent for those reason.. BSA rules are enforced, emboldened, and printed on your forehead.

              • #13

                I'm all for brining the younger son. I did it for two years and it motivated my younger son and made him ever more eager to join the "big boys." In fact my youngest has his eagle board of review tonight; my older son is still star.

                Go and have fun. After all, scouting is supposed to be fun.

                Comment


                • #14
                  I am basing my opinion on a negative expereince. As a Scout, we had a trip turn into a "family" trip b/c we could not get enough drivers. Long story short, it was a nightmare because after a year of planning for the trip, we couldn't do what we set out to do, and the siblings caused major damage to the place we were staying.

                  Comment


                  • #15
                    Well newtoscoutsdad, pick your answer from the flame war here or you can ask the guy to give you your real answer...That would be your Scoutmaster.

                    Comment


                    • Sentinel947
                      Sentinel947 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Not necessarily a flame war. There are many different schools of thought on various subjects of Scouting. Part of the strength of this forum is giving people asking questions as many possible opinions and angles of view as possible .
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