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Can I bring my younger son with me to Boy Scout campouts?

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  • Can I bring my younger son with me to Boy 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:

    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
    From the Guide to Safe Scouting, Camping section:
    "If a well-meaning [Boy Scout] leader brings along a child who does not meet these age guidelines, disservice is done to the unit because of distractions often caused by younger children. A disservice is also done to the child, who is not trained to participate in such an activity and who, as a nonmember of the group, may be ignored by the older campers."

    Boy Scouts is not a father/son program, that's Indian Guides (now called Y Guides). The camping trips are a perfect time to spend time with your Wolf-age son not by taking him along, but by staying home and spending the weekend with him while your older son is away.
    Your responsibility as an ASM in a troop is not to bond with Junior, it's to work with boys other than your own. Your son is in a troop to learn from men of character other than dad, as noted in the Methods of Scouting: Association with Adults.
    ASMs in my troop who refuse to camp except when their son is camping are useless. We even had an ASM throw a hissy fit over outdoor training because "he joined Scouts to spend time with his son, not to be taken away from his son."

    ASMs like this don't understand the program.
    Last edited by Scouter99; 12-04-2013, 09:53 AM.


    • Basementdweller
      Basementdweller commented
      Editing a comment
      I work very hard, often not getting home till 7 or 8 in the evening. My then 8 year old son might see me for an hour before bed. As Dad my responsibility is to my son first.

      So what your saying 99. is you would rather the troop fold because there is no outdoor program rather than let me bring my wolf scout along on a day hike or a camp out.

      And we wonder why scouting is in trouble.

    • moosetracker
      moosetracker commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Scouter99, this is more definitive then the chart of who can do what at what age..

  • #3
    Interesting all of my post were deleted.

    In a nutshell

    I took my son. I was the only ASM and second adult in the troop, I volunteered for the sole purpose of allowing the troop to have an outdoor program. I was webelos den leader and CM at the time.

    Had the SM told me no you can't bring your wolf scout along then I would have told him no thanks. I did not force the lad on the other scouts, but he and I did things together and by the second or third outing he was sleeping with the troop with the odd man boy scout.

    Our program is that thin with adult leadership. If I did not go they would not have gone on any outings.

    If you view my requirement of bring my son along as bad for the program, Sorry,


    • moosetracker
      moosetracker commented
      Editing a comment
      If troop is run right, should be things above his physical ability or that if you go with an outfitter they would say "no" to due to age and that BSA also says "no" to due to age, white water rafting (try talking them into taking a 7 year old), rock climbing, long hikes, backpacking, long bike hikes, zip lines, canoe or kayaking trips etc. etc.. So yeah "Big boy" stuff.

    • Basementdweller
      Basementdweller commented
      Editing a comment
      That is even funnier.

      You know my situation. My troop can barely afford summer camp and a heavily discounted canoe trip.

      So taking the group whitewater rafting or zip lining or any other high dollar trips is out of the question. But we do go and participate in the rappel masters training class as test rappelling.

      Bike hike, what a dumb a$$ term for making something out of nothing. bike ride, Seriously this is a big troop activity?????? My guys ride all of our side of town all summer. I got a report they were nearly 10 miles from home at a suburbs pool, It has a water park. judging from the pics the ladies were nice too.

      My son has backpacked and hiked since he could talk and spent a couple of years in a backpack while I squirrel hunted and fished.

      Just so some idiot scouter doesn't misquote or interpret what I am saying.

      Not all boys are equal.

      If your wolf scout...
      has zero outdoors experience
      Is a momma's boy
      Bed wetter
      Fluffy couch potato type
      Can't follow directions
      Doesn't get along with the older boys
      or is just a general whimp....

      Last edited by Basementdweller; 12-06-2013, 08:40 AM.

    • moosetracker
      moosetracker commented
      Editing a comment
      I have known scouts to make their own zip lines.. We have someone who goes to troops and teaches you to make your own monkey bridges.. We go canoeing by borrowing canoes, same with kayaking (someone knows a friend who knows a friend).. Long challenging hikes or climbing a mountain might cost you a trip to the footpaths.. Even on shoestring budgets you can find things ways to do more then plop camping.

      Perhaps your son has backpack all his life, still have to look at what G2SS ALLOWS his age group to do.. I have had parents insist their youngster can chop wood with the best of them, it is not allowed in BSA for that age group.. Have fun at home chopping wood, look forward to seeing you in a few years.

  • #4
    It's funny how every thread that basementdweller posts in is about basementdweller.

    The OP's question is "should I bring my 2nd-grader on Boy Scout trips?" The question is not "please tell me what crazy scenario you can come up with that will probably never apply to anyone but yourself that would justify bringing a 2nd-grader in situations not even remotely similar to your own."

    The answer is NO.


    • moosetracker
      moosetracker commented
      Editing a comment
      True, Basement did turn this into a personal attack on himself.. So did others who have bent the rules.. Strange, I have gotten the question of why can't my young son weld an ax when teaching IOLS, but seriously I have never seen any of our BS troops in the entire district go to camporees with young'uns in tow, unless they are Webelos and it's allowable to invite Webelos to stay.. Yet with all the mommys and daddys stating they bring their youngsters, and why would anyone tell them they can't, and this should be perfectly fine.. It sounds like in other Councils, you can't tell a boy scout campout from a pack campout.
      Last edited by moosetracker; 12-08-2013, 02:02 PM.

    • Basementdweller
      Basementdweller commented
      Editing a comment
      So Scouter, since you are the hallowed Lord god of scouting, the King of G2SS quoters and rulebook thumpers.

      Tell me you have never broken or bent a single rule in those hallowed books you quote.

      I can see your disdain for my version of the BSA's program..... I could careless.

      I have a potential third ASM who is the current first year webelos den leader, guess what, that is how I am recruiting him. Ya bring your son along with the troop you'll have fun. If it nets me another trained leader for a 6 year or so commitment it is worth it.

    • Scouter99
      Scouter99 commented
      Editing a comment
      Again, BD, the question is "Can I bring my younger son with me to Boy Scout campouts?" the context is "Some of the Boy Scout activities seem like a perfect opportunity for me to spend time with my son."
      The answer to the question being asked is no. The reason is that Boy Scouts is not a father/son program, and younger siblings are more likely than not to be a distraction/hindrance.

      You might have a situation where you need to bring your younger son, and you might have a younger son that is an outdoors wunderkind, but your comments do not answer the question and they do not fit the context.
      It's wonderful that you're willing to spend not just your physical resources on your troop, but also intangibles like time with your son when it comes down to trip/no trip, but it's not wonderful that you want to use your extreme situation to give a waiver to best practices in all circumstances.

      I enjoy a lot of your posts and perspectives, but your martyr complex and automatic personal attacks on anyone that dares disagree with you makes you an insufferable baby at times. The irony of a puffed-up reactionary unable to cope with differing viewpoints without insults like yourself calling someone else "Lord God of Scouting" made for a good chuckle on this side of the screen, I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

  • #5
    Let's keep in mind we are Scouters and should be courteous even when we have disagreements with others. Thanks. Sentinel947


    • #6
      I posted this response in the other thread, and I think it;'s the best one ever.

      "NewToScoutsDad, why don't you ask the Patrol Leaders' Council, the ones who plan, prepare, and execute the camp outs, to see if they want your son tagging along or not."

      Gotta remember, youth should be running this program and making the decisions.