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  • Sleeping in Cars

    I atteneded a Council VOA weekend last weekend with my daughter. Friday night was quite rainy, but the kids managed to set up their tents and tough it out. Imagine my surprise when I heard some of the adults talking about how they slept in their cars because of the rain. Is this what Scouting has become? A bunch of soft old men hidingin their cars from the rain ?

  • #2
    After 40 years, nothing the boys do surprises me anymore. After 40 years, nothing the adults do surprises me anymore.

    It one is no longer fit enough to lead, it's time to step down and let someone else take the reins and the rains.

    Stosh

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    • #3
      We heard of a unit who had a dad attending summer camp and had his son and a friend sleep in his truck with him. Made darn sure the camp director was aware of that one. Had that been my unit that parent would have been on the first train out of camp. We've gone to putting together a one page sheet of the do's, donts, and expectations of the adults at camp. The boys are fine, it's the adults that require the most management.

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      • #4
        I can see this if one's tent had a catastrophic failure or to avoid hypothermia BUT I have seen this also, especially in Cub Scouts. You need to share the same deprivations and conditions as the Boys. If you don't how can you look 'em in the eye and give them the "come on I am a crippled old man I was out there too!".

        Seriously a recent memory was a total tarp failure during a storm on backpacking trip and sheltering under a dining fly with one of my scouts. We were holding on for dear life, completely soaked, and the gale went on for a very long 30 minutes. The scout is a real nice guy I helped get him trained up as a newbie 4 years ago. At the height of the 35mph wind he turns to me "So Mr Turtle, how are things going with you lately". We ended up talking about school, cars, etc in a slightly absurd situation. Priceless.

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        • #5
          I will admit at the last extremely rainy camporee, I contemplated going to the SUV to sleep, so did the SM. That said, it was only a thought. I would never do something like that barring hypothermia.....

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          • #6
            Recently had two capable dads sleep in their cars because it was below freezing and rainy and we were not even in tents but treehouse shelters with platform bunks. Camp had good LTE so they could watch the basketball game. March madness. Last year we did have multiple tent failures in an all night rainstorm in 40 F conditions, tents in 3 inches of standing water, sleeping bags were wet, some boys were in distress. The next morning we realized in the rush a boy slept in the back seat of a car with an adult in the front seat. We probably could have done a better job shuffling things around but at that point our primary concern was getting the boys sheltered and warm. YPT is great and all but it is not a death pact.

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            • #7
              On Wednesday night of my week-long Wood Badge course a ferocious storm came through camp and I honestly thought my tent was going to get picked up and thrown into the lake. In fact, I got dressed just in case the staff came to our site to make us take shelter in the dining hall. They didn't, thankfully. It made for many great stories the next day. And one of my fellow Beavers realized that pitching his tent is a low spot wasn't such a good idea.

              I'm used to camping in the rain, though. My OA Ordeal was in Southern Mississippi in the spring and it rained ALL NIGHT LONG. We also had a spring camporee at the same camp, Salmen/V-Bar, in 1994 and it rained from the time we arrived on Friday night until we left on Sunday afternoon. No one complained. We just played cards under the tarp and cut up with the adults.

              Luckily, I don't think any of the Scouters in my Troop would pack up and sleep in their cars. I agree that the adults should be able to handle what the Scouts are asked to do.

              LeCastor

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              • #8
                I've seen more of this at VOA events than others. Not surprised. Not making excuses, but not judging either. Venturing adults have the widest extremes of bed-down preferences ... from sleep anywhere with at least a rock for a pillow to only in cabins with heating and plumbing.

                Love your crew for what they do and praise them loudly whenever they push the envelope.

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                • #9
                  I could not imagine forgoing a tent to sleep in the car at a scout event. Leader must lead by example.

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                  • #10
                    One slightly damp and chilly night on a campout, I was only staying one night and decided to forego the tent and sleep in the open air with my gear set up atop a picnic table under the dining fly. There were a couple of us out there, and I was perfectly cozy inside a sleeping bag and fleece liner.

                    Woke up the next morning, broke down my gear and filled up my camp mug of coffee, and a particularly buffoonish fellow adult and long-ago Eagle Scout shows up to the party bragging about how warm he was sleeping in the back seat of his SUV. "I wasn't gonna sleep outside in that" were his exact words, if memory serves.

                    I put car sleeping in the same category as the guys who take an hour to set up the elaborate cots and air mattresses, the portable fans, etc. inside their tents. To each their own, but that ain't camping.

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                    • #11
                      I'd never do it, but I'm sympathetic to some who do. As an example, we have a couple of 70-year-olds (including a former Scoutmaster) who, if it's very cold, sleep in their cars. If forced to sleep in a tent, they just would not attend the campout. I think their other influences on the boys outweighs this minor breach of protocol. A Scout is Kind.

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                      • #12
                        Rained the last day of my Wood Badge course as well, and some moved to the Pavilions. However if they had pitched that tent properly and or waterproofed their tent all their stuff might have been dry. Prepared? I think not !

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                        • #13
                          Depending on the car, sleeping in a tent might be more comfortable. I would give up my spot in my car to the boys before I'd do it myself.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by scoutergipper View Post
                            I'd never do it, but I'm sympathetic to some who do. As an example, we have a couple of 70-year-olds (including a former Scoutmaster) who, if it's very cold, sleep in their cars. If forced to sleep in a tent, they just would not attend the campout. I think their other influences on the boys outweighs this minor breach of protocol. A Scout is Kind.
                            At 63, I still meadow crash more often than my boys. If the weather's so bad I need the car, it's to go home, not sleep in.

                            If the weather is nice, the nylon tent works just fine, but if the weather report sounds bad, I take my military pup tent. Double vestibules and no floor. 2"-tall cot fits in nicely, pack on two 3" dia logs and the water just runs in one end and out the other. Low enough so the wind is of little affect. Small enough to hold in the heat. Just gotta be careful getting up in the morning.

                            Stosh

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                            • #15
                              I have had to do one campout where I slept in my car. My back was out and it was impossible to get down and back up without making the back worse. I was needed as I was the only one with some sort of training (I forget what it was now) I wasn't needed for anything other than my name on piece of paper as it turned out. And had I been needed to perform anything special (cpr, first aid, etc...) I would've managed but I would've paid for it the next day. Boys had a blast and that's what matters the most. Me? I got back to the chiropractor the next monday.

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