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a Scout is Clean, except at Summer CampPage Title Module
Engineer: Sounds like that one used pair are a candidate for hazardous waste disposal.
I knew one leader who stashed a spray bottle of febreeze in her glove box for just such occasions as the drive home from summer camp. Having to transport a bunch of smelly kids home can leave your car smelling rank for a long while after.
(In my car, there's a LEAVE YOUR SHOES ON" rule. I don't care how long the ride is or if their feet are hot. They're not airing their stinky sneakers/hikers out in my car.)
Ooooh.. One kid forgot his stinky sneakers in my trunk once.. I could smell them in the front seat of the car... I returned his missing sneakers pronto even though we don't live anywhere close to them.
When my daughter was about 7, we lived in a very small town in Northern Nevada. We bought her first pair of water shoes, since we were going out on the lake with some friends, and they recommended she have some (bottom of lake was kind of rocky near the shore).
We happily spent the day out on their boat, tubing and whatever. Got home and she took those water shoes off. DEAR LORD. The smell from those brand new shoes (worn only that day) was horrendous. I put them outside on the back porch of our apartment (which overlooked a large open space--we could see the town from our place, but it was a good 10mile drive to get there), and decided to air them out overnight. Sent her to the showers and made her wash her feet 4 or 5 times before I decided the stink was gone.
The next morning, those water shoes were gone. I'm still not sure if the upstairs neighbor decided that they were too much to bear, and threw them away, or if an animal came up and grabbed them, thinking it was a dead rat or something. They were soo nasty.
The troop I served was always an "aquatics" troop. Most of us got wet several times a day and some of us stayed in the pool nearly all day counseling Lifesaving MB and BSA Lifeguard. We always smelled like chlorine.
This really comes down to basic personal hygiene. Parents, talk to your kids - especially the young ones - before they go off to summer camp. Have a heart-to-heart talk about basic cleanliness and stinkiness. Leaders, make sure your Scouts know what to expect in the way of bathing facilities, and explain the practical importance of changing into clean clothes (especially underclothes) every day.
There are many, many reasons why kids don't shower and change clothes at camp - personal modesty and not wanting to do the group shower thing being numero uno. But we wouldn't put up with our kids being smelly and stinky at home, would we? Teachers might even put in a call to child protective services if a boy shows up day to school after day without evidence of bathing or wearing the same dirty clothes. So why is it ok at camp? It's not like they're on the trail. When facilities are available, we should be using them.
Sure, I was as bashful and embarrassed as everyone else my first few summers. I hated going into those open-air cinderblock shower houses. But when one can sweat through a shirt in three minutes while standing still in the shade, showers and laundry are a necessity.
So please, have that conversation, and incorporate it into your SM's Minute. For the sake of all our collective nostrils, we thank you.
All of the above, Short, yet we still get kids who either don't bathe, give it a quick dash barely getting wet or who put the same slimey clothes back on.
I dont' get it either. Certainly the showers aren't as nice as home, but our youth showers have individual stalls with curtained changing areas. Many boys do change in the main dressing area, but if you want privacy, it's available. There is hot water and the shower houses are even air conditioned (which I thinks leads to problems by making the showers an attractive place to hang out.)
Still, I'm not going to sniff arm pits. We talk a lot about taking care of one's self and how much better you will feel and sleep after a nice shower. I'll remind the particularly grubby guys, or the ones I notice are wearing the same t-shirt for the third day, they need to shower and change. Our senior guys take the whole troop to the shower house together.
I suppose boys just need to grow up a bit and/or suffer through a couple days of crotch rot to learn better.
Wasn't it the same problem with socks a couple years ago?
We have at least one troop swim during the week and we insist every scout take a shower on Wednesday on clean stuff at least -- family night. Hard to see how they would end up not putting on at least one clean pair, but scouts never cease to astound.
Our troop summer camp rule - shower every other night. Mandatory on last night of camp or in the morning before departure since I am driving.
For weekend trips, I always have to inform one or two that for the return trip, I do not want to see them wearing clothes that wore all weekend. A 4 hour trip in the same vehicle with smelly clothes is not fun for anyone. On one 4 hour return trip, I had a 14 y/o scout remove his shoes, which I could tell instantly. I told him he had to leave his shoes on and he apologized and put them back on. About an hour from home, we made a rest stop. He was the only one left in my truck (in the back seat) as everyone else got out to use the bathroom. I came back to the truck and he had his shoes off and propped up on my center console!!! The last hour ride home was horrible for everyone.