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Siblings at week long Summer Camp...

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  • #16
    I recall from my BALOO training that there were program requirements, or expectations anyway, for all age groups present. If you were going to allow younger sibs at cub camping events, you were supposed to provide age-appropriate activities and supervision for them. For that reason, my recollection is that we were strongly advised to discourage tag-along sibs. I don't know if that would help you, but it might because you mentioned that you're appealing to the sensibilities of several families who still have at least one foot in cub scouting.

    If you found yourself in a situation where the entire troop would be unable to attend camp unless this parent could come, and the parent could only come if they could bring their 9 year old (6 year old? 2 year old? infant? where does it stop?!) with them, then...eh....maybe. Even then, I would do everything in my power to come up with an alternate arrangement.

    But what you're describing isn't that, and shouldn't have happened.

    So how to try to keep it from blowing up? Might be impossible, but perhaps framing it like this:

    Mr. & Mrs. Smith had only good intentions, but here are three examples of how this didn't work out so well (list examples in neutral tone). And since we can't allow every family to bring their non-member children with them, we should be fair and have one rule about this that everyone in the troop follows.

    If you want to turn the screw, then turn to the parents in question and add, pleasantly:

    I think Mr. & Mrs. Smith could agree with that, right?


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    • #17
      This year, for the first time, I had two families who came up Friday night and brought siblings along. It's not uncommon to get a handful of dads who will come for part of the day Friday then drive us home Saturday morning, but we've never had the siblings. One of my ASM really had his necker in a knot over it, but I didn't personally think they were in the way. They arrived after the day's activities Friday, ate a burger at the dining hall, watched the closing campfire, then went home Saturday. To me the biggest issue was there parents were there supposedly to drive boys home, but with the mom, dad and two kids in the car, all they could take home was their own son. Maybe that was the idea. Anyone surprised that theirs was kid who spend the first two days of camp homesick?

      Friday night is one thing (which we will discourage in the future) but all week is nuts.

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      • #18
        Well I agree with all ya'll, but then I get "but where does it say that in the ruuuuullllleeeesssss???!!!"

        Well I've answered to the CC that if he has to parse the rules line by line to try to find a way that cubs or siblings can go to boy scout summer camp for a week, then he's missed the whole boat, but tried to say that a bit nicer.

        Or that just cause camp made an exception one time doesn't mean that exception is now the rule. For instance I know camp said it was ok for a scoutmaster who had to take his webelos to the camp for 2 days when his wife had emergency surgery, and as soon as he could find someone to take his webelos home and watch him that he did. that the SM was the only adult from the troop able to go that week with the boys, and camp provided the 2nd adult.

        We talked about how it's not age appropriate for the cub to be at boy scouts. The answer is that Oh it's not that big of difference between a 1st year webelos and a young boy scout-- he can go do some leatherworking and a few of the other crafty things in the afternoon free time when the program areas are open to all scouts to work on stuff. I explain that the open time is for the Boy Scouts to get individualized help with the crafty things, not for the staff to use their time helping a non-boy scout work on the crafty things.

        we talked about how it's not fair to the cubbie--now when he joins the troop he's already been up to boy scout camp, he's ate in the dining hall all week, slept in the tents, "worked" on merit badges, and knows the whole thing. That he'll be the boy in the troop that says "oh no, we are going to THAT camp again. I've already been there enough times." The excitement and fun will be gone.

        But the common sense stuff that cubbies don't go to boy scout camp is not making a dent in the attitudes of a handful of these people who see it as no big deal. Show me where it says in the rule books for boy scout camps.

        Camp Director I think did end up going round and round with this family. What he told us is that the rules say participants have to be registered boy scouts-- the family in question says "but webelo isn't a participant, he's just a visitor and you say visitors are ok." that well he's covered by bsa insurance since he's a cubbie, and that we are paying for his food so what's the big deal.

        yeah they don't get it and I'm not sure how to help them buy a clue.

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        • #19
          Inappropriate and selfish. The little one should not have been at Boy Scout camp.

          SM and Committee should have stopped it before it started. Is this ASM a bully? He needs to know Boy Scout camp is not family camp.

          If the Troop wants to have a family camping trip and bring all the kids, fine. Go somewhere everyone can have fun and enjoy camping. But a Boy Scout summer camp is not the place.

          Our Troop had a tradition of family camping, but we finally put a stop to it because it completely undermined the Patrols -- especially for cooking and eating. Families would invite their son to eat with them, because after all, "it's his favorite". So that Scout decided he didn't need to cook, eat, and of course not clean up with his Patrol - which would make the other Patrol members sore. Especially while they ate mac and cheese and watched him eat steak with his family! And then mom would be confused and upset, as she was "just trying to take care of her son". After much grumpiness all around, we decided a Scout camping trip is for Scouts, not families. And it works much much better! Same for summer camp. Leave the little brother at home!

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          • #20

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            • #21
              Well if the troop wants to do Family Camping for summer camp, the camp allows it, and the SM and CC are all for it then what's the problem? If that's not your son's idea of what a troop should be then the choice is obvious.

              When my troop goes to summer camp the only ones allowed to attend are Boy Scouts and registered leaders.

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              • #22
                I can think of one of Webelos out of the hundreds I met that would be the type of kid I would make an exception for if it was necessary. But as soon as I let him in, I've set a precedent. Not to mention the fact that this kid, if told no, would say "I understand".

                This isn't to say anything bad about 4th & 5th graders. They just aren't ready and to try and force them on the boys who either had parents that shelled out the money or even better earned their way to Summer Camp is extremely disrespectful.

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                • #23
                  You need to attend the next leader meeting and put this on the agenda. Going to the camp director personally around your unit leadership is not your place and would be inappropriate. You will burn your bridges so badly in your district your son will be unwelcome in any unit. You'll be viewed as a troublemaker with extra hot sauce and jalepenos.

                  Let the leaders in your unit handle unit policy. The camp staff is responsible for camp policy. If they allow it, then they allow it.

                  If the other adults think it was fine, and no one agrees with you, then quietly transfer units without making any more noise about it to avoid a round table rumor mill about what a PITA you were. Even though you were right.

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                  • #24
                    I agree with the others...siblings should not be allowed to stay at camp...only as "day visitors" supervised by a visiting parent. And no way in heck should they be allowed to participate in program areas. I have been at camp some years where adult staff have brought their pre-scout age children (maybe 4-5 years old) to live at camp with them. THey were not disruptive, as I recall...they were just always "there". In the program area, in the pool, in the dining hall, at campfires, etc. I'm not aware of any other job where the employee is allowed to "babysit" while working. The reality is, salaries are ridiculously low (they may have been volunteering their time for all i know), and maybe that was the only way to get them to attend. As a side note, my wife used to serve as a camp nurse for a GS camp. They had a formal "Papoose unit" for the kids of staff members, with a formal program and counselor. My 2 sons' days at Girl Scout Camp are some of their fondest memories...

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                    • #25
                      "but where does it say that in the ruuuuullllleeeesssss???!!!"

                      It dosn't have to say it..it's a BOY SCOUT CAMP

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                      • #26
                        I would work to get the parents in your troop in check.. Not having the SM or CC on your side may hurt.. Don't know if this is something the COR can get involved with, as it should be nipped in the butt before getting to them.. But, I would be really surprised if by next year, you do not find the camp rules beefed up..

                        The CD maybe wasn't strong enough to just say "NO, way".. "But, he really did not want it, and these parents found a technicality in the way their rules were written. I would thing it will be brought to the councils attention, and the camp fixes the wording.. Especially if 5year senses a battle lost due to the attitude of the SM, CC and parents and did a well formed letter to them, stating the future intent of parents in his troop if they do not beef up the rules.(This message has been edited by moosetracker)

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                        • #27
                          Somebody needs to put a foot down or else next year, your campsite will be full of little siblings and the MB sessions will include your neighbor's daughter's niece's cousin's 4 year old daughter, too. Tell your rule-pointer that enough is enough and allow no amount of wheedling to change it. (Maybe you need to have a private chat with the SM to help him relocate his spine, first.)

                          Again, look to BALOO (since these are cub parents, too). The pack camping info we got back then said pretty clearly, you had to have age-appropriate activities and proper supervision (NOT BY SCOUTS!) for younger sibs. Them's the rules. BALOO doesn't apply to troops, I know, but you could say "look, even in CUB SCOUTS they have this rule" and wave it in his face.

                          As for the $100/visitor thing. Well ok, as a visitor you don't participate in program. You don't use supplies from the leather craft area, for example. You don't take up the instructor's time and attention. You don't use equipment that a paying customer could have used, instead. Visitors might watch from the outer edges and eat a burger in the dining hall, but that's about it. Visits are also, by definition, TEMPORARY.







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                          • #28
                            Momof2, my comment is based on the fact that the whole family went--mom, dad, and extra son. Not just that an adult was needed.

                            This is not boy scouting. This is cub scout family camping.

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                            • #29
                              OK OK, it is probably clear - and I think you agree, 5yearscouter - that the best solution is for somebody to just say NO to this fellow. But if the only way that's going to happen is to fall back on playing the guy's game (where does it say in the "ruuuuuules?"), well then, here are some "rules" to wave around in the guy's face.

                              From the "age guidelines" and "family camping" and "insurance" sections in the current Guide to Safe Scouting:


                              Age Guidelines (skip to the last paragraph)

                              "If a well-meaning 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."


                              Family Camping

                              "Family camping is an outdoor experience, other than resident camping, that involves Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, or Venturing program elements in overnight settings with two or more family members, including at least one BSA member of that family. Parents are responsible for the supervision of their children, and Youth Protection guidelines apply."

                              [My Note: "other than resident camping" meaning that boy scout summer/resident camp is not the place for non-boy-scout children.]


                              Comprehensive General Liability Insurance (last 2 sentences):

                              "Unregistered volunteers are provided excess general liability coverage. There is no coverage for those who commit intentional or criminal acts."


                              Accident and Sickness Coverage

                              "Accident and sickness insurance (also known as accident and health insurance) coverage for Scouts and Scouters furnishes medical reimbursement in case of death, accident, or sickness within the policy amounts. Information regarding unit accident coverage is available through the local council.

                              Who is covered?

                              All registered youth and seasonal staff are eligible.
                              Registered leaders and volunteer leaders."


                              [My notes: I'm not a big fan of trying to parse who the BSA insurance will/won't cover, but in this case I might ask the SM and CC to ponder what they think this means? Having an unregistered youth at camp is not criminal but it is clearly intentional. And it isn't completely clear to me that unregistered youth would be covered by the accident/sickness insurance.)



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                              • #30
                                never ever at summer camp... BSA summer camp is for boy scouts.

                                we have allowed a cubby son join his dad 1 campout as mom was unable to watch him due to health and we were really needing that dad to help for adult number.

                                other than that 1 time we have never allowed though I could see if it were similar situation, but NOT summer camp

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