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Questions and answers for parents and leaders new to Scouting.

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    • The NPR program “A1” broadcast today was a generally balanced one hour discussion.  The BSA National executive who appeared shared that we now have 1,800 all girl troops, which sounds good to me.  This is definite evidence of 2 things:  we have a program that is clearly relevant to and demanded by girls and we still have a splendid National organization that can execute on important priorities in an effective manner.  Things to be very proud of.
    • Not doubting you, he's your kid. But in my experience as a severe allergy sufferer for decades and the mom of an Eagle Scout with asthma I have never seen an allergy attack cause a fever. Not even a low grade fever. After 14 years of scouting what I have seen is a kid(s) that may have seemed fine on Friday develop a cold/flu while at camp over the weekend and end up sick by Sunday afternoon/evening. I had one mom accuse the troop of poor sanitation because her kid got sick after every campout. It wasn't until she keep her scout home from  a campout, so he couldn't have caught it from camp, and he got sick that weekend just like 3 others in the troop on the campout. Turns out it was a bug they picked up at school and it manifested over the weekend.  Allergies can lower resistance and make 'catching something' easier, especially if the kid is either blowing or wiping their nose a lot or if they are coughing and sneezing and covering their mouth as they should be. This can happen anywhere, home, school or on a campout. The other things that can happen on a campout that can lower resistance to bugs include: not dressing appropriately for the weather; not changing clothes regularly, although this causes more in the way of rashes; poor eating habits/diet; and finally some level of sleep deprivation.  If your scout isn't changing his clothes regularly at camp then any smoke particles and other allergens (pollen, dust,etc) are on/in his clothes and he's breathing them in even when he's in his sleeping bag at night. If his sleeping bag isn't being aired out and maybe washed per manufacturer's instructions between campouts then he is sleeping in accumulated 'yuck'! My recommendations: follow above advice; stress the importance of changing clothes regularly at camp; have a set of fresh PJs that never went outside near the fire for each night of camp, store them in a Ziploc bag if needed to keep them clean and separate from 'contaminated' clothing; fresh pillow cases every night of camp stored in Ziplocs if needed; finally air out or clean sleeping bag between trips. These steps should reduce his exposure to allergens/smoke while he sleeps.  It may add slightly to his luggage for camp but as long as he isn't backpacking he should be okay. It's worth a try for a couple of trips. The fresh PJs and pillow cases (every couple of days for summer camp) help me survive summer camps and peak pollen season. Hope it helps and you can keep him camping.
    • They do that one thing well.
    • I have fairly bad asthma and so stay pretty far back and always up wind from camp fires.  He really just needs to learn to do that.  As several folks have said fires aren't really for warmth they're mostly for socializing.  If you're dressed/equipped properly, getting close to the fire just causes you to either over heat or open your jacket. ETA, I also have found for kids with allergies that they may be OK under normal, at-home conditions where most of the air is filtered and or conditioned, but they have problems when they're outside for 48 hours straight like we are on campouts.  Ramp up the OTC allergy meds: Zyrtec, Allegra, Claritin, etc. several days before a campout and keep them going a few days afterwards
    • Good points...I forgot to mention I was referring also to the epaulets/shoulder straps themselves; removing them from the shirt design would save money.  All they do is keep the OA sash from falling.
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