G2SS May 2018
All Scouts registered in troops are eligible to participate in troop or patrol overnight campouts, camporees, and resident camps.
Patrol Activities—A Scout patrol may participate in patrol activities. Two-deep adult leadership is required.
Patrol Leaders Handbook (2010)
Most patrol activities take place within the framework of the troop.
However, patrols may also set out on day hikes, service projects, and overnighters independent of the troop and free of adult leadership as long as they follow two rules:
• The Scoutmaster approves the patrol activity.
• The patrol activity does not interfere with any troop function.
So yes, the rules have changed (didn't find a 2017 Patrol Leader's Handbook on-line).
Now, when I was a Scoutmaster I had the boys ask to do an outing that wasn't necessarily allowed by the G2SS. No, not rob a bank but things like laser tag or a paintball. What I told the boys was that those activities were not sanctioned by the BSA but if they wanted to plan it out and even invite me, I'd be game but I made it clearly understood to them and their parents that it wasn't a Scout activity.
Would I do that today for an overnight activity? Probably not. But a few years ago, I had one patrol (older boys) do a "patrol outing" of sorts where they camped out of earshot and sight line from the remainder of the troop, we were hosting Webelos Scouts, and the boys absolutely loved it. I made the mile walk around 9:30 PM to see if everything was kosher and then again around 7:30 AM just as a check. It really fostered youth leadership and they talked about that outing for years as one of their favorites.
You have to know your boys and I'm a believer that the more you put trust in them, the more they will reward you for that trust.
I'm sure it was a liability issue for the BSA but it's sad they took the patrol option away.
I wouldn't know the answer to your question as it is not my field. I looked at that paper through the eyes of a journal editor, not as a neurophysiologist. Sorry, wish I could help more.
The one thing I feel safe in saying is that in another 5 years, things will likely have changed greatly. What we have done in the recent past may look primitive in comparison.
Bring the whole family! (Parents are responsible for the supervision of their children)
I was told by someone from council that under the new family scouting guidelines parents are welcome to go on any scout outing they wish, because parents are welcome observers at all meetings and outings as they have always been. I was also told parents are welcome to bring any other family member, because we are now welcoming whole families into scouting.
I did see many young girls just hanging out at summer camp with their parents this year, so our summer camp is already being run as a family camp to some extent.
Also RVs and trucks were parked in the scout camp sites and I will see what looked like families having tail gate parties happening during the evenings at camp, I wish they would not have to play their music and TVs so loud.
One RV was running a very loud generator to power a microwave oven the parents had set up in the middle of camp.
Is this the new normal?
If that is what is being done at summer camp, what is a simple weekend outing suppose to look like?
Is a 5 mile hike even possible anymore for most troops? Many troops are here are already in family mode and only car camp, some are only day camping at the lake.
I am surprised at the rate that things are changing from "Boy Scout Troops" to "Saturday Family Tailgate BBQ Clubs (with easy mode scout style advancement)"
A lot of the mom's that I have been talking to love all the changes and love how they can now easily be part of their son's scouting program. I have seen some mom's helping the scout cook their dinner and make sure they do everything correctly and don't make any mistakes. The super helpful moms even pack their sons camping suit cases for them.
The funny thing is most Girl Scout troops are run the same way. The mom's plan and do everything and the girls only get to help in small ways once in a while. The moms are happy and the girls are bored.
I know a few Girl Scout Troop that know how to scout and they are Greenbar Bill amazing because they have some old girl scouts leading things that know the old ways. It would be an honor to camp next to one of those Girl Scout Troops.
Many parents know that most boys quit scouting young so they push them hard to get eagle before age 14, so they can eagle out and check off a box on a college form later on. . . they never seem to blame the boring program the troop is running, they always blame the boys becoming more interested in girls and cars at age 15 as being the problem.
It is really something to behold when you see a group of mom's take charge and run a scout camping trip.
I am seeing a lot of really happy moms and dads. . . and a lot of very bored scouts that mostly quit by age 14.
I think the group the BSA is trying hardest to cater to are moms, if they can make moms happy they can get the moms to put their kids into scouting.
. . . and I think BSA is doing a very good job making moms happy.
From Guide to Safe Scouting 2018: Page 22
Family camping is an outdoor experience, other than resident camping, that involves Cub Scouting, Scouting, Sea 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 policies apply.
I believe you. But it doesn't matter really. I just treat all my Explorer Scouts as individuals, and I seem to get by with that, so the more mature get treated in a more mature way, and those that haven't matured yet don't. I treat the exuberant ones different to the quiet ones, etc etc. Much as I assume most of you do with your boys at the moment.