They took "A Scout is Friendly" to a whole new level. I was once the District Rep on an EBOR and as we were reading the letters of recommendation, one was from his sister who was heaping praise on her brother for being such a good father. The two were still "living in sin" under her parents' roof. Well, the Troop Committee members were livid, primarily because we were blindsided by the SM who thought it wasn't "relevant". It was not a unanimous vote. The scout appealed to Council, who rubber stamped it. The CO was a Methodist Church.
I've been in multiple troops that do it differently. Scouts bringing their own tent makes life easier for the adults. BUT, there are lots of benefits to the troop owning the tents. It gives the QM something meaningful to do. It gives the troop things to do at meetings (setup, clean, put away, etc). It's also a great leveling aspect as everyone has the same stuff. It doesn't become a competition for who has the best tent. Also, you can avoid scouts bringing party tents. I swear half the trouble at night is when you have five or six scouts sharing one tent. There is something about two in a tent that causes them to fall asleep faster. Most importantly, everyone having matching tents makes for a sharp looking camp site.
Our troop had matching tents for ten plus years. We replace one every other year or so. Now, I'd say we are at about one new tent a year and we have 15+ in our trailer.
For a new troop, I'd avoid big cost items. Heck, I'd think it might be cool to have a patrol go to a second hand shop (goodwill, savers, ...) and have them pick out what they need. Silverware. Plates. Cups. Skillets. Etc. It would be a cool way to stock a patrol. Plus, when the patrol crashes, donate that patrol's stuff and let the new patrol go shopping again. I bet you could get most of the cook stuff for under $20 from a second hand shop. Except lanterns and stove.
The problem about tarps (and most modern tents with low-slung flys) in winter: to keep "exhalation frost" from building up on everything, it's actually best to allow for a lot of ventilation. So the trick is proper alignment of vents, and bodies. That requires lots of practice that 1st years obviously do not have.
In the days canvas floorless tents, piling snow around piled around the walls of the tent not only blocked wind, but attracted condensation. So even in calm frozen nights when the flaps weren't kicking open, canvas walls were frost-free on the inside. (Although folding them at the base could be rough if you packed the snow to tight!)
MattR, your comment regarding cheating resonates with me because these patterns of deception seem to become established when quite young (and perhaps they're innate, I don't know) but I see many examples of even older young people (not a typo) in my classes. And they seem to have a different understanding of what 'honesty' is from what I think and was taught.
You can see some of this in the way that so-called votes are given during these so-called talent shows after which text messages are used to tally the vote. Evidently it is common to allow multiple 'votes' from each 'voter' if they want to take the time and expense to do it. While I couldn't care less about what happens on one of those vapid wastes of time, the 'anything goes' idea seems to fix itself into their other activities as well. So I spend considerable time and effort in defeating these things when it comes time for assessment. And, once again, I suspect that if the monkeys were intelligent enough to engage in the same behavior, they would. My point, then, is that whatever we can do to give them the tools for making fewer risky or harmful decisions will make things much better in the long run. The Eagle father-to-be, I hope, will take his responsibilities as a father seriously and I also hope that his adult peers can offer help and support to make sure his mistake doesn't harm a person who had no choice whatsoever on how to enter this world.