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kittle

Another camping question

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The talk about women on camping trips made me want to ask this on. My son who is going on his first Boy Scout campout next weekend wanted me or his father to go on the campout with him. Thank goodness his father took a vacation day and is going with him. But, here is the question. How would you feal if a mother went on the campout and had to bring along a younger sibling? I did this when he went camping with the Troop as a Webelos. Keeping him out of what the boys wouldn't be a problem, I was just wondering what other would think about this.

 

Katrina

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Our problem has been the proverbial can of worms. Let one person come, then another wants to bring their older brother, then their older sister and her friends, etc.... I would be okay with it, as long as it didn't evolve into these other problems. When we've had these discussions, I've had to sometimes remind people that it is for the scouts, not the brothers and sisters.

 

We've also had issues with siblings wanting to come on the "fun" outings. You know, white water rafting, snow tubing, etc. They don't want to be around on the "regular" campouts. But something a little more exciting, sign them up. The only problem is that they want nothing to do with scouting unless it's for their benefit.

 

Anyway, it's late in the day and I'm on a rant. My apologies.

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He wouldn't be along for just the fun campouts. He would only have to go on campouts that I go on because both my parents are deceased and I would have nowhere else for him to go. If my husband didn't go on the campout it would be because he had to work (and he works 6 days a week usually). I don't want to go on very many of the campouts, but will go on any that they need adult leaders for. I even offered to fill out an adult application, but the SM didn't know if they needed anymore adults.

 

I am a registered Webelos leader and my husband is the Cubmaster for son's old pack. We are sticking with the Pack because we will have another son coming in a couple years (if Pack lasts that long).

 

Katrina

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Sibs, Ouch, I just got through saying we liked ladies to come on our camps but there... I/WE have to draw the proverbial line...We have one Family camp each year...sibs are welcome as long as they camp with Mom/Dad not the boys...sort of separate camps, side by side...

On regular campouts sibs are not permitted...the program is for the Boy Scouts not the cubs or younger. And unfortunately, the sib needs attention the leader should be 'paying' to the boys...its just a fact.

 

Last, a sib on board is not insured by BSA and represents a liability to the troop, troop leaders, CO and BSA....

Just shouldn't be done.

 

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I've had some situations where leader attendance was contingent on a younger sibling coming too, usually due to circumstances beyond their control. It's never been a distraction, and hasn't opened the proverbial pandora's box of everybody's little brother coming along either. Good vols are hard to find -- I'll gladly take them with or without strings. As far as the Scouts are concerned, I've found that they're amazingly tolerant, and will go out of their way to make sure the occasional "little guy" has a good time. Let's remember, most have little brothers/sisters, know how to relate to them, probably have some sibling care responsibilities at home, and as Scouts, they're expected to live the Oath and Law -- that's what we expect, right? Well, that's what they're doing. While we're at it, maybe we should show a little more Scout Spirit as adults, if we have a habit of digging in our heels, folding our arms, and saying "no siblings!". Come on, does it really constitute "the end of the movement" if a leader has to bring a 9-year old brother along?

 

Kittle, without knowing you or your son, my hunch is that this is problem you'll only have once or twice. After his first campout or two, he'll realize he doesn't need you there to survive, and will find a way to diplomatically "uninvite" you from future ones. Trust me, I've seen this more times than I can count. One of the human factors with adolescent boys that you really can't control, is their desire for independence and growing identification with peer groups, and less dependence on family members for companionship and identity.

 

KS

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KS

 

I am not planning on attending very many campouts unless the Troop needs leaders. I am more than willing to vulunteer in whatever capacity I am needed. All this said, I am a little leary of Boy Scout Camping and want to see how this Troop is run. Especially how the boys treat one another. And in a couple of years, our CS CO is hoping we will have enough boys to start a Troop. If this happens, I will probably have to take on a leadership role and would like to already be experienced. If there was a local Troop, we wouldn't have to drice 25 mile one way for meetings.

 

Katrina

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I have many times gone on camping trips with my sons. Many times if I didn't go there wouldn't have been enough adults and no campout. And some of those times my 8 year old went with. The older boys place him with a patrol and he helps just like the older boys. Katrina as far as camping with the Boys do it. My suggestion is that you learn any and all skills that the boys are. When I was the leader that first showed the boys how to start a fire with flint and steel the boys were amazed.The boys won't see Mom they see a leader that is there to help if needed.Maybe part of that is one of the patrols is made up of boys that were all in my Webelos Den. We always have atleast 2 women at camp. Summer camp too.

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Quick side story, related to the topic.

I just had my first meeting ever, where I planned on having 10 boys and their parents, and one mom unexpectedly brought along a younger brother because she had no sitter. I was a little worried at first, since I only had enough juice boxes for ten boys due to my inexperience in planning for the unexpected. Nevertheless, I included him in everything, from the snacks on, and it was great to see his face light up when his brother made him a friendship bracelet just like all the other boys got. I did this because I remember being too young to be a cub scout, and having to sit at the meetings and do nothing while my two older brothers got to have all the fun because my mom had nobody to watch me during the meetings. And thirty two years later, I still remember how heartbroken I was to be excluded.

 

Also, more to the topic, we're having our first Pack Camp Out soon, and it is made blatantly clear that every parent and every sibling is welcome to come, from the Boy Scouts down to the Tiger Scouts, as long as the parents understand the Leaders aren't babysitters and that they are all expected to be involved and take part in the activities. It's all about creating a positive enviornment for the boys AND their families.

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The Boy Scouts stress age appropriate outdoor experiences, and placing an eight year old in activities for 11-15 year olds is very likely to cause problems and compromises, in my experience.

 

Having an annual family camp is good, but having the troop porous and open to non Scouters with no understanding of the program and uncertain physical and camping skills is not good.

 

But the real answer is to talk to the Scoutmaster about your son's anxiety. He might ask an older Scout to be a buddy for your son, or he may have no problem with you and your younger son camping.

 

And since your aim is to merely be a presence, you and your younger son might plan your own activities and camp with the adult leaders, reducing the impact on the boy led program.

 

 

 

Seattle Pioneer

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Wow - 10 Tigers! That's great T-Bob!

 

In Tigers you always have to be prepared for Tags. Since the Adult Partner has to be there, actively participating in everything with their Tiger Scout, sometimes there is just no other option except to bring along younger sibs. They don't necessarily have to be doing the same things as their big bro though. I have lots of coloring, puzzle pages & crayons that I use for gathering, fillers & sibs. I also ask the parent to bring something for their younger guys to keep busy with (fav toy, book, etc) The little ones I've dealt with are usually pretty good & don't distract their parent/big bro to much. Plus, they end up soaking up stuff like the Promise, Law, Salute, etc. Then when they get to Tigers they have a head start with learning it!

 

As far as camp outs go (& pretty much everything else too!), Cubs is a LOT different than Boy Scouts. Cub Scouts is an adult driven, FAMILY program. Family is involved in just about every aspect of Cub Scouting. A parent (or another parent designated adult) HAS to camp with a Cub Scout at all times. Although it is possible to run one as a Scout & Me camp, most Pack camp outs ARE Family Camp outs, with the entire family participating! The Pack BALOO trained person(s) plans a program that includes all age & ability levels.

 

Boy Scouts, on the other hand is a boy driven, boy program (or at least it SHOULD be). Adults are in more of an "advisory" position and not a "leadership" position. Family is still involved (& no activity should ever be "closed" to parents), but in a very different, more limited, form. Unless a camp out is specifically designated as a family camp out, it is usually only designed for (& program supplied for) the Boys in the BS Troop & the adults that are needed for drivers & to be in compliance with BSA regs. If a tag-along sib is an absolute necessity, care should be taken to keep them separate from the activities of the older boys. As the "Guide to Safe Scouting" states:

 

"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."

 

 

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Since this was brought back to the top, I wanted to share the experience I have had with my son's Troop. I have only went on 1 Troop campout and that was this last weekend. I only went on it because my husband was pulling the trailer and I had a Webelos that wanted to attend a Boy Scout campout. I had to take my 4 year old son along and things were fine. The older boys went about their business just fine and I took along a special bag of things for him to do when he got bored of watching the boys. He did fine and I had no trouble out of him. I don't want to take him very often, but when I have to I will. We will be attending next month too, because I am supposed to help.

 

I know it isn't the ideal situation, but we learn to make the best of what is put before us.

 

 

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We all do what we have to do. I've only had a sibling along on a Boy Scout campout a couple of times, but it wasn't a problem. In each case, we were short on leaders. The leader knew that his child wouldn't be covered by BSA insurance in case of an accident. We told the Scouts up front that this trip is only happening because little Joey said he'd come along to help out the Scouts. With that said, we worked him into the activities where we could, and the Scouts seemed to genuinely enjoy having the little guy along. Would you want to do it all the time? No, but when it happens occasionally, it gives an outing a slightly different twist, and can actually be a better learning experience for all concerned. So, yeah, if a troop turned every outing into a family campout, that would indeed be doing a disservice to the Scouts. But every once in a while? Nah.

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