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Need Clarification on Webelos Overnight Camping

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Our Webelos II Den has been invited on an overnight campout with our local Boy Scout Troop. This weekend has specifically been planned for our Webelos to encourage them to continue on into Boy Scouts. I have been told conflicting rules about overnight campouts by our Pack's Baloos.

 

The first thing that my Baloo is telling me is that the Webelos are not allowed to camp as a den unless each Scout has a parent present. The "Guidelines to Safe Scouting" indicates that each Scout must have a parent approved adult responsible for their child on an overnight campout. Which version is correct?

 

The second thing I am being told is that no Webelos Scout is allowed to share a tent with anyone other than their parent. Does this mean that each Scout and parent must have their own tent or can two fathers and two sons share a tent as long as each Scout has a parent in that tent?

 

I understand why the rules are in place but it seems that everyone's interpretation is different.

 

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"A Webelos Scout may participate in overnight den camping when supervised by his parent or guardian. It is essential that each Webelos Scout be under the supervision of an adult. Joint Webelos den-troop campouts including the parents of the Webelos Scouts are encouraged... Den Leaders, pack leaders and parents are expected to accompany the boys on approved trips." (Guide to Safe Scouting, page 21, 4th bullet). Page 22, under Pack Overnighters says "In most cases each youth memberwill be under the supervision of a parent or guardian. In all cases, each youth participant is responisble to a specific adult." I belive the common understand of that is that a Scout can camp with another adult (small G guardian) who is directly responsible. I can't find the reference right now, but I my understanding is that an adult can be responsible for only one boy other that his/her own children and that the leader of the group cannot take responsibility for any addition youth.

"When staying in tents, no youth will stay in the tent of an adult other than his parent or guardian." (G2SS, p 7, #7). So no, each father and son would need their own tent or the two boys could share one tent and the dads another.

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A very thorough answer.

 

To clarify, can two Webelos boys be responsible to a single adult parent/guardian? In other words, can Bobby go with his dad Robert and Davie's parents identify Robert as the guardian for the campout?

 

What is the definition of a "guardian"?

 

Can Robert and Davie sleep in the same tent even though they are not related, since Davie's parents have identified Robert as a guardian for the campout?

 

Will Luke and Laura ever get back together? ....oh sorry, that was a soap opera loooonnnnngggg ago.

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"Can two Webelos boys be responsible to a single adult parent/guardian? - Yes, but only if that adult is NOT the Webelos Den leader. This protects the den leader, who may be worrying about a myriad of things, from getting dumped on!

 

I'm not sure what the legal definintion in the eyes of the BSA are for guardian, but what I have done in the past is get a written, signed, paper from the youth's parents whose child was in my care. P.S. I was NOT the legal guardian of the child in the eyes of the law.

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Thanks for all of your responses. As you can see there is a great deal of room for interpretation. I really did not want to open this can of worms with our local council and that is why I came here.

 

From what I read in the "Guidelines for Safe Scouting" there seem to be different rules on overnight campouts for Webelos and for younger Cubs. This makes sense since Webelos will be going on to Boy Scouts in just a few months. I really don't see why two boys and their fathers can't share a tent. Technically, the boy is in his parent's tent. It seems rather silly to have only two people per tent - this is alot of equipment to have on a campsite and most tents accomodate more than two people. The "Guildelines" also state that the responsible party can be a "Parent Approved Adult" and then goes futher to say that in "most" cases this is the parent or guardian (most is not all or that it is required). I would really like to know if anyone knows where to find the National Guidelines so I can see what is actually in writing.

 

As to Luke and Laura - yes I was in the age to follow their entire story. There life was easier to follow than all this red tape!

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The rules are contained in the Guide to Safe Scouting, which Twocubdad transcribed. Cub Scouts are not required to share a tent with a parent. They can share with another Webelos, or share with a Boy Scout, or share with a parent, or sleep alone. The only rule is they may not share with another adult other than their parent or guardian.

 

These camping rules are not rocket science. Don't get bogged down in minutiae and legal definitions. Read the G2SS, follow its direction, and interpret using your common sense.

 

 

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Summarizing some things that were said:

-Den leader can only be the guardian for his/her own son.

-Other parents can be guardian for someone else's child with their signed approval. (Personally, we request that no parent be guardian for more than two boys).

-No boy can sleep in a tent with an adult other than there own parent (that's parent, not guardian).

-Boys are not required to sleep in a tent with their parents. You can put boys in tents together. You can even partner them with some of your younger scouts if you want. I would caution against putting them in tents with older scouts, due to the large age gap.

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Thank you for saying so, Bob.

 

We handle the issue of boys attending campouts with someone other than their parent with a form that must be sign by the parent, the person taking responsibility for the boy and the tour leader. It is essentially a permission form for the boy to participate under the supervision of the other adult and an acknowledgement so everyone knows who is responsible for whom. The back of the form has a class I medical form so if something happens to the kid we have a copy of the consent to treat section.

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Very technically weve been told that yes, BW and I could share a tent with Mutt and Jeff. However, you have to abide by the YP guidelines of two deep leadership. So.. when one goes to bed we all would have to go to bed. When I have to get up and water a tree at 3:00am, BW would also have to get up and water a tree. A different one would hope.

 

Then theres the morning drill.BW and I would have to get up at the same time. Wed have to be careful about who is in the tent changing at any time, or even who went into the tent to get something while someone else was in it.

 

For all these reasons this is a very bad idea. It is much better to tell people, no you cant do that.

 

Given their druthers, I suspect that this type of sharing could snowball out of control in many dens. Face it, people are always looking for ways of cutting down on the amount of equipment they bring on a camping trip. Stay away from this, it is not a good practice. If the boys want to sleep together encourage them to do that without the parent, let the parent(s) sleep in different tents.

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Official Word has been handed down by our Council:

 

For a Webelos overnight campout each Scout needs a parent or parent approved adult (One on One rule applies). One adult cannot be responsible for two scouts even if they are not the leader.

 

As far as tents - They do not want two Dads and two sons sharing a tent. Scouts in one tent, adults (of the same sex) in another is fine. Each parent and scout could also share a tent.

 

Thanks for all of your help to clarify this issue. I know it's not Rocket Science, I just didn't want us to do anything wrong.

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Requiring 1:1 Scouts to adults is a very conservative interpretation. We have single-parent Scouts and boys living with grandparents who would never go camping under that rule. How about families with more that one Scout? Did someone here say triplets?

 

On the other hand, as some said it can snowball. We used to have a boy in the pack who lived with a very elderly grandmother. He always camped with his Den Leader and his two sons (boys in one tent, DL in another). But if three are fun, what's wrong with eight. The DL eventually would show up with just about his whole den in tow before the Cub Master suggested otherwise.

 

The application of a little common sense goes a long way.

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To clarify:

 

The GTSS says "When staying in tents, no youth will stay in the tent of an adult other than his or her parent or guardian."

 

Now, suppose an adult is the father of one scout and the parent-assigned guardian of another at the same time. This is a pretty likely scenario when neither of scout A's parents can make the campout, so they ask scout B's parent to "guardian" their boy during the overnight.

 

Note that I am not assuming the 1:1 rule here, which appears to be OK with the GTSS.

 

Can the two boys and their adult/guardian sleep in the same tent? Does that violate the two-deep leadership?

 

Though I myself am uncomfortable with it, I'm thinking the answer is yes, the three CAN share the same tent (I like the idea of a written guardian authorization), and on top of that, it wouldn't matter if the parent/guardian was female. The guardian/scout relationship is treated exactly like a parent/scout relationship.

 

So long as there are two adults registered leader, or one adult registered leader & an parent/guardian, at the activity, it seems the two-deep leadership requirement has been met.

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