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Does your unit have silly camp rules.


I am sure that like silly laws they have some reasoning behind them.


Some of the rules I think are silly are:


No soda (coke for those in the south, pop for some midwesters)

I went camping ( as an adult) once with a troop that had this rule. I popped open my can of Diet Coke in the morning and was told by more than one person they did not allow sodas on camp outs. I told them they should ban coffee too. The other Scouters said nothing else to me about it.


No camp chairs or stools.

This from a troop that takes everything in multiple troop trailers!


No candy

I can see some reasons this could be a rule - but none were given.


Wearing Uniform while traveling for insurance purposes.

Still folks who think this! In fact had the discussion last weekend and was told they would show me "where it is written." ( I believe in unofrms while travelling to show that we are scouts)


Any others out there?






(This message has been edited by campcrafter)

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No sugar soft drinks is NOT NECESSARILY a silly rule. I've seen young folk with bee stings on their lips because the little critter had slid into a sugar heaven, then had only one way out!


Again, no sugar soft dringks is not necessarily a silly rule. Sugar soft drinks take lots more body work (kidneys, etc) to process than does good old di-hydrogen oxide (water). On a summer day, water hydrates you, sugar soft drinks do not!


No candy can come from multiple reasons, but no soft candy (chocolate bars and such) melt in the summers' heat, unless we're talking Hershey's Tropical Chocolate (do they even still make it?). Again, bees can come calling, as can all manner of other critters. Teaching youth about "smellables" now helps for the day when they go on a high adventure anywhere.


The no camp chairs or stools does get a little silly at times, but so does the "It's MINE!" I've seen too many times...


Just my thoughts. Others will have different ones.

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Have you ever been on a camping trip with half empty cans of (coke, pop, soda) sitting around and no one to claim them?


Trying to suggest to the PLC that Kool Aid is the way to go now. (NO CAFFEINE)

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My great dislike for "Rules" is well documented in these forums.

However a lot has to depend on where the rules come from.

I also am real big on allowing the Scouts to make choices. If we don't allow them the opportunity to make choices when they are growing up they aren't going to know how to when they do.

We do need to provide our Scouts with the correct information and let them know why we might not want to do some things.

We do of course need to keep safety in mind.

I try and keep an open mind about things.

I don't like pop or soda very much and I haven't drunk a cola beverage in over 20 years. I don't like the taste. But I have friends that drink it all day long. I don't see that as a Scouter I have any right to tell their kid that he can't drink what he does at home.

I have one Lad in the Ship that only eats meat, potatoes and cake. I know that this isn't the best diet in the world (At least I ought to know!) But while we have talked about this, I think my imposing my will on him is wrong.

There are times when I do make up rules!!

At the Jamboree when it was so darn hot, I made up a rule that Scouts were not allowed to leave our Troop camp site without having both of their water bottles (Or camel-packs) filled.

The PLC at the Jambo came up with the rule that all the Patrol members had to be at the table at meal times unless they went fishing early.(They came up with this one because some Lads weren't hungry and thought if they didn't eat they didn't need to do what the roster had them doing.)

The Jambo guide stated that we were to be in uniform for dinner. We decided that unless we had guests this was just silly.

I was constantly reminding everyone about the need for sun screen. But I knew that there was no way I could do much more than remind them.

I really dislike hats and caps, but to set a good example at the Jambo I wore my hat.

We just had a super sized thread about cell phones. I had recommend that our Scouts not take their phones, some did, but my cell phone was in the Patrol Box under the dining fly where we held our daily PLC, everyone knew it was there and were free to use it.

Some Parents love rules!! They can hide behind them, it's so much easier for them to say "You can't" than it is to ask "What do you think?"


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John in KC - Howdy neighbor to the north!


As I stated there is usually some good reasoning behind silly rules and laws. ( You know like those emails you get with lists of laws from the 1800's that make absolutely no sense today, but are still on the books.) Often these rules in the units I am sure start from a particular experience in the unit.


Of course it is easier to say no soda than pick up your cans. We have also had 1/2 empty kool-aid cups lying around and the paper cups scattered. So As I said I am sure there are reasons.


But also as my wife continually reminds me - we need to explain why the rule exists. I think that the subject is much deeper than just silly rules. It is as E stated helping boys to think about situations and problems and devising solutions. To think for themselves and thus grow into mature young men.


Wow, who knew - thanks for the feedback and making me think! :)



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No sodas on campouts in our troop. Several good reasons given here already: cans all around, attraction of bugs, cans or bottles make much more litter than a fews packets of lemonade or gatorade.


But, the biggest reason is that we are trying to teach budgeting when planning meals and a couple of 12 packs of sodas can eat up a patrol's week-end budget.

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Dang, Eamonn beat me to it again. For me, scouting is the real world scaled down to a boys size. I always look for real-world situations to teach scouts small lessons now before they get in the real world. If we have camp rules, its for a reason, and usually safety. But, I usually went through the SPL and PLC to set the rules, not the almighty power-addictive adults.


When our troop started having problems with coke cans, I first explained to the SPL why cleanliness had a lot to do with safety, animals, bugs and so on. Then we started doing surprise camp inspections where it was embarrassingly obvious to the PLC that the scouts had a problem. Before the next PLC meeting, I told the SPL that safety was heavy on my mind and I was very disappointed by what I saw, so I was going to enforce a no coke rule. Then I quietly said I would be willing to listen to compromises. As far as I know, the Troop still allows the Patrols one bottle of soda a campout. No cans and only one bottle. Same goes with sugar, if the scouts are hurting themselves because they are abusing it, then there will be a discussion between the SPL and SM. I wanted the PLC to understand the value of purposeful rules and being responsible for each other safety.


Every troop has these things come up. Depending how you look at them, they are either reasons to be disapointed, or opportunities to grow. I looked for them and use them as great opportunities to teach life lessons. USe your wisdom for guiding the scouts to live clean, healthy and safe lifestyles. Try not to use your adult stature to make them bow to what appears to be your personal adult fears. Show them the facts and deal with the consequenses. Rules are a lot easier to enforce when the scouts make them and enforce them.


By the way, a lot these problems went away when our troop went to a backpacking troop and the scouts learned low impact camping. Most of the older scouts teach the younger one about smellables and the risk. As for me using these as lifes lessons, I had to move on and find new ones. Scoutmasters are always being challenged.



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Not trying to hijack the thread but...

Older Scouts are moving from dependence to Independence. Depending on the Scout this can be a time of rebellion, confusion and at times self-righteousness.

They have all this going on and they also have a great sense of justice. They can become very upset about what they perceive as injustice, even if what is happening has nothing to do with them.

They question everything and silly rules can be the straw that breaks the camels back and be the reason why they quit Scouts.

The easy thing to do is to turn around and say that this is the rule -Take it or leave.

It takes a lot more time to listen to why they think this is a silly rule? Explain the reasoning behind the rule and maybe be willing to change things or come up with a solution that keeps everyone happy.


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It seems to me that most "silly" or "pointless" rules come from adults who don't really have a reason. However, if there is a good reason for things, and those reasons are explained to the youth, they are no longer "silly". Like expressed above, most of our camp rules are designed by the Scouts. They have put rules in place for those who: won't eat the main meal, but scarf all the desert; "get sick" when their turn comes up on the duty roster; and have even addressed pop & snacks in tents. Pop...mostly it is the expense. Sometimes they have some for a treat. I like the idea of bottles...maybe add their name. We don't use paper cups, so don't have to address that issue.


Now...food in tents. Our troop tents are used when we backpack in bear country...do you already see where I'm going with this? One candy bar squished into the floor of a tent this winter becomes bear bait even 6 months or 18 months later. Our older & more experienced Scouts don't like this scenario. They enforce a policy that if you have food inside a tent, you purchase that tent. They don't forbid snacks...just not in the tents! (As a courtesy rule, however, they encourage any snack-bringers to bring enough to share with their patrol or the troop.)





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Ok, you be the judge...


We have a 'no sticks' rule. That means that scouts are not allowed to pick up branches, twigs, whatever, unless they are building a fire.


Time and time again, warning after warning, we ask them NOT to turn these things into weapons, but inevitably, within SECONDS it seems, we have a simulated swordfight or jousting session somewhere in camp.


Of course, then the debates start... 'its not a stick, its a uh, golf club', or 'its not a stick, its a '.


Aaaaargh. Sticks







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Silly Camp rules. What one may see as silly others see as a necessity. We have similar rules with our troop with the excepton of the chair/stool. Everyone is encouraged to bring their own chair, some places we go have limited seating, and bringing a chair around the campfire is a great way to have our reflections.


As far as an adult having a caffine burst in the early AM hours-if our troop stopped the Coke dirinkers we would cut down our adults willing to go to only the coffee dirinkers. That would be about 1/2 of the registered and frequent campers. Our SM has just asked they not walk around camp with the can, most just put it in their cup.


Uniforms seem to be a hot issue. We have a "Class B" shirt that we wear to identify us as a group when traveling. It seems to keep the soucts more accountable. If one sees another doing something inappropraite he isn't afraid to say something-either to the scout or the SPL.


With all that said there should be reasons given. I know several times I have had to tell the adults who have been with the troop longer the "just because I said so" or "that's the way it has always been" are not the answers a scout or scouter should be receiveing. I may use it on my own kids at home on occasion ,but they will remind me that when we leave the house it is no longer imperical rule. Ask for an explaination, I'm sure you'll see some head scratching and blank stares. Good Luck YiS, flmomscoutw3

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I tend to agree with the big E on the issue of rules. One thing is if you have a rule, you have to have a consequence for breaking it or it doesn't seem like it's much of a rule. So what are some of the consequences for breaking the "rules". For those that ban soda, pop, etc. What are the consequnces for a scout found to have snuck a contraband can of cola? Does a can of flavored iced tea, lemonade or flavored immitation juice drink count or does the ban only include carbonated beverages? What about an individual bottle of lemonade? Or non-carbonated "energy" drinks? Does flavored carbonated mineral water count as a soda? Do you have specific lists of products and container types that are banned? Do juice boxes count? Do only caffienated beverages count? If a scout brought a non-caffienated cola that had been allowed to go flat, would that be banned? Do the same penalties apply to all of the above or is there a graduated penalty system based on the amount of beverage, container type, caffiene, sugar, or volume of the contraband item?


If uniforms are not mandatory under the National BSA program, do you refuse participation to scouts that show up not in uniform? If you do, on what basis do you deny participation? Or do you not consider your unit not part of the BSA for purposes of mandatory uniform wear?


What are the consequences for picking up a stick? When is a stick not a stick? If a scout picks up a long slender piece of wood and ties a string and a fish hook to it is it still a stick? If he is using it to hit tennis balls in an adhock game of home run derby, is it still a stick?


Do the rules only apply to scouts or are there exceptions for adults? Parents?


If you list rules, please also list exceptions and consequences.


Just asking?



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"Wearing Uniform while traveling for insurance purposes"... yes this is true ... it is not written for insurance purposes, the tour permit should be enough; however, wearing uniform should be maintained for a number of good reasons: 1) troop identity, 2) great publicity for the boyscouts, 3) great reception and perception from everyone (including state troopers). I recently got pulled over during a campout trip for a burnt out headlamp (appearantly it went out when I turned them on at dusk for I checked everything that morning). The state trooper wrote me a warning but he was friendly and courteous. This is in comparison to the time that I got pulled over by another state trooper for speeding 6 mph (the traffic flow!) over the speed limit on my way to work . I was treated as a common criminal with him rudely and discourteously yelling and lecturing at me for speeding and with his hand on his holster! What a difference wearing the BSA uniform made. Being a minority in this great nation ... wearing the uniform is my comfort blanket! I know that the BSA uniform or any uniform is being respected! Okay ... so that statement may be challenged by others, but I will continue to wear my uniform and the boys will wear theirs to and from a troop activity. The BSA insurance is only supplemental any way! The insurance cards in my wallet are what count!



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Scouting Again


Thanks! That is exactly the problem with these rules! One thing leads to another and soon we are drinking only water from the streams and eating dandelions. Nope can't do that it isn't leave no trace.


There'll be anarchy!


Maybe one solution is to have certain rules for certian activities. No sodas backpacking but there are pop machines at Summer Camp. No chocolate when it is hot weather but OK in cold - if not in bear country!


Yours in the joy of Scouting,



p.s. I drink Diet COKE - so no Pepsi products will be allowed on camp outs! ;)

(This message has been edited by campcrafter)

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