Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
SR540Beaver

How Many Scouts to a Tent?

Recommended Posts

OK, I'm going to admit to being lazy on this one. I know we have discussed it in the past, but I don't want to try digging for the old thread(s).

 

This past weekend the troop AntelopeDud and I serve had a campout. Tents were set up. The senior leadership uses an adult tent (larger) while the rest of the boys use Eureka Timberlines. We pack 3 boys per tent or 2 boys per tent depending on how the numbers work out in the patrol. We never have a single boy in a tent. This includes the senior leadership which consists of our SPL and 2 ASPL's. The SPL and one of the ASPL's would not be arriving until Saturday morning. The question came up about what to do with the single ASPL and should we pull an older boy from one of the patrols to tent with him. The SM didn't want to make an exception and allow the ASPL to tent alone because it would set a precedent where other boys might start asking to do it because he was able to. They ended up pulling the older boy out of a patrol to tent with him. Off to the side, I mentioned to my Dud bud that it is OK to allow boys to tent alone. He said he didn't think so and that it was a YP issue. I challenged him to show me a BSA rule that requires more than 1 scout per tent.

 

I based this on the previous 2 troops I've been affiliated with. Those troops didn't have the resources to supply tents like our current troop does. Scouts and adults were responsible for providing their own shelter. Boys could buddy up if they wanted to, but were not required too. Most had their own tent and slept alone. I also based it on searching the G2SS and finding nothing there about tent buddies.

 

Single tenting isn't practical in our troop as we can have 45 to 50 on a trip and there simply isn't enough room to carry that many tents even with the 2 trailers we use.

 

I remember the arguments others had in old threads for doubling up in tents and most had to do with safety issues. Billy might get sick in the middle of the night and his buddy will be able to help. In fact, if I recall correctly, our old friend Bob White laid claim that the buddy system extended to tenting.

 

So, the question is, is there anywhere in BSA rules and regulations that require at least two boys per tent? I personally don't think so, but would be happy to admit to being wrong if I am. I think it is a troop policy due to us providing tents and making the most of it as well as safety issues. What say you?

 

BTW, this didn't cause any kind of problem within the troop or between the Dud and me. I just thought it might be beneficial to hash it out again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will add that we actually had to restrict the number of scouts in a tent in one troop. We had some boys who got the cabin style family tents and ended up with 6 boys in the tent. It was a disaster. They would end up going in there during the day and play wrestling games and the whole tent was shaking like two rhinos fighting under a blanket. They started grabbing each others gear and tossing it around and losing it and dropping the tent windows while other guys were changing clothes. They also stayed up late into the night while others wanted to sleep. People were starting to get angry with each other. After that experiece, our preference was two to a tent and absolutely no more than three.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SR540Beaver,

 

I have never seen anything that requires a minimum of two Scouts per tent. We have allowed the SPL to tent alone if needed.

 

The buddy system is an excellent guideline to follow for tenting when possible.

 

Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't believe there's any rule on this, unless you were to interpret the generic buddy system statements to cover tenting.

 

We allow Scouts to tent alone at times. Some bring hammocks. Some are just the odd Scout. We only have two-man tents, so we can't really put three boys in a tent without inducing claustrophobia. We've told the boys they need to be willing to share tents, even if they bring their own. Hasn't been a problem.

 

We had exactly the problem with the 6-person tent that SR540Beaver describes - they are now disallowed in our troop as well.

 

Oak Tree

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I have looked all through the G2SS and other publications and can't find anything that prohibits a boy sleeping in a tent alone. SR540BEAV loves pointing out the errors of AntelopeDud, there must be some kind of Merit badge for leaders on this ... the SM loves to do this too. :p

 

I guess that was a troop policy or maybe even a Pack policy from way back when. I still think the buddy system is the best guideline for tenting arrangements. I'd feel better because BSA guideline always have me thinking "what if". We have sleepwalkers, kids with allergies that require Epinephrine shots some we know of, some we do not. We ask for this information, but SR540 and I discovered just this past weekend of a Scout with an EpiPen - We need to know that kind of thing but it doesn't always happen. My biggest fear, however, is that someone could sneak into a tent of a solo Scout at night and harm him in some way.

 

I don't know, sometimes I think I take this Youth Protection thing too far, but then again, sometimes, I think they get too restrictive. Better safe than sorry is my motto.

 

So, here's to you, oh mighty Beaver of SR540 - you win again (but I still love ya').

 

-AD(This message has been edited by AntelopeDud)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yah, ADud, how'd yeh get that cool animated smiley face?

 

No rule about 2 per a tent, as you recognize. But nothin' says you can't make a rule for your unit if you think it's necessary.

 

I think it's a good idea just to do sometimes. First year boys or boys with serious health issues should usually have buddies. So should adults with limited experience or health issues.

 

Yah, and other times, like boys with a bedwetting problem, it might be best for the boy to let him tent solo, eh?

 

The "someone could sneak into their tent and harm 'em" bit is too funny, though, unless you're talkin' about pranksters. :) Or maybe a bear lookin' for the stash of candy (in which case havin' a buddy gets 2 kids hurt instead of one!). Don't let your imagination run away with yeh there!

 

I'm with SR540 and Oak Tree on the bigger tent thing, fer sure. Two to a tent (or solo) makes for a much quicker evening and better sleep all around. Three lasts quite a while longer. Get much larger and it's a guaranteed all-night fest unless da SPL or SM exercise Supreme Authority with Fear of Imminent Bodily Harm :).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No official rule that I know of states there must be at least 2 boys to a tent. But, it sure does make sense for all the reasons folks have stated. It sounds like your Troop has such a policy. Giant Kudos to your SPL for recognizing a potential problem down the road by making an exception - pulling an older Scout from one of the patrols sounds like a good solution. If your Troop has such a policy, the only exception I could think of would be the case of a sick, potentially contagious lad at a long-term camp (I'm not thinking serious illness, I'm thinking a flu-like virus that might "knock" the lad out of action for a day or two).

 

Calico

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We use bigger tents as I've said 5 or six to a tent normally. You get rowdy or hurt the equiptment you stay home next campout and do dishes on this one. As for two to a tent the only time I've heard of that being a rule is in cold weather. Nobody sleeps alone so if a scout goes into hypothermia his chattering teeth wakes up his buddy who wakes up a leader. At Okpik this extended to staff. Warm weather or particularly backpaking trips one to a tent is fine. We do own some two man eureka domes and some timberline A frames but the large 12 by 15's are easier to haul, only need three and easier to keep track of as far as servicability. Had too many campout where we discovered missing cover flies or tent stakes or broken zippers. This way if your patrol tent gets busted everybody sleeps in a busted tent.

LongHaul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beavah,

 

No imagination running wild here. Back in 1977 when I was in college and AntelopeDud was probably a wee lad in grade school, we had 3 murders at a Girl Scout camp here in Oklahoma. It was three girls aged 8, 9 and 10 who were all in the same tent. The next closest tent was 75 feet away and the counselors tent was about 100 yards away. They were brutally murdered and at least one was raped. A Native American by the name of Gene Leroy Hart was tried and found not guilty of the crime. No one was ever convicted. It is one of those events that people around here remember where they were when they first heard of it.

 

I'd prefer not to go into details. You can read about it here:

 

http://www.signatureprofilingassociates.com/girlscoutmurders.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was NO wee lad in 1977. I was an imposing 8-year-old and well on my way to Dud and Woodbadge fame. :)

 

Pranksters I can handle. In fact, there is a particular SPL that I would love to 'Get Back' for clearing out my tent at summer camp and hiding it's contents in the woods. All in good fun, he is a great Scout. However, I have to be careful on how to acknowledge the fun and 'retaliate'. That's where those youth protection issues keep popping in my head and protect said SPL from waking up in the middle of the lake on a raft. Yes, sadly, Bill Murray and the 'Meatballs' gang is from my generation and that's how I learned to settle differences at Summer Camp. As a safety measure, SR540 keeps me chained to my cot at night.

 

It's the axe murderers or the child molesters that are the stars of my "What if.." thoughts. You just never know what might happen.

 

And Beavah, it's : P that animates the zerberk. :p

 

-AD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although excellent, rugged tents, the Eureka Timberline tents run kinda small so we only had two per. Sometimes an odd man would sleep alone. I still use a 2 man dome I bought in 1989 for my H.S. graduation gift to myself- A Eureka WindRiver 2. Beaver, thanks for the link about the girls. They were only a year or two older than me. Sad. I can see your concern, but 30 years has elapsed. I always carry a Mag-Lite-you never know when you gotta split someone's head open!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No imagination running wild here.

 

Yah, but even in that case yeh had 3 people in a tent and it didn't help. Only got more girls hurt. :(

 

Yeh could require that youth have to sleep with adults, but that would raise other issues. And the few murders that have occurred on the Appalacian trail, they killed adults. So adults wouldn't really be a help.

 

You could prohibit tent campin' entirely, and require campin' in locked cabins. Some GSUSA councils did that after that incident. Or yeh could require adult leaders to carry handguns on all trips so as to be able to shoot all the criminals that are lurkin' around in the forest.

 

Bad things happen. They're tragic. Evil men should be punished severely. We should try to be reasonably safe.

 

But not at the cost of common sense and liberty.

 

People die each year on staircases. That doesn't mean that cub scout policy should prohibit the use of stairs. Even when we can imagine gruesome consequences ;).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our troop uses tarps or plastic sheeting. The entire patrol can fit under one or two tarp lean-to's. They're open to the world so behavior isn't usually an issue. I can see them wriggling around like worms from my place in the adult area. It's good to be king!

 

We don't use tents for younger scouts because they don't take care of them. They have to earn the right to bring a tent along on a campout and use it, first class is one requirement, demonstrating propper care is another. It's an incentive for younger boys to advance in rank.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our unit really does not have a tent policy. The troop has tents and some of the Scouts use them. Some bring their own tents.

 

Some Scouts have buddies they like to share a tent with, others prefer to tent alone. If we have a Scout that wants to tent with another Scout, that has always been arranged. The tents are usually all in a small area so we don't worry about anyone being in a tent alone. Personally, I take my own tent and sleep in it alone as do most of the other adults. I have shared a tent, but prefer to tent alone. We have adults that snore so they tent alone and we try to pitch our tents at a distance from them.

 

 

We have heard of a troop that has all Timberline 2 man tents, and everyone in the troop has to use a troop tent and share it with another Scout unless there is an odd number of Scouts in which case they squeeze 3 Scouts into one tent. Even the Scouters have to share troop tents. Only explanation I got was that they wanted the same type of tent accommodations for everyone. It appears to work for them.

 

My opinion is, whatever works as long as the G2SS and other policies and laws, and common sense are followed.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have adults that snore so they tent alone and we try to pitch our tents at a distance from them.

 

Another fine example of discrimination in Scouting.

 

How does ostracism fit in with the 6th point of the Scout Law?

 

Yeh should be happy that we snorers keep da nasty woodland critters from eatin' the rest of you at night.

 

:p:p:p

 

(yah, check that out. Thanks, ADud)

 

Beavah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×