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How Many Scouts to a Tent?

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Gosh, our scouts could NEVER belong to your troop...you forgot the warm milk and the mint on his pillow when he turns in...I'm calling the prank police, RIGHT NOW!




yep he had a classic case...and everyone knew it...His son was our SPL at the time...and He, the dad, was the best Cub Scout Den Leader I have ever met...bar none...he just had a gift of "making cub into scouts"...including, at last count, about...8 eagles (including my eldest). He eventually lost some weight, found a different line of work and is much better in the apnea department...but he left scouting...


...without our prime "snorer"...now I am always worried about bears and lions and school teachers...oh my!


In the end...you manage your risk and we manage ours...and ideas asked for do not have to be taken...just grist for the "mental mill".





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When the troop first started (before I was around) the leaders planned to buy some troop tents and asked the boys if they wanted one larger tent or several smaller tents - of course they wanted one large party tent. They soon learned the lack of sleep was an issue, and scouts started bringing their own tents. Now boys without their own tent use the party tent (not many do that) and others use their own tents. We encourage them to stick to smaller tents and have two scouts per tent.


The reality of the night-time bladder pressure issue is that regardless of the rules, I suspect the scout will typically find a place to releive himself much as the indians might have - well within sight of his tent (and his sleeping buddy).

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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.


It is interesting that whenever trained BSA Scouters decide to get "creative," their first impulse is to short-circuit the Patrol Method.


I wonder where they learn that the Patrol Method is not really all that important? Could it be, um, BSA training?


Gasp! WWKBD?


And why does this SPL need two (2) ASPLs? According to the Wood Badge types, the ASPL is there to boss around the Scouts in PORs appointed by the SPL. So, leave the two (2) ASPLs home to audit the Troop Scribe's books, edit the Troop Historian's manuscripts, and check the Librarian's book shelves against his card catalog. This frees up the two (2) ASPLs' car seats to stack the extra tents that don't fit into the two Troop trailers!


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.


Yeah, think of all the potential problems that "making an exception" presents to control freaks. A SPL (or SM) yanking a kid out of another Patrol just to make the tents "come out even" is the Troop Method, not the Patrol Method.


Without a tent occupancy policy for car camping (backpacking with inexperienced Scouts is different), most Scouts actually prefer to share a tent. Tents with only one Scout provide slack for the unexpected, as for example when Scouts learn about new things in rain storms like why everybody told them not to set up their tent in that nice low spot.


we had 3 murders at a Girl Scout camp here in Oklahoma.


More people get killed in traffic while driving to Ken Blanchard courses in a single year than have been murdered at Scout camps in the entire course of human history. Remember when an axe was a symbol of Wood Badge? If we really want to save precious human lives, let's ban Ken Blanchard from Scouting and return Wood Badge to safe subjects like axemanship.


We use bigger tents as I've said 5 or six to a tent normally...This way if your patrol tent gets busted everybody sleeps in a busted tent.


Generally speaking, without adults in control:


1 Scout per tent = 8 hours sleep.

2 Scouts per tent = 4 hours sleep.

3 Scouts per tent = 2 hours sleep.

4 Scouts per tent = 0 hours sleep.


That being said, in Baden-Powell's day an entire Patrol slept together in one large tent as in LongHaul's Troop. I wonder what the group dynamics were back then, since the Patrols were spaced at least 100 yards apart and were under the leadership of the Patrol Leader:


So it results that Scouts' camps should be small -- not more than one Troop camped together; and even then each Patrol should have its own separate tent at some distance (at least 100 yards) from the others. This latter is with a view to developing the responsibility of the Patrol Leader for his distinct unit. B-P's Outlook October, 1909




I strongly advise small camps of about half a dozen Patrols; each Patrol in a separate tent and on separate ground, so that the Scouts do not feel themselves to be part of a big herd, but members of independent responsible units.


Patrols should be kept intact under all circumstances. Baden-Powell, Footsteps of the Founder, page 107.


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.


Some real outdoor camping skills are happening here if your Patrols can stay dry under a tarp during a rain storm. If they set up these tarps themselves, it is a great example of the Patrol Method in action.


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.


I've see these Troop Method units at Camporees. The identical tents are arranged on a tight and orderly grid (just how do they get exactly the same number of Scouts to show up in each Patrol?) with "1,000 watt" gas lanterns from the guard towers flooding the entire area like an automobile sales lot at night. A good reason to avoid Camporees.


troop policy is "ya wake up, ya get your buddy up to take the trip with you..."


Geez. A whistle on a beaded pull-chain around your neck works wonders when once every twenty years a Scout gets lost on the way to the outhouse. Also, four out of five axe-murderers report a preference for tents with two Scouts over a tent with a police whistle.


I'm with Prairie, if this is REALLY an issue then have them rehearse the trip after dark, and annoy people like me with one of those $3.00 blinking LED bicycle lights (or something with rechargeable batteries) stuck on the outhouse. I use a trail of bread crumbs myself.


I can't believe the lack of safety I'm reading here! The "Troop of No Pranks Program Guide" clearly states that if a "child" needs to go to the latrine during the night, he must call out loudly until 2 adults (YP) arrive to escort him.


This is the best post I have read since Beavah's suggestions for a dignified Uniform Inspection, except that BrentAllen is reckless for not securing the Scout with an ambulatory toddler safety harness & leash while the Scout is briefly out of sight doing his business, and a PFD in case he falls in.





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I swear I read somewhere that Scouts were supposed to have, as a minimum, 30 square feet per Scout per tent. However, that is not in the G2SS so where did I read that?


The Scoutmaster recommends two person tents but there is no rule about a Scout in a tent by themselves.



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"Remember when an axe was a symbol of Wood Badge?"


To be a bit pedantic, the axe-in-log is the symbol of Gilwell Park. As such, it is used as an emblem of Wood Badge training. That's why it is on the training neckerchief and not the Wood Badge neckerchief.






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