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Gonzo1

Camping - - - - - One night or two?

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Does your troop do campouts with one night or two? I know LDS units do not camp out on Saturday night, so please LDS exception for religious purposes already noted.

 

If one night, why? Which night?

 

If two nights, why?

 

Troop committee seems to want to limit campouts (half the year) to one nighters. They think the boys shouldn't set up tents in the tents in the dark or hike on a backpaking trip in the dark on Friday night.

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"Troop committee seems to want to limit campouts (half the year) to one nighters. They think the boys shouldn't set up tents in the tents in the dark or hike on a backpacking trip in the dark on Friday night"

OK, I'll bite.

What has this to do with the Troop Committee?

Back on topic.

We always go for the two nights!!

Trying to get everyone where they need to be on a Saturday is just too hard.

Of course if someone has something going on they attend that (Mainly that darn HS Band!!) and come as and when they can make it.

Ea.

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The troop I am with does both one nighters and two nighters. It greatly depends what else is going on and how far away it is. Also if it is a district / council event we don't have control over. Another big factor for us is adult support. We are in a 24 hour town and many parents / leaders work weird shifts making it hard.

 

As much as possible to keep the program active, fun, challenging and different. Try to keep changing places you camp, how long you spend there, what you do there, etc.

 

A great advantage of the two nights is the extra time to do things, regardless if advancement, or other things the location offers or you have planned. Just make sure you follow the guide to safe scouting.

 

I do recommend two nighters as much as possible.

 

Scott Robertson

http://insanescouter.org

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I'll bite too. What does the committee have to do in the slightest degree as to whether boys set up camp in the dark??

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Eamonn,

We recently took a trip to a military base, I coordinated the event, i.e. travel, mess hall, activites (PLC wanted the activites, adult needed to arrange). The location was farther away than I thought. 4 hours instead of 2.5 OK, I goofed.

 

While everyone who went had a good time, adults now complain "it was too far" "we set up in the dark" and they are already whining about the next outing, backpacking, by being a two nighter and that "my son might have a date" or "my son has a football game" or "why can't you go on Saturday and set up in the daylight, they don't have to be hardcore" or ""it's too much of a hurry to leave at 7:00 pm Friday, can't you leave at 8:00 Saurday".

 

 

Insane scouter,

24 hour town? no wonder you're "insane"

 

 

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Fscouter,

It seems that parents don't want junior to maybe be away from home or to be challenged or maybe use a flashlight.

 

The committee seems to think there would be better turnout of scouts and adults on campouts if we left on Saturday morning and returned on Sunday.

 

I suggested leaving the meeting place at 8:00 pm instead of 7:00 pm so that folks could have more time to get dinner, get gear, do whatever it is they think they need to do BEFORE they go camping. They didn't like that either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm glad my committee doesn't try to tell me when the troop should go camping.

 

But I will say that it's very hard to tell parents that it's none of their business what you're doing with their son. Gonzo, as you know, it's easy enough to look around a troop and identify things that you think are not being done in an ideal fashion. Your personal instincts may be better than some of those on the committee, but either way, it can take some coaching for people to realize when they just need to let other people make the decisions.

 

The committee is responsible for coordinating transportation. They also provide advice on policies relating to the chartered organization. Now, neither of these is necessarily a direct relationship to the question, but I think you need to figure out how to diplomatically approach it. The committee could very easily think that it's within its rights. Have you become the SM? If not, what does the SM say?

 

When you say "It seems that parents don't want junior to maybe be away from home or to be challenged or maybe use a flashlight", I think you're making the kind of off-handed comment that we often make about parents who seem a bit reluctant to let go. But I'm pretty confident that if you asked them, none of them would actually give any of the reasons that you mentioned.

 

In fact, your next sentence gives the committee's stated reason - "The committee seems to think there would be better turnout of scouts and adults on campouts if we left on Saturday morning and returned on Sunday." Now, you may or may not agree with their analysis, but this at least seems like a potentially plausible argument.

 

If it will help buttress your argument, I'll tell you that our troop virtually always does two-night trips, leaving on Friday night and returning on Sunday, barring some set of special circumstances. My experience is that the vast majority of non-LDS troops do this as well. Our district and council camporees are set up this way.

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One mom said "the boys don't need to go on Friday night, it'll be dark" and the same mom said, "well!, you don't have a son who has a girlfriend or a job." And while I agreed that my son is too young for girlfriends and jobs, I reminded her that I once did and always camped on 2 nights.

 

This mom's husband (both committee members) decided to change the October campout from 2 nights to 1, we're going to an exciting event on Saturday, but this dad wants to have non-scout related camping on Saturday night. My assumption is so he can drink.

 

I'm the ASM working with the PLC, they don't understand that the PLC decides and that the committee arranges travel, sometimes food, fundraising, etc.

 

When I suggested that committee members get trained, the s**t hit the fan!

 

Another dad said he wasn't going to set up in the dark all the time. Fine, arrive Saturday, but the boys shouldn't get short changed. Even the SM doesn't like setting up after dark. On the last campout, the SM and an ASM slept in tents with their sons.

 

I don't understand this herd.

 

 

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A lot of the problems you are having I have heard or seen similar problems personally or in other posts, other boards, etc ...

 

All I can say is you seem to know the way it should be. Stand up and be heard, but do it in a gentle, well planned, well organized, with lots of information and documentation to back you up. You may want to get a few guests maybe leaders from other troops, the district, unit commissioner, district executive, etc to come talk to your committee to. Just make sure its easy and gentle so you don't lose anyone.

 

As far as training goes here are a few ideas (I have served on the training team). Talk to your training team, if there are enough people or a big enough problem at least one member of the team may come put on a special training (even if unofficial) for you. Two, make sure they do at least youth protection and fast start (both of these can be done online). Three, put on the Troop level committee training course (I am sure you can get your district and the training team to help you if needed).

 

I will not try to pass on more wisdom, where I have none, but look forward to seeing more of what others have to say...

 

Scott Robertson

http://insanescouter.org

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The outing needs as many nights as it is planned for except in cases of emergency. Troops that like to go places and do things will do what it takes. The most recent trip they were on was four nights they also did a three night during the school year it was a teacher planning Monday. Isn't interesting that teachers can only plan on Monday. Our local outings the troop goes on Friday evening departure time is usually 6PM. They set up tents in the dark winter and summer and have it down to a science by their second or third trip. A minimum of two adults stay Friday and lots of others usually show up Saturday AM to take part in the days activities including me. You want to have mostly two night trips because the boys need to have an opportunity to get their camping and OA eligibility nites in within a reasonable time. And there will be those times when murphy intervenes such as last years planned "wilderness survival" trip that the whole troop slept on the floor of the lodge because it was very cold. Or the Island campout that they were manditory evacuated from after the first night because of an approaching storm. The other thing we have done that will not be done again was stay over at our CO to get an early start in the AM the boys were just too keyed up and got no sleep.

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Scottteng,

The one night vs two night issue is really a symptom of the health of the unit. The SM doesn't believe too strongly in uniforming, doesn't personally get involved with PLC - I do, on the last campout 9 adults were present, SM may as well have been a flea (just along for the ride), while one dad and I cooked for adults, he went and took a shower. We had other fleas along, some helped out.

 

When I suggested some training at the last committee meeting, you would have thought I said the Earth was flat - my goodness, their hackles got riled.

 

Insanescouter,

The more I tried to explain, the more resistance I got. "It's too hard to get home, get dinner, get gear and get to the meeting place by 7:00 pm" so, I suggested we leave at 8 pm, that was even worse. They whined about getting there in the dark, the boys would be tired, every excuse but going on Friday.

 

 

 

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We almost always do 2 nights. The exception has been a January/February trip across the state where there's about 4-5 hours of driving involved each way, unless the weather is really bad in which case it might be more. This year the boys opted to camp for one night (tents!) so as to avoid setting up tents in potentially nasty weather conditions (blizzards) at 2 in the morning on Friday night. They left early Saturday, luged most of the day Sunday, and came back Sunday evening. They'll probably do it again this year.

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The Troop I serve usually does 2 nighters

 

On a purely pragmatic note, if a scout needs 20 nights in a tent for the camping merit badge and only 7 can be from long term camping then he needs 13 more nights, that can either be 6 two nighters and a single, or 13 single night campouts. Ask the parents how that will work out

 

PS. Let me add to there legions who want to know why this is an issue with the parents or committee, its up to the boys

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We mostly do two nighter weekend campouts. Meet at the church at 5PM with a sack dinner. Get to the camp by 7, sometimes setting up after dark (thats what headlamps are for). Scouts need to pack during the week before the campout so they can just get home from school, change into their uniform and grab their pack. Stop by Subway on the way to the meeting place.

 

This weekend is the exception. Same drill for Friday night, but we don't have a campsite Saturday night, so after our climb, we will head home Saturday afternoon.

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