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dfousek

Co-Ed Sleeping: What constitutes "Seperate Facilities?"

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Hi, our pack is considering camping overnight on the USS Little Rock in Buffalo. The national office clearly states in their Guide to Safety Scouting that "Male and female leaders buy have seperate sleeping facilities." Also, single-room or dormitory style accomodations for scouting units: adults and youth of the SAME gender may...

 

What about female leaders coming on the trip???? It seems the only out I would have is in the definition of "Seperate facilities". I have been trying to find Publication Tours and Expeditions, No. 33737, for more clarification, but can't find that anywhere. HELP!!

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Not sure on the accomadations offered, we have all Feamle leaders in a seperate tent at the edge of the encampment away from Scouts & male leaders. So if you can get a seperate room away from the rest of the group you should be ok.

 

 

YIS

Doug

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Check with the ship. We went to the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi when my son was a Webelo and they already had separate male and female sleeping areas. That worked out great for us moms, but the dads had all of the boys in the men's area after the evening ghost stories. Oh well....

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Contact the park and ask about separate sleeping quarters for females. The ship is quite large and they cater to Scout groups so I am sure they have had to deal with this in the past.

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We don't banish them to the edge of the site. ;) Tents with women leaders are intermixed among the adult patrol when camping. That gives some of the more conservative units in our area fits, but personally, I see segregating the women into another campsite or the edge of the campsite as a risk to their safety.

 

When we overnight in a large room like a gymnasium (e.g. enroute to an out of council camp, some troops overnight at an armory or church so that they don't have to carry tents), we separate as much as possible. It's not always practical (or possible) to have a separate room for the women.

 

Not sure what the accommodations are on the ship. From their website, it looks like they're open bunks, so you might not be able to provide a segregated room.

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At our annual planning meeting we were looking at a similar situation. We had a big, one room facility. We decided that the lone female would be in separate quarters if she set up a tent within the building and slept in that.

 

In the field, a 3 foot gap and two pieces on 3mm of nylon constitute separate facilities. Separate should have the implication of privacy, not bearer.

 

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We decided that the lone female would be in separate quarters if she set up a tent within the building and slept in that.

 

Yah, dat's a new one, eh? :) I'm always surprised by really odd rules permutations.

 

Honestly, use ordinary common sense and good judgment, dfousek. The purpose for the "separate facilities rule" is to avoid an appearance of impropriety or any awkward or embarrassing moments. Sleepin' all together in a big room doesn't afford much chance for impropriety, eh? :) And as long as there's some sort of way to change clothes privately (perhaps in the restroom, perhaps just don't bother), I think you're just fine.

 

Beavah

 

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I remember a winter cabin trip we shared with our sister Venture crew.

They had two girls and an adult female. The cabin was dormatory bunks, no privacy. So they hung tarps around the bunks for the ladies. I slept outside in my tent as I aways do regardless of the weather. Not sure if that met BSA requirements but it was quieter and more comfortable under the stars that night.

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dfousek asked about a PACK outing, not a troop - these are 2 different animals. All pack camping is family camping, so you can't banish the moms to another area. I agree that the ships you can stay on know how to deal with this, so go with what they say. Likewise for a lockin at a museum, everyone sleeps in the same area (there are restrooms to change in). Our pack doesn't do any cabin camping so we've never had to deal with this - each family has their own tent, and sleeps as a family.

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Actually, you can banish the moms. We stayed on a ship that in fact requires the pack to banish the moms to the luxurious officers' quarters while leaving the dads and boys in the enlisted area. Works ok for confident Cub Scouts, but not so great for boys who don't want to be that far from mom.

 

The part that didn't really make any sense to us is this requirement from the G2SS:

Adults and youth of the same gender may occupy dormitory or single-room accommodations [...] Adults must establish separation barriers or privacy zones such as a temporary blanket or sheet walls in order to keep their sleeping area and dressing area separated from the youth area.

 

The idea that we would put all the Cub Scouts on one side of the room to sleep, and have all the men on the other side, using a bunch of sheets to separate us, just seemed pretty nonsensical.

 

I understand you need a place to change clothes, but beyond that? This doesn't seem like a reasonable approach to sleeping in a large open room.

 

I'm with Beavah and the common sense approach, and I do wish the G2SS had a little more willingness to defer to good judgement.

 

My favorite quote from the G2SS: "A responsible adult supervisor, who understands his or her responsibility and the elements of safety, can exercise discretion regarding certain procedures while maintaining safety." I'd just like to see it applied to the whole document.

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Hi: Thanks for all the replies. Without being too critical, I don't want to put our pack or myself into a possible harrassment or youth protection gray area. I don't want to rely on common sense when it comes to those things regarding sleeping arrangements. I would really like to rely on a concrete definition of seperate sleeping facilities. I appreciate people "making it work", but using the words "should" when it comes to this topic does not give me a comfy feeling. Also, just because a destination sleeps scouts, or caters to scouts, puts no obligation on them to have to meet BSA requirements. That is up to the Pack or Troop to enforce and monitor. Thanks to all who took the time to respond.

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I'm with Beavah and the common sense approach, and I do wish the G2SS had a little more willingness to defer to good judgement.

 

In my experience, most of these things are written the way they are because there are a ton of people who mistakenly believe that they possess enough common sense to make good judgements.

 

I know that I re-wrote a lot of things for SpiralScouts in ways that eliminated judgement calls based on experiences where people used poor judgement in a situation repeatedly, even after discussion and coaching.

 

For example, the leader on one of our first camping trips who said to a 6-year-old, "Johnny, please put the burning stick down, you know you're not supposed to play in the fire, we talked about that yesterday. No, Johnny, don't throw the burning stick into that pile of leaves...." We'd coached this leader on fire safety and managing it with smaller kids the previous day when she and the other parent supervising an activity allowed half a dozen younger children to poke sticks in the fire, get good coals on the end, and then chase each other with them, saying that it was all in good fun. *sigh*

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The Tours and Expeditions, No. 33737 publication is in the transportation section of G2SS. It is unlikley to contain additional clarification on the required sleeping quarters for a Pack outing.

 

 

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Yah, dfousek, I'd encourage you to "think different", eh?

 

No matter what the book says, no matter whether you follow it to the letter or not, YOU ARE STILL RESPONSIBLE.

 

Yeh can't get around it. If you are the leader in a youth program, you're the responsible party. You can follow every rule ever dreamed up, and if yeh didn't use common sense, it's still your fault. Put the female cubmaster in another room, and if some behavior bad thing happens that the other adults weren't quick to handle.... YOUR FAULT. Inadequate supervision, trained leader not present. Put a kid's mom in another room over her complaints, and if something bad happens to the kid that she could have prevented....YOUR FAULT.

 

It's a Guidebook, eh? Written by well-intentioned people to help you, but they can't foresee every circumstance. That's what God gave each of us a brain for, to be Mentally Awake. ;)

 

So don't be afraid to take responsibility and make a decision. Just do your best, eh? Get your CC's signature on the tour permit, and go have a good time.

 

Yeh don't need to turn this into a big legal-wording deal. If yeh can take responsibility for your son havin' a sleepover party at your house, you can take responsibility for sleepin' arrangements on the USS Little Rock with far fewer worries. We've got volunteer immunity and insurance :).

 

But yeh do have to take responsibility. Yeh can't delegate it to a book. ;)

 

Beavah

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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"I would really like to rely on a concrete definition of separate sleeping facilities. I appreciate people "making it work", but using the words "should" when it comes to this topic does not give me a comfy feeling."

 

 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives this definition of 'separate" :

set or kept apart - not shared with another - existing by itself

 

 

For a definition of "separate facilities", the Guide to Safe Scouting describes what it means rather well.

 

"Male and female leaders must have separate sleeping facilities."

 

"Male and female youth participants will not share the same sleeping facility."

 

"Single-room or dormitory-type accommodations for Scouting units: Adults and youth of the same gender may occupy dormitory or single-room accommodations, provided there is a minimum of two adults and four youth. A minimum of one of the adults is required to be youth-protection trained. Adults must establish separation barriers or privacy zones such as a temporary blanket or sheet walls in order to keep their sleeping area and dressing area separated from the youth area."

 

So -

 

If the facility can not provide different rooms (4 if you will have M & F adults & M & F youth - 3 for M & F adults & M youth) for sleeping in, then you will have to use rope and blankets to divide the room/bunks into 3 or 4 different sections.

 

As I noted, since they cater to Scout Groups, the park/ship will have been asked to provide separate facilities for females before. Having done this before, they will be able to easily tell you what facilities they have and what Scout groups have done in the past to meet the BSA YP requirements in their facility.

 

They know their ship, it's available facilities, and their own regulations.

 

This is why you should contact the facility before your trip to see what they can do for you. Of course, if you don't wish to contact the ship because it is up to the Pack to "enforce and monitor" sleeping arrangements, you could just wait until you get there and then demand the ship rework their entire overnight and /or structure of their facility to fit your last minute specifications.

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