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asm 411

When is it to cold to tent camp?

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tmmw4,

 

I get the impression that you were not on these campouts. I hope that you went to retrieve your scouts and did not make the scout leaders return them to you. If you did the later then you should not be surprised if the leaders do not want your son to come camping with them. Even if the former is the case, this can cause a problem with the unit. "Johnny got to go home, why can't I go home?"

 

Now I find that not allowing him to come camping is extreme, although I could see requiring a parent to come along.

 

Have you spoken with the leaders about all of this? If they gave a reason explanation and you still are not trusting them then you should move on to a troop that you do trust.

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Nothing wrong with different sons in different troops. Had that happen within my troop, older 2 brothers in mine with younger 2 brothers in another. I also know of twins who went to different high schools. THAT got very interesting during football season, especially when both schools had a tied record, we lost 1 game to them and they lost a game to us, and we had to have a playoff to determine who was District Champs.

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"If parents know the leaders are knowledgeable, experienced and well trained in the outdoors..."

 

That's probably the biggest factor for most of the "outside" parents...those not in the inner circle of the troop.

 

I would suppose that the less the parents know of and about the adult leaders, the less inclined they are to send off their son in conditions that they themselves wouldn't consider camping in.

 

In our troop at least, the winter camps were canceled because the access to the area was severely limited, or closed....so I guess that can be a good parameter to use..."Can I get there and back safely?"

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Keep in mind that most Scoutmasters are also parents but most parents are not Scoutmasters (I'm biased).

 

What makes me discouraged is that for a month minimum, the SPL and myself work to get the troop (Scouts) ready for a winter outing, go on the outing and then a parent who has not attended any preparation meetings, does not camp with us, etc. makes a decision that it is too cold and comes and picks up their son. To me, the parent is communicating that they don't trust my judgment. Second, I really try to follow the patrol method and every scout has an important role to play. The scout's patrol just lost that important role or putting it another way, the parent had no regard for the other boys in the patrol.

 

I had one parent, an SA, tell me flat out he wouldn't camp out in the cold but that was just a preference and his son did. The SA would usually come visit during the day (and not to "check up") and usually lifted the spirits of the boys. One year, my son (a practical joker) convinced him to load up his convertible and drive the boys around with the top down (it was 18F). He took them up on it and they had a blast.

 

Safety should be our #1 concern but also don't forget the boys get a sense of accomplishment when doing something like winter camping.

 

My litmus test depends on snow and temperature. Many times, the temperatures are in the single digits with no snow. If that's the low, okay I won't cancel. But if the highs don't get in to at least above 20F, I noticed that too much equipment breaks - fiberglass tent poles usually.

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Sounds like a lot of helicoptering going on here. Lucky the place we do most of our winter camping is remote, very limited access and no cell coverage unless you hike 1/4 to 1/2 mile to the mountain top. So once your at the camp there is no going home or parent coming up to pick someone up.

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Yah, nldscout, I reckon that's the way to handle it. ;)

 

Honestly, junior called mommy on his cell phone to come get him? Da issue wouldn't be so much that the adult leaders had an attitude toward the boy it would be what the other boys in his patrol felt about that.

 

tmmw4 doesn't share her location, but around these parts 7 degrees is warm as all get-out. Most well-prepared scouts wouldn't even consider it chilly.

 

Beavah

 

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Acco said...

 

"To me, the parent is communicating that they don't trust my judgment."

 

Yep. Exactly. No parent, this day and age, blindly trusts another adult with there kids. I just doesn't happen. So the next question is what do you do about it? I see two possibilities...

 

1) You could maintain the current status quo. You do what you do the way you have been doing it, and hope that the parents come around to your way of thinking.

 

2) You make an effort to prove to the parent(s) (I'm almost certain that this is not the only parent in your troop with his quandary to some extent.) of your sound judgment. This could be as simple as a resume of your training, your positive and negative outdoor experiences and your criteria for canceling or cutting short a trip.

 

Just a thought...probably not worth the paper it isn't printed on.(This message has been edited by Engineer61)

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ENG,

Actually not a bad post at all.

 

I would add this though, sometimes you also need to tell your scouts as well the same information. I know I got some really sad looks when I confirmed to my cubs that yes we are leaving at noon this past weekend, despite no visible signs of severe weather, let alone tornadoes. Folks were not happy to have the trip shortened at the time.

 

However after the tornado that did hit my town, as well as the fact that a tornado was sighted a few miles form the camp, everyone was glad we left.

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I did once send out a note after a winter backpacking trip detailing all of the preparation that the leaders had made and what type of extras we had just-in-case (extra fuel, extra down jacket, hand warmers, extra gloves, load lightening options, extraction options, etc).

 

I think it went a long ways to convincing people that we did know what we were doing. Several people asked me if there was some particular parent who had expressed concern.

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Oak wrote...

 

"I did once send out a note after a winter backpacking trip detailing all of the preparation that the leaders had made and what type of extras we had just-in-case (extra fuel, extra down jacket, hand warmers, extra gloves, load lightening options, extraction options, etc). "

 

Yeah, I could see where after the fact you would have gotten the questions from some...I probably would have said, "I planned to send it out before, but I didn't get to it with all the prep I was doing ... I figured that all of you would have been thinking about these issues though."

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Yah, Engineer61, good post. We might spin that one off as a new thread.

 

I see scouters do a better job with da communication over big trips, eh? High adventure type stuff. I think what happens is for the more regular stuff it becomes "old hat" to us, and we forget that it's not old hat to the new parents.

 

And, too, some of us are familiar with things because we grew up with 'em so they're kind of ordinary. I grew up canoein', and I know every river and most lakes within a few hundred miles. Turn by turn, high water and low. I'm always out in da early spring, so I know the new hazards from trees fallen in the winter. I paddle all weather, so I know how da things behave in wind and with different fetch. It's ordinary stuff, could do it with kids in my sleep. But I forget that for a parent who isn't familiar with all that, da notion of going paddling on a lake might be scary even on a bright, clear, windless day.

 

And those are things we shouldn't forget, eh?

 

B

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