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mikecummings157

Scouts Tenting Alone?

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We have a disagreement among some of the leaders in our troop on whether a Boy Scout can tent by himself. I say no, citing the buddy system. Another leader disagrees, as it doesn't prescriptively say this in the handbook.

 

What say you?

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If it's a younger scout there might be an issue, but with an older Scout I see no problem. My older boys tented by themselves lots of times. If all of your tents are designed for 2 boys then you would be crowding things to put 3 to a tent.

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We let older guys tent alone on rare occasions like an odd number on a backpacking trip. No one wants to squeeze 3 guys into a small 2 man backpacking tent.

 

Also if we have an odd number at summer camp the SPL tents alone since only two can get in a summer camp tent.

 

With dome tents (plop camping) it's never an issue. They can go three to a tent easily.

 

Buddy system still applies if nature calls during the night.(This message has been edited by knot head)

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We allow our SPL to tent alone at summer camps and when there is capacity at weekend campouts. Just one of the perqs of the job. It is his choice if he wants to tent with another scout. We have not had any problems with this to my knowledge.

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I concur with Eagle69.

 

The buddy system as I understand it is intended to deal with situations where people may get lost or run risks of needing help. I don't consider sleeping to be an especially risky activity.

 

If we are talking about a backpacking situation, I would not encourage youth to tent by themselves as this would tend to unnecessarily increase the amount and weight of gear being carried by the group as a whole. However it we are talking about car camping, canoe camping or something similar where weight and bulk are likely less of a consideration then I would have no problem with a boy tenting by himself.

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At Philmont our boys took tents because they were forced to by Philmont staff. The bears were particulary bad that year and somehow Staff felt that these nylon tents were going to be more of a protection than sleeping out under the stars. We took the tents but used them once when the weather threatened. The rest of the time they all slept under the big sky tent. :)

 

Stosh

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The two times I went to Philmont, this did not come up, even though we had an odd number of people in one of our crews. I don't know how Philmont operates now, but they did encourage us to take tents even though some of our scouts had bivey sacks they preferred. Given the volumes of rain we experienced, I think the scouts were all glad they accepted the tents.

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The two times I went to Philmont, this did not come up, even though we had an odd number of people in one of our crews. I don't know how Philmont operates now, but they did encourage us to take tents even though some of our scouts had bivey sacks they preferred. Given the volumes of rain we experienced, I think the scouts were all glad they accepted the tents.

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Can you explain why you think the buddy system is required in a tent? I'm not saying you are right or wrong, but we only incourage the buddy system when the scout leaves the campsite.

 

I always tried to look at things like this under the definition of: does it help the scouts practice fitness, citizenship and character? Not sure this subject fits under citizenship or character, but I can see it being a fitness issue. One might look at it as a safety where one scout helps another if one gets sick. However, I personally see a boy growing in maturity by practicing independence, self-relience and organizational skills. A new scouts maturity might require a tent mate for his growth, but the enviroment needs to change for his continued growth.

 

That being said, I could never turn down that new scout who got a new tent for Christmas and has been dreaming about sleeping in it.

 

Barry

 

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One of the perks of owning your own tent is that you can decide sleep alone if that is what you like. While setting up tents for the first time in the dark, scary woods 300 feet from the nearest adult, however, most of our first year Scouts would change their minds about sleeping solo. We always found piles of unused tents stacked up like firewood Saturday mornings on new Scout campouts.

 

The Guide to Safe Scouting does not require sleeping, peeing, or pooping buddies; although most older outhouses do feature convenient side-by-side pooping holes if your vigilant standards force buddies to remain in sight of each other at all times. You never can be too careful, and the current Webelos III Patrol Method is all about teamwork and bonding, after all!

 

Waking up another boy to take a leak, however, is downright creepy.

 

Why go camping if you can't just pee on the tree behind your tent in the middle of the night?

 

Kudu

 

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Sorry, I was too obtuse, for people who have gone to Philmont, does Philmont allow scouts to sleep alone in a tent or do they require the buddy system?

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we had 13 boys come to philmont with us, the adults took turns sleeping alone but at regular camp outs some people do sleep alone in 1 man tents, i do sometimes if i feel a little sick. plus im cleaner and more organized than anyone els, i hate a messy sleeping quarters.

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OGE,

 

To try to respond directly to your rephrased inquiry, I can only say that the buddy system never came up at Philmont in the context of tenting arrangements. The Philmont staff person who would be closest to the issue is the ranger who helps you prepare for the trail, runs you through the pre trek processes, and treks with you for the first few days and who presumably would be congnizant of any such policiies. In my adult capacity as crew advisor, I never engaged in any such conversations regarding tenting arrangements with those people or anybody else on Philmont staff. So I cannot say from personal experience that I am aware of any official Philmont policy position. From my experience, I am inclined to infer that Philmont does not incorporate any thinking about the buddy system into its attitudes towards tenting arrangements. Keep in mind that my last trek there was in 2002, so I can only speak to my experience at that time.

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I'm with Barry. Within the campsite, we are considered to be buddied-up with the whole patrol or troop. Same when we are traveling as a group. If you are together with your patrol or the whole troop, it seems a little silly to be officially designated as a buddy with someone.

 

For those of you who disagree (and it doesn't look like anyone does yet) do you have buddy checks from time to time while sitting around the campsite?

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