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Requirements for taking the boys camping.

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If only everyone could get along... sigh. I'm hoping to get some insight.

2 committee members wanted to take the troop on a campout. The most training they have is the fast start and youth protection. Our scoutmaster stated one of the adults needed to have outdoor leader training. The CC said no. Who is correct and is there publication somewhere that states such?

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The tour permit has certain requirement for training listed, ie severe weather awareness, youth protection. I don't usually fill that out so I don't know the specifics. If it requires a "trained" leader then I think, Yes, outdoor leadership training is needed. I recall that is where I received my "trained" patch.

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Youll find no BSA requirement that a leader must have outdoor leader training to take a troop camping.


If the 2 committee members are inexperienced campers and inexperienced in the Boy Scout program your CC made the right call not because they are untrained but because in the Sweet Sixteen of BSA Safety the first rule(?) is QUALIFIED SUPERVISION.




If your CC felt these 2 committee members are not qualified to take the troop camping then it his role make this call and say no.


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Did your CC state that "No, OLS is not required" or "No, they are not sufficiently trained to go"?


Committee Members should not be the one's taking the troop camping. This is the responsibility of the SM and ASMs. If they (SM/ASMs) cannot attend, then, along with the committee, the SM should oversee the selection of available leaders to supervise the troop.


It is not the committee's job to deliver the outdoor program by circumventing the SM.

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Reading this as written the SM said no - they were unqualified and the CC said yes they could.


While as I understand it - please correct with references if I have this wrong; but the SM makes this call, the CC can talk with the COR and the COR can remove the SM and put in a SM who will make the call the the CC wants. But this is not the CC's call.


From the Sweet 16 of BSA Safety: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/GSS/gss09.aspx


"These 16 safety points, which embody good judgment and common sense, are applicable to all activities:


1. Qualified Supervision.

Every BSA activity should be supervised by a conscientious adult who understands and knowingly accepts responsibility for the well-being and safety of the children and youth in his or her care. The supervisor should be sufficiently trained, experienced, and skilled in the activity to be confident of his or her ability to lead and teach the necessary skills and to respond effectively in the event of an emergency. Field knowledge of all applicable BSA standards and a commitment to implement and follow BSA policy and procedures are essential parts of the supervisor's qualifications."


So, my questions would be what other qualifications do these folks have that make them capable, reliable Supervisors for this kind of outing? What exposure do they have to the G2SS and other BSA policy giving guidelines that express the applicable BSA Policies?

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Yah, hmmm...


My question would be why are MC's talkin' about takin' the lads on a campout?


Seems like the scheduling of campouts is a PLC thing, eh? The boys are the ones who say they want to go on a campout and put together an annual plan. Then the SM and the committee approve the plan (presumably lookin' at troop resources and wrangling more resources where necessary - like adding a fully trained ASM or two!).


So if the committee is goin' to behave like a good troop committee, it needs to step back into the "big picture" role here, eh? That probably means pushing the SM to use the PLC better for annual planning, and then to get off its duff and recruit and train some more ASMs.


Now, there's no "rule" that says two committee members can't be the adult leaders for an outing. The only rule is that yeh have to have one registered leader (MC counts) and one adult over the age of 21. One of 'em should have YPT. And at least one of 'em should have all of the necessary training to meet point #1 of the Sweet 16, eh? Be fully qualified to supervise inexperienced lads on that type of outing.


Now, to my mind when you're using MCs in this role, the problem is da other half of the Safety Sandwich, eh? Discipline. Boys and youth leaders are far less likely to trust, respect, listen to, or obey an adult that they don't know well and that isn't familiar with regular troop operations. When yeh use an MC as trip leader odds are the MC also doesn't know the boys well - their quirks, their medical or behavioral issues, etc. So I reckon a lot of troops would be reluctant to put a pair of MCs in a position like that where there's a chance of things goin' amiss. Even if they're great outdoorsmen, they have to know the boys and be good at working with 'em.


So it just depends, eh? If the outing is to the local laser tag emporium (:)) so the risks are low, the activity is supervised by the outfitter, and there's not a big penalty for not knowing the boys that well, I'd go with it. If it's truly a campout, especially a campout that involves some challenges (springtime weather, hiking/navigation/backpacking, water activities, etc.), seems like it's prudent to make sure at least one ASM is along.


In any event, if your SM isn't comfortable with it, the proper thing for the CC to do is to support the SM. Absolutely. Positively. No other choice. The CC should never, ever, under any circumstances contradict the SM on a safety or judgment call, no matter what da BSA materials may allow.




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Our CC wants a campout to get those under 1st class their chance at cooking and various other requirements. Our SM is by himself - no ASM's at the moment. Our SM recently had to start working most weekends and could not, at moments notice (he's military) go on a camp out.


The SM stated the outdoor leader training would be needed by at least 1 of the adults for the various other activities they were planning on teaching the younger boys.



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I think you've got the right answers to the official policy - the BSA does not state that you need the training. But the SM is within his rights to make sure that the program operates safely, so there is nothing (from the BSA's point of view) wrong with his imposing additional rules. On the other hand, the CC does, more or less, outrank the Scoutmaster on matters of policy.


I'm not too worried about whether the leaders are MCs or ASMs who take the Scouts camping. In our unit, as in many others, those roles very much blend together. Even in the Troop Committee Guidebook, it's clear that there isn't always a full distinction. On recruiting - "If there is no ASM handling this, a committee member should." It says that each ASM is "assigned specific program duties" without saying what they are - but it's easy for me to say that the Equipment Coordinator (a committee position) is really a program duty, and a boy-facing role at that ("work with the quartermaster"). The same for advancement, which definitely sounds like part of the program and is certainly boy-facing ("Encourage Scouts to advance", "Work with the troop scribe", "Work with the troop librarian"). It also seems true of the chaplain, the activity coordinator, and the membership coordinator. The only positions that really seem like full "committee" positions are chair, secretary, training coordinator (the adult training part), and treasurer (if you ignore the dues and the work with the troop scribe).

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As long as you have one registered adult, and one adult over 21, and all of the training requirements listed on the Tour Permit are met for the activities that will be done, the requirements, per BSA, have been met.


My question would be, did the PLC request this campout to help the Scouts under 1st Class, or was this all the idea of the CC?


If the PLC did not request this campout, why didn't they?


What kind of annual program planning does your Troop do? At this point in the year, most Troops have added new Scouts. Why was there no campout scheduled on the Troop calendar (so that the SM could plan to have time off for it)?


I have no real problem with Committee Members taking the Scouts camping, as long as they know the program. I do, however, have a problem with the fact that this seems to be so last minute, and there also seems to be no Scout input into this whole thing.


From your previous posts I can not tell if you are a Committee Member or the SM (you appear to be both). It also appears that there are many issues with this Troop. The SM might want to have a discussion with the Troop's Charter Partner on BSA policy, what their vision for the Troop is, and the best way to accomplish it.




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bearshank wrote - "Our SM recently had to start working most weekends and could not, at moments notice (he's military) go on a camp out."



This implies that give enough advance notice the SM COULD get a weekend off.


Also, if the SM will now be unable to attend most/all of the Troop campouts, I suggest the CC and COR find some folks, and get them registered and trained, who CAN attend.





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