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jbroganjr

Phone Cards at Camp

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I have always believed in treated the boys like the mature people they are, especially at summer camp. As to calling home, I only ask that the boys let me know if they are or have called home from camp. I even show them the phone at the camp. {including correcting the camp director who told the troop that the pay phones are broken at camp...I don't believe in lying to the kids, we go to another camp now)

The dilema: Last years cross overs seem to be a bit on the immature level, and the homesickness was at a level I'd never seen before (been going to camp for years). I discovered two things. One, the boys where calling home with parent supplied phone cards and Two they where not informing adult or boy leaders of these endeavors.

I do not want to go backwards in the way I approach the boys, I feel that it would be an effort to lose respect, not earn it,

but, the phone cards cannot go. Does this in your mind fall under electronic gadget arguments.

And yes, each year the troop ASMs prepare a parents survival kit for camp and it goes many things, including the telephone thing. That no news is good news. Packet comes complete with camp phone #, a leaders cell phone (and are told that if it is my phone #, I will not be returning calls except emergency, and if that is the case, call the camp. I leave my phone in the truck. My phone, they are told, is there for important matters, like ordering pizza if it has been raining for days!)

Thoughts on dealing with this phone card mess are appreciated.

 

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The thought of treating phone cards as electronics is interesting. I'd be tempted to steer you in that direction, but let's spin it a bit.

 

A lot of troops keep "banks" for their Scouts at camp. This would be an adult in charge of the cash they bring. The Scouts can make withdrawls and deposits. Why not include phone cards, with the insistance that they not be included in the money amount, but treated like protected property. The kids should understand that losing a $5.00 phone card is like losing a $5.00 bill. This would allow the adult to question the "withdrawl" of the card when the Scout asks to check it out. It also would presereve the peace of mind of the parent who bought it in the first place without forcing you to backtrack or take away privileges.

 

As far as the camp director who says the phones are broken -- he'd better be telling the truth. I don't believe in lying to the Scouts. It doesn't fit with the oath and law. (although, I have to admit that I did cheerfully participate in one campout where all the adults set their watches one hour faster and got the kids to bed early. :)

 

DS

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The camp our troop has attended for the past few years issues each troop a "phone pass" - a 6" long, 1"x1" painted piece of wood on a ring. We keep the phone pass in our lock box with the scouts' cash. A scout wanting to use one of the pay phones at the admin. building has to get the pass from a leader, so we know who is going to the phone and when. This allows us to track and take appropriate steps to address "homesick" phone calls. The staff is free to ask a scout for the pass when they see them at the phone - no pass; you shouldn't be using the phone. Seems to help.

 

I like the idea of handling phone cards together with the stash of cash. (We haven't yet run into the problem of phone cards)

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I'm in agreement with dsteele on this one as nearly every camp has a Wailing Wall. In the above instance, the CD should of set phone useage hours outside of the camp's main program time for scouts.

Also, I feel that these cards should be seen as part of an emergency kit....

 

 

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We've not had a "bank" at summer camp, although the camp tradin post lets Scouts put $$ on account in there...I like that. I've never tried to control phone usage. Many of my Scouts have cell phones, and although many traditionalists cringe, I haven't had a problem with misuse (I use the "...Scout is courteous..." point to manage it). If one doesn't have a phone, I carry one all the time, and he can use it if he needs to...he determines need.

 

I haven't been burned yet with this approach. And, there are so many other indicators of homesickness that I'm not worried about overlooking a phone call or two.

 

KS

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It has been a while since, I have been a "Real" Scoutmaster. So I'm looking at this as the Dad of a Scout.

OJ, has a cell phone, which he takes with him everywhere. There are rules at School as to when and where he is allowd to use it. He does take it to Scout Events,camps and outings. As far as I know this has never been a problem. He does allow other Scouts to use his phone.

From what I see He is a lot more polite in his phone usage, then a lot of adults, that I might name.

He has also taken his laptop to camp - I'm not sure why ?

I did notice the other weekend at a development weekend for JLTC, which he is staffing, that he was taking notes on his laptop.

 

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I say no to phone cards.

 

At the summer camp I attend, a Scout is not allowed to use the phone WITHOUT an adult leader from his Troop present. And this is enforced. The adults in my Troop carry cell phones & if it is an emergency, we will let a Scout call home. If it is just a matter of neeeding something brought to camp, we get a list from the SPL & we make the call home.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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I have worked at camp in firstaid a.k.a the camp phone. We always get adults telling us to let them call home. I have found that if they call home it doesn't help it makes it worse and they will most likely go home early. We don't let the scouts call. And if they do call to go home we talk first so they have to tell the truth(we give the parents a heads up). Let me kno what you think.

 

-Jeff

SPL

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Not trying to start anything but....

Seems to me that there is a lot of people making sets of rules.

Who and what gives them that right ?

As a parent, I choose to give my son a phone.

As a parent, I pay the bill.

As someone involved in Scouts and Scouting, I know of no rule that says that this is wrong, or that a Scoutmaster can over-rule, my dealings with my son.

Me thinks that if someone said something to OJ, I would have to very nicely tell him/her to stick it in his or hers ear.

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Well, at our camps we don't have to worry about the Cell phone issue, THEY DON"T WORK. The only phone is the camp phone and you must get SM permission for a scout to use it. I have only had one ask in about 7 yrs.

 

As to the issue of a parent giving a scout a cell to use on outings. This falls into the same thing as any other troop rule. In our troop no electronics are allowed on outings once we reach the camping area. They are ALL locked up in the Cars untill we get ready to leave. They make traveling easier, but distract from weekend.

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I've found that we don't have to over-regulate cell-phone use. Many of our Scouts have them (they're very cheap to own/operate here, and there are no coverage gaps), and understand the responsibility and etiquette issues involved.

 

If one of my lads doesn't have a phone, but wants to call home, for whatever reason, I hand him mine as long as he promises to tell them he loves them and cant' wait to see them (even if it's his little sister!). Never been burned or had the phone call result in a meltdown.

 

KS

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As a leader, I am responsible for the Scouts I take to summer camp. Therefore, to keep order, rules need to be in place. A rule in my Troop is calls home must be for an emergency not just to talk to mom/dad/sister/girlfriend.

 

In 15+ years at summer camp, my Troop has never let a Scout go home because he is homesick and never let a Scout call home other than in an emergency.

 

What if the camp had a rule no cell phone other than leaders?

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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My Big Question is: Where do we get off making rules ?

Who and what gives us that right ?

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