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PETAL_MS_SCOUTER

Cell Phones at Summer Camp

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Returned Saturday from our week at summer camp.

 

For the first time, we had several scouts bring personal cell phones from home, including an eleven year old spending his first year at camp. The scout made numerous calls home during the week, which seemed to contribute to a worsening case of homesickness as the week progressed. Luckily his family stayed the course and the young man completed the entire week.

 

Our troop has a policy against electronic devices on outings, and I'm considering asking the boys to add cell phones to the list. Interested in how other troops handle this issue.

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For us, a pay phone is available at camp. It can be a long trek (.25 to 0.50 mile dependent on site location) and Scoutmaster approval is needed for youth to use. Many adults bring a cell phone (all but me). I ask that the youth do not bring a cell phone and I ask (repeatedly) that the adults do not use their phones in front of the boys. I treat cell phone much like the G2SS treats smoking! Yes, having a phone call with mom (especially) or dad usually worsens the homesickness problem.

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repetitive post. Sorry(This message has been edited by acco40)

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We just got back too. We only had one kid with a cell phone. Oddly enough, he was the least homesick kid in the troop. Not because of the phone, he just does not get homesick. We did catch a number of our scouts stopping by the pay phone outside the dining hall. Their parents stuck to their guns and made them stick it out. My own son got homesick......with ME there all week! It rained unmercifully from Sunday evening until Wednesday evening. We had wet tents, wet clothes, wet shoes, wet everything! That brought blistered feet and mildew. Even when it periodically quit raining, the air was so humid that nothing would dry out. Most of the homesickness we experienced was directly related to the amount of rain we received. I'm all for the old days when phone calls were forbidden without approval. I'm also all for dry campsites! ;)

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The leaders have cell phones and we tell the Scouts they are considered electronic devices & therefor are not allowed. There are also pay phones at camp.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Last year, I found out that cell phone made one of the boys more homesick than what he was. Of the 23 1st-time summer campers that we took last year, 10 of the them got homesick with the worst being two of the oldest in the group (they were 1st class scouts too!). This year we are recommending for the parents to write the boys a letter for each day to be given out by the scoutmasters during mail-call, but no cell-phone.

 

My son asked me to let him go to the summer camp this year by himself! My wife dropped her jaw (of course ... I was very proud ... inside)!

 

1Hour

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This problem hit us last year at Summer Camp. A boy brought his cell phone, and then snuck off to call mom and dad. When he found out that there is virtually no cell phone coverage at camp, he got homesick real fast. We've now added cell phone to the list of "banned electronic devices".

 

Adult leaders can have cell phones. Like others have said, I ask them to use them discretely. Our parents also have supported the "stick it out" message.

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My son has a cell phone. I bought it for him. So far as I know there is no BSA regulations that would prevent him from taking his phone anywhere where phones are allowed. He has my permission to use it as long as is not in the wrong place or the wrong time.

Our Council Summer Camp site has a pay phone. I would never prevent a Lad from using the phone as long as I knew where he was going and he had a buddy with him when he went.

I fail to see what right a Scoutmaster has to tell me that my son can't take his phone with him. I can see that he can be asked to turn it off or on to silent mode depending on what is going on. In fact I wish many of the adults did the same thing.

Why are people wasting time and energy on stupid home made rules when this time could be better spent delivering the program?

Eamonn

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Luckily we haven't had that problem yet. I however rely on my blackberry for work and send/recieve numerous emails during the day. Since my employer provides me with a "free" week for summer camp I feel that the least I can do is to attempt to fullfill my obligations. That being said I keep it in my pocket (out of sight) and use it when the boys are not around.

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Cell phones are all bad and arent just used as phones!!!

 

Got a quick story for ya since I just got home this morning from camp.

 

Thursday night we had to walk from one side of camp to the complete other (I'd estimate 2 miles about) over rough terrain in the woods w/o a flashlight.!!!!!:):):) The only light we had was from one of the boys' cell phones!

 

Hopefully, I'll have more for ya soon.:)

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Eamonn says

"I fail to see what right a Scoutmaster has to tell me that my son can't take his phone with him."

Substitute the word Gameboy for the word cellphone. If your Troop Committee rules that electronic devices are not allowed at camp and includes cellphones in that description, then I cannot understand why you would have the attitude you have. If you don't like the rules of your troop, change them. But, don't encourage your son to disrespect the authority of the Committee and violate them. Just because BSA has no rule against them and you bought it for him, does not give him the right to violate your troop's rules.

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We confiscate any electronics that the Scouts bring, put them in bags and bury the bags by a tree. We discourage adults from bringing electronic toys as well. Most adults that do have cell phones don't bother to call home very often.

 

I view camp as a retreat, much like a religious retreat where you leave the outside world behind.

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The only problem we've had with cell phones is with the older guys calling girlfriends constantly. It really is distracting to the program. We categorize them as electronic devices...if I see them in use, they get confiscated and returned when we get home. Since I have to use "vacation" time for camp, my phone stays in the car, too. My employer will just have to get by until I get back to work Monday morning.

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