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PETAL_MS_SCOUTER

Cell Phones at Summer Camp

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"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."

 

What if the PLC rules that electronic devices are allowed at camp and other troop functions? What if they rule that cell phones are too distracting for the adult "leaders" to handle? I'm with Eamonn on this one; let the boys run their own program and stop making up rules for them. If you want to dictate to a bunch of boys then volunteer as a baseball coach.

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I personally think it is better if the scouts dont bring cell phones. I can see why some adults would want to have phones at camp. For one thing it allows them to give the parents some one to contact as it is usually hard to get a message to an individual scout thru the camp phone. I carry my Nextel with me in camp at all times, but then again Im the camp heath officer

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I look at cell phones like other items. If they are not illegal, or detract from the Scouting environment, then my opinion is that we should let them be.

 

Lots of units and camps say, no electonic devices, magazine, books, etc. How realistic is this? Not very I say.

 

I think it is not necessarily the right thing to tell a Scout or Scouter what to NOT bring (excepting items that are illegal or detract from or violate the Scout Oath or Law or health and safety). We do caution Scouts and their parents that we and the BSA are not responsible for lost or damaged items - that takes care of them bringing most items like cell phones, radios, electronic games. etc.

 

We don't search Scout backpacks and other bags. We give them the general guidelines and expect them to do what it right. If there is a problem, we address it. We generally have no problems.

 

And we try to keep everyone busy with Scout activities which prevents most downtime and resulting use of other items.

 

Times are a changing - maybe for the better, maybe not. Cell phones can be a good device to enhance the safety of a Scout outing. Just as there are those outside of Scouting who disrespect others by using cell phones constantly or in inappropriate situations, there are those in Scouting that will do the Same. But there are lots of people that use them appropriately. If cell phone use becomes a problem, then we just discuss it with the Scout or Scouter (or outside of Scouting, with the person involved) and the problem usually goes away.

 

Like anything else, cell phone possession/use needs to be managed not banned. It seems there is and has been a move to ban, or make illegal or make against policy anything that some people don't like. Seems like everytime something happens that someone else doesn't like or agree with there is a move to ban it. I don't think that is the best way to do things.

 

Perhaps it is better to help encourage proper use of cell phones (and other items) rather that to just ban them.

 

 

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Fine.

But the boy who brought firecrackers to camp one year- (also on the do not bring list), could have gotten the entire troop sent home. We were at camp the week of the 4th of July.

It is totally reasonable for a troop to define what is not acceptable to bring to camp. Like I said before, IF your troop has such a list, follow the rules, OR change the rules, OR find a different troop. Do not encourage your son to violate the rules because "they don't make sense".

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Sorry boleta

I think that this is more a case of people over stepping their authority.

What or who gives the troop committee to tell me the parent what my son can take to camp. It could be that I am a real pain because I know the rules. So before you tell me about Fireworks or other illegal items that are illegal, I am in no way suggesting that my son should go ahead and break any laws or go against any of the rules of the BSA or the place where the camp is located.

I did look over the link that you posted showing the bylaws of the unit in which you serve. To be very honest I found most of it very redundant, some of it goes against BSA policy and I know for sure if my son came home with such a document that we would file it and look for a troop that spends time making the program work, not time writing pages and pages of rules.

Eamonn.

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Eamonn

You would have done as I have asked. Have your son obey the rules or find another troop. It is not my troop. It is my son's troop. I do not agree with everything in these documents, but the troop committee has passed them and, therefore, he will follow them.

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We attend Heritage Reservation for summer camp. The camp itself prohibits electronic devices. While cell phone are not listed they are electronic devices and we list them on our "Do Not Bring to Camp" list. The adults have a couple with them & there are two pay phones in camp. There is really no need for a Scout to have a cell phone at camp.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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We've been over this before. There are a number of reasons why a parent may want their son to carry a cell phone. There may be a sick relative he needs to stay in contact with, they may just want to be able to check in with him, the cell phone may be an alarm clock, whatever. That's between the parent and the son, and not a unit leader's business. I think there's a difference between a Game Boy and a cell phone in that regard. As far as I'm concerned, if the lad has a cell phone, his parents know it, probably pay for the service, and ostensibly do so because they expect him to carry it and be "contactable".

 

Any item can be misused, or used at an inappropriate time -- a flashlight, a magnesium fire starter, a trekking pole, or a cell phone. Let's focus on the behavior instead of the object in the Scout's hand at the time.

 

Frankly, I'm surprised there hasn't been a "press to test" on this in those councils and camps that prohibit phones, or lump them in with games. Since Columbine, schools are backing away from "no cell phone" rules. My son's school permits them, but they can't be on or visible during class periods. Reasonable. There's a place for cell phone etiquette in any setting, that etiquette is evolving, and we should be evolving with it.

 

My position is that on an outing, you can't have too many means of communication.

 

KS

 

 

 

 

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No Eamonn that's not what I am saying. There are usually 2 cell phones owned by the adults in camp. They are used for emergencies only. We also bring walkie talkies for communication purposes.

 

Are we as adults breaking the rules? Good question. I will have to look at my camp package when I get home & see if it addresses the Scout specifically. I'll let you know.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Needless to say I am with the wise and learned K.S.

ED, you might find that the walkie talkies that you are using could or might interfere with the communications that the camp staff have in place. Would you not agree that these are electronic devises?

I can't help thinking that we are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Our cell phones are in the world of cell phones very old (3 years) and don't hold a charge of very long. Mine which I rarely use seems to need recharging every second or third day. Summer camp is six days.

While I'm in the thinking mode, it also seems to me that in a lot of cases our expectations of our Scouts fall below or short of what should be expected of a Lad who has taken the Scout Oath.

I know that I have posted this before but here I go again.

Before the last Jamboree I all by myself with no help or input from anyone else decided that for security reasons there would be no CD players allowed. When I met with the PLC, they were very unhappy not only with my ruling, but also how I came to make it. They were right and I was in the wrong. We discussed this for a very little while and said that CD players were allowed, but would only be used on the trip to and from the Jamboree and at night. That the Scout was responsible for his CD player and Cd's.

Sure enough when we boarded the bus over half the Scouts were wired for music. As it happened the bus had a video player so everyone ended up watching the movie. I never once seen a Lad wearing his Walkman and the subject never came up again.

We need to allow our Scouts the opportunity to live up to and grow into the Scout Oath and Law. Passing a tome of rules and bylaws is not allowing them that opportunity. I remember reading that we are in the business of helping young people make ethical choices over the course of their lifetime.

Eamonn.

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Eamonn,

We probably are making a mountain out of a molehill. At Heritage, there are very few place with cell phone reception. The payphones are much better!

 

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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My troop also has a policy of no electronics. Luckly we don't have a problem w/cell phones. Only because most of our scouts don't have them. It's really up to you. I probably would add it to the list once it became a major problem.

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Welcome BSAT17SPL.

I don't see how or why there needs to be this big fuss over allowing electronic devises.

We have a group of Lads who have become Scouts. In order to become Scouts they have made the Scout Oath.

If a Scout is courteous, which he has promised that he will be - What's the problem?

If a Scout is thrifty, which again he has promised that he will be. He will look after his property and he will use his time carefully.

I don't see the need for all these rules and regulations.

Why is a Lad not paying attention because he is reading MAD magazine different then a Lad not paying attention because he is playing on his Gameboy or listening to his Walkman? Both are not being courteous.

What is the difference between a Lad singing at 2:00 AM and a Lad playing a radio?

Why would a Lad who belongs to this Family oriented organization, need permission or have to sneak off to talk to his parents?

Can a deck of cards cause as many problems as a PDA? I have yet to hear of electronic devices at camp being used for gambling? Or a group of older Scouts staying up half the night to work with a calculator.

I thought that we were in the business of preparing young people to make ethical choices.

Do we really accomplish this when we force feed them a whole bunch of rules?

Rules that have no real standing other then with a group of adults who want to impose their will.

I just don't see it.

Unless we are saying that we don't trust our Scouts. If that's the case, things are really very sad.

Eamonn

(This message has been edited by Eamonn)

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Eamonn,

If a kid can't live without his Gameboy for 7 days, there is a problem! Why do electronic devices like Walkmans & Gameboys need to be at summer camp? What's wrong with enjoying the surroundings, fishing or just relaxing in nature?

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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