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Lisabob

adults at summer camp

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Does anybody else do this? We have a couple of parents who want to attend summer camp for part of the week with the troop (some are active leaders, some not, though they will have to register to attend). In most cases, their work schedules prohibit them from being there the whole week. Camp is only a few hours from home so I can see this working out, logistically, I'm just wondering if it is typical.

 

Also, what's your typical adult: boy ratio at summer camp?

 

Lisa'bob

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We have always made this an option for parents and have rarely had a problem. We make it a point that all adults in camp be uniformed (and we assign them real responsibilities for the days they will be in camp) so that it does not end up being a family outing. The few problems we have had have been cases of a parent wanting to shadow little Johnny all day instead of helping the troop as a whole. We leaned to have a meeting of all adultt leaders including the short-timers well in advance of camp to lay some common understandings.

 

We insist on a minimum of 3 adults for any long term camp and usually have many more than that for a ratio of 5 scouts per adult.

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We typically go to camps within 2 hours so yes we have adults come and go. It's nice for the adults to be able to do that because otherwise the adults may not be able to go at all. Not everybody can take the entire week off to go to camp.

 

Right now here is what our adults situation is looking like...

 

-Scoutmaster I believe is staying the whole week.

-Former Scoutmaster is looking to come for 2 or 3 days.

-ASM is coming Saturday before to set up, stay Sunday to help the troop get checked in. Then, he will return Friday night to help pack up through Saturday.

-Committee Member staying whole week. She enjoys camping and enjoys being able to come out.

 

That's all I can think of but you can see there will be a few come and go. I also think a few of the newbies' parents will be there as well since they are leaders.

 

We will probably have 3 or 4 at camp at any given time, maybe more. This is with approximately 30 boys.

 

My goal this summer is to keep the adults out of the patrol areas while the patrols are there. If they want to have a look for health and safety reasons while the boys are out in classes,etc then fine, but while the patrols are in the campsite, the adults are in their fly hanging out in the their chair. That, in my opinion, is the best way for the youth leaders to have the opportunity to lead their patrol members and troop members.

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Hi Lisa,

We have a lot of adults who come and go at our Summer Camp. Some because of work and home commitments, some because I think they don't like sleeping in tents! But maybe I'm being unkind.

As to the "typical adult: boy ratio at summer camp?

I don't think there is such a thing.

The age and the maturity of the Scouts is one factor.

How far away the camp is from home, might be another.

I have seen very large Troops arrive with two or three leaders and very small arrive with half a dozen or more.

The Troop my son is in has taken 32 Scouts to camp and had as many as 20 adults come and go over the week.

Sadly it seems to me that all these adults don't add anything to the camp. In fact I think they take away from it.

Many are there just to keep an eye on their son.

Some only ever leave the Troop camp site to eat, go to the bathroom and visit the trading post.

Summer camp has always been a very special time for me. A time when I really get to know the Scouts. I know I'm sticking my neck out here, but having an over abundance of adults gets in the way of this.

While having people who can make the daily trip to Wal-Mart, might be seen as useful? I'm very much an old stick in the mud.

Once I get to camp, I'm there for the duration.

If anything has been forgotten, the lesson is that we need to be more careful, plan better and find a way of improvising. Not send Mr. Smith to the store.

I don't know how you can prevent too many parents from attending?

Many will say find them something to do. But the Scouts at Summer Camp have a very full program, so this isn't as easy as it sounds.

I like the Jamboree Troop model, with one SM and 3 ASM's for 36 Scouts.

Eamonn.

PS Happy Mothers Day.(This message has been edited by Eamonn)

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I don't know of any parents who are not leaders who have stayed at summer camp. Any adults who do camp are assigned jobs, so there would not be an opportunity to "shadow" their own son.

 

Some of our leaders split the week due to work committments. Others camp only part of the week due to family committments. A married couple will often split the week, so there will always be a parent at home with the other kids. This works out well, since the husband can simply move into the tent that his wife had used for the first part of the week.

 

The last few years, we have probably had an average of 1 adult for every 4 scouts.

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We do often have parents who stay for half the week. I don't believe there are any checks that they are officially registered leaders, although that may be a technical requirement somewhere, and most of our parents are registered as committee members anyway.

 

Our ratio has probably been between 3:1 and 5:1 over the past few years.

 

Oak Tree

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In our Troop, all the adults that have attended summer camp, either full week or a few days, have been registered leaders with the Troop. Usually, SM stays all week and other adults rotate in and out to maintain at least 2 deep leadership. We have once or twice had four adults at camp, but that is not the normal case.

 

Last year, husband and I were the only leaders and attended all week. Looks like it will be the same this year. We love it. It's a vacation for us. Scouts are off doing their thing all day and we usually spend time volunteering to help out with the pathfinder program (new scout program) or do some kind of camp improvement/conservation project.

 

Parents are, of course, always asked if they'd like to come with us, either for the week or a couple of days. But, we just don't seem to get any takers.

 

Our attendance at camp is usually 8-12 Scouts, 2-3 adults.

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I am not sure how many, or which, adults are going with my son's Troop this summer. Our SM is stepping down in June and the boys go to camp in July.

 

Last year, the SM and ASM were the only adilts at camp with the boys. There were only 9 or 10 boys that went. My husband and I along with one other parent took trucks loaded with gear and boys. At the end of the week, two trucks went back to camp to get boys and gear. We will probably do the same this year.

 

 

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We have 52 scouts attending summer camp and 11 adults so far. Most of the adults are registered, but not all. The SM and I have split a week. I'm going Sunday thru Wednesday and he is going Wednesday thru Saturday. He always leads the high adventure trip each summer and uses about 2 weeks of vacation to do so. We have a fellow ASM who can easily arrange the time off and enjoys being "summer camp SM". The camp we are going to is 3.5 to 4 hours away.

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Our troop policy is if you want to go camping with the troop you have to be registered and take YPT.

 

We are going out of Council to camp this year. About a 4 hr drive. Friday night is Family Night. Two parents want to come. They plan on bringing their own tent and will spend Friday night. Both are registered and both YPT trained.

 

It is simply to risky any more to let an adult that isn't registered to go on overnights.

We are lucky. All but one of our boys parents are registered. And there is no way on earth his parents would pass even the lowest background check. Mom has been in and out of jail ever since he has been in scouts (5 years). Just had a meth fire at her house. He was on a weekend outing with the troop.

 

One thing our SM makes very clear when Webs move up into the troop. Parents are welcome to come camping. But it is up to the boys to do the work. Parents can watch but boys do the work.

Had one dad that got really upset because SM told him 3 times he was not to set his sons tent up for him. Dad wouldn't listen. THey came to one camping trip and two meetings. He simply would not allow his son to do things. The first meeting we worked on knots. Dad tied every know for the kid. Talked to the DL and that was how he had done in Webs. Dad did everything for the kid.

It is sad but our troop stresses that they have to do the requirements. It is the only way they will learn.

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How do we reconcile that all boy scout actvities are open to adults when being registered is a requirement for summer camp or some other activity? Now, I realize some state laws may require troop registration for adults to stay overnight in a camp and if so, its the state law that is restricting the parents, not the BSA.

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Just a reminder that BSA policy is that any parent or legal guardian may attend and OBSERVE any BSA function or activity. That includes OA and summer camp. It's up to the trained, registered leaders to ensure that YP guidelines are strictly adhered to. At our summer camp, any parent is welcome to show up and walk around, but they must check in with the Camp Director, show picture ID and get a hospital-like ID bracelet. As far as I know, the unit does not have the authority to exclude them.

 

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Most of our adults that attend are there for the entire week. They may have to run out a time or two for business or personal issues, but are generally there. We're only an hour from home, so it's easy to come and go if you need to. Most of those who attend are registered leaders, either SM/ASM or Committee members. Most of our committee members do not wear a uniform.

 

We also do the "time share" approach. This year we have one adult that is going to be there for the first part of the week, and another who will be there for the back half. Camp allows us to treat them as one person, since they do not overlap.

 

As for how much we hand-hold the scouts, it's dependent on age. We tend to "shadow" the first year scouts, "keep an eye on" the second years, and "trust but verify" the older ones. We have a couple of special-need kids that require more attention.

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The jamboree model is good, 36 scouts with four adult leaders. This makes a ratio of nine scouts to one adult leader. BUTa national jamboree leader (at least is this Council) is a highly trained and experienced scouter who has gone through a careful selection process. Also, a scout needs to be at least 12 years old to go to a national jamboree and most are 14 or older. These scouts and scouters attend several pre-jamboree training sessions for plenty of team-building experiences. So the typical jamboree troop may have a ratio of nine to one, but this is an exceptional model, made up of scouts and scouters who are really connected to the scouting program.

 

Summer camp troops often have plenty of first-year scouts and a corresponding number of first-year parents and new registered leaders. With a troop of 30 scouts going to summer camp, with one-third of them first-year scouts (11-year-olds), the ratio of five scouts to one adult seems to work well. This will include four well-trained scouters and two new registered adult leaders. Parents can come and visit and stay over-night in the camps family-camping area, which is about a five minute drive from the troops campsite. Anyone who stays in camp for more than 72 hours needs to turn in a completed health form.

 

Have fun scouting.

 

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My troop usually has only 2 adults at our council summer camp. Usually the SM (me) and an assistant SM. One year we had another assistant, but that was the exception. We usually have 15-22 boys. The camp runs such a good program that we find adults have very little to do! The boys enjoy independence (subject to the buddy rule), get to police themselves, assign their duties, keep on schedule, etc. I find that this affords great opportunities to do SM conferences, mediate the occasional disagreement that goes beyond what the boys can handle, get to know the boys' strengths, weaknesses, and personalities differently from what I could on a weekend trip -- and I get some R&R, too!

 

Our council permits 2 adults to attend "free" for up to 20 scouts, with another "free" for each additional 10 scouts. Anything over this involves a nominal payment to cover food. One year we had to switch the "2nd adult" midweek due to work requirements. We don't run out for "forgotten" things. We are supposed to Be Prepared. If we weren't, shame on us - we'll find a way to "make do".

 

If the camp runs a good program and your boys have bought into the boy-run concept, I don't think you need to have a whole lot of adults hanging around or (worse) getting in the way of the boys having a great summer camp experience.

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