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sctmom

How do you handle?

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A couple of hypothetical situations, but I know these do happen very often. I'd like you know how you would handle these.

 

A) After dinner clean up, you inspect the cooking gear and find dishes with food stuck on them. What do you do?

 

B) While breaking camp you notice a patrol just stuffing tents in bags instead of packing them properly, mishandling the tent poles, etc. When and how do you handle it?

 

C) One or two of the boys just don't wake up in the morning, no matter how hard their buddies try to wake them up. You know they went to sleep as soon as the lights went out last night, but they just can't seem to get out of bed. Or they get up and just aren't morning people, can't move until they've eaten and sat there for 30 minutes. How do you get them up?

 

 

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Ok, here goes.

 

A) As soon as it is discovered each patrol puts a big pot of water on the stove for wash water and then we inspect ALL chuckboxes (yes, the adult box too) together as a Troop. We candidly point out what is wrong and most importantly what is right with each chuckbox. We then discuss the importance of hygiene and EXACTLY how it relates to health and sickness. They then get to hear the story of how Scoutmaster Long as a young scout managed to get his whole patrol very ill (you can all imagine the illness, it was bad) during a long weekend backpacking trip. Underscoring personal resonsability and how shortcuts can and will effect everyone. Mike the 2nd Class scout was NOT very popular that weekend. By that time the water is hot and after a short reminder of proper dish washing procedure we wash every single item in every single chuck bow wether it needs it or not. Cross-contamination ya know. At the end of it all we go on with our program for the weekend minus the activity that we spent the time allocated for doing dishes.

 

B)Much the same as above only we break out all the tents (yep, even the ones I know are stored correctly) and set them back up and inspect them. Do a little tent packing clinic and discussion about proper care and storage of gear. What would this be without a story? This story will be about how Scoutmaster Long packed away a tent when wet and discovered it a month later after we had canoed for a day along the lovely St. Mary's River and made camp for the night. The tent was rotted and didn't hold up too well (split seam to seam) in the torrential downpour we experienced that night. Mike the Tenderfoot wasn't too popular with his patrol after we spent the night sleeping in our ponchos. Once again we talk about how shortcuts can and will effect everyone.

 

C)Ummmmm......They sit and talk with Scoutmaster Long while he too tries to wake up. Sorry to dissappoint on the last one.

 

At this point some may ask why repack or reclean everything. I tell the scouts that I must have not taught them those skills very well. Because of that it makes me not sure I taught ANY of them very well and my instruction is now in question. So just to be sure we all know how to do it and I taught the skill correctly let's go through it together.

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A and B are fairly common events, unfortunately. Remembering that the troop is boy led, an adult leader observing either incident would discuss the problem quietly with the SPL or den leader, and "suggest" that the problem be solved. We then stand back and observe, making sure that the problem is fixed. Depending upon the severity of the problem, a story such as given by Mike may be told. Mine are not nearly as inspiring. At times the problem is not noticed until later. Our troop has a policy that when we return from an outing, all troop equipment is unpacked and returned to the shelves (we have exclusive use of a room in the church's basement, and a section is devoted to equipment storage). If equipment needs to be repacked, refolded, cleaned, etc., it must be done at this time. Scouts are not permitted to leave with their parents until everything is completed. The scouts have learned, mostly, that cleaning of dishes, pans, etc., should be done after meals so that they can go home more quickly.

 

As to C, I'm not sure how they do it, because I'm usually still sleeping. :)

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My own story of wet tent put away :

Drove about 4 hours with dear hubby, who had swore he aired the tent out after the last campout. Set up the tent with nylon sides and canvas roof, but AH-HA NO ROOF! Gather all belongings, put back in car as quickly as possible, do not make eye contact with any other campers who are laughing at us, drive 4 hours home and collapse.

 

I do like the above responses. Just I've heard of others that aren't so nice. I will wait until others respond before I elaborate.

 

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Well, for number one, first I would find the SPL and ask who the patrol leader of the patrol with the offending gear. Then, I would have the SPL and the patrol leader look at the gear to see if they think all is as it should be, when they decide it isnt correct (without many hints from you I hope) they consult the duty roster to determine who was on clean-up.

 

Now for the tricky part, obviously the stuff has to be cleaned, but I would also look at who was assigned clean-up detail. If its a new scout or a team of new scouts, I would ask the patrol leader if after seeing the results, if he thinks putting just younger kids on clean-up is a good idea, and what would be better. Stay with it until he comes up with the idea that at least one "experienced" on hand would be a good idea at all times. Then, I would let the SPL and patrol leader come to the conlcusion that perhaps all the scouts should pitch in until the gear was clean.

 

Number 2 runs pretty much the same way as number 1, inform the SPL, have him find the PL, and have the boys talk about respect for troop or personal, or some one elses gear. And have it done right. Although perhaps as another thread we could go into the relative merits of neatly folding a tent versus stuffing it in the bag, both have proponents.

 

Number 3 The patrol doesnt eat until all its members say grace together. Peer pressure usually does far more than any amount of wheedling an adult can do.

 

 

(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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Hi sctmom,

 

Here are some methods you might try.

 

A) Have an Assistant Senior patrol Leader who is responsible for Health and Safety during activities. He could be the one responsible for inspecting the patrol site with the Patrol Leader. The ultimate responsibility for seeing that the patrol Gets the Job Done is the Patrol Leader's. I would make sure through the Senior Patrol Leadser that the Patrol Leaders understand if the dishes need rewashing that they will be the on's scrubbing.

 

B)Actually depending on the type of tent, they are supposed to be stuffed. Nylon tents especially can develop leaks along vreases where they have repeatedly folded. Check with the tent manufacturer for their recommendation. However if a tent is not being cared for, that is the another story.

Each Patrol could have its own Quartermaster who would be responsible for making sure that gear is treated correctly. it would also be a way to give more scouts some leadership opportunities. Again its the Patrol Leaders job to make sure the job gets done. So if it's not done I'd have the QM get the PL to fix it. After a few times of this the PL will make sure the job gets done right the first time.

 

C)try scheduling a fun activity for the morning when breakfast should be done. Stick to the schedule. Any patrol that is up, fed, and cleaned-up, can leave for the activity. The other patrols can go when they are caught up. Never let part of a patrol go ahead. They are a team and the team stays together. If one or two scouts keep the patrol from a good activity a couple of times you can bet the situation will improve. Peer pressure can be a powerful motivator.

 

I hope this helps

Bob

 

PS

You guys are a lot more fun to play with than those other guys on the politics forum.

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Hmmm....

I made that sound like I did it all. The SPL knows the drill and handles it, I just get to tell a story.

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A)The SPL or ASPL should have caught this before I did. I would get either the SPL or ASPL depending on who did the inspection and the PL together & explain whta I found & why I shouldn't have dound it. Then I would tell them they are responsible along with the Patrol for cleaning ALL the cooking gear again. The PL & SPL or ASPL will inspect AGAIN and when they are satisfied, they will inform me & I will inspect. We do something similar to this at summer camp before we turn in our gear for the week.

 

B)Like Bob said, some tents are meant to be pcaked stuffed. But let's suppose they aren't. I would inform the PL of what happened (hopefully it isn't his tent). I would then ask him what he should do to correct the situation. Depending on his answer, I would agree to his decision.

 

C) Bob, I know you will throw a fit, but this is what I would do and have done. I would give the Scouts ample time to get up & out of the tent. If there were no results, I would give the SPL permission to tell the Scout he was going to "drop the tent" and if there is no response do it. No one likes to be in that confined of an area.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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evmori,

That's not as easy as it used to be. It's been so long since we've used 2 pole canvas. It takes to much work to drop the nylon ones by comparison. I would prefer letting the bugler run an accoustics test inside the tent.

Bob

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Our troop has just started something new for our troop. A Quartermaster has been elected for each patrol, and he will be responsible for the patrol chuck box and troop gear that the patrol uses, previously it was the troop Quartermaster/SPL who was responsible for all of the troop gear. The Troop Quartermaster is still overall responsible for the gear. We have not had a campout since this has been installed, This months campout was cancelled! Rain, Thunder, Lighting, A lot more rain, ice, snow, and 50-mile an hour wind gusts!

 

How come all of the tents are in good condition until a leader takes it for a weekend of training and that ONE is somehow damaged!? And than you have to hear the same story over and over and over! How expenses the tents are how the scouts are not taking care of them, we are still using some tents that are 15 years old!

 

I really believe the scouts do an excellent job, for the most parts with the gear, but some of our ASM, acts like the scout has committed a felony if it is not done exactly to his specifications!

 

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Our Patrols are small enough, that everybody cooks, thus everybody cleans up. If the cook has to clean up their own mess, they tend to not make such a mess. The SPL or ASPL holds a quick but complete inspection after every meal. Any problems go to the PL and his Patrol, and they must do it right. They fall behind the PLC planned campout schedule at their own risk.

 

We got out of Troop owned tents long ago. We don't have the Scout or Scouter personel to supervise this. There were so many problems with keeping track of the damage and who was responsible, etc.. The Scouts have their own tents and take care of them a lot better (having to answer to their parents when damage is done). There are only two Scouts allowed per tent anyway, no matter how big the tent is (in reference to base style camping). We do teach the proper care of tents of course.

 

Peer pressure does work here, but since there is a Troop trip schedule to follow, again planned by the PLC, the PL gets breakfast going, wrapped up and inspected. At the very least, all Scouts must be up and prepared for the mornings activities. For those Scouts who missed breakfast, it's a long time til lunch (and we watch for private stashes of snacks). We've never had a problem with the whole Patrol getting to the first activities.

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These are a few answers I've heard of locally, not all from the same troop.

 

1) Throw the cookware on the ground, so the scouts have to pick it up and then wash it.

 

2) Really haven't heard much about this one. I was mainly referring to mishandling the tent, because I do know some tents should just be stuffed the same as some sleeping bags.

 

3) As one of you mentioned --- drop the tent (and hope you don't have a claustrophic kid who goes into an asthma attack or tries to rip the tent to get out?)

Threaten (and I guess follow through on this) to pick up the sleeping bag or pour water on the kid's head.

 

What if you, as a parent or committe member or ASM, see one of the above and feel it is wrong? What do you do? How do you approach the subject?

 

I struggle every day with teaching my son that throwing things when you are mad is NOT the right thing. Yet, he's going to see the Scout leaders doing this? I'm a bit claustrophic, you pull a tent down on me and you will see what a REAL anxiety attack is all about. Then you will never see me again.

Also, much of this falls into the category of "being a bully". Because I'm bigger, older or higher rank, than YOU, I can do absurd things. Things that a kid would never get away with at home. Now, let's remember I'm talking about Boy Scouts, not Boot Camp.

 

 

 

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A) Make them rewash the dishes, no one in that patrol does anything else until its done.

 

B)Our troop has two kinds of tents: new ones and old ones. We have enough new tents for everyone in the troop. Old tents are used in exactly this circumstance. If they mistreat their tents, they'll sleep in one without an effective rainfly and with a few holes.

 

C) Just ask them to get up. There's really nothing more you can do.

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