Jump to content

No BALOO adult - What do you do?

Recommended Posts

Gotta echo FScouter's comments! That "we said so" argument holds zero water.


If BALOO training was offered as part of other Cub training this wouldn't be a problem. But since the BSA has decided in their infinite wisdom adult volunteers need to be dragged from their homes as much as possible so they can be trained instead of packaging the training in one course these situations will exist.


Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 51
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Two wrongs don't make a right. How often have we heard this. Remember that a Scout is Trustworthy.


Making the campout event into a family event just because a BALOO trained person is not available is not the right way and isn't what we should be teaching the kids. In addition, some families might think its OK to bring non-scouting items just because its a "family" event. A good lawyer could have a field day in court if someone gets hurt.


If the local Council doesn't offer the training then go to another council or get the syllabus to teach it to the unit.


In the District I'm in training is low cost. However, my unit thinks its a personal cost to go to training and this keeps a lot of our folks from getting trained. I go to training anyway because I learn a lot from it AND I'm helping my son.


I've been camping a long time and when I went to BALOO I learned some techniques that lightened the load of stuff I carry.


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Making the campout event into a family event just because a BALOO trained person is not available is not the right way and isn't what we should be teaching the kids."

Family Camping is allowed by the Guide to Safe Scouting.  There is a full paragraph on it and many Packs leverage it.  Because it is allowed, it has also created much confusion between what is considered a Pack Overnighter and what is considered Family Camping. 

Family camping says nothing about having a BALOO trained adult.

From G2SS: 

Family camping: an outdoor camping experience, other than resident camping, that involves Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, or Venturing program elements in overnight settings with two or more family members, including at least one BSA member of that family. Parents are responsible for the supervision of their children, and Youth Protection guidelines apply.


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree the "family camping" distinction muddies things a bit. And I know many cub leaders who rely on this in order to do things that otherwise would not be allowed. However, whenever I have sought clarification on this, (at least here) our DE has always stated that "family camping" is something that the district or council can sponsor (ie, family camping at the council camp property), but not something that can occur within the pack level. His take - and I have to agree - is that there should not be a highly fluid boundary between "pack" event and "family" event because that then puts the pack in legal jeopardy and encourages leaders to play just these sorts of games.


Thus I think it unwise to suggest that when the designated BALOO person leaves the premises, that the event suddenly changes in nature from pack to family.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Cub Scout Outdoor Program Guidelines (13-631C) refers to "family camping" as a Council-sponsored event.


Since the Council provides the staff and program, it isn't necessary for the pack to provide a BALOO-trained leader. In fact, its not even a pack activity -- its a family activity, sponsored by the local Council.


Our Council offers these once a month, and they are very popular.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Cub Scout Outdoor Program Guidelines (13-631C) refers to "family camping" as a Council-sponsored event.

Thanks for information.  That clarifies things greatly for me.

The BSA needs to include that clarification of "family camping" in G2SS.  G2SS gives the impression that you can go anywhere you want whenever you want.  Many concientious leaders use G2SS as the authoritative guide for following the rules and as are not always aware of other publications.



Link to post
Share on other sites

"Thus I think it unwise to suggest that when the designated BALOO person leaves the premises, that the event suddenly changes in nature from pack to family. "

I agree.  But as I stated earlier, once the campout is underway you can't make the parents leave the camp, especially if they have already paid their money for their campsite at a fee-based facility (e.g., State Park).  Don't forget other expeses they incurred to be there in order to support the Pack.  The best that any leader can do is simply imform everyone that the campout is canceled including all planned activities on the agenda - including the "campfire".  Some will get bored and go home, others that enjoy the outdoors will stay.



Link to post
Share on other sites

The parents of the Wolves want to camp very badly. They have approached me and I tell them that is has to be done at a Pack level. I have BALOO and CPR/First Aid, so that isn't a concern. The problem is that as I understand it, these boys can only do it if it is sponsered on the district/council level or if the entire pack was invited.


1)Now if we get that far to plan the event, and no one else is interested, even after repeated phone calls, and the Wolf families are the only ones going, is this considered pack camping? (Which is very likely to happen if we did this.)


2)The boys in the wolf den are very close, as some of the parents are very close as well. They boys play sports together. They stay at each other's houses. Would I be out of line to suggest that if the parents really want to go camping do it as friends only and without help from any of the pack leaders? (Or as I think about it - let someone else lead!)


Infact, one of the parents planned her son's b-day party just over the state line (overnight thing), and the boys who happen to be in the Wolf den are going next weekend, plus another non CS friend.


3)Can someone tell me where the distinction is between a scout event and a gathering of friends? I all I see is a very huge gray area, and I can't forbid parents to not let their boys spend time toghther outside of Cub Scouting.





Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no grey area. A gathering of friends is just that, a gathering of friends. It has nothing to do with you, their den or the Pack.


A Scout event is - a Scout event. It is run by a Scout unit, publicized in a Scout unit, approved & insured by a scout council, & has Scouting program elements.


Many of the Cub requirements have them cooking food. Do you usually tell the boys and their families that they must hold a cookout at their home for their friends only, that the den & Pack can not be involved? Of course not. Then why would it even come up in a den meeting about camping?


As your Pack's BALOO trained person you need to STOP focusing on ONLY the WOLF DEN!! You are the camping leader for the ENTIRE PACK!


Talk to your Committee at it's next meeting & settle on a date for a Pack camping overnighter. You should have received a list of Cub Scout approved camping spots at BALOO training. Find a spot & start talking it up at every den and Pack meeting. Create your camp program so that families can come for the day only if they are not comfortable enough to stay overnight. Send out catchy flyers to every family in your Pack. Make it as easy & as affordable as possible for all of your families.


You just might be surprised at how many families you end up with!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I must second what Scoutnut said about getting the whole pack involved in a pack campout. I know when we finally convinced our pack to do this, the response was very good and came from some unexpected quarters too. In fact this helped us identify some new people who were good resources for camping and outdoor activities, and it gave them a reason to get involved (esp for a few parents who had previously viewed cubs as not up their alley and said they were just waiting til their boys were "real boy scouts" in order to get involved). Do this on the up-and-up and you'll avoid so many problems while reaping many more benefits.


I do know a lot of cub leaders who use that "it's just family and friends" excuse to try to cover for things that they want to do, but that aren't allowed under the cub rules such as wolf den camping. I think this is a very risky idea. Most of the time the other parents (esp the ones hosting the event) do not understand the extent of the risk until after the fact and indeed they may never understand the risk they took, if nothing goes wrong. Worse, if it really is a cub event in thin disguise and something DOES go wrong, there is a potential for other people in your cub leadership such as your committee chair, CM, outdoor activities chair, CO, and possibly others, to find themselves dragged into the resulting legal mess even if they had no idea what you were doing, because they are supposed to ensure that pack activities are done in accordance with the policies.


So as a fellow leader in the same pack, boy I'd be annoyed with you for doing something like that. Of course chances are nothing will go wrong but still. Do this more than once or after being told not to and I'd be looking for a pack where I could trust my fellow leaders. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh.


It also teaches the boys that the rules only matter when it is convenient for you to follow them, and that the rest of the time you are happy enough to bend the rules. Yeah, they're sharp when it comes to things like this. Elementary school-aged kids tend to be very rule-oriented and have a strong sense of right and wrong.


Of course you aren't going to prohibit people in the same den or pack from getting together outside the confines of scouting and often times there's a strong overlap in terms of social circles. But then, who organized the event? Do the cubs expect it to count toward cub advancement? Is it advertized primarily at other scout activities? Are fellow scouts the only ones invited to attend? What's on the agenda and is it clearly scouting related? These are the things that can help set apart a scouting event vs. a non-scouting event that happens to include some scouts.

Link to post
Share on other sites



I totally agree with you and Scoutnut.


Let's remember, the whole purpose behind these "regulations" is SAFETY.


Don't you think it would be wise, no matter what someone calls the outing or who's in charge, that the BSA policies should be followed when kids are involved? Would it hurt to make certain that a BALOO trained adult is present? Couldn't this cover any eventualities or mishaps, regardless if it is a BSA sponsored or insured outing?


I just think BSA policies are good for everyone. I realize I may be in the minority.


Eagle Pete

Link to post
Share on other sites

Now if we get that far to plan the event, and no one else is interested, even after repeated phone calls, and the Wolf families are the only ones going, is this considered pack camping? (Which is very likely to happen if we did this.)




Ive been in this situation a couple of times.  Yes, in my opinion, it is considered Pack Camping if everyone (from Tiger to Webelos) in the Pack is invited and has an opportunity to participate.   


If it looks like the Wolf families are the only ones going, I would make sure that the Cubmaster and/or Assistant Cubmasters are attending so you will have Pack leadership involved, not just Den leadership.  If the Den leaders are the only ones attending, then your campout will appear to be Den Camping.


Again, this is my opinion.  Consult with your UC or DE and get their advice based on what your council will allow.


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may seem strange that only one den would want to go camping as a pack, but the leadership in the pack is changing. The wolves are the first of the new blood. They don't sit back like the older dens and just say, "we've never done that before" or "that's the way we've always done it". (If I had a nickel for everytime I heard that....)


If I can't get the bears to go to day camp or resident camp, I don't think they'd want to go to pack camping where they would have help out in the setting up and tearing down.


The first-year Webelos's don't have a leader (long story) so no parent is interested in organizing anything. Second year Webelos' are the old blood, and the parents/leaders just don't want to change.


I think the parents just don't want to spend time with their kids.


Tigers may go either way, but since this is Michigan, May camping can be still cold. I remember freezing as a kid when we went camping on Memorial Day weekend. If we went camping, it may be June at the soonest. (And the old blood will be gone!) I just want the weather to be nice so I can get the inexperienced camping parents with some experience under their belts before we do anything "cold".


But the wolves have been wanting to camp for a while. I wanted to do it legally and not as a "hint-hint" non-Scouting function. I never pursued it becuase I knew even if I begged and pleaded, the pack would not want to go. But maybe the wolves can still camp if we invite everyone! I am CM, we don't have an ACM, but one of the wolf parents is the treasurer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Something like this happened when Kevin first joined the Pack years ago. Had a committee chair that was a total control nut. She even told parents and leaders that she was the only one allowed to attend Round Table. Since I hadn't done Boy Scouts before I didn't know until I ran into someone at the Scout Shop and they ask me why I didn't come to RT. I told him what I had been told and he informed me that he wanted to see me at the next meeting. I went/


If looks could have killed I would have been dead when the CC saw me there. At our next Committee Meeting I questioned other things she had been telling us. But didn't think much more about it. We had a Family Camping trip coming up in about a month. The Friday morning of the camping weekend she called the Scout office and informed them that she would not be going on the outing and that there was no one else trained.

They called the CM. He explained that we had parents that had taken off work early. Since he was an Eagle the ask if he could come to the office. He took off work, went to the Scout OFfice. They did a short training and let us go. THe did tell the CM that we had to get someone else trained.

THe CC was livid. Quit the unit. I got talked into taking CC. I was CC from Tigers until we left to move into the troop. Whe she quit it was ReCharter time. Igot the paperwork stuffed into my mail box the day before it was due with no instructions. I went to the Scout Office and got with the DE the next day and got it all done. We were one day late because we had to get things changed at the bank because she was also the only one on the signature card.

We also got all of our leaders and part of the parents trained. WIthin a month of our outing I went out of district to get Baloo trained. ALso took any other training I could find. I love training. Love getting with other Scouters to just brain storm ideas.

This woman had been causing problems for the adults for some time but this was the first time she had actually done anything that had a direct effect on the boys.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...