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How many adults

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A lot of troops in my area have the issue of not enough adults to fill out the commitee, let alone in campouts. As a rural area, the attitude of the BSA as "Baby Sitters of America" is large. My troop has cancelled events due no second leader to go with. The more adults that get involved, the smoother the troop will operate.

 

I served with a large troop while in the Air Force, 150 boys on the charter, 80+ showing up for a meting, and 20 adults at a meeting, 12 - 14 went camping. My attitude is the more the merrier!

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Drat passwords, lets try this again. Well said OGE. Well said. I also agree THE MORE THE MERRIER. There are very few oportunities for adults to become involved with the youth of today. Do not limit the chances. Some of the best overnights have been when there are a fairly large number of adults. The adult patrol sets the example on how the patrol method should and does work. The boys see that we are asking them to do no more than what we ourselves are willing to do. Besides when we sit down of the evening for out Sit and Squak sessions the scouts sometimes wonder when the rubber trucks are coming for either the Rat Pack or Crakd Pots. Don't short change the adults who wish to be involved, let go of the reins and let others learn to enjoy working with the boys and allow them to set adult examples for the boys to follow in their lives.

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The more I thought about this issue the more i have to include. Adults who go on the o-nites are instucted as to what their duties are:

 

1. Ensure that the scouts follow proper Outdoor Etiquete (sp?)

2. Make sure the woods do not burn down.

3. Provide experience and knowledge as needed.

4. Have fun.

 

My particular duties are to make sure my coffee cup is full, that my chair does not become lonely, and to respond to questions from scouts (other than the SPL or acting SPL) find the SPL and ask him the question. Works pretty well.

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OGE brings up a very important point. Barring parents or guardians from a scout event is a violation of the youth protection policies and is forbidden in the BSA.

 

There are times (specifically in high adventure) when the number of adults participatiing are restricted, but you cannot tell a custodial parent or legal guardian that they cannot attend an activity.

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Wow, good points, like I said each troop is faced with different issues. But, I have to disagree with the issue that we have a closed program. Any adult can stop by and see their kid, participate in meetings, etc. Camping trips are structured and organized and are for the purpose of the youths. In all my training from Wood Badge to years of experience and sitting on counsel, Ive never seen anything that says you cannot restrict adults; matter of fact that often is the reply to problems within our counsel. Maybe not so much as saying restrictions per say, but instead saying get your adults trained and only have trained adults.

 

Give you an example, we hiked Philmont a few years back and if we would not have had limits on adults it would have been an adult trip. We hiked Hawaii three weeks ago and if I would have let every adult that wanted to go attend, Id again have defeated the purpose of scouting. Ive noticed that, again myself, that when we have a fun trip I get a list of adults wanting to attend, but when it comes to running the annual popcorn sale theres not a sole around.

 

Each unit is different, so these are just my issues, again were not closed were structured. Along these lines, I would like to ask how others charge the adults? With limits on the number of adults attending, the adults that go do not pay as theyre driving and providing leadership and transportation. They pay for their gas and if the trip requires vehicles to fueled along the way then the troop pays; so the troop buys all gas to get us home after the first tank. Big trips, like Philmont, the adult leaders pay half (usually the airfare so they too have some skin in the game). So if most of you allow adults to attend and theyre driving too, do they too pay for the outing? Or do they contribute the gas only or maybe both?

 

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In our troop, the adults do not pay for food for weekend camping. The troop picks this up. They do pay for their own gas except if the trip is long (150+ miles). Then the troop pays for their gas. If there is a fee with the trip, then the adults pay all of it.

 

For special trips like Philmont, the adult is responsible for all fees. If we drive to somewhere like that, all car riders must share in the cost of gas (boys and adults).

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The only time we ever limit adults is on High Adventure trips when the base involved limits the crew size or in the Boundary Waters where Federal Law limits the crew size. Even then we give scouts the first option after covering YP issues of 2 deep. If there are still openings after the scouts sign up then we will open them to any adults willing to attend.

 

Our adults pay full fare for High Adventure activities. On weekend trips the adults only pay in winter when there is a substantial cabin rental fee involved. For regular weekend outings, they are already giving of their time, gas,and wear and tear on their vehicles so we do not charge them a camping fee.

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This reminds me of teachers/schools allowing parents in the rooms during school. Every parent should have a right to watch their children, without interfering, regardless of it is scouts, school, sports practice etc. That is why they are called guardians.

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On Troop camp outs, the Troop I am with usually has between 4 to 6 adults for a Troop averaging 22 Scouts per outing. The SPL and Patrol Eladers run the show but with multiple things going on at once, having a half of a dozen adults insure all aspects of the camp out are properly supervised. Plus I have seen 'Murphy's Law' come into play on an outing and was glad that the Troop had enough adults at the event. Additionally, on the District Klondike, the committee chair encourages all registered adults to attend for a planned committtee meeting.

One thing I have noticed is that those registered parents that do camp with the Troop actually have a better understanding of the program and supports/encouurages the Scout to advance and follow the Scout Oath and Law.

 

Gerry Bozman

ASM T114

M'Boro, Il

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We had a recent experience at our Cub Scout summer campout (two night event) with a (seemingly) lost Scout that would have been very difficult to resolve if we had limited adult involvement. There would not have been enough supervision of the search area, the campsite, and the last-known-position of the boy. We ended up leaving one dad and his son where we last saw the Scout. We also had two dads and a mom walking with assorted Scouts from there towards our campsite, and a small group already back at camp. Turns out that the "lost" Scout (my younger son) just walked 3/4 miles in the dark thru meadow/woods with no buddy and no flashlight to get back to the campsite. Once we found him, we had to retrieve the other searchers.

 

He got a little talking to.... concerning the buddy system and scaring Dad.

 

thom in omaha

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Zippy's comments support the fact 'Murphy's Law' is alive and well on Scout outings. therefore, teh number of adults should not be limited except in such cases as high adventure,ie Philmont, Northern Tier - those programs are primarily for the Scouts but Scouts still need some adult leadership.

 

As far as how to restrict the interference of Adults, assign them a job, such as making sure the adult coffee pot or teapot is always filled

 

That's my two cents worth.

Gerry

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Zippy's example occurred within a cub scout camping trip. Had that happened within the Boy Scout Troop that scoutperson leads, the boys have been trained and would know how to react in an emergency situation. Our son has been under his leadership as a young scout and is once again under his leadership as an older scout. The boys enjoy the outings and are able to grow in scouting the way it is intended.

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Scoutparent and scoutperson,

No on questioned the ability of the scouts in the troop. The converstaion has centered around Scoutpersons opinion that there should only be two adults on a campout, and that is not true.

 

First of all that is poor youth protection planning. Scouting recommends at least 4 adults so that if a youth or adult is injured and two adults travel to a medical facility there is still two adults with the troop.

 

Secondly, scoutperson says they limit adults, using a Philmont trek as an example. Well scoutperson didn't limit the adults...Philmont did. Philmont set the adult limits and have enough staff (over 900) that there is still a huge number of adults around in case of emergencies (yet you don't see them getting in the way of the boys fun).

 

Thirdly we are an open program and a family program. Having parents along doesn't mean that the boys can't have fun. Being there doesn't mean being in the way. Many excellent examples of the benefits of more adults participating have been presented in this string.

 

What Scoutperson is doing in restricting adults is risky, not needed and very likely a violation of youth protection.

 

I strongly urge you to open your doors to more parental involvement on outings.

 

Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Thank you, Bob White, for saying it so clearly.

 

With two adults, if one is in the latrine or shower, visiting the next camp, or at a leader meeting, you now have - ONE adult. OK, perhaps, as long as all goes well. But as has been said before, Murphy is alive and well.

 

I've done day-trip stuff with scouts with only 2 adults, and indeed went to camp with only 2 adults (and only 2 scouts, not too tough there!) But the very first thing we did on arrival was to get with the camp staff and commissioners, let them know how short our bench was, and make an emergency plan to allow the boys to continue their fun in case something happened to one of us.

 

The one time I had a injury in a (girl) scout function, thank GOD I had TWO other adults with me and double thank GOD that one was a trained EMT. The first aid skills weren't the issue - we had base emergency services available. It was her attitude - a calm "OK, what do we need to do next?"

 

The incident was frightening - no, terrifying. We had 6 horses with inexperienced 10 to 12 year-old riders bolt on a trail ride. The stories varied, there was talk of a snake but the configuration of the area was also conducive for the horses to just decide to race. The wrangler (an older scout, not from our troop)leading the ride lost control of her horse and it got worse from there. Four girls fell, one of them was thrown into a wire fence which made a rather ugly cut on her knee. Girls were strewn along a quarter-mile of trail; I was at the stable as I was to go out on the next ride. I got my ride, all right, at the top speed my lousy riding skills would allow, trying to find out who was hurt without joining them myself!

 

The EMT followed the ambulance to the hospital with the one girl who required medical attention, and helped when her mom and dad arrived (they needed a little calming down). The other leader and I stayed with the rest of the troop. We put the horses in the corral, settled them down, and a couple of the thrown riders got on them again. We would not have been able to do that if we'd had the minimum in adult leadership - the day would have been totally over.

 

As it stood, one girl has decided horses are not for her; the most injured one is now willing to try again, and two have already ridden again. A reasonable count under the circumstances.

 

Now, my first campout as a leader (girl scout) I took 12 girls and a total of four adults. Two of them left Saturday morning, noting that it was pouring rain, cold, nasty, and plus they saw bugs and dead mice in the cabins. We were glad to see them go as they were upsetting the girls with their shrieking and crying. Once they were gone, we had a memorable and wonderful time. Oh, yes, the girls were third-graders.... first overnight (two nights).... no homesickness, no problems at all, at least not after the black widow spider was killed and we got the mice carcasses out. Except the other mom and I were ready to drop by the time we got them all home! And the poor girls got dragged around a lot, as we could NOT leave them at that age while we did important stuff like go to the john... so they played tag outside the latrines where we could hear them. Showers were impossible.

 

I ran into a SM like ScoutPerson who made it clear they didn't need or want parents around, either as leaders or volunteers. My son hated that troop, since it turned out that the bigger boys delighted in torturing the younger, and we left for greener pastures where the adults don't confuse reasonable and necessary observation with interference.

 

IMHO four is a good baseline number of adults for an overnighter, with any reasonable number of scouts. That way the adults can entertain each other and the scouts can get on with business.

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