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I have to agree with redfeather, that the best place for all adults is in there chair with a cup of coffee participating by observance. LOL

I know in the winter, We need additional adults to go so that if someone need to go to admin or someplace else, the other adults can take turns keeping the chairs warm. LOL.


In all seriousness, It appears to be dangerous only with two adults. We average 12 to 19 boys per outing and seem to always have 3 leaders, sometimes 4 ( if we can let #4 be in charge of the coffee pot.)LOL


I think BW said that if you only have two and one leaves for a meeting or other business, that leaves ONE! no two deep but ONE!


I agree the more the merrier. Plus it is a real advantage to get to know the other parents/guardians of the boys that your own son may be growing up with. Plus some of these adults are really FUN!


supermom(This message has been edited by supermom)(This message has been edited by supermom)

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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.


It's appalling that you can make that kind of statement without ever having met the man. The implication you make about my son and the other older scouts is ridiculous. Shame on you!!!


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



Bob, I'm quite suprised you added this paragraph--I could find nothing to indicate it was a violation of youth protection.



What I did find was the need to be extremely selective about the leaders recruited, the importance of screening and of training. I rest more easily knowing there are not all sorts of parents that have not had background checks running around my son's camp while he's sleeping at night. There is a reason that these safeguards are in place--let's not undermine them.

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One of the safeguards in the Youth Protection program, and it is memtioned in the video training that as a parent and leader you should view at least once every 36 months, is the open door policy of scouting. You CANNOT deny a parent or legal guardian attendance to any scouting activity. That does not mean they have to participate, but you cannot restrict them from being present.


If a parent wants to come observe his son's scout group on a campout you cannot say no. You can set boundaries as to their involvement based on their skill, experience and training, but you cannot say no.


Bob White

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Two-deep leadership:

Two registered adult leaders, or one registered adult and a parent of a participating Scout, one of whom must be at least 21 years of age or older, are required for all trips or outings. There are a few instances, such as patrol activities, when no adult leadership is required. Coed overnight activities require male and female adult leaders, both of whom must be 21 years of age or older, and one of whom must be a registered member of the BSA.



No secret organizations. The Boy Scouts of America does not recognize any secret organizations as part of its program. All aspects of the Scouting program are open to observation by parents and leaders.


Discouraging large amounts of parents from attending at any one given time is not in violation of the Youth Safety Guide. To unequivocally deny them access or keep activites on campouts secret would be. However we as parents are always fully aware of where our boys are at all times and can always drop in to observe. Most of the problems with adults that you have discussed could be avoided if the parents were willing to let their sons go on the camp outs with the troop and become independent young men. Look at it from the scout's perspective on one hand you are telling them to use their skills and judgement and on the other hand you are showing them that they can't be trusted without your presence on every outing. Actions speak louder than words. Letting the troop function as it was designed builds self confidence and skills that last a lifetime.

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Two-deep leadership is the minimum not the maximum!


Read the rules for backcountry and the minimum increases to four.


Saying "no you can't come" is denying access. If they can visit anytime, then why not let them stay anytime? It's like telling a parent they can't come to a little league game to watch their kid play. The parents don't play the game, and they don't send a message to their children that they don't trust their baseball ability because they came to watch.


Too many parents settle for "being aware of where their boys are" rather than being there with them. As an Asst. Scoutmaster I make almost every campout. My son thinks it's great that I am involved in the things he likes to do. I spend very little time with him except for moments around a campfire or when we teach skills together, but he still enjoys the time we spend together.


Why should only the scout leaders get to have that special connection with their kids. I welcome any and every parent that wants to spend time watching their kids grow and mature.


We agree that scouts develop by getting to do things themselves. Just because a parent is there doesn't mean the scouts can't act independently.


"Actions speak louder than words", we agree again. If you want scouts to grow up understanding the importance of family then let scouting be a family friendly activity.


Bob White


(Good Night)


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18 months age I started a new Troop. Lots of parents on the first camp. They were not trained and basiclaly sat around all weekend and got in the way a bit. I didn't have any time to talk to them much - I was tha only trained leader (Australian rules allow this).


However right now two of these parents are considering training as ASM (here that = three weekends +) I also enjoy having any number of parents around. They are useful, great examples of adulthood etc.


The difference is that now they understand the programme better and can help even without Scout training (lots of bush fire brigader's etc).


I can understand wanting to limit the untrained adults - they can get in the way. Yet if the time is taken to work with, and on them the parents can be an enormous asset.


On the last camp I even managed to anchor down my chair and nurse a cup of coffee while the action continued unabated.(This message has been edited by ozemu)

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Bob White writes:


"Read the rules for backcountry and the minimum increases to four."





Safety rule of four:

No fewer than four individuals (always with the minimum of two adults) go on any backcountry expedition or campout. If an accident occurs, one person stays with the injured, and two go for help. Additional adult leadership requirements must reflect an awareness of such factors as size and skill level of the group, anticipated environmental conditions, and overall degree of challenge.


Bob, are you purposely being misleading or did you not understand that was 2 adults; 2 scouts cited in that rule? Note also that the amount of leadership present is a direct reflection of the skill levels of the scouts involved.


He (BW) further writes:


"Saying "no you can't come" is denying access."


Bob, where did you get that quote? It wasn't in any of scoutperson's posts....




"If they can visit anytime, then why not let them stay anytime? It's like telling a parent they can't come to a little league game to watch their kid play. The parents don't play the game, and they don't send a message to their children that they don't trust their baseball ability because they came to watch."

"Too many parents settle for "being aware of where their boys are" rather than being there with them."


I have to question why you would feel such a pressing need to be at every camp out. Maybe you should try some family camping--then when it's time for the boys to go on Boy Scout camp outs, you will find it easier to let go a little. A major part of parenting is knowing the difference between being supportive and being obsessive. To let a young man go on a camping trip with his troop without being omnipresent is not settling; it's letting your child grow. Your analogy to watching a Little League game and BSA camp outs is without merit.


In all the BSA literature I researched on this topic, family camping was a separate and distinct outing from regular camp outs. On regular camp outs it is viewed as positive to have trained, screened leadership available to the boys.



Now the question I leave you with is how often do boys in any of your troops get an opportunity to go on patrol activities with no adult leadership?



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I'm new to Scouter.com, but have been a lifelong member of one scouting program or another.

I haven't read much of the thread, but this much is clear to me:


If you're talking about Cubs then parents are a necessity


If we're talking about Boy Scouts, then parents just get in the way


I've known lots of scouter/scout fathers and sons, and almost always it results in kids who end up spoiled and feel they can get away with anything because "my dad's on the troop commitee" or "my dad's an ASM".


I noticed on some earlier posts it was said that ScoutPerson was "masquerading" as a Scoutmaster, or something to that effect. That very statement isn't helpful,friendly,courteous,kind,cheerful, or reverant. I'm sure you guys feel you're "being prepared"...but please try to reinforce the ideals you teach in your postings


and "May the Great Scoutmaster of all good Scouts be with us until we meet again"

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"I rest more easily knowing there are not all sorts of parents that have not had background checks running around my son's camp while he's sleeping at night."


Hey everyone -


How many of your Troops out there do background checks? How many do ANY kind of screening at all?


I know neither my Troop or my Pack does. I also know that at least 2 other Troops in my area do not. Running a complete background check on a perspective leader can be VERY expensive. Usually a parent, a former scout, or an interested member of the community, says they want to help and the CM, CC, or SM says great, get trained and buy a uniform!


One more thought - If your Troop camps in a National, State, or County park, then there ARE unscreened people around camp at all hours of the day and night. Even if you camp only on BSA properties, unless you are the ONLY people there, odds are pretty good that there will be people there from other Troops who have never gone thru ANY type of background check.

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Ihave to first agree with Venturer2002, that some of you need to look at the Scout Law a little closer before making your post!


I would not know of a time in OUR Troop that we would ever want to limit adults. In this day and time as stated before, I want to know the parents of the boys my child is around and know what type of people they are. Some of you are looking at the negative side of parents on outings. If they are in the way, give them tasks to do. Assign them things to keep them busy and out of the fun of the boys. take along a knot book and tell them to learn how to tie knots, that will keep them busy and out of the way.


Lighten up!

supermom(This message has been edited by supermom)

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What I feel is that excessive numbers of parents can cause confusion, frustration, and bad tastes in ones mouth.

Certainly the programs of scouting could not continue without the support of countless parents who volunteer their time. I know, my mom was a den leader from tigers to webelos.

Different troops may have differing policies regarding continuous parental involvement in outings, not to be confused with parental oversight.

It is appropriate in some circumstances to have a Scoutmaster and his/her assistant serve as the sole leaders on a Boy Scout outing. Those circumstances being older scout involvement, training of younger scouts, and a strong sense of the patrol method.

Troops that disregard the patrol method should have as many adults as possible at all outings and meetings, because scouts that have no real power in their own policies and troop administration tend to do un-scoutlike things.

Adults serve in an advisory position for the most part, taking action when activities come into direct violation of scout policies or procedures.

There. That's my two cents.

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While adult participation should not be arbitrarily limited, rather encouraged, I have occasionally found that large numbers of adults create different hazards. The adults end up having so much fun that the duty of observing what the boys are doing is completely forgotten. This is matter of creating a little discipline among the adults as to what their purpose really is.

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Sorry, ScoutParent, my observation was not intended to include ScoutPerson's troop as one in which the older boys hassled the younger. It was intended to make the comparison that parents were not authorized or encouraged to observe troop activities - like ScoutPerson's troop. I certainly hope his troop doesn't have the problems my son's former troop does.


When my son came in and announced he NEVER EVER EVER wanted to go to Scouts again, we found out that the older boys hassled the younger ones, in several ways. "Harmless teasing" to some. Not to others.


When we talked to the adults in the troop, they said that since the boys were in charge of the patrols, they had not seen the behaviors in question and couldn't say if they had occurred.


We don't actually know what exactly happened. This was around the same time that my son began needed serious help for anxiety, with behavior that does look a lot like PTSD. He will not discuss some issues at all - including what happened in third grade to make him hate school, and what happened in Scouts later. We don't know if it was cause-and-effect, chicken or egg, or simple coincidence. If a kid like mine ended up in ScoutPerson's troop, how would HIS parents know if something occurred there or if that could be ruled out? We DO know that any organization that does not allow us to observe our own kid in action no longer sees our kid. Period.


We don't follow him around, in fact he probably has more personal freedom than most 14-yearolds - but always with the knowledge that Mom or Dad or one of his older siblings might drop in and check up at any time.

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I would be concerned about only 2 adults taking a group of boys camping for the weekend. What happens when one of the adults get sick or hurt? What if one of the scouts is hurt and needs to go to the hospital? You all pack up and go?


If you have parents who are causing trouble on outings, you have a problem to deal with. Otherwise give them a chance, they may be very good helpers and leaders.


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Just a note on being an ASM son and ASM father. I dont know about your troop, Venturer2002, but when I was a scout, I knew my father the ASM expected me to be better than the rest and I had best know my skills, because he wasnt above throwing a rope at me at any time to tie a knot, and I had better be able to tie it, or decode a bit of morse code.


As an ASM I was known to have my son tie a knot as a minutes notice, he was up on his knots, cause he knew I was liable to do that. All of our ASM have sons in the troop and all are harder on their kid then anyone else.


I cant understand why in the world anyone would limit parental involvement in a youth volunteer program.


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