Jump to content

bunking arrangements

Recommended Posts

I am putting my webelos leader hat on here and taking my asm hat off for the moment.


I know how i would handle this as asm, but webelos i am not to sure.


we are having our last webelos patrol campout before crossing over, and have an even number of scouts going. we have one scout that is "active". He really is a good kid, but his past actions have caused the other scouts to not want to share a tent with him. It is not language, inappropriate comments etc. but is his active nature and sometimes short attention span that cause the other boys to run for cover and grab anyone else for bunking arrangements. Most times, he sleeps with his dad, but this time he will not be. In the boy scouts, i would just let the boys take care of it. I have had discussions with him, in an attempt to get him to see his actions and the results, but it is never a long lasting change. I also have parents who have gotten involved in indicating their desires for bunking arrangements. I am thinking of doing the same as I would with the boy scouts here, let the boys decide, and try to teach by peer (if you want to bunk with them, you need to modify) but in an effort to get some ideas I may not have thought of, and in an attempt not to negatively impact the scout this close to boy scouts, I post for comment.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you clarify what kind of "active" behavior you are talking about? Is he just bouncing off the tent walls? Is he poking the other kid in the side all night long? Shining his flashlight in their eyes at 2am? Or is something else irritating the heck out of his den mates? Because it strikes me as kind of unusual that boys would go running for cover and parents would step in if it is just a matter of a kid with high energy levels.


You may get better feedback if you can offer a little more detail about the behavior.





Link to post
Share on other sites

i think it is more of an outside the tent concern. and, there is a little history,whereas when he was a younger scout there were some physical incidents that occurred. While I think they were over the line, I have seen a change in him in the last several years. He has gotten better, but he does roughhouse more than the others, and, I believe it is not with malice. It is simply the boy acts without thought sometimes. he likes swinging sticks, and has some difficulty not picking them up again. he has used a stick on a tent which was not a good scene. But, he does understand "put it down" when told. I think the over anxious roughhousing at times and stick in a tent wall, etc. cause the others to say not in my tent. I will say, however, that I will not let him do something that will cause injury, etc. although the stick in the tent caught me by surprise. But, I do want him to learn through mistakes. A very fine line indeed.


Let me say, however, that I think scouting is good for this boy. He has changed. i also think its my job to try to keep him in scouting for the benefits he can get out of it, but, of course, not to the detriment of others. While i would like him to change more, i am glad that he has changed in the 4 years that i have been leader. If he did not have slip ups and did not have the history of his actions of a couple of years ago, I don't think there would be a problem. However, memories take a long time, and a lot of action to overcome. His occasional slip up doesn't help.


I know there are other good kids out there that go over the line, that people can see benefits of the program in them , and maybe have faced the same or similar situation before.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Because it strikes me as kind of unusual that boys would go running for cover and parents would step in if it is just a matter of a kid with high energy levels."


Not unusual at all!


Not saying it's normal. but it isn't unusual.


My wife has a friend that goes way back since kindergarten. Well, that friend has a son the same age as mine.


WEll, let me tell you..that boy is high strung. Matter of fact, look "high strung" up in a dictionary and you will see his picture!


Whenever my wife and her freind do something and the boys are involved..that boy just loses it. He talks twice as loud, twice as fast and youi can't understand half of what he is saying. He doesn't just talk either.


He is one of those people who has to touch you when talking to you. He is either poking, grabbing, pulling, leaning on, hugging, or plain smothering you if he is talking to you.

No personal space, no breathing room.


And he is at it non stop.Wide open from the time he wakes up til he falls asleep.


Where the energy comes from is beyond me.


It got to the point that my son couldn't stand him.


Wasn't from hitting, biting, scratching or anything else like that.


Just over wound. Too much, too long and too close.


People get tired of him fast.



Link to post
Share on other sites

In my opinion, your first obligation is to insure the safety of other people on the outing.


Secondly, a rule of thumb is that one problem child can cause six good Scouts to drop out of the program.


That suggests that a parent needs to camp with the child to provide the necessary supervision. If the parent can't make it, the child can't do the outing.




Link to post
Share on other sites

In the situation you describe, I'd give the scout two choices:

1) Sleep by himself in his own tent.

2) Sleep with a parent in their own tent.


Trial by peers is already hapening, but at that age...it does need to be kept in check as some youth can go too far.


But forcing other scouts or dictating who bunks with who....especially this boy ...will create problems, If the other scouts fel they are being punished or shafted because they get stuck with this boy...then they have a reason to lie the program less.

Link to post
Share on other sites


My thoughts


My first choice:

Put three to a tent instead of two. I would keep working these boys to not sleep with their parents. However at the last campout as Webelsos you can let this go either way. I could be a sign of maturity that they are sleeping on their own or that this will be one of the last scout events where you will sleep with dad.



Second choice could be all scouts bunk with their dads.



Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with seattle. Safety is first. It is my number one concern at all times. I also see Seattle point that dad should be there. This time he cannot and I am trying to make sure the scout attends as this is his last web campout but point taken. With regards the other scouts if I can say so I have a great bunch and I have seen nothing from the others that suggests they will leave because of this scout. I have one that likely will not cross to my troop but I think it is parent driven and where they live as opposed to scout issues.



I agree. I want the peer to work but. Point well taken re forcing others to bunk. am Leary of it. dad is not going which is a blessing I.e. Scout experiences the trip on hisv own and a curse I.e. Hope my boot doesn't have to come into play on his rear......figure of speech.



My scouts have been on there own for about a year so no probe there. This boy hangs with dad because of the boys decision but has once in a while bunked with a scout. We try to go minimum once a quarter and try for more. we would have a revolt to put them with dads now.


Thanks for the great comments. Always good to hear other perspectives

Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading between the lines -- does the active scout have any special needs? ADHD or something else. You mention that he has improved over the years. How much have the parents shared with you? Perhaps there is a special way to include him? If his dad cannot come, is there any chance his mother could camp with him? If he is on any medication, there can be good times and not so good times -- sometimes people can move medication times around a bit and it helps.


I don't think other scouts who don't want to share with him should be made to, but perhaps there is a creative way to get him in a tent by himself -- like trying out a new, small backpacking tent, for example.


But I am wondering how all this works with the buddy system?


Sorry, no real help here. I believe it's essential to be inclusive, but I do understand this can be a challenge. We have one pack/troop in our area with an extremely gifted leader who has special needs children himself. I've seen him look at a kid, recognize a subtle 'difference' and then say something like, "I'd like you to be my assistant here." He gets the boy totally engaged and focussed by giving him some special job -- it may just be handing out supplies, but I have seen this work so many times.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The main reason for taking Webelos camping is to see how they do. You are right in that you have more power to work the situation than a SM, at least more immediate power.


So, as a Webelos leader (we did this in the troop also), I would find a tent that holds at least four boys. That lessens the issue of who will tent with him and balances the one scouts antics with a greater number of normal boys.


I would also instruct all the scouts to go get the one scouts dad when he does act up. Dad would be instructed to make it inconvenient as possible for the scout to act up by taking him for long walks with long talks to motivate the scout to blend in with the other scouts. Its hard on dad, but better now than in the Troop.


This works for us.




Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with Nike, I have always felt it was important for boys to learn leadership skills and have seen tent situations as a learning experience. The boys all have their friends and that is who they bunk with. This can even cause problems among regular kids. I have always made the boys mix it up and they will end up sleping with somebody else on each campout. This way they get a better opportunity to get to know each boy in the den and they get to learn to "work around" other people who they do not know as well. I started this at the begining of Webelos and did it through the entire program until the boys became Boy Scouts. I have had both boys and their parents tell me how well it worked.

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...