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New CM and "Family Camping"?

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I turned down a fathers request to go camping as a family. With it only being people from are den going, I could only see it as cub scout event. I feel that I'm always a Cubmaster when scouts are around, and that i need to lead by example all the time in front of scouts. He wants to go family camping so we don't have to follow certian rules, mainly swimming and the BB gun rule. I just have a feeling that if Something went wrong, people would view it as a cub scout event anyways so i might as well treat it as one.


I think of family camping as my wife, daughter, and my son, and any friends outside of scouts. after 100 years of trial and error the BSA has camping down to have the safest and most fun you can get away with.


I'm just checking to see if i'm looking at this the wrong way, and how other CM feel about Family Camping?

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Confusingly, BSA has two categories of family camping:




Family Camping

Family camping is an outdoor 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.


Recreational Family Camping

Recreational family camping occurs when Scouting families camp as a family unit outside of an organized program. It is a nonstructured camping experience, but is conducted within a Scouting framework on local council-owned or -managed property. Local councils may have family camping grounds available for rent at reasonable rates. Other resources may include equipment, information, and training.

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In our pack we used couple of terms:


Pack Camping is Family Camping: The pack goes camping, they follow BSA rules in Guide to Safe Scouting, file tour permits and have a BALOO trained leader. It is called family camping because every scout needs an adult. It is also called family camping because the entire family can participate.


Den Camping is not done by cub scouts, except by Webelos Dens. They still have to follow GSS, Baloo, Tour plans...


There is also camping organized by districts or councils. These events can be by Pack, Den, or Family depending on how it is organized.


If your household goes camping make sure it doesn't appear to be associated with the BSA. Don't announce it at the pack meeting, or on the web page.


You are correct. You can go camping outside of scouts, but don't try to skirt the rules

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Thanks Shortridge for the link, being we're a wolf den , no matter what we're not camping as a den. So it's pack, district, or councial events only.


I just can't in good faith go camping with my den and say it's a family event. the first thing i taught these kids as tiger scouts was honesty, am I being to stuck up and worrie-some?


And what i mean by family camping, BSA rules don't apply at all.



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I have my baloo and my Wolt (webelos) training, GSS, YP, only thing i dont have is pack trainer and Climb safely. I think it's cause of my training why i'm taking the stance i am.


Before i had my training i didn't know that BB's were district and up, or the rules for pack camping. Knowing what i know now, as long as i follow the BSA rules. They'll back 100%. Im Not willing to this with out the backing of the BSA. Like one of my district committee members told me." you don't have to be the best CM, We just want you to follow the rules."

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So basically the Den went camping together as friends.


Ya know that is ok.


They may be neighbors, friends or relatives out side of the BSA.... They can do what ever they like. But you did the correct thing by not attending.


The CM needs to stay out of potential hard feelings and political nonsense.

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You know, if you didn't feel comfortable, then obviously you shouldn't do it.


But I think that familes that are in Cub scouts should be able to camp on their own time with whomever they choose.


I understand if you wouldn't feel comfortable if there were BB guns involved and some of the kids were Scouts in your Pack. I wouldn't feel particularly care for BB guns to be part of my camping experience outside of Scouting.


But I'm a den leader and our neighbors are our friends...we go camping together in rv's, and I am in charge of my kids, they are in charge of theirs. We don't have to do a "buddy system" or follow any other BSA rules. Why should we?


I was just in charge of a summer swimming Cub Scout event..it was exhausting to be counting buddy pairs for an hour and a half. If I go swimming with my family and another family that happen to be Scouts (even in my den) and we go swimming, we certainly plan to be safe, but I'm not standing outside the water supervising, I'm enjoying the activity with my family. We could go tubing in a river or anything that wouldn't be appropriate for a Cub Scout event. I can have a drink with my dinner if I choose. I don't see why I can't do it with another family or even two whose kids happen to be in Scouts...they also happen to be in school together, may be our neighbors, etc.


I guess I understand if it is your whole den or Pack and their families being invited and planning trips that it would feel like Scouts, but I just don't think that you have to limit your friendship and leisure activities to families that are not involved with Scouting.

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When I was CM I didn't get a request like this, mainly because we encouraged family camping any way they could do it. If it was an event in which we filed a tour permit and it was a pack event, then we followed the BSA rules and guidelines. If a family went on their own, or even if more than one family went on their own, they didn't have to ask permission or file a tour permit. And because those families took all responsibility for what they did as families, they were not subject to BSA rules or guidelines. I had no oversight for their family activities. So we never had a problem - even when one boy broke a bone, another boy required stitches, and yet another lost a couple of teeth. None of it was a BSA problem.

We did, however, at Blue and Gold, celebrate the mending of the bone, the healing of the sliced and diced leg, and the 'rest-in-peace' of two teeth (among other personal 'accomplishments' by different boys). I gave thanks those things didn't happen on 'my watch'.


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If it was people that I knew outside of scouting, that would be different.


I have some friends that we have known long before any of our kids were in scouts, and friends from church. We may be in scouts now, but I would have no hesitation going camping with them as a group of families, and not following all the BSA rules.


But, I would not feel comfortable doing that with other families that I primarily know via Scouting.

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  • 1 month later...

This is what is taking the Fun out of Scouting...Confusing rules


I Consider My Den Members friends..


Can we go Camping as A Den..No because BSA has decided that As Wolves they can only go Camping when The Council makes the Money


Can we Go Camping as a Part of a Pack Overnight Yes.


However they say we can go family Camping and even rent a Camp Space at a Scout Camp..but It can not be "Structured". Explain in Plain Simple Terms "Structured". So does that mean if We Do not set Lights out it is Not "Structured"? Is It "Structured' with set meals times vs..you eat when you get Hungry?


If A Tiger/Wolf/Bear Den wants to go out and Camp and Earn Fishing Belt loop they Can't..But They Can when the Pack does it

If a Tiger/Wolf/Bear Den wants to Go Camping and earn hiking Belt Loop they Can't but as a Pack they Could


However if Each Individual Family happens to rent Camping Space from a Local Council on the Same Date...They could also, why because Scouts earn Belt loops and Sports Pins because A Parent can say they meet the RequirementRequirements for the Fishing Belt Loop Complete these three requirements:

Review your local fishing regulations with your leader or adult partner.

Explain why they are important, and commit to following them.

Demonstrate how to properly bait a hook.

Try to catch a fish.


This just plain stupid..BSA is regulating itself into declining membership and failure..


Scouts Joins scouting to have fun but quit when They Can't


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"Family " camping vs "Scout" camping vs "Personal" camping.


As a Scout leader, I take training so I can do it Safely and in an organized manner. The training helps me to see and realize problems and possible dangers before they might occur. That's why the PTB make up the Guidelines and Rules. The precautions are well thought out and will be found to be good ones.

With that training under my belt (maybe that's why they have extra buckle holes), I often find myself helping others: noting the need for a "designated" parent/lifeguard at the backyard pool party (no one thought of it), or the friend that wants to plink cans in his BIG back field with a BBgun (everyone shoot from the same place and wait their turn, and LOOK for others coming near).

And when the kids learn the safe way to do things, much heart ache and pain can be avoided. You make the kid aware of the responsibility he /she has taken on with the activity and there is a new attitude, a new idea has taken hold of the boy/girl. They come away with a new maturity, discipline and pride of "doing it right".

But for someone to actively try and make a Cub activity look like it's not a Cub activity, no, uh-huh, can't do that. It either is or it isn't. And even if it isn't, the activity can only benefit from a Scout trained presence.

Make sure that parent goes and takes the Shooting Sports Training. May well open his/her eyes.

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