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Electronics use during Venturing functions

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I'm sorry if this topic sounds nit-picky, but a situation rose this weekend and it's time for me to do my homework...


I'm a Crew Advisor for Venturing Crew that's about a year old. We were at a Council sponsored event, and we had two youth with us as guests, who are possible members.


As any adult that's come up through Scouting (I started as my son's Tiger Cub Den Leader), the rule of "no electronics" has always been present. Sure, accommodations can and have been made through the years, but it's always gone without saying, "use your phones and your .mp3 players, etc during the trip, but not during the function".


I've had a modified version of that (since my son is special needs and uses his .mp3 player to play ocean music to fall asleep by)... We've said "as long as it's personal down time, in tents etc, it's okay..."


But this past weekend, one of the female youth guests texted on and off all weekend, which two of her friends (members) took that ball and they did it as well. We told them more than once to put their phone away.


We've decided that this issue needs go to into our ByLaws (which is in the works) but ... since it's Venturing, they really get to decide and I cannot find anything, anywhere in BSA that addresses personal electronics.


IS there anything, anywhere?


If these crew members actually vote that they can use personal electronics, CAN THEY? Are we adults at their mercy on this?


Help, please...

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"Put into the bylaws a law that says the program activities must be more engaging and exciting than text messaging."


HAHA excellent! Too bad this was a Council Event! I guess we'll know next time.


I agree, the activities must keep them busy enough to simply not want to sit in a huddle and text.


...and since there is nothing in the G2SS about personal electronics, then we are at their mercy :)


However, when one of the boys is walking around the function with headphones in, and another leader walks up to him and tells him to put away the electronics, how should he respond?


(again, this is the same Council Venturing/Exploring event)

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Hi and Welcome.

I was going to spin off.

We have in the past talked about electronic devices in the forum.

While not wishing to try and talk for everyone!

I kinda think we have agreed to disagree.

As I see it and Lord knows I very well might be wrong.

Some people see allowing this kind of stuff as being the end of Scouting as we know it and will never in a million years accept the argument that maybe we can find ways that we will find ways that are acceptable to everyone, that will allow these devices.

Then there are others like myself, who think that if we are going to remain viable and acceptable to the youth of the 21st century we need to be open minded to what the youth are doing.

I'll freely admit to not knowing what the big deal is about remaining in contact with everyone you have ever met 24/7 is?

But on the same hand I'm the guy who keeps his cell phone in the car and forgets that it needs to be recharged.

My son is 20 and it seems to me that him leaving the house without his cell phone is almost as unacceptable to him as me leaving the house without my underwear!

He sends ans receives as many calls and messages in an hour as I do in a week.

I buy into the idea that anyone not doing or doing something that they should be doing when they are supposed to be doing something is just wrong.

If the Crew were involved in LNT and one member was reading a book on First Aid.

This would be not what he or she should be doing.

But I'll bet no one is going to say that we need a ban on First Aid Books!

FScouter make a great point.

If we are offering activities that fully engage the youth, they are going to be too busy to want to text or call who-ever.

I think we older people?? Need to work with the youth we serve and find happy mediums.

I was really driven nuts by a female Sea Scout, who talked with her boy friend for a five hour car journey. I was driving! This resulted in my asked the QD that calls only be made at rest stops.

We have asked that people put their phones on vibrate during meetings.

Everyone knows that the Ship is not responsible for items that get lost or broken. Cell phones and electronic devices don't work well after they get wet!

They also know that I always have at least one working phone when we go anywhere and that they are welcome to use it, with no questions asked.

My big problem with these "By-laws" is that they just don't work.

As you say your son has a need for one.

When my wife was very ill I wanted my son to be able to contact me and his mother when ever he wanted.

I have had Scouts working on projects for school who have needed Internet access. The list of exceptions can get so very long as to make any rule not worth having.

t the end of the day it all comes down to respect.

We need to respect the fact that todays youth do feel the need to use these things and look for compromises.

They need to respect that there is a time and place for just about anything and that there are times when electronic devices just should be safely tucked away.

I'm sure that a group of people will now post that they will never allow these devices.

But I'll bet in 20 years time we will have found something else that kids are doing that we don't like.


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In all actuality, I sit in the middle of the road on this. This is the 21st Century and youth today connect themselves via electronics. We adults use our texting to locate each other and meet up. I've texted my daughter to double check where she wanted the Crew to meet, etc...


I've been around units that range from a parent wanting to 'report' me for letting 3 cub scouts (who arrived at a campout an hour early, and it was pouring rain) to sit in my van and watch a movie while they wait for their friends.... and a Venturing Crew meeting where all youth are required to turn off their cell phones and leave them on a table by the door...




A boy scout troop where the boys brought their X-Box to summer camp. (they never let that happen again, though!)


I don't have a problem with electronics unless they interfere with the youth's ability to "do what they're there for"


This past weekend was a Council event. As far as activities go, we were at the mercy of what had been planned. I didn't like seeing a group of 3 girls isolate themselves at every opportunity and sit in a huddle and text their friends. Getting them to put their phones away and interact was a chore.


I didn't like seeing a single male youth walking around plugged into headphones the entire weekend. I didn't like having to say his name progressively louder, in order to be heard over his music. Shouldn't there be something in G2SS about that?


We've been a Crew for a little over a year, and this is the first time it's really been an issue. We just want to try to make sure it doesn't become one again.

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"I didn't like seeing a single male youth walking around plugged into headphones the entire weekend. I didn't like having to say his name progressively louder, in order to be heard over his music. Shouldn't there be something in G2SS about that?"

Wondering what the rule might say? Or how it would be worded?


I like to think that I know the kids I serve.

So when a Lad is "Plugged in" when being "Plugged in" is not a good idea. I can in a nice way ask him to unplug.

I don't need any rules, bylaws or the like.


Maybe when it comes time to look at the next Council Venturing Event, someone from the Crew needs to let the Council know that something wasn't working?

In fact the program needs looked at because it didn't seem to hold the interest of the youth.

Maybe a competition to find out who is the fastest texter in the Council? Might fly?



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I think Eamonn may be on to something there...how about competitions where the answer has to be texted back to the Judges' table? First one in with the right answer wins. Or an orienteering course where the coordinates are sent by text.


Since this was a council event, the rules of the event should govern. Cell phones were more of a PITA for me when the troop was younger...11 and 12 year olds phoning Mommy every night and crying that they were homesick. Now that our guys are older, they all have cell phones, but we don't notice. They have learned how to be discreet.

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So we are hiking, as remotely as you can in Ohio, It is ok then to spend the hike texting and listening to the MP3 player. But then you miss the sound of water running thru the lime stone boulders, the sound of coyotes howling in the distance, the turkeys gobbling and normal banter of a group having fun. You trade that for the isolation of ear buds and brianna.


That is acceptable?????????


Of course we are talking venturing and a young lady. We have 7 year old cubs showing up with texting cell phone, very expensive ones at that. The Pack rule is you can have it, but it is off until we are on the way home from the outing or after the meeting.


We have spoke with a parent and ask her to hold on to his phone during the meeting. She proceeded to interrupt the meeting to give it to him when it rang. A 7 year old....... He is not to bring it....


How about Tiger Parents texting......50% of our tiger parents have problems texting, serious addiction. We camped in a location last fall that didn't have any coverage, you should have seen the panic. Really sad.



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In the age of NetFlix and OnDemand cable, I never get to the theatre. I just had to see Grand Torino, so I took in the matinee last week. Munching my popcorn and watching the commercials, cute animated critters come up and tell me to turn off my cell phone and refrain from talking during the feature. I'm OK with that as I shut down the phone.

Then the picture stops and an usher comes to the front of the theatre and warns us to make sure our phones are off and no text messaging during the movie. And he warned that he was going to keep coming back and checking on us to make sure. Any malfeasance will warrant ejection. During the movie, I noticed about every 30 minutes, the usher would return and walk the aisles looking for violators. I guess its come to this.

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