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SMT376Richmond KY

Younger brothers attending camp outs

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Hi again, I cant find any reference to this in the archieves so I thought I'd ask here. In preparing for our next camp out next Friday, Sept 19. The mom of one of the boys at Mondays Troop meeting commented "I might come along this time." Of course I told her that was no problem she was welcome to join us anytime.

 

Now the problem, after the boys finished the compass course I had sent up at our meeting hall. This one boys younger brother 5 or 6 yrs old follwed his older brother into the Scout building. Of course the sibling rivarly between a obeese 11 year old and his not so smaller 5 or 6 year old brother started as the Scout tried to prevent the litle guy access to our building.

 

Of course the Scoutmasters seperated the two and we asked the younger to go back downstaris to join his mother or have her come in the meeting to observe it. You could hear mom outside calling for the lil lad to come back. We also took the opportunity to instruct the Scout on how better to handle this type of situation in a helpful, friendly, couteous, and kind manner with his younger brother.

 

Here is my delema, if mom comes on the camp out and brings junior (which I believe may indeed happen). Myself and the ASM's think it would be disruptive to not only to the brother of this energetic young boy but to the others in the troop. Since given this witnessed scene between the two brothers and the abusive behavior this younger boy has shown our other Scouts (he constantly is hiting on them and kicking etc. The Scouts do the right thing and ask his mom to call for him and do not retaliate)this occurs after meetings have ended and the boys are playing in the yard awaiting pick ups.

 

Also, we have invited the Webelos Den from the Pack and several other non Scouts as a recruiting goal. We do not want a bad situation to occur at the camp out and perhaps drive potential recruits away.

 

I was considering informing mom at next Mondays meeting that she or her husband is more than welcome to attend the camp out with her son as an observer. However, the activities of a boy scout campout are inappropriate fot the age of the young lad and the leaders think it best he does not tag along.

 

Anybody else had to do similar?

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Schedule one (or more) "family" campouts during the year. Invite Mom, 5 yr old son, Grandma, etc. to join the troop on the family campout. If she has visions of bringing 5 yr old on your campout this weekend, remind her that the family campout is scheduled for another weekend. I'd also suggest that you let it be known that campouts require a firm advance committment from boys, adult leaders, and parents. It is inconsiderate for a mom to say "maybe, I might decide to come". You need to be able to plan ahead.

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Boy scout camping is for boy scouts, not 6 year olds! Do not let this child attend. Any parent is always welcome, with advance notice, as long as they know and agree to follow the adult rules.

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CubsRgr8

I sort of agree with you. The activities and events that will be going on a that camp are for the boys in the troop or boys who are visiting that are thinking about joining the troop. The mother of the 6 year needs to be told that if she comes and brings him, she is responsible for keeping the 6 year old entertained and out of the way of the Scouts and other leaders. In todays society I do not believe you can say no to younger siblings, you just have to make sure that the parent understands that they are responsible for the siblings and that the Troop cannot modified the trips to suit their needs.

 

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This sort of thing has come up in other threads in this forum and some of the issues are rather vague. The biggest concern is the liability question. Parents need to understand that, even on a designated family event, they are totally responsible for all non scout siblings. They cannot expect the registered leaders to baby sit the younger siblings.

 

Scout activities are not appropriate for a sibling of this age. If the sibling were one of the Webelos that would be one thing, but he is not. We had situation at a rock climbing event several years ago at Joshua Tree in Southern Californnia where a well meaning dad put his very young daughter in a climbing harness. The people at the top of the climbing lane handling the belay could not see what was going. The kid safely made the climb, but she was way too small for the harness. This is the sort of thing you have to watch for and be clear about.

 

 

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I have two perspectives on this. The first is for the short term. Some parents think it would be fun to bring little six year old Johnny out on the campout, especially since he loves to hang out with his 12 year old brother. Also, that would give mom a chance to have a weekend at home alone to relax.

 

However, what a lot of parents don't realize is that the younger child won't want to hang with dad while older brother is off doing Scout stuff. We've had parents bring younger siblings along and it ended up slowing down the hike or activity. Also, the little ones tend to want to be right in on the action and have a chance to get hurt. The only reason I see for a parent to need to bring along a younger sibling is in case the troop must have that adult for two deep leadership and that same adult has no other options for the weekend (neighbors, friends, grandparents, etc.) One younger sibling in camp may not be a big hassle, but three or four could get pretty crazy.

 

That brings me to my second point. There is also a long term perspective to a younger sibling joining the troop too early (meaning they go on activities before they are old enough to register in the troop). One of our Eagle Scouts had two older brothers in the troop. He started coming on a couple of campouts a year starting at age five. Some of the campouts he was there because his parents had to be the two deep leadership or the campout was cancelled (I was off at college back then and not very active).

 

By the age of nine, he was attending about half a dozen campouts a year and was like a regular troop member. He was never a problem and the scouts liked having him around. When he formally joined the troop at eleven, it was kind of weird. Of course, he shot through the ranks, had his life before turning 13 and got his Eagle at 15 1/2. He really enjoyed Scouting and did pretty much everything a Scout could do before he turned 16.

 

He just turned 17 and hasn't been around for six months. For the year before that, he was around sporadically and seemed very bored. By the time he turn sixteen, he had basically been a "member" of the troop for seven years (like a normal Scout would be at 18) and had pretty much done it all. Now, although he enjoyed his Scouting career, he's pretty much burned out on it and ready to move on.

 

Having a younger sibling that is Webelo age isn't a bad idea once or twice a year if the activity is appropriate for that age. That will help wet their appetite for Scouts and maybe get them to get a couple of their friends to join as well when they get to the right age. However, Scout camp should not be a day care center.

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BSA doesn't stand for Baby Sitters of America! No little brothers (under Boy Scout age) on campouts!

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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I now I am fanning the fire here, but I am a Scoutmaster my children are 6, 4, and 2. I have taken my two older boys on several campouts with me. I always take into serious consideration the activity and if they will be getting in the way, if they will I leave them home. I have taken my 6 year old on two Snow Camping Trips and last year was the first time for the 4 year old.

 

I know some of you may be critical of my decision but many of the troops outings if I dont go they dont happen. I am a father/husband first there is only so many times a year I will go out for a weekend without my boys or leave my wife to fend for herself while I am off having a great time. I have made this very clear to the Troop Leaders and they all support me. My boys are very well behaved and the activities I take them on are ones that they wont be in the way and I am able to keep my eye on them with out neglecting the program.

 

So I say if the non scout siblings are constantly a problem and disruption excluding them from further outings may be called for but be sensitive to the family, it could be that the parent wants to be more involved but cant unless he/she brings the sibling along. Maybe a sincere sit down is required to see the needs of the family and how the troop can help.

(This message has been edited by johnsned)

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Have to admit to not being over keen on taking little guys/gals to Boy Scout camp outs.

Maybe I'm just old and set in my ways.

Still when I look at the way Philmont conference center works, I see that it can be done.

These little people ought not be doing the same stuff that the big guys are doing, so if they have to be there why not bring someone to take care of them?

Yes take the wife and no one if left fending and everyone is having a good time.

Eamonn

(Of course I only had the one son, so it is easy for me to talk!!)

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When we Cubs camp, it is always family camping, but the rules clearly require us to have age-appropriate activities if younger siblings are along. If the weekend is a camp-craft sort of event and the little guy can just hang around the tent under mom's supervision, that's one thing. But on hikes or other events where he interfers or hinders the activities for the Scouts, he needs to stay home.

 

This is waaaay off topic, but I'd like to comment on Chippawa's story. I thought you were going to say that the kid starting "Scouting" at age five with his brothers, but burned out by age 12. But this kid's been all the way through the program, made Eagle and now at 17 he's tapering off. And this is a bad thing? Is his Scouting career less that successful simply because we didn't have to throw him out, kicking and screaming, at age 18?

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National discourages younger kids on outings: If a well-meaning leader brings along a child who does not meet these age guidelines, disservice is done to the unit because of distractions often caused by younger children. A disservice is also done to the child, who is not trained to participate in such an activity and who, as a nonmember of the group, may be ignored by the older campers. Guide to Safe Scouting. It also sends mixed messages to younger boys. Many activities in G2SS are not allowed to cub aged boys and if allowed places the charter of the unit in jeopardy.

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I would like to comment on Chippewa's story also. I had a boss once who was a BSA leader. He took his son on camping trips, including a 50 miler at age 8. Kid had a great time, was no problem etc. However, when he turned 11, he had no interest at all in joining the Troop. Said that he had done everything. Father was heartbroken.

 

It's important to remember that for kids, camping is the excitment and is much of Scouting. However, we adults know that camping is the lure that gets the kid to stay around for the citizenship and character training. More than once, I have heard "No boy joins Scouting to have his character improved."

 

The problem is that boys younger than 11 certainly can physically, and in some cases mentally, handle Scout camping. However, if we burn out the lure, then they won't have reason to stay around for the citizenship and character training and boy leadership which really does require age 11 or older in most cases.

 

I would also comment here that the case listed was not just a 6 year old, but a 6 year old who appeared to cause some problems for some Troop members. Scouting is supposed to be fun for the members. Allowing this 6 year old to come along may spoil some of the fun for the Troop members. If the Troop does that very much, attendance and participation may well suffer.

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I agree with Neillup. I grew up in an active scouting family. Dad was Cubmaster and Scoutmaster, mom was active, and I had one little brother, 7 years younger. He came to all the Pack Meetings and some campouts. When it was time for him to sign up for Cubs and later Scouts, he said "WHY? I've done all that already". And he never did join. BSA has age limits for a reason. Let's follow them.

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As a scout leader trainer one thing that I would like to think every adult listened to during training is that no two kids are alike. I can understand the urge to to say that no child belongs on a troop campout that isn't a boy scout, I would hope that a good leader would take the time to ask some questions, evelauate the situation and then make a scout-like decision.

 

I do think that the activity of the campout should only be for the scouts unless they themselves choose to involve the sibbling in an appropriate way. But I can see perfectly legitimate circumstances where a parent would bring a sibling and take full responsibility for them while on the outing, while keeping them otherwise entertained while the patrols did their activities. I can see a parent with limited weekend opportunities wanting to spend time with more than one child at a time in a positive environment and relaxing in the outdoors, as well as enjoying the fellowship of scouters.

 

So should a sibling come along? It depends. Talk to me about the specifics and then ask me to decide.

 

Bob White

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Probably the most egregious incident of underage youth, in this case girls, on an outing of which I am aware took place several years ago with our troop in Southern California. That troop almost always did a major outing over spring break. I did not go that year, but my oldest son, then a pretty new scout himself, participated. The outing was a canoe trip on the Colorado below Hoover Dam, going downstream about 25 miles. There was a shortage of adult participants. The adult leader in charge was experienced and capable. The dad who agreed to go to make up the necessary adult headcount, showed up on the morning of departure with his little daughter, about age 8 or 10, and her little friend, fully expecting them to participate. The adult in charge acquiesced in this because otherwise there would have been no outing.

 

Most of the time one encounters a great deal of headwind on that route that time of year. These girls could not handle it and were clear liabilities to the outing. Everybody finished, but there were a lot of complaints. If I had been in charge I simply would have canceled the outing, rather than take two extra non scout kids along on an event I knew they would not be able to handle. But then, that's me...

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