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Does your troop sleep on cots?

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Does your troop sleep on cots?

 

I was on site for the last roundtable, but in an OA meeting, so wasn’t aware of what the program topics were. I’m the former SM of our district’s largest troop, and am still involved as UC for our Charter Org, and since my change in responsibilities don’t always attend the Boy Scout Roundtable. My wife, who is the troop’s ASM adviser for the first year scout patrol, had attended the boy scout roundtable program. My son, who was also with us, is a Den Chief and Lodge Officer, so bounces back and forth between the Cub Roundtables, and Chapter meetings.

 

While we’re driving home we started discussing what was covered in the various programs. After my son and I made a few comments, I could tell be the look on my wife’s face something was bothering her. After a few moments she blurted out, “Our Skill was how to effectively use cots on winter camp outsâ€Â; I literally choked on my coffee; but my son rescued me saying “Did you go to the Girl Scout meeting my mistake?â€Â. My wife went on to explain she had questioned if this presentation was for cabin camping, or “Winter Camp†a summer camp like program, put on in the winter, with traditional canvas wall tents and cots, but was told, “no, why do you ask?â€Â. As discussion progressed it became clear that all the troops present, except two, always sleep on cots, in tents, even on weekend camp outs. When asked how they handled this if they had to hike into a camp site, the response was we don’t camp in placed like this. I agree with my son, I did see this in the decade I was a GSA volunteer, but not over my 25 years with BSA.

 

Is it just me, or is this just ridiculous? Will scouts be packing Xboxes, and leaders pulling RV’s next? I for one see scouting as a thing of the outdoors, where you rough it, making sacrifices of comfort to get to places where you don’t find retiree’s camped with 20 foot travel trailers, and we should be constantly training and preparing for true scout camping.

 

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Slightly off topic but, way to reinforce sexism.

 

I've never known Girl Scouts to sleep on cots unless they were using them in the big platform tents, where they were provided, or cabins. We prohibited them in our last Overseas Committee from being in our tents due to wear and tear. I didn't sleep on a cot in a tent until I was around 40.

 

Love to meet these GSA volunteers since I'm a GSUSA member.

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Are the tents that they use packed in by mules/oxen and set-up? Do they have potbellied stoves inside? I am thinking that it's a MASH Unit like I saw on MASH!

 

All I can say is that if they are camping in tents with Cots, their undersides will be COLD!. I can see Cots in Cabins/Yurts or something like that.

 

While this style of "car camping" is fine, it does not give the entire experince of being OUTDOORS as what the BSA is trying to provide. I would not fault the Scouts since they generally follow what was done before. Also the Adults have a lot to do with it if it's an Adult Led Troop. Hopefully, a SPL or Patrol will look into trying something different.

 

I wonder if those Troops who Car Camp even know about the 50 miler?

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Thank you for the morning chuckle

 

Never knew that camping on a cot took any skill other than setting it up.

 

The only time our troop uses cots is at summer camp and they provide them.

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When I first got involved with our troop (about 30 years ago), they never went to any place they could not drive into. They had a large hot water heater, that rode on the tongue of the troop trailer. Two men had to carry it empty. They would keep a fire going under it all day. When you needed hot water, you pore cold water in the top, and hot water would come out on the side. If was really, kind of neat.

 

The first campout I went on with the troop, all they did was eat and wash dishes. They would get the last scout done washing his mess kit, and then, start cooking the next meal. After dinner, they got the dutch ovens out to cook some cobbler. "How about we use paper plates", I suggested. "Oh no, we can not do that!"

 

Even back then, as far as I know, no one sleep on cots. At Camporee, there were some RVs from other troops. They said that was the only way they could get the adults to come!

 

Now days, our scouts (and adults) still do not sleep on cots (except at one summer camp we go to). About the only time we use the troop trailer, is for Tenderfoot Weekend, and summer camps. When we are not backpacking or canoeing into a campsite, we do use paper plates. Scouts that do not have KP, have to wash their own silverware and mug. The emphasis is on getting out of the campsite and seeing the sites. We usually take a trail lunch with us, and eat on the trail. I cannot remember when we ate lunch at our campsite.

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Although I don’t want to get the discussion of topic, I felt the need to respond.

 

My intent was not to slight GSA; I was just pointing out a difference in the traditional programs of each organization. My involvement with GSA was between 1990 and 2002. The troop GSA troop in question disbanded fourteen years ago, and to my knowledge the adult leaders are no longer active. I can, and should you still be interested, will, provide the details on the Troop as a personal message.

 

I can’t speak for other GSA Troops, but know about how this operated. This troop strongly favored social activities, with the only regular events, summer camp aside, being a sock hop, a formal dance, and yearly trip to the local amusement park. Outside of summer camp, I can only remember two times the troop actually camped, once in cabins with bunks, the other time in rv’s owned by parents.

 

I tried, as a parent, co-leader, and later member of the parent committee, to get the troop to invest in camping gear. My suggestion to invest in camping gear was essentially taken as a joke, and when the group realized I was in earnest, met with anger. I was told, under no uncertain terms, all funds the troop raised were to be used for a Big Trip to Disney World, and I had no place trying to disrupt this plan.

 

To the kids credit, they did got to Disney World, although the youth had no input in planning the trip. I’m still entirely unsure how Disney World has anything to do with scouting, but that’s water under the bridge. I assume by your response not all Girl Scout Troops are like this, and this is encouraging.

 

If there are Girl Scout leaders out there running quality outdoor programs, I apologize to you, and support what you’re doing with all my heart.

 

I still want to hear what troops use cots; something that apparently the Girl Scouts no longer allow; good choice GSA! Cots are in fact rough on tents, but also just not conducive to scout camping.

 

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OOE - If most troops at your roundtable sleep on cots, have you ever noted this when at a camporee near them? It does seem strange, because it does limit where you camp. I would imagine these troops do not backpack.

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Thank you for the morning chuckle

 

Never knew that camping on a cot took any skill other than setting it up.

 

The only time our troop uses cots is at summer camp and they provide them.

Maybe for winter camping you need to teach people not to lick the cot's aluminum poles. That's is, if they've been left out of the heated trailor for any length of time. ;)

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I hear ya Moose. one of the reason's I reacted is because this is news to me. I've been part of this district for a long time. I just took off the SM hat, but prior to putting it on, I was ADC in charge of Roundtables, and only knew of one unit who did this sort of thing. I find it strange that things have shifted so much in three years.

 

Our troop strictly prohibits cots, and air mattresses. Heck, this past year at summer camp our guys even choose not to use cots. Typically Our scouts use the ultra thin Thermarest type pads, yoga mats, or just a ground cloth.

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Although I don’t want to get the discussion of topic, I felt the need to respond.

 

My intent was not to slight GSA; I was just pointing out a difference in the traditional programs of each organization. My involvement with GSA was between 1990 and 2002. The troop GSA troop in question disbanded fourteen years ago, and to my knowledge the adult leaders are no longer active. I can, and should you still be interested, will, provide the details on the Troop as a personal message.

 

I can’t speak for other GSA Troops, but know about how this operated. This troop strongly favored social activities, with the only regular events, summer camp aside, being a sock hop, a formal dance, and yearly trip to the local amusement park. Outside of summer camp, I can only remember two times the troop actually camped, once in cabins with bunks, the other time in rv’s owned by parents.

 

I tried, as a parent, co-leader, and later member of the parent committee, to get the troop to invest in camping gear. My suggestion to invest in camping gear was essentially taken as a joke, and when the group realized I was in earnest, met with anger. I was told, under no uncertain terms, all funds the troop raised were to be used for a Big Trip to Disney World, and I had no place trying to disrupt this plan.

 

To the kids credit, they did got to Disney World, although the youth had no input in planning the trip. I’m still entirely unsure how Disney World has anything to do with scouting, but that’s water under the bridge. I assume by your response not all Girl Scout Troops are like this, and this is encouraging.

 

If there are Girl Scout leaders out there running quality outdoor programs, I apologize to you, and support what you’re doing with all my heart.

 

I still want to hear what troops use cots; something that apparently the Girl Scouts no longer allow; good choice GSA! Cots are in fact rough on tents, but also just not conducive to scout camping.

Just as an aside - part of what Nike was trying to make a point on was that there is no such organization as GSA - just as there is no such organization as BSUSA. The organizations are Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA), and Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Using the correct terminology helps to lend credence to your comments on the program.

 

Comparing GSUSA, and BSA, is also not a very useful thing to do. It is rather like comparing apples, and pineapples.

 

GSUSA Troops are usually very different from one another. They are only as adventurous as their leaders (first), and their girls. Our GSUSA Troop never slept in cots. They did, however, sleep on wooden bunks in various youth camping cabins. They also cabin camped on mats on the floor, and tent camped using sleeping mats. It pretty much depended on where they were camping at the time. Once they even camped in bunks on a caboose (after one night they pitched their tents because they were warmer!).

 

Sorry your GSUSA experience was limited to dances, and amusement parks!

 

BTW - my Girl Scouts are now 28 years old so they were camping with GSUSA from 1991-2003.

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When my son's Troop did Winter camping, son would typically use the same set up he used in any hike-in campout. That included a flat, closed cell, sleeping pad, and a foam pad topper. When he had more room in the tent he would pack his twin size air mattress, with battery operated pump. It rolled up into a fairly small size and did not take much more room in his pack (an old army bag) than his sleeping mats. He did not use his air mattress for Winter camping.

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We have some physically beat up old Scouters use an air mattress or cot for base-camping but they are usually 50+ Boys who try it are usually widely mocked.

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It's always the new adults that bring a cot or air mattress. They fear the idea of sleeping on the ground with something thin under you.

 

I usually share early and I am almost always rejected when I let them know they will be cold unless they put a closed cel padl or something as an insulating layer between their cot and their sleeping bag. They always listen on the 2nd night. I've noticed that trend for about the last six years. People can't believe that the cot will actually make it harder to stay warm.

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We used cots when car camping in the late 70s / early 80s - mainly due to bottomless tents and lots of rain in Oklahoma. A cot helped ensure a dry sleeping bag in the rain, and was cooler in the summer months. I remember need help to stretch out the canvas on my cot to get it to work though (I was a scrawny little Scout).

 

I don't see how they would work with a standard 7x7 or 8x8 footprint tent our Troop uses though - your face would be up against the nylon.

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Like many folks have noted my unit used cots at summer camp. I used a cot at SummitCorp in 2011 because I figured a good nights sleep was important when you were spending your days swinging a hoe or a mattock. I've used a cot at OA weekends for the same reason. Used one at Jambo (2013 and 1977). Almost never use one on a regular troop outing. Didn't use one in the Boundary Waters. Don't use one when we backpack. Never use one when winter camping outside; sometimes use one winter camping is cabins heated by wood-stoves or the like. I believe in using the right gear for the situation and the goal of the outing. Sometimes cots are the right gear, sometimes not. If a unit's program is being limited by the use of cots then that is a problem.

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