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King Ding Dong

How does your troop manage lights out ?

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Lights out time has been a problem for our troop. Lights go out at maybe 11:00 (to late in my opinion) but the chatter continues can take another half hour of adults telling the boys to be quite to settle them down. The SPL seems to be one of the worst offenders as well. No discipline no consequences. Well there are consequences for my son as he is a 10 hour a night kid and if he doesn't get them he does not do well and has had several meltdowns on Sunday mornings which I am certain are from lack of sleep (probably less than 8 hours). After a full day of activities he could probably use more than 10. The troop we visited last October did not have this problem, they boys just went to bed, no adults hounding them and no constant chatter.

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How does the programme work on your camps?

 

The reason I ask is a bit of biology..... if you go to bed straight away after being very active your metabolism will still be very high. So you get into bed and you find yourself wide awake. So if there is a wide game or a noisy camp fire then the scouts go straight to bed afterwards they simply won't settle for at least half an hour.

 

We try to make a point of there being some quiet time before bed. So on a troop camp whatever the evening programme has been we will finish up with half an hour or so sat round the camp fire with a hot drink or toasting some marshmellows before bed, importantly that's regardless of how late it is. Even if we have been at a jamboree type event and they have been to some kind of entertainment that has gone on till late we will give them some time to sit down and chill out and slow down before they go to bed. As a general rule after slowing down like that they want to go to bed as well. So off they go and out like a light!

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How does the programme work on your camps?

 

The reason I ask is a bit of biology..... if you go to bed straight away after being very active your metabolism will still be very high. So you get into bed and you find yourself wide awake. So if there is a wide game or a noisy camp fire then the scouts go straight to bed afterwards they simply won't settle for at least half an hour.

 

We try to make a point of there being some quiet time before bed. So on a troop camp whatever the evening programme has been we will finish up with half an hour or so sat round the camp fire with a hot drink or toasting some marshmellows before bed, importantly that's regardless of how late it is. Even if we have been at a jamboree type event and they have been to some kind of entertainment that has gone on till late we will give them some time to sit down and chill out and slow down before they go to bed. As a general rule after slowing down like that they want to go to bed as well. So off they go and out like a light!

9:00 is Cracker Barrel and then they usually sit around the campfire playing some game called "mafia". Usually led by one of the older scouts. It is a calm game, though I can't really figure it out.

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I second Cambridge's observation. Allowance has to be made for previous activity and such. That is one reason for the usual design of the classic Camporee campfire program: Welcome (ceremonial lighting, introductions, fun skit), songs, cheers, skits, laughs, awards (few and short!!) if any, more skits, songs jokes, then a ghost story or indian tale, something more somber (flag retirement? or ash lore), then "Scout vespers" or sing taps. Walk home and secure camp, quiet time enforced. Younger boys to tent, older venturers quiet around the dying embers, rule is no more wood. You let the fire die, but someone has to be there to watch. Astronomy class?

 

Reveille is the same for all, no exceptions. If you are tired, how can we learn from this? Does your camp have a night watch? Old timers that keep watch for ... ? Who knows what?

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Friday night is always worse than Saturday especially for the newbies. We use 10pm for the younger guys and 11pm for the older ones. That way the older guys pressure the younger guys to get in the tents and pipe down. Cracker Barrel Friday night seems to help.

 

Actually a lot of the High Schoolers seem so burn't out from school they want to use the campouts to catch up on sleep.

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I second Cambridge's observation. Allowance has to be made for previous activity and such. That is one reason for the usual design of the classic Camporee campfire program: Welcome (ceremonial lighting, introductions, fun skit), songs, cheers, skits, laughs, awards (few and short!!) if any, more skits, songs jokes, then a ghost story or indian tale, something more somber (flag retirement? or ash lore), then "Scout vespers" or sing taps. Walk home and secure camp, quiet time enforced. Younger boys to tent, older venturers quiet around the dying embers, rule is no more wood. You let the fire die, but someone has to be there to watch. Astronomy class?

 

Reveille is the same for all, no exceptions. If you are tired, how can we learn from this? Does your camp have a night watch? Old timers that keep watch for ... ? Who knows what?

Our troop doesn't sing. Ever. SM not into that.

 

Can you expand on "quite time enforced". How is it enforced and who enforces it ?

 

There is no night watch. We just stay awake until until they quite down, usually takes a dozen or so requests from one of the adults. The SM can sleep and saw in no time. I am IH and "asst. CC" so am a bit uncomfortable taking a direct role in enforcement. But I feel there does need to be enforcement, just looking for ideas of how this is handled because this group dos not like to sleep.

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Friday night is always worse than Saturday especially for the newbies. We use 10pm for the younger guys and 11pm for the older ones. That way the older guys pressure the younger guys to get in the tents and pipe down. Cracker Barrel Friday night seems to help.

 

Actually a lot of the High Schoolers seem so burn't out from school they want to use the campouts to catch up on sleep.

Young troop maybe one freshman. The older ones seem to be the worst offenders.

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We try to make sure there is as little to do after 10 as possible. That helps. My kids always needed more sleep, so they got short shrift. Worse, unlike me, they have yet to master power naps. :( They've all learned that lack of sleep will not be countenanced as an excuse for bad behavior.

 

Being in venturing just aggravates that. (Most young ladies who I know are owls.) Son #2, at least, has no qualms about introverting in the midst of a crowd, curling up, and sleeping by the fire on the ground be it ever so wet.

 

So while with the troop, lights out is pretty hard-and-fast, with the crew, good-night-time is always a negotiation. You tell me when you will go to bed. I nap. Then while my chaperons are zipping their tents I hike out and hold the youth to their GNT. After everyone has settled, I then spend a few minutes debating whether to set up my tent or find a picnic table. It's impressive how few youth want to stay up when I'm out there talking to myself. :)

 

Good morning time is set by the needs of the day. Breakfast waits for nobody. It is not saved for sleepers-in. The youth learn quickly that their suffering is no concern of mine, they are best served by working hard, playing hard, and sleeping well.

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How many Scouts per tent? Typically, more Scouts in a tent = more chit chat at lights out.
I find more than 2 to be noisy.

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How many Scouts per tent? Typically, more Scouts in a tent = more chit chat at lights out.
We stick to 4 person tents. 4 scouts per tent in winter and 3 scouts in summer.

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Reveille. I tell my boys I can't fall asleep very well. I also let them know I'm up at 5:00 am. If I wake up grumpy, so do they. :)

 

I also discuss not only physical pollution, but also light and sound pollution. LNT means don't be scaring every living thing within 5 miles of camp.

 

My boys generally are pretty good about lights out and respect those scouts, including SM that retires early. If the boys do wake me up and I have to "yell" at them, it's pretty much everything I taught goes out the window. If some of the older boys are sitting around the campfire and I want to turn in, I just get a commitment from them to keep the noise down and make sure the fire is out before they head to bed. It's never been a problem in the 30 years of camping.

 

Stosh

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I don't mind if the scouts whisper to each other for a while after taps, as long as they don't disturb the scouts who want to sleep.

 

Only had one real problem campout, a tent of four scouts had three sugar hyped, mountain dewed, chatterboxes who were still going strong at midnight despite repeated calls to shut up from other scouts and adults,

 

About quarter to one the SM got up, got dressed, walked to the noisy tent and announced a three scout night hike starting now!

The three scouts walked a mile out of camp then back as the SM followed them in his car keeping them in his headlights.

 

He told them next time it would be two miles, if that didn't work he could try four.

 

camp was very still and silent after taps for months afterward

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