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King Ding Dong

How does your troop manage lights out ?

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I have never understood Boy Scout Camp. Taps at 11:00 p.m, up at 7:00 a.m. Many years ago, when my son was a 1st yr. scout, he went to Boy Scout Camp for 6 days. I picked him up at camp on Saturday, and he talked my ear off for about 10 minutes. He slept the rest of the way back home. He was exhausted! Scouts, especially young scouts, need a lot more sleep than 8 hours.

 

Our troop decided about 10 years ago, that taps would be at 10, not at 11:00. Scouts are not dumb; they know they need their sleep.

 

Several years ago, I was a Provisional Scoutmaster for 40 scouts in a Boy Scout Camp. Taps was at 11:00, but my group went to bed at 10:00. I never had a problems with the scouts. After the 1 night, they were glad to get the extra sleep.

 

today, I do a lot of wilderness camping with small group of scouts. Going to bed is never a problem; the bugs usually drive everyone in by 9:30. Also, everyone is so tired after the 1st night (especially me), that we have not stay up to see the stars in about 5 years (one of my favorite things). Some days we are up at 6:00 a.m. if we have somewhere to go to. Some days we take it easy, and the scouts sleep in to 9:00 a.m. I have had several adults tell me, that the only time they get any sleep, is when they go camping with us!

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typically for a troop campout:

 

after supper there's free time

cracker barrel

evening program (campfire, skit/song by each patrol)

a few group songs

chaplain aide leads evening prayer

boys go to tents and settle in - adults hang by campfire about 30 minutes

adult yells out "night boys" and by the time leader is settled in to sleep the boys are to be quiet.

 

maybe 2 times a year another reminder is needed.

 

if at a campground where others are camping adults go in a bit before the time that is listed for quiet time based on campground rules so the boys are already settling in by then. If out on our own then it's not a set time it's really based on the boys. Our group is almost always wore out and ready to sleep by 10. If I had a group that couldn't then I'd be serious about the PLC scheduling some more active activities.

 

Of course we also stress to the boys that the adults come because they enjoy it and if they don't they'll quit coming and if we don't have adults then we can't do these things... so the boys work hard to make sure the adults enjoy the campouts.

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I have never understood Boy Scout Camp. Taps at 11:00 p.m, up at 7:00 a.m. Many years ago, when my son was a 1st yr. scout, he went to Boy Scout Camp for 6 days. I picked him up at camp on Saturday, and he talked my ear off for about 10 minutes. He slept the rest of the way back home. He was exhausted! Scouts, especially young scouts, need a lot more sleep than 8 hours.

 

Our troop decided about 10 years ago, that taps would be at 10, not at 11:00. Scouts are not dumb; they know they need their sleep.

 

Several years ago, I was a Provisional Scoutmaster for 40 scouts in a Boy Scout Camp. Taps was at 11:00, but my group went to bed at 10:00. I never had a problems with the scouts. After the 1 night, they were glad to get the extra sleep.

 

today, I do a lot of wilderness camping with small group of scouts. Going to bed is never a problem; the bugs usually drive everyone in by 9:30. Also, everyone is so tired after the 1st night (especially me), that we have not stay up to see the stars in about 5 years (one of my favorite things). Some days we are up at 6:00 a.m. if we have somewhere to go to. Some days we take it easy, and the scouts sleep in to 9:00 a.m. I have had several adults tell me, that the only time they get any sleep, is when they go camping with us!

Actually, I have never been to a scout camp where taps was later than 10PM. Now troop quiet time may be later for some; but not for us. We expect everyone to be quiet no later than 10:30, a half hour after taps. Usually do not have too much trouble anyway after the first night, as they are too tired to stay up.

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How many Scouts per tent? Typically, more Scouts in a tent = more chit chat at lights out.
We strongly discourage 3+ in a tent. Everytime we relent it seems we regret it. 1-2 to a tent. And we make the tents spread out--no tent ghettos. All it takes one chatty guy.

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"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."

 

I did this exact same thing. It was four new scouts excited on their first night of summer camp. Our adults don't camp with the boys, even at summer camp, so these boys had to be pretty loud to keep me up. I don't like to yell. I don' t yell. I quietly asked them to get dressed for a hike. We walked about mile talking about this and that, then went back to bed. Our troop's program typically wears the scouts out. They are dead by 10:00 pm. We don't mind scouts whispering with excitement, In fact, I kind of like it because my tent partner and I solved many of the worlds problems in our tent when I was a scout. But when they can't live by the scout law, the SPL is held responsible to solve the problem. The only reason I didn't bother the SPL at summer camp was we had a long hard day and he was whipped. So I handled that one. But, if your guys are still restless after a long day, you might consider that the scouts aren't planning enough program. Add a game of Capture the Flag somewhere in there to finish them off. Also campfires intentionally mellow scouts down. Campfire followed by a cracker barrow is almost like a sleeping pill. We don't plan Webelos weekends, we just include them in our normal campouts. We wore out 18 Webelos families one year on a campout. They were so beat by Sunday morning, they left after breakfast. I thought we would never see them again, but we crossed over 18 new scouts two months later because once the soreness wore off, they realized they had a blast. Barry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So why are adults worried about lights out????

 

It is the boys program if they want to say up till 1am and then get up at 6 am to make the 7am rafting departure I am good with that.....

 

 

They will learn....

 

Especially if they miss their trip. When expensive outings are involved I will go kick the tent of the spl to get him moving....that is all

 

 

If we adults keep intervening they will never learn to self regulate.

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They can stay up all night as far as I'm concerned. They are expected to be at flags, participate in the program, and be packed up, ready to go on Sunday at a predetermined time. They are expected to live the Scout Oath and Law. Every meal they choose to eat requires protein. Other than that, it's up to the PL. So, if they can't wake up in time Saturday morning then, gee, no time for breakfast because they need to be at flags. That happens once and then they realize they need to get up, which means they need to go to sleep, .... I'm no longer responsible for nagging kids and they can figure it out themselves. win-win.

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They can stay up all night as far as I'm concerned. They are expected to be at flags, participate in the program, and be packed up, ready to go on Sunday at a predetermined time. They are expected to live the Scout Oath and Law. Every meal they choose to eat requires protein. Other than that, it's up to the PL. So, if they can't wake up in time Saturday morning then, gee, no time for breakfast because they need to be at flags. That happens once and then they realize they need to get up, which means they need to go to sleep, .... I'm no longer responsible for nagging kids and they can figure it out themselves. win-win.
Our troop follows the same policy and I'm curious Matt, do your scouts pretty much go to their tents at the same time like ours? It just seems that when they are ready, they all go to bed. And it is usually before the adults.

 

Like Matt, I believe "time" is the best motivator of discipline. This is why I ask for an agenda from the SPL before we leave on the camp outs.

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They can stay up all night as far as I'm concerned. They are expected to be at flags, participate in the program, and be packed up, ready to go on Sunday at a predetermined time. They are expected to live the Scout Oath and Law. Every meal they choose to eat requires protein. Other than that, it's up to the PL. So, if they can't wake up in time Saturday morning then, gee, no time for breakfast because they need to be at flags. That happens once and then they realize they need to get up, which means they need to go to sleep, .... I'm no longer responsible for nagging kids and they can figure it out themselves. win-win.
Nope, they go to bed when they're tired, and after the first night that's usually before any official light's out or the adults. The younger kids tend to go to sleep earlier. By 10 the SPL and PLs go around and check that everyone is in their tents. So I guess it's not a lights out rule so much as a be in your tent rule so we know there aren't any lost scouts.

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So why are adults worried about lights out????

 

It is the boys program if they want to say up till 1am and then get up at 6 am to make the 7am rafting departure I am good with that.....

 

 

They will learn....

 

Especially if they miss their trip. When expensive outings are involved I will go kick the tent of the spl to get him moving....that is all

 

 

If we adults keep intervening they will never learn to self regulate.

Exactly. In our troop, we only wake up the SPL (if he's not already awake, that is). The SM tells the SPL about the external schedule, the SPL implements it. Otherwise, its the SPLs call.

 

The only provision is that they be quiet enough for people to sleep.

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I don't care if you go to sleep or not. Just be quiet so those who want to may.
This. Exactly. As long as it is not too obnoxious or loud, stay up all you. Plus it's more fun to wake them up when you know they've been up later...

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I can never sleep, anyway, and I learn a lot more about them from the whispered conversations, so as long as their volume isn't keeping other people up, big whoop.

 

I did listen to some yarns from a man who'd been SM for close to 40 years; one he told was one night the troop was just wild (pranks, yelling, whole nine yards) so he rousted them back out of their tents, and announced they were going for a hike, 5 miles up the mountain and back. They filed back into camp about 6:30 AM just in time for breakfast (summer camp). That was in the 1950s, the legend was good enough to hold the troop til he retired in the late 80s.

Probably be arrested for that now, but you could try it. ;)

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