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mirak

Questions re organizing a den-only family campout

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My son is a Tiger Cub. A number of parents are actively involved in the Den, and we're not happy with the available council-organized summer camp options. We'd like to just organize an unofficial den-only one-night campout, parental attendance required, where we organize activities for the boys to earn a number of sport and academic belt loops. We would not utilize pack funds - the parents would each chip in for the site reservation, food, and supplies for the activities.

 

Is there any prohibition against doing this? I can't really see how, since each boy will be required to have a parent present and it's really no different than any other family campout. Thoughts?

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Welcome to the forum!

 

I shouldn't give out this advice to a newbie, BUT.....

 

Sounds like fun. I'd go for it. If council gets bent out of shape, leave the uniforms at home and go anyway.

 

Disclaimer: I get in trouble with my council all the time. After a while they quit asking "How's it going?" :)

 

Stosh

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Technically, only Cub Scout packs are allowed to camp. Only Webelos Dens are allowed to camp independently. I'd go with Stosh's advice, and treat it as a non-scouting event.

The Boy Scouts of America has established the following guidelines for its members’ participation in camping activities:

  • Overnight camping by Tiger Cub, Wolf, and Bear Cub Scout dens as dens is not approved, and certificates of liability insurance will not be provided by the Boy Scouts of America.

 

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/GSS/gss03.aspx

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I'll also add this... technically, at least one leader is required to be BALOO certified for a pack to camp.

When I took BALOO, it was basically a joke. Good maybe for someone that had never camped before, but otherwise the only good was a review of the BSA rules that you would need to know.

 

If it were me, I would plan the camp.

IF you can find BALOO offered in your area and IF one or more of your registered leaders can attend, great.... but I personally wouldn't sweat it.

I would encourage you and your leaders to take the online training offerings that might apply, just so that you are on the same page as BSA

Safe Swim Defense if you're planning to swim

& Weather Hazards

& leaders should have the YPT (maybe even encourage parents to sit through it)

 

But I wouldn't sweat any of it. Call it family camping and just go. Every scout and sibling would have a responsible parent, kids sleep only with parents, and you are all just hanging out together..... just like two or more families that are friends camping together

 

OH, do it before June 1 if you're working on Sports and Academic Belt Loops... they are going away.... or at least buy the awards....

 

 

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Thanks. I tried to find an official BSA position on this, but quickly got confused. It seems that the BSA does not officially approve Cub Scout (at least below Weblo) camping, but our pack sent all its cubs to a council-organized campout last fall, and they're encouraging the cubs to attend a council-organized summer camp this summer. Parents are required to attend.

 

The problem is that the dates of the camp are very inconvenient (a 3-day camp right in the middle of the work week instead of a long weekend) and the cost is high ($200 for a son/parent to register). We can do a 1-night campout ourselves at a fraction of the cost with plenty of activities and the boys will probably have more fun.

 

Good point also on the uniforms. We'll make those optional, just like all the activities. Just a purely optional, unofficial, family campout.

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Thanks. I tried to find an official BSA position on this, but quickly got confused. It seems that the BSA does not officially approve Cub Scout (at least below Weblo) camping, but our pack sent all its cubs to a council-organized campout last fall, and they're encouraging the cubs to attend a council-organized summer camp this summer. Parents are required to attend.

 

The problem is that the dates of the camp are very inconvenient (a 3-day camp right in the middle of the work week instead of a long weekend) and the cost is high ($200 for a son/parent to register). We can do a 1-night campout ourselves at a fraction of the cost with plenty of activities and the boys will probably have more fun.

 

Good point also on the uniforms. We'll make those optional, just like all the activities. Just a purely optional, unofficial, family campout.

 

Read my post and go to the G2SS link.

 

Here some of what you will find.

 

[h=2]Age Guidelines[/h] The Boy Scouts of America has established the following guidelines for its members’ participation in camping activities:

  • Overnight camping by Tiger Cub, Wolf, and Bear Cub Scout dens as dens is not approved, and certificates of liability insurance will not be provided by the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Tiger Cubs, with their adult partner, may participate in boy-parent excursions, day camps, pack overnighters, council-organized family camping, or resident camping.
  • Tiger Cubs, Wolf and Bear Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts may participate in a resident overnight camping program operating under BSA National Camping School– trained leadership and managed by the council.
  • A Webelos Scout may participate in overnight den camping when supervised by an adult. In most cases, the Webelos Scout will be under the supervision of his parent or guardian. It is essential that each Webelos Scout be under the supervision of a parent-approved adult. Joint Webelos den/troop campouts including the parents of the Webelos Scouts are encouraged to strengthen ties between the pack and troop. Den leaders, pack leaders, and parents are expected to accompany the boys on approved trips.

 

Pack Overnighters

These are pack-organized overnight events involving more than one family from a single pack, focused on age-appropriate Cub Scout activities and conducted at council-approved locations (councils use Pack Overnighter Site Approval Form, No. 13-508). If nonmembers (siblings) participate, the event must be structured accordingly to accommodate them. BSA health and safety and Youth Protection policies apply. In most cases, each youth member will be under the supervision of a parent or guardian. In all cases, each youth participant is responsible to a specific adult.

At least one adult on a pack overnighter must have completed Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation (BALOO, No. 34162) to properly understand the importance of program intent, Youth Protection policies, health and safety, site selection, age-appropriate activities, and sufficient adult participation. Permits for campouts shall be issued locally. Packs use the tour and activity plan, No. 680-014.

 

Cub Scouts are encouraged to camp as packs--Pack overnighter or council camps. They aren't encouraged to camp as dens.

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Thanks. I tried to find an official BSA position on this, but quickly got confused. It seems that the BSA does not officially approve Cub Scout (at least below Weblo) camping, but our pack sent all its cubs to a council-organized campout last fall, and they're encouraging the cubs to attend a council-organized summer camp this summer. Parents are required to attend.

 

The problem is that the dates of the camp are very inconvenient (a 3-day camp right in the middle of the work week instead of a long weekend) and the cost is high ($200 for a son/parent to register). We can do a 1-night campout ourselves at a fraction of the cost with plenty of activities and the boys will probably have more fun.

 

Good point also on the uniforms. We'll make those optional, just like all the activities. Just a purely optional, unofficial, family campout.

 

I always believed what perdidochas quoted above was referring to individual den camping, not camping as a whole pack/district/council (like you are referring to at the council-organized campout.)

 

I will jump on the bandwagon here and second the family camping idea, its what we have done. A lot of our scouts can't make the council campouts due to cost or timing and we only do one pack campout a year. I believe our scouts should camp more than 3 times before they hit Webelos. Just my two cents :)

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Mirak: I like your attitude. Welcome to Scouting!

Encourage (yourself too!) your parents to register and take the online training (myscouting.com) as mentioned above. It can only be a learning experience, and some eyes may be opened. As has been said, BALOO (what will we call the training without the Kipling reference?) is an intro for beginner camping. Much like any other training, if you are experienced in the subject, it can be boring, but consider: You may be able to add to the discussion from your own experience, and it does give you the imprimatur necessary.

As your boy goes thru Scouting, be ready to step back and let him go. Your Scout training will enable you, your son (and many other boys!) to go places and do things others will never have a chance to experience.

Good Scouting to you!

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peridochas' quoted chapter and verse is of course valid.

 

OK, here's a twist.....

Why are you wanting to do it den only anyway?

by the way... are you the Tiger Leader?

 

ok, so coordinate with your cubmaster and invite the pack. bingo. pack Campout!

Even if the rest of them don't sign up, well, so the pack tried....

Regarding the uniform, I certainly would not discourage uniform wear if it were me.... but we never have anyone show in uniform except me and my son anyway, but thats another story....

I would however make it clear that this is a family camp and that parents are responsible for their own kids.

 

If you're not the leader, where does your Den Leader and pack stand on this whole thing? Are you simply a ringleader of some active parents that are wanting more than your pack is giving? If that's the case, I have an Adult application for you!

 

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The position of BSA is VERY CLEAR.

 

The ONLY dens that can camp alone as a den are Webelos.

 

Tigers MUST do EVERYTHING with a parent partner present.

 

Tiger / Wolf / Bear dens can ONLY - camp with the PACK as a WHOLE - OR - camp at a council run camp.

 

Period.

 

Obviously, it is just me, but my feeling is - what are you teaching these brand new to Scouting families by doing this? How does bending/ignoring the rules teach good citizenship, or develop good character?

 

Right off the bat you are teaching these boys, and their families that rules are for everyone else, not you. You, being special, can do whatever you want to, just by pretending it is ok.

 

You want to camp? Talk to the Cubmaster, and the Committee Chair about putting together a Pack Family Overnighter. Get trained, organize the campout for EVERYONE.

 

Do it right.

 

Or form your own camping club, and do whatever you want.

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Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.....

Each family in your den is free to camp as a family any time you feel like it...as a private family campout. And if other families happen to join you then that is their choice.

Those BSA guidelines and rules are for official outings and it's only official if the pack or den organizes it as an official outing and files a tour permit. If your family wants to go camping, go for it. If you want to invite like-minded families to join you, then you have no obligation whatsoever to involve BSA or their rules...as long as it's clear that this is a private activity and not an 'official' BSA activity by the den.

Go for it and don't give that man behind the curtain any further thought.

 

Edited part: Moreover, this approach allows you to invite ANY like-minded family, INCLUDING those who are not members of BSA. You are private citizens and not bound by membership as long as you organize it that way. Forget about that guy behind the curtain.

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I have to agree with ScoutNut. There is a huge difference between Scout Camping and taking the family out camping. You obviously want to cut corners and go Scout camping on the sly. Take the BALOO Training and offer to take the Pack out camping. After all, don't all of the Cubs deserve to go camping with a trained leader?

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I have to agree with ScoutNut. There is a huge difference between Scout Camping and taking the family out camping. You obviously want to cut corners and go Scout camping on the sly. Take the BALOO Training and offer to take the Pack out camping. After all' date=' don't all of the Cubs deserve to go camping with a trained leader?[/quote']

 

For Cub Scouts, Pack camping is typically family camping. What is a Den other than a bunch of kids who are buddies and typically a bunch of like minded parents that get along well? Also, having been a "trained" Cub Scout leader, I'm not sure what that really adds if the families have any basic clue about camping.

 

Plan den meetings at the park where you will be camping for Saturday and Sunday. Tell the parents that they are free to make their own reservations if they want to spend the night at the park, go to a hotel or go back home. Problem solved. No rules broken and no rules bent. Two activities - Den meetings and camping out with your family.

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Family camping with the option of wearing the Cub Scout Uniform... Hmmm... Sounds like someone is trying to get around something. The fact that you asked on a site about Scouting and are looking for answers from Scouters is also interesting. You do not say if you have discussed this with your Pack's other Leaders, what might they say? Take the training and invite the entire Pack. I am sure that those boys not in your Den want to go as well. Why is everyone so against doing it the right way? If you think that the training is a joke then open up another thread to discuss or volunteer to make that training better. That seems fairly simple to me and would take about as long as planning a good family campout. And if you and a bunch of like minded parents want to go camping together on short notice, then go. Don't be surprised if the coolers of beer and handguns at the next campsite over interfere with your "program."

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I don't see it as trying to get around anything. The rule is that boys in Cub Scouts, other than Webelos, cannot go on a Den overnight campouts because the BSA will not issue a Tour Permit for insurance reasons. There is no prohibition on the parents taking the sons to a Cub Scout event and then deciding to camp overnight as a family. The rules are being followed in that the overnight is not an official BSA event and the parents are responsible for anything that happens once the official BSA event ends. As long as that is clear to the parents and the park where you are camping, I see no issues.

 

Also, I don't see a problem with wearing BSA uniforms for the Den meeting for the day because it is an official BSA function. Nonetheless, the liklihood of any kid wearing a Class A uniform on a campout is slim -- in my pack about half of them wore Class B T-shirts to Den meetings and I've never saw a Class A on campouts except for the Pack leadership.

 

As for Cub Scout training, I think it is fine for what you need. The hazzards for camping with a parent in a state park at a pad tent site during the summer are not significantly greater than any other activity. For Boy Scouts the basic SM/ASM training is good, but I think it is lacking in basic outdoor skills and first aid. The outdoor skills I have (and teach to the other leaders in my Troop) and the first aid I acquired by getting CPR certified and taking a Wilderness First Aid course. I've also taken pretty much every on-line course for Weather, Safe Trek, Safe Swim, Safe Boat, etc. so that we are covered for any event we do as part of our Troop outdoor program.

 

As for the coolers of beer, that typically is prohibited by the park where you are camping. Nonetheless, in our Pack / Troop the parents are responsible and I've never seen any parent have too much to drink outside of Scouting (no drinking at Scouting functions permitted) where kids are present. If the scouting function ends before dinner and the park permits it, I see no problem having a beer with a burger (but then again, I'm a proponent of modeling responsible drinking in front of children).

 

I agree that having the whole Pack do this would be a great idea, but that is based on my preference for putting more outing in scouting.

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