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Lenae

Webelos backpacking?

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I think the thing to take away from the guideline term in this case is that this file is the graphic pullout in the guide to safe scouting, meant I think as a summary to the accompanying rules in that book that go into the detail

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So we hear this a lot, especially from the lawyers on this forum. Can anyone who supports this definition of "guidelines" versus "rules" point to where BSA says "guidelines" = "suggestions"?

 

I'm of the opinion that, regardless of whether the title of some says "guidelines" or not, it is the CONTENT that should be taken as allowed or not. For example, just because the PDF title has "guidelines" in the title does not mean Webelos can carry and shoot crossbows or shotguns.

 

Can we point to where the BSA has limited their definition of "guidelines" to "absolute rules"?

 

Winter camping is also against these guidelines yet there are councils award badges for camping in winter conditions. To Cub Scouts. Are they in violation?

 

So let's take the content of the original question into consideration. Can you seriously argue against Webelos doing some light backpacking in conjunction with an overnighter?

What is the objection other than it's not allowed by these guidelines? 

 

Like I previously said, apply some common sense to the situation and don't take the document as the final arbiter of aloowable activities.

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So let's take the content of the original question into consideration. Can you seriously argue against Webelos doing some light backpacking in conjunction with an overnighter?

What is the objection other than it's not allowed by these guidelines? 

 

Like I previously said, apply some common sense to the situation and don't take the document as the final arbiter of aloowable activities.

 

If it's in the back country, you can't. If you are hiking in to a camp site (or out of) that would be okay. But again, that's hiking, not backpacking.

 

I would not use the term "common sense" when describing how various people interpret BSA rules and guidelines.

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The Cub Scout program by design has limits.  Example, Cubs camp at council approved locations (for Pack Overnighters) or at council run programs, day hikes okay, but not treking, paddles on calm water but not float trips.  It's a pretty consistent message.     

 

The guide document is a reflection of the PROGRAM of the BSA.   So, what book are you in?  What page are you on? are two good questions to ask if you want to find out if you are really running the program of the BSA.   

 

So, to the OP, Can you find it in a Webelos Adventure?   If not, why not start there for some other alternatives.   

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I would not use the term "common sense" when describing how various people interpret BSA rules and guidelines.

 

OK, you got me on that one!

 

 

So, if the OP's intent is to have their Webelos pack their camping gear a mile or two to their campsite in a non-backcountry location, is it OK?

Personally, I would have no problem with it. With my group. Other leaders with other groups? Who knows. Use common sense to assess whether they're ready for it.

I'm fairly certain the OP is confident in their group being up to the task, they are only asking if it's taboo by the rules.

 

If the goal of Webelos is to prepare boys for Scouts, is it unreasonable to assume that an activity such as this is allowable?

I'm not advocating every camping event be like this, but I'm thinking an intro like this would be useful and fun.

I'll say that by Webelos, even though hiking can be fun, it starts to be much of the same ol same ol unless you keep it growing.

If the only new experience included is packing your gear in and out, that can be used as a teaching opportunity.

 

We don't stop where the book ends, do we? Or should we not teach sheepshanks, figure-eights, and clove hitches because those knots aren't required for Webelos or AOL? 

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I have often approached the "guidelines" like I do YPT.  The "guidelines" aren't there just for the protection of the scouts.  They protect the adults just as much if not more.  When BSA put's out a "guideline" they are saying, pay attention to this issue because it can be a problem if one is not careful.  Sometimes common sense isn't as common as we would think.  There are a number of scouters out there that simply do it "their way".  Which leads us to the probably of anything going wrong.  Most of the time, it's okay, but when things go South, the BSA warned them and it falls on the scouter who didn't listen.  We live in a risky world, especially when we take scouts out into a environment they are not used to.  This increases the risk and when one is planning activities the "guidelines" let everyone know BSA is aware of the risk and leaves common sense suggestions on how to deal with it. 

 

If one wishes to "bend" the "guidelines" to accommodate their unique situation, if all appropriate contingencies are in place, it's not recommended, but maybe the risks have been minimized for just that situation.  Still, it's in the hands of mature scouters with a modicum of common sense to be prepared to handle those risk should they arise.  BSA isn't going to be backing them up, you're on your own.  We all have to live with the consequences of our decisions.

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If your decision really just boils down to CYA and liability, I guess you interpret those guidelines as hard and fast rules, don't ask any questions and just do what you can.

 

But what about those situations that fall in between?

Webelos backcountry backpacking - I get that, it's a no-no. And not something I would choose to do anyway. 

But it says nothing about backpacking in other situations. What if, instead of dropping gear at a campsite and taking the vehicle back to the park parking lot, you carry it in a mile or so? We encourage our Scouts to stretch their minds as well as their bodies, yet here we have adults discouraging that.

 

And my earlier asked but as yet unanswered question is still out there.

Winter camping. Against the guideline, but supported, encouraged, and rewarded across the country by districts and councils. Where does that fall? And why?

 

Enquiring minds want to know.

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Wow, thanks for all the responses! I definitely have more research to do. I would like to say that our "assistant" den leader is a dad to one of our (soon to be) Webelos, and also the dad of a Boy Scout. He has BALOO training, and would be actively involved in the trip.

 

I still don't know if backpacking is allowed or not! I called my local council and they brushed me off, again. Our pack does pack wide campouts in the fall and spring, with a winter overnight activity indoors typically. We do day hikes as a pack once every couple of months or so. I'd say as far as packs go, ours does a pretty good job of keeping the outdoors an important part of our program. My den does a lot of outdoor stuff, and we are all, parents and Scouts, really looking forward to having the option to do den campouts, too. We have 9 Scouts in our den, and they all enjoy the camping and hiking aspects of Scouts, so they would definitely view backpacking as an adventure.

 

I guess I'll just keep digging for information, and see what I can come up with. Thanks again!

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