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askyourspl

Female Sibling on Campout?

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The ASM/Dad is a good leader, well liked and a great asset to the troop, but he has brought his daughter on several campouts and doesn't see any issue with it. Several boys have questioned why Scout X's big sister is coming on the campouts. Several adult leaders view her presence as a distraction to some of the boys. As we all know, boys tend to act differently around girls at this age. We are also uncertain as to what are the BSA guidelines regarding this - is a non-registered, non-adult family member even allowed on a campout? Would a registered female leader be required? Also, I'm certain that most parents assume the only people attending our weekend campouts are registered Scouts, parents and leaders and would be unaware/surprised that there is a teenage girl there with there sons. 

 

The text in red does it for me.

 

One time, fine. Twice, no problem. Several times? We have an issue. It's not Venturing, it's Boy Scouts. I get wanting to be with his daughter. I get having to bring her because mom's ill, divorced, single dad, etc. But this, for me, goes beyond "have to bring her" and is more "wants to bring her".

 

I may be reading too much in to this but it sounds like -- because he's having issues starting a Crew -- he wants to let her experience some adventure. However, because this now seems more like him wanting to bring her rather than having no other option, if I were SM I'd ask him to leave her at home. This is Boy Scouts.

Edited by Col. Flagg
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Thanks for more details @@askyourspl.

 

I actually agree with @@RichardB that the problem has more to do with non-member siblings. We can slice and dice policy, but if a youth isn't there for you to try to recruit, or to push boys to try and start a crew for other not-yet-in-the-BSA youth like this girl, what's the point?

 

I would step cautiously with your "not PLC approved" interpretation. If one or two older boys realize that their lack of a decision is being used as a justification to exclude someone, they might explicitly extend her welcome.

 

It is the SM's call. He might recognize that he's going off the reservation on this. Or not.

 

It is fair to say that parents and some boys come in to a troop expecting young women to be kept at a distance, and young men to be working with other young men in both meetings and camp-outs to build one another's character. Can that happen with girls present as full stakeholders? I say yes. Others say no. But regardless, BSA offers no pathway for a girl to be a full stakeholder in the life of a troop. (Can't be assigned a patrol, unless off-book. Can't assigned PoR unless off-book. Can't be recognized for mastering first class skills. Etc ...) So, plying some middle ground like this ASM is doing just gives a kid the worst of both worlds.

 

Venturing is lacking for dads and moms willing to till the hard row. That is, back away from troop life enough to help concerned daughters and sons start a crew. That's the best that BSA has to offer them.  When I was asked to be a crew advisor, it was because someone else's daughter and her friends wanted to attend Seabase ... among other things that the troop did.  Son #1, three other boys, and I signed on the dotted line for her and her friends' sake. That was a wild ride. It payed off for me a little when my daughter was old enough to join a crew. But it really paid off when youth who were neither Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts found a place to call our crew 'home.'

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Col. Flagg - While I'm not sure that it really matters whether the young lady is a registered Venturer (since this is a troop outing and not a Venturing outing) - I do agree that she could participate in certain troop activities.  It obviously depends on the specific program the PLC has decided on.

 

Parallel question - what if this were a non-registered 14 year old male sibling?  Or perhaps a register scout visiting from another troop? (Perhaps a cousin or visiting friend of one of your troop's scouts?)  Would that change the situation at all?

 

 

 

Furthermore, according to recent BSA decisions to play the identity game, the adult need only identify as female, or the youth as male ... problem solved.

 

@@qwazse, I read your comment as derogatory based on your choice to refer to the situation as a "game," and the implication that one "need only identify" a certain way to get around a fairly trivial (and likely non-existent) rule about whether siblings can attend a troop campout.  While you may oppose the BSA's policy with regard to trans-gendered youth, or take issue with transgendered individuals, you don't need to treat the issue flippantly and dismissively.  Also, since there's precisely zero indication that it has anything to do with the relatively mundane situation presented in this thread, it seems as though you were simply looking for an excuse to be insulting and rude.  

Edited by jwest09
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In the link provided to the GTSS there is also this statement:  "..If a well-meaning leader brings along a child who does not meet these age guidelines, disservice is done to the unit because of distractions often caused by younger children. A disservice is also done to the child, who is not trained to participate in such an activity and who, as a nonmember of the group, may be ignored by the older campers..."

 

I'd suggest that a 14 year old female sibling might be just as distracting.....

 

....of course one must also consider how far afield the unit is from the BSA program.

 

Siblings along?  Family camp?  Just how does that fit in with the patrol method and the goals of Boy Scouts?

 

 

Edit addition: I think I solved the problem.... just have a daycare patrol....

Edited by Stosh
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Parallel question - what if this were a non-registered 14 year old male sibling?  Or perhaps a register scout visiting from another troop? (Perhaps a cousin or visiting friend of one of your troop's scouts?)  Would that change the situation at all?

 

The registered Scout from another troop is fine.  I believe the 14-year-old brother is also fine if there is a possibility that he will join the troop.  The 14-year-old sister cannot join the troop. 

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The registered Scout from another troop is fine.  I believe the 14-year-old brother is also fine if there is a possibility that he will join the troop.  The 14-year-old sister cannot join the troop. 

 

No, but if she's a Venturing member of the Crew belonging to the same CO (so sister Crew to the Troop), I don't see the harm in her going once or twice. 

 

On-going? That's a different story.

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No, but if she's a Venturing member of the Crew belonging to the same CO (so sister Crew to the Troop), I don't see the harm in her going once or twice. 

 

On-going? That's a different story.

I'm pretty strict that decisions about sharing an activity must be mutually agreed upon by the SPL and the Crew President after consulting their respective cabinets.

 

Same applies across PLC's of different troops.

 

The youth go through protocol for each event. It's not real formal:

SPL/President: "Hey guys should we invite crew/troop ###? If yes, I'll drop their president/SPL a line." 

This minimizes the on-going take-my-welcome-for-granted attitude.

 

I have advised an SM whose younger daughter was of boy-scout age and wanting to do more camping to let the troop ride on its own and take his daughter camping frequently and often. The years go by too fast to miss those kinds of opportunities.

Edited by qwazse

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We can spend hours twisting ourselves like pretzels trying to find relevant documentation in the Boy Scout literature to answer the question - but the fact is (and kudos to Richard B for the ole college try) - there are no actual, written in stone, rules against it that you're going to find. There is plenty of suggestions (for instance, the section of the G2SS that Richard B posted isn;t actually a rule against bringing siblines, of either sex - it is a suggestion)and there are unrelated policies that one could hang their hat on (for instance, it is a membership policy that a Boy Scout be a boy and folks might try to point to that but the reality is, that's a membership policy - not a camping policy, and the BSA has not made a rule that non-members can't camp with a Troop - they recognize that having guests camp with a troop can be a good recruiting tool).......................So that all said, what's the rule? It is whatever YOUR Chartered Organization or your Unit Committee (in the absence of a policy from the CO_ says it is. I know people like to complain alot about how the BSA isn't very clear on a lot of things but the fact is alot of times that's done on purpose. Don;t always look to the BSA for answers that the Unit shold be making for themselves. I understand that this is a tough one and it would be easier on all involved to be able to point to a BSA rule to avoid hurt feelings, but sometimes, you just have to bite the bullet.

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Don;t always look to the BSA for answers that the Unit shold be making for themselves. 

 

Well, couldn't BSA just say that? Something like "Unless granted or prohibited by established BSA policies, procedures and guidelines, the Charter Organization has the purview to make decisions regarding the execution of the Scouting program within units they charter."

 

See...it's not that hard to be clear and unambiguous.

Edited by Col. Flagg

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Well, couldn't BSA just say that? Something like "Unless granted or prohibited by established BSA policies, procedures and guidelines, the Charter Organization has the purview to make decisions regarding the execution of the Scouting program within units they charter."

 

See...it's not that hard to be clear and unambiguous.

 

Kinda like page 1 of the G2SS:

 

In situations not specifically covered in this guide, activity planners should evaluate the risk or potential risk of harm, and respond with action plans based on common sense, community standards, the Boy Scout motto, and safety policies and practices commonly prescribed for the activity by experienced providers and practitioners.

 

I read community standards to mean most units' CO. But, it could also mean what the average cluster of parents sending their sons on a boy scout camp out might expect.

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Kinda like page 1 of the G2SS:

 

I read community standards to mean most units' CO. But, it could also mean what the average cluster of parents sending their sons on a boy scout camp out might expect.

 

Well they use the phrase "not specifically covered in this guide", which implies that information might reside elsewhere. I was hoping for a more blanket statement to make it easier on us poor volunteers, not having to hunt and peck to find stuff to protect our posteriors. 

Edited by Col. Flagg

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Or Col. you could as suggested open the key program document of the boy scout program.  The Handbook, Patrol Leaders Guide, etc.   No where would you find instruction to bring along your sister.   

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Or Col. you could as suggested open the key program document of the boy scout program.  The Handbook, Patrol Leaders Guide, etc.   No where would you find instruction to bring along your sister.   

 

Very true, you won't find instruction to bring your sister.  You also won't find instruction not to bring your sister.

 

And that's the point, isn't it?  Typically, if something isn't specifically prohibited, then the assumption is its allowable and up to the units/CO's to make the determination of whether it will be done within the unit, and in what circumstances.

 

If the BSA expects that ASM's (or any other unit leader) should not bring their daughter on an overnight with the Troop, then it is the responsibility of the BSA to spell that out and actually prohibit it.  I suspect if the BSA were to do so, such a rule would be promptly ignored the first time a Troop has to cancel an overnight campout because they only have two adults available to go and one of them has to drop out of the campout because s/he has to also take care of a daughter that same weekend.

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Non-members are permitted IF they are prospective members.  Girls cannot be prospective members of Boy Scout Troops.  End of discussion.  Keep in mind, however, that you will probably lose this family if challenged.  Your move.  (My opinion is this ASM should have better sense. A 14 year old should not require 'babysitting", unless she has a "history" of needing constant supervision)

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Or Col. you could as suggested open the key program document of the boy scout program.  The Handbook, Patrol Leaders Guide, etc.   No where would you find instruction to bring along your sister.   

 

No where does it forbid bringing a member of a Venturing Crew. So what then? But let's not take our eye off the ball.

 

There's more here than just bringing a sister along. There are considerations outside the ivory tower of Irving, where single dads might have to bring their daughter to a camp out. A mom might have to bring her younger son because her husband is out of town and she's staffing an event as an ASM.

 

But of course, let's just be pithy and suggest the problem is with the volunteers instead of with those paid to design a program and its supporting materials. 

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