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askyourspl

Female Sibling on Campout?

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I think there are enough rules/guidelines in BSA for the program to make any decision you want. Given that I have some questions:

 

1) is she an ACTUAL distraction?

2) what do the boys say?

3) what guidelines does you CO have?

4) has anyone proposed to the father that she does not go?

5) what happens if the CO says she is no longer welcome.

6) has her attendance kept any of the scouts from the stated goals of the outing?

7) what does the girl say, if anything.

 

As a SM I would follow the direction of the CO. As an LDS troop that means boys only. However, I always let the boys k ow ahead of time that when we go to scout camps other multi-purpose settings that there are likely to be girls and women there. I also often on longer trips have arranged a first night or last night invitation to families so that everyone in the family can see if they want a little bit if what we do. On those nights it is not the same as the middle of a multi-year climb of multiple mountains or caving trip but when you get to see a boy cook their mom it sister a meal over a fire or camping stove you have really accomplished something.

 

Ultimately I would ask you what is the goal here? Do you want her there or not? If not then make the decision find the supporting rules or CO direction and make it happen. But, that will likely have repurcussions far beyond what you expect.

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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)

I wouldn't white-wash it.

If, as @@askyourspl writes, this dad is a good leader, then he has good sense.

But, he has an agenda: to make a space in the outdoors suitable for his son and daughter using existing faculty (i.e. the leaders, old and young, in this troop).

I can report, straight from my daughter's mouth, that it really stinks to watch dad and your brother go off to a camp where you aren't welcome. (Actually, the SMs would gladly make exceptions for her, but I insisted that if the SPLs weren't inviting, it was a no-go. And it wasn't that the SPLs didn't want to invite the women of the crew, but half the time they wouldn't think about it. Again, not my problem.) I've met unit leaders who thought that was crap, and are making co-ed work in spite of the BSA, and no representative from council is going to grow jaggers in their path.

 

So, it boils down to two options, and @scouterdl kind of nails it. This really doesn't even have to involve the CO (unless it has some kind of agenda as well). Concerned parents may:

  1. Tell the ASM that his daughter is doesn't fit in, and he can work his agenda elsewhere. If you have leadership who will accommodate the more vocal parents, you can get back to status quo.
  2. Help the ASM and his daughter fulfill his agenda by starting that crew. Go with him to training. Talk to other advisors/crew committee. Lean on older scouts to put in the extra time.

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A 14 year old should not require 'babysitting", unless she has a "history" of needing constant supervision)

 

Alone for a weekend with dad a few hours from home? Depending on your neighborhood, family or friends living near by and a host of other factors, maybe. It's not my daughter I don't trust.

 

However the example from the OP seems to be an ASM that takes his daughter by default. Not because he has to, but because he/she wants to. That's a totally different scenario.

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I think that I come down on the side that the daughter shouldn't be on the campout.  The program is for the boys.  We have a bunch of daughters of SMs and ASMs in our Venturing Crew.  Although the Crew has done some outings with Boy Scout units, they think that it is much more fun to be in the middle of the wildnerness by themselves.

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Thanks again for all of the additional input to my post. In answer to a few of your posts and to offer more insight...the ASM/Dad does not bring her because he doesn't have the option to leave her at home. Mom is at home, and we have plenty of leaders on our camping trips without him. He wants her involved in scouting and wants to form a Venture Crew, but lacks the numbers to do so. No, we have never told him direcltly (yet), but we have discussed in Committee Meeting, with him present, the difference between a "Family Campout" where all family members are invited and a "Troop Campout". Has she ever been a distraction - yes. The presence of a girl amongst middle school-age boys is all that is required to change their behavior and focus and we have observed this several times. Additionally there was an incident at a campout where we saw her and one of the boys coming out of her tent (Dad wasn't there). PLEASE do not over blow this incident in our discussion. We believe this was totally and completely innocent, so don't make this particular incident to be more than it was. The boy was told that he is not allowed in ANY tents other than his own and is never allowed in the adult or family tent area (on Family Campouts).

 

However, this incident DID lead us to the discussion of WHO is allowed on a troop campout and what the rules are/should be. Our feeling is that we open ourselves up to many things we may not want to deal with. Liability - what if one our scouts or adults in some way harms the girl? What if she injures herself? What if she harms another scout? What if the boy in the tent's mother calls us and says she is upset and "Why the heck are you allowing girls on your campout? I thought this was Boy Scouts"  or  "Where am I sending my son? I though it was just Boy Scouts and Leaders". 

 

I guess through this whole discussion, the thing that surprises me most is that there is no direction from the BSA on something like this. It just seems every organization is hyper-sensitive to offending someone and telling them they can't participate in something. 

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askyourspl,

 

    I've been around the BSA for a long time. If they had to create and keep updated documentation about everything we can't do in our troops, we'd run out of paper (yes, I'm that old).

 

A Boy Scout troop is comprised of members that are boy scouts. There are also trained adult leaders. I guess you also have to count parents that aren't registered that are allowed to attend BSA activities. But this troop program is for the boy scouts. Not non registered hangers on girls. She needs to stay home, and the longer this is allowed to happern, the harder it's going to be to fix. All the reasons you've mention in which this girl's presence messes things up are real. You may lose this ASM and his son, but the point needs to be made.

 

Good luck,

 

sst3rd

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@askyourspl

 

You present all the necessary concerns posed by the lack of direction of the BSA.  Well, when something goes wrong, they aren't caught holding the bag either, you are.  There's a bit of safety in non-involvement. 

 

If dad wants his daughter to be involved in camping HE can take her, just the two of them.  They don't need a BSA troop event as an excuse.  It would seem there is enough evidence to show that this is a rather strong concern on your part and your participation in it is a tacit form of condoning it.  I personally would have a ready excuse to take a powder anytime this ASM and daughter decide to go on the activity.  Then again, I'm overly cautious about such things, but it has guaranteed me 40+ years of tenure in the program, too.

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I guess through this whole discussion, the thing that surprises me most is that there is no direction from the BSA on something like this. It just seems every organization is hyper-sensitive to offending someone and telling them they can't participate in something. 

 

 

Look at the joining requirements for Boy Scout Troops.  That is all you need.  The daughter is functioning as a member of the Troop and that is not allowed.

 

Also, from your posts, it sounds like the Troop is violating YPT guidelines which require a male and female leader on any overnight activity where there are youth of both genders.  I suspect that there may be insurance issues.  I was told by Council that insurance covers registered Scouts and potential members -- she is not a potential member and therefore may not be covered.

 

 

He wants her involved in scouting and wants to form a Venture Crew, but lacks the numbers to do so. 

 

We started our Venturing Crew with three friends.  By the first meeting we were up to 8.  After 9 months we are around 14 (I've lost count) with absolutely no recruiting but word of mouth. 

 

 

No, we have never told him direcltly (yet), but we have discussed in Committee Meeting, with him present, the difference between a "Family Campout" where all family members are invited and a "Troop Campout". Has she ever been a distraction - yes. The presence of a girl amongst middle school-age boys is all that is required to change their behavior and focus and we have observed this several times.

 

 

It sounds like you know the answer and are just looking for something to point to.  I'd go with membership standards and youth protection (requireing a female leader on outings).

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Lol, @@askyourspl! We crew advisors wallow in the "what if" game.

No purple tents!

As if in acres of woodland, that's where our worst fears would come true.

 

Anyway, I think your have your options: send her (maybe both of them) packing or help build that crew. (FWIW, even with a crew, issues like Jr. High brain farts don't go away, but at least you have a structure and boundaries in which to operate.)

 

Let us know what you try and how it works!

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