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Troop Tents Pro or Con?

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Our troop has troop tents for the scouts and adults usually provide their own. We seem to be of the philosophy that bigger is better. Heck, if the scoutmaster could, we would have a 15-man tent to put all the scouts under one roof... almost did too.  :rolleyes:

 

I tried to propose that we have small 2-man tents and I was met with major resistance because that could lead to higher instances of inappropriate behavior (read between the lines), so the committee wants nothing smaller than a 4-man tent. 

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we went to troop tents a couple of years ago.  like OP we had a good surplus and wanted to do something constructive instead of it sitting in the bank.  kids (and adults) learning the responsibility previously mentioned.  The uniformity, which wasn't a big deal to me personally, does look good when we have a big group.  We also had a problem, prior to going this way, with some scouts not having very good tents leading to less than enjoyable camping experiences.  Yes that is on them and they did learn but the rest of us have to hear about it and deal with them the rest of the campout--a lot fewer issues now.  And it has reduced the costs for our boys who now don't have to buy their own tent--especially for those who are unsure about Scouting.  I am sure the older boys all have their own now which they still use in different scenarios.

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Our troop has troop tents for the scouts and adults usually provide their own. We seem to be of the philosophy that bigger is better. Heck, if the scoutmaster could, we would have a 15-man tent to put all the scouts under one roof... almost did too.  :rolleyes:

 

I tried to propose that we have small 2-man tents and I was met with major resistance because that could lead to higher instances of inappropriate behavior (read between the lines), so the committee wants nothing smaller than a 4-man tent. 

 

I find the opposite is true.  Our scouts seem better when we can keep them to 2 (or 3) in a tent.  Risks are generally reduced by tent buddies being about the same age.  (i.e. no 17 year old scouts sharing a tent with a 11 year old scout).  The trouble I've seen with the bigger tents is some scouts view it as a party environment.  One scout keeps others awake etc.  One scout teaching other scouts bad habits.  It's like trying to get 20 kids to fall asleep in one big room.  There is always one kid wanting to throw shoes or mess around.  The behavior grows and festers.  Divide them up and they naturally fall asleep.

Edited by fred johnson
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Our Troop had troop tents.  This was primarily because we got some brand new Timberline 4s donated to the troop.   Granted we had a small troop, so we used the Timberline 4s as 2 man tents.  Worked out well for us. 

Edited by Gwaihir

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... The trouble I've seen with the bigger tents is some scouts view it as a party environment.  One scout keeps others awake etc.  One scout teaching other scouts bad habits.  It's like trying to get 20 kids to fall asleep in one big room.  There is always one kid wanting to throw shoes or mess around.  The behavior grows and festers.  ....

Oh but the sheer joy of those snowball fights in the circus tent!

(That would be the 24-man donated by the national guard. We used it exclusively for our winter campouts.)

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Our (Canadian) Troop provides tents.  We currently supply Eureka El Capitan and MacKenzie tents for Scouts.   

 

In general I've found that the Scouts take good care of the tents and repairs have been few and far between.  Most repairs have been due to general wear and tear rather than specific incidents or negligence.  Typically we put 2 Scouts to a tent, 3 at the most.  Girls separate from boys at all times and we just let the kids pick who they want their tent mate(s) to be.

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Troop tents - always.  3-man if you can get them (room for 2 Scouts and their gear and some patrol gear).

 

I just can't see telling the parents of 6 new Webelos crossovers that they no need to go out and buy a tent so that their son can go camping with the Troop. 

 

Care and feeding?  Tents are numbered - the Troop Quartermaster keeps a list of the tents assigned to a Patrol by their number for the current camping trip.  If a Patrol needs 3 tents, they get three tents.  If they need 5, they get 5.  The QM notes that they gave the Flaming Arrow Patrol tents 3, 5 and 6 for that weekend.  Some Troops will assign tents permanently to a Patrol and that's ok too.

 

The Patrol QM keeps their own list of who the tents they got were assigned.  Billy & John got tent 3; Joe and Alfonse got tent 5 -  you get the picture.  At set-up, the Patrol QM does an inspection to note any deficiencies, any items that need repair or missing parts (count the stakes!) - BEFORE the Scouts move their gear in, and makes a note of any which he shares with the Troop QM.  The Troop QM will verify that there is indeed a deficiency and makes a note of it.  From this point, the care and feeding of the tent is the sole responsibility of the Scouts it is assigned to. 

 

At take-down, the Patrol QM does an initial inspection to make sure there is no damage (beyond reasonable wear and tear and beyond the control of the Scouts - during the weekend, things happen - zippers break, a stake loop might break - unless it's obvious that there is damage inflicted by the Scouts, it gets put on the repair list for the Troop QM to take care of before the next outing).  Once this inspection is complete, the Scouts take down the tent and one of them takes on the responsibility for taking the tent home for final drying, airing out, and cleaning.  Yes, it should be clean and mostly dry before it's backed away (and there are times they'll be packed up in a rain or mist) but don't assume that the tent is fully dry if you're packing it up a couple of hours after the Scouts wake up.  It may not have rained but the Scouts breathing over night is going to add some water vapor - one of the Scouts has to take the tent home and set it up in their backyard for at least an afternoon to make sure it really is dry before packing it away.  They turn the tent in to the Patrol QM who turns all the tents in to the Troop QM.  The Patrol and Troop QM will unpack and do a final inspection of the tent then repack it and put it away.   

 

If there are any stakes missing, or damage to the tent that is not normal wear and tear, the Scouts that had the tent are responsible for  any costs to repair or replace the tent or components - if there are three tent stakes missing when there were none when they got the tent, they need to pool their allowances to pay for 3 new stakes.

 

The Patrol QM gives his list of which Scouts had which tent and his inspections to the Troop QM who attaches it to his list and inspections and notes of repairs needed.  This record is kept for about 6 months.

 

We've not had any mildewed tents by doing this and the Scouts all understand that they are responsible for the damage to the tents.  We don't assign tents or any other gear permanently to Patrols.  That prevents arguments about this Patrol or that Patrol always getting "the best tents" and we find that the Patrols tend to be a bit more careful in things like cleaning things like mess kits - no one wants to be called out at the next campout because they weren't as thorough in cleaning a pot and another Patrol has just found dried pasta in the bottom of the pot.

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Oh but the sheer joy of those snowball fights in the circus tent!

(That would be the 24-man donated by the national guard. We used it exclusively for our winter campouts.)

 

I'd absolutely love for our troop to own a large circus style tent.  I've seen another troop own something like that.  It's fun to pull out once a year.

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Our troop has troop tents for the scouts and adults usually provide their own. We seem to be of the philosophy that bigger is better. Heck, if the scoutmaster could, we would have a 15-man tent to put all the scouts under one roof... almost did too.  :rolleyes:

 

I tried to propose that we have small 2-man tents and I was met with major resistance because that could lead to higher instances of inappropriate behavior (read between the lines), so the committee wants nothing smaller than a 4-man tent. 

We have 4 man cheap coleman tents that they generally sleep 3 to a tent.  The more boys in a tent, the louder the campsite.  We allow Star Scouts and above to tent alone. We allow all scouts to bring their own tents, but if they are below Star, they have to share with a buddy or two.

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We're a new troop.  We have hand-me-down tents from both the military (one man tents) and 2 or 4 man Eurekas.

 

The tent I slept in last camporee was a hand-made canvas "dog" tent.  Hand sewn grommets, button holes and hand sewn buttons.  The rope is hand-made from twine and the poles are split poles with tin tubes to secure the poles.  Tent pegs are whatever one can find in the woods.

 

Boys that complain to me about the zipper not working on their tent get very little sympathy from me, but I will offer to trade tents for the night if they wish.  No takers so far.

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We have a scouts bring their own troop....  some solo, some hang in hammocks, some have 2-3 man tents and that gives options to either bunk up sometimes or go solo others....

 

I've mentioned before that I recently read "Rocks in My Backpack"

Now that troop was into Indian lore, had an Indian dance troop too...  Somewhere along the line they got hold of a tepee or two.  I've got to say the idea of something like that....while probably quite a headache to haul, could really promote some good times for the scouts.  I'm imagining the same result, although maybe a bit less "cool" factor, would be had from something like an old army style wall tent..... like "The Swamp" on the old tv show MASH...... without the still of course!  

Big enough for the whole patrol.

Could be good times I think.

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 I'm imagining the same result, although maybe a bit less "cool" factor, would be had from something like an old army style wall tent..... like "The Swamp" on the old tv show MASH...... without the still of course!  

 

Royalty check. Thank you. ;)

 

And what do you mean "old" TV show?  :eek:

Edited by Col. Flagg

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