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ItsBrian

When To Cancel A Camping Trip?

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Unfortunately when it comes to outdoor activities, common sense isn't as common as it used to be.  I constantly watch the weather reports in my area when it comes to outings.  T-storms, tornadoes, blizzards are all every day occurrences in my part of the world.  I do not leave anything up to chance.  I have cancelled outings in the past, but a little rain isn't one of the pressing safety issues.  Storm cells are.

 

Very true, @Stosh. But *if* the Scouter's in question take the training (weather training, safe swim, etc.) they *should* know how and when to do things.

 

I nearly left summer camp my first year in Boy Scouts. Myself, another ASM and another dad were the adults (just enough for ratio). The "dad" that was camping with us (not an ASM) was going to let the boys go for a night swim. No safe swim, just get trunks on and go. I stepped in and said we couldn't let them. He overruled me and simply told the guys to go have fun. I told the SPL to get the boys back which he did. When the other ASM (the guy in charge) showed up, I told him that if this joker (untrained, not a Scouter) was told to shut his cake hole, I was leaving. Later that night a bow echo came through. This dad took three boys in to his truck for safety. I had to stop him because of a potential two-deep violation.

 

Training and execution are key as you point out.

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The other one we called off recently was a canoe trip...the river was flooding, and after the forest rangers said "yeah, the high water has all the water moccasins out..."

 

That could wait a few weeks.

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The other one we called off recently was a canoe trip...the river was flooding, and after the forest rangers said "yeah, the high water has all the water moccasins out..."

 

That could wait a few weeks.

 

Good call. Few people know to check the hydrology tables and flow rates to make sure your Class 2 did not become a Class 4-5 river.

 

We had to postpone a similar trip. The flow rate was 3x normal...faster than what an Olympic kayaker would be able to handle. 

  • Upvote 2

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We travelled 5 hours to get to a great white-water river for canoe/kayaking.  We got up in the morning, the weather turned against us,and my PL said. "What's Plan B?"  I asked, "Did you see any good billboards on the way up?"  With a grin, he gathered up the boys and we went to a great aviation museum for the day.

Edited by Stosh

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There's a saying, no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. So it really depends on what gear your scouts are used to. But the cabin changes all that. As CalicoPenn says, bring board games. This is really an opportunity. If they get cold they can fail gracefully and go in the cabin.

Respectfully disagree.  There are places and times in winter when roads (such as I-70 in Western KS, I-80 in NE, ad infinitum) are CLOSED.  If the Highway Patrol/State Police are planning to close the roads for a major winter event, you don't want to be taking youth members out.  I've been lucky on some of my winter commutes, I've been able to self recover from the ditch in a 4x4.  Others ... notsomuch.

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Good grief. A November hike in New Jersey?  I will be at a high school playoff game thinking about walking around to stay warm.

Edited by RememberSchiff

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There's a saying, no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. So it really depends on what gear your scouts are used to. But the cabin changes all that. As CalicoPenn says, bring board games. This is really an opportunity. If they get cold they can fail gracefully and go in the cabin.

 

And that's the problem with sayings.

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Good grief. A November hike in New Jersey?  I will be at a high school playoff game thinking about walking around to stay warm.

And a winter hike in January.

 

Troop doesn’t mind cold usually (but like we are all sick), so we just go with it.

 

Camping trip will still be going on - but I’d rather not get pneumonia again so I’ll be sitting this one out haha.

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I got deployed to work Hurricane Irma and flew into Orlando.  I packed for Florida weather.  Well they wanted me to drive an ARC vehicle to the wildfires in California, so it was road trip all the way across the country to Sacramento.  Weather-wise, Sacramento is not Orlando.  I hadn't even packed a coat or sweatshirt.  I survived 2 weeks there and then drove an ARC vehicle back to Wisconsin.  At least it was warm in the truck. 

 

So to make a long story short, I am nursing a pretty good cold right now.  :)

 

One would think that by my age, I would have learned..... nope.

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Our Troop has only canceled one camping trip.  The reason that the trip was canceled by the unit leaders was because we had just started the troop and it was going to be the first camping trip for all the boys inside the troop.  The weather report was for high winds with 100 % rain all weekend and high temperature all weekend in the mid thirties.  As unit leaders we knew cold weather the boys could deal with but cold and wet was a different story.  This camping trip which is a District Camporee the last full weekend in January is one that we have attended every years since an with the same weather conditions we would now attend as a unit.  The difference is the boys inside the troop are now trained an know how deal with thoughts type weather conditions where the boys that would have been on the canceled trip were not trained. 

 

About a year later on another camping trip we waited to Saturday morning instead of Friday evening to leave due to tornado warning for a storm front moving thru the area we were going to be camping.    

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Respectfully disagree. .

And I respectfully point out that you're missing my point. I said only go if you're prepared. If you have the proper gear to deal with a closed highway then what's the problem? Honestly, I'm not sure what that is so I'd cancel. Brian's statement that it was going to be in the 20's would not even concern us because we deal with it more than half the year. Someone in Texas might think twice about it. Some people fly planes into hurricanes. The point is, know your limits. Icy roads are part of the trip.

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We have typically not cancelled trips but moved to plan B's and C's.  If it is inherently dangerous, then work with the PLC to find a different location and activity.  I have seen great events at lock-in's at the church where they spent the weekend doing team building activities, or worked on a merit badge like electronics.  

 

If the leadership is nervous about it, it probably is for a good reason.  We were nervous about our last canoe trip and the day before we were to leave, the land owner sent us a picture of the entire property under water and a swift moving river.  We moved to a local lake and everything worked out, they boys had a great safe time.

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Our troop is going to the "Scout Weekend" at the U.S. Naval Academy this weekend.  (Actually, as of this writing, they should be about halfway there.)  It's going to be cold and windy - both at night and in the stadium during the football game.  We do that trip about every 3 years; my son and I did it twice.  (The second time I had to suffer the agony of Navy beating Rutgers, in person.)  It is always cold and windy.  The kids know what to wear.

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Our troop is going to the "Scout Weekend" at the U.S. Naval Academy this weekend.  (Actually, as of this writing, they should be about halfway there.)  It's going to be cold and windy - both at night and in the stadium during the football game.  We do that trip about every 3 years; my son and I did it twice.  (The second time I had to suffer the agony of Navy beating Rutgers, in person.)  It is always cold and windy.  The kids know what to wear.

I never heard of that! Where can I find more info?

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Advise scouts to dress appropriately for conditions, our boy scouts learn in cub scouts that the only way we cancel a camping trip is a hurricane coming up the Mississippi.

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