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Council too tightly managing communication - Venting

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40 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

OK so we are all living on the same planet. I feel better....I am not crazy. Yes we are experiencing that same blurring of the lines.

My son mentioned one cause in our Troop. We used to have a 15 passenger van we shared with our Troop. Could pull a small trailer with the two required adults and 13 boys which sufficed for some trips. 

Then we had to stop using the van and the church and the troop did not have the funds to replace it so we needed dads (and a few moms) for transport. (we do reimburse for gas and since many are trucks it increased each campers cost more than what you thought) to help transport gear and boys. Most of the dads had trucks than minivans and then we had a lot more vehicles and parents at the campsite. And some of these dads liked to camp like they did on their own...not exactly 'car camping' but more like 'truck camping'...a bit gear heavy.

(I never saw so many fit guys 20 years younger than me that insisted that they HAD to have a cot because sleeping on the ground was too hard...which led to bigger tents to hold the cot...which led to the trucks being close to the campsite and they didn't want to carry stuff far. I mean I even try to backpack my gear in even if it is just from parking lot to campsite mostly because I am too lazy to make another trip)

Some of these dads dropped out after a couple trips because their kind of camping was enhanced by the BSA verboten beer. And a few mom's stepped in to help out and you know it is kind of a long round trip to not stay the night and if they are staying the night they should bring little sister (and sometimes the dog).

And voila! Family Camping. While the parents-not really scouters are camping in the 'adult' area/campsite it GREATLY impacts the experience for the Boys and Scouters. I spend all my time explaining while we are ignoring the boys. The boys and fellow scouter personalities  are enough work, throwing in a bunch of parents with time on their hands is a bit much. 

Maybe we are just waaay old school, but I can (and have seen) how what you describe can happen.  We are not that kind of troop.

We do have to engage drivers.  While we there is reimbursement, in the last 10 years nobody has asked for it.  Note we have 30 - 40 scouts attend outings, so 8 - 10 cars each trip.  Usually mostly leaders but a few spare ones for transport.  Mostly we recommend deducting the mileage.  We do have moms drive and some non camping dads.  Clear emphasis is to get them unloaded and back on their way asap.  That being said we typically can camp within 2 hours or less of drive from CO parking lot.  There are the longer summer camps and (upcoming) winter trips

Expectation is all vehicles out of camp area for the weekend.  Even if only 50 yards in a parking area, get the cars out of camp.  Only exception is the vehicle with the trailer.  No dogs / beer / siblings / etc.  If we leaders can setup where they cannot see the scouts, que beuno.  We were doing a wide game one campout.  The scouts were maybe 1/3 mile way down the road, clearly out of site and sound.  We packed up on Sunday morning and then debated should we just leave as the ride back would be quieter.  We conceded to go get the troop.  Drove around the bend, camp was down, gear was lined up, and scouts were out policing up the field of play.  Love it when a plan comes together.

 

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1 hour ago, Back Pack said:

I’ve listened to my dad preach this to PLC during training every year, but wouldn’t everyone going rafting need a swim test and certain training? Don’t you need a trained adult to particant ratio too? I can tell you if my unit went family about 90 percent of the scouts would quit. We use scouting to be with friends and not hang with mom, dad and little sister. 

 

AH that is why the whitewater trip is a "Family Trip:" each family is responsible for themselves. Another reason why I am not going. As a BSA Lifeguard, I'm going to be responsible regardless of what they call it. And yes, I mentioned SSD and SA, as well as G2SS rules to the adults when it first came up. And that is why I was told it's a "family campout.' And after the last canoeing weekend, which turned into a family camp out, I'm not dealing with it.

Glad the canoeing weekend will be the same as the backpacking weekend for the older Scouts.

As for siblings/children and dogs, kinda hard when the SM brings his daughter and dogs to the occasional camp out.

 

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Luckily if we use state parks they have rules against too many cars. Several parks require you to walk to your site. Our PLC would use these locations to combat parents car camping. 

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3 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

 

AH that is why the whitewater trip is a "Family Trip:" each family is responsible for themselves. Another reason why I am not going. As a BSA Lifeguard, I'm going to be responsible regardless of what they call it. And yes, I mentioned SSD and SA, as well as G2SS rules to the adults when it first came up. And that is why I was told it's a "family campout.' And after the last canoeing weekend, which turned into a family camp out, I'm not dealing with it.

Glad the canoeing weekend will be the same as the backpacking weekend for the older Scouts.

As for siblings/children and dogs, kinda hard when the SM brings his daughter and dogs to the occasional camp out.

 

I have a question. If it’s a family camp out do the bsa rules apply? What about insurance? I ask because our Sm taught our PLC to consider these issues for educational purposes. He wanted us to be aware of the stuff the adults need to consider. I must admit it’s been a few years since I was jasm and I don’t recall hearing about how family camping is handled, mainly because we never did it. 

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1 hour ago, Tampa Turtle said:

OK so we are all living on the same planet. I feel better....I am not crazy. Yes we are experiencing that same blurring of the lines.

My son mentioned one cause in our Troop. We used to have a 15 passenger van we shared with our Troop. Could pull a small trailer with the two required adults and 13 boys which sufficed for some trips. 

Then we had to stop using the van and the church and the troop did not have the funds to replace it so we needed dads (and a few moms) for transport. (we do reimburse for gas and since many are trucks it increased each campers cost more than what you thought) to help transport gear and boys. Most of the dads had trucks than minivans and then we had a lot more vehicles and parents at the campsite. And some of these dads liked to camp like they did on their own...not exactly 'car camping' but more like 'truck camping'...a bit gear heavy.

(I never saw so many fit guys 20 years younger than me that insisted that they HAD to have a cot because sleeping on the ground was too hard...which led to bigger tents to hold the cot...which led to the trucks being close to the campsite and they didn't want to carry stuff far. I mean I even try to backpack my gear in even if it is just from parking lot to campsite mostly because I am too lazy to make another trip)

Some of these dads dropped out after a couple trips because their kind of camping was enhanced by the BSA verboten beer. And a few mom's stepped in to help out and you know it is kind of a long round trip to not stay the night and if they are staying the night they should bring little sister (and sometimes the dog).

And voila! Family Camping. While the parents-not really scouters are camping in the 'adult' area/campsite it GREATLY impacts the experience for the Boys and Scouters. I spend all my time explaining while we are ignoring the boys. The boys and fellow scouter personalities  are enough work, throwing in a bunch of parents with time on their hands is a bit much. 

Great explanation.  Maybe the way to get around all this is to hire a bus to/from camp.  I'm serious.  If the adults come from a need for transportation, then upgrade your transportation so you can have your Scouts back?? 

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A couple of families getting together to camp is their business.  No BSA rules, no BSA insurance.  But I would insist that each "camper" have a responsible parent or legal guardian present...and do not promote it as a troop function.  It's still a free country...mostly.

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I encourage patrol camping over troop camping. 2 vehicles is usually enough for a patrol (6-8 scouts) and gear plus the two adults driving (3 at most). No need for trailer, or plethora of adults. Most locations for awesome trips don't have space for 20 people to camp, many areas do not allow groups sizes that big anyway. The ones that do are car camping sites. Many issues troops have, as referenced in this thread could be mitigated by focusing on patrol camping. Save the troop-centric camping for the camporees, etc... There are many other benefits as well. For example, Imagine a patrol trip with only 2 adults, the SM and a parent. The SM can use that time to train the parent. A different patrol goes to a completely different location and has 2 ASMs and a parent on their campout. Again, the parent learns from the ASMs. 

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2 hours ago, Tampa Turtle said:

Last year the PLC tried to have a rule that no vehicles but trailer in camp, even tried picking sites where you had to walk in your gear but adults kept violating it. Kudos for trying.

Our council has major problems with that on camporees/Cub Scout family camps/Webelo Weekends.  It irritates me to no end.  The worst part about it is that its actually worse the higher up in Scouts you go. The camporees have much more problem with this than the Webelos, and the Webelos are worse than the Cub Scouts.  

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13 minutes ago, perdidochas said:

Our council has major problems with that on camporees/Cub Scout family camps/Webelo Weekends.  It irritates me to no end.  The worst part about it is that its actually worse the higher up in Scouts you go. The camporees have much more problem with this than the Webelos, and the Webelos are worse than the Cub Scouts.  

Seen it too. Irony is that  the Council VP of Camping was complaining to me about Cub Family camping and how the families bring everything but the kitchen sink. This was while loading up his truck with all of his gear for a display promoting Boy Scout camping. I was the one promoting Cub Scout camping, and everything fit either in my backpack, or in my hands (trifold display). Grant you, my pack is 85-90L but it beats hi extended cab pickup.

Although I admit, the family that brought their RV to Webeloree b/c mom was pregnant was the worse thing I saw.

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After 45+ years, I took my boys out for a camping/fishing outing this past fall.  We got out there in the rain and it literally down-poured while setting up camp, in the dark.  I had warned my boys that this day was going to be coming down the road someday and voila, there it was in full fury.  After helping the boys get settled in, it was my time to set up my tent..... NO WAY.  I crawled into the back of my pickup truck to get out of the rain, blew up the air mattress so I didn't sleep on the rippled flooring, changed into dry clothes and went to bed.  The mattress leaked so I got up every hour or so to blow it back up.  Had a miserable night.  I think the Scouting God was punishing me for not sleeping in a soaked tent with soaked sleeping bag and soaked clothes.  I'm getting too old for this! :)

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7 hours ago, Back Pack said:

I have a question. If it’s a family camp out do the bsa rules apply? What about insurance? I ask because our Sm taught our PLC to consider these issues for educational purposes. He wanted us to be aware of the stuff the adults need to consider. I must admit it’s been a few years since I was jasm and I don’t recall hearing about how family camping is handled, mainly because we never did it. 

Good questions. The assumption is that because it is a 'family camp out" with each family responsible for themselves, they do not have to follow BSA rules. But I bet if an accident happens, things will hit the fan.

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3 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Good questions. The assumption is that because it is a 'family camp out" with each family responsible for themselves, they do not have to follow BSA rules. But I bet if an accident happens, things will hit the fan.

I just got back from my UC/roundtable meeting and this issue came up on the rechartering discussion we had.  If a mom and/or dad shows up for a scout outing and are not registered (and to be registered they need YPT) , they are NOT covered by any BSA insurance.  Neither are unregistered siblings whether the parents are registered or not.  One has to be registered to be covered.  Also the parent who is not registered and YPT trained as the 2-deep puts not only themselves in limbo, they open up the CO to any liability issues as well.  One might be wise to find out what the CO's insurance is and what their policies are as well as those of the BSA.  I know for a fact that most church youth organizations require background checks and approval.  The COR handles this, but if the SM takes on parents that are not members of the church and/or not registered with BSA, there could be a lot of 'splainin' to do if something goes wrong and lawyers get involved.

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IMHO, families will view their BSA unit as "tour guides" and hold the BSA and unit responsible for anything that goes wrong on any outdoor activities.

Perhaps when a scout activity transforms into a family activity, the SM pulls the plug on any troop/BSA involvement. No troop gear used, no discussion/planning of Family Outing on troop time,  not on the troop calendar, no advancement, ....

For a scout activity, the SM/TC needs to manage the adult herd to only those needed for supervision and logistics, similar to the way schools chaperone class trips.

My $0.02

Edited by RememberSchiff
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So the program continues to escalate from boys, to boys and their siblings down to kindergarten level , to all girls but in separate dens/troops, to moms, dads, step-moms, step-dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and siblings of grandchildren and we still call it Boy Scouts?  Some of these people are covered by insurance, some are not.  Some of these people are YPT trained, some are not.  And so who's getting dumped with sorting all of this out?  TADAAAH!  The Scoutmaster.  So, to go from taking small groups of boys out on activities with another scouter, the expectation is now to ........   Really?

This ain't Kansas anymore..... Mr. Barnum.

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53 minutes ago, Stosh said:

So the program continues to escalate from boys, to boys and their siblings down to kindergarten level , to all girls but in separate dens/troops, to moms, dads, step-moms, step-dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and siblings of grandchildren and we still call it Boy Scouts?  Some of these people are covered by insurance, some are not.  Some of these people are YPT trained, some are not.  And so who's getting dumped with sorting all of this out?  TADAAAH!  The Scoutmaster.  So, to go from taking small groups of boys out on activities with another scouter, the expectation is now to ........   Really?

This ain't Kansas anymore..... Mr. Barnum.

Honestly it will become a movement of many types of units.  (talking the 11 and older crowd, lord knows what cubs will evolve to).  The family based units will rise and fall, take a lot of care, and will not be scouts as we (well some of us) know it.  There will also be  the BS4G units, these will be new, maybe some experienced scouters, they may be "sister" troops to existing units and these will quietly become co-ed units.

Then there will be the traditional Boy Scout troops.  Those of us running these and providing Boy Scouts the outdoor program, patrol method, and leadership experiences will continue on.  We will be there, doing monthly outings, weekly meetings, Greenbars and scouts doing the planning.  Already some of these units do not participate in district events, shun the council camporees.  We will take a wait and see what happens attitude for week long summer camps as that develops.

If you want to find us, come out to the woods.  The scouts will be camped in one area, the few leaders a good bit away.  No families, siblings, or pets.  Vehicles parked a good well out of sight.  Hopefully the troop will be one step above Lord of the Flies running a program that at it's core is designed to fail, so the scouts can learn from that experience.

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