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Council too tightly managing communication - Venting

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2 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

Our Crew does this now. It has become so popular that Scouts who have left the troop (and crew) have come back to attend. 

We had a very active Patrol frustrated by the lack of backpacking plan a 3-day trip on their own (a good sign). They were actively discouraged by a worried CC who said it looked like they were being 'exclusionary'. So they didn't go on their backpacking trip and the Troop didn't either. That was last year. This year I would just scrounge up the two adults, fire up the minivan and go.

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If society has pushed back the true age of adolescents to 30 something, why would it not follow that 10 year old level of activity isn't going to get pushed back to .... say 18?  It's now going to be Webelos III+ that they call "boy" scouts

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One of the ASMs is pushing a family camp out to go whitewater rafting. Scouts suggested another major trip instead. both are being considered BY THE ADULTS (emphasis) as a possible family camp out. since 'we can only do one."Wife has said she does not want to camp with the troop. Even she is frustrated with Boy Scouts doing "Family Camping" as she is tired of the complaints from  me and the boys. We may be doing our own trip instead. Only one who does not have a proper backpack is the youngest. He has a 30L daypack, which could at least carry his stuff.

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That sounds kind of hard to believe, but I believe you.   Wouldn't everyone acknowledge that there is a difference between a family trip and a BSA trip?   My family goes camping and we go on trips and we can go backpacking or do service projects or learn skills as a family.  We do.  We have great family trips and outings and it's part of who we are and what we do.   But a BSA outing is different and it puts the boys in a different group of people and that is good.  It also gives the structure for advancement and recognition and very clear instructions, safety rules, best practices and requirements and that is also good.   

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My answer to that dilemma is to let the troop know that whatever weekend is picked for "Family" camp, you will be busy doing real family camping where BSA and all of it's drama doesn't get in the way of having a good time and you can wear your favorite flannel shirt instead of a uniform.

I grew up knowing the difference and my family camped way more often than the scouts did.  I did learn, however, that scouting was different because I camped with my buddies instead of my family.  There was a reason for doing it that way.

The other problem is the SM having to take on moms and dads who stop off at Walmart to pick up camp gear and now when they show up, one has 2 or 3 times more "kids" to babysit in camp.  And after all the years I have had in scouting, yes, this process has happened more than once to me and now that "family" camping is on the table, it's going to become a routine headache.  I'm so totally not interested in that as a future for me.

As a last resort, one could always leave the uniform at home and go as a parent to your scout son.  :)  No responsibilities?  No hassles?  No drama?  Sounds like the perfect family outing to me. 

Edited by Stosh
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13 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

One of the ASMs is pushing a family camp out to go whitewater rafting. Scouts suggested another major trip instead. both are being considered BY THE ADULTS (emphasis) as a possible family camp out. since 'we can only do one."Wife has said she does not want to camp with the troop. Even she is frustrated with Boy Scouts doing "Family Camping" as she is tired of the complaints from  me and the boys. We may be doing our own trip instead. Only one who does not have a proper backpack is the youngest. He has a 30L daypack, which could at least carry his stuff.

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. 

Edited by Back Pack
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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. 

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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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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.

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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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3 minutes 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. 

The Family Campout is the lazy planning way out. It also cuts out those boys whose folks do not want to come. It is OK for a casual show up and leave when you want gathering--I suppose there is a place for those sometimes--but creates new problems. One us like Eagle 94's. We had a canoe trip once - family campout. About 6 canoes going down river to another campsite. Some boys in some Troop canoes together (want to ditch dads). Going starts getting a little tough and a couple families decide this is not fun anymore and want to turn around. Except now there is not enough canoes to carry the remaining kids and gear who do want to go. And there is a big stop to reload and figure stuff out. An implied rule of the family campout that each family and not the Troop or the Patrol is the primary unit and families can opt in or opt out as they want. I am not sure how BSA can market 'Family Camping' in Boy Scouts (if that is the direction they are going) without drawing in this kind of ambiguity. 

Besides sitting around and eating car camping cub style outings the only other time I saw it work was when a couple dad's and sons, all accomplished backpackers, went on an independent trip. I am sure if something bad happened 

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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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