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krikkitbot

Camping Distance for Adults

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3 minutes ago, krikkitbot said:

So how do I encourage breaking from this "tradition" without ruffling too many feathers? I think that out of a troop of about 20 boys there are about 3 families who do that. 

Explain to the parents what the point of tenting as a patrol is about. Ask for their help.

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Regardless we are trying to build "resilient youth" (to get all buzzwordy) and we do that through the outdoor method. 

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17 minutes ago, krikkitbot said:

So how do I encourage breaking from this "tradition" without ruffling too many feathers? I think that out of a troop of about 20 boys there are about 3 families who do that. 

breaking from tradition....

in a big way that depends on what your position in the troop is.

committee member, parent, or some other non-key position..... not really a lot you can do beyond suggest and discuss...

If SM yeah, i think I'd come up with a to the point way to just tell them.  Meet with those particular parents, and tell them straight out.

scouts is about growing up

troop camping is not family camping like in cubs.

explain the patrol method in basic terms...how it offers a place for the scouts to lead and fail in a safe way, and to grow up like no other program can

encourage buddy system for new campers (at least two scouts in a tent)

 

Might consider talking with each set of parents individually, in case there's some personal  reason they need to bring up....bed wetters or whatever...

 

More than likely, its a simple case of daddy or mommy, or maybe little Jimmy just not being able to let go.

be prepared to reassure them that the older scouts PL, SPL, etc... have experience with this, and they take care of each other....they you have spare sleeping bags in the trailer.... first aid kit....or whatever solution for their concern

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2 minutes ago, blw2 said:

in a big way that depends on what your position in the troop is.

Brand new SM but I was a ASM there for a long time.

Troop has been operating like this for years so some of these families have been around for a while. 

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18 hours ago, krikkitbot said:

It seems to be fairly common in our troop with a handful of scouts especially the first year. I want to change it but I believe that have to make small incremental changes.

Don't sweat this. Let a vision of the pinnacle scouting experience being hiking and camping together with a boy's mates grow gradually.

I remember the last time Son #2 came across the field in the wee hours of the morning complaining that he couldn't sleep, andI let him hunker down in my bag with me. Not one of my stupid rules was going to keep me away from that cherished moment.

The physical distance has to do with patrol method, not YPT. A 1st-year's patrol is often still his family, not his friends - especially as young as he can cross over these days. When you're making the dad's coffee and the boy pops out of his tent, ask the little fella if he slept well and let him know his new patrol across the field will need him.

 

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16 hours ago, krikkitbot said:

Brand new SM but I was a ASM there for a long time.

Troop has been operating like this for years so some of these families have been around for a while. 

This strikes me as a time to be bold.  The way your troop is operating today is incorrect.  With you taking on the role of SM, you're the person to change this.  The best times to make change like this is at the beginning - people will expect it.

In our troop, my approach would be:

- discuss it with a couple of key folks informally - ASMs, CC, etc. Let them know what you're thinking and bring them into the discussion.  Don't change your goal - but solicit input on how to do it.  Use that to come up with a plan.

- at your next Commiittee meeting tell them your plan.   Be prepared to talk about why this is important.  Make a couple of adjustments if neccessary.

- announce to families.

- do it.

 

 

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I agree with ParkMan. I would also recommend getting some key folks as "vocal allies" who not just support the vision, but understand it as well. This way after you present the vision to others they are able to take point on promoting it. 

To affect a significant change like this you should understand the different factions and how to deal with them. There are more, and subsets but in general:

1. Allies-those who agree and understand. 

2. Middlers-those who can be persuaded.

3. GoAlongs- those who dont really care one way or another.

4. Resistors-those who will fight the change.

 

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off topic, but to a new SM...when I read this book a couple years back, I thought it should be required reading for all new SM's

it's a work of fiction, and a quick read..... but thought provoking I think

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24872995-so-far-so-good

 

Another really good one, in a different way was

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2711721-rocks-in-my-backpack?from_search=true

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, krikkitbot said:

So how do I encourage breaking from this "tradition" without ruffling too many feathers? I think that out of a troop of about 20 boys there are about 3 families who do that. 

I would coordinate with the feeder packs....encourage the DL to equip the scouts with their own test for a Christmas gift....or maybe a "crossing over" gift.  If the younger boys coming up into the troop are more comfortable running solo, it surely sets the proper expectation for all boy scouts!

Also, the DL should encourage the parents of the AOL den to start sleeping in separate tents...even if they are 1' away.

Edited by JustAScoutMom

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14 minutes ago, JustAScoutMom said:

Also, you could just tell them that they will considered as "Webelos 3" until they are in their own tent :)

Forgive me if this is redundant to my last post, but I want to emphasize that this is not a hill to die on!

You have 3 families where the boys like being with their dads. That's a good thing. None of these boys are older than 12, I'm guessing. That's a good thing too. The majority of your boys must be deciding to tent with a buddy. It sounds like if you told them to choose a site with their patrol on the opposite side of the field, they would. You're in a good place. You just need to find that field. (Otherwise, if like our boys, you find yourself in close woods, pick sites on opposite sides of a stream or a mound. Certain terrains make as-the-crow-flies distances bit unnerving for most folks.)

Trying to motivate these scouts to bunk with their buddies via back-channels with other adults or by slighting them with "W3" rhetoric is just a huge waste of precious time you will need getting to know your PLs and the scouts whose parents aren't around when they need a safety net.

Does your SPL do bed-checks? Is he in the habit of "doing the rounds" throughout the day and checking on your patrols (including the adults' site)? Little things like that build the trust parents need. If he (or your TG) shows up first thing, greets the dads who've had their scouts tenting with them, and offers to walk their boys over to their respective PLs to start in on something fun (like, maybe, breakfast), it will go a long way in enabling the boy and his parent to trust their new patrol. It could be as simple as, "I need help mustering the PLs. Want to join me?"

I'm betting three weekend campouts of this kind of respectful behavior, and these boys will be bunking with their patrols.

Bottom line: don''t make this your administrative problem. Make this the boys' leadership development problem.

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gotta say, I like qwazse's answer...

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Was just a joke...my real comment was the one prior.

I found that my son actually preferred being in his OWN tent, rather than bunking with another scout.  Some may simply believe that they have to bunk with another...and they would prefer their parent over another boy.  Not sure if this is the issue, but maybe?

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The challenge is that if you do not nip the problem of having a child sleep with his parents on a Boy Scout trip, it will slowly grow, getting worse, and it will affect how the other Scouts in the troop view these children.  The scout in my troop who refuses to sleep without dad has been in the troop 10 months now. Last camp out, he whined and went home when SM told him he cannot have dad  staying with him or sitting up outside the tent until he fell asleep.  I think dad FINALLY gets it to a degree: he allowed son to go home instead. Some of the other scouts are getting ticked off at the situation, especially since he is not really pulling his fair share of the patrol responsibilities AND  went up for Second Class this week. Some thought he would not pass, but he did. We have one Scout who is stuck on Tenderfoot because he sees this guy advancing without really doing stuff on his own, and here is is, fully independent on camp outs, but he cannot swim so is stuck. And in all honesty, this Tenderfoot has the KSA to go on our backpacking trip, just not the rank due to swimming.

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Yes, @JustAScoutMom, I knew you were joking, but it made for a convenient contrast, so I ran with it.:cool:

And @Eagle94-A1, you've got a hot mess more complicated than physical distance. It's no different than the chronically homesick kid. Your boys give it the college try, and they still can't fix it. It's starting to be clear that the scout is using his dad as a crutch to shirk responsibilities. Work's not getting done. The kid's patrol looks like slackers. Everyone's discouraged - including Dad.  ... It was about time for the SM to give that "go big or go home" speech.

If @krikkitbot decides to rely on SPL/TG leadership development instead of laying down the law, could one of these daddy's boys wind up stuck in a rut? Maybe. Will the boys in all three families dig their heels in? Probably not. Will the SPL/TG gain some "in the trenches" skills? Maybe. Enough to be worth the hassle of the one kid who 4 months from now is still leaving his patrol in the lurch? Probably.

But suppose after 6+ camping nights, one boy doesn't change his behavior, and gets the "go big or go home" speech, and the kid opts for home ... he will at least have amassed a few nights camping where some older boys took the time to march across a field and hold open the door for him to the promise of scouting. He and Dad leave with a few skills that they can build on with their family. And, his memories of camp might draw him back in a year or two.

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