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xj-boonie

Summer camp - too many adults?

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Hi!  This will be my third year coordinating and attending summer camp with my Troop (though I took last year off to go to Philmont!).  The previous years, we had a smaller group attend (9 + 2 adults in 2015, and 15 + 4 adults in 2016).  This summer we are at 30 scouts, and 8 adults, and still have a couple spots open.

My question - is this too many adults? I think 6 of the 8 are fully trained ASMs, one will complete his IOLS at camp, and the last one is a committee member.

Thanks,

Mike

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Depends - Do the leaders stay in the background and let the Boy Scouts do their scout stuff unencumbered (except of health and safety concerns)?  If they are helicopter parents who hover, then 1 leader can be too many.  If they understand what their role is at camp and on outings, then it's relative.  If they just try to be timekeepers, help the scouts stay on track, then the actual count does not matter. (though a 1 to 1 would be a pain)

We take 50 and typically have equivalent of maybe 7 - 8 leaders in camp.  Honestly as long as the boys are out of the campsite at activities, we are happy.  If a Boy Scout asks for assistance with MB work, the leaders will gladly aide.  We are not monitoring their progress or work accomplished.  Also the condition of the inside of the tent is their personal choice.

Usually one is the main leader, the go to leader in camp.  1 typically makes sure the recently crossed over scouts stay on track.  We try to have one leader at the campsite in the afternoons to be visible around the area.  There is mail to pickup, staff to harass, the wandering of the program areas, maybe SM conferences, boards of review, naps etc

Also we encourage troop activities at the campsite; corn hole games, slack line, etc.  Poker night is fun but you have to engage them early in the week or they have spent all their cash at the trading post.

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Yes... too many. 

I can understand the adults desire to go, but it's a boy's camp.  Too many adults interfere the boys handling there own affairs.  Remember too that in addition to your Troop's adults you have the camp staff adults providing supervision.  I would comfortably take 30 to summer camp with 2 or 3 adults.  The tough part will be deciding who goes.  Maybe a few can split the week(s). 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, xj-boonie said:

Hi!  This will be my third year coordinating and attending summer camp with my Troop (though I took last year off to go to Philmont!).  The previous years, we had a smaller group attend (9 + 2 adults in 2015, and 15 + 4 adults in 2016).  This summer we are at 30 scouts, and 8 adults, and still have a couple spots open.

My question - is this too many adults? I think 6 of the 8 are fully trained ASMs, one will complete his IOLS at camp, and the last one is a committee member.

Thanks,

Mike

As others have said, it depends on the adults. If it was 8 Perdidochas's it would be fine.  I would let the boys do what they have to do, and let the SPL do his thing.  My job is driving and safety.  The SPL needs to do most of the work. 

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We get two camps to separate the scouts and adults. Then it doesn't matter how many adults attend. It doesn't cost anymore and the logistics have a lot of advantages for a boy run program. Generally the camps are just across the road or trail from each other.

Barry

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21 minutes ago, xj-boonie said:

Hi!  This will be my third year coordinating and attending summer camp with my Troop (though I took last year off to go to Philmont!).  The previous years, we had a smaller group attend (9 + 2 adults in 2015, and 15 + 4 adults in 2016).  This summer we are at 30 scouts, and 8 adults, and still have a couple spots open.

My question - is this too many adults? I think 6 of the 8 are fully trained ASMs, one will complete his IOLS at camp, and the last one is a committee member.

Thanks,

Mike

@Jameson76s answer, "Depends," is probably the right answer.  For reference, my Jambo troop had 36 scouts, 3 leaders (standard was 4:36 leaders to boys).  We managed fine.  8:30 feels like to high a ratio with no other information.  

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With that many adults, keep them in a patrol at a distance from the boys. (Our reservations is large, so that's generally doable without ordering an extra campsite.)

The ASMs should follow the SM's lead.

Our camp does patrol cooking, and we have a tradition that each patrol invites two adults as guests at their meals. The guest roster rotates daily. The adults stay in their site until a PL comes and lets his guests know that the meal is ready, and the adults return to their site as soon as washing up begins. That provides just enough involvement for a new scouter to get to know the boys, but not so much as to interfere with the boys managing themselves.

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Posted (edited)

It depends on the adults.  Generally, I agree that 2 to 3 adults for 30 scouts is fine.  AND, that ratio gives busy-body adults enough work such that they will more likely stay out of the scout's business.   4 is nice if you want to run errands or have a more relaxed week.  Anything more is getting to be just too much.  Essentially, adults want to show value by being involved and making a difference.  In addition, it's extremely difficult to get a consistent leadership style / involvement out of eight adults.  They will be tripping over each other.  

I often wonder if there is a scout summer camp that has a policy of adults may attend camp, but the troop camp shall only have two adult tents ... unless special needs exist.  Any additionally needed adult tents will be located in camp site XXXX ... co-incidentally a ten minute walk from the scout's camp site.  

Or another idea is the camp "recommending" having two adults.  Having more than three adults would create the expectation that the troop provides that number (above three) of adults to the volunteer crew performing service projects around the camp each day.  Essentially, you want to bring eight adults?  Great!  Camp needs help and expects you to volunteer five adults each day to a service crew.  :)  

Edited by fred johnson

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Off topic, but make sure they are all YPT trained otherwise they can’t go!

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Thanks for all the quick replies!

The camp requires everyone to have taken the new YPT, so I'll be making sure of that.

Of the 8, I know that 5 of us (myself included) know our role and let the scouts do their stuff. I've been to summer camp with 2 of them before, and after the first day, the Scouts are typically with their buddies getting to classes and such, while we wonder talking to staff, taking photos of the scouts in class, getting some nap time in, doing some service, etc.

1 adult just transferred over from Cubs and has offered to assist with the new scout program (the camp asks each troop with scouts in the new scout program to volunteer one adult), so he'll be gone from the campsite most of the day with them.

1 adult sigs up for a lot but usually doesn't show up, so I'm not sure how he is in camp.

And the last adult is the very definition of a helicopter parent, micro-manger, but was the first one to sign up.  Also not an ASM but a committee member.  I've had talks with the Scoutmaster but not sure what will happen. If this adult does come with, someone's job wil be to keep them busy and away from the scouts! LOL.

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Like others said it's not the numbers it's what they're doing.

If they're registered, trained, stay out of the way, etc., I don't think it's a problem (unless you pay the adults registration fees, and you've got more than you need).

Get any new/unknown/helicopters signed up for adult training so they'll be occupied with something.

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Oh, and the one adult that just crossed over...sounds like they're well meaning, but I'd try to get a different adult to go to the new scout program.  I'm assuming he's the previous Webelos den leader?  Have him take SM specific and/or IOLS or something like that.

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That's a good idea.  I think he is the Packleader (still is - kinda dual roles right now).

I'll talk with the Scoutmaster and see what he thinks.

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Chisos said:

Oh, and the one adult that just crossed over...sounds like they're well meaning, but I'd try to get a different adult to go to the new scout program.  I'm assuming he's the previous Webelos den leader?  Have him take SM specific and/or IOLS or something like that.

 DO NOT LET THE NEW SCOUTER ANYWHERE NEAR THE FIRST YEAR CAMPERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(and yes that is me shouting at you in warning, not anger ;) ) He needs serious Cub Scout Leader deprogamming, and trained as a Boy Scouter, or should I say Scouts, BSA Scouter. I've seen first hand what new, well meaning, just crossed over parents/former Cub Leaders hover around first year campers, and it is a complete and total disaster. Do not make the mistake.

 

#2 WELCOME TO DA FORUMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

 

Edited by Eagle94-A1
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I have found summer camp is actually a good time to train new leaders as to how little they're supposed to do.  

Through the week the scouts pretty quickly fall into the rhythm and routine of the camp, and that routine is the safety net the adult is used to providing  so it's easier to pull the adult back and say "hey.let them go, they'll figure it out" and then actually show them that it works.  Also because the camp is running most of the program there just isn't the opportunity for a new adult to interfere.

You need to set the expectations explicitly up front.  Do a briefing with all the adults about what the expectations are for them going in, and then use that as the basis for pulling the adult back.  "Remember, this is what we talked about, let them do it even if they're getting it wrong."  If the adult is particularly challenged in learning their role, because summer camp really has so little for a typical Sm to do, it actually makes it easier to divert the adult explicitly because, frankly, a SM doesn't have much better to do than train his new adults.

So I would say let them come and use the opportunity to make them better.

 

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