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I throw this out to ponder for the group. The troop recently lost 3 boys and held a school roundup at the area elementary for the 5th graders before they get to Middle school. Out of 50 boys that attended the presentation no one showed up that evening with or without parents to sign up for boy scouts.


The 3 boys that left the troop told me they were leaving cause they never get to do the stuff the DE told them they could do when he came to school. White water rafting, shooting, rapelling etc. All high adventure stuff that they are not allowed to do due to their ages being under 14. They told me they were tired of camping and hiking yet when asked for age appropriate activities that they wished to do during program planning in February they had no ideas.


So my question is, if we are not targeting the higher age boys (DE says you can't get middle school or high school boys by a round ups) then why the heck is he selling high adventure activities to 5th graders that can't participate in these for 3-4 years then they leave disenchanted. When I asked he told me that was the program. No one would join with out showcasing high adventure stuff. Two dropped out of summer camp cause they couldn't do the rifleing MB, climbing, or motorboating due to the age restirctions. These boys were all just 3-4 requirements short of FC so MB's are obviously what is next for them. Beside FC first year would put a 12 you up for these MB's. Ideas?

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What(or who) gave them the idea that they can't shoot rifles, shotguns, climb, rappel, or do white water activities. What have they had the opportunity to do?


Programs fault??? Depends on which program you are referring to, the troop's or the BSA's? You will not find the fault to be the BSA's.


You have a great opportunity here to bring those boys back, and to grow the troop even larger. I recommend the leaders and committee take the BSA training courses and get the troop activities back on track.


This could be a very exciting change for everyone.


Good Luck,

Bob White

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Richmond -


There are many "high adventure" activities you can offer the younger scouts. All of the items mentioned are perfectly legitimate activities for your troop to consider. I know we're in similar situations, with relatively new troops. We have not done any true high adventure, yet. But the boys are starting to plan next year and we are going to include some in the plan.


The closest thing to high adventure we have done so far was taking them snow tubing back in the winter. It was great fun for them, and it got us out of the camping/hiking rut. They thought it was great. However, if we only did that one activity every year, they would get bored with it too.


Get your PLC involved with planning some activities. However, since you're troop is young, you'll have to "prime the pumps". They won't come up with ideas on their own. Give them some ideas. Have them search the web. Get your boys involved to the point that when they come up with a plan, it's THEIR idea. Then, they'll think it was the greatest idea in the world.


Incidentally, the "big ideas" our guys are working on for the next year are a trip to Huntsville to work on Space Ex, a snow tubing/skiing trip and whitewater rafting in either WV or the Smokies. I know we're in the same area, so these ideas may work for you too.

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Just some other ideas.


While not "whitewater" trips, there are many river float trips available for younger scouts.


We also do ski/snowshoe trips in the winter.


We just did a break-in backpacking trip. Just 1.5 miles, but something different for scouts that were essentially car campers.


Not sure how far away you are, but last summer we spent 3 days at Gettysburg. It was a great trip for scouts/scouters of all ages and all earned the Historic Trails Medal. We're from Massachusetts and it was a 7 hour ride. There were troops there from Michigan, Georgia, and Kansas as well. It's not expensive. The campground and access to the park is free. There is a small fee for some of the activies and the Historic Trails materials available from the York Area Council.


Good luck.



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F/U Bob our Council denied our tour permits due to age restrictions for two canoeing trips. One on a tibutary of the KY river that you can stand up in and is mid thigh deep very slow moving water, and another trip to an outfitter for class 1 rapids. Council also would not allow the boys to register for the councils ski/snow tubing trip this winter due to the age restrictions. Summer camp program has the age restrictions on the MB's I mentioned. Training we have trained leaders myself Boy Scout leader essentials, woodbadge, YPT, Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat, CPR certified for heatlh care practioner, certified pediatric trauma nurse and one ASM Boy Scout leader essentials, woodbadge, YPT, Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat, CPR certified for heatlh care practioner, who also is a BSA certified rifle range instructor, as well as an EMT/firefighter, and ceritifed in water rescue as a firfighter. Another ASM has Boy Scout leader essentials, YPT, Safe swim defense and safety afloat and was a Star scout. Our other ASM is a firefighter also Boy Scout leader essentials, CPR and YPT. So I think we are well trained. If council is putting on these restrictions and not national then something is rotten in KY then. Eagle have you not had this occur? I thought we were served by the same council?


Our activities have been mainly camping since we started the troop. Several hiking trips including the trail gaining elevation or 950+ feet. Swimming, communtiy service projects flags on veterans graves, road side clean ups, toys for tots. Like I said all the tour permits I submit to council for higher stuff are disapproved. What should we do not turn in tour permits?


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F/U??? not familiar with that, perhaps you will explain. I would hope that it is not what my son who read the post thinks it is. That would be very disappointing coming from a Scoutmaster of all people.


If you read the merit badge requirements for all the ones you named you will see there are no age limits. The Council may very well have denied the activities based on other elements and age problem was only assumed. perhaps the volunteers on the activity and summer camp committees do not realize they are in error and no one has shared the correct rules with them. you would be amazed by the number of scouters operating by rumor and folklore.


As far as your tour permit, where does it ask the age of the participants?


Where in the G2SS does it restrict Boy Scouts in those activities by age.


Which Merit badge book do you see those age restrictions in?


No, it is not a problem with the BSA program.


What training your leaders went to and which ones they remeber or understood may be the bigger problems. I think you greeting to me establishes your credentials in scouting.


Bob White



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My first thought was that you should roll up a copy of the G2SS take it too your Scout Service Center and give the people that work there a couple of good whacks!! However this is not how to get things done.

You might want to make your charter rep aware of the problem and send him packing to the next District Committee Meeting. Here he can present your case and the good people there take it to the next level.

At the same time you could bring your concerns to your Unit Commissioner and if he or she is doing a good job it will come up at the Commissioners meeting and the District Commissioner will bring it up at the key3 meeting.

Depending on who your District Chairman is, he might very well get a rolled up copy of the G2SS and give a couple of good whacks to a couple of people. (Just joking!!)


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During Health and Safety training only 2 weeks ago, we spent a great deal of time working on hypothetical situations and utilizing the G2SS. The types of trips mentioned were all ok considering the appropriate people were in place--but age was not a factor. Have you spoken to council about the tour permits and asked for specific reasons for what was turned down?


That said, this council does have age restrictions on some camp programs, but they are clearly stated up front--no surprises. That is for those specific programs though, not for all Scouts going on all trips.

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Laurie and all,


I can see one reason tour permits were denied: Specific safety TRAINING on the part of leaders in T376 :(


Part of trip planning is identifying trained individuals. In some cases, like shooting sports, that person can be from outside the unit while a registered Scouter provides the 2 deep.


There are adult leader needs for aquatic activities (Safe Swim Defense/Safety Afloat)



There are adult leader needs for shooting sports (NRA isntructor qualifications!)


There are adult leader needs for climbing sports (ARC Standard First Aid and CPR).


Here's the G2SS website:





a BSA Lifeguard (among other trainings)(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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I think F/U means Follow Up. We use the acronym in our Troop all of the time, because it does get the boys attention. Not very proud to use a trick like this to get a point across, but it really works.




Something is really wrong. either you're not presenting your tour permit in a way that allows Council to approve it, or, as Eamonn says, Council needs to be whacked with a rolled up copy of G2SS.


Our Troop also restricts high venture activities to 13 and First Class. We provide every new Scout an opportunity to get a "taste" of everything we do, just to whet their appetites. But a week long backpacking trip to the A.T., or a weekend Whitewater trip is limited to older Scouts. This works for us, but it sounds like it is hurting your unit. If you need to add high venture to keep your boys interested, you shouldn't let artificial rules stop you.


BTW, at least Tinnerman Canoe base in Canada (operated by the Greater Cleveland Council), does limit attendance to boys 13 and over, so it's not unheard of that a Council would have such rules.



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Bob, f/u=follow up. Not what you thought. We use it frequently in my professional life as a nurse. I certainly would not use the conotation you took and I'm sorry you took it that way I do not use that type of language. I hold my self to the same standards as the Scouts I serve and that language is certainly not helpful, friendly, curteous, nor kind. As to the MB's, yes the books have no age restrictions I know but the age restrictions are posted in our councils summer camp merit badge requirements list that is in the summer camp leaders packet. Also, council on numberous occasions has instructed that "shooting activities can only take place at resident camps on an approved range under the instruction of a BSA instructor". The denied tour permits were denied hand written statement across the top was the "these activities are high adventure and thus are limited to Scouts 14 and older". Since we only have 11-12 year olds and the council knows this that's why we were denied. GSS does limit caving beyond simple guided tours to Scouts greater than 14 so perhaps this is where council is getting their ideas.

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Further follow up (ff/u) This is what I found on national's web site http://www.scouting.org/nav/enter.jsp?c=xds&terms=high+adventure titled Scouting's Adventures for Older Boy Scouts Older Scouts (those who are at least 13 years old or have completed the seventh grade) seek challenge and variety. How does Scouting capture their interest? Through diverse high-adventure and outdoor opportunities. Scouting not only provides adventure but also emphasizes values through ideals that reinforce God, country, and personal growth. I double checked my hard copy of G2SS and the web link I can't find any metion of this 13 year old limitation. I'll take some of your ideas and present them to our UC he's very supportive and helpful. Since SC is in a couple of weeks I'll attack this one when we arrive at the Scoutmasters meetings. As far as training goes we seem sufficiently trained except for BSA lifeguard which one ASM is doing at SC this year. The ASM that is rifle certified took the couse at National Camping School so I'm sure he knows his stuff of certainly they would not have let him pass. As far as planning goes I thought we had planned everything correctly we consulted G2SS didn't find any restrictions completed our tour permits with our SSD/SA card numbers training was not mentioned in the denial not even for the outfitter!

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Individual programs, be it council camps or private groups can restrict the ages. Scout camps out here generally restrict certain programs such as climbing, waterskiing, black power, mountain biking, and others. In has to do with cost of the program, equipment, strength, size and anticipation.

The cost of the equipment and staff limits the number of scouts that many of these programs can have at summer camp. Having a proper fitting equipment for smaller scouts can both be hard to find and expensive. Size and strength differences can make it difficult for staff to instruct and supervise, and effect the enjoyment. Safety issues can also be affected by size. Drawing the older scout back to camp and having something for the younger scout to look forward to are the goals also.

All the camps Ive attended in the last twenty years have had some programs restricted by age. If you dont like what your local council camp is offering, check around there may be another camp offering what you want.


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One thing that I haven't noticed is an answer to the question, "What do I do, not file a tour permit?" The short answer is YOU SHOULD ALWAYS FILE TOUR PERMITS. If for no other reason that to eliminate your financial obligation for secondary insurance. (It also helps council with funding from other sources to be able to prove they have served so many youth in a certain amount of time.)


I'm for using the rolled up g2ss. When district/council people get in the way of program, I really believe they should be beaten. I can say this since I'm a district training chair, and a council venture chair.


While it's true we would have problems with you taking under 13 year olds rapelling, we'd smile at you taking them climbing. We'd have a problem with you taking them to white water rapids, but would help you find ships for an ocean trip, or a milder creek/lake trip.


I am also the CC for a BIG troop. We will have been to all the High Adventure Bases (Philmont/Northern Tier/Sea Base plus National Jambo over the past 4 years) When we started this cycle there were little scouts that couldn't go. They are going now. Their only concern was are we going back? Our answer on that topic is "Just as soon as they let us." Our guys know the headaches of registration, and they know if we can't get into one trip, we'll find something (climbing Mt Witney, rim to rim trip to Grand Canyon, etc) for them. Our youngest scouts know that for their safety somethings are limited to them. When the older guys go out, they know there will be outings for them too. Makes it a whole lot easier to have them stick around.


Let your local people help you, they will, err should. If they can't seem to do that, you just let me know. I'm 6'4" 260+ I'll come with my rolled up copy of g2ss.


Good Luck!!

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