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nchg2

Tenting: 2 years apart

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11 hours ago, fred8033 said:

One method, ask the year they were born.  If two or less different, fine.  If more than two, see if it's a minor difference such as Dec 2016 to Jan 2019.

That's reasonable.

13 hours ago, DuctTape said:

keep it simple, imo.

No fractional ages.

Good to know I can keep it simple still. Thanks everyone for the feedbacks.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

Ran into this with my nylt staff this weekend. They wanted to have all the youth staff in a big tent, when we talked over the tenting rule, we agreed that having a 13-17 year spread in a single tent violates the plan language of the rule. 

 

But does the same apply to cabins now? Why or why not? 

The 2-year age difference rule only applies to tents -- not cabins.  We don't know why.  Perhaps because cabins usually have bunks, more separation, and are generally more open.

 

 

BSA Guide to Safe Scouting Tents Cabins.JPG

Edited by Thunderbird
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Keep it even simpler: ask when they were born.

If a Scout was born, say, January 1, 2005, the he/she can tent with someone if they were born between January 1, 2003 and January 1, 2007.

That's how our troop does it. No issues and no problems with anyone understanding the rule.

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On 4/28/2019 at 5:13 PM, Cleveland Rocks said:

Keep it even simpler: ask when they were born.

If a Scout was born, say, January 1, 2005, the he/she can tent with someone if they were born between January 1, 2003 and January 1, 2007.

That's how our troop does it. No issues and no problems with anyone understanding the rule.

That's always been my answer to.  Seems pretty straightforward and the math isn't too hard. 

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On 4/26/2019 at 10:59 PM, Treflienne said:

I think that tent arrangments are an area where the differences between what girls collectively tend to like and what boys tend to like may show up.   What I have seen (both when I was a kid, and also when I was a girl scout leader) is that girls would like their whole friend-group to be in one big tent.  So, yes,  pack six or seven girls into one of those big platform tents that the girl scout camps have -- and everyone is happy.   Need to split a group of elementary-aged girls between two separate tents -- and all kinds of drama might break out.   Fortunately, the Scouts BSA girls are a little more mature in their reactions than the younger ones.

The boys almost always like this too, except that when you do that, no one gets to sleep on Friday until 3am because the keep each other stimulated.  This tends to change pretty quick once the kids hit 7th/8th grade and are in sports though.  Then they start wanting smaller tents so they can exclude the "annoying kid" who still thinks its fun to make fart noises and shriek at 1am.  Then by high school they usually don't want to tent with anyone who isn't going to go to sleep by 11pm.

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On 4/26/2019 at 12:51 PM, nchg2 said:

I hope I posted in the correct section.

I'd like your input on the 2-year apart rule for tenting. If Scout A says I'm 12 and Scout B says I'm 14. I take that as these two scouts are okay to tent together as it falls within the rule.

I was asked recently what if the scouts are a newly turned 12yo and a 14-1/2yo. Can they tent together as they are technically 2.5 years apart? My instinct says yes - it'd be a logistics burden to go through all the age calculations at each campout. But I guess compliance comes first.

How does the rule apply here?

TIA

The rule specifically says "Their ages can be no more than 2 years apart".

My take on it is that ages are integers so as long as the kids can still say they are 12 and 14, it doesn't matter how close they are to their next birthday.  But there are a couple of moms in my troop that always decide on the most restrictive and obnoxious possible interpretation of things; they've decided it's 24 months between birthdays even though the rule doesn't mention birthdays or months.  (They also felt we should set up a boy/girl rotation schedule for the bathroom.  Even though it was a 1 seated port-a-jon with a locking door.)

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4 minutes ago, elitts said:

The rule specifically says "Their ages can be no more than 2 years apart".

My take on it is that ages are integers so as long as the kids can still say they are 12 and 14, it doesn't matter how close they are to their next birthday.  But there are a couple of moms in my troop that always decide on the most restrictive and obnoxious possible interpretation of things; they've decided it's 24 months between birthdays even though the rule doesn't mention birthdays or months.  (They also felt we should set up a boy/girl rotation schedule for the bathroom.  Even though it was a 1 seated port-a-jon with a locking door.)

I do the 24 month thing, but if someone else did the two year number difference apprroach that would be fine too.  

In moments like this, I'm reminded that it's a youth organization and that there's such a thing as overthinking it.  Really, ether approach accomplishes the intent.  

 

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Just now, ParkMan said:

I do the 24 month thing, but if someone else did the two year number difference apprroach that would be fine too.  

In moments like this, I'm reminded that it's a youth organization and that there's such a thing as overthinking it.  Really, ether approach accomplishes the intent.  

 

I understand the thinking of people that go with the 24 month interpretation, and outside of my own troop, if someone wants to go that way I don't mind.  EXCEPT, there is this nasty tendency amongst some scouters in my neck of the woods to take an "interpretation" and then start promoting it as "The BSA Rule"; and that I object to.  

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2 minutes ago, elitts said:

I understand the thinking of people that go with the 24 month interpretation, and outside of my own troop, if someone wants to go that way I don't mind.  EXCEPT, there is this nasty tendency amongst some scouters in my neck of the woods to take an "interpretation" and then start promoting it as "The BSA Rule"; and that I object to.  

Hah - yes, I hear you!

Really, the BSA doesn't define what "within 2 years" means.  It could be the numerical integer approach, it could be literally born withing a two year period from the day that the Scout was born.

I have to think that if the BSA really was that concerrned about 24 months vs. two numerical years, they'd say so.  But, they don't.  I myself suspect the discussion at National was something like "should it be two years or three years?  Hmm, yes - two years it is.  Ok, next topic."  

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I've got to say, I think the people who are going with the "For us, it's just 2 integer years in their declared ages" approach, are going to be in for a world of hurt.

24 months (born within 2 years of each other) is easy.  It's once and done.   "Yes, Tim, you can tent with Jeff", or "No Tim, Jeff is more than 2 years older than you, so you can't tent with him".  Done, finished, forevermore.

Two integer years apart in declared age, and suddenly it's "Oh, but Mr. SM, I just turned 12, so for the next 3 weeks I'm within 2 years of Jeff, so we can tent together this campout, right!?!?", and "I'm sorry Jeff, you were 14 on Friday when we set up camp, so you could tent with Tim last night, but today's your birthday, so you have to change tents tonight", and "Really?  Your birthday was last week?  We completely forgot - that means we don't have enough tents!"

You can say "yeah, we're not going to worry about those kinds of stupid minor miscalculations", right up until it happens, and a YPT incident occurs, and lawyers get involved.

Personally, I think the rule is asinine, and there are circumstances where I believe I would come down on the side of National can go suck a lemon, but it behooves people to be aware of where "Oh, that's just too complicated" is almost inevitably going to result in flouting of National's rules.

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16 minutes ago, willray said:

Personally, I think the rule is asinine, and there are circumstances where I believe I would come down on the side of National can go suck a lemon, but it behooves people to be aware of where "Oh, that's just too complicated" is almost inevitably going to result in flouting of National's rules.

Hard and fast rules are asinine. No doubt about it. But all adults should be aware of the rules, think about why they might be in place, and do their best to observe the spirit of the rules to the extent it benefits the boys.

There are absolutely situations where the "2 year rule" won't work for a particular campout or for a particular troop (I suspect they are particularly onerous on small troops where you might not have enough scouts to buddy up a given age).  There might be solutions that work though:  like have buddy pairs in most tents, but 3 scouts in one....or letting an older scout have a tent to himself. Most of the time, a solution can be found, and it's best to share the objective with the PL and SPL and let them make the call.

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11 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

Hard and fast rules are asinine. No doubt about it. But all adults should be aware of the rules, think about why they might be in place, and do their best to observe the spirit of the rules to the extent it benefits the boys.

There are absolutely situations where the "2 year rule" won't work for a particular campout or for a particular troop...

My big worry is when we get the lone, just-crossed-over 10 year old scout on his or her first campout, ineligible to tent with any of the other attendees, alone and terrified in a tent in a thunderstorm.  I don't know what we're going to do when that happens - plans and first-contact and all that make it not worth trying to strategize much before we get there - but National can show me to the door any time they like, if they think I'm making that scout sit alone and cry all night.

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8 minutes ago, willray said:

My big worry is when we get the lone, just-crossed-over 10 year old scout on his or her first campout, ineligible to tent with any of the other attendees, alone and terrified in a tent in a thunderstorm.  I don't know what we're going to do when that happens - plans and first-contact and all that make it not worth trying to strategize much before we get there - but National can show me to the door any time they like, if they think I'm making that scout sit alone and cry all night.

How often does that particular scenario really happen?

In most troops, the largest age group is the 11-12 year old. They're the most eager to go on campouts and the most flexible about helping out their fellow scouts. In our troop, we usually get at least 10 new 10-11 year olds joining each year. There's almost always enough to pair up a newcomer with a scout who is the same (or close) in age.  The older scouts tend to be the ones who are less willing to tent with anyone but their friend.

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4 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

How often does that particular scenario really happen?

It's certainly not going to happen often, but if it's possible, it'll happen eventually.

In the case of our troop, even with 8-10 crossovers coming in each year, we've had a few near misses on this situation in recent memory.  The usual cause is a lightly-attended campout with someone getting sick and leaving, or unexpectedly dropping out at the last minute.

Our overall troop roster probably has 11-12 as the largest age group, but on most campouts we're probably heaviest in the 13-15yo range.  It's not too unusual for only a couple-three of the crossovers to attend the early campouts (this is possibly the fault of an activities-planning process that doesn't put much thought into "easing" the crossovers into things, and inconsistent crossover timing from our common feeder packs.  We've had out-of-state semi-high-adventure campouts the weekend after the crossover ceremony), and it's only dumb luck that random drop-outs from some of these haven't landed us in exactly my described scenario.

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