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Our council is requiring Troops to family camp at this time and it seems to leave some "grey areas".

After a discussion with council today and hearing "again, it is a grey area" I feel like few of our questions have been answered. I figured maybe someone here can give some insight.

So our biggest question is can a parent tent with a scout? It is family camping, not troop or patrol camping.

I understand that no leader should tent with a youth according to YPT. Would that rule hold during a family camping event? Can a father & son or mother & daughter tent together? What about a parent that is not a leader? I believe almost all of our parents have YPT so we will meet that requirement. 

No youth can tent with another that is more that 2yrs apart in age. Does that hold with family camping? So then parent/child tenting would be out because of age?

Any thoughts on a troop family camping? Thanks!

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I'm giving up downvotes for Lent.  It's going to be rough!

So few parents ever camp with us, that I am thrilled when they come along. I gently ease the parent into our culture. I have far too many fish to fry to worry about a parent and child who want to

Having a buddy in one's tent does not make one safer from bears. In general the best bear mitigation strategy is to keep a clean camp, cook and eat far away (and downwind) from the sleeping area, and

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27 minutes ago, karunamom3 said:

So our biggest question is can a parent tent with a scout? It is family camping, not troop or patrol camping....No youth can tent with another that is more that 2yrs apart in age. Does that hold with family camping? So then parent/child tenting would be out because of age?

The official answer from BSA National is this: NO (unless the scout is in Cub Scouts).

There is no gray area here.

Source:

https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/gss01/

Quote

Tenting

  • Separate tenting arrangements must be provided for male and female adults as well as for male and female youth.
  • Youth sharing tents must be no more than two years apart in age.
  • In Cub Scouting, parents and guardians may share a tent with their family.
  • In all other programs, youth and adults tent separately. (Youth Protection and Barriers to Abuse FAQs)
  • Spouses may share tents

https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/yp-faqs/

Quote

Accommodations

Q. Why do youth tent separately from parents outside of Cub Scouting?

A. Scouts BSA, Sea Scouts, and Venturing are youth led programs.  The Cub Scout program is family-oriented.

 

Edited by CynicalScouter
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26 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

The official answer from BSA National is this: NO (unless the scout is in Cub Scouts)

I gues the issue here is family camping - how does that change things.  If not at all, then why have it?  I did not see family camping mentioned specifically on the BSA webpage.  

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6 minutes ago, Navybone said:

If not at all, then why have it?

Family camping reiterates that while parents and siblings may be present, they still tent alone. YPT remains in effect.

And if there's no Cub Scouts present, then Family Camping doesn't apply. Family Camping is explicitly LIMITED to events with Cub Scout units or Cub Scouts. Since the original poster talked "Troops" this doesn't even apply.

https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/safety-moments/family-camping/

Quote

SUMMARY

There are two appropriate camping experiences for Cub Scouts: family camping, organized by the council, and pack overnighters. Family camping, along with resident camping, is another timeless outdoor experience that involves Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, or Venturing program elements in an overnight setting. It requires that two or more family members attend, including at least one BSA member, to count as family camping. Youth Protection policies still apply, but of course parents are responsible for the supervision of their children.

 

 

Edited by CynicalScouter
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Seems kind of stupid to me to not allow a parent to tent with a scout if you want scouting to survive in the pandemic era. Then you are requiring a scouting family to buy two tents and possibly twice the gear just to accommodate a bizarre requirement. On the other hand, being completely liability driven, I do not advocate flaunting BSA policy. I do think BSA needs to issue some interim temporary policy modifications to make outings easier for scouts during the pandemic. It is also not safe to have scouts tenting alone in some situations. Far better to have a tent buddy, especially in bear territory. In pandemic times, the safest buddy is a household pod member, which could be either a parent or a sibling who falls outside of the two year limit rule. 

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10 minutes ago, yknot said:

Seems kind of stupid to me to not allow a parent to tent with a scout if you want scouting to survive in the pandemic era

This is the rule. Now, I would guess enforcement at the unit level = 0%.

I know my unit obeys, but otherwise, 0%

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Family Camping

Family camping is an outdoor experience, other than resident camping, that involves Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, Sea Scouting, or Venturing program elements in overnight settings with two or more family members, including at least one BSA member of that family. Parents are responsible for the supervision of their children, and Youth Protection policies apply.

Recreational Family Camping

Recreational family camping occurs when Scouting families camp as a family unit outside of an organized program. It is a nonstructured camping experience, but is conducted within a Scouting framework on local council-owned or -managed property. Local councils may have family camping grounds available for rent. Other resources may include equipment, information, and training.

------------------------------

Maybe they are referring to this "Recreational Family Camping"

We have had exceptions to the "Troop" rules, based on physical or medical needs.  Each done on a case by case basis, with approval from the SE.

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1 hour ago, Navybone said:

I gues the issue here is family camping - how does that change things.  If not at all, then why have it?  I did not see family camping mentioned specifically on the BSA webpage.  

I can not find any details on the BSA site referencing rules for family camping and scouts BSA. All I can find is this under Camping...

Family Camping

"Family camping is an outdoor experience, other than resident camping, that involves Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, Sea Scouting or Venturing program elements in overnight settings with two or more family members, including at least one BSA member of that family. Parents are responsible for the supervision of their children, and Youth Protection policies apply."

 

1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

Family camping reiterates that while parents and siblings may be present, they still tent alone. YPT remains in effect.

And if there's no Cub Scouts present, then Family Camping doesn't apply. Family Camping is explicitly LIMITED to events with Cub Scout units or Cub Scouts. Since the original poster talked "Troops" this doesn't even apply.

https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/safety-moments/family-camping/

Looking at the quote I copied above, family camping may apply to Scouts BSA, Sea Scouts & Venturing.

Our council is only allowing Troops to "family camp" at this time.

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1 hour ago, yknot said:

Seems kind of stupid to me to not allow a parent to tent with a scout if you want scouting to survive in the pandemic era. Then you are requiring a scouting family to buy two tents and possibly twice the gear just to accommodate a bizarre requirement. On the other hand, being completely liability driven, I do not advocate flaunting BSA policy. I do think BSA needs to issue some interim temporary policy modifications to make outings easier for scouts during the pandemic. It is also not safe to have scouts tenting alone in some situations. Far better to have a tent buddy, especially in bear territory. In pandemic times, the safest buddy is a household pod member, which could be either a parent or a sibling who falls outside of the two year limit rule. 

You nailed it. We are in bear country. Black bears. And we are talking late April when they are hungry. 

And the rules seem fuzzy to me and to our council since they couldnt answer my questions besides telling me there are grey areas. 

Our goal was to bring our newly crossed over AOLs to the council camp we plan to go to for summer resident camp. They can see and experience it. Solidifying their decision to go to camp, hopefully. No way can we expect folks to buy all kinds of equipment when so many are struggling.

Geeze, we can just simply go camping as a group of friends, not under the auspices of the BSA, and none of this would be an issue. I hate to think that way because I love scouts. Guess a call to National is in order.

 

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1 hour ago, David CO said:
3 hours ago, karunamom3 said:

Our council is requiring Troops to family camp 

A council can prohibit an activity.  It cannot require one.  

Maybe someone should ask the council what they mean by "family camp." I suspect it means, due to covid, families are eating and tenting on their own. So if you're going to camp then eat and tent by families. It makes sense to me. It is also not requiring an activity.

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1 hour ago, karunamom3 said:

 

Geeze, we can just simply go camping as a group of friends, not under the auspices of the BSA, and none of this would be an issue. I hate to think that way because I love scouts. 

 

Which sadly is exactly where a lot of my scouting friends and I have ended up.  

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1 hour ago, karunamom3 said:

You nailed it. We are in bear country. Black bears. And we are talking late April when they are hungry. 

And the rules seem fuzzy to me and to our council since they couldnt answer my questions besides telling me there are grey areas. 

Our goal was to bring our newly crossed over AOLs to the council camp we plan to go to for summer resident camp. They can see and experience it. Solidifying their decision to go to camp, hopefully. No way can we expect folks to buy all kinds of equipment when so many are struggling.

Geeze, we can just simply go camping as a group of friends, not under the auspices of the BSA, and none of this would be an issue. I hate to think that way because I love scouts. Guess a call to National is in order.

 

Almost no time in the lower 48 is not hungry black bear time. They woke up in my area earlier this week when the temps briefly went above 40 degrees and were on the move and hungry looking for a midwinter snack. Black bears are not true hibernators except in the extreme north. Don't pay attention to the calendar, pay attention to the thermometer. 

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6 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

The official answer from BSA National is this: NO (unless the scout is in Cub Scouts).

There is no gray area here.

Source:

https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/gss01/

https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/yp-faqs/

Accommodations

Q. Why do youth tent separately from parents outside of Cub Scouting?

A. Scouts BSA, Sea Scouts, and Venturing are youth led programs.  The Cub Scout program is family-oriented.

I cringe at this.  I remember reading it before and thinking:  Yeah right.  It's G2SS and in a section on "Youth Protection and Barriers to Abuse FAQs".   Scouts can't share a tent with their parent because we are trying to protect them from their parent or sibling ?

The trouble is someone inserted a program goal as a YP rule.   Plus, YP should not include things that units can't really enforce.   The G2SS also says we are mandatory reporters.  And if a serious policy violation is made, we need to report it.   Who wants to be the scouter calling the SE about a YP violation because a scout went into the tent with his parent?  ...  It's in a section on abuse.  If it's a YP rule, then we need to follow-up with the procedure. 

I'm 100% for encouraging and even having troop rules for scouts camping independently from their parents.  I hugely favor that ... mainly because I don't want to clean up after my kid at camp too.  

My issue is having this in the YP rules.  Someone messed up with documenting it there. 

Edited by fred8033
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Having a buddy in one's tent does not make one safer from bears. In general the best bear mitigation strategy is to keep a clean camp, cook and eat far away (and downwind) from the sleeping area, and store food appropriately.

Edited by DuctTape
typo
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