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Do people really think that it's not okay for a Scout to tent with his parent?

I mean, I get the separation if you are running a regular program. 

But when there are suddenly rules that say that the Scouts themselves are not allowed to be near one another, and the solution is to invite more people on a campout, the problem is that people who live in the same house can't sleep in the same tent??

Please tell me I misunderstood the original question.

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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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51 minutes ago, Sniktaw said:

Do people really think that it's not okay for a Scout to tent with his parent?

That is BSA's rule. No adults may tent with their scouts (outside of Cub Scouts).

And there is no COVID exception.

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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.

 

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56 minutes ago, Sniktaw said:

Do people really think that it's not okay for a Scout to tent with his parent?

Yes, I truly believe it is NOT okay for a Scout to sleep with their parents, barring medical exceptions.

 

I saw to much disruption, and too many problems because of it. I'll give you the worse example, which almost led to a campwide lost camper drill at summer camp.  ASM dad had his wife an younger son come to family nite. Instead of wife and son going home, they checked into a nearby hotel. ASM dad and son went with them for the night. Not only did they not tell anyone they were leaving, they also did not sign out with the camp office. They texted a message to the other adults that they were at the hotel. There are very few spots at camp with cell service, and the campsite the troop was in was not one of them.  One of the other ASMs happened to be at the office with cell reception doing work, and got the message. Folks at the campsuite were getting worried and almost reported it as lost campers, when the other ASM showed up, and told them about the message. This was the same ASM who allowed his son to sneak out at nite and sleep with him.

 

56 minutes ago, Sniktaw said:

I mean, I get the separation if you are running a regular program. 

But when there are suddenly rules that say that the Scouts themselves are not allowed to be near one another, and the solution is to invite more people on a campout, the problem is that people who live in the same house can't sleep in the same tent??

In my experience, 99% the Scouts do not want to be with the parents or siblings. Last camp out all three of my sons wanted their own tents instead of sharing a tent.  The Scout who had a documented medical condition, and needed an adult with them wanted to be with their buddies. The two new Cross Overs both wanted to be on their own the second nite of the camp out.

56 minutes ago, Sniktaw said:

Please tell me I misunderstood the original question.

No, you got the question right, can a parent stay with their Scout, Sea Scout or Venturer while doing BSA family camping, and the answer is no.

 

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1 hour ago, Sniktaw said:

Do people really think that it's not okay for a Scout to tent with his parent?

The fault is that Scouts BSA is trying to thread the line with “family camping” while trying to have a regular scout experience.   It only puts every leader in a no win position.  Ugg. 

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2 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Yes, I truly believe it is NOT okay for a Scout to sleep with their parents, barring medical exceptions.

I saw to much disruption, and too many problems because of it. ... Instead of wife and son going home, they checked into a nearby hotel. ASM dad and son went with them for the night. Not only did they not tell anyone they were leaving, they also did not sign out with the camp office.  They texted a message to the other adults that they were at the hotel. ...

I agree with your disruption point and your example is meaningful. 

My issue is putting the rule in Guide To Safe Scouting, Abuse, etc.   Are we saying the scout is not safe with the mom?  Are we saying parents should not be allowed to take their kids out of camp because it endangers the troop?  ... "barring medical exceptions"  Are we saying a non-emergency medical condition allows ignoring Guide To Safe Scouting rules ?

Radically, I'm going to assert ... Scouts are safe with their mom and dad.   Troops have zero authority to override parents in such decisions on the basis of "safety" or "abuse".  Bar it on troop policy or that it would interrupt the program.  Bar it because the parents did not communicate well.  Just not on "abuse" or "safety".  

Your example is of poor communication and subverting the program.  Troops need to work with parents to encourage letting scouts have their own experiences and to let scouts interact with scouts.   I'd be very very upset with the parents.  

My issue is it should be somewhere else, not in G2SS.  

Edited by fred8033
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7 hours ago, fred8033 said:

Are we saying a non-emergency medical condition allows ignoring Guide To Safe Scouting rules ?

@fred8033, no, not "ignoring".  But there are non-emergency medical conditions which would require an "exception to policy".  Two examples...a sleepwalker, and a Scout with disabilities which made him unable to grasp and open zippers on sleeping bags, tents, backpacks, pants, etc,, and to not be able to take care of personal hygiene adequately.   In both cases, before the event, the unit made a written request to the SE, who concurred and informed National (who might have vetoed?).  Both cases were approved with two stipulations: 1) those adults may not be counted towards required supervision for the rest of the unit, and 2) the exception would terminate if the Scout's condition improved to where the exception was no longer required.

We did have an issue where, based on SM judgment, we had a parent tent with Scout.  It was Scout's first night with the Troop.  Parent (committee member) was camping with adults, in separate location and tent.  Unit was in bear country.  Another mischievous Scout thought it would be funny to act like a bear and scare the bejeezus (technical term) out of the first nighter...  Well, the first nighter was absolutely terrified (bejeezus meter definitely on on zero).  The only way he was going to stay was if the parent slept in the tent with him.  SM made the call to do it, but one night only...if first nighter "needed" this the second night, they would go home.  Parent was not one of the supervising adults.  Second night was fine.  Scout slept alone.

7 hours ago, fred8033 said:

Just not on "abuse" or "safety".  

Agreed.  I usually reason with the parents along these lines: 1) We understand your Scout is afraid, but he will be fine.  This isn't our first rodeo.  And yes, your Scout is unique. (just like everybody else, but we don't say that out loud) 2) A Scout is brave.  In order to be brave, you MUST have fear.  Without fear, there is no bravery.  This is a key point Scouts must learn.  99 times out of 100, when you ask a new Scout what is means to be brave, he says it means "to not be afraid".  Nothing could be further from the truth...  3) He needs to face this challenge to grow,  and he will receive loads of encouragement and support.  4) If you tent with him, the other Scouts WILL think this odd, and we will have to work harder at "perception" management and watch how the others interact with your Scout.  Please save them this potential  pain and embarrassment.  5)  If you tent with your Scout, it WILL be detrimental to other Scouts whose parents could not attend, and this can be a cause for resentment towards your Scout.  6) If you do not believe your Scout can handle sleeping without you, then perhaps he is not ready for the program.

7 hours ago, fred8033 said:

I'd be very very upset with the parents.  

Yeah, that was a huge foul on the part of the ASM, for not informing the adult leaders who were supervising.  Chastisement definitely in order.

 

 

 

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
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Then there's always an exception to the rule and is why there needs to be a way to deal with this which doesn't involve the SE. 

We have one campout a year where it will easily get below zero. We will not let new scouts go on that campout. Only after several cold weather campouts will we let them go. At the same time, this is one campout where we have no problems with a parent tenting with their kid. Nearly always this is a one time deal. I've never seen it more than twice. And no, I'm never worried about sexual abuse. 

I've also seen scouts that are just really immature that absolutely had to tent with a parent while young but grew up to be really great leaders. It does add a bit of challenge to the patrol but the key is that the parent understands this and is supporting the patrol.

Tenting isn't the issue, it's whether the parent understands their position relative to the patrol. The worst parent I had on a campout was not tenting with his kid, he was taking over cooking and the campfire program. We talked. I never saw him or his son again. I was okay with that.

The issue of the SM having to protect a scout from their parent is very different from protecting the program from a parent. The first is an insane idea and I wonder how many of the 85k cases in the bankruptcy involve the scout's parent (or even another scout for that matter), the second happens all the time.

A better understanding of the issues might lead to better guidelines and rules. I would much rather see a PL stand up to a parent and ask them to leave their patrol site then have blanket rules about tenting. 

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On 2/19/2021 at 5:47 PM, David CO said:

I gave you an upvote for using an appropriate expression on the first Friday of Lent.

Tangent: I have a former scout bemoaning the lack of a decent fish fry in the Denver area. Anybody know of some church/school who does a good one but might not be internet savvy enough to advertise?

Edited by qwazse
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4 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

@fred8033,

I do not think it was a case of not communicating the expectations. The families in question were told repeatedly that it was hurting the Scouts and affecting the troop. See some of my posts from the 2018 time period.

My apologies.  I did not mean to indicate you had not communicate.  Sometimes our scout's families subvert the very program we are trying to establish.  

My key points were about this should not be in G2SS.

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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

Tangent: I have a former scout bemoaning the lack of a decent fish fry in the Denver area. Anybody know of some church/school who does a good one but might not be internet savvy enough to advertise?

Don't know of any.  Our church/school fish fries leave a lot to be desired.  I prefer Culver's restaurants.  They serve fresh Wisconsin walleye on Friday's during lent.  Cod sandwiches year round.

I don't suppose they do much fishing in the mile-high city.  I've heard of flying fish, but I don't think they can quite reach that altitude.

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@fred8033,

No worries.. My apologies if it seemed as if I was attacking you, that was not my intention.

Although these incidents were 2.5-3 years ago, it still rubs me raw. My boys have lost some friends as a result of switching. And friendships I have were weakened as well. It was a rough decision to leave, but the right one.

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