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Did I handle this right?

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Last weekend we had new cub over nighter. The camp sites were right next to each other separated only by a piece of twine. Our pack setup so that we would have a sitting area toward the front left side of the camping area. The pack next to us decided to have there sitting area to the front right area of there camp site (In short, we were next to each other). The tent we had right behind our sitting area was for a new wolf family. The family had a four year old sibling on the campout and I had my three year old son (they are cousins, my brother kids). We let the little kids play in my brother tent (the tent was open at all times).

One of the people from the pack in the next camp site came over and was complaining very rudely that the kids were going to rip up the tent and that two kids in the tent was against BSA regulations if they are not siblings. Being unsure of the regulations I told the kids to stop playing in the tent and go run around somewhere else (a play area near by).

Now this is the kicker, ten minutes later, the lady who came over and was very rude about the way she said things, light up a cigarette (not only her but three other from that pack). I wanted to be a bigger man about things, so I did not mention that smoking cigarettes on outings is against BSA regulation, but I was a little loud while telling my sister-in-law about the rule. I felt it was the right thing to do at the time but I later felt that I should have said something more. What should I do when I see a regulation being broken? Was I right for not going tick-for-tack with this lady? What about kids who are not sibling being in the same tent, and does that mean that cubbies can't overnight in the same tent?


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One more thing...

I recently quit smoking>>>


I have been free from the EVIL NICO-DEMON for 3 Weeks, 6 Days, 22 hours, 14 minutes and 50 seconds or since 9/8/04 (27 days). I have saved $148.00 toward my retirement. I now have 3 Days, 21 hours and 5 minutes left with my children that I would not have if I had smoked 1,117 cigarettes

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Although I am not an Adult Leader, I am a 19 year Eagle Scout College Student type guy.


I have been on enough Pack/Troop outings through my years as a Webelos Scout, then a Den Chief, etc... and my time in the Troop all the way up to ASM to know this...


Some people love to throw BSA-Regulation Piss Parties.


It's basically where two people go back and forth about exactly what BSA regulations are and are not.


In most situation, it stays contained to those two people, but can get alot worse. Also in most situations, neither party have any documentation with them that really can prove/disprove any of the immediate problems at hand.


And even so, if you did have documentation, would that really satisfy the losing party?


And also, what type of role model figure are both parties serving as?


I tend to believe that the party that just shrugs their shoulders, acts concerned, and handles it in their own mature way tend to be the most gracious to the young Scouts who are in observation (whether you realize it or not).


Ultimately, the BSA regulations are designed for the safety of the unit, which means that ultimately the safety of the unit is in YOUR hands as an adult leader.


If you have a problem with the way your Pack is being led, then as a member Parent, you have the right and the responsibility to voice your opinions.


But as a non-parent member of a Pack you are observing, is it really in your right to say much? Unless there is a SERIOUS issue of Safety, then I can't imagine any reason why it would be the mature or even right thing to do.


How did they know whether the two kids were siblings. Even if they weren't, does it really affect them?


Leadership is about growth just as much as being led, most people will only learn things for themselves.


So I believe if you felt you did the mature and responsible thing, then you were in the right.


If not, better luck next time.


But perhaps I am naive.



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Non siblings can't share a tent? That is so ridiculous at to not need comment.


I think you handled that part of it well. I probably would have pulled out my copy of the Guide to Safe Scouting and asked if she could show me that policy.


As to her smoking, I won't fault you for not being more aggressive about it, although some here may. Without dragging out the book, the policy says something along the lines of "Leaders may not allow other to use tobacco in front of Scouts." I take that to mean that I have a responsibility to stop others from smoking, not simply not doing it myself. Personally, I would have said something if she is lighting up in front of my kids. I'm probably not going to go into her campsite to say something about her smoking in front of her kids unless she is particularly aggregious. It would be a judgement call based on the circumstance.

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To best of your ability at the time!!!!


Eagle Foot's policy....aways carry a BSA 'Guide to Safe Scouting' ....when in question... look it up. Better yet have "Those" look it up so we both can be on the same page.


Saves problems, clears the air real fast. I can always stand to be corrected when I'm wrong. That's part of it all.


Something else...I've always had more trouble out of the adults than I do the kids no matter how bad the adults say they are.


(Edited by Eagle Foot)



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The two boys can absolutely play inside a tent, and if they want to they can sleep in the tent, by themselves without a parent. Although these two seem a little young for that yet. I make every effort to keep the kids out of the tents unless its bed time. I dont believe that the tent is a play place! Too many tents are ruined by allowing the kids to play inside them. On this point the lady was correct. When my son was small, we would take a small childs toy tent with us for him and his buddies to play in, they could go in the toy tent but not the "real" tent. The idea is to teach them respect for their equipment from a very early age.


As for the smoking, I suspect weve all been there! The parent or leader who seems to think he (she), has some inalienable right to light up when ever or where ever they happen to be. We have so many darn rules sometime you just need to pick your battles. I feel that the people who light up, like this lady did, without regard for the people around her, are probably the quickest to go off the deep end when confronted. Those who walk away from the group to light up are probably the more considerate and understanding. So had you confronted this lady, you would have probably had a major brouhaha on your hands.


Pick your fights, pick your battles, dont lose any sleep over this. You kept the peace.

(This message has been edited by fotoscout)

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All good thoughts!!


Impressive thinking and communicating from the 19 year old -- Not that we shouldn't expect it, but sometimes we don't. Thanks for reminding us, pjzedalis!! Well Played!!! ;)


Here's my Uncleguinea imitation for the day . . .


Stringing twine to separate campsites seems Dangerous (and unecessary). I hope you were careful. . .


Kinda :) hate to steal your thunder, Unc, but your concerns about the Lone Scout sent out on the Skyhook Mission taught me to keep my eyes open wider -- besides, now you can go for the punchline and suggest that next time they use home and away unis! ;)



jd(This message has been edited by johndaigler)

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I have an Uncleguinea groupie? ;) Amazing.


Actually, John, the only thing I would suggest about the twine is to put some strings of duct tape, or other shiny sticky stuff about three feet apart along the line.


Twine is nearly impossible to see in the dark or in the shadows without something that reflects the light on it.


Wouldn't want adults flipping over it or Cub Scouts choking on it, would we?




Ps -- that imitation was taken as the sincerest form of flattery. Please don't tell me if I'm wrong.



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I have chaired an event for Boy Scouts for many years. We get 300 Scouts from around the Council and hold a series of classes for them. These classes take place on three consecutive Saturday mornings. My point here is to let you know how we handle smoking in front of the boys.


At the first opening ceremony during the announcements, I read the statement regarding smoking in front of youth (notice it doesn't say Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Venturers, it says youth?). I then let them know that the smoking area is across the street behind a group of tennis courts.


As for non-sublings being in the same tent, don't let the camp staff at Northern Tier, Sea Base, or Philmont know this. You probably will cause problems there. Also you need to be sure not to let most of the camp staffs from the various council camps around the country. I'm sure we could change what is taught in national camp school.


Oh wait, could it be that this policy was misquoted? You decide, there should be no ADULTS sleeping in a tent unless all the youth in the tent are family members with the adult. So close on the party, so close. The young man that posted earlier needs to know that if he wants to come to California, we'd love to have an ASM with his head on so well.


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