Jump to content

Question about local group requirements


Recommended Posts

My son is in fifth grade and is considering joining a local group but I'm hesitant because they have a policy about all camping trips being mandatory but they aren't being clear about parental involvement/participation being allowed.  I can't find any info about this and was hoping you experienced people would know.  Is mandatory camping a regular occurrence or is this troop overstepping on requirements?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum.

Having all camping be "mandatory" is very unusual, and I'm not even sure how a troop could go about enforcing it.  Many troops have minimum attendance requirements for rank advancement, but rank advancement itself is entirely up to the scout and whether he or she wants to do scouting that way.

EDIT: I just reread your post, and I think I misread your primary concern ---I need more coffee.  If your concern is being able to participate in the campout yourself, every scouting activity is open to observation by parents at all times.  Observing and participating may run a thin line, and many troops, if you're going to camp with them, as opposed to observe them camping, may require that you complete the BSA Youth Protection Training and even submit to a background check.

If your biggest concern is how much "mandatory" camping they expect from parents, the answer, unless they're crazy, is none.  Although some parents/adult leaders are necessary for a campout to happen, as long as we're talking about ScoutsBSA, ie Boy Scouts, and not the younger Cub Scouts I have never heard of any troop requiring a parent be present for each scout.

I would encourage you to take your son to a meeting, and talk to some of the adult leaders and other parents to get some clarification on all of this.  And if that troop isn't your cup of tea, reach out to your local Boy Scout Council and find out what other troops there are in your area.  There are as many different subtle flavors of scouting as there are ice cream, and you should be able to find one your son enjoys.

Edited by T2Eagle
  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your reply, I appreciate the insight and resources. 

To clarify a bit, the fact that all camping is mandatory is strange to me and I needed to know if it in itself was standard practice. It seems very odd to me and makes me question why the group would do that. I understand that they want maximum group evolvement but requiring that a new member participate in an over night with adult and child strangers within three weeks of meeting them is coming off creepy. I think I will reach out to other groups in the area. Thanks again.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Every campout being mandatory is very extreme. With sports, family events, academics, etc if a unit requires youth to put scouting first, they will quickly find out how unsustainable that is.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Take offs are optional, LANDINGS are mandatory".

3/5 of SCOUT is OUT. That said,  I would hope that :

1) The campouts are PLANNED by the Scouts thru their Patrol Leaders' Council , with appropriate adult mentoring and help (appropriat !)

2) all activities, camping foremost, is done within BSA guidelines. Read the Scout Handbook....(""OK, show me where, in your BSHB, it recommends Ramen Noodles for all meals?"")

3)  Parents are always welcome to OBSERVE and HELP and COME on activities (sign that volunteer app,  pay the dues, take the training, STAND BACK.....)

4)  Suitable understanding is shown for Scouts that   do OTHER THINGS.    >>>  I Scouted, earned my Eagle waaaay back when.  My Troop had the motto "ALWAYS ON THE GO"  emblazoned on our neckerchiefs and elsewhere.  My Eagle Patrol or Troop was somewhere, doing something, many times a month. 

Along the  way, I acted in school plays, played and marched in the band,  held school government office,  went to MYF things,   dated,  changed the oil in my dad's trucks, won prizes in debate , went fishing with friends and relations,  sold sodas in snack bar, was Stage Crew Chief (lots of gear to take care of) and generally grew up.  

Your Scout should never feel limited.   Scouting is OPPORTUNITIES,  not just REQUIREMENTS.  

See you on the trail. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Mismatched_Socks said:

...requiring that a new member participate in an over night with adult and child strangers within three weeks of meeting them is coming off creepy. I think I will reach out to other groups in the area. Thanks again.

One reason why I encourage Troops to begin working with Webelos as soon as they hit 4th grade is so that by the time they Cross Over, Scouts, and more importantly the parents, are comfortable with the troop.

It could be worse. Try being asked to go to summer camp within a month of Crossing Over. Back in the day, Webelos was a 1 year program with folks Crossing Over in May, and headed to summer camp in June or July. 

As for mandatory camping,  in my experience, most Scouts HATE  (emphasis) missing camp outs because that is where the true fun is.

28 minutes ago, SSScout said:

3/5 of SCOUT is OUT. That said, 

I prefer Green Bar Bill's " OUTING is three-fourths of  ScOUTING."

30 minutes ago, SSScout said:

Your Scout should never feel limited.   Scouting is OPPORTUNITIES,  not just REQUIREMENTS.  

I lost a Scout in December. When I talked to him, he said he was no longer having any fun, his brother and friends have aged out or will be moving soon, and he has other non-Scouting commitments. I told him point blank, I under stand, and if he changes his mind he is always welcome. I also said come when you can. He showed up last week.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Based on the initial question about mandatory participation, you answered the question by asking it.  If you have to wonder about a unit, avoid it.  They should be selling their program to you, so you join their unit.  As a commissioner, I had to get involved with a unit that decided to have "try outs" by performing woodcraft-type skills.  Imagine that, try outs to join where you would learn such things. 

I don't know of any unit that has 100% participation by scouts in every event.  It is really unimaginable.   If that unit has that as an enforced guideline, that is one unit that needs help from district and/or council.

 

Edited by Double Eagle
cyber gremlins
  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Mismatched_Socks said:

Thank you for your reply, I appreciate the insight and resources. 

To clarify a bit, the fact that all camping is mandatory is strange to me and I needed to know if it in itself was standard practice. It seems very odd to me and makes me question why the group would do that. I understand that they want maximum group evolvement but requiring that a new member participate in an over night with adult and child strangers within three weeks of meeting them is coming off creepy. I think I will reach out to other groups in the area. Thanks again.

Areas of concern

  • "All camping is mandatory" is not normal and extreme.  I'm hoping it's a misunderstanding.  Or, the context is misunderstood.  
  • Units can have "reasonable" attendance standards for attendance (See BSA Guide To Advancement).  Mandatory and 100% are not reasonable.  

Normal

  • It is normal to enthusiastically encourage camping / outings.  Involvement is a huge predictor of future success.
  • Camping within three weeks of joining is NOT unusual at all.  In fact, it's fairly normal.  We often had scouts who's first meeting would be March 1st to March 7th.  Then, their first camp out was a weekend in mid/late March.  In fact, I'd argue it is really really good to get new scouts on outings as soon as possible.  

I agree with an earlier post.  If you have concerns now, those concerns will continue to grow.  ... If you can, try out the troop to see if the concerns are valid or not.  BUT if you can, look at other troops too.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...