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Greying Beaver

You're going to love this . . . .

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Here's the skinny: Scout "A" is dating Scout "B"'s sister, steady for almost a year. Scout "C" is dating Scout "D"'s sister, steady for 6 monthes +/-. Both "A" and "C" are Life closing in on Eagle. "A" just turned 17; the other three are 16, almost 17. All four attend the same school and all four families attend the same church. The church is the CO. I have known "A" and "C" since they joined the troop and have watched them mature. I have met both of the girls. All four youngsters are great kids, active in school and church activities; the girls showed up to help with their boyfriend's Life service projects. I'm sure that you understand the situation.

 

The Problem: Troop Family Campout in November. In our part of the country shorts have been worn on Christmas Day. All four families are planning on attending this campout. The campout is scheduled for a state park, the troop in one campsite; families, the next one over, just like G2SS says. Saturday is filled with fun-filled high-energy activities from after breakfast until a big campfire that night. It's Friday night that worries me. Our little entourage (anywhere from 60 to 80 total) will arrive at the park after dark. Our troop is used to setting up camp in the dark (couldn't set up camp in sunlight if we had to). Most of the older guys sleep out under the stars on Friday nights, including "A" and "C". The families setting up camp in the dark, well . . . . The scouts helping their families is part of the drill, has been in the past. Confusion will probably reign supreme for upwards of 30 to 45 minutes if the past perfomance at family campouts hold true.

 

If anybody has not figured out the "worst-case-scenario", please raise your hand.

 

The parents of these youngsters are aware of the situation. No known hanky-panky in either case. I am sure that the parents have put their children on notice as well. The TC is aware of the situation, but there is little they can do. My concern is if one couple or the other, or both take the Scout Motto (Be Prepared)to that worst-case-scenario extreme. You, in the back, stop giggling!

 

Short of mummifying these youngsters in duct tape, tying them to trees, or having the moms rotate as chaperones all through the campout, parked in front of the tents where the girls are sleeping all night long, does anybody have any ideas? And - Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill? It's a reason for me to be known as . . .

 

Greying Beaver

 

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16 year old kids are too young and too immature to be dating "steady". Whatever you fear they might "do" at this event, they've probably already done, numerous times. The parents are obviously OK with this.

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Let me throw in my 4 cents, two for Greying Beaver and two for FScouter. If you are concerned:

 

1.. I think we all know who should be putting their tent on either side of the boys tents (Leaders). The same for the girlfriends, if they aren't sleeping in with their parents, the parents should be right next to their tent.

 

2.. Don't let the boys go off at night alone. Practice the buddy system.

 

3.. "16 year old kids are too young and too immature to be dating "steady". Whatever you fear they might "do" at this event, they've probably already done, numerous times. The parents are obviously OK with this." That strikes me as odd and stereotypical from an adult. I was seriously dating my girlfriend in High School and neither of us were Seniors. We had a tight group of friends. We NEVER did a thing that you are insinuating. Come to think of it, after college, we married (without the deed done). That was more than 20 years ago and we are together today. We even went camping with family. Wow, passing judgement without knowing the kids. That hurts...

 

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Unless you have reason to think otherwise, I don't think you have a problem.

 

Scouts are expected to act as gentlemen at all times, to follow the Scout Laws ( trustworthy ), and to never put themselves into a situation that could be deemed questionable by an third party observer.

 

We had a similar situation at our recent family campout, and I simply reminded the young men of my expections, and there were no problems.

 

 

Of course, I keep a roll of duct tape handy, just in case! :-) ( 'be prepared' applies to the parents/leaders as well )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I really think you've done what you can. Anything more and you're sending the entirely wrong message to the young adults involved (and at that age I remember having a really powerful receiver for wrong messages).

 

All that's left is vigilance.

 

Vicki

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Hi, Scotiacat. Your #1 and #2 suggestions are either in place or will be in place on the campout to be sure. The girls will be in the same tents as their mothers in a different campsite. Campsites are about 10-15 yds. apart, even odds that a trail will connect them. The intervening woods are fairly thick as well. How stealthy these guys - and girls - are is unknown. My concern is during the single-digit hours of the morning. I can just see me parked in front of these guys in my camp chair, with the coffee going as well, all - night - long. The song, "(I Drank) Forty Cups Of Coffee", keeps running through my mind here of late.

 

And FScouter, these youngsters have known each other since Kindergarten. It's the cards that have been dealt, and we have to play with them.

 

My wife pronounced me the World Champion WorryWart years ago. I haven't relenquished my crown yet.

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Nothing will probably happen. It sounds like you have a good handle on things. Just keep your eyes open all the time.

 

FScouter,

16 year olds to young to date "steady" but mature enough to be an Eagle Scout? Double edged sword there, my friend. And making assumptions based on nothing.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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All 4 sets of parents, & I assume all 4 kids, are aware of the situation & of the expected behavior.

 

The 4 kids in question have done nothing to warrant any censure, other than dating each other.

 

If you treat them like they have either already committed a crime or are about to, you will be sending a VERY clear message that you do NOT trust them. If I was one of those Scouts (or their girl friends) I would be very upset.

 

Make an announcement to ALL attendees on the expected behavior. Keep an unobtrusive eye on EVERYONE's behavior (not just these 4). Have fun.

 

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I'm not insinuating anything, just going with the "worst-case-scenario" (whatever that may be) that GB put forth in his question. My only point is that whatever a boy and girl are going to do at night, in secret, by themselves, they have very likely already done before. Whether that be hand-holding, gazing into each others eyes, kissing, discussing world politics, or anything else.

 

My other comment is that I do not believe that 16 year old boys or girls have the emotional maturity to deal with the very strong emotions and extremly powerful sex drives that are present at that age. In my opinion, one-on-one steady dating is inappropriate for children that young. Scout rank and trust have nothing to do with hormones and emotional maturity.

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Greying Beaver,

 

I understand you want to do the right thing - and your thread is based on the fact that you care for all these kids.

 

That being said, by posting this thread, what have you already said to yourself? And, if they get a chance to read this thread, to the kids involved?

 

Assuming you follow G2SS and the buddy system and other common sense patterns - go enjoy the weekend!! And let the Scouts and families enjoy it, as well!!

 

These girls helped with a service project??? That is sooo cool, they deserve an extra s'more!!

 

jd

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I think you are overreacting. Guess you could be underreacting? And if you'd have to choose, you'd take the overreacting. I dont think it really matters how old they are, you have Life Scouts here (near Eagle) at a point where I really think they should be on the verge of Eagle. They understand the Scout Law and Oath. It's a troop campout-- shouldn't the Scout Law and Oath still be expected? If not, then it isnt a troop campout.

 

Yes, this comes from a 16 year old kid. My opinion, you think, would probably go the way of the Scouts. Let them be teenagers and TRUST them. I believe the first few words of the Scout Law go something like this; "A Scout is TRUSTWORTHY, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteseous, kind, obediant, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent." Oh wait thats the whole thing;)

 

 

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"The campout is scheduled for a state park, the troop in one campsite; families, the next one over, just like G2SS says

 

Where does the G2SS say that?

 

Train them, trust them, let them lead. Have these scouts done anything in the past that leads you to believe thay cannot be trusted on this activity?

 

This is "family" camp, parents are present for every scout. The parents are responsible for the entire family, not you. You help provide a program. Let the parents parent their children.

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>These girls helped with a service project??? That is sooo cool, they deserve an extra s'more!!

 

jd>

 

This says more than the obvious. These are young women who are "in the program". Wonderful observation, John.

 

Vicki

 

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Thank you, everyone for the candor in your remarks, regardless where they fell. What we will see is if the program has taken hold in the lives of these boys. Trustworthiness, Loyalty, Obediance, yeah, Bravery, Cleanliness, and Reverence are on the line, as well as Duty to God, Duty to Others, and Duty to Self.

 

Scouts "B" and "D" are part of this mix as well as their siblings and parents. I'm willing to bet that they keep "A" and "C" on a short leash, too.

 

It's true that you cannot see the forest when you are in the middle of all those trees.

 

If others want to post, please do not hesitate to do so. I will be sure to file an "after-action" report.

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