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kbandit

What does your troop do/allow for the sports/band

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What does you troop do/allow if the sports/band scout wants to come/go during a campout? If your troop allows the scouts to come and go who keeps track of who is there and who is not?

 

Thanks

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If a Scout needs to leave for sports/band then a parent needs to pick them up. I don't like it but I don't think there is a lot I can do about it. If someone had an answer to that please let me know. Better to have them there for half a weekend then none at all. They are asked to to return to help unload when we get back but they usually don't.

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We had this come up last fall for two different events during soccer season. The first was a patrol camp-out where we were camping 7 miles out of town. I left it up to the parent to pick-up and return the scout after they finished their game. Had 3 members of the troop take off after breakfast and returned by noon.

 

The second was a troop day trip to a World War two living history event about 60 miles south of where we live. One scout was playing soccer that morning til 10am...the troop did a service project for 1 hour and visited the local flea market where a lady had a raptor and birds of prey display. We picked up the scout and went and enjoyed the history event.

 

I was not too wild about delaying the trip...dont get me wrong, I'm glad the scout got to go after his sports obligation. The bit that frosted me was the attitude I got from the boys mom who happens to be a big wheel in the youth soccer program...ie "you have to wait for him, he's playing SOCCER!" Like playing any sport is some holy obligation?

 

I have made allowances and altered times to suit the scouts who take sports before scouts, and I'm sure I will again...I dont like it one bit though...I'm fed up with scouts taking 2nd to anything else.

 

I'm really questioning the inflexible attitude regarding participation that permeates most youth sports programs. If I tried to instill the same "cant miss practice or you're cut" and "you're out of uniform, go get it on or you're off the team" attitudes with the troop I serve as SM...the parents would likely ask for my resignation.

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I once asked my son why he would never go to kung fu class without his full uniform but he would often wear only parts of his scout uniform? His answer was that the Scoutmaster "doesn't make me do pushups for being out of uniform". Hmmmm.

 

Hal

 

 

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What bugs me is when the scout leaves early, putting extra burden on the other scouts to clean up camp and pack. I put the entire burden on the parent to come up to camp to get the scout early. I also make sure they police their area and do as much as they can before they leave.

My philosophy is even if I only get them for part of the trip, its still better than not at all. Most of these kids are great and deserve the chance to be scouts.

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We had a strict policy with my old troop in that if you were not at the meeting location for the trip on time, we left without the scout. It was his responsibilty. Further if you had to leave early, It was the scout's responsibility to make arrangements AND notify the PL or ASPL, depending upon who the scout was.

 

As for meetings and COHs, you better have the correct uniform on. Summer was "class B" and winter was "class A" Now if you showed up late to a meeting b/c of extracurriculars, you better bring your full uniform on a hanger and change into it for the meeting. We had varsity players and bandsmen showing up in their sports/band uniform, and change into their scout uniform in the bathroom for the meeting.

 

My personal experience with the above policy was my ring ceremony and dance. A friend's ECOH was the same day as my HS ring ceremony. It worked out though. I went to the ceremony in coat and tie with my date, then went straight to the ECOH and changed into my scout uniform. Once the ceremony was done and my date and I had some food, I changed yet again into coat and tie and went to the ring dance.

 

If you have clear expectations, scouts will abide by them.

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I don't know how many of you watched the Tournament of Roses Parade, I was on my way home from Arkansas after visiting my father myself. One of the plethora of High School Bands that were on the parade were the Liberty Hurricaines from Bethlehem, PA. That tall thin Drum Major is an Eagle Scout. The Band has a rigourous schedule, some have said football games at Liberty were played so the band would have a place to appear (Then in 2008 the team won the state Championship in their class but I digress. Lots of kids want on the Band and the schedule is brutal. "Band Camp" in the summer is the worst, 8-4 or something like that matching in fields, getting down the footwork et al. The beginning of Band Camp always seemed to be during the week the Troop went to summer camp. And there was no leniency, you miss any part of Band Camp, and you can't be in the Band. Very powerful incentive as I understand. Our Scoutmaster made an appointment to talk to the band Director about letting the scouts stay at camp and come "Late". No Deal the scoutmaster was told.

 

The Scoutmaster asked about the composition of the band and the student struture. The Band has student Officers and a student Quartermaster to take care of the equipment. The Scoutmaster then rattled off the names of the past 5 Quartermasters and various Band Officers, the Band Director asked why the Scoutmaster would know these kids and was told. "They are all Boy Scouts", not all from the Troop he served, but from the Troops in town. The Band Director said he appointed as Quartermaster Seniors who were diligient and trustworthy students, he did not releaize they were also Eagle Scouts. The Scouts got their repreive from Band Camp.

 

During Band season its another story. The Bando's come to events when they can and since the football team has the unmitigated gall to win the State Championship, that was one long season. Stretched across Scouting for Food weekends and other events. Duty Rosters factor in when the band kids come so the work is spread out.

 

BTW, one of the linebackers on the Football team is a Life Scout, prospective Eagle Candidate this Spring. There is noting like seeing the younger scouts run over to him and look at his Letterman's jacket with patches, medals, and then see the Boy Scout uniform under it. Pretty powerful stuff

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If the boy goes out for a long term commitment, if he has POR he steps down and someone else takes the position. The boy's choice. Either stay and fulfill the POR or do something else and let others function in leadership.

 

If it's a one-time outing, it's too bad the boy has to miss or the parents have to bring the boy later, but again, it's the boy's choice. We all have to face choices in life. If I'm double booked, one activity has to take president over the other.

 

A scout is trustworthy. If he can't be trusted to be there and fulfill his obligations to the troop.... well? If a boy skips school his grades will slip and eventually fail. Same rules apply to scouting. If the patrol members can't rely on a member to be there, they have the right to find someone else to fill out their ranks.

 

Stosh

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I had a similar discussion in another forum under a completely different topic, but the background is the same.

 

I was one of those band kids, and there were times when it was really tough to participate in band and Scouts because of conflicts (this was high school band -- I can't really address middle school or elementary school band conflicts because, in my case, neither of those groups had Friday night or weekend commitments). High school band was sort of the equivalent of varsity sports -- there were audition requirements, rehearsals sometimes took more than 3 hours a day, counting the hour in class during the day, and on top of that there would be individual practice time and private lessons. But there was also grade credit for Honor's Band. While a non-band person would think that was an easy grade, it really wasn't. To get an A, one pretty much had to have perfect attendance, in and out of school. There were times that were fairly intense, such as Fridays: school until 2pm, marching band practice until 5pm, playing at a football game, getting home after 11pm, and then getting up early the day to catch a bus to play a parade somewhere that morning, and then go to a competition that afternoon.

 

During my high school years, that meant I did occasionally miss Scout meetings -- in fact, get this -- the band director for years complained about certain relatively strong musicians who chose varsity sports over marching band (for example). I'm sure their grades suffered for the choice. But then the band director's own son comes along, and is a fairly good baseball player. One of our extra-curricular bands was moved to a Monday night rehearsal instead of right after school so his own kid could make the baseball team. However, that moved the band to the same time as my Scout meeting. I didn't like that, but what could I do? I had to pick and choose, which was not a position I wanted to be in.

 

Sports teams, like bands, don't function well when there are attendance issues. So neither do patrols. A kid can't possibly play fall football and participate in marching band, so he makes a choice. Add a third activity (Scouts) and force another choice. If Scout units had a zero-tolerance policy on absences, what would that do to membership?

 

I suppose it comes down to priorities. If I would have had to choose between Scouts and band, I don't know what I would have done. Lots of my classmates no longer are musicians (and to be fair, most of the Scouts in my troop are no longer involved in Scouting either), but I'm different. I still actively play (and I still have conflicts, too).

 

Guy

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My experience is the Scouting can coexist with the other activities that are out there and the Scouts who wish to pursue them. For some Scouts, sports are really important to them, and they put a priority on games and practice over Scout activities. Others are not into Sports at all, and are totally into Scouting, going on most all Troop activities. The more involved a boy is in Scouting the more likely he will advance in rank and earn more merit badges. It's a trade off, and is something I discuss with Scouts in any Scoutmaster Conference.

 

The boys understand it's a trade off, and if they are really into sports, I let them know they can still attend activities when they can, but we will not change our schedule to accommodate their sports schedule. They need to choose. I have seen some boys come on Scout activities when they have a game, and others hardly come on any activities. We go camping almost every month, so if they miss a couple over a year, it's not such a big deal.

 

The worst thing I have done over the years is try to accommodate sports, music, or family vacation schedules. Trying to please one demanding family by changing dates does nothing but make everyone else frustrated. We do our program planning in September for the following year, choosing monthly activity dates with due consideration to school and other calendars. Once those dates are set, that it - we put out a calendar so everyone knows when the Scouting activities are, and they can choose to attend or not. If a conflict arises, they need to weigh their options and make a personal decision.

 

I discourage Scouts trying to do both - either they come on the camping trip or go to the game. Nevertheless, there are times when it happens, and the parent is completely responsible for all transportation, and the Scout is responsible for dealing with his own camping duties. So far it has worked fine with the exception of a few parents who were pissed because I refused to hold up everyone to wait for their son. Oh, well, they either get over it or leave. Usually they leave anyway, no matter how much I accommodate, so now I just ignore them and focus on those who want to do Scouting activities.

 

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kbandit,

 

We run into this on almost every campout. While we do have a few scouts involved in sports, we have more that are involved in band. One of two things happens. They either skip the campout or they come late Friday night or very early Saturday morning. It really isn't a big deal. Patrols are a team and if a team member is missing, they take up the slack. If a PL isn't there, the APL fills in. Same for the SPL and ASPL. As I said in the other thread, we counsel our boys that are heavily involved in band and/or sports to not run for a leadership position until their season is over and they can devote the time needed for their POR. Each election cycle, our boys who want a POR fill out an application (just like for employment) and agree to a set of expectations on their part. There is also a place for a parent to sign saying they will support their son's committment to the troop. If they are elected to a POR and then fail to show up, they will not get credit and will be replaced. So far, this has not been a problem because they give to their band or team during that season and then give to the troop when they have the time and availibility.

 

Now, we are a troop of about 55 boys and have 40 to 45 boys on any given campout, so we can absorb some "losses" that a troop of 8 or 10 can not as easily.(This message has been edited by sr540beaver)

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So far, if there is a conflict with ANY of the Scouts then it is up to the Scout and the parent to resolve it. When they have an issue with that policy I point out my family's schedule and that we seem to make it work so far.

 

Simply it is a matter of desire - where the Scout(and his parents) desire him to achieve and succeed or excel that is where the youth is going to be that is where his focus will be. Sure I could make no show, no advance rules but watch me get castigated (rightly) by members of this forum who say I'm adding to requirements. I do counsel against holding a POR during their chosen sport season but also warn that I will cut no slack on performance(which while tied to attendance, isn't exactly the same thing) if they choose to run and get elected during their season. But I don't prohibit it - and another former SPL remarked a couple of weeks ago how much better a job the current SPL is doing than he did outside of his Sports season.

 

The only real rules we have regarding the topic are that I have to know before we leave if a Scout is going to leave the Troop to go to another event. And that the Troop will not delay any movement in order to accommodate the Scout who is going to leave. And that it is up to the parent to take care of any transportation that varies from what the Troop as a whole is doing.

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I have told all the boys that sports and other activities are fine. All I ask is that they discuss this with me before hand. If a POR is involved I would ask them to defer till the end of season or next elections to hold any POR. I have found for the most part that once you sit and talk it over with the boys they do get it, it's the parents who can really get out of hand. The other problem that comes up with a few of the boys is one sport or activity going right into the next. With some sports once they are done playing outside they then bring it inside. Since attendence can not be held against them, I do insist that they give a good honest effort at completing the POR service time. I have delayed and held off BOR till a scout has completed his term of leadership. The thing that I try to explain to parents is it is for the scouts benefit as well as the troop. One irate parent threatened to go to council and have my paycheck pulled back. Thankfully she and her son went to another troop.

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The poster about scheduling in spetember reminded me that no matter when you choose an event, there will always be a conflict. Point in case, in my old troop we had scouts attending 7 different private schools, each with their own calender, and 4 of the public schools. Talk about a challenging planning session as we had to work arround essentially 9 different school calenders (the Public MS and HS calendrs had some differences). BUT it can eb done!

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Remember, per the G2SS, a Scout may not drive himself to/from a unit campout:

http://www.scouting.org/healthandsafety/gss/gss12.aspx

 

4. The driver must be currently licensed and at least 18 years of age. Youth member exception: When traveling to and from an area, regional, or national Boy Scout activity or any Venturing event under the leadership of an adult (at least 21 years of age) tour leader, a youth member at least 16 years of age may be a driver, subject to the following conditions:

a. Six months' driving experience as a licensed driver (time on a learner's permit or equivalent is not to be counted)

b. No record of accidents or moving violations

c. Parental permission granted to the leader, driver, and riders

 

As always, boldface in the G2SS denotes policy.

 

Note the above does not say UNIT, DISTRICT, or COUNCIL. Thus, the unit, working with the Scouts' parents/guardians, must plan a Scouts' transportation. I like what Gunny said: Most units I know require the Scout and his family to be the proactive folks in late arrivals to or early departures from a campout for other activities.

 

Now, here's the other side of the coin: Units have to provide the environment so a Scout can extract to a curricular in nature activity and be ready to go when he hits the school.

 

A SPL I knew arrived late to a HS marching band Saturday parade performance. He forfeited a full letter grade because he smelled of campfire,

was late, and he was out of uniform when he arrived. He was late because the SM insisted he eat breakfast with the unit.

 

We talk a lot about character development and citizenship development (AIMS). We talk about the Uniform Method... why shouldn't we support someone elses' uniform requirements?

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