Jump to content

A Scout is Reverent - unless he works at scout camp

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 43
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Ahhhhh, out of council. I kept trying to come up with some religious denomination like LDS, RC or AG and was coming up blank. Doh!


I don't really know how this would be handled with staff at our Boy Scout or Cub resident camps. My son has staffed Cub resident camp the past two years. There are no provisions for them to stay at camp on their time off. They get off around noonish on Saturday (or when the work is done) and have to be settled back into camp and at the staff meeting at noon on Sunday as campers begin arriving at 1:00 PM. Camp is 75 miles door to door and my son leaves no later than 10:00 AM on Sunday. The Camp Director is good to work with them for being off for church camp or Boy Scout camp or Jamboree troop meetings and such. Being late each Sunday though......I don't know how that would be handled.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep - out of council. We actually live OOC and I tease that I will switch if provoked.


I talked to BigBee and told him we were talking about him and why. He said that he didn't get in trouble since he wasn't late, and never thought he would get into trouble because so-n-so is late every week because he goes to church.


So, I do wonder if the fellow I was cracking-wise with to begin with had other things on his mind when he answered me.


We also talked about us joining this congregation and that he would need to talk to his director NOW, since he is camping next week, if he wanted to be there. PBee and I suggested he give her something in writing so she doesn't forget.


You raise an excellent point about the military. It is a comparision I would never have considered.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Gunny's commentary regarding personal responsibility for spiritual growth is spot on.


Organizations can try their best to accommodate. Frankly, it depends on the emphasis the council gives it. Big contrasts between them. I think all councils should strengthen their chaplain staffs. Some scouts are seeking more than grace before chow and an occassional vespers service.


The good news is that camp staff jobs are temporary...before you know it, the camping season is over and it's back to normal life. (If memory serves, my camp director from years ago told us new staffers that we fell into the same tax category as migrant workers...a nice lesson in humility!) Your son is learning valuable lessons as a staffer that hopefully compliment the values he is learning at church. Best wishes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I do regret that I was not present when he opened his first check...to watch him discover the true difference between gross and net pay.


And, it is a learning experience for me as well. I need to learn to keep my mouth shut. When BigBee talked to me, I thought his director was abrupt (not quite rude) and she is, but when the other fellow had the same opinion it started to really bug me. Still does. In part because a few years ago he was bragging about how involved in church his kids were and one of them is on staff. Makes me wonder what changed in their lives.


Link to post
Share on other sites

To answer an earlier question concerning adherents of Islam (Muslims) - Muslims are supposed to pray five times a day at specific times - loosely, pre-dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and evening (just before retiring, usually). If a prayer is missed, it can be made up in an honest spirit of repentance, but it's not required. Requirements as to how specifically the prayers are supposed to be timed varies depending on how the Quran is interpreted (in Christianity, we would say depending on one's denomination). Another basic requirement is that the person cleanse themself before prayer (at least wash hands and face) and be in a clean place (outdoors or in). A prayer rug is optional.


That's it in a nutshell. How this is interpreted among Muslims varies around this central core just as much as Christian interpretations of our requirements varies. Any further instruction from a Muslim within our group would be gratefully and humbly welcomed, this is simply my understanding based on my own interaction with Muslims and study of their faith.


I think it's incredibly important to understand the basics of other faiths. It's one thing to preach tolerance and respect, it's quite another to practice it. This is where I'll touch on John-in-KC's position - I haven't looked into the Chaplaincy cert process yet (I'm going to), but I would hope it broadens the perspective of those participating beyond Christianity.


MBee - as to your issue, it sounds like your son is OK with camp but I would consider putting off the membership ceremony until after the camp season is over. Especially if, as you wrote, he seems to communicate in as few words as possible (my oldest is the same way). That style lends itself to misunderstanding.


Vicki (edited for typo)(This message has been edited by Vicki)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Joined the church the other day. BigBee stood up as our family was welcomed.


He talked to the program director and said wanted to do this and may be late and this time she said 'no problem' and we were about 1/2 hour late at most.


Did this effect him negatively? I don't know. This marked the transition from Boys to Cubs and he didn't have a 'job' for the first session since he wasn't there to volunteer. He became a Boy Friday as it were. I don't know if that holds for the second session as well or not.


I hope that at the end of Cubs there isn't a perception that he didn't 'do' anything but other than that, he said nothing was said to him.



As a by-the-way. I couldn't change the date. It was picked by the class adn we all said it was good. This was before 1) he said he wanted to be there and 2) the PD was a bit iffy. I just never considered that Scouts would hold it as a mark against his character.



Link to post
Share on other sites

His Troop, where he is a youth member? Should not even be an issue.


His employer, who pays him to be working on time? Might well be an issue.


The local Council is paying him $$$ to come to work, have his head in the game, and serve the paying customers. When a boss sets a standard, and then enforces the standard, no one should be surprised.


There'll be an end-of-year staff banquet, if your Council is anything like mine. The staff will get an envelope of stuff given to them. Often, there is a letter from the Camp Director. At my camp, the Director has two versions: One is an explicit invitation back for next years staff. One thanks the employee for his work, but does not invite him to apply again.


He made his own bed, soon will be the time to sleep in it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

His troop - his SM was at the church service, otherwise, they wouldn't know he was there, instead of being driven to his job that is unrelated to his troop.


His employer? We (he and I) are still up in the air about how there is a double standard for being late, being off, 'working' verses showing up and people who pull pranks and lie about money.


A scout is reverent, he is also trustworthy, loyal, courteous, (it seems to me there is a list) I see lots of boys on staff at that camp who have fallen short, haven't we all.


If they make or break staff on being on time, and keep kids who break scout law in favor of kids who follow it - then I'll be glad to have my unemployed son at home next year.


If they realize they have hired KIDS who are at the mercy of their parents schedules and often make impulsive decisions and keep around those who lead and follow with a heart for scouting then I won't need to teach him to drive next year until August.


I posted an update because I, as a mom, have a happy son who, as a staff member, recieved latitude where it was needed.


The only negative impact I expect to see is that he didn't lead as much as follow so they may not ask him to lead as many activities. At his age, that is ok - he is still learning anyhow. In other words, next week, will his director say 'you didn't do this-or-that during cub week' and necessitate him saying that "I cleaned the showers, emptied garbage cans, watched the water hazard (to prevent cubbies from playing in the torrential stream) and provided support at nature and sci tech. None of that was specifially assigned accept watching the stream one day, so she may be unaware. But she would have a list of who led and who was assistant at each area.


And, I am still surprised that, at our camp, worship isn't given more focus.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Scoutings' Reverence is not Christian Reverence. The DRP says not one word about Christianity.


BSA supports all three major families of Christendom (Catholic, the Protestant denominations, and Orthodox), Judaism, Buddhism, Hindu, Islam, and a host of others.


The family unit is the home of the Scouts' faith. Scouting is a support agency.


A worship service which would deal with all the faith families I mentioned above ... would result in multiple layers of anathema. How does a Chaplain reconcile "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by me" with "There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his Prophet" ???


It's a reason I have yet to volunteer for camp Chaplaincy. The spiritual encouragement of other folks, I can handle. Staffers should have sacred writings or important teachings of their faith near to hand. Chaplains can leverage those. Homesickness is homesickness, a Dear John is a Dear John, a family death is a family death. Corporate worship is my challenge point.


There are other ways to encourage campers and staff in faith. I know camps where the chaplain, in the evenings, in staff village, helps the young people earn their HS level religious emblem. I know ones who lead Bible studies (within their faith families). I know one who brings a barbecue cooker, and the staff have a fellowship night.


Scouting is a support agency. We're expected to provide support, but there are ways to get there from here.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was surprised that in a council that reschedules roundtable if it is on Maundy Thursday there wasn't some latitude to attend church on a specific day.


I am not trying to change anyones mind.


I was surprised.


It is really that tough to say that you are glad to hear that it went ok? After all, I said he received permission. I posted the update for those that are interested.



Link to post
Share on other sites



Like some others here, I'd suggest that there's a difference - and a significant one - between a volunteer position and a job. When your son took the staff position, he agreed to follow certain rules, just like in any other job. **


When you're dealing with volunteers, such as your Roundtable/Maundy Thursday example, your chief goal is to schedule the meeting when the most people can attend, to accomodate them in their other obligations.


When you're dealing with people who are receiving a paycheck, the job comes first.



** As a side note, you said your son didn't receive a contract defining until he arrived at staff training. Even if the detailed contracts aren't ready until the last minute - and that's bad practice, IMMHO - the staff should have received some sort of communication from the camp director or program director outlining basic expectations. Uniforming, bunking, what to bring, arrival dates, anti-drug policies, basic schedules - all that should be disseminated and known well in advance. That shouldn't be left until the last minute.


I recall getting all that in the mail at least a month before the start of staff week, along with a copy of the contract that I was expected to review, sign and return.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, you're side note explains my frustration as well as everyone elses.


There was very little in the packet. I'd have to find my copy for specifics, but the 'rules' looked like what you would tell a camper (follow procedures, you can't do this-n-that, follow scout law, follow 2DL, don't drink, don't smoke) In fact I had to sign a paper that said he was or was not allowed to smoke in a smoking area. Um, under 18? not allowed. Over 18, doesn't need his parents permission.


The contract does state 11am Sunday to 11am Saturday. Orally, once he got to camp he found out there are two rotations, one can leave Friday night after campfire this week - the other stays until Saturday. The next week it switches. When this was discussed at the training session, he told us he only got to go home every other week. He misunderstood and it wasn't in writing. We looked. It took until he could LEAVE to make it make sense to him becuase the other scouts were explaining it.


There was no procedure for 'might be late' My boss has one. I'm supposed to be there at 7 and if I can't this is what I do. And I will walk in (when I go back after lay off) and tell him I will be late on the 31st and will work late to make it up. That is our procedure.


My son had none.


Meanwhile, y'all seem to think I am a whiny, needy Momma who needs to cut the apron strings and just suck it up and give up what plans I have made because I allowed my 15yo to get a job, now I need to follow HIS employers rules over all. That isn't true - it isn't family. My son needed to work it out. He did.


The response at camp was still flippant. I was surprised, maybe a little dismayed. I'd like it if EVERY religious choice was accomodated. And you are right about volunteers needing to be handled differently.


He should have been told 'if you are late, this will happen' not 'it's your choice'


And he shouldn't need to wait two months to read a letter to learn if his choice was better or worse than the ones who left food garbage in a can for a week, refused to clean latrines. Left camp without telling the director... They will be back - they are good with the boys, good with their program, good for the camp. You won't agree but I know the director will do just that.


But you know, maybe the total of one half-hour and two requests to be late for church/family may keep him out of a job next year. That will be fine. Unfair, but ok with me.


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...