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I have a question that I need answers to..The situation is this my son who is in Webleos was to go on an overnight ice fishing/camping trip with the rule of men only...His dad was to take him but his dad's mother was put in hospice in the hospital the day before the trip and he had to back out..We then asked a close friend of the family who has a son going on the trip too If he would be responsible for our son on the trip so he could still go.. He of course said yes..we then contacted his leader and she said No that she cannot make any exceptions for anyone at all what so ever no matter the circumstances..she said in the boy scout rules on an overnighter the ratio has to be one parent for one child no exceptions. So we contacted the regional office and they said under these circumstances that it would be okay with a permission slip..we said we did that and she still said no. I went to her with this information begging her to let my son go and she still said no. 1 to 1 ration no exceptions..anways the next day after the trip our friend called us and said that 3 dads took both of their children blowing her 1 to 1 ratio out the door...So my question is the leader in the wrong??? Are there rules that are out there that pertain to all packs or can she make her own rules? Is there someway I can "turn her in" so to speak..seems like a good leader would have done whatever was possbile to get my child there..Help.

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From the "Cub Scout Leader Book" 2005, Second Printing on page 33-4:


"Webelos Scout overnight campouts introduce the boy and his parent or guardian to the basics of the Boy Scout camping program..... In most cases, the Webelos Scout will be under the supervision of a parent or guardian. In all cases, each Scout is responsible to a specific adult."


Further, from page 21-9 of the same book in the "Webelos Den Overnight Campouts" section:


"If a parent or guardian cannot attend, the boy's family should make arrangements for one of the other parents or another adult relative to be a substitute at the campout. It is essential that each Webelos Scout is under the supervision of an adult and that every adult has a share of the responsibilit for the campout."


As you can see, a parent is NOT required by the program laid out by BSA. An uncle, aunt, grandma or grandpa who is a guardian or is designated by the boy's parents are perfectly acceptable, in general, in addition to "one of the other parents".


Now, can a Pack make up their own rules that are more restrictive? Yes, they can. Does it make sense to do so? Usually not, unless there's been some sort of issue in the past.


You say that 3 dads brought 2 children. Were both children Webelos Scouts? If this is truly a Webelos campout, the intent is to get Webelos-age boys on the transition path to Boy Scouts with Webelos-only activities (while still under the supervision of a parent or guardian). It's not intended to be a family campout with younger siblings.


In my opinion, if this leader is the Webelos Den Leader, you need to go up the chain (as it were) and talk to the Cubmaster and the Pack Committee Chairperson. If you are unfamiliar with the organization of the pack, there is a clickable chart at http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/CubScouts/AboutCubScouts/ThePack.aspx with all the info on each position.


Lay out your case that BSA docs mention that it's allowed (and certainly not prohibited) and ask if this is indeed the Pack's policy. Hopefully, the Cubmaster and/or Committee Chair see your side of it and further campouts won't be run under the same (seemingly arbitrarily enforced) "rules".





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From the BSA Guide to Safe Scouting -


>>"A Webelos Scout may participate in overnight den camping when supervised by an adult. In most cases, the Webelos Scout will be under the supervision of his parent or guardian. It is essential that each Webelos Scout be under the supervision of a parent-approved adult.">"When camping, no youth is permitted to sleep in the tent of an adult other than his own parent or guardian.">"Webelos den overnight campouts are parent-son events, under the direction of the Webelos den leader.....In most cases, each Webelos Scout is under the supervision of his own father, mother, or guardian.

If a parent or guardian cannot attend, the boys family should make arrangements for one of the other parents or another adult relative or friend to be a substitute at the campout. It is essential that each Webelos Scout is under the supervision of an adult and that every adult has a share of the responsibility for the campout."

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Hi jmedina, welcome to the Forums.


Sorry to hear your son was given such a hard time about goin' on a campout, especially under such trying circumstances for your husband and family.


AlFansome gave you the "true" story from the BSA's perspective. Each boy should be responsible to one adult who knows the lad, and each adult should be responsible for no more than two boys. So from da BSA's point of view, what you proposed with your close friend would be perfectly fine.


Scout units like a cub pack are owned by a chartered organization, not by the BSA. The chartered organization can impose stricter requirements if it wants. More to the point, da leaders in your pack and den are volunteers, eh? And if a volunteer isn't comfortable at a ratio of less than 1:1, or isn't comfortable unless the parent of each boy is present, then that's that. Yeh can't force other people to offer free services to your boy if they don't want to. Nor can the BSA. All you can hope is that they're compassionate and understandin' of your circumstances.


So I'm sorry your son's den leader wasn't comfortable at anything less than 1:1 parent:child setup. Without knowing your boy, I'd say that most scout leaders would have been happy to have him along with your family friend lookin' after him, so long as he hadn't been a behavioral challenge in the past. But it's her time to spend, eh? And she can set her own rules for what she's willing to offer her time for.


In terms of "turning her in", I'd recommend you give it a bit of time to let the heat of the moment simmer down, and then address a polite letter or conversation to the Cubmaster and Pack Committee Chair.




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It is pretty much up to whoever is in charge of the trip. In our Pack, in most cases as long as someone takes responsibility for the Webelosand it is ok with the group leader, then they can go. The only exception to this is our Summer Webelos Adventure trip, because of the length of the trip (7 days), and some of the things that are done, we require a one to one ratio. This is both for safety and supervision. It is also because it is one of the last chances before Boy Scouts for them to have a parent/son adventure together.

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You've already received some excellent advice.


The G2SS rules have two types of print. Bolded (which are must follow) and regular type (which are guidelines and recommendations). But like our fellow Forum members have said, a Pack, Troop, or tour leader may impose more restrictive (and safer) guidelines.


If I can comment about your questions.


jmedina asked, So my question is the leader in the wrong???

No. Sometimes they are not yet knowledgeable about the G2SS. So, sometimes you may inquire if the strict guidance is a BSA, Council or unit rule.


Similar to the long bladed sheath knife issue. It is not recommended by national, but councils and units may strictly say absolutely no sheath knives.



jmedina asked, Are there rules that are out there that pertain to all packs or can she make her own rules?


Maybe it is the Den Leaders interpretation of something they have heard "A Scouting Urban Legend" (which they truly believe to be an absolute gospel BSA rule). Or maybe the Den Leader is very knowledgeable about BSA, Council and Unit guidance, and does not desire to take the risk as a tour leader.


Fellow forum members have already explained about the G2SS; and that a registered adult leader, specifically the tour leader on permit may impose even safer rules.


jmedina asked, Is there someway I can "turn her in"?

Only if the Den Leader violates YPT. The Den Leader's tactfulness (or lack of) may lead to them being replaced with a kinder, gentler Den Leader. But all you can do, is to make sure the Den Leader is aware of what the BSA guidance actually says.


Regarding the other parents, that brought more than one child. It happens. A tour leader may provide guidance, then you will have parents or scouts that take it upon themselves to violate the guidance.


A scenario may play out like this; 60 miles from the hometown, in the dark, in the snow, on ice, a parent brings two boys (Webelos and a Tiger), along with the infant daughter. Oh yes, this parent is also the "grubmaster" for the event, bringing the hotdogs and hot chocolate for the Den.


Does the tour leader tell the parent which brought two boys and his infant daughter. "You have to leave the food and take two of your children home immediately."


Odd circumstances. But I've been stuck between a rock and a hard place like that before.


jmedina said, "seems like a good leader would have done whatever was possible to get my child there"


Finally, you may be cautious about implying what a "good leader" would do, in comparison with your son's current den leader. After a discussion with your Cubmaster and Pack Committee, you may learn that the Webelos Den Leader is a fine example of a "good leader".


As parents, we all have some disappointments with Scouting or with a Pack/Troop from time to time. But be cautious about direct or indirect slander against the other parents that give their time for all the Scouts.


Good Luck and hopefully the Webelos Den Leader may relax some of the very strict tour guidance.


Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv



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Wow... I was torn on this one, having seen both sides of the fence. I'm not going to offer any practical advise, but hopefully my experience will help paint a background for you as you proceed (or not).


1) I absolutely despise when any scouter (at the den, pack, troop, district, or council level) espouses their personal opinions or rules as "official policy." [i have seen it in leader training... and when confronted they will either continue to hold the line even as I hold out G2SS and ask them to show me or will admit that it really is more of a "good idea" than a policy.] If a rule is added by council, district, troop, pack, or den over and above the official policies, just say so and don't try to hide behind a smoke curtain. (Violates both a scout is trustworthy and a scout is brave.)


2) I have been a den leader, a cubmaster, and am now a scoutmaster. I have learned that sometimes "fair" is not the same as "equal." Trying to lay down comprehensive/inviolable rules which are in the best interest of all scouts is a very hard (if not impossible) thing to do. Each scout is different. The rules that must be applied to him are not necessarily the same rules that must be applied to another scout. Example 1. I need to see Johnny's boots before he is allowed to leave with us from the parking lot for our hiking campout (because he notoriously forgets to bring them) but that does not mean I need to see every scouts' boots (because I know most of them are either wearing them or have them packed). Example 2. Billy is allowed to turn in his permission slip after the deadline because he hasn't been able to attend meetings due to a school conflict and has called me to let me know he wants to be on the list. In your case, the parents that "violated" the 1:1 rule may have precoordinated with the den leader.


I agree that as you posted the situation, it sounds like this could have been handled much better (not saying the outcome should necessarily have been different). I know neither you nor the den leader and therefore cannot be certain who is in the right and who is in the wrong. Just wanted you to see a little glimpse from the other side before taking a course of action that could result in a bad scouting experience.




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If one researches this forum, one can find lengthy threads about what constitutes a "guardian" - some say any adult with a permission slip, others treat it as a legal term bestowed by a judge.


To lazy to investigate now but I thought there use to be a rule that the den leader could only have one child (Webelos Scout) under their supervision. Other adults may have more. This was to prevent the parents from just abdicationg their responsibility to the den leader.

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