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Mike F

Patrol camping - Scouts only - where?

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Since patrol outings are a sanctioned BSA activity it would only make sense if they could use BSA property. But they can't. Sure they can go somwhere other than BSA property but if the BSA says this is OK the let them use BSA property! There has to be a reason why they can't.

 

Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

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I hardly think "sanction " is an apropriate word. The BSA does not sanction any scout method. They created the American program. It is what it is.

 

The BSA program teaches how to use white gas but it is prohibited in almost every council camp.

 

Why would a leader that doesn't use Patrol activities be concerned about where it can't go to not do it?

 

How about getting patrol skills developed to the point the patrol can do some simple day activities, hikes, bowling, cycling, x-country skiiing, sledding, swimming at the Y, etc..

 

Then when they are ready to camp they will find a place. It is not the troops responsibility. It is for the patrol to choose to do, make a plan and get the SM okay.

 

Bob White

 

 

 

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Bob,

 

I agree with your position. I am thrilled that the possiblity exists. But a responsible person who is given the responsiblity to approve or help modify a Patrol's plan for an outing should be considering all of the pertainent information.

 

The BSA made their call based on something significant, I'm sure. I'll also bet that most responsible SMs would be considering the same issues that the BSA did even if they don't know they were.

 

I'm not asking for a reversal, I'm not asking for them to defend why they did it, I just want to know, so that we can be sure the information we use to make this call includes all of the resources the BSA has.

 

Why does the reason have to be a secret? If you don't know the answer, no problem. There are 100s of answers I don't have. But for the life of me I can't see why you're being so protective of the reason, if you know it. Despite what others have said in the past, I've never seen you evade answering a question until this. I don't want to believe the BSA sees the need to protect themselves from liability but don't feel it would be important for others. So there has to be another reason. What is it?

 

Mark

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Maybe we are making a mountain out of a molehill here. If Patrol Activities are the sandlot baseball of scouting there maybe more patrol activities going on than we give ourselves credit for.

 

We live close enough to the beach (4 miles) that during the summer it is not uncommon for my older son(16), to make arrangements to meet his friends at the beach and he'll hop on his bike and go there. They hang out for the day, tease or look at girls, have ice cream and horse around in the water or on the beach. They get on their bikes and go home. (There is a life guard. Usually female and frequently the object of their attention.) Some of the kids are scouts, but as in sandlot baseball, (where some kids play organized baseball and some don't), some of the kids aren't. Wah lah, a boy led patrol activity.

 

They all have their parents permission, but I'm sure it never dawned on them to ask a scoutmaster to make it a scout activity. I'm also sure it would never dawn on them to sue the BSA if anyone was hurt. They don't apply for a permit or use permission slips either. It's us adults that get hung up on all the paperwork and litigation and insurance issues.

 

Anyone else with other examples? (To get back closer to the original question?)

 

Camping would be a bigger step, but I could see where they could do it. However finding a location where they would be given permission to camp without an adult designated as someone responsible for the group would be difficult though. At least around here. I'm sure they could think of a place, but I'm also pretty sure they would need adult assistance in securing permission, if they could get it at all.

 

For now we will likely try and find an area where the boys can camp out of sight of the adults, but not out of contact.

 

SA

 

 

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Mark,

Who ever said it was a secret? I said, like the rest of you, "I don't know"!

 

I never asked because it was never relevant (and in my opinion still isn't). The patrols are told that they can go to a private campground that is approved by the parents and scoutmaster. If a scout were to ask "can we go to the scout camp" (and I do not recall one ever asking) I'd say, "no you need to find your own place on private property". It's the same answer I would give if they asked to go to a state park.

 

Who knows the reason? I suspect it has to do with insurance carriers who couldn't care less about the patrol method. It could have to do with only having one ranger and the possibility of one on one contact. It could be proximity of troops with adults and patrols without adults and the YP problems that could arise. Whatever the reason it has nothing to do with a patrol saying "we have an invitation for my patrol to camp at my Uncle Ben's farm." Would you say "No, I'm sorry you can't do that because the council does not allow patrol camping at the scout camp"?

 

Where they can go is the only thing that matters. They can go anywhere where the owner of the property, the parents, and the SM, say yes.

 

Forget "why can't we" and focus on "how will we".

 

The units that do patrol activities don't worry about not going to scout camps, why in the world are units that don't use it worried about it?

 

Bob White

 

 

 

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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I heard Bob White's "I don't know" and decided to research the topic. I also happened to be at the office only to answer questions from my past registrar (who isn't up on all the new policies, but her successor died a month ago and membershp for October doesn't close until 11:59 PM tonight. We had a bunch of units and members to get in-putted and she was there. Anyway, I had from 6:30 PM to about 8:30 PM to research the question and researched it some more once I got home.)

 

Bob White mentioned a prohibition on un-supervised camping on BSA properties and that patrols camping on their own could not use BSA properties.

 

I had nothing better to do at the office other than answer registration questions and look this up. Here is the list of references I checked:

 

The new Patrol Leader Handbook

The Senior Patrol Leader Handbook

The Scoutmaster Handbook

The Fieldbook

The Guide to Safe Scouting

The Camping Commitee Guide

The old Junior Leader Handbook

 

Infonet (Scoutnet for professionals) -- the entire Boy Scout Division articles and policies (not accessible to volunteers)

The District Operations on the BSA Extranet

 

Age Appropriate Guidelines

 

The Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America

The Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America.

 

Here's what I learned:

 

The patrol leader and Scoutmaster handbooks have the most extensive information on patrol activities and outings. They point out that most of the time, they're talking about day trips. Patrols may do overnights without supervision by adults, but in the national books says it can't be on council property.

 

Most councils have rules about adult supervision on council properties when it comes to overnight camping. These policies are quoted by secretaries and entry-level DE's usually. In most cases, those supervision council policies are enforced by the office staff, the campmasters, and the ranger. Therefore, it would be very difficult for a patrol leader to try to reserve a space at the council camp without an adult involved. It may even be impossible if the council executive board has local policies involving use of the council's property.

 

I would venture to guess that supervision by adults is so common by councils that it is a rare exception for a patrol trying to book a council property without adults have an easy time of it.

 

The situation, as Bob White pointed out, is probably very different if a patrol leader calls the council office and says he and his five patrol members want to take a day hike on the council 5 mile trail.

 

I can't think of a good way to say what's bugging me about this post other than to ask it straight out. If you think an alleged BSA policy doesn't make sense, why not ask a pro? I wish I could say we'd all try to research a reason, but some of us will.

 

DS

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Sanction=allow. The BSA allows it so therefore they sanction it. Simple. And if they allow it they should allow it on council property.

 

Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

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I continue to think that in today's environment--especially if you live in an urban or suburban setting--that it's going to be extremely difficult to find a place for boys to camp without adult supervision, and extremely difficult to find parents who will allow boys younger than 16 or so to camp without adult supervision. Perhaps that's why there is such a strong reaction to the BSA policy about its own property--a suspicion that BSA really knows that patrol camping is unlikely to happen anywhere. even though it continues to give it lip service. I note that nobody has answered the original question--if you can give examples of patrol camping, where was it done? How old were the boys in the patrol? And what did you have to do to convince the parents that it was safe?

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" If you think an alleged BSA policy doesn't make sense, why not ask a pro?"

 

Usually, you pros are next to impossible to contact. The current and previous two DEs were notorious for not answering phone calls or emails.

 

 

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I have had scouts as young as 13 camping without adults. They have used their own backyards, farmland, private camps, Chartered Organization property, County parks with two adults in an adjacent site.

 

Bob White

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Bob,

 

I just scanned all your posts in this thread again and keep missing you saying you didn't know. I'll figure it's buried in there somewhere and apoligize to you for implying you were keeping it a secret.

 

If it's the insurance excuse (shame of it is), then yes, I think I'd have a tough time ignoring what profesional risk managers say about this. If it's the lone camp ranger, or some other similiar reason, I'd feel more comfortable saying yes to a different venue. You seem to think that I am looking for a way to say no. Exactly the opposite. I WANT this to become a part of our program. I am trying to make sure that when the Patrol Leader (my son) goes to the Scoutmaster with his plan, he has all of the resources he needs to make that plan the best it can be. And taking into consideration why the BSA won't allow it is the responsible thing to do.

 

BTW, when I put the idea to do an adult - less campout in my son's ear, the first place his mind went for a location was our Scout camp. And I was pleased with his reasoning: It is the most likely place parents would fell comfortable allowing their boys to camp without an adult. It is familiar, and the parents know that at the very least there would be a campmaster, and perhaps other troops camping there.

 

My son's Patrol has done bowling, Putt Putt, and sleep overs together. They have also done some nature hikes on a small scale, in order to help one or two of their Patrol mates get a requirement signed off. An over night campout is the next step, if they are going to do it.

 

Dave, You ask a good question ("why not ask the professional"). You are right and I am sorry. I have to admit that I am approaching this as the dad of the Patrol Leader who is trying to get his plan and presentation together. If I had my Registered Leader hat on, I may have thought to ask our DE. But I didn't, and you are right. I should go to the source likely to have the information.

 

Mark

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Bob White,

Thanks - after 3 pages of arguing, we finally have our first direct answer to the original question.

 

All,

Please feel free to continue the discussion on this thread. For those that don't think it's a good idea or want to dwell on BSA camp policies, please stay here. Some might consider giving their local camp or Council a call to get more fuel for the fire. Who knows - some council may let a patrol camp on its own - I know of one in Texas that allowed patrol to hike alone to an outpost location and spend the night, then complimented them on their performance the next morning. (Adults stayed back in main campsite.) Gee - did we break a rule we didn't know about at National? Sounds like it, but the guys had a great time and are still talking about how cold it got that night -- I'm not going to lose any more sleep over it.

 

If you want to argue, please stay away from the new thread, "Solo patrol camping locations". It's for folks to get ideas on places for patrols to camp and the things they considered when granting the approval. We want to hear about real places that real SMs have approved - not theoretical discussions. We also don't need to hear about places they can't go - that list is too long and all of us can think up plenty of those.

 

Thanks for your cooperation.

 

Now back to your regularly scheduled debate...

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I'll say it more briefly this time:

 

I can not find a single national source that prohibits a patrol from camping on BSA property without adults. If someone knows of one, I'll be glad to have it pointed out to me.

 

DS

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Good Day all

 

>>Usually, you pros are next to impossible to contact. The current and previous two DEs were notorious for not answering phone calls or emails.

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OK EVERYONE>>>HOMEWORK TIME!!:)

 

Let's all contact our council service center in the next 48 hours and report back to this thread. Perhaps we are all operating under a myth (and maybe I'm the guiltiest of all).

 

Ask if your council allows patrols to camp at your camps without adult leadership as promised in the BSA handbooks.

 

I suggest you do not talk to an office staffer but ask the Properties manager, scout executive or Asst scout executive.

 

Dsteele if there is another position we should talk with let us know.

 

Lets report back here as soon as we find an answer.

 

Good Luck on your mission.

Bob White

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