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BuffaloSR793

Patrol Camping. Adults needed?

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Barry - that's what I'm asking - how can it be done today? I'd like to try it, but how do I go about getting tour permits, etc... that would be needed for any other troop event. I have to approve it, correct? What criteria do I use to approve it?

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Why does it have to have a big issue about needing tour permits, camping regulations, etc. Surely, the boys can get their packs together, get on their bikes and ride 10-15 miles out to someone's acreage and spend the night, riding back in the next day.

 

If one is looking for obstacles, I'm sure anyone of us can find 100 different things that will prohibit the boys from attaining the kind of independence we are all supposed to be working towards. However, how many out there are spending that much energy into making it work for them? There are plenty of places that don't need permits, registrations, etc. that would work out just fine for the boys to try out their first overnight without adults. We're not talking 12 day trek in Philmont on the first outing.

 

Stosh

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I searched the BSA website for Patrol Activities and found the following:

 

Most patrol activities take place within the framework of the troop. However, patrols may also conduct day hikes and service projects independent of the troop, as long as they follow two rules:

The Scoutmaster approves the activity.

The patrol activity does not interfere with any troop function.

 

http://www.scouting.org/BoyScouts/PatrolLeader.aspx

 

A Boy Scout patrol or Varsity Scout squad may hike or camp with other patrols or squads in the unit or, with the permission of their Scoutmaster and parents or guardians, may hike or camp on their own.

 

http://www.scouting.org/boyscouts/resources/boy%20scout%20outdoor%20program.aspx

 

(Note that for properly trained Boy Scout patrols, it is acceptable to have outdoor patrol activities with no adults present. Such activities do require Scoutmaster approval.)

 

http://www.scouting.org/boyscouts/trainingmodules/planning%20and%20conducting%20a%20safe%20scout%20outing.aspx

 

I did not see any prohibition that the patrol activity could not occur on a Boy Scout Camp. Then again, just because sheath knifes are allowed by the BSA, it doesnt mean that Council Camps can't forbid them. Then again, why would a Council want to forbid something clearly found in the program?

 

 

 

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Buffalo,

 

If you think the boys can do it, and the rangers say its ok, let them go. Let their parents drop them off at the gate at a prearranged time, the boys pay thier fee and hike in. I would definitely get into the nitty-gritty of the patrol's camping plan to be sure they had covered all the bases, emphasizing safety and good behaviour. I would also let them know that if they screwed this up by behaving badly or ignoring reasonable safety limits, there would be some serious consequences.

 

If you are still iffy, perhaps the boys could go to one campsite and two adults could spend the weekend at another campsite some distance away, but readily accessible in case of an emergency.

 

As for the Tour Permit, ask your DE. I mean, they get paid to answer questions like this, right?

 

 

 

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If you read the sections of Local Tour Permit you will see several sections that show that it is not an applicable form for a patrol outing when there is no adult supervision.

 

 

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So you are saying a patrol outing is exempt from the requirements of the tour permit, because it doesn't specifically address a patrol outing.

 

Hmmph. Thats interesting. All the details I need to provide and safety requirements of G2SS the troop needs to follow don't apply because it's a patrol outing.

 

But the SM still needs to approve the trip. Verbally? In writing?

 

So if a few guys go off and do something on their own, thats fine, its on their own.

 

But if they come to me, as the SM, to approve it, doesnt it then become a troop function at that point and thereby require a tour permit?

 

We'd get there eventually - how about the liability question: Little Johnny looses an eye is he covered by BSA insurance because I approved it? What liability have I and/or the troop incurred because I approved the trip but neglected my leadership role to monitor the event or fill out the proper tour permit. They always hold out that if dont file the permit for a troop function we may not be covered by insurance; I dont get how this is any different.

 

You guys are braver than I am I guess and that's not just looking for obstacles, that's CYA and I'll gladly admit it. No thanks.

 

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I am saying look at the local tour permit form and tell me which sections apply to a patrol outing where no adults are present.

 

Troops and patrols are not the same. Troops have adult leadership, patrols have youth leadership.

 

Before you hmmmph again actually look at the Local Tour Permit and list what sections would apply to an outing where no adults are present.

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I did look again; that's exactly what I was 'hmmph'ing over... I understand what you are saying, just don't think I can agree that it is ok to disregard the tour permit requirements because it omits patrol events or because a patrol event doesnt fit any of the check boxes. The patrol is part of the troop, therefore it is subject to the same requirements that a troop would be.

 

Look - Im certainly not a helicopter parent, but wow do I see this as being irresponsible as an adult leader of the troop AND patrol. Not to mention the liability scares the crap out of me.

 

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So fill it out as usual except:

 

Purpose: Rabid Raccoon patrol camp out

Adult Tour Leader 1: N/A (cite reference from G2SS)

Adult Tour Leader 2: N/A (cite reference from G2SS)

 

Get it signed and send it in several weeks early, not the week of. You'll either get it back approved, or you'll get it back in time to fight for what the boys want or to change your adult leader plan.

 

You'll never know until you try it.

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If one doesn't have the skills, determination and courage to develop independence in the boys they are to train, they need to turn over the SM to someone who does.

 

The goals of scouting are simple and if one isn't going to strive for those goals, then let someone who will.

 

If the SM has done his/her job, the patrols should have no problem trying out what they have learned.

 

If one has a problem with that, purchase a $3 million umbrella policy and relax, after all, a kid could twist an ankle at the mall shopping for patrol tents and sue ya blue in the face.... Or maybe he'll just sue ya for not providing a complete scouting package/experience for him.

 

Stosh

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If you read the sections of Local Tour Permit you will see several sections that show that it is not an applicable form for a patrol outing when there is no adult supervision.

Which sections would do this? If anything the the text of the Tour Permit is that camping is not allowed without at least two adults: "Boy Scouts of America policy requires at least two adult leaders on all camping trips and tours". The G2SS states. "All Scout groups are required to have an approved tour permit for trips of all kinds". It does not say units but groups which would include patrols. Yes, this is under the caving section, but the idea is that caving is not an exception to this policy.

Since I, nor most scouters have access to BSA P&P we have to rely on what our council tells us. If the council tells us that we are required to file a tour permit for all activities then we need to do that unless we can document that this is not the case. If you have documentation that expressly states that either patrol activities do not require Tour Permits or that only unit level activities require a tour permit then it would be great to have that. Otherwise we have to abide by what teh council says.

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Nike writes:

 

If you are still iffy, perhaps the boys could go to one campsite and two adults could spend the weekend at another campsite some distance away, but readily accessible in case of an emergency.

 

That or a similar idea by JerseyJohn (below) should be the prerequisite for ALL Patrols who want to camp without adult supervision. Because of the importance we place on business manager theory in BSA training, we no longer teach Patrol Leaders how to do this kind of thing, so let them camp "some distance away" on Troop campouts and see how well they do on a regular basis before y'all jump in over your head in unfamiliar waters.

 

Nike writes:

 

As for the Tour Permit, ask your DE. I mean, they get paid to answer questions like this, right?

 

I would be surprised if one out of every ten DEs nationwide ever heard of Patrol Camping. I agree with Nike and Jet, call your local Council, BUT be prepared to ask someone above your DE's paygrade.

 

JerseyJohn writes:

 

RE: Patrol Method - How do we get there?

Posted: Tuesday, 9/9/2008: 9:52:36 PM

 

Here is what I did and it worked like a charm.

 

We used to pile 3, 4, or 5 scout patrols and the leaders into ONE campsite. I started renting two or three sites at BSA council camps at weekend outings. They are inexpensive and well worth spending the extra 15.00 per weekend (you going to pay the $1 per boy regardless, so you are only renting extra sites. That will only run the boys one more dollar for the trip....

 

Split the patrols between two campsites and the adults take the third site and walla....you become out of sight - out of mind...

 

They want independence and freedom - then give it to them and watch them perform.

 

BP said keep the patrols 150 to 300 feet away from each other! How many SM's actually do that?

 

Yes we actually do that :) You may discover new options at your local Scout camps if you ask the RANGER. Most BSA camps have remote "primitive camping" areas near a pond or stream for more advanced (spread-out) Patrol camping than your three-campsite method. There might even be a remote lean-to back in the woods somewhere (usually in bad repair) around which your Patrols can camp 150 to 300 feet apart. You will need some equipment light enough to carry some distance from the nearest road.

 

ursus snorous roarus writes:

 

>>Now, I'm not usually a cynic, but this sounds pretty hokey to me.

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Hi Jet

If you doubt that patrols can camp without adults you need only read the scoutmaster handbook, read the G2SS, attend Youth Protection, or read the PL Handbook. Patrol activities without adults have been an element of the BSA since its beginning.

 

The local tour permit does not pertain to Patrol outings when then are no adults present. The Tour permit only pertains to outings where adults are required to be in attendance.

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Buffalo

If you really are concerned about liability follow Nikes advice and file a tour permit in advance and get it council approved,in spite of what one poster keeps ranting on about it not being required, that should CYA for the most part, and it puts council on the line with you. However you need to learn to trust your boys, thats how they build leadership skills, if you can't trust them for a particular reason discuss it with them.

 

(This message has been edited by BadenP)

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