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Can I bring my younger son to scout campouts?


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#1 newtoscoutsdad

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 04:07 PM

I am a new Boy Scout leader and I have a son that is a wolf scout. Some of the Boy Scout activities (one night overnight campouts) seem like a perfect opportunity for me to spend time with my son. When I was a younger scout my leaders would frequently bring their younger sons. One of the scout leaders is all for me bring my son, but the other is totally against it. I have read this page from the boy scouts website: http://www.scouting..../GSS/gss03.aspx

To me it seems to say that younger scouts (bear and wolf) cannot go on campouts WITHOUT their parents, but I do not see it say they cannot go at all if they are younger. Please help me by clarifying this issue. Thanks.
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#2 moosetracker

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 04:46 PM

Tiger, Bear & Wolf can not camp except at Pack campouts.. Webelos can do Den camping and can camp with a troop as a guest, but the troop has to invite and welcome them.. Here with Webelos our troops will not let them stay without a parent, but the Webelos can Den camp without all parents. Not sure if there is some sort of National rule, or just something Troops have created around these parts..

Here is a chart of what is Age Appropriate for each rank.
http://www.scouting...._Insert_Web.pdf
In the outdoor skills you will find little a tiger/wolf/bear can do. Camporees "no", cooking outdoors "no", etc. etc.. Also look at trekking.. Backpacking, overnight Backcountry "no", Biking "no".. etc..

All in all, my personal opinion is, I agree with the Scout Leader who is not for you bringing your son.. Many reasons for this. 1) Troop camping is not family camping, It is not like a Pack campout where they prepare for entertaining all age groups. 2) If you are there as a leader for the Boys in the Boy Scout program, then you are their leader, your attention should not be all about your 2nd grade son. 3) The troop may choose to do things that are physically not something for your younger son.. Hiking long distances, A service project that is long and tedious and will loose the attention span of a 2nd grader quick.. White Water rafting or even boating which cubs can't do unless supervised at a council organized event. Winter camping where a youth can not attend. 4) the Boy Scouts want to be with their older friends, not trying to entertain a young child. 5) There is a reason BSA sets up a slow evolve into what Cubs are allowed to do first because the majority is not mentally/physically capable, second because you want them looking forward to what they can do when the get older. If they can do it all at the age of wolf, by the time they reach boy scout age, all will be boring.

If you need to be more with your younger son, over spending time with your older son who is joining the troop.. Think about volunteering at the Committee level, and not going on troop outings, until your younger son is of age, and moves over to the Troop.

Even if there were no rules about what Cubs could do when, this does not mean you can force your troop to accept you bringing your son, then it would be up to the Troop to decide if they felt it was beneficial to the troop or not.. They would have perfect right to say "No" even when your son gets of Webelos level, and you start to insist he goes on all outings rather then just the few the Troop select to invite all the Webelos to..
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#3 berliner

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 06:40 PM

Generally no, but it depends. I agree with Moose to a T - age appropriate is the big issue. Now there is exceptions, it depends on a lot of things. Most activities your son will simply be to young to keep up. With BSA we did take the 5 year old from one of our ASMs to our Klondike Derby during the day, but we found he was to young to even understand the Troops embassy visit for example. In New Zealand the scouts go on a lot of tough hikes, and cubs cant keep up with scouts so no. We do have family camp once a year across all sections + family. Our youngest camper was 2.5 y/o girl, older brother a cub DL and big sister scout PL and dad committee, so no biggie. Our SMs youngest sons would go on hikes with us, but these cubs are tougher than venturers so no comparison LOL You just have to consider alternate activities for the young ones, they tend to need more rest, have a shorter attention span, cant handle big bows or 22s let alone fire or totin chit ...
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#4 Basementdweller

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 12:14 PM

As a then second adult ASM, I took my son as a wolf on Troop campouts. Now he slept and ate with dad, eventually the older guys adopted him and he was one of the group. But I didn't force it. More importantly what does the Patrol Leaders council think????? It is their program after all.
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#5 Stosh

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 01:09 PM

I would be concerned about "spending time with my son". Are you there to spend time with your younger son or your older son? Are you there for the troop for some personal concern you have with your family. I guess I'm a bit old-fashioned in that when I go on an outing it is 100% for the boys. My son hasn't been in scouting for over 20 years now and I am most often the only adult in the group that doesn't have divided loyalties. On occasion my wife has attended the troop's whitewater events, only because she is a expert kayaker in her own right and provides an additional safety service to the group. She can also out hike any parlor scout in the troop, too. When it comes to plant identification, if it grows in the woods, she knows what it is and most often by it's scientific name as well. :) So, if one is volunteering to help the troop, why would the question of non-troop people tagging along that aren't involved in helping with the troop? Stosh
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#6 SR540Beaver

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 01:39 PM

I'm sure it's a troop by troop thing as there are still some knuckle draggers out there who won't let women camp with the troop. In the troop I serve, everyone is welcome. But then we have 80 scouts, so the SM and 1 or 2 ASM's aren't quite enough to transport boys and gear. We need drivers with multiple seats and if that is all they do, we're good with that. If they want to bring their son or daughter, were good with that. Whatever it takes to get the help we need to deliver the program. That being said, we run a boy led program and the adults and their younger children are taught from day one to stay in their area and leave the boys and patrols alone. If we want to enter their patrol site, we ask permission just as they do when they need to enter ours. Also, the vast majority of adults that do camp with us are registered and have taken training for climbing/rappeling, shooting sports, etc. They can help where we need adults to deliver those proram elements that require adults or they can sit in their camp chair and chill all weekend.
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#7 Basementdweller

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 01:43 PM

Well if they tell you no he can't go, then you reply well neither can I and see what happens.
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#8 Stosh

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 03:32 PM

Well, then you go and ask the next parent to help out. Using one's son as political leverage doesn't really set well with me. I gave up trying to please the kid that takes his ball and goes home, a long time ago. Okay, no ball, how about tag... YOU'RE IT! Stosh
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#9 moosetracker

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 08:57 PM

I agree jblake.. Amazing how many people have made a troop outing into a Pack family campout.. Totally unfair to the boys in the troop, both the ones who want to get away from their family and their family tags along, and the boys whose family doesn't tag along and they still have toddlers biting him at the ankles because Sammy & Johnny brought their families with 3 and 4 year olds in tow.. That troop would need to be very, very hard up for Adult leadership to ever accept falling into this type of disarray. Our family didn't have younger children as my son was an only child. Still when the troop camp, my husband went as an adult leader, my son went and I stayed home, even though I have camped since I was a child.. Sorry, troop camping is not family camping, and I think the boy scout age appropriate chart states by age what is and is not acceptable. On top of that, by the way the OP wrote it, this is simply someone thinking his young son is exceptional, and wants to accelerate his scouting career.. Why not an 8 year old Eagle..
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#10 Basementdweller

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 08:10 AM

I agree jblake.. Amazing how many people have made a troop outing into a Pack family campout.. Totally unfair to the boys in the troop, both the ones who want to get away from their family and their family tags along, and the boys whose family doesn't tag along and they still have toddlers biting him at the ankles because Sammy & Johnny brought their families with 3 and 4 year olds in tow.. That troop would need to be very, very hard up for Adult leadership to ever accept falling into this type of disarray.

Our family didn't have younger children as my son was an only child. Still when the troop camp, my husband went as an adult leader, my son went and I stayed home, even though I have camped since I was a child.. Sorry, troop camping is not family camping, and I think the boy scout age appropriate chart states by age what is and is not acceptable.

On top of that, by the way the OP wrote it, this is simply someone thinking his young son is exceptional, and wants to accelerate his scouting career.. Why not an 8 year old Eagle..

Your argument doesn't hold water.

We are not talking sisters or 5 year old male sibs. We are talking a wolf scout.


My son and I did this exact thing and it was not a problem and didn't impact the program at all. But I used common sense, He didn't go backpacking or canoeing or anything I didn't think he was mature enough to do.


In my case we were talking about a dying troop and it only had a hand full of boys. The SM was glad to have the help and with out me there would have been no outdoor program.
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#11 Stosh

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 08:18 AM

I agree jblake.. Amazing how many people have made a troop outing into a Pack family campout.. Totally unfair to the boys in the troop, both the ones who want to get away from their family and their family tags along, and the boys whose family doesn't tag along and they still have toddlers biting him at the ankles because Sammy & Johnny brought their families with 3 and 4 year olds in tow.. That troop would need to be very, very hard up for Adult leadership to ever accept falling into this type of disarray.

Our family didn't have younger children as my son was an only child. Still when the troop camp, my husband went as an adult leader, my son went and I stayed home, even though I have camped since I was a child.. Sorry, troop camping is not family camping, and I think the boy scout age appropriate chart states by age what is and is not acceptable.

On top of that, by the way the OP wrote it, this is simply someone thinking his young son is exceptional, and wants to accelerate his scouting career.. Why not an 8 year old Eagle..

I know what limited resources are. I have a newly forming troop of 2 boys. That's me and 4 parents.

But even then I don't think it's good to put such strain on an established troop that if one person can't or won't go the activity falls apart. If that be the case, it is obvious that the troop is no longer viable and needs to be disbanded and the boys moved to another troop where they will receive a program that isn't relying on the availability of 2 or 3 people.

If a troop is relying on parents and Wolf Cubs to have a successful program, it's time to quit.

Stosh
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#12 Basementdweller

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 08:20 AM

Blake, you know there is no one size fits all formula in scouting. Some troops are more adult rec club than boy scout troop, others have near zero adult involvement I am a HUGE opponent of the Adult/Family Scout troop, there is a huge difference between an ASM bringing his scout son along VS ASM bringing Wife, and 3 daughters or worse yet 15 year old daughter. Again, I would ask the PLC what their opinion is.......Then live by their decision.
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#13 Basementdweller

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 08:30 AM

Well, then you go and ask the next parent to help out.

Using one's son as political leverage doesn't really set well with me.

I gave up trying to please the kid that takes his ball and goes home, a long time ago. Okay, no ball, how about tag... YOU'RE IT!

Stosh

Ok then the outing gets cancelled because of the lack of two deep leadership. So be it.

The lesson is compromise.

Unless that Cub involved is a waste of a boy, the older guys will compromise.
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#14 duckfoot

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 08:53 AM

I'm throwing the BS flag. Heaven forbid a boy goes along on a boy scout trip. By all means, keep those younger boys at home so they can't experience what a troop actually does. Keep them home and do the arts and crafts like they are supposed to. Once they get it in their heads there is more to the program than that, the whole thing could collapse. Are your programs that shallow that an ASM is an integral part of any trip?
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#15 moosetracker

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:35 AM

I agree jblake.. Amazing how many people have made a troop outing into a Pack family campout.. Totally unfair to the boys in the troop, both the ones who want to get away from their family and their family tags along, and the boys whose family doesn't tag along and they still have toddlers biting him at the ankles because Sammy & Johnny brought their families with 3 and 4 year olds in tow.. That troop would need to be very, very hard up for Adult leadership to ever accept falling into this type of disarray.

Our family didn't have younger children as my son was an only child. Still when the troop camp, my husband went as an adult leader, my son went and I stayed home, even though I have camped since I was a child.. Sorry, troop camping is not family camping, and I think the boy scout age appropriate chart states by age what is and is not acceptable.

On top of that, by the way the OP wrote it, this is simply someone thinking his young son is exceptional, and wants to accelerate his scouting career.. Why not an 8 year old Eagle..

Yeah, but you are infering your situation in this not looking at has been written, you are talking of a dying troop, therefore you are talking of a troop very, very hard up.. What has been described here is nothing about a troop who is hard up for leadership, or even a parent who can not go as a leader without bring his son. There is no statement of "without me the troop can't go, and I have no one to care for my son. Just as plausible is Mommy is sitting at home eating bonbons while Daddy takes sonny off to an outing meant just for older boys. The only reason why is that it seems like a perfect opportunity to spend time with son. And really this is not a good time at all, and his young son should not go unless the troop is in dire need of Adult Leadership and there is no arrangements that can be made to leave the young kid at home..

So with that logic, why not the Scout Master 2 year old daughter, and the ASM's 3 children and wife.. Wow, this seems like a perfect opportunity to spend time with family.. Sorry, this is a fine attitude for the Pack, which is family oriented, but not a good attitude for the Troop which is absolutely not family time outings.
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#16 moosetracker

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:36 AM

Blake, you know there is no one size fits all formula in scouting.

Some troops are more adult rec club than boy scout troop, others have near zero adult involvement

I am a HUGE opponent of the Adult/Family Scout troop, there is a huge difference between an ASM bringing his scout son along VS ASM bringing Wife, and 3 daughters or worse yet 15 year old daughter.

Again, I would ask the PLC what their opinion is.......Then live by their decision.

Well your PLC will gladly welcome the 15 year old daughter !
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#17 moosetracker

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:48 AM

I'm throwing the BS flag. Heaven forbid a boy goes along on a boy scout trip. By all means, keep those younger boys at home so they can't experience what a troop actually does. Keep them home and do the arts and crafts like they are supposed to. Once they get it in their heads there is more to the program than that, the whole thing could collapse.

Are your programs that shallow that an ASM is an integral part of any trip?

Why not just invite the whole pack out on your troop outings.. There are rules against anyone except Webelos staying overnight on a troop outing, and then only with a parent present.. But, our troops can ask the younger scouts to the daytime part of an event, but they can not spend the night.. I guess they could if the Pack calls it a Pack campout, and we just happen to be camping next to the troop.. But it has to be a full authorized Pack campout, not just the wolf den, or a lone wolf scout, whose parent is trying to use their position to sneak him into something that he is not of an age to be attending.

You don't like your Packs activities, work to change it, Have a pack campout every month if you live in the warmer climates, if live in the north, sorry but it is cabin camping or no camping from October to May.
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#18 Stosh

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:55 AM

I agree jblake.. Amazing how many people have made a troop outing into a Pack family campout.. Totally unfair to the boys in the troop, both the ones who want to get away from their family and their family tags along, and the boys whose family doesn't tag along and they still have toddlers biting him at the ankles because Sammy & Johnny brought their families with 3 and 4 year olds in tow.. That troop would need to be very, very hard up for Adult leadership to ever accept falling into this type of disarray.

Our family didn't have younger children as my son was an only child. Still when the troop camp, my husband went as an adult leader, my son went and I stayed home, even though I have camped since I was a child.. Sorry, troop camping is not family camping, and I think the boy scout age appropriate chart states by age what is and is not acceptable.

On top of that, by the way the OP wrote it, this is simply someone thinking his young son is exceptional, and wants to accelerate his scouting career.. Why not an 8 year old Eagle..

Moose,

I was responding to Basement's comments that without him there would be no outdoor program. That's cutting the adult leadership too thin and jeopardizes the program of a viable troop. Maybe this troop is not all that viable. It doesn't refer to any other troop where multiple leaders can keep the program flowing even if one or two adults with children can't make it at that time.

Stosh
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#19 Stosh

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 10:36 AM

Seriously? What do a Tiger Cub and Senior in high school have in common? A single parent maybe? Why is the troop putting that kind of pressure on the parent? Either you find a babysitter and show up or the troop will have to cancel it's outing. C'mon, is that really fair? A program needs to be a lot more robust than that. We all have conflicts on our calendars. Flexibility and coordination is needed to make it happen. My wife will be out of town that weekend, and I have to stay home with Little Johnny. I can drive up a few of the boys, but I can't stay. I can come back on Sunday to pick them up. Yes, I have done that myself. My boy has two sisters. Jeff
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#20 Basementdweller

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 12:15 PM

I'm throwing the BS flag. Heaven forbid a boy goes along on a boy scout trip. By all means, keep those younger boys at home so they can't experience what a troop actually does. Keep them home and do the arts and crafts like they are supposed to. Once they get it in their heads there is more to the program than that, the whole thing could collapse.

Are your programs that shallow that an ASM is an integral part of any trip?

Yes our program is that thin on adult leadership that an ASM staying home would result in a canceled trip.
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