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Got the phone call from camp....

camp homesick

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#1 Zaphod

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 09:47 AM

My boy is NOT enjoying camp!  Tried to comfort him and told him to hang in there. Here's to hoping it gets better for him. 

 

His biggest complaint is a little frustrating though.... All the other boys have electronic devices that they use in bed at night. The paperwork and emails all said devices were strictly forbidden and phones would be kept by the SM for emergencies only. But I guess at a planning meeting before he crossed over the boys were told they could bring something that was only to be used before bed. 

 

My son always reads on his Kindle every night and wanted to bring it. Of course I said, "Sorry against the rules...." Guess I need to work on my mind reading skills. 


Edited by Zaphod, 29 June 2016 - 09:47 AM.

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#2 qwazse

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 10:37 AM

If that's the worst of his worries, he's in a good place!

 

Troops change and adjust faster than their documentation. Often, it's parents who press the issue. In my case, I never allowed my kids to even own these devices until they were earning enough to pay for them. Even when they were older, I regret not charging for the gas they use to recharge them during camp!

 

I know, times change ...

 

I would advise your son, to

  • Let the SM know about what's bothering him.
  • Thank the SM on your behalf for taking care of him.
  • Tell him how to assemble a "wilderness kindle."
    • Go to the trading post,
    • buy the book that interests him the most
    • and a reading light (if he doesn't have one) and spare batteries,
    • open both during lights out. (This is how Son #2 made it though many many campouts.)
  • Ask the SM if there's a counselor for reading MB.

Also, reminding him of the 10th commandment can go a long way.

 

Hang in there, Dad.


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#3 Lurking...

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 11:15 AM

What are the other boys going to do when their batteries go dead?


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#4 Zaphod

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 01:32 PM

What are the other boys going to do when their batteries go dead?

 

I told him that... it would be a short lived pleasure. But he said there were places to charge things after all. I didn't quite understand how that worked but I didn't think it was wise to dwell on it....


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#5 Zaphod

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 01:40 PM

I would advise your son, to

  • Tell him how to assemble a "wilderness kindle."
  • Ask the SM if there's a counselor for reading MB.

 

There's a reading MB?! Well that will make him happy. He's covered as far as the wilderness Kindle though -- he brought about 1,500 pages of reading material and 3 mini-flashlights. I think his back-pack was heavier than him. He just has to figure out the old fashioned pleasure of hiding your light under your sleeping bag.


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#6 Zaphod

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 08:23 PM

I just realized there's a separate summer camp forum... this should probably be there. So many forums!


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#7 Chadamus

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 08:37 PM

Zaphod, I'd be curious to hear how he felt about the week as a whole once it's over. My son's first experience with summer camp progressed from a reluctant Sunday to an ecstatic Saturday. It's fascinating to me how one week can have such an effect on a boy, good or bad. (Hopefully good! ☺)
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#8 King Ding Dong

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 12:00 AM

Well as usual I will the contrarian. The SM and other adult leaders royally screwed up. Emails are not documentation that does not keep up to date. If the SM and other leaders had a shred of decency in them they would handing over their devices to the boy at bedtime or at minimum encouraging the other boys to share.

He didn't forget something. He was lied to,
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#9 T2Eagle

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 08:20 AM

Well as usual I will the contrarian. The SM and other adult leaders royally screwed up. Emails are not documentation that does not keep up to date. If the SM and other leaders had a shred of decency in them they would handing over their devices to the boy at bedtime or at minimum encouraging the other boys to share.

He didn't forget something. He was lied to,

For better or worse, some kids find the playing of a particular game comforting, just as some kids find burying their nose in a book has the same effect.  I've handed my phone to kids who are homesick and let them play a game for half an hour.


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#10 JasonG172

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 08:21 AM

Zaphod, I'd be curious to hear how he felt about the week as a whole once it's over. My son's first experience with summer camp progressed from a reluctant Sunday to an ecstatic Saturday. It's fascinating to me how one week can have such an effect on a boy, good or bad. (Hopefully good! ☺)

 

I agree!  My son recently just returned from his "1st Summer Camp experience"  He was nervous at first (I wasn't going to be going this time around) but when I arrived to camp that Friday he seemed to have adjusted well.  I wasn't really that worried, as a cub he had been to Kia Kima 3 years for resident camp. 


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#11 blw2

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 08:58 AM

My thoughts are that electronics shouldn't be confiscated.

Discouraged and limited, sure.... maybe.   but not taken away.

 

Our troop has the policy that they are allowed in the car on the drive out and the drive home, but they stay in the car.

 

Using a phone for an occasional picture, bedtime reading or gaming, texting home.... why not?  It's a familiar element, a distraction, a connection.

If it were up to me, I would discourage regular carry of phones, for fear of damage and loss.... and I would probably encourage the scouts to come up with rules such as use in tents only except for specific photo opps.... but I would not confiscate them....

 

I understand the whole homesick thing and limiting the contact with home for that reason.... 

but we had two homesick scouts this year, and the SM let them use his own phone when they asked to call home.  I even ended up lending my phone a time or two after that when a scout asked.  Something I don't really like to do...  but my point is our scouts weren't restricted about calling home really.... except if you consider the limitation of having to ask.

 

and about the homesick scouts...

one ended up coming home early.  I think his mom didn't really want him to come anyway, so they came to get him right away.  The other one was his tent mate.  He wanted to go home, but his parents apearently told him to stick it out.  He had a rough week and struggled a lot.  even to tears over a couple meals..... but he had plenty of fun too.  In the end he did ok..... and interestingly enough, I understand that this same scout is away at another week long camp now (non-scout)


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#12 SSScout

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 09:18 AM

It is starting to sound lie our kids have developed a new trend/trail/system/gradient/ ??

 

First is mother's breast.

Then the "blankie"

Then the "teddy" or "BunBun".

Then then "pillow" and/or "good night moon".

And then... they grow up to.....  the KINDLE!  The  SCHMART PHONE!     The   MINECRAFT! (or worse....)

 

How to wean them off the new electronic "blankie"?     How to say "no"   to their  umbilical cord to the internet? 

 

Tweeting : Here at camp dark bugs can't sleep ((haven't tried))....

 

Here's a bit of doggerel for you: 

 

A Scout on his iphone would tweet,

"my vcmpfr s neet!

I ck my #browns

& @ cmpree sit down

& hike on my virtual 2 feet!"


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#13 Back Pack

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 09:31 AM

This is a failure of the other parents and the adult leaders in my opinion, not to mention the camp staff for allowing youth to charge devices. If you prohibit them for everyone then no one has them. 

 

In my troop no one calls home either. The adults take any home sick scout to the trading post for ice cream and we chat.

 

Electronics usage is an addiction for many of these kids (and adults). Cutting the chord for a week is not that hard if you apply it to everyone.


Edited by Back Pack, 30 June 2016 - 09:32 AM.

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#14 krikkitbot

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 10:56 AM

You know what chaps my hide? Kids with these new-fangled things they are using to light fires. Little canisters of butane and a spark mechanism. Why when I was a lad all we were allowed to use were two sticks, AND WE LIKED IT!

 

In all seriousness, I used to be one of the "better not see electronics at a camp-out!" people. I then read an article that put it into perspective. These scout aged boys have NEVER lived in an era before cell-phones. Most of them don't remember a time before smart phones. 

 

Smart phones can be a great tool on a camping trip. They have a compass, you can do geocaching, you have apps that teach how to do knots, identify birds and plants, and be a rescue lifeline.

 

I'm sorry that there was miscommunication in your troop. Hopefully your son still has a good time and the good memories outweigh the bad.

 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to hitch my oxen. I have to get home from work before fall sets in. ;)


Edited by krikkitbot, 30 June 2016 - 10:56 AM.

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#15 SSScout

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 11:51 AM

 

 

In all seriousness, I used to be one of the "better not see electronics at a camp-out!" people. I then read an article that put it into perspective. These scout aged boys have NEVER lived in an era before cell-phones. Most of them don't remember a time before smart phones. 

 

 

 

 

 

So we should bring the LI-ION battery powered saws and power hammers?   The idea of Scouts is to make kids independent, safe, self assured , or so I've interpreted the "purposes".  No axes? No saws?   We have already eliminated Morse Code and  finding the north star/astronomy from First Class.  The FCScout was intended to be "prepared". I suppose that having your cell ready is one form of that.

You can buy a backpack that , thru the up and down motion, will charge your cell and tablet.  You can bring along a roll-up solar panel. For a price, you can avail yourself of the ingenuity of many others.  That is the benefit of civilization.

  Yep, many of the young Scouts I meet have rarely seen, much less used a compass.   Magnetic, that is.   Follow directions?   If it isn't in that 25mm screen, , is it real?

 

We , as Scouts, are often called on to deal with the situation in times  extremis. No electrical power?  Camp stove comes out, set fire in fireplace.  No heat?  Sleeping bags come out. No water?  Haul and boil.  

 

Will  the OA Ordeal  become doing without the Ipad?  That is an ordeal for some kids, I guess. 

I would like to think the Scout of today is aware of, and able to utilize, all the "ancient" technology that today's stuff has been built on. 


Edited by SSScout, 30 June 2016 - 11:55 AM.

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#16 perdidochas

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 01:10 PM

So we should bring the LI-ION battery powered saws and power hammers?   The idea of Scouts is to make kids independent, safe, self assured , or so I've interpreted the "purposes".  No axes? No saws?   We have already eliminated Morse Code and  finding the north star/astronomy from First Class.  The FCScout was intended to be "prepared". I suppose that having your cell ready is one form of that.

You can buy a backpack that , thru the up and down motion, will charge your cell and tablet.  You can bring along a roll-up solar panel. For a price, you can avail yourself of the ingenuity of many others.  That is the benefit of civilization.

  Yep, many of the young Scouts I meet have rarely seen, much less used a compass.   Magnetic, that is.   Follow directions?   If it isn't in that 25mm screen, , is it real?

 

We , as Scouts, are often called on to deal with the situation in times  extremis. No electrical power?  Camp stove comes out, set fire in fireplace.  No heat?  Sleeping bags come out. No water?  Haul and boil.  

 

Will  the OA Ordeal  become doing without the Ipad?  That is an ordeal for some kids, I guess. 

I would like to think the Scout of today is aware of, and able to utilize, all the "ancient" technology that today's stuff has been built on. 

 

Well, they still have to be able to find directions during the day and at night without using a compass or an electronic device (2nd class 3c). They have to know how to use a compass (3b).

 

In First class, (4a) they have to use a map and compass to complete a mile long orientation course.    Now, they also have to know how to use the electronics as well (FC 4b)

 

Before they get to First Class, your young scouts should have at least passing familiarity with a map and compass. If they don't, they shouldn't be getting First Class rank. 


Edited by perdidochas, 30 June 2016 - 01:11 PM.

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#17 perdidochas

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 01:14 PM

You know what chaps my hide? Kids with these new-fangled things they are using to light fires. Little canisters of butane and a spark mechanism. Why when I was a lad all we were allowed to use were two sticks, AND WE LIKED IT!

 

In all seriousness, I used to be one of the "better not see electronics at a camp-out!" people. I then read an article that put it into perspective. These scout aged boys have NEVER lived in an era before cell-phones. Most of them don't remember a time before smart phones. 

 

Smart phones can be a great tool on a camping trip. They have a compass, you can do geocaching, you have apps that teach how to do knots, identify birds and plants, and be a rescue lifeline.

 

I'm sorry that there was miscommunication in your troop. Hopefully your son still has a good time and the good memories outweigh the bad.

 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to hitch my oxen. I have to get home from work before fall sets in. ;)

 

I pretty much agree.  The good thing is that the more they use smartphones on scouting trips, the more they learn their limitations and the best way to use them.  My sons know that in wilderness that they can't run the GPS app all the time, and that it's best to use airplane mode, for example. 

 

I, personally, love the knot apps, as well as the nature ID apps.  I don't count on the phone for rescue, but I would use one if necessary. 


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#18 blw2

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 01:29 PM

You know what chaps my hide? Kids with these new-fangled things they are using to light fires. Little canisters of butane and a spark mechanism. Why when I was a lad all we were allowed to use were two sticks, AND WE LIKED IT!

 

In all seriousness, I used to be one of the "better not see electronics at a camp-out!" people. I then read an article that put it into perspective. These scout aged boys have NEVER lived in an era before cell-phones. Most of them don't remember a time before smart phones. 

 

Smart phones can be a great tool on a camping trip. They have a compass, you can do geocaching, you have apps that teach how to do knots, identify birds and plants, and be a rescue lifeline.

 

I'm sorry that there was miscommunication in your troop. Hopefully your son still has a good time and the good memories outweigh the bad.

 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to hitch my oxen. I have to get home from work before fall sets in. ;)

well put!


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#19 Lurking...

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 01:35 PM

The boys are allowed to bring the same electronic devices I do.  If it has to be plugged in for any reason it stays home.  It's a good lesson to learn that if one has the DT's by Tuesday or Wednesday, then there's something seriously wrong with one's life.  Yes, a bit of time with the game console can be relaxing for some, but so can drugs and alcohol or a morning cigarette and coffee.  Somehow I don't see the necessity to promote such addictive behavior nor should the leaders be leading in that direction.


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#20 Back Pack

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 02:29 PM

Phone compasses do not work as well as a good magnetic compass. Apps showing you how to tie a knot are no substitute for learning with a real rope and someone guiding you. Leaders are built when other scouts help those requiring the help. If they have an app to teach them birds or knots or nature or first aid, we rob our other scouts of a chance to teach and lead.

 

One thing we are missing here is that these kids are addicted to devices. While there may be reasons to use such devices, there are an equal number of reasons for them not to use them. The tie breaker in my mind are the lost opportunities for interaction and leadership, plus the continued addiction to such devices. 

 

I grew up with TV. My leaders did not. Does not mean I brought a TV with me to camp. That is a hollow argument in my opinion.


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