John Pannell (PANNELLJ@DELPHI.COM)
Thu, 14 Jul 1994 18:11:32 -0400
I've been reading the recent thread about homesickness with some interest.
(It was either here on on rec.scouting.... I _do_ get confused sometimes...)
Until now I was content to be quiet and read and learn.
Next week four of the Scouts in my troop will be going to summercamp under
the care of a "foster Scoutmaster". (FYI -- We do not run a provisional
troop, but SM's gladly "adopt" Scouts for a week.) Two are returning for a
second week and the other two are new Scouts who could not go when the rest
of the troop was scheduled. All four will be with the troop. The two older
Scouts are 13 and hold the First Class and Star ranks.
Now... one of the new Scouts, I am told, will not go unless his dad is able
to spend the night at camp. Since the camp is only about 40 minutes away
from home and parents are welcome to help out with adult leadership duties,
this is quite possible. To me this sounds like we have a potential
homesickness problem at hand and the situation disturbs me.
If the dad is going to camp every night, just because his son wants him
there, I question the wisdom of this. Is this only forestalling the
inevitable? Is this making a situation worse? Apparently while a cub and
Webelo his dad always went on camping trips with him. He is 11 and it seems
to me it is now time for him to start breaking away from his parents' coat
tails. Camp is close by, it is only for a week (actually 6 days), and
parents come up on Thursday night.
During the week he will be participating in the camp's First Year Woodsman
program. This is geared specifically to first year campers and new Scouts
and they spend the week working on the basic Scouting skills. On Tuesday
they go on an overnight camp by themselves with only the counselors in
attendance. This is a trek to a different part of the camp where they can
practice such things a tent pitching and making of ground beds as well as
camping in a more primitive setting that the campsites afford them. I
wonder, how will he react to his dad not being there??
I will be at camp at least twice during the week due to my obligations with
the OA and will probably go up on Sunday to see if the foster SM needs any
help or if the kids are having trouble. Since I play tenor recorder --
substitute for Indian Flute -- during the weekly OA tapouts, I will be there
again on Thursday to check up on things. This is another topic for
discussion later! *g*
Now if the dad is there because he wants to help out, great! But if he's
there just because his son might miss him, again, I question the wisdom of
Before I turn this back to comments... the situation gets more complicated.
This boy is on ritalin and also has a rather profound hearing loss of about
75%. He is quite good at lip reading and has no trouble in a 1:1 situation,
however dealing with large groups might pose trouble for him. I will make
sure the foster SM is aware of both these items. He is quite athletic
(baseball, soccer, swimming, gymnastics <-- great to build fitness) and
should have no trouble with the physical aspects and demands of camp -- no
couch potato he!
Sorry to be so long-winded....
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City