walkmans on campout
Mon, 26 Sep 1994 15:50:58 -0700
There has been a great deal of discussion this weekend on the issue
of whether portable electronics should be allowed on campouts. Let
me offer some opinions of my own.
1. I do not generally have a problem, personally, with a boy bringing
a "walkman style" radio or tape player. However, I have not been in
the position to be the one making the policy, so I go along with it.
I do agree that if they are left home, then no one can steal them out
of your tent. However, I disagree that they have no place when one is
out camping. Listening to "Sunrise" from the Grand Canyon Suite, while
watching the sun rise over the Grand Canyon is quite an experience!
2. The permission slip for our Troop campouts (and the information
booklet for district camporees and council summer camp) states that
portable AM/FM radios, stereo tape or CD players, and video games are
not allowed at these events. In our Troop, a total ban on "battery
operated electronics" would prohibit the portable FM two way radios
that were usually brought by the SM. These radios are used by the
Troop leadership in transit (lead car, middle car, and "tail end
Charlie"), on hikes for communication with base camp, and general
communications that are approved by the Troop leadership. Incidentally,
the SM also usually had his cellular Telephone with him. The reasoning
for both was that if an emergency occured, having the radio (or telephone)
meant that help was that much closer.
3. One needs to be very careful about how such a policy is enforced,
and who enforces it. I had a friend relate to me an incident that
happened at summer camp that involved one of the boys in his Troop,
and a portable stereo. The particular boy was emotionally handicapped,
and the stereo was considered part of his "calming mechanism". One
of the junior boy staff saw this boy with the stereo and tried to
take it from him. In the resulting fight, the EH boy fell down a 15
foot embankment and was hurt. When the SM complained about the handling
of the incident, all he could get out of anyone was "Well, the boy
shouldn't have brought it to camp." IMO, the boy from jr. staff had
NO RIGHT to try to confiscate the equipment. He should have called one
of the adult staff. Also, considering that the boy who had the stereo
had problems to begin with, an adult staff member would have been better
trained (hopefully) to deal with that kind of situation.
Well, that's my $0.02!!
ASM Troop 323
Grand Canyon Council
I didn't used to be anything! (Except younger) Maybe someday...
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Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City