Re: Troop 98 Problems (Long)
Christopher L. Rankin (CRANKIN@JCVAXA.JCU.EDU)
Tue, 27 Sep 1994 09:30:36 -0500
On 27-Sept-94 Rex Goode wrote:
> Yesterday, I met one of the boys from the older group in the hall
> and asked him how their campout was. This kid is well known for
> being the main source of disruption at campouts. He was disgusted.
> He said that two adults ruined the whole thing.
[Stuff deleted for brevity...]
> He and another father (best friends) came on the campout and both
> brought their younger children. The current SM, who also has complained
> before about not being able to bring his 5YO son, this time brought
> him. That made for three adults, five of their children, and three
> Scouts. The rest of the Scouts refused to go because of the troop
> According to the boy telling the story, the two fathers reverted to
> their childhood and went wild. They were all over the camp, played
> practical jokes on the Scouts, let their children run around
> unsupervised, ruined the whole campout. For this particular boy to
> be disgusted by their behavior, they had to be acting pretty badly.
> A little later, the bishop of the local church asked me to please
> provide him with a definitive BSA policy about younger children on
> Scout campouts. He was obviously angry about what had happened. He
> said this in front of the Troop Committee Chairman, who is also a
> higher-up in the local Church and grandfather to the Scoutmaster's
> 5YO son.
> I told the bishop that I didn't know of a prohibition of young
> children and that he would have to make a matter of sponsoring
> institution policy, though I promised I would look into it. So
> how 'bout it? Is there a BSA policy about young children on
> Scout campouts?
The way I understood it, younger children (who were not in the
program) generally did not go on camping trips primarily because
of the extra liability involved. Since they are not members of
the BSA and not participants in the BSA program, BSA insurance
would not cover them in case of injuries, etc., etc., right?
That should be reason enough for them not to tag along.
However, that put aside, we must also realize how much potential
these children also have to slow the program down (if a large
enough amount of adults are not present to continue the program
while dad devotes his attention to junior for a while, it can
bring things to a screeching halt). This can also be a problem
in itself; while dad is off giving some needed time and attention
to his son/daughter, the rest of the unit sits and waits. Not
much you can get out of a campout like that. Outside of this,
I don't know whether or not there is a BSA policy on young children
tagging along with dad on campouts. But anyway, logic should
tell you when it is appropriate and when it is not appropriate
to bring the kids along-- if it slows down the program substantially
and brings things to a halt for a while, perhaps junior should
be left at home this time.
On another note..... This stuff about adults reverting back to their
childhood and running around playing practical jokes on the scouts
and leaving their kids unattended..... If it is so (you sounded
like you wanted to talk to the other scouts who went on the trip
to get their stories), I would have THE KIDS come to the next troop
committee meeting (wearing class A-- it looks a little more
impressive and gives them a little more credibility) and bring it
up. Have them sit down, face-to-face with the troublemaking
adult and the rest of the committee members, and tell them all
what happened..... Perhaps that will be enough of an embarassment
to the adult to have him lay off coming camping for a while. Perhaps
that could even be possible grounds for a suspension or dismissal
from the troop committee.
We went through a similar situation just a month or two ago at one of our
committee meetings after one of our groups had returned from Philmont. It
seems as though one of our committee members had been swearing, not just
around, but at some of the kids. The whole group came to the next meeting and
presented their case to the committee (the member got a chance to present his
side as well). If nothing else was accomplished by this, it gave both groups a
chance to vent their feelings and clear the air between them. The adult is
gone now (resigned a couple of weeks ago), but from the time he was around
after that meeting I could see that there clearly was a difference-- the kids
avoided him somewhat, but at least there wasn't an adversarial relationship
existing between them.
Hope I was able to help some.
Christopher L. Rankin CRANKIN@JCVAXA.JCU.EDU
Assistant Scoutmaster: Box 1387, John Carroll University
T-7, French Creek Council University Heights, OH 44118
T-620, Greater Cleveland Council (216) 397-5100
|>>-->>| Brotherhood Member, Langundowi Lodge 46
Silver Bronze Palm Eagle Scout, Class of '91
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