Re: Co-ed Camping
Susan Ganther (susan@EMAIL.UNC.EDU)
Sun, 5 Feb 1995 11:10:52 -0500
Henry, first I would suggest that if you are meeting the purpose of the
rule requiring separate sleeping facilities, privacy and youth protection
while not meeting the exact interpretation then you are extremely
unlikely to have any of the kinds of problems which would put you in a
If the women and men and boys all have a place to change clothes, so that
their privacy is not impinged upon, and no one can be in a one on one
situation between male/female or adult/youth by virtue of having everyone
in the same room, then what problems do you think could arise that could
be solved by segragating everyone?
In a normal tent camping situation, you often have individuals in close
proximity, so that even if there is more than two in the tent, violations
of an individuals privacy can occur if both male and female or adult and
youth are in the same tent. Even inadvertent contact could be a violation
of someones privacy. If you violate the BSA restriction in this setting,
you are very likely to have a problem sooner or later.
I really cannot think of any way that you could have the same problem in
the cabin situation you describe without having to consider really
aberrent behavior on the part of the group, in which case, even following
the rules would not prevent it.
What it really boils down to is a difference between being morally
responsible and being legally liable. In the cabin if everyone is
respecting each others privacy and no one is uncomfortable with it, then
you are not being morally irresponsible in your arrangements, you are
however legally liable if there were an abuse because you are acting
outside of BSA regs. If you consider the likelyhood of there being a
legal problem resulting from your arrangements, I personally think I
would be more likely to be hit by a passing meteor or trampled by a
unicorn stampede, but then I know the parents in my group and they are
all gentle people who respect others. If we had a large enough group that
I didn't feel that I could really know the individuals involved, then I
might rate the risk differently. Use your best judgement, it is your skin
on the line.
If you are really worried about the legal liability, there is always
personal liability coverage that you can purchase to cover what BSA does not.
I tend to worry more about moral responsibility, but do not intend to let
the rules get in the way of the fun if there are considerations that I
feel make the situation safe and the parents are in agreement. The
situation you describe is one I would consider safe, but if you are in
doubt, talk about it with your committee.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City