Re: Family Camping and Troops - <long>
Chris Haggerty, Sierra Vista, Arizona (CHAGGERTY@ARIZBPA.BITNET)
Mon, 20 Feb 1995 09:50:00 MST
They sure put you between a rock and a hard place. I know of no
location where the policy on family camping is specified for Boy
Scouts. It is clearly outlined for Cub Scouts. Hopefully someone
will find this for you.
In the Guide for Safe Scouting it says:
"If a well-meaning leader brings along a child who does not meet
these age guidelines, a disservice is done to the unit because of
distractions often caused by younger children. A disservice is
done to the child, who is not trained to participate in such an
activity and who, as a nonmember of the group, may be ignored by
the older campers."
This is not in Bold which means it is NOT a BSA rule or policy.
As I see it, family camping may be a PART of the troop program.
One family camp a year makes a good activity, in particular when it
is planned as such. Making all outings family outings means you
cannot effectively implement the Boy Scout Program (see note above
from the Guide to Safe Scouting). This appears to be the problem
your unit had, it abused (overused) a part of the program.
While you did not indicate anything about this (because you may not
be aware of them), there may also be ethnic considerations. Using
my youth as the stereotype (it fits real well), we can look at how
we generally see the program. Mom was a Den Mother (now called Den
Leader) and Dad was on the committee and was even Summer Camp
Scoutmaster a couple of times. Mom never went camping with the
troop. I grew up in the Mid-west (Michigan), with mid-western
values. We all sat down for dinner together, but there was not a
lot of the hughy, kissy stuff. (Hey, what would expect from
someone who is a mix of Norwegian, German, Swiss, English, and
Now lets change the ethic background a little. Let's add my wife,
who is Colombian. There was a time when I could not even get into
their house without giving a hug and a kiss to my future mother-in-
law, not to mention all her sisters. If I were to add it all up,
I would say my mother-in-law has more kisses and hugs from me than
my mother. Do I love my mother less? Not a chance. It's a
cultural thing. I am using Latin Americans as an example, because
I live with them. As a family unit, they tend to be much closer
and if you want to get them involved, then you need to have family
activities, BECAUSE THEY WANT TO DO THINGS AS A FAMILY. This
becomes less true as they adjust to American Society over time
(consider, over 40% of the hispanics in this country no longer
speak Spanish-they are melting). So the groups you are most likely
to experience this problem with are recent immigrant and first
generation Americans. If you work in a council with large ethnic
groups, you need to open your mind a little bit, and then get the
Scout Executive and District Executives to do the same. Flexibility
is one of the things they teach us in Wood Badge. Be Flexible.
Remember: All generalities are false!
Chris Haggerty, Cochise District Advancement Chairman
Sierra Vista, Arizona
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City