Re: Adults, Adults, Everywhere Adults
Marc Solomon (msolomon@TEK1.TEKNIQ.COM)
Thu, 7 Sep 1995 10:41:10 -0500
At 06:01 AM 9/7/95 -0800, Scott Drown wrote:
>A couple of years ago I ran across a Troop Scoutmaster who was telling me a
>story about how his troop ended up having to limit the numbers of adults
>that went along on outings because at times the adults out numbered the
>Earlier this year we had a large crossover from 4 differnt packs and the
>Troop has now doubled in size, and now there adults, adults, everywhere.
>If 10 Scouts go on an outing 12 adults might come. It is becoming a one to
>one program which is hindering the patrols function as the adults step in
>for the younger Scouts.
You have a problem. I would never tell an adult that he cannot come along
on a campout. Mainly beacuse this is my best recruitment method. Once I
have an adult who enjoys camping with us, I have a new Scouter.
On the other hand, you need to lay down some laws about adults on the
camping trip. The rules I have used are:
1. Adults camp in the adult campsite.
2. Adults eat with the adults.
3. Adults do not interfere with the patrols.
Except for when an adult notices an immediate danger, the adult is not to
give any instructions to a Scout. If an adult wants to give instructions,
he is to give them to the Senior Patrol Leader and have the Senior Patrol
Leader give them to the appropriate Patrol Leader who can then delegate
Explain to the adults that the best method of leadership is by example. By
having an exemplary(sp?) adult campsite and extraordinary meals, the adults
are giving the Scouts a goal to achieve. Note that the meals should be done
on the same budget that limits the Patrols.
Also explain to the parents attending that they are there as leaders to all
the Scouts and not as a parent to just one. Their son is to call them by
Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms So-and-So and not Mom or Dad. No preferential treatment (in
either way) is to be given.
I also explain to the Scouts that only the senior leadership of the troop is
allowed into the adult campsite without permission and that even they may be
asked to leave.
As for Webelos attending a Boy Scout event, I usually have them set up an
adjacent campsite to ours and have their leadership take care of them. I
have either the Scoutmaster or the ASM in charge of new Scouts handle all
communications between our group and theirs. Except for mealtimes (unless
meals are being done on a troop level instead of a patrol level), I try to
include the Webelos in all troop activities and prepare a special treat for
all Scouts and adults in attendance (i.e., an extra special cobbler or two).
Maybe I am too strict but I have seen chances for learning and growth
stifled by good intentioned parents. The worse occurred on my first trip as
an Assistant Scoutmaster. The troop had an equipment shortage problem and
was only too glad to accept the loan of National Guard equipment from a well
intentioned parent. This included a tent with stove which the Scouts
complained kept them way too warm for this October campout. I woke up the
first morning to find this father cooking breakfast for his sons patrol.
When I explained to him that it was the patrols duty to cook breakfast, he
responded by telling me that he could not trust the boys with the National
Guard equipment. Later I found him doing the KP. I once more explained
that it was the patrols job and he once more responded that the equipment
could not be trusted with the boys.
Needless to say, the boys learned very little about camping that weekend.
We no longer accepted borrowed equipment from this man because he would not
let the Scouts actually use it.
That is why I am so strict about adults in the campsite. Very few parents
have ever complained about my rules (to my face) and the rules assure the
Scouts the chance to learn responsibility and self worth.
Yours in Scouting,
| Marc W. Solomon | Unit Commissioner |
| firstname.lastname@example.org | Sycamore District |
| email@example.com | Blackhawk Council, IL |
I use to be a wise old owl . . . Now I am just old
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City