Re: Scouts out alone
Bruce Ward (Bruce.Ward@SMTPGWY.AGRIC.NSW.GOV.AU)
Fri, 22 Sep 1995 09:04:04 EST
Our network has had a few routre crashes this week and I suspect I
missed some of the discussion... but here goes anyway!
This issue of should Scouts go out alone is a probelem on this side of
the world too. The Patrol system is the basis of Scouts, and the
handbooks all encourage Patrol camping, hiking etc. BUT Official
policies are very vague and often contradictory. Two years ago, our
District Commissioner introduced a local policy that NO Scout age
activities could be conducted without a Leader. Then he left!
Now I must say I'm not sure what the policies are now!
There are two issues as I see it:
1. The possibility that the Scouts may be harrassed by unsavoury
2. The reliability of the Scouts themselves and their skills in the
On the first, it is probibly an issue for local decision. Are they
somewhere where this is likely to happen, and is there a safe retreat
point, where adult help is easily obtainable. For example, I would be
prepared to have my Scouts camp unsupervised at a campsite where I
knew there was a reliable leader resident nearby who could keep an eye
on things from a distance.
The second is also a local issue. Can these Scouts be trusted, and
what is their leadership like.
Two years ago I had a young troop (11-13) and there was no way I could
imagine them out on their own at any stage. Now the older Scouts are
mostly 14 (about to leave for Venturers [sob...sob]) and suddenly they
are much more mature and I have full confidence in their ability to
cope with almnost anything they may meet.
So now they do go out unsupervised. Funny though how often a leader or
two pops up to say Hi, or to spend a night nearby.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City