Re: Camping Problems with Parents
Ronald Oakes (oakes@CIG.MOT.COM)
Fri, 9 Feb 1996 12:33:07 -0600
Bruce Rosen wrote about the problem he is having with getting parents on
campouts to provide sufficient adult leadership:
(Summary, he is tired of having the same 2 or 3 parents always provide the
campout leadership, and is contemplating insisting that parents participate
in the camping program to allow their son's to participate)
First, always be careful with ultimatum, they may back-fire.
Second, Camping is only part -- although a very big and important part --
of the scouting program. But it is also something that not everyone is
interested in doing. Forcing someone to camp when they don't want to will
not help anyone.
You need to count support of your troops program as a whole. If a family
is helping out in other critical areas -- such as running the committee --
and they are not interested in camping, don't ask them to. They are already
doing an awful lot for the troop. Imagine running your troop without a
Committee or Committee Chairman (often the same thing). It doesn't work.
Obviously, recruiting more scouts will increase the pool of potential adult
help, but don't count on getting 100% camping parents. In addition, look
further afield for sources of adults for camping trips. Start with the
extended families of your scouts -- uncles, aunts, older cousins, older
siblings, grandparents. Even if the scout's parents don't camp another
relative might. Also see if there are any troop alumni who are still
around. Some of them might be willing to camp with the troop again. Your
Unit Commissioner might also have some other sources of leaders you can
use. In a pinch, you might be able to "borrow" leaders from another unit
in your area.
Unfortunately, in these days of concern over the safety of scouts, you will
probably need to register non-relatives before they attend too many
campouts. But, you might find that Assistant Scoutmaster who makes you job
The bottom line is, don't sacrifice the troop or the program because a
couple of parents don't like to camp out!
Ronald B. Oakes
Former Scoutmaster, Troop 91 Palatine, IL
Boy Scout Roundtable Staff, Signal Hill District, IL
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City