Re: Cold Weather Camping--Should kids come?
Kirk Barley (kbarley@EROLS.COM)
Sun, 3 Nov 1996 13:35:16 -0800
I've made the weather decision both ways.
At the Troop Policy level I only cancel for dangerious convective
weather (tornado/hurricane/lightning that I can't out wait). I have
cancelled events because I didn't think it was safe to drive the kids to
the event (flooding, ice in coastal NC). Otherwise we camp regardless
of the weather. I've had boys join from troops with obviously superrior
programs who didn't have the weather tollerance of my boys. By showing
them that weather is just part of the experience, they accept it instead
of worrying and fighting it.
I also make the boys live with their decisions on food, clothing and
dryness. No food, inadequate clothing or a wet bag is a personal
(patrol) challenge, not a call to action for the adults.
I made my first exception last month. A boy came camping with no jacket
at all. A short-sleeve shirt was all that he augmented his scout shirt
with. We were at a Camporee that dipped to 30F, the first cold of the
While I was toasty, my other adult had to sleep in his car after many
hours of trying to get warm. I discovered this boy's clothing shortage
when we were forming up for the 2nd night's camp fire. Boys were
complaining and we were manageing clothes swapping so they could deal
with the cold as it settled at the camp fire. When I found out the
inadequacy of this boy's preparation, and the difficulty that the other
boys and my 2nd adult were having I sent the boy home. I had an adult
heading that way. I did it because I wasn't sure that I could keep him
warm. This was a tough decision, not one that I handled as well as I
could have because of time pressure. Sometimes you have to judge your
capacity to manage "learning" safely and I could see that mine was
reaching its limit.
Princeton University has a web site called OA that goes into great
detail on how to manage your risks in Outdoor Adventures. While it is
theoretical and systematic, I highly endorse it. I used their brief for
all of my canoe trips now and their method keeps me from getting in over
my head in other events without being arbitrarily restrictive.
The link is: http://www.princeton.edu/~rcurtis/rivplan.html.
I can't figure out how to add it as a link without exceeding the message
legnth limit for Scouts-L.
MCB Quantico VA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City