Scouts-L Mail Archive for August of 1999: Re: Regarding Parent Participation At Summer Camp
Re: Regarding Parent Participation At Summer Camp
Mon, 2 Aug 1999 22:49:06 -0400
I will also weigh in on this one.
This is a topic that I've thought about in the past, and I'm of two minds
The way scouting is *SUPPOSED* to work, there should be the SM and no more
than 3 ASM's (ASM new scout patrol, ASM venture, and ASM). That's how it's
shown in the book. As was pointed out in several other posts, boy scouting
is not supposed to be a "family" activity. A key part of our program is to
teach the boys to be independent, and to work on their own, with their own
On the other hand, it's hard to maintain that critical flow of new leaders
if you don't have a way to indoctrinate the parents.
I first started thinking about this when in my district position as
Vice-Chair, Program I took a look at one of the largest troops in the
district. This troop has about 80 boys on the roster, and about 40 parents
registered. At one of our Klondike Derbies I visited with the troop to get
their comments on the district's programs. As we sat around the table, the
leaders proudly told me of their great program of high adventure trips, fun
trips, etc. Meanwhile, there was a group of dads in the kitchen cooking a
dinner for the boys. The dads arranged all of the trips, and did most of
the work. The kids were free to have a good time. Everything was done for
them. Advancement wasn't that hard, because the troop made sure that they
had at least two counselors for each eagle required badge within the troop.
They would do one eagle required badge a month at troop meetings (they even
scheduled quarterly swim sessions at the local college to handle swimming
Yes, the boys really enjoyed it. Yes, their numbers were great. But were
they really delivering the promise to the boys? To this day, I'm not so
Since that time, I've tried to steer my sons' troop (where I'm an ASM) to a
balance. We have two "family" events each year - a February cabin camping
experience where many of the dads come out, and an August beach outing
where we even get some of the moms and siblings. For other times, we try to
restrict the attendance to those adults actually needed for
transportation/leadership. While we don't tell someone that they can't
come, we don't go out of our way to ask them to come, either!
For the record, we have 38 youth on our roster, with an SM, 4 ASM's, and 8
committee members, all of whom are active.
Vice-Chair, Program Lafayette District
ASM Troop 313, Cradle of Liberty Council
Adviser to the Treasurer, Unami Lodge One
I used to be an Owl!
----- Original Message -----
From: Anthony Mako <ajmako@NLS.NET>
Sent: Monday, August 02, 1999 10:55 AM
Subject: Re: Regarding Parent Participation At Summer Camp
> <Daniel Smith wrote>
> I am crying Uncle on this one! I have received many responses on this
> one, mostly in disagreement and all making good points. Some have
> cited a need for so many adults to act as drivers, others say it is a
> great way to get more adults involved and trained, and yet others cite
> it as great family activity to promote family togetherness. All of
> the above are good things but I question their value at summer camp in
> promoting a boy-run program for boys, how this can help a boy learn to
> think, make the right decision, and learn to act independently...
> Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the gentleman from Georgia...
> (sorry, been watching too much CSPAN recently). I really have to agree
> with Dan on this one. It's hard enough for me to remember to "let the
> boys do it" without having to keep a huge flock of adults from taking
> over. I understand the need of some units to provide transportation
> and such, but I think that's the only reason I would agree to having
> that many adults in camp (I mean, what else would you do with them?).