scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: Troop Tentage vs. Personal Tents (was Re: A Misunderstanding )
David Gottshall (Gottshalld@AOL.COM
Tue Mar 28 2000 - 11:40:25 CST
Darryl has brought up an excellent issue.
Should units establish that tents are "personal equipment" much like sleeping bags and backpacks or should troops provide tents?
I would be interested in how your units handle this issue.
For our troop, tents, group cooking gear, tarps, water jugs, water filters, dutch ovens, and stoves are made available for use use on unit camping trips.
Our unit runs fundraising annually to cover costs of expansion, replacement, maintenance and repairs of unit equipment. All scouts are required to participate in fundraising.
In addition, fundraising is used to provide partial stipends for JLTC, hardship camperships for summer camp, and all registrations.
Scouts are free to bring their own tents, but are not required to have a personal tent.
We also have an inventory of used camping equipment packs, cook kits, and uniforms. We encourage our scouts to bring in equipment that they have outgrown so others can use it. Unit leaders keep an eye out at thrift shops and discount sporting goods stores for buys.
Why have troop equipment?
1. Cost...The cost for a new scout to be fully uniformed, with sturdy boots, backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and other personal items is already HIGH... too high for some families with more than one child in the program.
2. Responsibility...Scouts must learn personal responsibility for things that are not their own...for things that belong to the group. If they are irresponsible it hurts not only themselves but others in their patrol or troop. That lesson is one that needs to be learned.
3. Level playing field...The same uniform makes them all the same, equals...The same tent reenforces that perception in the field. The also reduces the gadgetmania that detracts from the basic skills development in the field.
4. Undue burden on (recruiting) Adults...If the unit does not provide this equipment, the adults of the unit must fill in the gaps. This generates the perception that only "woodsman" can function as adult leaders in the field because they have the necessary equipment already.
Just some thoughts...what are yours?