scouts-l Mail Archive for May of 2000: Re: Leader Who Breaks The Rules
Jim Sleezer (jhs8@OKSTATE.EDU
Thu May 11 2000 - 14:32:55 CDT
I think there are a couple of issues involved here. One is that,
regardless of what G2SS says, a troop may make more restrictive rules.
Asking the parent to not have her cub scout son overnight at the camporee
is a perfectly appropriate request for a troop to make. The parent then
has the option to not bring her son or not come herself. What other units
do is up to them--maybe the mother wants to join a unit that has a more
The second issue I see is that when younger children are regular
participants in boy scout activities, by the time they reach boy scout age,
they have already had many of the experiences and may have lost interest in
scouting without getting some of the benefits that can only come from
active participation at the appropriate age.
I have very fond memories of camping with my father's troop (he was SM) on
my fifth birthday. I got to stay overnight with the troop on Friday
evening but before noon Saturday I was on my way home while Dad and the
troop stayed until Sunday. That's the only time I got to camp with the
older scouts until I turned 11. I was a frequent visitor at camporees and
such--many were held within walking distance of my home and most had a
designated time for visitors. I had just enough exposure to whet my
appetite but not enough to quench my thirst!
I appreciate the desire (and occasionally the need) to have younger
siblings on a campout but I think these should be carefully planned as
family events. My youngest got his first scout camping experience at such
an event and still talks about it--he's graduating from HS in a couple of
weeks and both he and his older brother will be staffing at a scout camp in
Michigan this summer.
I believe the fact that G2SS discourages but doesn't prohibit younger
children at activities is a recognition that some units could not function
without parents being able to bring their younger children. I also believe
that parents who bring younger children may be doing the children (and the
unit) a disservice and should carefully consider their actions. In any
case, if the troop says no, the parents should abide by the troop rule or
move to another troop.