page was last edited on 04/13/2008
Are Visitor No.
Here is some information we
try to give parents on their first campout and those who are new
with the troop when camping with troop 165.
Camping is the heart of Boy
Scouting, so please take a few minutes to read this sheet. Boy
Scouting is absolutely different from Cub Scouting or Webelos!
And while parents (and sometimes whole families) often accompany
the Scouts on campouts, the Scouts camp with their patrol and not
with their parents and family members.
(It’s very important that this be followed this is part
of our program) In Cub Scouting we sort of spoon fed the boys...in
Boy Scouts we take away the spoon and give them a knife and fork.
Here is a summary of our
troop (and BSA) policies, followed by the reasoning for the
policies. There are exceptions, but these policies are in effect
on most outings.
Scout Tenting &
Meals—Scouts tent with their patrol, each scout tents
with a buddy when ever possible but should remain in the patrol
site separate from the other patrols and adults. Patrols plan
their own menus, and cook and eat together as a team. In general,
adults do not eat or tent with a boy patrol.
The Senior patrol leader can tent with his patrol but camps
with the adult staff, meals & duties.
The option is generally given depending on how many are
camping in his patrol. Generally
the SPL is extracted from his patrol during his tenure as SPL.
Adult Tenting &
Meals—Adults tent with the adult patrol in a patrol
site separate from the other patrols. We plan our own menu, and
cook and eat together as a team. In general, adults do not eat or
tent with a boy patrol.
youth protection policies forbid an adult and a boy sharing the
same tent. While youth protection policies may not apply to a
father and son tenting together, it is troop policy that boys tent
with boys and adults with adults. If a father tents with his son,
it has been our experience that the boy will lose out on many
opportunities to make decisions and be part of the patrol team!
[Yes, you are probably the rare exception, but it wouldn't be fair
to the other adults to single you out.]
Patrol Campsites—It has been our experience that Scouts
should remain in their Patrol Campsites and not enter into the
Adult campsite unless permission has been granted by an adult in
the campsite. Again
the boy will lose out on many opportunities to make decisions and
be part of the patrol team if he constantly enters the adult camp
site to get information or ask a question that could have been
handled through his Patrol Leader or SPL.
It should also be the reverse that adults stay out of the
Patrol campsites and allow the scouts to handle their activities.
Adults should ask permission to enter (Lead by Example) as
should the Scouts. The
only exception is when it comes to safety.
may not smoke while Scouts are in the car. Adults may not smoke or
use tobacco products, nor drink alcoholic beverages during a Scout
activity. Adults who must smoke or chew must do so discretely out
of sight of the Scouts. Keeping in mind that we are better
off if we didn't.
should not interfere with the functioning of boy leaders, even if
they make mistakes (we all learn best from our mistakes). Step in only
if it is a matter of immediate safety or if the mistake will be
immediately costly. If possible, involve a uniformed adult leader
do anything for a boy he can do himself. Let him make decisions
without adult interference, and let him make non-costly mistakes.
Adult Training &
Resources—The Boy Scouts of America provides an
outstanding handbook for adults, and an excellent training course
to help us understand the goals of Scouting and how to attain
them. The adult manual is called the Scoutmaster Handbook,
and it's worth your time to read it. The training is called Scout
Leader Basic Training, and is offered in our area twice a
year. It's also a good investment of your time. Troop 165 provides
our uniformed adult leaders a copy of the Scoutmaster Handbook,
(Located in the Scout Library) and requires that they complete Scout
Leader Basic Training. We encourage other adults to follow
required by the Troop that additional training as part of troop
165 all adults attending overnight camping should complete
youth protection training. This takes about 30 minutes, you
will have to complete the form...your council is Flint River.
Boy Scout camping activities
center on the patrol, where boys learn teamwork, leadership, and
most camping skills. It is important that adults not be in the
middle of patrol activities such as site selection, tent pitching,
meal preparation, and anything else where boys get to practice
A key difference between Boy
Scouting and Cub Scouting/Webelos is leadership.
Look for the word "leader"
in a job title, and you will begin to appreciate the difference.
The responsible person for a Cub/Webelos den is the adult
Den Leader. The responsible person for a Boy
Scout patrol is the boy Patrol Leader.
This isn't token leadership
(like a denner). A Patrol Leader has real authority and genuine
responsibilities. Much of the success, safety, and happiness of
six to ten other boys depend directly on him.
Boy Scouting teaches
leadership. And boys learn leadership by practicing it, not
by watching adults lead.
should arrange their schedules to be present the whole time during
the camping trip, those who must leave early and extract their son
short change the activity. Not only do they short change the
experience for their son... they short change their sons
responsibilities as a patrol member by imposing his
responsibilities for someone else to be responsible for.
This may effect the duty roster and breaking down the camp at the
end. Camping trips are planned well in advance and not on
short notice, become familiar with the troops calendar so the
camping experience can be completely taken advantage of for the
scout. We know that there will be occasions that leaving
early is necessary but do you best to insure your son will be able
to fulfill his responsibilities. As an adult if you make the
commitment to be there and leave early you also transfer
responsibilities to other adults that were counting on you in the
So what do we adults do, now
that we've surrendered so much direct authority to boys? Here are
our troop's guidelines on the indirect, advisory role you
now enjoy (no kidding, you should enjoy watching
your son take progressively more mature and significant
responsibilities as he zooms toward adulthood).
The underlying principle is never
do anything for a boy that he can do himself. We
allow boys to grow by practicing
leadership and by learning from their mistakes.
And while Scout skills are an important part of the program, what
ultimately matters when our Scouts become adults is not
whether they can use a map & compass, but whether they can
offer leadership to others in tough situations; and can live by a
code that centers on honest, honorable, and ethical behavior.
Boys need to learn to make
decisions without adult intervention (except when it's a matter of
immediate safety). Boys are in a patrol so they can learn
leadership and teamwork without adult interference.
Being an adult advisor is a
difficult role, especially when we are advising kids (even worse,
our own sons). Twice each year, the Boy Scouts of America offers
special training on how to do this, which we expect our uniformed
adults to take. And any adult is welcome—and encouraged—to
take the training (see the Scoutmaster; dates are in the annual
If a parent goes on a
campout, you are an automatic member of our ~Old
Buzzard~ (adult) patrol. This patrol has several
purposes—good food and camaraderie (of course), but more
important is providing an example the boy patrols can follow
without our telling them what to do (we teach by example). Since a
patrol should camp as a group, we expect the Adults to
do so also; that way, adults don't tent in or right next to a boy
patrol where your mere presence could disrupt the learning
Quite simply, our troop
policy requires adults to cook, eat, and tent separately from the
Scouts (even dads & sons). We are safely nearby, but not
smothering close. Sure, go ahead and visit the patrol sites (not
just your son's), talk to your son (and the other Scouts), ask
what's going on or how things are going. But give the guys room to
grow while you enjoy the view. Show a Scout how to do something,
but don't do it for him. Avoid the temptation to give advice, and
don't jump in just to prevent a mistake from happening (unless
it's serious). We all learn best from our mistakes. And let the
patrol leader lead.
Your job is tough,
challenging, and ultimately rewarding, because your son will be a
man the day after tomorrow.