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Scouts - commit to lots of camping or don't join?!

(18 Posts)
carocaro Sat 20-Oct-12 11:27:24

I have been told by local Scout group that if you can't commit to lots of camping, don't join, as that is what being a Scout is all about. They are basically saying your child can't have any other interests other than Souts as this is the ethos of the Scouts. Is that true? It's all about the camping or nothing? It is not what I thought, and this has not been the case for Beavers and Cubs. They email is very blunt 'if you don't like camping don't join' not in the spirit of scouting if you ask me! I have asked for clarity on when and how often but it has yet to materialise. DS1 is up for camping and has been with Cubs but this seems odd to me.

What are your Scout experiences?

AgentProvocateur Sat 20-Oct-12 11:35:38

Both my boys have gone through the whole scouting movement, and were in a scout troop that went camping a lot. (probably depends on the leaders) Even when they weren't away, a lot of activites revolved round camping - lighting fires, knots, checking tents, building tripods etc. it wasn't obligatory to go on camps, but I'm not really sure how much enjoyment children would have got from scouts if they weren't interested in camping.

AgentProvocateur Sat 20-Oct-12 11:37:53

Also, there would be a summer camp of a week, probably four weekend camps from April - September, and a "brass monkey" camp for the older ones in February (outside, in Scotland!) and an indoor weekend winter camp too.

carocaro Sat 20-Oct-12 11:44:51

Thanks, he does like camping and camping related stuff. Good to know what yours had to do.

Durab Sat 20-Oct-12 12:02:54

At my DS1's scouts, lots of the activities are at the local campsite, but I wouldn't call it camping exactly. They'll play outdoor games, cook over a fire, go canoeing or rifle shooting (at targets), use the climbing wall etc.

They have one summer camp and one weekend winter camp per year, but not all the scouts go. We're in a fairly deprived area mind and there's an assumption that costs have to be kept low, or parents won't be able to pay, may be different in more affluent areas.

I'd want to talk to the leader who sent a email like that TBH, it might be a "joke" that hasn't transferred well to email, but I'd expect a scout leader to be telling all children scouts can be for them and to give it a try before deciding if it's for them or not.

ben5 Sat 20-Oct-12 12:10:36

Are scouts have 2 booked camps per year. They are also told of other camping events and they discuss if they want to join in. The scouts should also be 'planning' with the help of their leader, the programme for the term/year.This way all tastes are catered for.
You will have a group leader that you can talk to or any other leaders if you feel you can't talk to the scout leader.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Sun 21-Oct-12 00:39:42

Ours have 3 or 4 camps a year. They don't camp as much as our cubs because they feel the kids are busier with other commitments at that age.

There is also a lot of outdoor stuff that isn't camping, but there is also a lot of indoor stuff as well. They are supposed to follow a balanced programme that covers a variety of activities and interests.

amck5700 Sun 21-Oct-12 00:48:35

The troup are maybe getting frustrated when they have a lot of kids that don't go to the camps which is why they have stated that the new scouts should be interested. Scouts is pretty much about the outdoors and a lot of the activities they do are around outdoor/camping. My boys love camping and were supposed to be on a camp tonight but frustratingly it was cancelled as there weren't enough kids wanting to go. I am not saying here that kids should have no other activities, but unless they are wanting to go to most of the camps then they should maybe find another organisation to join - it's not just about filling an evening and collecting badges.

lljkk Sun 21-Oct-12 14:19:48

I think they just don't want people whinging about what conditions are like in camping, probably had some ridiculous expectations to deal with. Folk who bring their iPads who expect GlamCamping.

I would ask how often they actually go camping.
DS scout troop only does 3-4 camping weekends/yr, none are compulsory.

BackforGood Sun 21-Oct-12 23:36:40

It does depend on the Leaders, and on other opportunities for them to join in with, in their District, or County. My dcs are lucky enough to be able to go on 3 or 4 camps organised by the County, another 1 or 2 organised by the District as well as any organised by their own troop leaders. However, they often find themselves the only ones from their troops that take up these opportunities, so, in their case, they could quiteh appily go along to troop nights all year without camping more than once ~ indeed, I'm fairly sure (from the number of dcs that meet on a troop night compared with the number that attend a camp) thre must be some who don't camp at all.
My dcs will tell you that camps are the best part of Scouting - "It's what it's all about", and if you listen to adults reminiscing about their days in the Scouts, they won't be telling you about a planning meeting or a particular games night, they will be telling you about the camps they went on.
I think Amck is right though, about the frustration of organising things that people have then not signed up to... maybe you were unfortunate enough to just come along on the back of that.

Pourquoimoi Sun 21-Oct-12 23:47:41

Ours do 2 or 3 weekend camps a year, no week long ones. After all, the leaders are voluntary and have paid jobs to do too, so they are limited as to how much time they can dedicate. And also, as DH says "they think I'm taking a week off work and spending it with 30 scouts?!" He will happily do 5 or 6 weekend camps though (he helps with both cubs and scouts).

I think the amount of work that goes into organising a camp and the time the leaders dedicate both weekly (most of which isn't actually at the session but behind the scenes) and for these one-off events, it would be quite soul destroying if only half the scouts wanted to camp. After all, scouting is largely about the great outdoors and enjoying adventures.

TwoIfBySea Sun 21-Oct-12 23:58:06

I wonder at why a boy would want to join Scouts if he didn't have outdoor interests? Isn't that pretty much the point?

My dts love going away to camp, just started Scouts after Cubs (and were in Beavers too) I've had plenty of smelly rucksacks to clean out. They've done mountain biking and local activities too. We live near a large country park so ideal for orienteering, geo-caching etc.

carocaro Mon 22-Oct-12 18:41:22

Thanks, to state yet again (why don't posters read properly?), he does like camping, but the group he wants to joing want 100% commitment to all camps, when and how often we don't know yet, they are basically saying he is to have no other interests that will stop him from camping or else he can't join. Is it every other weekend? 8 week long camps a year? We have two family weddings to attend in the next year, does this mean he can't be a Scout if camps clash with that or shall we go without him?

exoticfruits Mon 22-Oct-12 18:51:36

I don't think it is normal to have to commit, but you really have to be keen on the camping and outdoors to get the most out of it. You have to accept that people have other commitments and might have family who get married at inconvenient times!!

amck5700 Mon 22-Oct-12 21:04:53

carocaro - I think they mean in principle rather than actual commitment. Ours would normally do 3 summer camps plus 1 winter indoor and 1 brass monkey (outdoor winter camp!) others come up from time to time depending on what badges they are doing at the time. If your son enjoys the camping then commit in principle and go for it - I hope he enjoys smile

teacherwith2kids Tue 23-Oct-12 16:48:53

It may be that they have had a large group of boys who are e.g. very committed footballers who play every weekend and can never camp [DS was in this position as a Cub] and are keen to ensure that they have enough members who see Scouting as a 'week round' activity rather than just as a '1 evening per week' activity - and that they have phrased it rathr badly!

CunningPlan Tue 23-Oct-12 16:58:57

Is there another troupe locally your DS could join? This seems unusually hardcore and other groups may be more relaxed. I can't see how they can possible expect children (and parents) to commit to all camps at this stage.

MaudTheGardenTheBlackBatNight Thu 25-Oct-12 22:36:04

I expect they mean commitment in principle, too. It's demoralising and exhausting for leaders (I'm a Brownie leader) to organise a weekend activity for the whole pack to find only half of them turn up. Moreover, the members who don't come to the weekend events end up a bit semi-detached from the group, simply because the weekend events are such a good opportunity for the group to bond. If you don't think you can keep up with the number of camps, look for a troop (to state the obvious) that camps less often.

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