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G2SS and Webelos joining Troop campouts

I was just perusing the updated G2SS and noticed this in the Camping section:
“Youth who are not registered in the unit may not accompany parents or
siblings in camping programs of Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouting.”

Does this mean that Webelos/Arrow of Light scouts may not participate in an overnight camping trip with a prospective troop? I’m keying in on the words “youth who are not registered with the unit”

Or, does this bullet apply:
“Local council approval is needed for unit-coordinated overnight camping activities involving other units…” - in which case, we are supposed to get council approval to have prospective Cub Scouts go on a troop camping trip?

Thanks for the help, and apologies if this language has been in G2SS for some time and I am only just noticing it.

@Brian.Wylie - they are registered scouts… and webelos join troops in overnights, camporees etc

Take a look at the scouting adventure requirements

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@Stephen_Hornak true - so after further review, my first quoted statement wouldn’t apply. But it still looks like we’re supposed to get council approval to invite Webelos along on a troop camping trip.

@Brian.Wylie - if you think about it, that could negate the Scouting Adventure

There was some language in the COVID FAQs that implied this was an issue for units that didn’t share a charter.

From: COVID-19 FAQ | Boy Scouts of America

Q: If my camp is cancelled, can my unit get together with other units and have our own camp?

No. Chartering organizations play an important role in the program and activities for their chartered units. Chartering organizations promote well-planned unit program for the units they charter and encourage their units to have active outdoor unit programs. Chartering organizations are not authorized to plan, promote, or deliver programs for units outside of their charter.

It is the role of councils to plan long-term or resident camps and the role of councils or districts to plan camporees (short-term camps) and other outings following National Camp Accreditation Program standards.

Units with different chartered organizations that wish to hold activities together must have council approval. In addition, some states require such activities to be licensed.

Should your troop, crew or ship decide to conduct a long-term camping program for your unit (Cub Scouting units are prohibited from this activity) please note that the Scouter Code of Conduct and relevant program safety and training requirements are still in place, e.g., Safe Swim Defense, Hazardous Weather, Wilderness First Aid, etc.

[Emphasis added in second-to-last paragraph]

In your shoes, I would reach out to your DE to get clarification in writing of what these two documents mean taken together, and make sure that they understand the implications of a “hard line” requiring council approval for every joint activity involving Webelos and a troop, both for units that share and units that don’t share a chartering organization.

@CharleyHamilton - i think the “long term” and the units specified might and I do state might be a different beast

The invite to Webelos on Troop activities has been a long standing one… it is the prep from bridging over.

Our boy troop has a different charter from our local boy pack. When we invite the Webelos/AOL scouts to camp with us in the fall, it is a requirement that they have a parent along and ONLY stay in a tent with their parent(s). If the scout has a sibling already in the troop, the older boy scout follows the rules of the troop and usually does not tent with his little brother.

Thanks guys. @CharleyHamilton you have a valid suggestion - I will follow up with our DE.

You’re right, this language appears to have come from the COVID guidelines. However, the G2SS language has dropped the words “long term” which suggests we would need approval for all “unit-coordinated overnight camping activities involving other units not chartered by the same organization.”

We also have a long history of conducting town-wide Scouts BSA camping trips annually. This would also seem to need approval. Another question for our DE.

Thanks for the input.

@Brian.Wylie - if you think about, without being able to to the troop activity for the Scouting Adventure they are stuck. But certainly obtain some clarification.

Maybe, although the first part of the answer talks about long-term, then the latter part tosses the baby out with the bathwater (IMHO) and just says “activities”. Heck, that vague a term could even cover meetings where both the troop and a Webelos den attend. It seems irrational to interpret it that way, but it’s not necessarily what a reasonable person would say but what the insurer’s lawyer says when they deny coverage that ends up causing the problems.

I believe the point of this restriction is to prohibit a girl from camping with her brother’s troop (for example) if it is not a joint activity. It also prevents parents from brining siblings that are not old enough for the program to a campout.

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This is new language - and it’s evidence that the bureaucrats at National do not understand how Scouting really works.

First, the COVID FAQ does not really apply. While the answer is somewhat ambiguously worded, the question was not. That answer was written in the context of long-term resident camps - the “cancelled summer camp” problem. That doesn’t apply to the situation of Webelos attending Troop events.

However, the change in the G2SS does apply - and it fails to take account of the needs of families. That language is a blanket prohibition on Troops, Crews or Ships allowing tag-alongs. The old language strongly discouraged it but did not prohibit it. The old language allowed units a modicum of flexibility to do what was best for the family. I’ve had several special-needs scouts over the years. John (names anonymized) benefited a lot from the program but he could not go camping unless his father was along. When the family had a child-care crisis (mom worked shifts in the local emergency room), we faced a choice - either allow John’s little brother to come camping with his dad or John missed out entirely. Neither answer was ideal but the less-bad answer was sometimes to bring Jimmy along. John’s father and I will no longer have that flexibility.

The new language about “Local council approval … for unit-coordinated overnight camping activities” is the culmination of a trend pushing Troops away from inviting Webelos to go camping. The changing AoL requirements make clear that they think we should be able to win these kids over with mere day activities. Again, National is demonstrating a degree of myopia. Camping is where the magic of Scouting happens. Day visits may hint at what troop-level camping is about but it’s a weak reflection.

The weasel-wording that does still allow multi-level camping if restricted to your chartering organization reinforces the bad old idea of “feeder” Packs. It inhibits the very thing that we teach Den Leaders and Scoutmasters - that they should encourage Webelos to visit multiple units so they can find the troop that’s the right fit.

The wording leaves no choice but to comply. I do hope, however, that someone at National gets a clue and fixes this soon. Retention is hard enough. We don’t need to keep throwing artificial roadblocks in our own way.

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