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.