I have read Grahams story above and find from personal experience that scout leaders seem to be more focused on obeying rules and creating rules than fostering responsibility. I do agree the phones can be a bit of a distraction. I would ask though, what is the object of scouting? Is it to instill and teach responsibility in these young men or to learn to obey rules? If its the latter then, how is responsibility taught? Do we teach responsibility by removing the device from reach or do we teach it by trusting the scout will do the right thing and keep it turned off and use it correctly. Why not let the scouts in the troop decide and police each other with oversight from the adults?
We seem to be very quick to anger in this society when rules are broken. Rather than teach actionable consequences, we lash out and punish. I completely agree with Dolores Rand above that these cell phones are tools and should be treated as such, like any other tool in a preparedness pack. Has scouting strayed away from its original intent to teach leadership and responsibility? But yet we choose to lash out at the boys and in the end what does that foster?
I believe that it is ok for scouts to carry a cell phone during scouting activities. When they are in their tents or in a place where it seems ok and they are not causing others to be distracted it is ok. My son once had to wait 1 hour in line to go to a campsite, and in situations like that I believe it is ok! I totally agree with you and I am Life Scout in my troop. As long as the cell phone does not take the scout away from important activities or cause a distraction, they should be allowed and using them in the tent in the evening before bed to check messages should not be a problem.
Only allowed while driving to/from events
This will also teach Scouts to use their devices responsibly and that is an important skill to have throughout their lives. I came across this article while reviewing my own policy for such things. After reading all the responses above, I am even more convinced than ever that we have a good policy. That is, Scouts are not barred from having phones at events.
I realize that complicated schedules and various home situations may require more communication with a Scout immediately before or after an event. However, the phone must remain powered down during the event until the Scout speaks with his SPL and SM about the need to use it. Although some parents may want to continue daily contact with their Scouts, complete with duress codes, a large number of Scouts simply cannot afford such a luxury and the disparity can cause significant friction.
Smartphones in Scouting: A curse or a cure?
Further, when Scouts seek out parents to resolve conflict remotely or handle an emergency rather than their fellow Scouts or adult leaders on site, then again, there is going to be unnecessary friction and confusion and a potentially dangerous delay in getting actual help if needed. It took a few minutes to unwind the issue: No big deal although I was seeing spots for a while.
Another called home to let mom know wild animals had the camp surrounded and I received a text regarding our security status. Thankfully she did not call in the National Guard. All humor aside, my gut says if parent and child need daily contact without exception, then neither is ready to be a part of the program I am offering. We camp monthly, often for multiple nights and the boys without cell phones are usually the most care free of the lot.
I believe that if they are used responsibly the boys should be able to have there electronics the boy scout is to prepare boys for there life make them into men and how are we going to prepare them for the 21st century without phones and electronics and BSA put a handbook out on the app market so are we going to follow there lead? I do agree a cell phone can be a distraction, but so are several other things at camp. They are also not reliable, but when there is a signal they can be a great tool.
Q&A: Older Scouts; cell phones at camp
I have heard stories of boys, buddies going out and getting turned around and the leader has no clue where they are. If the boy had a phone he could call for help. Seen so called leaders fall asleep while boys set forests on fire.
It is a tool and should be treated a such. If the boy is misusing a tool he is corrected and loses the right to use the tool. We preach no electronics, but there is a geo cache merit badge. We preach self control, but then say the boys can not control themselves with the phones. If you are running a good program the boys will not have time to play games on the phone and will be to tired. Here is a story to consider. My son was at school. The school has a no cell phone policy.
What's your unit's electronics policy? - Bryan on Scouting
Well sort of. Phones must be off during school hours. So he had the phone and was told to turn it off until school was let out. Best Preschool Apps. About Regan McMahon. Add comment Sign in or sign up to share your thoughts. Comments 20 I seriously do not understand why parents think teen's lives revolve around their cell phones and devices. I am a teen myself and I know my friends and I, even my peers have control of their cell phones usage.
I've never brought my phone to the dinner table because I don't need it there. Basically I'm trying to point out that most teens don't see their cell phone as the most important item they own. But we do see them as a valuable and useful tool. I don't use it all the time but I love posting pictures of places I've visited, a cool drink I've gotten from a coffee shop, or even pictures of my friends and I on my social media accounts.
Being at a camp without my phone I would go absolutely hysterical not being able to take pictures and post them! After all I want to remember the experience. You may think that I could just take a regular camera, but having pictures on a cell phone is so much easier to view. Plus, any friends you make at camp can add your social media handles so even after camp you can keep in touch!
Besides that my mom and I text frequently updates on what I am doing. These texts don't interfere with what I am doing, but let's both of us feel at ease knowing where the other is. I also can use texting to express and issues I have that we can resolve easier than making many camp funded calls.
But this is only my view on the topic. Feel free to let my opinion influence yours or you can certainly disagree as it's only an opinion. Know that your child may not be willing to go to a camp that restricts phones and be open minded about that, because I certainly would not go to a camp without any electronic communication! I hope this helped any parents who wanted to get more of an opinion from a teen's perspective! Honestly, if you have alternate forms of communication--such as telephones intended for use by all campers or the post seriously, isn't getting a letter from camp more reflective of one's desire to make the effort to talk to you and think about you and therefore more satisfying?
They--as well as concerned parents--survived without them at camps in the '80s and '90s, so why would it be any different now?
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Doesn't an abundance of calls make the experience less special for the parent and less enjoyable for the child, who may find the constant calls tiresome or unnecessary? I have no idea, as I've never been in either of those situations, but it's something to think about. The points of camps anyway are to get away from the norms of daily life, gain independence, forge new relationships unless you're more introverted, in which case fun could be had in the activities and friendships possibly made by unexpected but beautiful circumstance , and engage in experiences otherwise unexplored.
Most kids' lives revolve around the worlds contained inside their mobile devices; if they unless disciplined brought them with them to camp, the prospect of being able to use their phones during highly-anticipated breaks from activity would constantly dominate their thoughts rather than those of enjoying their summer. If they were to keep this mindset, they'd never actually be able to appreciate the fun that could be taken away from camp. We often draw the most enjoyment from things we don't particularly think we will and are forced to do, and that won't be realised by those with distractions.
Why would they bother making friends when they could be bombarding friends at home with hourly status updates? Why would they bother enjoying an attempt, say, to kayak when the promise of normalcy lays ahead? Without enticing distractions, that wouldn't even be a premise or a problem. Sure, they could still take away the same amount of enjoyment with or without a mobile device, but that doesn't mean it'd be equally likely for them to do so. Sure, they could allow them and impose limits and I'm not saying that all kids and teens are phone addicts , but that doesn't suppress motives to sneak extra minutes, and there really is no point for counselors to keep feeding the object of their addiction to them when they have likely been sent to camp in order to combat that.
It detracts from the heart of the experience. And it's camp that, if cell phone-free, may penetrate the bounds of it and teach them to appreciate life in itself. I may be wrong about this entire thing as I am of a very meager and therefore not intellectually respectable age, but at least think about it. I see you over there on the bench, messing on your iPhone. You are doing a great job with your kids, you work hard, you teach them manners, have them do their chores. Mobile Phone Prices. Mobile children summer camp is necessary, if you have what thing, can be convenient contact head and parents.
So for the children to safety, wearing a cell phones is a must! In my opinion, mobiles at camp are not really ideal, I don't see the point, there may be activties such as swimming that mobiles are just not sutiable for. If there was ever an emergency at camp, parents would be contacted. Camp is just too fun to bring a mobile. There is no matter if things are used well. I think they should if they keep it in a safe place. Like a tight pocket, or somewhere where no one can take it. It's not entirely a matter of the safety of the phone, though Again, posting as a former Girl Scout Camping Leader: Such a scenario phones would be safe if kept in a tight pant's pocket is impossible to maintain at a camp-- mud, rain, and dirty hands make even tight pockets useless for protecting phones.
And, unless the pocket is zipped or something, camp activities can allow for phones to fall out of the tightest pockets. Overnight camping requires clothing changes, and swimming at camp requires no pockets or phones with the kid at the moment-- so the phone is left around somewhere. Cell phones should not go along with a child to camp because that ruins the whole experience.
They're supposed to be making friends and learning how to do things on their own. If they get to talk to their friends and family the whole time they might as well had just camped at grandma's house instead. Definitely no cell phones at camp. Bringing a cell phone flies in the face of what camp is about in the first place.
Also, no computers unless it's a 'computer camp'. Camp is or at least was about actual people interacting with actual people, not people interacting through electronic devices. Strange how safe we all were at camp before the invention of the cell phone. We anchored our boat in a pristine cove. The evening was heartstoppingly still.
A loon's cry was the only sound. Then another boater came in and anchored. His TV was the loudest noise around for hours. I mean, honestly, what's the point? He could do the same thing at home. The idea of camp is a "different" experience, not just toting all the baggage from your life into some other location. Just be sure to tread lightly when it comes to meddling in the affairs that rightfully belong to the Scouts. Keep in mind that our Scouts are all volunteers, just like us. One of our parents asked whether their son could bring and use his cellphone at summer camp.
Does the BSA have a policy on this? Our troop generally prohibits the Scouts from using their phones on campouts. Traditional wisdom has held that phone calls to or from home can be a disruption and can actually worsen homesickness. Many troops have a policy similar to yours — but the times are changing. Indeed, my two sons use their smartphones as a virtual extension of their brains. Whenever they need to know something, they look it up online.
Other than the obvious considerations for youth protection, there are no hard and fast rules about the use of cellphones or electronics while participating in Scouting. Your comments on these questions are welcome! Let readers know how you have dealt with these issues in your troop, and feel free to contact me if you have questions you need answered. Work with it. Just like all other things in the world Scout leaders have to use wisdom to decide how to work with boys and achieve the goals of Scouting.
Communication devices are part of that world.
Seize the day. Take over the narrative. If we believe that the Scout Oath and Law apply to most all of life, then they apply to cell phones also. So apply them.