Our newly formed Venture Crew will be going on it’s first camping outing in June. They will be going to ScoutQuest 100, which is our council’s encampment in a local urban park to celebrate the BSA centennial. Since this encampment is for Webelos, Boy Scouts, and Venturers with other Cub Scouts coming for daytime activities, it will be a huge event. The Crew is really looking forward to it.
Camping with a coed Scouting unit presents its own set of concerns and challenges. When you have young men and women who also happen to be teenagers participating in overnight activities it is really important to lay down some rules and make sure everyone sticks with them.
We have a Code of Conduct for our Crew. We also have a set of rules explicitly addressing coed behavior. We have talked these over with the officers and they have agreed to them. In reality, some of these rules are non-negotiable due to BSA Youth Protection rules, so it is good that they didn’t object. Some of the rules are designed to make sure everyone feels comfortable in the group.
The rules which will apply to this camping trip are listed below. We modeled them on similar rules from other Crews and have included them in our bylaws. Before the camping trip, the officers will review the rules with the group. Some of them might sound a little harsh, but when dealing with teenagers, it is good to spell out the expectations as clearly as possible.
Code of Conduct Section of Crew Bylaws
Expected Behavior of All Crew Members
- There will be no illegal drugs or alcohol at any Crew activity. This applies to both youth and adult members.
- All Crew members must follow rules set in the Crew policies.
- All Crew members will follow any directive given to them by an officer, unless deemed inappropriate. In this case, see the Advisor.
- Follow the rules of Leave No Trace when outdoors.
- Be courteous to your fellow Venturers.
- No member will be forced to participate in an activity against his or her will.
- If another member asks for help, and you possess the ability to help that individual, you should do so.
- Our Crew does not allow any form of hazing, initiation, or physical punishment.
- Violence or threat of violence (either expressed or implied), constitutes grounds for dismissal.
All Crew members will be aware of the fact that both genders are present for all functions. Coed behavior expectations for Crew members include the following:
- Use common sense.
- Be respectful and considerate of each other.
- No entering the domiciles (tents, cabins, rooms, etc.) of the opposite gender
- If separate bathrooms are not available, when females are using the bathroom facilities, males are not allowed, and vice versa.
- No public display of affection. This includes kissing, hugging, and hand holding.
- When using the buddy system, buddies must be of the same gender.
- Clinging to one another instead of participating in activity or interacting with others is not acceptable.
- When camping with both genders, at least one tent distance must be maintained between opposite sexes, where possible.
- All members of the Crew and advisors will participate in camping tasks as per direction of primary Crew officer in charge.
- As minimum, the Crew will abide by rules, regulations, and policies of the Boy Scouts of America.
- Particular attention will be paid to guidelines published in Guide to Safe Scouting.
- The buddy system will be used at all times during Crew activities.
- Gear will be searched when necessary to ensure the safety of the Crew and its members.