My boys are in a fairly new Troop. My youngest just crossed over and will be attending his first campout without me. It turns out that 9 adults will also be going. 4 of those volunteers are new parents not registered with the BSA. Is this allowed? 9 adults for 19 Scouts? I brought it to the SM’s attention and he seems to be ok with this but I feel uncomfortable that this might turn into an adult hangout. (Most adults are friends on the outside)
Thanks for the question. I think the answer is … “it depends”.
Youth protection rules require that
All adults accompanying a Scouting unit who are present at the activity for 72 total hours or more must be registered as leaders. The 72 hours need not be consecutive.Youth Protection and Adult Leadership
A weekend campout will normally be less than 72 hours, so it is possible for parents who are not registered to come along.
This can be a great way to get more adults involved in the program. As long as the adults don’t interfere with the program or the youth leadership, then I don’t see an issue with it. They can stay on the periphery, observe, and help where needed.
Problems can arise if they start trying to insert themselves into activities without understanding the program. Another possibility is not adhering to the health and safety rules. For example, if alcohol is brought or they don’t follow youth protection protocol.
I think if the Scoutmaster is comfortable with the situation and feels he or she can appropriately direct the adults so the program can go on, then it is not a problem.
Readers, what do you think? Add your comments below.