Boy Scout Camp

Updated on March 08, 2012
M.M. asks from Washington, DC
15 answers

Am I out of line?

My son is 11. He bridged to Boy Scouts about three wees ago. Hes' in 5th grade
THere is a BS camp he can go to where he will earn some of the badges toward his Eagle Scout. It is over Spring Break.
I have this funny feeling that unless hubby goes with him he shouldn't go.
I have sent my other kids to camps, GS camp, and others. But all the other camps have been same age kids.
I am wrestling with the idea of sending my 11 yo away with teen boys. Boy Scouts or not, teens are teens. And I would not neccessarily have wanted a mother to send her 5th grader with my oldest when he was a teen.

What are your thoughts?

I should add, hubby is trying to take off that week. It's a sleep away camp.
I just wanted to get a feel for what other moms think about this.


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So What Happened?

Oh M.'s thank you.
I know some of this is because he is my baby. I'm just not ready.

So to answer some of the questions
Yes, my hubby is doing all the necessary paperwork to be a leader.
Yes, the Little Man wants to go.
Yes, they have been on short trips with some of this troop before. It's a huge troop.
Sometimes I feel the leadership is weak and needs a little more adult interaction/supervison.

His first Court of Honor is in two weeks. He is gung ho Boy Scouts and I'm trying to not stand in his way.
It's so hard to let go.

So yes he will go and it will be wonderful. :o)

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answers from Charlottesville on

Both of my boys went to Scout camp (without parents) between 5th and 6th grade and enjoyed it. It is really helpful in getting the required Eagle badges. Unfortunately, the leadership in one troop didn't come down on a couple of boys who were bullying some of the other kids (including my oldest son), so he dropped out after a year of Boy Scouts. We put my younger son into a different troop, and he is really thriving after being in the troop and going to summer camp for the last three years, even though he is young for his grade and much smaller than most of the other kids.

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answers from St. Louis on

well, this all breaks down you trust your Boy Scout troop or not?

& another way to think on this: every single one of those Boy Scouts were your son's age & every single mom had the same fears. :)

This is all part of growing up & letting go. My son is 15 & working toward Eagle Scout. From the time he bridged over, he has participated in all activities. I was a basketcase the first few go-rounds....but learned to survive by trusting his leader & the other boys/families. It's a part of the process.....& you will survive......& your son will thrive!

For our family, my DH's work week ends at 9:30am on Thursdays. So for the 1st year, my DH spent the night on TH & Fri as parent assistant. That meant our son was without parents from Sun-TH .....& he was as happy as could be.

Each day at Scout Camp is filled from beginning to end. Scouts are never left alone, nor are they left with just one leader. Two-deep leadership is a is Youth Protection training. No adults are allowed near the kids without this Scout-sanctioned training. Soooo, if your DH is planning on staying with the boys....he will have to take the training & go thru a background check. Plan ahead, please!

As others have said, maturity does factor into this. Part of the maturation process is for the parents to let go.....& boy, is it hard to do! But you will be building a much stronger boy in the process. Peace to you!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I asked my Eagle scout husband and he said if it is his troop then yes send him. We ended up having a long talk about scouting and Eagles. For myself,a s some one who works mostly with teens I have to say I have always been happy to have a student who is an eagle scout or working towards it. They always seem more responsible and mature..... My own experience of course and I know things happen. But, if you trust the troop leader I'd say it is OK IF your son is OK with it.

I wish the Girls Scouts amabassador program had the eagle scout reputation!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

First, and most importantly, does he WANT to go??? Is this with his own troop? Is he responsible enough to follow the rules of not running off alone, etc. There are going to be adult leaders, so I wouldn't worry too much.

Also, you need to be prepared because most of the summer camps he'll be going to for the next several years are going to be a mix of all ages, all troops, etc. He will never be with just his own age group. That is just not practical!

I am a mother of an Eagle Scout so I know where you're coming from. I had those thoughts at first also but when I got to know all the kids and parents, I was fine with it.

Wait till you have to decide to let him go on a week-long trip to another state!!! And your husband is not able to go!!!! That's when you really have to trust the adult leaders and other kids!!!

Good luck!!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


My son has been to two Boy Scout camps. Each time he had a BLAST!!!

The safe guards that they put in place are many - does that mean that something can't happen? No. But really - don't live your life in "what if's" - the scout masters (from our camp and troop) do an AWESOME job of looking after the new kids. They really do.

Not all teens are bad. The teens involved in Boy Scouts are usually VERY good - they want that Eagle Scout and while they will play games - they don't hurt anyone.

Let him go.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm sure if your husband goes, he will be fine.

Otherwise, I'd pass.

Let me say, my son (9) is not in scouts, but 11 seems too young for a sleep away camp without dad, and with teens, to me.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dothan on

My granboyz both have been in BS's for 1-3yrs., they both attended day camp & overnight camps. My DH would go for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, a hike, an event, etc. because he couldn't stay for the entire time. The boyz loved having him show up, he had to tell the leader what event/meal he would be attending ahead of time so they could plan teams/food.

The boyz all seemed to get along fine, no matter the age.

I am a former GS leader, when my troop went to camp events that were overnight/wknd & when the girlz went to 'summer camp' they were put into groups their own age bracket according to where they were in scouts, although they did do group activities @ times with older/younger scouts.

If you feel that he shouldn't go, what does DH think? Have you discussed your concerns with his leader? Have you called or visited the camp to see what the sleeping/activity arrangements are? These are the things I would question first before not/letting him go.

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answers from San Francisco on

Considering that all the boys in Boy Scouts are very responsible, we have never had a problem sending our son to any of the camps. T. has always gone with the parents of other boys as he did not want his dad or mom going. He has not had any issues that permanently scarred him for life.

There are always going to be the boys who do not know how to behave because no one (parents) had any expectations of that child.

Maybe your camps are different than ours, but T. has had nothing but growth and fun at camp. His first one was the summer after 3rd grade.

Why don't you ask more questions of the Scout leaders? You might be surprised at how much supervision there is while the boys are gone.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I think it really depends on the maturity of your son and his readiness to be away from home for a week and not the fact that he's with teen Boy Scouts. I have a young Boy Scout. I was involved as a den mother in Cub Scouting. Although I know there have been some notable exceptions, for the most part I think the Scouts are very well supervised and very safe. They take Youth Protection very seriously these days. However, my son went to a one week sleepover Scout camp last summer at age 11 and he has decided not to go this year. He got horribly homesick. Does your son want to go? Does he feel ready? My son was uncomfortable with his tent/sleeping arrangements and struggled with the food which was part of his homesickness. Although I felt he was always well supervised the attitude of the leaders and many of the other Scouts towards homesickness was "deal with it, toughen up." He's never really been homesick before so I was surprised and it seems to have affected his outlook on scouting in general. The age of the boys in his group ranged from 11 to about 16. He had no problems with the teen boys. A few of the ones closer in his age range teased him about being homesick. I think some of the older teens actually take their roles as mentors and role models very seriously.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Our Troop does not allow the younger Scouts to "tent" with an older Scout. The boys do interact during the day, but for sleeping arrangements they are kept within a 1 or 2 year age range.

Our Troop also feels a little bit like the leadership could be doing more, but I think a little of this is intentional. They try to allow the boys to may choices and decisions, good or bad, and let them deal with what happens. They do, of course, try to keep everyone safe.

It is hard to let go. I have a 7th Grader and a 4th Grader, so I'll be in this position next year with my youngest.

Take Care,


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My boys are both Eagles and went to the camps. It is hard to get all the badges they need to advance without going to the camps.
It would be great if your husband went with him. If your son wants to make Eagle he will need parent involvement.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

The thing is that even if you trust the adults, you don't know if one of the kids might act out. I have met 4 different GIRLS who act outed out sexually in public school during recess. They had all been molested. Can you imagine them unsupervised?

I trust MY child but I don't trust everyone else. Kids who have been molested act out against other children.

Part of being a parent is protecting my child.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Depends on your child and the troop. Has you husband been on anyother camps with this troop yet, a chance to see how the boys interact? Are the boy leaders that are going fair? My son dropped out of scouting because a lack of responsibilty in the troop we were at. Camp out became a free for all, and adult leaders over used the boys will be boys. My son lost intereest and after years in scouting I was not interesting in fighting for change.

But that being, had we gone to almost any other troop in this area that would not have been the case. Most are run very well and I am still a big supporter of scouting and they they do things if the troop takes scouting seriously. Your son can not advance well if not going on the trips. And these types of camping s are usually ran the best, as there is a plan, both boy and adults taking active roles in them.

If you son thinks he will be comfortable, let him go. That first long week is hard, but they learn so much responsibilty. My sons first week long camp he came home with such a better work ethic. He went being a can't do kid, and came home with a can do attitude. He hated it, but even he agreed he got allot out of it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I went to GS camp for 2 weeks, I was 8.. I LOVED it. Helped me mature.

Our daughter went to summer sleep away camp for 3 weeks, she was 9.

It was way harder for me and my husband than our daughter. She loved the time to learn new things. She met all new people.. They were kept very active and busy the entire time.
She came back so much more independent and with more self confidence.

I bet he will do great, you will need to make sure you are kept busy without him..

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answers from Norfolk on

Hi, Czechma:

What kind of message are you giving to your son?
Is it about you, or your son?
He's going to learn things one way or another.
Are you the one who is going to teach him things he needs
to learn to survive in the world or are others, same age, teens, adults or
Good luck.
Hope all goes well.

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