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 Post subject: Camping and Parents...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:18 pm 
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Hi,

I'm new to Pathfinders and I need some input. Would it be ok to not allow parents to go on camping trips? It would be so much easier for the kids to bond with us if they weren't there. What are your thoughts on it, I would appreciate it.
Thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:09 pm 
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Location: Carolina Conference, Southern Union Conference, NAD
They may, at least in my conference, participate in Pathfinder events, meetings, and outings only if they have filled out the proper paperwork (namely the "Part 2" background check forms). Once that has been cleared, they may participate.

However, there may need to be some ground rules. The said parents signed forms making you (the staff of the Pathfinder Club) responsible for their child during Pathfinder activities. If the want to do something different from the club, than they need to do it on their own. The following is my attempt to explain through a parable: "A child's parents came to a union camporee. They decided that they were going to take their child to a theme park for a day trip during the camporee. The director of the Pathfinder Club didn't know what to do. The director asked the area coordinators and conference leaders (maybe even the union leaders) what to do. The decision that they made was as follows. The parents could take their child. However, their child would have to pack up and take down the tent that they occupied. The child would have to miss the rest of the union camporee. The child didn't want to miss the camporee. The child had been looking forward to this camporee for a long time. In the end, the child and parents stayed at the camporee."

I don't know that there is a good way to explain exactly how to deal with the situation. I don't know if the "parable" will help in any way. In Adventurers, parent involvement is extremely encouraged, if not required. In Pathfinders, parent involvement is not required, and in some cases, may be a hinderance. The best way to involve parents is to have them as part of the staff. They may be support staff that can just help with camping trips, or teach a honor, or just do worships.

In the end, you have to make the choice yourself. Think about all the different variables to make a wise choice. My personal opinion is that parents shouldn't come on camping trips just to be there. They should come because they want to help and be role-models for everyone (all Pathfinders).

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:03 am 
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We try to separate parents from their kids even when they are staff. If a parent wants to be a counselor, he is assigned a unit to which none of his kids belong. Well, that's the goal anyhow, but sometimes it's unavoidable.

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The sooner you get behind, the more time you have to catch up.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 7:43 am 
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What ideas do you have for including parents in campouts. Specifically if they are not a staff member but insist on going camping with us. I can't insist they stay home and not allow them,can I?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:01 pm 
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You CAN insist that they stay home, and they may retaliate by not allowing their kids to go. Sometimes that is better though. You are in a tough situation for sure.

If you do allow them to come, you should most definitely not allow them to have a family tent. We put our staff and our kids in separate tents. Insist that the Dad bunk with the male staff, the Mom bunks with the female staff, and the kids bunk with their peers.

Then you need to find something for them to do. They could oversee the kitchen, but make it clear that they are to allow the kids to do the cooking and cleaning. They need that for their honors. The parents could also teach an honor. Let them choose one, or if you have one in mind, ask them to teach it.

Make it clear to the kids that they are to ask their counselor or their director for permission to do things. Dad's permission is not sufficient.

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The sooner you get behind, the more time you have to catch up.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 6:32 am 
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I think that should make it clear at the club, before any event. When I started a club that was the first rule that I told the parents. 'You are welcome to come to the meetings but the child will listen to me or the counselor.'

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:33 am 
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We actually have a reversed issue at our club: instead of having unwanted parent participation we have very little at all! We're actually trying to figure out ways to get the parents more involved, and so far the only thing we've come up with is forced participation via parent/staff contract :( It wouldn't be that big of a deal except we don't have many staff who can drive (only 2 really) and there are a lot more kids in our club this year (at least 10 more plus the 12 from last year) and there is no way to transport them all and their gear AND the club equipment to camp and whatnot unless the parents help with transportation, and since the parents are so used to dropping the kids off and having us (the staff) handle everything, its been a pain getting them used to the idea of "volunteering"... Indeed, pathfinders is supposed to have a lot less parental involvement than adventurers or eager beavers, but it isn't supposed to have NO involvement... :?

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