Leader question: I have a Junior troop. When we go camping, myself and my co-leader assign girls bunks. We get too much input from parents on where they think their girls should go. Plus, we have a scout that few parents want their girls with because she is disruptive at night. I would love to hear how other leaders handle camp sleeping arrangements, and how they would address a disruptive scout. PS, the parent of this scout refuses to believe there is a problem and won’t take accountability for her behavior. Thanks for the advice!
Our Facebook leaders shared their experiences and ideas on ways to plan Camp Sleeping Arrangements:
- Becky wrote: We have the girls draw tent numbers (or cabin numbers, however you guys camp). All drawings are final. There are always a leader or adult in each tent/cabin. If girl is too disruptive, call parent to come get child. Or tell parent that without her to accompany girl to camp, girl won’t be allowed to come. It depends on how extreme the behavior. Disruptive like snoring or not wanting to sleep or just poorly behaved? A junior is expected to be on better behavior than most girls, such as Brownies and Daisies. The girl should know this.
- Teresa said: We (the leaders, not the parents) shift the girls around on each camp out so they are always with someone different. It’s amazing how they get along so well when they’re in a tent or patrol at camp when they may not do so when they’re back at home in the “real” world. It’s called “being a sister to every scout.”
- Wendy’s experience: Oh boy have I been there! I’ve been a leader for over 13 years. Had a few parents that wanted their girls to always be partners. We picked names out of a hat. They didn’t like that and told me I was terrible with children and shouldn’t be allowed to be a leader. Needless to say they weren’t scout for long. Haven’t had a problem since. We do have some cliques but we just pull names whenever they don’t include the other girls.
- Jennifer’s idea: To control our camp sleeping arrangements, we always assigned girls bunks based on their patrols or Kapers. We have that one disruptive girl too and we finally let the girls vote her punishment. Having the girls decide what punishment you get for disruptive behavior usually gets the disruptive one to settle down. They want to be liked by their friends and don’t want to be punished by them. Punishments for disruptive behavior meant taking an extra kaper instead of going to archery. Or losing your chance to camp next time. We still have some issues. But the girls handle her just fine.
- Cindy’s similar experience: It’s almost like I wrote this post…a few years back. I had an ill-behaved girl and identical parent. Anytime she was talked to about the girls behavior, or we corrected the Girl in a meeting or at Camp, I got the phone call from the Mom accusing me of picking on her child. I put up with it, for awhile…always smoothing the ruffled feathers, but it was causing more problems when the Girl realized there were no consequences to her actions, because of Mom. After the last go around, I contacted my Community Leadership Team, and told them of my difficulties with Parent and Girl and asked that the Girl be moved out of my Troop. They absolutely had my back, and it is wonderful to not have the drama anymore. As for sleeping arrangements, or buddies, or what car they ride in….we use the decision maker. (Solid Plastic container with popsicle sticks inside with each GIRLS name on it.) We pull the first girls name stick and she comes up to draw a STICK for her Buddy….etc.
For additional ideas, crafts, fun patches and SWAPs for your next camping trip, take a look at our Camping and Hiking page at MakingFriends® .com.