A leader asked about choosing chaperones for troop activities such as booth sales and trips on our Facebook page.
Leader question: When your troop has an event and you need an extra parent to help chaperone how do you determine who to take with you if you have more than one parent express interest? Do you draw names?
Scout leaders from our Facebook page offered suggestions:
Leesa shared: For cookie booths, troop outings & troop events our council requires chaperones to be at the very least background checked by GSUSA and if they are driving, they must also be registered for insurance reasons. Our sign-ups are online so it is first-come, first-served. For troop meetings, any parent can volunteer to be our “helping hands” for the month. We also have 2 scouts with special needs so their adult helpers are always welcome.
Nancy shared her thoughts: For the troop paid spots, its first come, first served. We only pay for adults if they’re necessary for safety ratio. If the parents want to pay for themselves, they can
Danielle limits chaperones to trained parents: Only parents who have taken trainings (first aid/cpr and/or outdoor education) are in the considered set. No other parents allowed. Of the trained people, I rotate them. The more parents, the less their children are independent. They just talk and don’t help. Scouts is not parent and me. Families can do that on their own time. I found the amount of parents who wanted to come dwindled when I required trainings.
Donna likes to welcome all parents but makes expectations clear: I would let them both go. In this day and age families are spending less and less time together. If a parent WANTS to participate and be there for their child LET THEM! And from the leader perspective, what a great “problem” to have – too many volunteers. I send out an email with the rules ahead of time. And then I’m very vocal about calling girls and moms out (good naturedly) if the moms are doing the work. Lol, this is good training for the moms as well as the girls. This has worked well for us. In fact my moms and girls now take note when they see this problem in other troops. When the number of chaperones need to be limited, Donna draws names.
Dawn also wants chaperones trained: Ask them to go through training, age level, CPR and overnight lodge and camp, – take only the best trained, most useful person for the job.
Kimberly let the parents decide: I’ve had this problem too. One time I asked the parents to choose amongst themselves who would go. They all know each other and that worked well. I’ve had a few times that I’ve flat out told them that it’s a girl event and parents were not welcome. A couple weren’t happy, but oh well!
Rhonda has requirements and jobs for chaperones: Only approved volunteers can serve as Chaperones (adult members with background checks). Let ALL approved volunteers go, but definitely give them specific roles so that they are not just hanging out. Assigning them to a group of girls, rest room breaks, lunch breaks or even a step or two of the badge. Those who are truly there to help will welcome their tasks & those who are not will not offer to chaperone in future.
Lisa’s response: First come first served.
Lana discusses with the parents: If you can really only take one more, discuss with the parents who hasn’t had an opportunity to help/go as much as the others, who went last time and maybe can sit this one out, etc.