In the new Guide to Safe Scouting there has been a rule change on allowing Patrols to camp alone.. without Adult supervision.  This was always a great part of my Scouting experience when I was a youth and it is a bit heart breaking to see that the BSA has changed this.  I know it is because of Lawyer’s and over protective parenting…  Boys are no longer allowed to be boys.

BUT Worry not Scouters that love the real Patrol method.  Your Patrols can still camp alone.. well kinda.. 2 Deep leadership does not mean holding their hand.  They can still camp in their own camp site.. away from adults.  Adult leadership need only be present.. but not on top of them. 

We do this all the time.  The Scouts take off down the trail.. they establish a camp site, we make one a couple hundred yards away.  That is still in range to provide the necessary “Leadership”.. and yes I use that in quotes.. we should not be providing “Leadership” at all.  We provide guidance, mentoring, coaching.. but not “Leadership”.  In fact it is not really leadership at all in the Boy Scout program.. the Safety Sandwich talks about Supervision and Discipline.  We adults provide adequate supervision.  And if you can accomplish that by being a fair distance away than you are well within the G2SS.  I am not saying buck the system.  I am saying allow Boys to be Boys.  Allow them to explore and seek adventure.  Allow them to be alone with their buddies, not having to look over their shoulder to see if an adult is going to jump in.  Never forsake safety or propriety… but let them go.  Supervise and train them to do what is right, and they will.  I have faith in them… just like my Scoutmaster had faith in me.

Anyway.  Let them camp alone.. just be near by.  The results are the same.  Patrol time.
Here is the link to the new Guide to Safe Scouting.

Have a Great Scouting Day!


  1. Jerry
    You can always send them north, I wouldn’t mind having a few of your Scouts in my troop. Here is the official word from Scouts Canada’s Bylaws, Policies, and Procedures (tell me the lawyers & insurance agents didn’t get together on naming that document!).

    10001.3 – Scouts:
    Troop Scouters may approve patrol size groups of Scouts (two to ten) holding shortterm
    camps without adult leadership, providing each Scout has obtained permission
    from a parent or guardian.

    FYI: Troop Scouters are what we call a Scoutmaster & short term camps, by definition, are two nights or less.


    1. I do not think they leave because they can not camp without adults.. that is a unit thing. The G2SS prohibits a patrol from taking off on their own without adults, but like we said in the post… there are plenty of opportunities to work around hovering parents or Scouters.
      We NEVER camp with the Scouts.. that is their time. We camp a safe distance away allowing for supervision when needed. I agree that commissioners and Scoutmasters should take back their turf.. but in the case of the Scoutmaster, that means training SPL’s to do their job and build confidence in those young men.
      I do not suggest that you go against the G2SS. But there are ways that the Patrol method and Patrol camping can occur within the guidelines.
      Thanks for the comment.


  2. If members of a patrol or patrols want to go camping, I can’t stop them. Scouts are encouraged to do scouting outside of their troop or patrol. only planned troop activities are subject to the G2SS. Anything else is up to their parents.


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