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Mark Smith
08-06-2011, 12:04 PM
Is it just me, how do others feel out there.

We are off to Scoutabout shortly, and the organisers are encouraging the YP to take their mobiles. They have Scout FM, and the YP can text in requests.

Now whilst this seems to be a good idea for the radio station, I usually positively discourage YP bringing mobiles to camp.

Not only can they easily loose them ('cause they are responsible for their own phones regardless of what parents may think), but it also gives the "homesick" scouts the opportunity to ring mummy and daddy at the drop of a hat to come and collect them; it also gives the overprotective parents the ideal opportunity to conact little 'Tarquin' to make sure that they are O.K. (which of course they were until mummy rang....).

Do you think the organisers are making a bit of a rod for our backs, or am I being over sensitive???

Neil Williams
08-06-2011, 12:12 PM
Do you think the organisers are making a bit of a rod for our backs, or am I being over sensitive???

We allow them, but we *have* had the "parent turns up out of the blue after homesick child phones home without telling us" issue. They can come in handy to avoid the need to use the home contact to advise of a travel delay, or to contact groups out on hikes, and there always tend to be a few who bring them.

Our line is that we don't take responsibility for them, we won't look after them and they are not insured but if you must, you can. I'd be wary of encouraging them being brought because that I think creates an expectation that camp is a safe environment for them (it isn't really, or not the way the Scouts will treat them).

Neil

CilDroichid
08-06-2011, 12:23 PM
You might be interested to have a read of this...

http://www.escouts.org.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=9786&highlight=Mobile+phone

CHRI5
08-06-2011, 12:28 PM
We say it is preferable that phones are not brought to camp, but if they are then we will not accept any responsibility for them. Losses or damage are at their own risk and we will also not provide any charging facilities either.

Scary Monster
08-06-2011, 12:58 PM
I'd potentially say you're being a tad over sensitive, particularly for a weekend, activity event like Scoutabout. Saying no mobile phones would be creating a very artificial environment. Yes, they're probably rubbish at looking after them, but no more rubbish than they are playing football in the park with their mates on the way home from school. Make the responsibility clear, and let them chose.

Mark Smith
08-06-2011, 01:38 PM
You might be interested to have a read of this...

http://www.escouts.org.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=9786&highlight=Mobile+phone

Thanks for this. It made very interesting (and long) reading. it seems I'm not in a wasteland by myself.

It really doesn't help having established rules for camp re any electronic devices, only to have them thrown out of the window for a big event like this (sigh!!!).

Still I won't let it spoil my fun - I'm helping run the air rifles and being invested in my new troop (hopefully hanging from the abseiling wall):banana:

Scary Monster
08-06-2011, 02:41 PM
It's pretty straight forward, if you don't want your Scouts to have phones you can ban them. Which means half of them will bring them anyway, just try and keep them out of sight.

Mrs Yorkielass
08-06-2011, 03:30 PM
After our trip to London for the Royal Wedding we made the decision not to allow mobile phones, parents insisted on ringing the children which is fine in one sense but not when the child is supposed to be doing something for you in a time frame. Then when they couldn't get through to their child as their battery had run out etc, we got frantic messages asking if everything is ok. They do give parents peace of mind but when there child doesnt text or ring they will contact leaders. We also had children texting on the escalators on the tube, and so on. We have since agreed that they are not the best of things to have with cubs or beavers, scouts however I am not sure.

At the end of the day we all need to make a judgement based on our own experience and knowledge of the children in our groups.:banana:

Lilac_Beaver
08-06-2011, 03:41 PM
We ban phones on all Scout activities because we've had the 'Little Johnny phoning home' issues even on a day activity, because he was bored!

We took our Scouts to Gilwell and because of going to central London etc we allowed them to take them for extra security after giving the parents 'but we can't take any responsibility for the phones if they get lost or stolen' talk, however after the first night and two calls off panicked parents because of homesickness I collected them all in turned off. They aren't ever coming with us again.

My advice, don't bother, I'm sure they will cope without them

Steph
08-06-2011, 03:48 PM
I've banned scouts from taking mobile phones to Scoutabout as well as any other camp. Regardless of what scoutabout organisers says, it encourages homesickness which i don't want to deal with! I have said they can bring ipods if they want for the journey, but its all under their own resposibility, if they get lost of broken it's their own fault!

jimjam
08-06-2011, 05:56 PM
at my old troop we had to hand in phones at section meetings and on ANY camp. However, we knew that we could ring home if we wanted to, under leader supervision so they knew if there were any problems, and other reasons already said in the other posts on this thread.


we will also not provide any charging facilities either.

i love to see someone's face when they realise their battery has died. :)
On camps, though, i've known leaders who plug theirs in behind the vending machines when we've taken the scouts to the swimming pool

Testarossa
08-06-2011, 06:32 PM
Our DDC told me a story about a camp where a child disappeared in the middle of the night. The short version of the story is that the Police helicopter was out looking for this boy who was safely tucked up in bed after he called mummy and asked to be picked up. Mummy picked him up and took him home without a word to anyone.

I don't like mobiles on camp. Day events I don't have a problem with as long as they realise they are responsible for them and not us.

tomtom_91
08-06-2011, 08:32 PM
If a leader has control of their section then its not an issue. It depends on age etc - Anyone under a certain age (not sure off top of my head) the leader must be made aware that they have their phones. Its made clear of the expectation and in 10 years I do not believe we have had any issues.

Yunallesca
09-06-2011, 08:59 AM
Perhaps the organisers should be making a responsible move and saying on their own website that they are encouraging mobiles but it will be at the YPs own risk as these are generally not covered under scout insurance?

If you try to persuade the parents that you aren't allowing them because of homesickness, that will never work. You can only get them with insurance and legal issues as they can't argue little Johnny is above the policy.

I actually know of cub camps where phones have been banned but one little darling kept his hidden and mummy called the cub leader at 3am wanting to know why little Johnny had texted her saying he was upset. She then came and collected him. So even if they are banned you can't guarantee they don't have one, as you can't search them!

Big George
09-06-2011, 10:05 AM
So even if they are banned you can't guarantee they don't have one, as you can't search them!

We were going to summer camp one year and had said "no mobiles" (except for leaders). All the explorers and scouts swore they hadn't brought them. I stood off at the side and sent a text message to all the explorers - quite funny to watch everyones expressions as all the phones went off :bigsmiley

Yunallesca
09-06-2011, 04:06 PM
We were going to summer camp one year and had said "no mobiles" (except for leaders). All the explorers and scouts swore they hadn't brought them. I stood off at the side and sent a text message to all the explorers - quite funny to watch everyones expressions as all the phones went off :bigsmiley

Great idea!! Love it!