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Thread: Beaver/Leader Sleeping arrangements

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    Senior Member chubbchubb's Avatar
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    Beaver/Leader Sleeping arrangements

    We are running a Group camp this year, and after noticing that beavers weren't signing up we had a meeting with the parents last night. One of their concerns was that the beavers would be in a tent by themselves (by which I mean no leader), and they wanted to know the possibility of a leader being in there with them. An idea arose that 2 leaders could share a tent if it had multiple pods so that they were separated from the beavers but if there was a problem in the night they wouldn't have to leave the tent to find a leader. I have called the info centre and the answer is a categorical no because the leader would have to use the same door to get into the tent as the beavers.

    Obviously I get the Safeguarding element of it all and suggested that we would always have 2 leaders in the tent but that was still a no. My argument is that even if the leaders were in a different tent there is still only tent fabric between an adult and young person, even in a dorm some of the rooms are inter connected. If you read the factsheet on beaver sleepovers, they suggest pop up tents are used to separate beavers if you only have a large hall surely that is the same thing as multiple pods within a tent? Am I right? Should we be allowed to sleep in a separate pod within the same tent? it could make the difference between them attending an event or not.

    Obviously I will follow the guidance from NHQ but I want to put a case forward to see if it is possible.

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    What absolute rubbish!

    Suggest you email Information Centre - you will get a totally different response to what someone appears to have given you by phone.


    Paul

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    Define the difference between a "pods off a central living space" tent, and 4 tents arranged around the outside of say a Coleman event shelter, or a load of pop up tents within a mess tent? Sounds to me like someone is playing with semantics here. Its perfectly possible to have a "legal" set up whereby there is communal space connecting sleeping spaces which are only separated by a single zip to each space. Don't even ask them about these - https://www.podtents.com/?v=79cba1185463
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chubbchubb View Post
    We are running a Group camp this year, and after noticing that beavers weren't signing up we had a meeting with the parents last night. One of their concerns was that the beavers would be in a tent by themselves (by which I mean no leader), and they wanted to know the possibility of a leader being in there with them. An idea arose that 2 leaders could share a tent if it had multiple pods so that they were separated from the beavers but if there was a problem in the night they wouldn't have to leave the tent to find a leader. I have called the info centre and the answer is a categorical no because the leader would have to use the same door to get into the tent as the beavers.

    Obviously I get the Safeguarding element of it all and suggested that we would always have 2 leaders in the tent but that was still a no. My argument is that even if the leaders were in a different tent there is still only tent fabric between an adult and young person, even in a dorm some of the rooms are inter connected. If you read the factsheet on beaver sleepovers, they suggest pop up tents are used to separate beavers if you only have a large hall surely that is the same thing as multiple pods within a tent? Am I right? Should we be allowed to sleep in a separate pod within the same tent? it could make the difference between them attending an event or not.

    Obviously I will follow the guidance from NHQ but I want to put a case forward to see if it is possible.
    I suspect you could get a different answer by phoning the info centre a different day.

    That said, we have NEVER had this issue... we've had a few parents who assume leaders will be sharing the tnet with the kids and when we explain that, no, we won't, but we'll be in tents close by, they've all seemed fine with it.

    Worst case go buy a bunch of wireless doorbells so beavers can summon assistance to their tent if needed!
    Dan Spencer

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    The unpaid help ASLChris's Avatar
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    It reads to me like the parents are panicking about little Johnny being away from them for a night. How often is it that they get up and need assistance at home?! IMHO your suggestions are pandering to helicopter parents - and presuming your Group camp is in the summer, it's hardly likely to be anything preventing them from getting you if necessary.

    I'd suggest simply making it clear that you won't be camping far away. And if you really feel the need to, put a wireless doorbell or something at the main tent entrance at night "just in case". They can always shout if it's an actual emergency!
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    Senior Member chubbchubb's Avatar
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    I am pandering to them a little bit, but we had district beaver/cub camp last year, which has put some of them off. Unfortunately our group only had Vango Force Ten tents which only sleep 2-3, and due to a lack of leaders from our group attending (specifically in the beaver section which had no leaders attend due to illness) they didn't enjoy it as much, which has put them off. I did say that our tents would be right next door, but some of the parents were a still a bit hesitant. Maybe the doorbell system is a good compromise, I could even use my son's baby monitor!

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    Senior Member Kastor's Avatar
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    The other thing that is useful is to put some battery powered lights (xmas tree ones are good) on the "Duty Leaders tent" so the beavers can see where to go if they get out at night (can't find doorbell etc. )
    To get more kids we need more adults - are we getting the message yet?

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    Senior Member chubbchubb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kastor View Post
    The other thing that is useful is to put some battery powered lights (xmas tree ones are good) on the "Duty Leaders tent" so the beavers can see where to go if they get out at night (can't find doorbell etc. )
    I always do this,anyway, we have said about getting a low illumination LED light in the middle of the tent so that its not pitch black if they do get up in the night

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  11. #9
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    If you were sleeping indoors in dorm rooms the beavers would usually be next door to a room of leaders so you can easily hear through the walls if a Beaver needs an adult, or another Beaver in the same room would go and get a leader.

    Similar to being in tents, except it's easier to hear them. Plan your camp layout and make sure they all know which are the leaders tents. Look at how you can light up a path past to the leaders tents and towards the toilets so that if they get up during the night they can see where they're going. Our Cubs have used those 1 solar lights near the doors of the tents.

    There's no need to have any leaders within the same tents as YP, even in different pods.

    We always hire a building for big camps where our Beavers are taking part - mainly as an indoor space for bad weather, but it means those that don't want to sleep in a tent can still come, when there's the option for using tents. We've never had our Beavers sleeping in tents, they've always been indoors, but at our group family camp this summer it will be our first camp with Beavers in tents. Usually we are all indoors and have left tents to Cubs, but I think this won't be our first nights away in tents.

    And I did say "group family camp" - over 80 members of our group and their families camping for the weekend.
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    We did a County camp a couple of years ago & an email was sent out saying no pod tents should be used by leaders to share with Beavers. If in doubt, email Gilwell.

    If you are short of larger tents, could you put a shout out to parents, if you were incredibly cheeky you might get them to put them up & down too. It would be a good lever for fundraising for larger tents in the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newbb View Post
    We did a County camp a couple of years ago & an email was sent out saying no pod tents should be used by leaders to share with Beavers. If in doubt, email Gilwell.
    I can see why Gilwell might think that:

    1. The environment in a pod tent is a lot closer than pop-ups in a mess tent or a hall.

    2. The "Sun test"/"Daily Mail test"[1] - someone sees adult(s) emerging from the same tent the YP have been sleeping in.

    I think I wouldn't regardless of what Gilwell said, it would fail my "Daily Mail test". I'd probably counter any parental objection by asking if they slept in the same bedroom as their kids, on receiving the answer "no", counter with something like "it's not really any different".

    [1] When deciding if an action is sensible, consider the worst headline one of those two could come up with from witnessing it, and consider if that is acceptable to you.

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    I run the 'When it all goes wrong test' too. I'm waiting for the red top headline 'The Scouts on 1st Facebook Scouts said it would be okay!!!!!'

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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    I think sharing a pod tent lacks visablity of what is going on it the tent as well. Its all very well saying two Leaders/adults will be sleeping in there but will they really both either be in there or neither of them all the time? Or will there be occasions when there is only one of them in there (e.g. one goes to the toilet in the middle of the night or goes in the tent to get something during the day or even to have a lie down as they are feeling unwell). The difference to standing outside a tent in the open, clearly visable to everyone and talking to the Beavers/ helping them thruough the doorway, and stood outside a pod but inside a pod tent is quite marked IMHO.

    Whilst we don;t operate a two deep system there are situations where one adult by themselves even with multiple youth members is putting themsevles in a vunerable position and I would say sharing a pod tent with youth members even with two adults sleeping in the tent would certainly fall into that category for me.

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    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    Theres also the practical difference that leaders tend to go to bed later than Beavers... we try to get the Beavers off to bed by 10pm, we'll usually be sat up til midnight chatting... can't really do that in the Beaver sleeping tent!
    Dan Spencer

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    Keith at 2M Keith at 2M's Avatar
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    We've just told the parents on Group Camp that the Beavers can only sleep over if there is a parent with them. (Its local so its not too inconvenient to take them home at night and have them back for breakfast). This has weeded out the potential leaders from the helicopters and has produced some useful contacts. I appreciate its not what is intended but with parents becomming less likely to even sign them up for cub camp I feel putting energy & resource in trying to get Beavers away too is a step too far. We need to recover the numbers of cubs and scouts camping first.
    The Roman Empire did not become great by holding meetings. It did so by killing everyone that opposed their point of view.

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