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Thread: Non vegetarian vegetarian cub/scout on camp

  1. #16
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippysurfer View Post
    "Sugar rush" is a myth.

    Busting the Sugar Hyperactivity Myth

    We ban sweets too. But I have had a hell of a job convincing leaders not to run a "tuck shop" full of sweets. I just don't get why they feel that a child can't manage a weekend away without a bag of industrial processed sugary crap.

    I'd need more than that to persuade me that some kids do not get sugar rushes. The article suggests that some might. I'd say some do

    As a diabetic, I can say, with absolute certainty, that sugar (or the lack of it) does have an impact upon my mood,my actions and my behaviour. I find it difficult to imagine that it would NOT have some impact on some kids.

    It is a bit like our other outright ban - Energy drinks. Never really thought that much about them till we did an International trip and one lad en route from Huddersfield to Dover, drank three full sized cans of Monster (other brands are available). He was bouncing off the walls of the van. His own Leaders were taken by surprise. We took another three off him or God knows what might have happened.

    I will grant you that it may not be 100% down to the sugar/ energy intake, but I'd need some persuasion that it wasn't.
    Ewan Scott

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  2. #17
    Senior Member CambridgeSkip's Avatar
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    Going back to the original point I don't think there is one single answer to this.

    Clearly if this is a medical issue (and I do have a scout with a serious medical issue which means no sugar) then it is something I will make sure is properly enforced. We can't allow a child to become ill or worse because they want to eat something they can't have.

    Beyond that, even on religious grounds, I think there are only shades of grey.

    The 6 year old beaver who's parents say no bacon on religious grounds, I'd respect and enforce that and not serve them bacon if they said they really wanted to try it. The 16 year old explorer scout who is no bacon on religious grounds, I would probably hesitate to serve it to them but if I found that they were swapping their veggie sausage or fried egg for a bit of their mate's bacon, would I stop them? No. If I knew they'd snuck off to chubbies and bought a bacon roll would I pull them up for it? No.

    For those that are straight up veggie because they don't believe in eating meat that suddenly decide they want some I think it would depend on portion control. If there's not enough to go round then sorry sunshine, you're getting the veggie option. If there's plenty going spare then help yourself. Although again I would probably hesitate for a cub or a beaver. Scouts or explorers it's all theirs.

    Like I say, only shades of grey on this one.

    Re sweets, we've started to get a bit more strict on this in recent years, but not massively so. It's because we have an going twinning scheme with a troop in Canada. There sweets, or food of any description, in tents is a life and death issue because of bears. So when they come to us their leaders want to continue to enforce no sweets in tents as simply good practice and similarly we want ours to get used to it for when we go to them. We're not anal about it but it is actively discouraged.

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    Sugar rush isn't a myth, the article itself can't rule out that it might happen with a small number of kids. I don't think anyone here would say if they fed their young people a bag of Haribo - ALL of them would need sponged off the ceiling. But it's fairly safe to say, some definitely do.

    We don't ban sweets. Camp is supposed to be fun, they're supposed to let their hair down a bit - I thought that's what Scouts was for? A lot of these kids are micromanaged to within an inch of their lives, most parents appreciate that Scouts is a bit of a safety valve - or ours do anyway. (Also, if their kid is flying under the influence of strawberry laces, then it's us who are dealing with it, not them).

    We tell parents we run a tuck shop, mostly they then don't send loads of sweets with their kids, we can then reel them in a bit if we think they're buying too much.

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post

    We don't ban sweets. Camp is supposed to be fun, they're supposed to let their hair down a bit - I thought that's what Scouts was for? A lot of these kids are micromanaged to within an inch of their lives, most parents appreciate that Scouts is a bit of a safety valve - or ours do anyway. (Also, if their kid is flying under the influence of strawberry laces, then it's us who are dealing with it, not them).
    Clarification - we ban THEM from bringing sweets (some still do but they make great efforts not to get caught). We do however supply sweets from a controlled stock.

    The community centre has a sweet trolley that has been th bane of our lives. Kids arrive and some start buying sweets at the start of the meeting - which does have safety implications if they are running about and chewing on a Haribo. So, we started arriving a bit erlier and putting the sweet trolley out of sight. No-one missed it, and when we forgot to put it away one week, no-one bought any sweets...

    We do try to put the sweets and biscuits away because we have a coiple of kids with severe allergies.
    Ewan Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Clarification - we ban THEM from bringing sweets (some still do but they make great efforts not to get caught). We do however supply sweets from a controlled stock.

    The community centre has a sweet trolley that has been th bane of our lives. Kids arrive and some start buying sweets at the start of the meeting - which does have safety implications if they are running about and chewing on a Haribo. So, we started arriving a bit erlier and putting the sweet trolley out of sight. No-one missed it, and when we forgot to put it away one week, no-one bought any sweets...

    We do try to put the sweets and biscuits away because we have a coiple of kids with severe allergies.
    Got to say, one of the things that irritates me is, when you open a packet of biscuits - the kids behave as if they've either not had a biscuit for a hundred years, won't be able to have another biscuit for another hundred years or are scared someone else will get all the biscuits.

    I listen to myself telling them to wind their necks in and think, "you sound like such an old fart..." But we have plenty biscuits, they can see we have plenty, but they still try to grab handfuls, meanwhile, the less eager wait - and if we don't intervene, would go without.

    It's exceedingly tawdry behaviour and beneath them. It's just greed, and I cannot abide it. Any kid doing it now goes to the back of the queue - if we didn't have enough biscuits (which I'm prepared to fib about), they go without.

    It's probably a microcosm of evolution or something, but when the Hobnobs enter the room, any sense of elan and restraint leaves.

  7. #21
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    What the leader says: Look, if you grab a handful of biscuits, we'll run out and there won't be enough to go round.
    What the scout hears: there aren't enough to go round, grab a handful before they run out.
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    What the leader says: Look, if you grab a handful of biscuits, we'll run out and there won't be enough to go round.
    What the scout hears: there aren't enough to go round, grab a handful before they run out.
    Quite.

    Open a packet of custard creams, and you end up feeling like an aid worker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    I'd need more than that to persuade me that some kids do not get sugar rushes. The article suggests that some might. I'd say some do

    As a diabetic, I can say, with absolute certainty, that sugar (or the lack of it) does have an impact upon my mood,my actions and my behaviour. I find it difficult to imagine that it would NOT have some impact on some kids.

    It is a bit like our other outright ban - Energy drinks. Never really thought that much about them till we did an International trip and one lad en route from Huddersfield to Dover, drank three full sized cans of Monster (other brands are available). He was bouncing off the walls of the van. His own Leaders were taken by surprise. We took another three off him or God knows what might have happened.

    I will grant you that it may not be 100% down to the sugar/ energy intake, but I'd need some persuasion that it wasn't.
    RANT MODE ON

    This kind of logic does drive me a bit nuts.

    There have been multiple, placebo-controlled, double bind experiments that set out to show a link between sugar/preservative consumption and hyperactivity. They have failed to show any link. If the link was anywhere near as strong as people say it is, they would have found it - it would have smacked them in the face.

    "Energy drinks" are different, they generally contain caffeine. There is no doubt that caffeine affects behaviour. Lots of science to back that up.

    Lack of sugar most definitely does affect behaviour. What the studies have shown is that excess sugar, in people without other health issues, does not.

    This, of course, does not mean that in some situations giving children lots of sweets does not make them hyperactive. It just means that it is not the sweets that are the active ingredients here. It is the situation in which they are eating them. Again, the experiments have shown this. There was one, (I can't find the reference), that help two children's parties: at one they were given lots of sugary sweets; at the other, they were given sugar-free equivalents. There was no noticable difference in their behaviour. This has been repeated many times. The point is that it was the party that triggered the behaviour and not the sugar.

    By blaming the sugar we miss the environmental triggers that lead to behaviour that we want to control and hence we miss the interventions that would actually a difference.

    I get a bit narky about this because sometimes a belief in a un-substantiated myth can increase the risk to children. As an example, we run a paddlesports setup for our local district. When I first got involved, the information that we sent out to everyone that attended was that they should bring a can of "Full Fat Coke" with them and they should drink it "as soon as they got out of the water". I did a bit of digging (a whole hour on Google) and soon found out that the idea that Coke (or any other acidic drink) was an urban myth with no justification what so ever, and some good scientific rebuttals. It took me a lot of work to overturn this myth and to get the advice changed. You might say, well what is the problem with them drinking Coke, it will not do them any harm and it "might help"? The problem is that what they were doing was coming out of the water, with wet hands having just crossed the "beach" area (the area most likely to harbour the rat piss that carries Wiels Decease), immediately opening the ring pull on the can with their hands and drinking from the can! So our advice, based on a myth that had been shown to be a myth, was actually increasing the risk of what it was meant to be reducing. I finally managed to get the advice changed to. "wash your hands for you eat or drink anything".

    I actually had leaders say to me "well I have always drunk a can of coke every time I come off the water and I have never had Weils Decease". I have to count to ten before I try to answer this type of logic. All together now: "correlation does not imply causality".

    RANT MODE OFF

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post

    It's exceedingly tawdry behaviour and beneath them. It's just greed, and I cannot abide it. Any kid doing it now goes to the back of the queue

    So, we are not alone. Those who push temselves to the front of the queue, go to the back of the queue. Those who don't say please, go to the back of the queue. Those who don't say thank you ( and they are nowadays rare), go to the back of the queue next time around, and our cook has a pretty sharp memory...
    Ewan Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by hippysurfer View Post
    This, of course, does not mean that in some situations giving children lots of sweets does not make them hyperactive. It just means that it is not the sweets that are the active ingredients here. It is the situation in which they are eating them. Again, the experiments have shown this. There was one, (I can't find the reference), that help two children's parties: at one they were given lots of sugary sweets; at the other, they were given sugar-free equivalents. There was no noticable difference in their behaviour. This has been repeated many times. The point is that it was the party that triggered the behaviour and not the sugar.

    I've seen a version of this where the parents were lied to. The ones who *thought* their kids had had sugar, reported horrible post party behavior. The ones who thought they had had none reported angelic behavior. Bias is a terrible thing.

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    Also anyone who runs flat out towards the mess tent when the call goes out for food (pushing past their "mates"), gets sent to the back. Also, clean hands (to our standard, not theirs) or no food.

    We have one YP whose parent always provides a detailed list of foods they strictly "must not eat" before camp. At the last camp the YP let slip to another YP (so that was common knowledge within minutes) that at least some of the items are on that list because they don't like them, not because consumption will result in... paperwork. However other Leaders have witnessed the same YP upchucking after accidentally consuming something on the list (may have been dairy) so we stick to the list, and if that YP's tastes change then that's up to them to discuss with their parent to avoid the restrictive diet.

    Any YP approaching the mess tent (or on receipt of ingredients if cooking in patrols) who announces that they don't like something on the menu is often just met with a shrug. They generally eat whatever is on offer, especially if they've cooked it, and it's not as if we go for out-there culinary weirdness with our menus on camp.
    Last edited by CliveS; 26-06-2019 at 12:13 PM.

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    That's just reminded me...

    At flag down, I let the Explorers go before the flag comes down and I dismiss the troop. They run the tuck shop, and on the 'missed' of dismissed, Scouts stampede toward it.

    If they jump the gun, I drag them all back. Any pushing and shoving and we move smaller Scouts to the front of the queue.

    One of the YL's usually acts as a bouncer.

    It's been suggested that we stop tuck shop, but it's our way of saying thank you to parents when they send their kids to scouts after a dinner of what ever it is that occasionally cause them to be climbing the walls. We're fairly sure it's not because it's a full moon, but some nights - it's like someone as wound them up...

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    Senior Member Shaun's Avatar
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    Sugar Rush may be a myth, but I have experiences that imply otherwise.
    I have watched a child who was fed an E numbers diet detox over a weekend.
    The burst of energy that a child will get from eating a lot of sweets in a short time corralled in a small space such as a tent or car is in my view noticeable, is it bad behaviour probably not.

    I have had to hold both of my children when they have reacted to pink food colouring/strawberry flavouring, they shook, jittered and needed to be cuddled.

    On camp the YP are exposed to things that will make them feel unwell, they are normally tired, sometimes cold all of which can make them sick, chucking a load of sweets on top of that is a risk I donít want to take.

    With regards to queues, we quite often start at the back, but it is random so they know there is no point rushing.


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  20. #29
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun View Post
    I have experiences that imply otherwise.
    the research i read once suggested that in double blind tests, parents who thought they were giving their kids sugar perceived worse behaviour, even when they were not giving them sugar.

    Equally, parents who thought they were giving their kids non-sugary food and drink perceived better behaviour, even when the food was full of sugar and bad stuff.

    I forget whether this was because the behaviour was worse or the behaviour was perceived to be worse but it was pretty convincing.

  21. #30
    Senior Member Shaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    the research i read once suggested that in double blind tests, parents who thought they were giving their kids sugar perceived worse behaviour, even when they were not giving them sugar.

    Equally, parents who thought they were giving their kids non-sugary food and drink perceived better behaviour, even when the food was full of sugar and bad stuff.

    I forget whether this was because the behaviour was worse or the behaviour was perceived to be worse but it was pretty convincing.
    So essentially you are saying that I should ignore my experiences on the basis of what other people have done?

    Has there been any studies that have shown parents who have given their children sweets/sugar etc and then noticed a deterioration in behaviour?

    I respect that in the absence of personal experiences you can and should seek the view of others.

    But each child is different and it always possible to find studies that back up your position.


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