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Thread: Non vegetarian vegetarian cub/scout on camp

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    Non vegetarian vegetarian cub/scout on camp

    We've just come through a cluster of camps (Cubs and scouts at different camps) and the topic of diets came up.
    One of the stories mentioned awas of a "strictly" vegetarian 10 year old Cub ( not for relegous purposes) who decided that the Vegetarian fod on offer wasnt for him, as he was having real bacon like he gets at grandads, and so on.

    So what would oyu do, let the Cub/Scout have what they want, and have with other relatvices ( non veg) or insist they sty vegetarian to the point where you have to directly supervise them at meal times ( to stop food swapping)?

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    I would insist they were served what their health form said. I suspect I'd also say something if I saw them swapping.

    You might get other examples of this, like a coeliac (particularly an asymptomatic one) being bored of cardboard bread - that would be quite important to enforce.

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    The unpaid help ASLChris's Avatar
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    I think it depends on the reason. Is it medical or parent-enforced?
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    It depends... I'd be doing a quick risk assessment on that, (something normal people do all the time without having to be told to by TSA).

    If I knew for sure it wasn't for medical reasons, then I'd turn a blind eye. If I knew it was, then I wouldn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASLChris View Post
    I think it depends on the reason. Is it medical or parent-enforced?
    It doesn't matter. You have been informed of something the parent wishes to be imposed on the child. You can either accept that up front or reject it up front i.e. state openly you will not cater for it (assuming it isn't a protected characteristic in law), the parent then has the choice of whether to withdraw their YP from your care. If you accept it then don't follow it you could end up in very hot water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    It doesn't matter. You have been informed of something the parent wishes to be imposed on the child. You can either accept that up front or reject it up front i.e. state openly you will not cater for it (assuming it isn't a protected characteristic in law), the parent then has the choice of whether to withdraw their YP from your care. If you accept it then don't follow it you could end up in very hot water.
    I disagree. There's a difference between directly supervising to enforce a medically-required diet and doing so because the parents are forcing their kids to have a particular diet for no reason (which does not include religious requirements). If it's neither medical or religious, I would still expect them to have that vegetarian food, but I would also not directly supervise to make sure they eat nothing else but that.

    The difference IMHO is in how much you supervise to ensure they don't eat other stuff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASLChris View Post
    I disagree. There's a difference between directly supervising to enforce a medically-required diet and doing so because the parents are forcing their kids to have a particular diet for no reason (which does not include religious requirements). If it's neither medical or religious, I would still expect them to have that vegetarian food, but I would also not directly supervise to make sure they eat nothing else but that.

    The difference IMHO is in how much you supervise to ensure they don't eat other stuff.
    Fair point, I'd supervise more for an anaphylactic allergy or coeliac[1] than I would for a request. That said, I think some would serve bacon if requested or put no attention into supervising (i.e. wouldn't do anything if they saw the vegetarian with bacon), which I would suggest is likely to end you up on a sticky wicket very quickly.

    [1] Asymptomatic coeliac particularly - the YP probably really can't understand why they can't eat gluten because it doesn't seem to make them ill (unlike me where it does, and quite quickly too) - but it in the long term would contribute to malnutrition and possibly intestinal cancer, so it is still necessary to avoid it.

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    The thing no one has mentioned (so I will), is sweets. How often are we told by parents not to let the kids eat too many sweets, but we do - or we don't look closely enough (ie, search their bags for snuck-in contraband), and before you know it, they're upchucking all over the place...

    There's always one... (Or as we say up here, 'thurs i' waes yin...')

    At the risk of sounding cruel (so I will anyway), while I'm not proud of this - if you do give the usual shpiel about not eating too many sweets/all the sweets you brought with you in one sitting - when they do - it's about the most apposite instance of I-told-you-so in all of Scouting life.

    Obvs, I don't condone it - I mean, I'd rather not watch some poor child puke their guts up... But still...


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    I actually notice the *opposite* problem to this. We tell parents not to send sweets, and reassure that they get plenty of good stuff at meal times. We re-enforce no food in tents as a general rule.

    This is all fine, except for the parents that still send a whole pile of sweets....

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevynxxx View Post
    I actually notice the *opposite* problem to this. We tell parents not to send sweets, and reassure that they get plenty of good stuff at meal times. We re-enforce no food in tents as a general rule.

    This is all fine, except for the parents that still send a whole pile of sweets....
    Yup.

    That happens too. Then you get sweets envy... Or, ummm, Confectionenvy, which is a phrase I've just coined.

    It's a minefield so it is...

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    Last scout camp were on, I was doing the late rounds, trying to get them to shut up and go to sleep so they were ready for their 10 mile hike home the next morning. We'd told them all no sweets in tents. Got to one tent, heard a distinctive rustle from inside. "Right you lot, put the Haribo away and go to sleep" "Hey, how can you tell that, can you see through tents!". Nope just have two kids of my own and know what a pack of Haribo sounds like! (That was also the night I heard two of the little sods discussing the fact that they'd phoned their parents to come and pick them up in the morning because they weren't going to do the hike - rules have now been changed on phones on camp!)
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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    Non vegetarian vegetarin cub/scout on camp

    We tell the kids and parents no sweets, if we find them we confiscate them and give them back as they are waiting to be picked up. Let them have the sugar rush in their parents car. One lad gorged on his two giant packets of Haribo and guzzled the 2l bottle of Coke brought by his mum and then threw up in the car - our fault apparently
    We had a lad who was under investigation for Gout so the health form said no sweet things or puddings.
    He strenuously denied this but we held firm (one half of a twin) so no idea how effective we were.
    At pick up lad ripped in to his mum who told us that he had been cleared on the Friday of camp but she hadnít told us.
    A young cub decided to tell us he was vegetarian as he didnít like the look of the mince that was tea. When he asked for sausage and bacon for breakfast he got told no as he was a vegetarian.
    We have learnt to ask degree of vegetarianism though as we have some who whilst they donít eat meat will eat marshmallows and haribo and this saves us buying expensive vegetarian options.
    But donít get me started on the one who gave us a list of the only food their child could eat as they were allergic to something. This ingredient was in all of the premium products she listed, in hindsight we should have refunded the Dodd element and told her to provide the items as we ended up buying packets of food that he was only having one or two of.


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    Last edited by Shaun; 25-06-2019 at 02:38 PM.
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    We have a "no sweets" policy.

    A/ They leave them half eaten in tents and they attract ants and worse, and when the tents get folded they end up with a sweet stuck inside them
    B/ We want to avoid the sugar rush
    C/ We lose control over consumption and the parents supplying sweets have no idea what allergies there may be.

    The biggest row* I ever had in Scouts was when, after explicit notification that here were to be no sweets issued, an OH and parent of two young Scuts started handing out sweets from a large sack, telling the kids not to let us see them. We had a massive blow out, away from the kids, but he took his kids home from camp and we never saw him or them again.

    We had kids who didn't normally get sweets, stuffing their faces and throwing up through the night.

    I had this speil that I would do at the start of Group Camps from time t time - no need every time...

    "Okay guys, if you have been given sweets for a midnight feast, hand them over to your Leaders...

    "Right, do you know why we don't want you to eat sweets in your tents? No?

    "Well, first of all, they give you lots of energy when you should be going to sleep, but the biggest issue is that the sweets in your tents attract ants, and insects and maybe even mice or worse. ( I recall one camp where a ferret found its way into a tent chasing food) - None of you want to sleep with ants, do you? You also make sleeping bags very sticky, and they are diffuclt to clean and dry afterwards.

    "And another reason, not so long ago a Cub ignored the no sweets rule, and decided to eat a Mars bar as a midnight feast, which would have been all well and good had he finished it. But he didn't and he dropped it and fell asleep. Through the night he and his fellow campers rolled about in their expensive sleeping bags. Being Cubs they had not washed before going to bed, so they smelled a bit, and the smells were cooped inside the tent. Our bodies work even when we are asleep and through the night there was a good mix of burping and farting to add to the aromas of sweaty bodies and smelly socks.

    "So, come the morning as the cubs start to wake up, there are comments about the smell in the tent. Smells awful, smells like someone has had a pooh! Then they notice the brown morass of what was the previous night's mars bars smeared across the hands of one cub and the sleeping bags of two of the Cubs. Aw! Yuk! Smithy has **** himself and it is all over the place, at which point there is a panic to open the tent and cubs start gagging, eventually, before the door can get unlaced there is a chain reaction of puking all over the various sleeing bags and clothing strewn around the tent. True story guys. So, no sweets in the tents."

    I didn't realise when I first did this story, but I went into a Billy Connolly mode that made the whole story more memorable, apparently. I still get reminded about it from time to time.

    *Disagreements within the group were rare. Two in 20 years - both with people who thought they knew better and, as a result, put people at risk.
    Last edited by Bushfella; 25-06-2019 at 03:31 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard T View Post
    We've just come through a cluster of camps (Cubs and scouts at different camps) and the topic of diets came up.
    One of the stories mentioned awas of a "strictly" vegetarian 10 year old Cub ( not for relegous purposes) who decided that the Vegetarian fod on offer wasnt for him, as he was having real bacon like he gets at grandads, and so on.

    So what would oyu do, let the Cub/Scout have what they want, and have with other relatvices ( non veg) or insist they sty vegetarian to the point where you have to directly supervise them at meal times ( to stop food swapping)?
    Difficult one and I donít know what I would do.

    However, if you choose to enforce it, then you had better check all the stuff they buy from the tuck shop as much of that has gelatine in and possibly other non vegetarian ingredients.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    B/ We want to avoid the sugar rush
    "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.

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