TROOP 493 CELLULAR PHONE (WIRELESS DEVICE) USE POLICY
Over the last couple of years, the average age of cellular phone users has continued to decrease. In addition, the cellular phone coverage has continued to increase even at many, more remote locations. The combination of these two circumstances has led to some unfavorable situations during troop meetings, scout sponsored activities, and camping trips.
One of the main principles of attending any scout camping trip is to give the boys a chance to experience life in the outdoors ... usually without such luxuries as flushable toilets, air conditioning, and electronics. Scout sponsored activities are designed to foster scouting’s goals of character, citizenship, fitness, and fun utilizing the patrol method. The patrol method emphasizes the skills of team building, boy leadership, and face to face communication to help make the patrol a success. Troop leadership has noted that scouts are increasingly answering phones or texting during meetings and outings to friends and contacts outside the structure of the troop. This situation is not only disrespectful to whoever is giving a presentation or otherwise conducting a meeting, but is very distracting to the others in attendance, and focuses the attention of the scout away from the issue at hand.
To prevent this from occurring in the future, a Troop 493 Scout Cell Phone Policy has been established.
It is the position of the leadership of Troop 493 that no scouts shall utilize cell phones or other wireless communicating devices during troop meetings (7:30pm -9:00pm), and no scouts shall be permitted to have cell phones or other wireless communicating devices (other than troop issued “walkie-talkie” radios) in camp or while attending any troop sponsored activity. Cell phones, etc. may be taken to camp or scout sponsored activities and utilized during transportation to and from the event … BUT upon arrival they will be collected and held by the troop leadership in a secure location for the duration of that event. Scouts not willing to have their phones or devices collected may elect to leave them at home.
Parents are asked to respect, support, and enforce this policy. Troop leaders do not want to have to act as “cell phone police.” Nevertheless, if a scout is found with a cell phone or other wireless communicating device during an unauthorized time frame, the item will be confiscated by the troop leadership and will remain with them until completion of the event. Parents will be notified of any infraction. If an urgent message must be delivered to a scout, please call any of the troop leadership in attendance. Should any leader’s cell phone numbers be required by parents, it will be available at the beginning of the event.