Please send your question to Scouting@DHarakalAuthor.org.
Q: My child is terrified of bugs and spiders. How can they camp?
A: Children learn fear from parents, negative experiences, books or television, and, to a limited extent, natural protective instincts. If you overreact, you have to overcome your fears first. PBS has a good process to desensitize your child—you might even : https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/helping-children-overcome-a-fear-of-bugs
Q: I do not like camping. Do I have to go?
A: In short, no – but: Your unit may need your help. It may not become your favorite pastime, but invest in your child and camp at least once a year. You will create shared memories and receive the joy of watching him or her grow and mature. Accept the challenge and you might just find a new hobby you love!
Q: My child has special food needs. How does that work on a campout?
A: First, assess if they are preferences or true medical needs. Preferences may need adjusting, and recognize that no healthy child will die of starvation over a weekend. If there is a diagnosed issue that has a material impact on your child’s wellbeing (vs. mild discomfort), with young scouts you may need to bring separate food items or work with other parents planning the campout. Even for young children, however, you need to teach them self-management. I have seen quite young children recognizing the foods they can and cannot eat, who brought snacks they needed and knew how to budget those snacks over their weekend, because their parents trained them how to do that. For older scouts, if you have trained this since they were young, they will manage their dietary needs with their group. If the allergy requires an epi pen, make sure other adults (for younger scouts) and adult and youth leaders (for older scouts) know how and when to use it. I also recommend working with you child’s doctor to determine if there are ways to overcome that allergy so that they can enjoy a less-restrictive scouting experience.