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Thread: Cub Scouting Precautions?

  1. #1
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    Cub Scouting Precautions?

    My 9 year old has joined the cub scouts. He has wanted to for three years and he is thrilled to be there. But after only a couple of months, they are planning a 5km hike and an overnight camping trip. My initial reaction was no, no. No hiking. But I know it will be good for him . . . .if we can get them to carry enough Gatorade to keep him hydrated. He dehydrates SO fast, he's beenin trouble a couple of times despite our efforts to keep him well hydrated. But even if I can get myself past that, the overnight camping trip has me confounded. I see aspergillis in the leaves, b cepacia in the dirt, pseudo in the river, streams and lake. . . . . No, I'm not interested in putting him in a bubble. We live in the woods, and he plays, climbs trees and goes on explorations. But I'm there to ensure no pooled water or streams or lakes or rivers make their way into his mouth, nose or eyes. When he's done playing we wash up - in the house. We avoid stacks of leaves to roll in (although he has experienced that joy on several occasions). He is "allowed" to play in the dirt to some extent, but again with precautions in mind, and clean up within 100 feet.
    Any practical suggestions from those who camp to help him avoid situations risky to his health? I am NOT a camper. What situations do we look out for? What do we do to ensure a healthy as well as fun experience? Anyone?

  2. #2
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    Gotta let kids be kids. Heck, I grew up swimming in a sink hole for years. 5km also isn't that long, that's about an hour's walk. Maybe a little longer to compensate for a group and stops.

    Then again, I'm not a parent. I'm only responsible for myself. Best bet, I'd think, is that the kid knows to keep himself hydrated, avoid the things that are obviously filthy, and carry some hand sanitizer for when he can't. Knowing myself at that age, I'd be more concerned with him remembering to take his pills and all that.

    These are scouts, they do this all the time. It'll probably be a good time for everyone.

  3. #3
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    Cub Scouting Precautions?

    My first camping trip was before my first birthday. I can count on one hand the number of camping trips I have missed since then. I remember to stay hydrated; maybe enlist the help of some of his friends/hike leader to keep your son, and everyone hiking, hydrated.

    I have been swimming in pools, lakes, rivers, the ocean and never once worried about bacteria. I probably ate dirt at one time. I know my sister did (we have it on film), so I probably did too. Do I grow bacterial infections in my lungs? Yup. But I have just a good a chance of having gotten them from my shower as anything I did as a kid. But I have those amazing memories to hold on to forever.

    I can only speak to this as a person with CF, not as a parent. But inform the group about hydration (making it important for all), give your child some hand sanitizer, and remind him to not drink from rivers/lakes/sitting pools of water. It'll be a wonderful experience for him to have.

  4. #4
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    A couple of thoughts...is it possible for dad to go one the first encounter so that you can see what if any issues there are? What about easing in by doing hike but not overnight? Also another angle to consider is whether those leading the session are comfortable taking that kind of responsibility. It sure sucks being the parent and trying to weigh it all. Best luck with whatever you decide!hugs

  5. #5
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    One of the hardest things about being a parent is letting your child be somewhere that you consider risky under other people's care. For example, letting my child go with another family to an ocean with riptides, or to an amusement park where he could get lost or somehow not be buckled in to the roller coaster. Basically, I'm somewhat tense the entire day these events take place. So, I hear you.

    I've got one question and one suggestion.

    The question is: Isn't a parent/adult caregiver supposed to accompany your son on these scouting events? With my sons, it wasn't until the older *boy* not *cub* scouts (11+) that the kids didn't have their own grown-up.

    The suggestion is: Do some trial 5k walks with your son before this event. This seems to me to be the biggest variable. So, if you know he is well conditioned and has a good hydration protocol, so much of the worry will be gone.

    Wait...one more thing...depending on your son's asthma component (i.e. does he have one?), I'd be concerned about campfires. I have asthma and I avoid campfires. The inflammation they cause me is more risky IMO and in my case, than rolling in dirt or snorting lake water. But that is me and my asthma and non-CF bronch.

  6. #6
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    Well we do think a lot alike AboveAll. His Dad has some breathing issues which might make it difficult but he's willing to go if it comes down to that. We've been brainstorming relatives who might be a good substitute and we've come up with two possibilities if they're able and willing. They both tend to work weekends so they might not be able. And they're not terribly knowledgeable about CF danger zones, so they'd need a more thorough crash course. Of course our little guy just looks at us and says hey, I'll be with my den and pack leader! What's the big deal? Perhaps he's right. But I'm not willing to go there just yet. I don't know what issues might arise. I haven't camped since I was a teen and it wasn't a very "rugged" experience then either! It's hard walking the tight rope between overprotective and appropriately cautious. Heck, I still blame myself for PA because he jumped in a hot tub at a classmates pool party when I wasn't looking. Dumb, but I'll never forget it!

  7. #7
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    Thanks Melissa. Campfires - I hadn't thought about that. He has an "asthma like component" but not dx asthma. We have a gas fire pit which hasn't been a problem. But obviously campfires are more polluting. Not sure what we do about that. Make sure he stays back and away? Not likely! Too fascinating and too much fun. Do u simply stay away from them? And perhaps some trial 5k walks. He actually got his hiking badge - they did a 1 mile geocaching hike in 94 degree heat. I was a nervous wreck. Sent him with two jugs of Gatorade and a dozen salt packets and threatened his leaders life.....well, not expressly but I had that look in my eye. Gave them my cell number and told them to call if he even thought about complaining of headache or dizziness. I stayed close. He made it and said he was fine but drank a 64 oz. Gatorade I had in the car inside 15 minutes. I hear you....a parent really can hold their breath for 2 hours or more!!!!!

  8. #8
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    Ps the manipulative me That i try to keep under wraps might also come up with, well when you're old enough to do the blood draws calmly, I think you'll be mature enough to be able to do a camping trip with the scout master.... :-)

  9. #9
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    Ooooooo! AboveAll you are wicked! (LOL!) I'm going to think hard about that one!

  10. #10
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    Angel emoticon! Good luck!

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