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What does a parent do in this situation?

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  • What does a parent do in this situation?

    My Joey recently joined scouts and enjoyed his first year. It as a bit of a busy and crazy year due to there being 18 boys in my son's den. This year another mom stepped up to split the den in half. The problem is that the split put all the behavior issue kids all in one den. I am very concerned about going into this year with his den being so small and over half the children in the group do not listen or behave. The leader is not one who is good with controlling the troops. (his son is one of the biggest issues). I don't think the groups were distributed fairly and don't want to go into yet another year with crazy scouting. Who do I need to speak to about this situation or do we just need to deal with it which I fear will lead to quitting scouts.

  • #2
    If by first year you mean Tiger Cubs, all Tigers have "behavior issues." For that matter so do Wolves, Bears, and Webelos. They don't want to sit and listen. So part of it is ensuring that you have an active and engaging program.

    Now, you may have some unusual behavior problems in there, I don't know, but often it's just the normal chaos of 8 year olds.

    As to "Who do I need to speak to?"--speak to the den leader and volunteer to be an Assistant Den Leader!


    • #3
      My first suggestion is to speak with the school teachers and get some coaching on how to control the chaos. They are good at it and you know they do not put up with it. Everything bwprewmeister said. Structure the meetings so the schoolwork type stuff is homework and the active stuff is with the den. Even a den of 9 is large, so get some more parents to step up and set up 2 or 3 stations where they boys rotate doing activities. You can talk to the CM and CC about how the split was determined, but what is done is done. My den has several "kinetic" learners (including my youngest). Parental involvement is key. Sometimes they need to be removed from the group for a few minutes.


      • #4
        First year was busy and crazy.... Okay, that's normal.

        Your son enjoyed his first year.... Okay, that's good.

        You see problems on the horizon..... Okay, like Brewmeister said, get involved.

        One must also realize that kids at that age are really a handful to begin with. Dividing the group in half is a really good idea.

        So, the stage is set. Players are all "off the wall". At least that's what you think. The year has yet to begin, the dynamics of the group have yet to be determined. I would wait and see what the real issues are and not go looking for them. If you think there's going to be problems, self-fulfilling prophesy will find them.

        I would take on ADL and them while the DL is working with the boys, just sit and watch, learn, and deal with them. As an ASM I did this and would strategically sit in the problem areas and what I found was that such proximity, most of the problems never arose.

        I had one group of boys that had one "problem" boy. At least that's what the prior DL told me. After the boys sat down, I sat next to him. As he began showing a disruption, I simply put my hand on his arm and didn't say a word, just went on with what I was doing. After the meeting, he came to me and said, he liked me and said he wasn't going to cause me any problems. He didn't either. Sometimes a good defense is a good offense. Sometimes kids are looking for attention and they'll take negative attention if that's all they can get. However, set the stage with something positive and the problem goes away.

        Hope this helps.


        • King Ding Dong
          King Ding Dong commented
          Editing a comment
          That was me as a kid. I would act up just to get attention.

        • jblake47
          jblake47 commented
          Editing a comment
          Still do.

      • #5
        Yeah- see I am a teacher. And an elementary school teacher at that so I understand the nature of the beast So I do know how to control a group and I do it quite well- however the leader does not and his assistant also does not. I have stepped in as much as I can without stepping on toes. I guess that is why I am most concerned. Do kids stay with their dens for multiple years? I don't mind an "off" year, but if this split is going to be a long term thing then I'm more concerned about getting it fixed now and not later. Thanks for your replies! It really helps me to understand the mindset of the scouting program.


        • joey72
          joey72 commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks so much for your thoughts and ideas! It is helpful to get the ideas of outside people. I do plan to ask how exactly they picked the groups- I think they used "friendships" as a driving force and that is not to the advantage of the kids in the group as some of the friendships lead to poor choices. In school we often split up friends for the reason of maintaining their best behavior. At age 7- their friendships are and should be ever changing as they learn about social relationships.

        • qwazse
          qwazse commented
          Editing a comment
          All of your experience as a teacher will be welcome and helpful, I suspect.

          Keep in mind that scouting is a little bit different than school. It's one hour a week, not six hours a day. At this age, it's families getting to know and appreciate (and sometimes challenge) one another.

          In terms of "fixing", therefore, my advise is to be careful what you wish for. Putting boys together in a seemingly "saintly" group can result in some really bad behaviors.

        • Pack18Alex
          Pack18Alex commented
          Editing a comment
          Sign up as a Den Leader, add a third Den to the mix. 6/den is a much better number, I had 5 Tigers with no ADL and went crazy. The boys that started in the 12 person Den a few years back all dropped out.

          More Dens = more Fun, you can do field trips together, you can plan "big" projects together, but you can do inter-Den competitions, show off Den Flags, etc.

          I'd love to start splitting Dens instead of Tiger Den, Wolf Den, Bear Den, Webelos Den, requries recruiting.

      • #6
        Looks like a duplicate thread.....
        I typd a response in the other one. I'll copy it here although much of what I suggested has been written here already..... just one more voice to echo the sentament.

        "sticky for sure.....
        my son's den started at 13 I think it was, floated around 12.... after a few drops and move aways, and some new boys we settled on 10 last year, around 8 really active. I would say that's a good tipping number.
        Our Tiger den last year settled on 5. I think that would be a really great number, especially if most or all are active.

        Maybe you could step up and volunteer to lead a split from your "bad-boy" den. Assuming you split to 9 & 9, that would make your den around 4 or 5 boys. Even if you have a couple "bad-boys" it would be much more manageable, especially if you set clear guidelines for the parents to police it so you don't have to. Recruit another parent as assistant, even if unofficial..... and you'd likely be able to control things nicely and have a really fun program.
        Just an idea......
        OR..... if there's no ADL in your new den, maybe you could do that.

        You didn't say his grade..... are you starting wolf year?
        Regardless, get the boys out of the chairs and outside whenever possible. Work on volley ball belt loop, ultimate loop, play a game of dodge ball, stomp rockets were a hit for us last year...... If it's raining, play a game of marbles for the marbles loop...... Just get them active. Don't give the bad boys much of a chance to get out of line. Everyone will have more fun."