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  • #16
    KDD step back relax....It will happen when it does....Your scout is what 11????? Generally our boys don't get to take swimming till their third trip to summer camp???? So they are 13 or so.

    Comment


    • King Ding Dong
      King Ding Dong commented
      Editing a comment
      Are you saying there are no swimming MBCs available in your area. Only ones that will work with scouts in their own troop? Granted swimming takes time but I would be willing to meet with a couple of scouts every few weeks for a half hour and review their progress and offer some tips. Being a weekly swim instructor to them would be asking a bit much I think. But so much of swimming is conditioning and just practice.

      I am of the option they should have the swimming MB by 11 (sans a perfect whip kick) lifesaving by 13 and be ready for BSA or prefStill here folks, we had a campout this weekend. One of the parents has a snack route and we used his trailer haul bikes to a park and the boys took 21 or 27 mile ride Saturday. I got a bit ill and stayed at camp but it worked out well because on the the bikes had a non standard valve and we couldn't pressurize it so he used mine.

      I have read all the posts here at least a couple of times and really appreciate the time you have taken to respond. It has been a lot to think about. I certainly don't want my son to rush through anything and agree completely he need to focus primarily on having fun and mastering Scoutcraft skills. He was patrol grubmaster and due to a rained out event a few weeks ago and moderate attendance this weekend he was assigned to the older scout patrol. He did really well with the cooking with only a couple minor problems. When breaking camp the older boys tried to tell him rolling up his pad and bag were not about strength but skill and tried to show him how as he was holding up breakfast. He got really frustrated and upset because with the equipment he was using it IS about strength. It is hard for me. That can be fixed with a larger stuff sack and a simpler pad. Given the chance for rain and our leaky tents I sent him his moms 3 1/2" REI pad. Great pad, but hard to roll up.

      I will just have to play it by ear with this troop. Seeing other scouts rush past him can certainly be discouraging, but if he develops true ambition I can't see slowing him down. It will be largely be upmto him if he wants to work on skills and exercise to get his strength up or play video games. (not that there are no limits on video in my house). At this point he excels when given manageable tasks and takes pride in doing a good job, like patrol grubmaster this weekend.

      I am bothered a bit by the perception that Eagle is the destination and not just one milestone on the Journey. I think part of that is the result of the BSAs heavy emphasis on that brand. There are so many other goals achievements past Eagle that I feel to little emphasis is placed on. For instance the National Outdoor Badge and Nova awards. Our council is having a STEM camp week this summer where one badge or Nova Is worked on each day. A format that allows for more time and focus than traditional summer camp format. First class is required so that will have to wait until next summer. (If he gets there, but I am sure he will).

      I am curious what T-1 skills are so hard to master in one year ? As long as it a 2 man tent and not some 8 person hotel the tent should be easy enough in a year. The orienteering skills certainly take practice, but is not rocket science. The knots maybe hard for him, but again 15 minutes with some rope a couple of times a week should get it done. If you don't have a fireplace a trash can lid in the driveway should suffice to get some tinder and a few pieces of kindling started. First aid, plants and animals is just memorization. I grill frequently and it is now his job to flip the chicken and burgers. Good time to slow him down and have a chat on the deck. (Why the heck is an instant read thermometer required on the packing list or internal temperature tables in the handbook ? Meat is done when it is done, not how long it has been over heat.)

      It was mentioned that it is a rare scout that attends meetings, goes camping, participates in activities, and wants to lead if allowed. That is my son, so far he has perfect attendance, only one of the others in the NSP does.

      Please keep up the conversation. These kinds of topics should always be active.erably Red Cross Lifeguard at 15 (you need RC for most jobs and can then test out for BSA, besides RC has tougher endurance requirements) What a perfect skill and job for a teenager. Responsibility, good hours and always in demand.

    • King Ding Dong
      King Ding Dong commented
      Editing a comment
      Dang this software is buggy. Added text from another post. Sigh.

    • Venividi
      Venividi commented
      Editing a comment
      > Seeing other scouts rush past him can certainly be discouraging

      Scouts can and will advance at different rates. A couple may catch on quickly and are naturals at everything. A couple won't care about advancement at all and won't be bothered or discouraged by others advancing when they are not. Most are in the middle. They are there to have fun; advancement is a nice bonus, but not why they are there. Seeing other scouts advancing can provide the motivation to learn the required skills. that is part of the positive peer pressure that we want to use for the boys to get better (same with the patrol vs patrol skills competition, which I believe is more effective motivator than advancement.)

      Aside from the unusual few that are already good at things when they arrive, and those not motivated by advancement, I would not expect to see other scouts rushing past. The expectations of high of each of them is the same, and most kids will be about the same when it comes to learning skills an dmotivation to pursue them.

  • #17
    I'm starting to seet a picture as you add description to your situation. While I may not have everything right, Here are some thoughts. May or may not apply. I hope that this comes across as a friendly discussion, because that is my intent.
    I gather your son is a recent crossover in a new scout patrol. Your son is not one of the popular kids, hence you have a concern that your troop will not give your son (and others with similar personalities) a chance to fill a POR that is needed for advancement.
    You would like to see your son get an Eagle by the time he is 14 (in one posting you state the 13 or 14 is not out of line, in another, the troop your son is in scouts typically leave when they are 14. Hence it is important to you that your son not waste potentially 18 months without holding a POR.
    Your troop operates with age stratified patrols rather than mixed age patrols.





    Responses and random thoughts in no particular order: Consider the ages and stages of boys.
    A new scout gets a good feeling from the recognition of receiving an award whether or not he put in effort to earn it. When he is older, he will not value awards that are not challenging to earn. This may be a contributing factor to your unit being a 14 and out troop.
    A new scout feels good about having a title of a POR, but does not understand the responsibilities, doesn't understand the effort required. I've seen and worked with them. They see a PL leader position as one where they get to tell other scouts what to do and they have to do it. If they have not observed and worked for an older boy in a POR, how can he possibly know what scouts are supposed to do in a POR? the written description and/or being told by an adult just arent as effective.

    I prefer mixed age patrols for a number of reasons, including your desire for more vertical social environment.

    Scouting is a great environment for helping a geeky loner come out of his shell and blossom. But not if he is forced into positions before he has built up some experience and is ready for them. Otherwise, it will be continued frustration and avoidance of duties.
    For the first year, let him learn and become expert at several camping skills – lighting fires (perhaps with a flint and steel), compass/orienteering, cooking, etc. practice and practice and use them frequently for the next year. Then next year, he will be able to teach the new crop of scouts. Becoming the “expert” in their eyes. The guy that knows what to do, how to do it, and is always asking them if there is something that he can help them with. If he does that, he will be looked up to and respected by the new scouts; perhaps even elected to a POR by them, or appointed as a Troop guide by the SM or SPL. That will do much more to achieve the aims and keep him motivated than will a rank that he rushed through, and have signoff on skills that he soon forgets. He will have real pride in himself as he can help the younger scouts.

    The liikely alternative is that he will learn a lesson that POR's are necessary evils for advancement, where the holders do things that the adults make them do. Becasue a typical scout is just not ready for a POR before they are 13 or 14. I have observed this many many times. Don't give so much weight to advancement as the prime motivating factor. As your son matures, he will be much more interested in achieving things that challenge him than in things that can be whipped out in 6 months.

    good luck. You may not agree with me now, and tht's OK. But if we were to talk 8 or 10 years from now, with the benefit of hindsight, you will understand what I mean.

    Welcome to the club!

    Comment


    • Basementdweller
      Basementdweller commented
      Editing a comment
      Excellent post and summation Vivdi

    • danbrew
      danbrew commented
      Editing a comment
      Bravo, excellent comments.

  • #18
    Just saw this thread and want to say that Twocub and Vividi are giving great wisdom on the subject.

    Program expectations should be given to the families before their sons join. The SM bares the responsibility of teaching all troop adults how the program will implemented to the scouts and the vision the troop is striving to meet. There Shouldn't be any surprises, only explanations for further understanding.

    Barry

    Comment


    • #19
      KDD, you're doing a good job of recognizing the problems, but you need to take the next step and recognize the solution. Your troop is creating a high speed, low drag program which the boys blow through and quit by age 14. The things you describe are exactly the problem. You are right, most boys probably will do better taking Swimming at 13 or 14. That is true of just about every requirement and merit badge in the program. Part of the flexibility of the program is that each unit creates it's own program. In our troop, we encourage the boys to take Swimming their first year of summer camp. We tend to do a lot of aquatics programs and the training they receive in water safety is valuable to us. But no, they're probably not developing the technique the could at a later age. It's trade off we accept.

      Too many troops make mistakes, IMO, is by accepting those trade-offs for EVERYTHING. We don't. Our Scouts are allowed -- yes, allowed -- to take at summer camp only those required MB which make sense in a summer camp setting -- Swimming, Life Saving, Camping, EnviroSci. Taking Communications or Personal Management at summer camp is ridiculous. We ask our Scouts to take the remaining required MBs at home with our local counselors. The Scouts have to take the initiative to contact the counselor, make appointments, do the work and meet the requirements. In our troop, we've chosen to draw the line with most of the remaining required MBs. Calling a strange adult and asking them for an appoint can be very intimidating for an 11-year-old. Which is why they need to do it. It is an important life skill they need to master. Does that slow them down? You betcha! Does it push the age of our Scouts out past 13 or 14? You betcha #2! Completing these MBs at 15 or 16 is a different experience than at 12 or 13. I'm not so concerned with WHICH merit badges they earn at an older, more mature level, but THAT they earn some merit badges at a older, more mature level.

      All of which is to reiterate Basement's advice for you to chill out with your son. Don't plan for the 10-year-old you see now, plan for the 16 year old you want him to be. Or 30 year old. While he may not have the confidence or social skills to go out and win a POR now, wait until you see the confident young man he has become when he EARNS the position at 16 or 17. Your goal shouldn't be to make sure he gets stuff done by 14, but he is building a foundation which will keep him in the program past 14. Scouting is to be experienced, not completed. Experience takes time. "Completing" the program by 14 means he's thrown away half of his Scouting experience.

      Comment


      • #20
        "Completing" the program by 14??? Since when does reaching the level of general in the US Army it means it's time to quit? BSA has a serious problem with how it defines itself. It's the same for AOL in the cub program. I'm 62 years old and have been in the program since my Wolf year of cubbing back in the '50's. I haven't found the end of anything as of yet. Maybe it's time to let the BSA know that Scouting isn't the end of anything. And if anyone thinks that 14 years of age is "half way through is Scouting experience" they are simply feeding this misconception. I'm not picking on you Twocubdad, I definitely know that's not what you really were trying to say, but it was a message that could easily been interpreted as such.

        Comment


        • Twocubdad
          Twocubdad commented
          Editing a comment
          No, that's exactly my point, Stosh and one I've been making here for years. Far too many parents see the program that way. I've had parents tell me they want their son to "finish" scouts by the eighth grade so they can focus on sports in high school or show up their first troop meeting with a 3" binder containing their son's 30 month plan to Eagle. With that as your goal, adults setting up programs like First Year-First Class, merit badge universities and talk of "getting you money's worth of merit badges at summer camp" is just good, efficient, productive time management.

        • Twocubdad
          Twocubdad commented
          Editing a comment
          I thought I commented, Stosh, don't know where it went....

          No picking taken, but, yeah, that's exactly my point and one I've been making around here for years. Part of my job is to make sure the Scouts get the most out of the program. If we allow the expectation to develop that Scouting is to be "completed" as quickly as possible, they are not getting the most out of the program. We're not selling a product, we're selling an experience. Do you go on vacation and try to blow through all the activities so you can get back to work as soon as possible?

        • jblake47
          jblake47 commented
          Editing a comment
          I was just adding to the point you were making. There will be boys that progress quickly. I don't have a problem with that if they stick around and share their experience and wisdom with others in the troop. Like you, I am not a big fan of rushing through just to quit.

      • #21
        Hmmm, I guess old KDD didn't like the advice to relax....Hasn't been back in a while.


        Blake.....I disappeared from scouting while in college and early married years.....I was still active in the outdoors but not within scouting....I rejoined when my 1st grader brought home a flyer.

        Comment


        • #22
          I think KDD has raised good points in many threads. He is a great addition to this forum and the discussions. I hope he is pre-occupied this week and returns to the forum.

          Comment


          • #23
            Still here folks, we had a campout this weekend. One of the parents has a snack route and we used his trailer haul bikes to a park and the boys took 21 or 27 mile ride Saturday. I got a bit ill and stayed at camp but it worked out well because on the the bikes had a non standard valve and we couldn't pressurize it so he used mine.

            I have read all the posts here at least a couple of times and really appreciate the time you have taken to respond. It has been a lot to think about. I certainly don't want my son to rush through anything and agree completely he need to focus primarily on having fun and mastering Scoutcraft skills. He was patrol grubmaster and due to a rained out event a few weeks ago and moderate attendance this weekend he was assigned to the older scout patrol. He did really well with the cooking with only a couple minor problems. When breaking camp the older boys tried to tell him rolling up his pad and bag were not about strength but skill and tried to show him how as he was holding up breakfast. He got really frustrated and upset because with the equipment he was using it IS about strength. It is hard for me. That can be fixed with a larger stuff sack and a simpler pad. Given the chance for rain and our leaky tents I sent him his moms 3 1/2" REI pad. Great pad, but hard to roll up.

            I will just have to play it by ear with this troop. Seeing other scouts rush past him can certainly be discouraging, but if he develops true ambition I can't see slowing him down. It will be largely be upmto him if he wants to work on skills and exercise to get his strength up or play video games. (not that there are no limits on video in my house). At this point he excels when given manageable tasks and takes pride in doing a good job, like patrol grubmaster this weekend.

            I am bothered a bit by the perception that Eagle is the destination and not just one milestone on the Journey. I think part of that is the result of the BSAs heavy emphasis on that brand. There are so many other goals achievements past Eagle that I feel to little emphasis is placed on. For instance the National Outdoor Badge and Nova awards. Our council is having a STEM camp week this summer where one badge or Nova Is worked on each day. A format that allows for more time and focus than traditional summer camp format. First class is required so that will have to wait until next summer. (If he gets there, but I am sure he will).

            I am curious what T-1 skills are so hard to master in one year ? As long as it a 2 man tent and not some 8 person hotel the tent should be easy enough in a year. The orienteering skills certainly take practice, but is not rocket science. The knots maybe hard for him, but again 15 minutes with some rope a couple of times a week should get it done. If you don't have a fireplace a trash can lid in the driveway should suffice to get some tinder and a few pieces of kindling started. First aid, plants and animals is just memorization. I grill frequently and it is now his job to flip the chicken and burgers. Good time to slow him down and have a chat on the deck. (Why the heck is an instant read thermometer required on the packing list or internal temperature tables in the handbook ? Meat is done when it is done, not how long it has been over heat.)

            It was mentioned that it is a rare scout that attends meetings, goes camping, participates in activities, and wants to lead if allowed. That is my son, so far he has perfect attendance, only one of the others in the NSP does.

            Please keep up the conversation. These kinds of topics should always be active.

            Comment


            • Venividi
              Venividi commented
              Editing a comment
              kdd,


              As the grubmaster purchases and brings the food, while on the campout, it's a bit late to remind anyone who the grubmaster is. It is obvious when he shows up with the food.

              In the situation you describe, you could take the PL aside and say "I don't see your duty roster posted. How about you go get it and tape it to the [chuckbox/picnic table/tree/whatever is close?]

              And unless you want your son to get teased about being Daddy's special punkin or somesuch, I would absolutely avoid bringing up that [son's name here] is supposed to be [any assignment here].

              Consider handling it this way. After you get home, talk to your son about the camp out. Ask what was fun, and what wasn't. Ask "I thought you were supposed to be the cook [help cook, whatever is appropriate]. What happened that you didn't?" You will likely get the typical response "I dunno". Ask "Did you want to do it?" If the answer is "yes", then give the wise, fatherly advice "Next time remind your patrol leader".

              If your son is the shy geeky loner that you describe, you will want to have him in situations where he needs to speak up for himself. If someone else is speaking up for him, he is unlikely to bother with doing it himself. In my opinion, that is a much more important benefit of camping with a patrol of boys than any other skill. Even if it isn't working towards a T-1 skill.

            • qwazse
              qwazse commented
              Editing a comment
              One of my comments seems to have been misplaced. But, regarding your last question about SPL "management". It's okay to come clean with him and say you're just learning the position together with him.
              When I was SPL (many decades ago), parents would ask me if I could make sure their son learned X, Y, or Z, and I considered it a huge honor that they thought so highly of me.

              You just have to work at making a distinction between imperatives, requests, and strong suggestions.

              To help, get to know other SM's ASAP. Attend roundtables, find out who's going to camp when you are, and maybe let the camp director know this is your first time in this position and guidance/ help would be appreciated. (For example, he might assign your troop a more experienced site guide to help with set-up and getting your troop checked in.)

            • Venividi
              Venividi commented
              Editing a comment
              You state: It was mentioned that it is a rare scout that attends meetings, goes camping, participates in activities, and wants to lead if allowed. That is my son, so far he has perfect attendance, only one of the others in the NSP does.

              Sort of right. It is a rare scout under 13 or 14 that wants lead, has had the experiences necessary to be able to lead, AND is willing to put in the effort needed to lead. Many new scouts want to be a leader, when they think it is an honorary position and means that they get to tell people what to do and they have to do it. They don't realize what a leader really does, nor the work that has to be done to be a leader, They joined scouts to do fun stuff, not to be responsible for the well being of a patrol full of scouts.

          • #24
            I don't worry about the merit badges as much as I do the core skills in those first four ranks. Merit Badges are what they are.

            So, I go over those core skills repeatedly. My Scouts will know all the knots, compass, map reading, outdoor skills, first-aid, safety, etc. when they are adults.

            Comment


            • JoeBob
              JoeBob commented
              Editing a comment
              Me too.

              We're holding patrol competitions every other meeting.

              "Using four staves and six pieces of rope, suspend a cafeteria chair as high in the air as possible. You have ten minutes. Highest chair wins the Oreos."
              How would you do it? Tying two staves together for length (round lashing), tying them to two chair legs for structure, and tying it all to a handrail to hold it upright won in our troop.

              "Using four staves and six pieces of rope, suspend a cafeteria chair at least six inches in the air free-standing. Fastest time wins the Oreos. Go!"

              I'm open to suggestions on how to get the younger less 'knotty' boys involved.

            • King Ding Dong
              King Ding Dong commented
              Editing a comment
              Make them sit in the chair?

              Seriously I would make all the t-1 scouts tie the knots with instruction and leadership from the higher ranks.

          • #25
            Well I see the indexing is still a jacked up.....

            KDD, It is inappropriate for you to ask the SPL anything regarding your sons advancement or POR. Far as the grub master thing goes.....He didn't really do much on this single trip because of left overs from the canceled camp out right???????

            there will be plenty of time for you son to enjoy his scouting......One second you say you get it and the next your hovering over him......

            Second there is only ONE SM, If you are the ASM in charge of summer camp then you are an ASM in charge of summer camp.....None of this Temporary SM nonsense.....

            If your an ASM you should not sit on the committee and vice versa......As an ASM you should not sit in on BOR.

            Comment


            • jblake47
              jblake47 commented
              Editing a comment
              Story time! If they are going to act like kindergarteners, then story time fits in nicely.

            • King Ding Dong
              King Ding Dong commented
              Editing a comment
              Ha jblake. That's good. When my my youngest was in 1st grade he insisted on checking out Pokemon books from the school library. I couldn't stand them, and they were beneath his skill level. So at bed time I would only read them in the most obnoxious, condescending, sarcastic voice I could muster. That ended that. You want a real story, bring me one.

              Great advise again V. If you can't RTFM, then you don't get the position? Is there a way of enforcing this? Here is the manual, you have two weeks to read it and conference with me about its contents or a new election will be called.

            • Venividi
              Venividi commented
              Editing a comment
              Cant enforce it, nor do I think it should be. Required reading is too much like school. You get to do the reading, and teach leadership in a platonic sort of way by asking leading questions to get the leaders to reflect and figure things out. No requirement for you to read them either; though knowing what BSA tinks the leaders should be doing will make you a more effective ASM

          • #26
            I did the same thing.....The PL and SPL have yet to read them....

            Comment


            • #27
              Mentoring is the name of the game. One cannot fall into the trap of doing it for them. I for one read the book, pick out the high points and when the boy runs into a problem related to that section, simply cite the reference. "I think the third chapter in the PL handbook would be a very helpful read." If he balks and wants you to tell him what it says, refer to your fuzzy memory and suggest that he read it to make sure it is clear. I've done this plenty of times and many of the boys will read more than just the part that answers their questions. It gets them to at least open the book and their curiosity tends to take over and if the material is helpful, they'll read more and more of it. I have done this so often than many of my scouts can cite the references to others as well. There's not one boy that has been in my troop that doesn't know TF #9 requirement is the first lesson in leadership offered by the BSA program.

              Comment


              • #28
                I do not envy your situation KDD. Your troop sounds like the troop I was hoping my son would join in a few months. Part of me wants to quote the 9th Doctor, " RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!" (caps to show shouting in orignal, not at you), and part of me is hopeful that things will change with my son's den and the group of parents involved with it and will continue on.

                Someone stated that you start talkign about difference between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts in Webelos. I respectfully disagree, I say start in Tigers.. I was also lucky enough to have a Den Chief for all of Wolves, and a 2-3 months in Bears. Gave him up to the Webelos Den that lost their DL and needed someone with outdoor expereince to help them. THAT DEN CHIEF MADE AN IMPRESSIONON BOTH THE CUBS AND PARENTS! ( EMPHASIS AGAIN). The parents were thoroughly impressed when I would hand over meetings to him to organize and run. Did I have to reign him in a bit at times, yep. He was passionate about Scouting and could lose track of time or forget he's with Cubs and not Boy Scouts.

                Anyway my advice is the following, and this is what I will be trying to do in a few months.

                1) Chill out! Yep it's time to step back and let him start making decisions, taking initiative, and doing things on his own. Difficult? ABSOFREAKINGLUTELY, especially when the patrol he's assigned to work with is royally screwing up, not getting things done, bickering etc etc. Got so bad I had to leave the campsite several times and visit friends at the event so I would get involved.

                2) Let him HAVE FUN!

                3) If he starts having problems, counsel, advise, and maybe even look for another unit.

                I know I had one pack leader ticked off at me and accuse me of not being loyal to the pack when I encouraged one family to try another pack since things didn't seem to be working out for them. Had to tell them that every unit is diffferent and a different pack may meet their needs better. Rather lose them to another unit and keep them in Scouting than lose them alltogether.

                Comment


                • #29
                  Well, Looks like the overbearing parents have taken over the troop mentioned above. Since the last post the Old SM of the troop was told by one of the parents that he didn't know what he was doing and the troop is running so much better since he stepped down when he tried to offer advice to her son who was the Troop Guide of the patrol he was ASM for. On several occasions I commented that the former CM needed to step back and let the scouts do the work, only to be told in no uncertain terms that I am not part of the troop and to but out.

                  Sad thing is, my hope for the troop, is seeing some of this and has some concerns. His old troop was restarted about 4 years ago, and it sounds as if he may go there to help them get reestablished, especially since his old SM is still involved with them.

                  Good news is that oldest enjoyed a Webelos Overnighter that another troop put on for the Webelos who attended day camp. He had a great time at the overnighter once day camp was finished.

                  And I got to use ' Have you asked your PL?" for real finally

                  Comment


                  • #30
                    Originally posted by Basementdweller View Post
                    KDD step back relax....It will happen when it does....Your scout is what 11????? Generally our boys don't get to take swimming till their third trip to summer camp???? So they are 13 or so.
                    I know this is off topic, but around here swimming is considered a great 1st year MB. Lifesaving is generally for older scouts. Where are camping???

                    Comment

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