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Unit Planning and Boy Lead - what does Boy Lead really mean?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Twocubdad View Post
    Oh please, Stosh. You really think commitments work and school are equal to those of sports and Scouts? Or that parent's shouldn't set the priorities for their family?
    Most teenagers really want to break away from family and spread their wings a bit. Yes, there are parents that will prefer to house their children in their basements well into their 30's and 40's, but one will soon realize that youth of this age are rebellious and hanging out with parents and family just isn't a priority to them. The conflict between family and a developing youth will always be in conflict because of our culture of a pseudo youth period of the teens.

    It wasn't that long ago that 8th grade was the last year of schooling for most adults in America. The coming of age in America today is postponed far beyond that of most other cultures. Because of this we have a contrived layer of conflict occurring in the Boy Scouting years.

    If a parent hasn't taught their child well enough by the time they turn 12-13, they have pretty much missed their opportunity. Dictating priority policies at that point will be met with rolled eyes and faked enthusiasm at best.

    By the way, this has nothing to do with Scout leaders and whether they are right or wrong. This is just the hand we as teachers, cleargy, scouters, etc. are dealt when dealing with this age group of adults who are not recognized as such by the culture.

    Stosh
    Last edited by jblake47; 05-16-2014, 10:27 AM.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by jblake47 View Post

      Most teenagers really want to break away from family and spread their wings a bit. Yes, there are parents that will prefer to house their children in their basements well into their 30's and 40's, but one will soon realize that youth of this age are rebellious and hanging out with parents and family just isn't a priority to them. The conflict between family and a developing youth will always be in conflict because of our culture of a pseudo youth period of the teens.
      You are missing the point Stosh, parents have to grow as well as their kids to be the best kind of parent, or best kind of scout leader for that matter. You scoffed at me before when I said that a good SM spends 50% of their Scoutmastering working with the adults. If the parents and adult leaders don’t understand how the program works, then likely the SM will struggle to maintain trust as well as respect with the parents. They can’t read our minds.

      After a few years of summer camps we started to understand that on the whole, the scouts who suffered the most from home sickness where the ones where the parents struggled to let go. I don’t mean not let their son go to camp, they struggled with the idea of detachment. They inadvertently made their son homesick even before he left by telling him how much they would miss him and how they wouldn’t know what to do. Even rover was mentioned as missing that member of the family. Don’t you see, it’s not just the teenagers who are struggling for change, the parents have to change as well. In most cases their son has never spent more than one night away from their home. Now they won’t see him for a week. Parents need to change and grow with the changes and growth of their kids. Most parents feel the emptiness of change, but some deal with it better than others.

      So, I started preparing parents a few weeks before camp. I told them they might be struggling feelings of being away from their son and that it is normal. But part of the therapy (I didn’t call it that) was instead of dwelling on the negative, help their son look forward to the positive of all the cool fun things at camp. All the friends they will make and all the skills they will learn. Show some envy for their sons experience. Don’t talk about the dog, but instead tell him how excited they are for him. Send some letters, but while they admit they miss him, also remind him of his chores that dad is doing and cleaning up the mess the dog made on the carpet. Life at home is the way it was before he left and the way it will be when he gets back. Right now summer camp is the cool place to be and they want to hear every story.

      That kind of instruction made a complete difference in our scouts attitudes at summer camp. And I think it really help the parents as well. Parents aren’t bad people, they are learning life’s lessons just like everyone else. But when a friendly voice tells them what they are feeling is normal and that everything will be alright, they become a lot easier to work with when their son experiences get a little tougher. We are part of the team.

      Originally posted by jblake47 View Post
      By the way, this has nothing to do with Scout leaders and whether they are right or wrong. This is just the hand we as teachers, cleargy, scouters, etc. are dealt when dealing with this age group of adults who are not recognized as such by the culture.

      Stosh
      Ya well a lot of us here including me on the forum get pretty judgmental about parents, but truth be told parents aren’t always dealt a fair hand with scout leaders either.

      We can't change the world, but we can make a difference to the little piece of culture around us.

      Barry

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by Eagledad View Post

        You are missing the point Stosh, parents have to grow as well as their kids to be the best kind of parent, or best kind of scout leader for that matter. You scoffed at me before when I said that a good SM spends 50% of their Scoutmastering working with the adults. If the parents and adult leaders don’t understand how the program works, then likely the SM will struggle to maintain trust as well as respect with the parents. They can’t read our minds.
        Now, if they start a program for training parents of scouting, that would be great, but I have enough on my plate with working with their kids. This is why a well trained committee can field these concerns on the part of the parents, and yet they are not trained in helping parents become better parents either.

        Originally posted by Eagledad View Post
        After a few years of summer camps we started to understand that on the whole, the scouts who suffered the most from home sickness where the ones where the parents struggled to let go. I don’t mean not let their son go to camp, they struggled with the idea of detachment. They inadvertently made their son homesick even before he left by telling him how much they would miss him and how they wouldn’t know what to do. Even rover was mentioned as missing that member of the family. Don’t you see, it’s not just the teenagers who are struggling for change, the parents have to change as well. In most cases their son has never spent more than one night away from their home. Now they won’t see him for a week. Parents need to change and grow with the changes and growth of their kids. Most parents feel the emptiness of change, but some deal with it better than others.

        So, I started preparing parents a few weeks before camp. I told them they might be struggling feelings of being away from their son and that it is normal. But part of the therapy (I didn’t call it that) was instead of dwelling on the negative, help their son look forward to the positive of all the cool fun things at camp. All the friends they will make and all the skills they will learn. Show some envy for their sons experience. Don’t talk about the dog, but instead tell him how excited they are for him. Send some letters, but while they admit they miss him, also remind him of his chores that dad is doing and cleaning up the mess the dog made on the carpet. Life at home is the way it was before he left and the way it will be when he gets back. Right now summer camp is the cool place to be and they want to hear every story.

        That kind of instruction made a complete difference in our scouts attitudes at summer camp. And I think it really help the parents as well. Parents aren’t bad people, they are learning life’s lessons just like everyone else. But when a friendly voice tells them what they are feeling is normal and that everything will be alright, they become a lot easier to work with when their son experiences get a little tougher. We are part of the team.
        That sounds great and I would assume it to be very successful, but I have broken homes, clingy moms in conflict with adventurous dads, and a whole raft full of "Gee it would be nice to be able to hold the parents hands and help them through this difficult time." It is admirable what you are trying to do. I think it would be great for all committees to have such a class for their parents or maybe the parent coordinator could take on that responsibility.

        Being there for the boys to support them in their activities is what the SM is there to do. If one has to divide their attention in too many different ways, then everything gets short-changed in the long run and the SM burns out.

        Originally posted by Eagledad View Post
        Ya well a lot of us here including me on the forum get pretty judgmental about parents, but truth be told parents aren’t always dealt a fair hand with scout leaders either.

        We can't change the world, but we can make a difference to the little piece of culture around us.

        Barry
        And what it all boils down to is the conflict between the youth activity and the parents. The boys want in on the activity and the parents may nor may not "allow" it.

        I can see the parent jumping on the coach's case for not letting their son play more and they feel he isn't developing fast enough to be able to gain an athletic scholarship to a good school. Of course they don't allow the boy to travel with the traveling team because he doesn't like being away from home for very long at a time, is a picky eater and may not get fed well enough, etc.

        Just try and imagine what the response of the coach would be in a case like that?

        At least I'm not going to kick the boy out because of the parent's attitudes. My #1 goal (and probably only goal) is to do what it takes for the boys to have an opportunity to grow up. The majority of parents are on board with this, but one will always run into a few that simply cannot accept it for their dear little boy. It's difficult but not impossible to deal with them, but if they are vocal enough and stir the pot to their agenda, they'll have you removed.

        Stosh

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by jblake47 View Post
          Being there for the boys to support them in their activities is what the SM is there to do. If one has to divide their attention in too many different ways, then everything gets short-changed in the long run and the SM burns out.
          I have often wondered what 300 ft really means to you.

          Originally posted by jblake47 View Post
          And what it all boils down to is the conflict between the youth activity and the parents. The boys want in on the activity and the parents may nor may not "allow" it.
          Of course, that is a good parents responsibility with the information given to them. A Scoutmaster who keeps the parents in the dark deserves the respect that follows.

          Originally posted by jblake47 View Post
          Just try and imagine what the response of the coach would be in a case like that?
          I never had that problem as a coach because we communicated with the parents a lot.

          Originally posted by jblake47 View Post
          The majority of parents are on board with this, but one will always run into a few that simply cannot accept it for their dear little boy. It's difficult but not impossible to deal with them, but if they are vocal enough and stir the pot to their agenda, they'll have you removed.
          I have seen a few Scoutmasters removed and I agreed with each one. However, I have never seen a Scoutmaster removed by only one or two parents. There was always consensus.

          I guess my point of all this is is the SM will only receive the respect from parents that he/she give to them.

          Barry

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