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Scout Baffling Mom

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  • Scout Baffling Mom

    So, my 14 yo Scout is really stumping Mom.

    First he all about the camping trips, doing the "fun" MB's, if advancement requirements got met...ok....otherwise "eh".

    Now, he's not interested in Summer Camp (gave a flat out "no way, that place is gross"), hasn't done only the car camp and Webelos camp not interested in ANY of the "fun" MB's, only want's to do the MB's he needs for this next rank....but hasn't actually worked a second on any of them.

    He's done a ton of service hours for NJHS, but not helped on one Eagle Project.

    I gotta admit, he's got me baffled as well. I'm classifying it as "14".

    Is this a wait and see? Or is he sending a message in his own way.

  • #2
    Seems kinda normal. Might want to see if he has some personal conflicts...as to wanting the rank required MB's and not doing a thing he may just need a little help on learning to organize himself. I have had to sit down with my almost 14 year old and have him read the requirements to me. Then I ask if he had done them or what he needs to do to get it complete. He needs the verbal prompt. Ideally I have another adult do this. I did the "sink or swim" approach on him and he sank like a rock for a year.

    14 is a tough age. A lot going on educationally, socially, and hormonally. In the boys I have been working with since they are 9 many are getting really stressed out by 13-14.

    On the other hand is there something else that he is really passionate about? (video games and girls excluded) Sometimes boys just enjoy other activities more.

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    • #3
      lets see, he is 14, he lost his dad less than a year ago and his step father does not embrace scouting in any way shape or form.

      have you asked him how he regards scouting currently?

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      • #4
        Oh...didn't know about the Dad and the scout thing. Seen that before...that always mucks things up.

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        • #5
          My son is in that state as well....He does not want to return to the same camp for the third year in a row....... He loves his patrol mates and enjoys all of the fun stuff scouting has to offer....


          I have offered to send him and his buddy to another camp with a provisional troop.....He is thinking about it.

          I wouldn't pressure him.....Let him enjoy his scouting......If he advances fine if not that is ok too.

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          • #6
            ... and his step father does not embrace scouting in any way shape or form.

            Actually, I think that works towards him staying in the program! I've seen lots of boys part ways with their dad at about this age because dad was just a little too enthusiastic about scouting.

            My youngest is age 14. Loves the fun -- doesn't want to work to have it! You'd almost think he didn't care. But ...

            Last week, for a boy's Eagle app, council HQ was having trouble finding all the troops MB slips from 2009 summer camp! As soon as I told him, he hustled up and checked his blue cards.

            My colleagues are psychologists, and they can explain it all to me with great confidence. I still have no clue what they're talking about!

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            • #7
              Normal for that age. You didn't say but its also normal to see a changing attitude of the uniform. This is the age where young men are finding themselves and the changing seems to stabilize between 15 and 16 years old. And in general, you will see him start to behave in many ways like his parents.

              Barry

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              • #8
                Maybe he's in it because his Dad was...a weird dynamic, since his Dad didn't promote Scouting either, beyond the "looks good on a resume/college application" theme, which is what Scout has basically taken off with... maybe it doesn't work if that's all your objective is? Dad was an Eagle/OA, but never did anything as an adult.

                Hmmm...I didn't think about the uniform... I've noticed the last few times a heavy sigh or "Oh man!" response to prompting him to get his uniform on for the weekly Troop meeting.

                He's definitely interested in video games and Legos and trombone (to a lessor extent).

                He's definitely NOT interested in girls ... at all! Can't say that emphatically enough :-P He respects the one girl trombone player in his 8th grade band, because "She plays really well." LOL

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                • #9
                  I cast my vote for sort of normal. I've seen a lot of boys who blew through advancement and MBs and stuff until about 13 or 14, and then all of a sudden they just didn't care about that stuff for a couple of years.

                  About summer camp, maybe the place really isn't very good. Does the troop offer other summer options that are fresh for the older kids? Would he like going to a different camp as a provisional scout (without his home troop) more? Perhaps a very low-key and friendly word to the SM that you wonder what's the deal may give the SM an opportunity to sound him out on this(if the SM has the people-skills to do that without seeming to attempt to browbeat him into going).

                  If you truly want to support him then I'd say, encourage him to stay with scouts but don't sweat the rank stuff too much or else it becomes a battle of wills - and teenagers do really love to exercise their "power" by proving that they can "win" those battles, even to their own long-term detriment sometimes. The changes you see in boys around age 16 are incredible. He may be very glad you helped him stay with it, when he gets there, if you can give him some more space in the meantime.

                  (Then again, I don't know your boy, so your mileage may vary.)

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                  • #10
                    You sure my 13 yo isn't secretly living at your house? Instead of the trombone, I'm graced with the beauty of the Tuba!

                    Sounds like he's just trying to find his place. It's been a tough yr from what it sounds like. At least he hasn't thrown out every excuse why he can't go, or just been down right hateful about it. He's still receptive about Scouting and other things. He'll get an "AHA" moment and the pieces will fall into place for him.

                    Keep supporting him like you have, and don't sweat the small stuff.

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                    • #11
                      I'm voting for normal as well. We see most Scouts go in spurts like this. For awhile right at the beginning, they are into advancement. Then at some point they slow down and enjoy the fun. And then, at some point in the maturity curve, the advancement desire kicks in and they get really focused on that.

                      Not every kid, not the same ages every time, but it's definitely a pattern. I wouldn't sweat it.

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                      • #12
                        So now, Scout has done another 180.

                        Until last night, Scout gave a flat "no" to summer camp.

                        Last night the list of OA eligible Scouts came out... he wasn't on it ... supposedly because he'd not done any "long" campouts in a couple of years.

                        So he about faces and demands to be signed up for summer camp. I think there's only two or three MB's left open for the week. Not sure what he'll do the rest of the time.

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                        • #13
                          There is way too much of a focus on summer camp and MBs. yes it's a good opp sicne he is living and breathing scouting with no distractions, but still the focus should be FUN.

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                          • #14
                            Two MBs done well may be worth the week.

                            You might also suggest the mile swim

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                            • #15
                              "So, my 14 yo Scout is really stumping Mom. "

                              You know....I have been thinking about this one ever since you first posted it.
                              I think I finally have an answer for you:

                              He's 14.

                              Yes, you are welcome!

                              Seriously though. my sonm is 11 years ols and at least 4 times a week he does, says or asks something that baffles, stumps, or makes my wife anmd I scratch our heads.

                              Same thing could be said for my 14 year old niece, 14 year old nephew, 17 year old niece, 19 year old nephew ........


                              People that are between the ages of 11 and 23 will amaze you in their ability to do things without any apparant ( to us , taht is) logic, reasoning or thought.

                              But that's okay, by the time he turns 25, the rest of us older folks will finally be smarter!

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