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So we have this new scout

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  • So we have this new scout

    So we have this eager scout who is having some issues advancing.......

    His main problem is his recently divorced parents. He has been a member for 6 months now and has yet to go on a campout or weekend event.

    Parental excuses are this is my weekend and I want to spend time with him or it is his dads weekend. Well come to find out he did nothing those weekends but stay home and play video games.....Sad..

    So trying to do the end around with BioDad.....Called him and invited him to come on the campout, hoping to get scout to the event....

    Any ideas?

  • #2
    We had a scout in that situation. Took a little while to persuade both parents that they need to let him do his own thing every once in a while. He's advancing a bit more slowly than the other Scouts in his cohort, but is First Class and almost Star now. (cohort tends to be Star and almost Life).


    • #3
      From my experience ...

      Lacking someone to push the kid out the door ... You need one parent or older brother willing to drag the kid camping. And the other willing to cooperate. Which means you need to get in the face of each family member and emphasize that they are missing the opportunity of a lifetime to get to know their son and some potentially great friends of his.

      I've had one mom gung ho, and the dad fussed over the boy until he got homesick. (I hate parent night.) After going over issues with the mom, I said "I can't tell you all how to co-parent. But, you owe it to the lad to figure it out." The boy got involved in other activities that didn't create such a "push and pull!"

      What you did with BioDad was probably the best you can do. Hope he takes you up on the offer.


      • #4
        We've had that situation.

        The best approach is to talk to the parents directly. Talk to dad, talk to mom. See if one or both of them support their son in being in the program. Ask what they hope to have him get out it. Explain how advancement works and how their son might feel left out when all his buddies advance. Invite them along. Ask them way ahead of time to see if they would support his camping out at least once in the next three months (or something).

        If the parents don't support the program, there's not going to be a way around it, so communication with them is really the most effective route.


        • #5
          I, also, would have suggested inviting bio-Dad along. Too bad it didn't work.
          Does bio-Dad have any outdoor hobbies: fishing, nature photography, etc. The next time you plan a campout near such a suitable area, invite bio-Dad and son for a one-day campout. They arrive on friday, stay overnight, go home evening. This way bio-Dad still has Sunday at home with son. Tell bio-Dad he won't have any Scouting duties (this time).
          Hopefully, bio-Dad may decide to stay the full weekend


          • #6
            Outcome dont take it personal- In my pack had a new webeloe 2, excited as you describe. Home life as you describe. So I changed some of the stuff around so he and dad could come on his weekend(at dads request). Never came anyway-Well they dropped out, 'we didn't do anything' he says.


            • #7

              That would have been my preferred approach.


              • #8
                End around

                Was the wrong choice of words.....

                I asked biodad to come with the scout on his visitation weekend......

                Come to find out Bio dad has a new lady friend, with the history he will never come...

                Bio Mom was not at home when Dad and Son were camping with the Troop, pre divorce. Cough cough.......


                • #9
                  We had a similar issue, except the dad was using scouts as the club against the ex. She wanted him in scouts, he want to get back at her.
                  We ended up losing him, and the bio dad, well, he may be father, but he's sure no dad.

                  We had another one, where the boy was a great scout, but the dad was "to busy" to get him to meetings. We thought we'd lost him, but with a few more phone calls and e-mails, got scouts back on the parents priority list. Neither parent will ever go on a campout, but we have the boy in the woods!

                  Keep trying. That's all you can do. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.


                  • #10

                    I'll do you one better. With the boy I described above, Bio Dad shows up to visitor night with home-wrecker. (Did I tell you how much I hate visitor night?) She tries to make nice to us, and I think we all take things in stride. Let's face it, we've had step-parents do a lot of good for our boys. But as dinner progresses she's more withdrawn.

                    Next day, CC tells us the lady was a co-worker from his old job. Following day, BioMom, comes to pick up homesick Jr. Escorting her back to camp I spilled the beans about BioDad bringing the GF, she was really livid until I said, "Don't worry, CC __ knew her from way back, and he told us everything we need to know." You should have seen the look of relief on her face.

                    Point is, you can ask two people to get it together so their kid will get the most out of scouting. But when they are still in the throes of adultery (or whatever), it's unlikely that you're going to succeed in doing anything but preaching to the wall.

                    Set advancement aside. Welcome the boy to every meeting he attends, and hopefully you'll see a sea change someday.


                    • #11
                      Does your Troop allow women on campouts and as leaders (I know that some do not, hence my question).

                      Don't limit yourself to Biodad - go after Biomom as well and invite HER camping with her son. Give her a partial weekend even - showing up late so that only one night under the stars, etc. She might enjoy a weekend with other parents. If he has done

                      We have done that with some of our Scouts - and got some GREAT new parent leaders out of it.


                      • #12
                        Bio Mom is not an option....Leaving it at that.


                        • #13
                          As a divorced parent, I can see where the parents consider Scouting an impingement on their time with their sons.

                          If the outings occur biweekly or monthly, there is a good chance that the same parent is losing all of their time with their son on the weekends.

                          My son wasn't interested in Scouting, but had he been, I probably would have steered him away from it, especially if it was always my weekends with him that got interrupted.


                          • #14
                            Eng, I have a friend who did just that. Cubs was fine, but when weekends were gonna be impinged upon, and she wasn't about to trade any of hers. He felt like giving up even one of the precious few he had with his boys was too much. Making matters worse, he didn't have strong friendships with any of the leaders.