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When kids are just mean

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  • When kids are just mean

    I became aware of something today that really bothered me.

    A couple of previous cub scouts who quit after first year webelo year, have been telling a current BS who recently crossed over that "Scouts are for losers, and He should be playing football." I was hurt and then angry when I thought about it. Seriously, not cool.

  • #2
    Since you did not ask the forum a question, I will put some to you:
    * How did you hear of this conversation?
    * This sounds like classic "bullying", a try at manipulation.
    How did you react to this report? That is to say, what ,if anything, did you DO?
    * If it had been me hearing of this, I would wonder about the following: It sounds also a little like jealousy. And insecurity about my decision. If I can't be a Scout (for whatever reason), I have to convince someone else of the same opinion so as to reinforce my own unsure feeling about my own decision.
    * I am reminded of the coach mentioned in another thread who disparaged Scouting. I do not remember what the Scouter did, how he responded to the coach's comment.
    * You are obviously "in " Scouting. How do you help the boys remember (realize? Appreciate?) that Scouting IS for losers , and winners, and everyone in between? And if football (or any other sport, by implication) is ONLY for "winners", what about the kids that never really have a chance at the first team?
    * I do not think, in Scouting, we are about "winning" in the sport sense. We are (should be) about the boy improving, obtaining skills, gaining confidence in his ability to respond to any situation appropriately ("Be Prepared"). Not just in the woods, but in school, in life. In football.
    * So how does tying a shhepshank, or making a wood tent peg help in this?

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    • #3
      You can tell your Scouts what I tell mine, Scouts grow up and use the skills they learned throughout their life. Camping, climbing, etc. become life long hobbies you can share with your family. Some Scouts find their future careers in a merit badge book and 99.9% of Eagle Scouts turn out to be successful adults. While .1% or less of football players play in college or the pros, and the other 99.9% of high school football players end up as overweight beer drinking football watchers. I say this in jest both here and to the boys, but there is a truth to it. In reality Scouting programs and other youth programs such as school sports, rec sports, 4-H, etc. should work together to provide the most oppurtunities for our youth to participate and be involved. The us vs. them attitude only hurts the boys and community relations.

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      • #4
        Regarding their first point: does Scouting have a rule that excludes losers?
        Regarding their second: does football?


        And what does "losers" mean in this context anyway?(This message has been edited by Callooh! Callay!)

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        • #5
          My scout just came back from spending a week in the Canadian wilderness, where he climbed waterfalls, swam in rivers, hiked up mountain trails, encountered black bears...

          The best antidote to the "loser" claim is to be able to point to undeniably awesome stuff that the scout can do/has done, that the non-scout will probably never get to do. Does your program provide those opportunities?

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          • #6
            The point about sports and real life is a good one. How many people will make a living in sports who currently play now? And how many people will need to get a job where they will put scout skills in use?

            You have to give boys a sense of humor about these things. Let's be honest about how scouting is perceived by other boys. Let's put it this way, every boy is willing to wear his baseball uniform to school; how many are willing to wear a scout uniform? As I tell my son, "yeah you're a nerd, but nerds rule the world." Those other guys will be working for him someday.

            My son gets it from his baseball team a bit, particularly because he occasionally misses games for scout stuff, including several tournaments this summer for scout camp. He just tells them, "you don't know what you're talking about because you're not in scouts" and leaves it at that.

            But, it's tough. Kids are cruel.

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            • #7
              the pack/troop in my town use to deal with this a lot. our school system use to have 5/6 together at one building and the 6th graders who finished cubs but didn't go into boy scouts would harrass the 5th graders that were still in scouts. since then the school system has switched to 4/5 in 1 building and then 6/7/8 in another - has heled a lot as those who do join the troop have more from the 3 schools and so harrassing has stopped a lot. that and having a more active program with some high adventure makes it seem a lot cooler too.

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              • #8
                Lisabob nailed it. Scouts get to do some awesome stuff that ,out other kids just dream of. IF your troop does it!
                So DO it! For the kids!
                (just had to say that).

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                • #9
                  Why are the two mutually exlusive? my son is in scouts and football. occasionally he has to miss a scout event due to games and what not, but he is in both, and he does BB in the winter

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                  • #10
                    Beardad, they aren't mutually exclusive, both demand a good bit of the boy's time and require him to set priorities. Our athlete PLs and SPLs have to do a lot of extra communicating because we expect them to make sure the troop runs smoothly in their absence. Some athletes count the cost and do not run for SPL as a result.

                    On the flip side, many of our school's team captains are seasoned PLs.

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                    • #11
                      Not too many can earn of living athletically. Not many folks get paid to be a Scout. However, school sports and Scouting can do wonders for boys. My boys did high school football, wrestling, track & field and cross country (basketball was left for my 4 ft 11 in daughter!). They were also earned their eagle rank - and daughter bronze in Girl Scouts.

                      Adolescent boys will put down things they don't understand, are jealous of, and are just not a mature bunch as a whole. I've lost Scouts because someone said it was lame (usually middle school kids with very little self confidence) and also gained boys because the star football player was in our troop. Get over it. Boys make a lot of stupid choices at this age. They may live to regret them but most are not life threatening.

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                      • #12
                        I just spent 4 days and 3 nights with 5 Webelos I's and 7 Webelos II's at resident camp. 9 and 10 year old boys staying 3 nights away from their parents with temps in the upper 90's are not losers.

                        From my personal perspective....... I played football, basketball, and baseball growing up.....I was a cub for 1 year and a boy scout for less than a year. After I graduated from HS football was over, I gave up church league basketball in my late 30's because my body could not take the pounding and I hate softball. On the other hand.....through being a Scout leader I have discovered a love of the outdoors. I wish so much that I knew that in my 20's because there are so many places I would have explored. Sports were great in many respects but looking back as a 46 year old I wish I had been a Scout in a great troop.

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