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Scouts only wanting to hang out with their friends, and no one else in the Troop

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  • Scouts only wanting to hang out with their friends, and no one else in the Troop

    I have several Scouts who met while Cubs, and joined the Troop two years ago. They were always together as Cubs, but I've split them up into other Patrols because of how many WEBELOS we got. First, I am having problems with these boys. They come to meetings with or without uniforms, or worn incorrectly. They only hang out together, and not within their patrols. They misbehave at camps and activities. And they get angry and cause problems when they can't do these things. There parents aren't getting involved, leaving it up to me to sort out. Their parents are also serving on the Committee. I don't sit in on all of the Meetings I prefer to let the SPL and PLs handle these, but I am seeing that these same boys always are together, although one is a patrol Leader, and doesn't pass on information of deal with his Patrol. Non of them want to lead or be a part of the Troop. They just want to hang out.

    I could use some advice. Everyone please churp in.

    ScoutBox

  • #2
    Seems like what you're doing isn't working so it's time to shift gears.
    How about letting them form their own patrol? Boys should be allowed to form their own natural groups.
    Then you can hold them accountable for their actions.

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    • #3
      Eagle, That would be great, but that Patrol would be 4 boys and 4 boys only. I have other scouts in the troop.

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      • #4
        These 4 boys don't play with the others, they don't work with others, they are only about themselves. And their parents well a few want them to work with other scouts. But I am at a loss here. Not sure how to go forward with this.

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        • #5
          Sucks for them to have a patrol of 4 when all the other patrols have 7 or 8 scouts. Especially when a few of them can't make a camping trip.
          I doesn't hurt to let the troop choose up new sides (patrols) every once in a while.

          Don't cave to the pressure from the adults to combine them with another patrol when there's only two of them. Make them stay together as a patrol. It's natural for boys to form gangs (B-Ps words). You can't fight it. Embrace it. Besides, it's easier to keep an eye on one group of trouble makers

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          • #6
            It's called isolating the problem. Ask the boys what they think would make the troop run better. Ask them if patrols should be reconfigured. A patrol of four isn't unheard of, but even if it's those 4 and a couple other boys, it would change the dynamic. However, these boys might be smart enough to realize if it's all them, then it's all *on* them. Either way you're getting the message across.

            Put a priority on activities that are really challenging to them. Picking fights doesn't help get you 35 miles down river, or 10 miles up the trail!

            The boy who is PL, tell him he's not taking care of his boys. Give him four weeks to pull it together. If he's not up to snuff, ask for the patch back. No leadership, no advancement, no problem.

            If the uniform thing is a disappointment to you, briefly, but as courteously as possible let each boy know about it. But realistically, work on one issue at a time. Uniforming comes after pitching in to help their patrol.

            Also, be prepared to listen. There may be something going on outside of scouts that's driving these boys. Maybe their grades aren't all that great and the other scouts tease them about it. Maybe it's the other way around. Try to help them figure out life so they can get more out of scouting.

            Good luck.

            Comment


            • #7
              Yah, ScoutBox, how about some additional info?

              How big is da troop? How many patrols? Patrols are same-age or mixed-age? Patrol competitions are regular, occasional, nonexistent? Other boys their age or are they the only 7th graders (or are they 8th graders)? Is there a natural leader among da four?

              B

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              • #8
                The information here is limited, BUT I had the exact same situation with four scouts. It wasn't about not being in the same patrol, these guys just didn't enjoy scouting. Long story short, we required the parents (ASMs) to attend the troop activities side-by-side with their sons and the problem quickly sorted itself out. The parents were more embarrased by their sons' behavior than the scouts themselves.

                Barry

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                • #9
                  My bias would be to give the four the option to form their own patrol --- that's what they are doing on their own as it is.

                  Are they disadvantaged in patrol competitions: tough.

                  Are they short people to go camping: tough.

                  They will have issues they need to solve, but there are a variety of ways they can do that. Perhaps they will be the Goof Off Patrol, or perhaps they will become the Honor Patrol. It's really up to them.

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                  • #10
                    I've had a couple different versions of this problem. Underlying it all is selfishness -- boys who are simply self-centered, don't really care about anyone else and are in the program only for their own benefit.

                    I've gone the route of allowing the boys to form their own patrol. When the Scouts' are just good friends and want to hang together with their friends, but otherwise are engaged, active in troop leadership and working with the other Scouts, it works. Otherwise you put a bunch of selfish, self-centered kids together in a patrol and you wind up with a selfish, self-centered parol.

                    Unfortunately, I don't have too many suggestions for the latter. Maybe putting them in one patrol becomes part of rewards/consequences plan. Sit down with the Scouts AND PARENTS and tell them you will let them form their own patrol, but they have to meet certain criteria. Give them specific, measurable goals for uniforming, attendance, troop leadership, PLC attendance, etc. Use lots of verbs. Then stick to it. The alternative is they are put in separate patrols and anytime they're not where they are supposed to be or otherwise causing problems, they'll be sent home.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks guys, Beavah the Troop is at this moment about 55 scouts. We have three large patrols and a Venturer Patrol, whom we never see because they are too busy with school. Numbers will change very soon. I was at Summer Camp with these same boys, and by the second day they were almost kicked out of two MB Classes because of behavior. One of their dads called me a Bully because I was working to get his son the PL to do his job, and he didn't want to make his friends do something they didn't want too do. Kid cried to his dad, and dad got pissed off with me. But dad is a self made millionaire, and doesn't take advice from others well. Anyway, it's been like that. Another kid lost his mom a couple of years ago to canser, and his dad is more a friend then a dad. another is a Former Scout /Eagle Scout. And the last is a smart guy with loads of answers, but his son really doesn't like listening to him. SO these boys are all 13 years old, and not really advancing. They are just kidding around, and ridding bikes at meetings, and hanging out at camp outs etc.. the one kid with the rich dad has always gotten what he wants, and just wants to hang out, play his guitar, rid his bike, and did I say hang out. He became the Patrol leader by vote, and hasn't done a thing in the 5 months he got it. So he already told em he wasn't going to be the Patrol leader again. I'm thinking of talking to the parents one on one and making a suggestion. I don't want to see any boy quit, but these four aren't scouting?? they really aren't serious. When they aren't together, they work great. but when together, there's not work. They only want to hang out with the rich kid, and do whatever it is he wants to do. ANd it's always been this way. Anyway, still need more advice. I want to take care of this before it gets to a point where I have to ask them to leave.

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                      • #12
                        > I don't want to see any boy quit, ...
                        Why not? If it is clear to you that they do not want to do scouting, they may be wanting to be asked to leave. Don't spoil scouting experience for the boys that want to be there in order to keep a few that don't want to participate in the planned activities.

                        > I want to take care of this before it gets to a point where I have to ask them to leave.
                        Meet with each boy individually. Explain the expectations for continued membership, then ask if he wants continue to be part of the troop. If the answer is "no", it may be that he needs help telling his parents that he really would rather be doing something else. If the answer is "yes", make clear that you will be calling his parents to pick him up if you see him continuing his present behaviour.
                        Part of a friendly SM conference to ask questions, listen, find out what is going on in the boy's life, share your concerns for him and how his actions are affecting the rest of the troop, and request his buy-in.
                        You will get better results with one-on-one chats than by talking with thenm as a group.(This message has been edited by venividi)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Your first post made it sound like the boys just wanted to be together and were acting up because they couldn't.
                          Now it sounds like maybe they don't want to be in Scouting and are acting up so they will get kicked out, maybe because the parents won't let them quit. I've dealt with this before, just sit down with Scout and parent and lay down your expectations. If they cross the line after that they leave.
                          If they are causing enough problems that it starts to effect other scouts then it's time to ask them to leave. If you don'y you'll loose boys who want to be in Scouts but don't want to put up with the bad behavior.

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                          • #14
                            >>Your first post made it sound like the boys just wanted to be together and were acting up because they couldn't.> They come to meetings with or without uniforms, or worn incorrectly. They only hang out together, and not within their patrols. They misbehave at camps and activities. And they get angry and cause problems when they can't do these things. There parents aren't getting involved, leaving it up to me to sort out. Their parents are also serving on the Committee.

                            Maybe it's because we had this exact same experience, but I didn't get the feeling the boys just acting up because wanted to be together.

                            In fact, down to the rich kid, my experience is almost identical. Because of our four scouts, our troop was asked to NOT come back to next years summer camp. Send them home you say.. THE PARENTS WERE THERE! The scouts weren't really the problem, their parents lack of parenting skills was the problem.

                            As I said, we fixed our situation by telling the parents to participate side by side with the sons. While the parents were good friends and hard workers, we don't miss them.

                            Barry

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                            • #15
                              we've had similar issues in past... we've been working on building patrol bonds.

                              patrol meetings - seperate them in room enough that they aren't distracted by other patrols

                              at campouts - make sure each patrol has their own work station, each patrol does a patrol activity that people not in that patrol are not to participate in (can be a game, a hike, pioneering project, etc), each patrol puts on a skit or song at evening campfire.

                              now when they have general free time they are still able to hang with who ever - we were quite surprised that this past campout they decided to all play football and the boys immediately said the teams were by patrol.

                              So it is working!!!

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