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  • LATEST POSTS

    • I've never had a Scout who got to the point of crying for hours, but it could easily have been my oldest son.  He is 18 now and earned his Eagle rank last fall.  He has dealt with severe social anxiety for many years.  He started Scouts as a Tiger Cub in 1st grade, so he has grown up in Scouts and camping.  However, his anxiety is one of the reasons that I got started as a leader 12 years ago, actually being the Committee Chair for 10 years and now 2 years as Scoutmaster.  My being there eased his anxiety to where he can function.  He learned a long time ago that I'm not there as dad, I'm there as Scout leader.  I didn't want to bring any dad/ son issues from home to Scouts, so I stayed out of their way to let the Scouts lead & function as a Patrol.  But by me being there, he was able to function and be a part of the Troop without having his anxiety/ breakdowns.  Is there any chance that you or his dad could be active, at least as another adult on the outings or to spend some time at camp?  I know there are several who will say to leave him and let him get past the anxiety on his own.  But having a son who can be paralyzed by his anxiety, I have become much more sympathetic to the youth who have very real issues. Many of these issues will not be overcome by just "sucking it up and dealing with it". However, there is certainly a time for some Scouts to just suck it up and get over it.  As the Scout leader, it isn't always easy to discern which Scouts need which level of response.  As far as making him do things that trigger his anxiety, I will add that from the time he was young, we have been easing him into uncomfortable situations.  Things like making him start to order his own food at a restaurant.  This forced him to look at a menu and find what he wanted.  It forced him to speak clearly and loud enough for the cashier/ server to hear his order.  I would also let him answer questions about his order (i.e. do you need any sauces?).  There have been many things like this that I have pushed him into, some of which have been very hard for him.  But over the years, we look back and see that each step has moved him towards dealing with his anxieties. It's much easier to deal with that level of anxiety knowing someone who knows you is nearby.  I say all of that to say that you know your Scout the best.  I hate for his anxiety to keep him from all that Scouting has to offer.  Scouting can offer him ways to face and deal with his anxiety.  Look for ways that you can help him to deal with it & support him, while maintaining some distance and give him room to excel and thrive, knowing that he isn't having to do it alone. It may mean that you or dad end up on Troop campouts.  There are certainly worse things than that. 
    • @Alfy04, welcome to the forums.  Leave him at camp.  Heres my question for you?  Why isn’t his troop camping every month, and why isn’t he going camping?
    • Advice needed… My son is 12 and this is his second year of summer camp (this week). He was not In cub scouts prior to this.  He has always been very social and enjoys being around other kids and doing activities. He is also active in theater and prefers being with people often. When he joined this troop (about a year and a half ago) three of his best buddies ended up following him so they could all be together. He Attended summer camp last year by himself before his buddies joined  this troop and before he knew anyone. He got through the week but said that he had such bad anxiety that he woke up crying every night. When he got home he said it was miserable and he never adjusted. To be honest I never saw this coming and he said he didn’t realize it either. Over the past year he  has gone on several camping trips with his troop and has always had extreme anxiety. Apart from camping ,however, he enjoys hanging out with his patrol and they are a large close knit group of boys. This week he is at camp again and his camp related anxiety has gotten worse.  He had a full-blown panic attack and was crying for several hours yesterday.  He got himself so worked up that he threw up and continued to throw up today. .  Have any of you experienced anxiety attacks with kids this severe? He feels overwhelmed by all the people, the pressure, the requirements, the classes and sleeping outside causes extreme anxiety.  Prior to him joining scouts I never realized he had this type of anxiety. He’s always been able to go on sleepovers and be away from home without issue. This is his fifth or sixth camping trip with his current troop. The anxiety issue has not gotten better with exposure but seems to be getting worse. He wants to go home and is miserable (on day 2).  My husband (his dad) Is concerned that if he doesn’t push through this he will never be willing to try again. I am concerned that if it’s this bad maybe Scouts is just not for him and we need to get him some treatment for his anxiety And find an activity other than Scouts. It seems to be more than just normal homesickness that goes away after a day or two.  Right now he has hardly eating and barely functioning and crying constantly. If things don’t improve by tomorrow I feel like he needs to come home. His dad feels like he needs to stick it out. Does anyone have experience in dealing with this type of thing?   
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