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Showing content with the highest reputation on 04/03/19 in Posts

  1. 3 points
    Yet another feature news article about girls joining BSA, this time in the Houston TX area: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Boy-Scouts-new-recruits-234-Houston-area-girls-13683424.php
  2. 3 points
    Scouting should be his activity. It should be something he wants to do. It shouldn't be something that he is pushed into doing because his parents feel it would be good for him. He gets plenty of that stuff in school. As a scout leader, I sometimes got kids who didn't want to be there. Sometimes it was because the parents felt it would be good for them. Sometimes it was because the parents wanted a cheap babysitter. Either way, I felt used. I enjoyed sharing my hobbies with like-minded boys. I did not enjoy, or appreciate, being saddled with uncooperative, whiny kids who had no desire to join-in and cheerfully participate. Pushing a kid into scouting does a disservice to both the boy and his scout leader.
  3. 3 points
    A youth with an actual anxiety disorder is not going to EVER going to get to go to camp if some accommodation isn't made for the first time. Staying home the first year just puts it off because now 2020 is the first year... and 2021... until the kid ages out and never makes it to camp at all. If we're talking about homesickness in the general realm of "normal" I totally agree with you. A lot of anxiety is normal and is best handled by either jumping in with both feet or waiting for another year of maturity to help the anxiety go away. Kids with anxiety disorders tend to have it get worse, not better, with age. The more experiences you can expose them to in a safe and positive environment early on, the more activities they'll be able to handle as they get older. I wasn't clear from the original post whether we are talking about a "nervous" kid or one with a disabling level of anxiety. My response is based on my own experience raising kids with actual anxiety disorders. Fortunately my kids did the whole cub scout thing and were already acclimated to camp by the time they were in a Troop, so they were fine going without me and when I went (which I did some years and not others) I wasn't there to support them, but just to be another YPT-trained warm body or whatever it is that they make adults attend camp at all for. The secret I found to getting them more independence is to do whatever was necessary to make them comfortable the first time, and usually within a few hours they were off and running on their own. But in situations where that wasn't possible, they often just missed out entirely and weren't able to overcome their anxiety long enough to get started. I think it took us three times (three years running) of waking up the morning of the 50-mile backpacking trip (which I could NOT go on) before I was able to get my oldest child to get out of the car and actually leave with the troop in spite of a debilitating anxiety attack. The important thing here is to make a decision about whether the child actually NEEDS a crutch to get started, or whether the child NEEDS to just be pushed. Or, I suppose, needs another year to shake it off; but depending on the kid that could mean never going to camp because there always has to be a first time and it doesn't get easier for kids with real barriers.
  4. 2 points
    I used a pair of Kelty low cots for about 6 years. They are not bad, the new models are around $80 at REI. Helinox's are supposed to be great. Cold weather (for TX) camping was a simple moving pad under the mummy bag. If you are plop camping and want elevation or storage underneath, Cabela's XL's are great, use one for spare guest bed at times.
  5. 2 points
    Sorry, diverging from advice... Tsh...5 in a tent? I see you five and raise you to 11, to start with... We went on a Jamboree on the Canary Islands a couple of years back, it was an experience. They supplied tents. To be fair, I'm sure they were doing their best, and it was only for a week and no one died so....anyway...we turn up at the site a few days after everyone else, and there are some people in "our" tents. The scouts with us were supposed to be somewhere else on site...there was some more people in their tents too. We went and had dinner, at about midnight, while they had a bit of a re-arrange. We came back, we had 15'x15' (maybe) army tents, massive outside frame with the canvas hung from it. Inside were triple deck bunks, the top bunk must have been 6' off the ground. There were three, that's all we had for the night, and the scouts and leaders needed to bunk in with us Explorers for the night. Three tents, so girls in one, boys in another, leaders in the third. Our leader's tent had three triple bunks in. We had 11 leaders. Luckily two had brought their own mats. They got the floor. I was on a top bunk, about 12" from the roof. The female leader below me had to put up with me climbing up and down the creakiest bunk in Christendom (and us all making childish jokes about me being "on top", to be fair, she gave as good as she got). At least two of the leaders were inveterate snorers, so that was fun. Then 3am the local donkey woke up and wanted to tell us all about it. The next night was luxury as the 5 scout leaders decamped to their tent and left us to it in our bunks. Just as we got used to this we went to another island for a couple of days, and had to sleep on the floor of a school gym, all three hundred of us, boys, girls, leaders, one room...yeah, you know those pictures from disaster relief efforts...just like that. Let's call it an adventure. An experience. Never to be forgotten. I slept well on the plane home I tell you that.
  6. 2 points
    Sorry Liz, but your Scoutmaster would be well served to keep you away from camp...and to keep away any other adult who has the misguided notion that they would be welcome in camp so that they could be there "his first time if that's what he needs." No scout is well served by a parent in camp who can't, or won't, let her son try things and experience things on his own. It just ruins the camp experience for everyone and it undermines scouting's aims and methods (especially the patrol method, when you star counter-manding the instructions and leadership of the PL and SPL). Sure, you know your own son best...so if he really is so anxious that he couldn't function in a patrol environment, then leave him home for his first year or so in scouting so that he has time to grow as an individual and to learn enough self confidence that he doesn't NEED mom helicoptering over him. If you are in camp so "he can hang out and help you with your task" then you are there for all the wrong reasons (and you really don't understand how summer camp works). Your role as an adult is to be in camp as a resource for the TROOP. As a scoutmaster, I would tell you that you are NOT welcome in camp if you aren't trained and you aren't there to help the scoutmaster, the SPL, and each and every scout in the troop. And if you really think you're going to "let your son hang out and help you with your task" then I REALLY don't want you anywhere close to camp! Camp has scheduled activities and we expect the boys to take advantage of the opportunities that summer camp offers. One of the prime roles of adult scouters is to make sure the boys keep busy in their activities and that they are not sitting around idle in camp, and never, ever tagging along behind their mama like a 2-year old. A troop needs some adult leaders. But they need adults who are there for the entire unit and who are there to help the kids find ways to solve their own problems and to become confident, competent young men. A troop most certainly does NOT need a mom who is there "for her kid", getting underfoot, giving bad advice, and making the troop adapt to her ways. Don't embarass the troop, your son, and yourself. If you have an overly anxious child, do everyone a favor....stay home your first year.
  7. 2 points
    I fully agree. I'd also suggest developing your own plan for camp. Such as ... bring two or three large books to read. Or bring wood carving supplies for yourself. Or work on your schoool lesson plans for next year. Or a sewing kit. Or take lots of naps. Create a plan for yourself so that you are busy. Maybe there are courses at the summer camp for adults to become trained adult leaders. I've seen that too. But make your activities boring for your son so that he goes off on his own with his friends and grows.
  8. 1 point
    For those units interested in learning more about Gus Grissom there is a small, but nice, Gus Grissom Memorial located at Spring Mill State Park. Spring Mill is located right outside of Grissom's hometown of Mitchell, Indiana. The state park is also a great place for scouting units to visit even without the Memorial. It has a youth campground, hiking trails, caves, a cave boat tour, and a very nice pioneer village with interesting building to explore.
  9. 1 point
    I have a Byer of Maine's Maine Military Cot. It's heavier than a Chevy but more durable. I throw my thermarest on-top for cushion and insulation. They run about $100.
  10. 1 point
    We do all of our development weekends together. We'll do joint meals and flag ceremonies, a few trainings like Trainers Edge as a whole group, then split up by course for most of the on course practice/training. More than last year I've noticed our SPLs doing some practice activities jointly. Realistic First Aid and Problem Solving round robin. I'm ASM for Program(backup course director.)
  11. 1 point
    I was a Den Chief in the 60s...the cord was worn over the right shoulder, attached to the MB sash when worn. As an Explorer in 1970, I wore the Eagle knot and religious award knot. The Eagle knot purchased from the Scout shop had the dark green background (not a private issue). I also recall the adult muckity-mucks of that era wearing knots such as Scouter's Key, Training Award, and Silver Beaver, among the few that were available.
  12. 1 point
    This is how I personally deal with anxiety. For most trips I go on I look the place up on Google Maps, see if someone has posted videos of what they did while there, see if there is a schedule of events or menu from years prior. I'll even visit the social media pages of the people running the event so I can recognize their faces. His therapist should really be able to help pinpoint the trigger for the anxiety, once you know that it'll be easier to make a plan to help him.
  13. 1 point
    As Chapter Advisor and having just finished our chapter elections last month and having had a few exciting conversations with unit CC's and SM's over election outcomes, I'd like to put a few points out there. Are there mature 11 year olds, experienced in outdoor activities and capable of induction weekend? Undoubtedly. But if your child isn't SurvivorMan at 11 he probably isn't going to enjoy induction weekend anyway or participate later on. Just another Sash-N-Dash. So why press it? While the SM may not have had first year Scouts names on the ballot, the election team should have made the rules of the voting clear. Including Scouts being able to vote for themselves, AND to write in someone they feel should be on the ballot. Even if the election team or SM had to nullify it later. If parents didn't know of the SM's decision before hand then it's highly unlikely that any of the Scouts knew either and as such were free to write in worthy candidates. Either individuals didn't feel they were ready or their peers didn't. The Order of the Arrow is not a popularity contest it is an Honor Society, not everyone gets in...period. Scouts need to have invested time and energy in camping to have earned that respect among their peers. It is not the same thing as advancement and it surely isn't about just fulfilling requirements. Unless it's a small Lodge the election team should have been Youth lead. The Scouts voted not the parents or leadership. The OA has many adult Advisors who get to talk all they want but the Youth make the decisions. Sounds like your Unit made theirs.
  14. 1 point
    Just my 2 cents. As Liz says above, it will always be his first time until it isn't. And the anxiety may grow each year it's not faced. So off to Camp he should go. Should Mom go along? Leadership usually is thin on outings and chaperoning parents have almost always been welcome. So go and learn more for yourself. You being there won't actually allow him to deal with his anxiety though. You might be able to remind him of self-soothing techniques his therapist has given him but any of the adult leadership can be prepped and ready to do the same thing. What will help most with his anxiety is familiarity in tasks. Knowing all the steps to each task he will be expected to perform while at camp. Now obviously he can't know the info to be taught in Merit badge classes, that would defeat their purpose. But you can find out from the SM what daily chores are required by the Scouts and then practice them with your son. Will he be sleeping in a cabin, Adirondack tent, or a troop tent? Find out which and teach him the skills to setting them up and taking them down. Packing and unpacking his personal supplies so he understands how his pack works. As a boy my troop would have races to see who could get their tents up in 5 minutes or less at each of the weekly meeting for the month before camp. The repetition made it less work at camp and served us better when setting up in the rain or dark on other camp-outs. The repetition for your son will create order and focus in his thoughts, pressing his anxiety to the back for awhile. Also prep for the social anxiety aspect. Have play-dates with other scouts his age that you know are going to camp. Have them bonding with each other so they act as a support system for each other while away. And if you include the other scouts in your camping prep, well the repetition wont hurt them either. Do verbal quizzes on the info while in the car or shopping. Don't let him focus on the anxiety, only on the tasks he needs to do and how to do them. Side note: work on his swimming skills. While all water craft require life jackets, most camps won't allow water craft use if you can't pass the swim test. Camp sucks if your swim tote stays hanging in the non-swimmer section. It may be embarrassing which can lead to stronger anxiety.
  15. 1 point
    @CaptBurgers , the den chief cord should be over left shoulder. IMHO maybe add a Band-Aid, a defacto part of the uniform, to the knee or elbow.
  16. 1 point
    Mine can't. Still a couple of times a month he still comes in wanting to get in our bed in the middle of the night. I cant see sleeping in a tent in the woods almost alone would work for him, yet.
  17. 1 point
    I appreciate all of the input so far, but I’m wanting to know about the 1960s collarless summer uniform for adults, I have a period council strip, I’m wondering about the way knots were done, like the Eagle or did they do an AoL knot? Also I have a religious award as a youth and I am a James E West recepient, would those be things found on an adult uniform back then? It’s not my actually uniform but this is a picture of the type that I have.
  18. 1 point
    Agreed We always welcome LEADERS to be at camp and LEADERS who work within the troop matrix. Parents are needed to drive and pickup from camp and wave at the parking lot, not be at camp for the week. Some leader stories Had one leader that was in camp for the week. He came to me on Sunday and advised he felt it better to leave as his son kept coming to him for things and was not participating as he should, he came back later in the week and it worked out well Had one leader not in camp but was coming to get one of his sons at camp for an event, the other son was first year and we knew it would be a tough week, seeing dad in camp could be trouble. We worked out the pickup time so younger son was at activities and same with the return the next day. Was at summer camp and a scout had an issue in the middle of the night, the Scout came into the leader pod and found the leader at camp for the week and NOT his dad who was in the next tent We had a conversation with a leader in camp who was way too focused on his kid, was sort of treating summer camp as father / son time and the other 1,000 Scouts and leaders were just in the area. We assigned the leader some specific tasks that were not where his son was, ended up being a good week Had a somewhat serious issue with a Scout at camp, his dad was one of the leaders, the dad left the site as we worked it out. He stayed out of the site that afternoon and did not even speak with his son about the issue until he and I talked through it that evening and what the consequences of those actions would be.
  19. 1 point
    Not quite yet it aint. At least not everywhere. I aim to keep feeding it as long as I can find sticks.
  20. 1 point
    It’s an honor to be invited. If your family only sees it as just more work, you’re not ready yet. Give it another year so husband and son can learn what it’s all about. Then they can make an informed decision. Barry
  21. 1 point
    That's easy. Because bedridden medical patient's aren't the same as studying the effect of staying in bed for otherwise healthy individuals. Medical patients would introduce too many confounding variables. I'm not sure what they research was designed to evaluate, but I can guarantee that sick people aren't good analogues for healthy people.
  22. 1 point
    Have you asked him what compromise would make him comfortable enough to go?
  23. 1 point
    Attending summer camp as the first trip for most new Scouts is daunting... news boys, away from home, etc. There is a good chance that if he attends some weekend trips between now and summer, he will be more inclined to attend summer camp. Except in cases where special supervision or support is required, parents should not be attending trips. The situation here does not seem very special, but as others commented... input from the counselor and/or Scoutmaster should be helpful.
  24. 1 point
    Have you discussed this with his Scoutmaster? Some leaders will take it as a challenge to make sure your son have the greatest week of his life.
  25. 1 point
    I agree with small steps. Also, be okay if the small steps work but the final big step doesn't. Is he making friends in the troop? And maybe they live close by? Invite them over and do something fun. Have a sleep over at your house. Hopefully that will lead to a sleep over at the other boy's house. Go with him on weekend campouts. If you have to, go with him to summer camp (but don't tell him that now). You want to be firm with him and that's great, but maybe start with some little things to be firm with so you'll have a history to show him that he is getting better at this independence stuff. Is it possible that part of his pushing back has to do with your viewing him as "needing" this? Maybe he doesn't see the whole of you, including the part that wants to see him grow. Maybe he just sees the "mom is gonna make me do this and I have no idea why because I'm scared." Respect his fears. I'm not saying give in to them, just let him know you understand how hard this is for him. Ask him what the baby steps are. If he sees progress and you helping him with it then he'll listen to you, and that's all any parent wants. If you don't believe me wait until he's a teenager.
  26. 1 point
    Sign up and go as a leader. Scouting should be a years long journey. One of the surest ways to have that journey cut short is if the scout has a truly miserable experience early on. If your presence is necessary to keep his experience from being immiserating than you should be there. He may still not like it, scout camp can be a long week away from the things he knows he does like, but it's OK if it's not a great experience just as long as it's not so bad that he doesn't want to continue in scouts at all. DavidCO's advice was don't make him go. I would choose that course of action only if you believe that even your presence will not make it a miserable experience for him, and you of course are the best, albeit still an imperfect, predictor of that.
  27. 1 point
    @ScoutMom45036, welcome to the forums! A couple of son #2's best buddies had anxiety issues ... maybe related to divorce, but usually it was more complicated than that. If the boy's telling you he's nervous about it now, it's a good indication that giong "cold turkey" wont work. Our troop has welcomed moms like you with kids like yours to come camp with us adults. You're not the problem mom who we generally worry about. Generally, you're good company, and you're not hovering over your son. You get to know the leaders and other parents and catch them up on the things your son is going through. You might actually do us a favor and mentor some of our other boys -- that's not expected, but when it happens, it's good to see. During the day, you might be able to help the camp staff . But, at the very least, by getting registered and trained, you'll get a sense of how we leaders should be accountable to one another. That's always helpful. One other thing you might not have noticed: but your son is old enough to take on chores. Make sure he's responsible for some things besides homework ... garbage pick-up and putting out ... setting up and cleaning up dishes ... helping you cook ... checking the doors/lights in the evening ... putting away laundry ... making his bed in the morning. Just enough of those, and a week away from home begins to sound sweet.
  28. 1 point
    Out of the hundreds of scouts that attended summer camp while I a leader, I can remember two that were absolutely miserable, no matter what we did to help them. Both those scouts were in the same situation of good caring single mothers who put their sons in scouting to give them some experiences with independence. I agree with the comments that this is a difficult to answer your question because each scout is different as well as not knowing the adults of the troop. I'm sure you are being as up front with the troop as you are with us, so this may just take some gradual steps. I will throw out one possibility if it comes to this point, there are some older scouts or past scouts who might be willing to personally assist and guide your son if you pay for his camp fees. I wish you all the success because I have seen that whatever your son is struggling, you as a mother are struggling that much more. Barry
  29. 1 point
    Go with him! Go with him and make some memories. At camp, don't let him velcro to you, he can go off with the other Scouts but see you back for whenever the adult leaders and youth are in proximity -- meals? (I don't know, I have not been to summer camp yet). But be there, but when you are there he has his own schedule and stuff, and you have your own stuff. Talk to the counselor and the Scoutmaster about it. Your son should be working with his patrol leader and that kid will be the point person for your son at camp, NOT you. I hope that helps! After his first time he may be much more comfortable.
  30. 1 point
    Has he had the chance to go on any troop campouts (weekend) yet? One of the big advantages of earlier crossovers is to go on a few weekend trips before summer camp. That said, yeah talk with his counselor about the best approach, if its putting off summer camp for a year, you going for part of the time, or what. I would recommend against the phrasing of "go and if you get too worried I'll come and get you" because that can setup the wrong dynamic in his mind.
  31. 1 point
    I think a lot a new cross overs are concerned about going to a week long summer camp. My son goes to therapy for anxiety as well and will be going to summer camp. I would first recommend talking with his counselor. Any advice coming from us is not with the full background of knowledge of your son’s situation. The counselor should be able to help. 1) My son will be going on a new scout camp out before summer camp. Just 2 nights away then home. 2) I’m working with my son prepping him for the swim test. He’s close but not quite there. If he doesn’t pass or doesn’t feel comfortable I told him sticking with beginner is fine. 3) I’ve let the leaders know he is anxious about the trip. He isn’t medicated at all, but I thought they should know. 4) I may go later in the week. I really want him to build resilience. Each kid is different so it’s difficult to know what he can take. My father was a scoutmaster for many years and he found that most parents underestimate what their sons can handle.... but I know it’s a tough call. Again, I would highly recommend talking with his counselor to get their input.
  32. 1 point
    Start with an overnight? Or a weekend nearby?
  33. 1 point
    @FGarvin, welcome to the forums. I love to hear about scouts getting out there. The short answer: yes, the SM can decide that scouts who've only been in the troop for a year aren't ready for this honor. I can think of several reasons: These scouts might not really be demonstrating 1st class skills consistently, The SM sees a maturity issue. He heard back from the lodge about a previous batch of 1st years (his or some other troop's) not really prepared for their ordeal. The SM feels that their might be a bullying problem at the ordeal. I find it interesting that the parents are involved in this at all. Are these boys really upset about having to wait until the next election?
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