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Everything posted by -KJ-

  1. I run workshops for Cub Scouts on behalf of a local business. I probably see about 60 kids per month. There are an inordinate number of parents out there who insist on taking over. A boy will ask me a question: "Why do you put it on that side?" and I usually ask him the same question. "Well, I don't know. Why you suppose it goes on that side? Does it matter?" You wouldn't BELIEVE the number of parents who won't let the kid work this out on his own. It's like you asked *them* the question. "Of course it matters," they pipe up proudly. "It's on that side because otherwise...." I want to tape these folks' mouths shut. The other parents I encounter are the ones who literally do the badge work for the kid. I've had moms and dad sitting on the floor, hammering together a bird house while the kid is off and running. Gee, don't you think little Billy should be doing that? "Oh, he didn't want to." I have no idea why the Den Leaders allow this. I even had one kid who wanted to put pockets on his duct tape wallet. "You'll need to do that at home," I told him, "Because you won't have time to finish the rest of the projects otherwise." He roped his mom into doing for him, and then had the gall to swagger up later and wave it around in my face and say, "See?? You said I couldn't finish it in time!" I want to tape these folks to the wall. When parents are having a hard time keeping their hands to themselves during woodworking projects, I have found it helpful to lean over and quietly say something I once read on this forum: "The boy doesn't shape the wood. It's the other way around. The wood shapes the boy, no matter what he does to it. This is good for him." This seems to make a lot of them instantly relax about a few bent nails and crooked corners. They also need to realize that all these badges can't be completed in a single, handy, two-hour meeting. They're meant to be harder. They're need to be Webelos-worthy. They take more time than they're used to. They take more effort. Some parents don't like that.
  2. >>coach him through his first contact with the counselor. Since his troop doesn't have any in-house counselors, that contact will likely be by phone. So coach him on the questions he should ask. What should I bring? What requirements should I have completed when we meet? What requirements do you want us to do together? Do you recommend I read the MB pamphlet? Do I need to wear my uniform? And all the stuff related to making an appointment. That is EXACTLY what I'm requesting! You've got it! (Can't coach what you don't know!) I haven't heard what the Troop is planning on for the T-2-1 stuff, they seem to be focusing on summer activities for the moment. So far First Aid was a requirement to go to a Camporee and Weather and ... what? Fingerprinting, I think ... were supposed to be earned there. I've had other scouters (at the scout store, mainly) insist that we should get a huge desk calendar and work out how much time there is to earn certain badges under the various time restrictions and insinuating that it's a difficult and complex process requiring a ton of oversight.
  3. Hello, everyone! I have a brand-new Boy Scout, freshly crossed over from Webelos. And I have a question for all you Merit Badge Counselors: What do you want new Boy Scouts to know? What do you wish they would do? We're a little unclear on how to contact an MBC (there's a website with phone numbers, but it feels a little awkward, there are NONE in our Troop), what we should have for them, where to get it, and basically how to be a good and decent Scout that doesn't make the MBC rue the day they agreed to sign up for the job. So far we've had a crash course on: "Where's your Scout book?" (huh? I dunno) "Do you have that card? From last week?" (uh...in dad's car...) "Did you print out that worksheet?" (yeah. I don't know where it is, though...) We seriously have to be better than this, and I'm just lost on the process. (The poor MBC was doing a group thing for all the Scouts for First Aid.) Otherwise we could develop a checklist on how to do this and I'd send him at it. You know, like a job search. Dress nicely, have your resume ready, be on time, be ready for trick questions like A, B and C, etc.
  4. This is probably why my DH (also a former Scout) suggested that I ask you folks about this situation. If the other DLs were on board with me, that'd probably be enough peer pressure to turn the guy around. The thing is, most of us on the trip are all on the Pack Committee, and most are the CM's buddy. There were seven A/DLs there, and I can envision only two of us really agreeing to complain in any way. One simply wants to get along to get along, and the others are the CM's buddies and comrades-in-arms. At least one is kind of a big deal in the community (business owner kind of thing). Lodging a complaint with their backing is like asking them to sign a sworn confession from someone else implicating them in a crime. I can't see it happening willingly. There were two other parents there who might agree with me, but they're not holding any kind of Scouting position. In lodging a formal complaint, I not only turn most of the Pack Leaders against me, but also risk a pretty good relationship with a friend, neighbor, and my son's best friend's mom. I guess if it were easy to do the right thing, then EVERYONE would do it and it would be no big deal.
  5. ---> 1) Trying way, way too hard to be liked by the boys..to a point he's doing harm instead of creating comradre. I truly believe this is it. He's sort of a "Goodtime Charlie" type. His kid didn't pass the swim test, so he bought him a pocketknife (yes, I think the kid has a Whittlin' Chip, but he got it in Wolves...dunno if that's too early or what), with the comment, "Sometimes love CAN be bought." He's much more of a buddy to his kids than a parent. The ACM is an Eagle Scout, too. (I know, makes the story worse, doesn't it?) Is there any sense in talking to any of them?
  6. Sadly, it IS true. Camp staff did not encounter the wild urinators. They spotted one of the campfires, which was under decent control at the time, and a staff member came to our campsite to help us setup at the beginning of the event, and to help check us out at the end. That was pretty much the extent of our contact with camp staff at the actual campsite. The rest of the interaction was during sessions. Other than that, we were pretty much left to our own devices. The camp commissioner came to help hose out the latrine floor late during Day 1, but I wasn't there at the time to see the interactions.
  7. We have a new CubMaster, as the old one crossed with his sons. The new CubMaster is a really easy-going guy. Hard to make him angry or flustered, he likes everyone, he's easy with the compliments and encouragements, quick with a joke and a smile. He's a little immature...he tells "ghost stories" at the Pack campouts that invariably have entertaining endings having to do with bodily functions to defeat the bad guys, and of course our Cubs love that stuff. Distasteful, but...eh, whatever. I think things went too far recently. We went to resident summer camp with three Dens. Upon arrival we had a swim test, and apparently CM was just going to totally let loose...the jokes and innuendos started about my DL. She ignored him for the most part, and he attempted to bait me into it. I walked away to take pictures of the boys in the lake. He totally failed to give me information on where to take my Scouts for the morning session, despite asking him the evening before, once before breakfast, and 15 minutes before the session was to take place. The ACM was the one to get information and finally sit down with the DL and me (ADL) and hash out the schedule for the remainder of camp. Things generally go well until the evenings. As the days progressed, the more unruly the boys and the CM became. By the end of the first day the boys in CM's Den were feeling perfectly free to urinate all over the campground, despite the latrine sitting there 10 yards away. "Seriously, you guys, there's a latrine RIGHT THERE, you can't use it?" I asked one boy who was busy watering a tree on the way to breakfast. CM looks over his shoulder and grins, and keeps hiking. The boy takes his as his cue, grins at me happily and runs off the join the rest of his Den. This endless fascination with peeing in the woods finally culminated in a complaint from one of the female DLs. "Come ON, you guys, people WALK through here! Can you at LEAST keep it to the perimeter of the camp? We do NOT need to be walking through your pee!" CM seemed to glimmer with recognition and said, "Yeah, guys, keep it out of where people walk." That was the only restriction. Certainly modesty wasn't taught in any way, nor were the guidelines for LNT (broadcasting, no foliage, etc.) The boys got freer with their language by the end of Day 2. They'd begun to sing made-up songs about "the CubMaster's booty," and take an occasional swing at his rear. I think he'd realized he'd created a bit of a monster because he had no control over it, and they were scampering around shrieking and giggling at him. That evening around the campfire, CM came over and sat on my lap. "Oh, he's like that," says my DL. "He's a huge flirt, he doesn't mean anything by it." Many, many jokes of the "that's what SHE said!" variety were tossed around. Hard to tell if the younger Scouts were picking any of it up. The last night I took my son to the showers after dinner, and came back to find not just a campfire, but a giant column of flames. Tree branches 20 feet up were swaying from the heat. I took one look at the tipi of wood and flames and became alarmed. "I'm sure this isn't in the safe Scouting guidelines," I said loudly. "That's tall enough that when it topples over it's liable to hit someone!" The boys who were closest to it were instructed to move back. Other DLs spent the evening scavenging all the fallen wood from our site and got to work chopping at it with axes, and breaking it using the live trees as a fulcrum/leverage point. Seeing as the low temperature that night was supposed to be in the high 60s, there was no need for a fire, let alone an inferno. This gradually morphed into a game (by the DLs) of attempting to make scary noises in the woods, pulling out more deadwood, and CM once commented, "There's a HUGE raccoon back here! Someone get me the axe!" Many of the boys surged forward in excitement until 3 of the DLs still around the fire said there would be NO killing of anything, with or without an axe. CM would also instigate things. He'd be sitting in the camp chair and would say, "I've got ten bucks for anyone who can tie Jimmy to a tree!" The younger Scouts took this at least half-seriously, and would approach Jimmy with a rope in hand. ??? Why encourage this? Our boys decided they were tired, so we turned in with them. The last straw was in the morning, when I discovered the CM's son had taught most of the other Scouts to sing "Barbie Girl," with the modified lyrics of "I'm a Barbie girl In a Barbie world My boobs are plastic, they're fantastic You can do my hair, you can do my underwear..." Seriously? In Cub Scouts? I'm seriously bothered by all of this; the disorganization, the immature innuendo, the modeling of actions that are antithesis to LNT. What options do I have?
  8. -KJ-

    Unruly Scout?

    Elephants: Thank you for being brave enough to be painfully obvious. That's interesting. We were mainly going on the Belt Loop requirements, which I thought were Cub-Scout specific. I'll obviously need to check that out further. LOVE the Vitamin BL deficiency!
  9. I'm interested in this topic, too! My Den Leader and I are both women, and we would GLADLY and happily step aside for any dad who wanted to step up and take our place! (My son has lost both his grandpas, so his life is dominated mainly by women...his dad is his only male role model. And as wonderful as Daddy is, he can't possibly demonstrate all the possibilities of a "good man" by himself. I want some good "tribal elders" for my kid to interact with, look up to.) Part of our problem is employment. Most of the dads are the breadwinners. As such, they have hours during which they are simply unavailable. Good and fine. But combine that with the scout mommies. THEY want the Den meetings to happen conveniently. For THEM, that means right after school. Not many guys are available at 3:15 p.m. to run a Den Meeting. If we propose to the families that Den Meetings be moved to the evenings when the guys can help out, there's a chorus of complaints: "But when is he supposed to complete his homework?" "I don't want him up late on a school night!" "We have sports practice in the evenings!" And some of the parents are just too lazy to put forth much effort...we've lost two Scouts from our Den this year because scouting "Takes too much time." Nobody is interested in rocking the boat. Sigh.
  10. -KJ-

    Unruly Scout?

    We have a Pack-wide family campout coming at the end of the month where I can try to implement whatever suggestions y'all might have. Still listening openly! Our Pack doesn't currently have any Webelos (there are no W1's and the W2's moved up by now); which means our Den will be "top of the food chain," so to speak. I really want these kids to be role models to the younger Scouts... Our experienced CM moved on with his Webelos 2 son, and we're left a bit green on staffing...we're a mess, aren't we? To answer some questions: Chores are abandoned: Scouts were recalled to finish the chores, which they did. It's not like they went off to play and everyone shrugged and said, "Oh well." It's simply that they ought not be running off in the first place. We did notice that when the chores got harder, there was more interest. "Stage your gear in the garage" wasn't nearly as interesting as "You may pack the van." Unauthorized Driving: The Scout was next to the cart legitimately, putting something away. I think he was seized by the moment and impulsively sat down and hit the pedal, not really knowing it would MOVE. He was, however, delighted by the turn of events. I said something to the effect of, "Absolutely not. Get out of there. Are you sixteen yet? Then you're not allowed to drive." He sat there and sort of cocked his head, looked at me with bright little eyes. Seemed to be weighing the options mentally. "Out." He got out. Rock fights / Stick fights: They were stopped within the first minute of them starting (who actually WANTS to have a rock fight? This is beyond me.), and the boys stopped throwing rocks and put down the branches when ordered to. Is this just boredom? Idle hands and all that? (This message has been edited by -KJ-)
  11. -KJ-

    Unruly Scout?

    "hungry for male attention and praise" And both the Den Leader and I are women. I am very disappointed that none of the guys have stepped up to take on those roles, too. I think the last thing a lot of these boys need is more mommies. I've only done the first level of training. The Den Leader hasn't done any yet. I'll look up those resources; you have replied faster than Pack Leadership on the matter. TY.
  12. I'm a relatively new Assistant Den Leader for my son's Bear Den. We have a Den of about six kids. A couple are moderately unruly; we handle that at the Den and Pack Meetings without much trouble. This past week we took the boys for two full days; somebody's relative had a house on a lake, we were granted permission to use it over Spring Break to earn some Belt Loops. One of the dads who was an avid golfer came out and helped the boys with their driving and putting, we put a canoe in the lake, they took a long horseback ride along some great trails, we did hikes and campfires and s'mores...and in their down time the boys waded around in the lake and caught frogs during the day and at night there was a huge video-game fest for a couple of hours, and they all sacked out on the floor overnight. I've got one scout who is really being a burr under our saddle in all of this. He has a hard home life; no dad at home, one biological father he doesn't really get along with and an ex-step-father who floats in and out of the scene. Mom is overworked and frazzled and has a very needy toddler to boot. The scout is intelligent and generally decent, but he's beginning to develop a smart mouth. He acts impulsively and when corrected, he'll shrug infuriatingly, and add a smug "I don't care." My immediate gut reaction is to ratchet up the punishment until he DOES care, darn it, but I realize that's the dictionary definition of Power Struggle. To add to the problem, his mom was already with us on the trip. So threatening to have her attend certainly isn't much of a threat. She doesn't seem to have much control over her son, either. She also admits frustration with his behavior. He instigates all sorts of "fun" things; the Scouts are tasked with chores A, B, and C, and the minute your back is turned he convinces the other Scouts to run off and play hide and seek; he leaps into a golf cart and hits the pedal...the cart moves and he gets a glint in his eye that tells you if the cart weren't already blocked in by a car, he'd seriously consider taking off in the thing; he interrupts a Den pep talk about leadership and responsibility several times with," Yeah, can we go play now?"; he argues any punishment, deflects any sort of blame/responsibility, and has a real penchant for prodding the other boys into bad behavior (instigating "rock fights," swinging downed branches at one another). I wouldn't put him into the bully category, but he does have influence. What do we do? Any threats of "You'll sit this one out," are again met with "I don't care." "Somebody could get hurt." "I don't care." "Your stuff could get ruined." "I don't care." I feel very limited. I'm not his parent, and feel like I have little influence. I can't see any of the boys having an impact on him, he seems to be at the top of the hierarchy from what I can see. Short of duct-taping him to the nearest tree, :-) does anyone have any suggestions?
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