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Mommascout

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Everything posted by Mommascout

  1. Mommascout

    Camping Outside your Council

    Thank you both for the ideas - I will make sure I've covered all those angles!
  2. Mommascout

    Full Uniform

    sctmom - I also take every opportunity to photograph my son when he is in uniform and hope that someday when he outgrows being embarrassed about being seen in it around his male school peers - that he will remember what that uniform represented for him while he was growing up. He is at an awkward age (14) with his peers and as they don't see Scouting as being "cool" he feels he must not let them know he is a Scout. I am working on this with him and I see improvement. If his peers only knew what awesome things my son did in that uniform I'm sure they'd want to become scouts. When he gets dressed in his uniform for any scouting related activity he is very proud to wear it - especially to Courts of Honor when he gets to wear all the bells and whistles. I'm hoping this phase will soon pass as I'm sure it will. He is becoming more mature and beginning to see that peer pressure is just that. Does anyone have any advice about how I can help him overcome feeling this way? How long does this phase last? I never thought about trying the "girls love a guy in uniform" angle but I will surely try that one!
  3. Mommascout

    Full Uniform

    sctmom - I also take every opportunity to photograph my son when he is in uniform and hope that someday when he outgrows being embarrassed about being seen in it around his male school peers - that he will remember what that uniform represented for him while he was growing up. He is at an awkward age (14) with his peers and as they don't see Scouting as being "cool" he feels he must not let them know he is a Scout. I am working on this with him and I see improvement. If his peers only knew what awesome things my son did in that uniform I'm sure they'd want to become scouts. When he gets dressed in his uniform for any scouting related activity he is very proud to wear it - especially to Courts of Honor when he gets to wear all the bells and whistles. I'm hoping this phase will soon pass as I'm sure it will. He is becoming more mature and beginning to see that peer pressure is just that. Does anyone have any advice about how I can help him overcome feeling this way? How long does this phase last? I never thought about trying the "girls love a guy in uniform" angle but I will surely try that one!
  4. Mommascout

    Do you home school, public school or private school?

    As this topic has always been of interest to me I thought I'd check out the thread. I too, was unable to vote as I have felt confusion since my son's pre-k days as to where we should send him to school. My husband and I are practicing Roman Catholics both products of Catholic schools and so it was extremely difficult to make the decision to send our son (now in 8th grade) to public school which we did. Our small parish school had decreasing numbers and teachers and has since closed. It offered no technology, foreign language or music program. The brand new public school offered all that and much more in academics and was rated in the top 10% in technology education in the country but it offered no religion which we felt was important to us as Catholics. Now that he is graduating in a few months and I can look back in hindsight I see that we made the right choice but also see that the public school was wonderful with its early childhood program up until about 4th grade. As the children aged I felt the school did not focus as much on some values (tolerance and diversity mostly) and character (good citizenship type of stuff) education which I saw in the early grades and was pleased with. Our son complains about the kids morals and choices and immaturity and how the teachers look the other way and don't acknowledge bad behaviors. There have been many times when I've considered home schooling and even looked into curriculum options out of sheer frustration with the public school's lack of discipline at times. He is the product of Scouting since Tiger Cubs and CCD (Religious Education for Catholics who go to public school) and parents who have taught him his moral values and been involved in his religious education from the start. My son is also a product of the public school system and has done well but I believe would not have done as well had we not supplemented his life with exposure to so many other ideals. Now we face high school. We have decided to send him to a Catholic high school and the main reason is religion but there are many smaller reasons. Our public high school is overcrowded (2000+) due to wild housing development. It is also having a roach and mouse epidemic. Our son, after exploring 6 different high school options, said he felt more comfortable to be in a school where he could express his religious convictions freely and be with people who were of the same faith. He liked the idea of uniforms with suit jackets and neckties required. (Maybe that comes from wearing his Scout uniform for so many years!) He liked that there was a chapel where he could pray - just an overall sense that it felt more like home. So he is excitedly looking forward to high school. As far as the tuition - I wish we had vouchers but that's another thread... my husband has taken on a part time job to help with that. So, it is a sacrifice but we feel well worth it. The school has a band, technology and swim team and foreign language and all the things he is interested in. So, for our family it will take a combination of public and private school to educate our son. If things go sour for some reason ( I am not blind to the fact that drugs will be an issue as chippewa29 has pointed out) I know that home schooling is always another option for me and I would considered doing it in a heartbeat if I thought that it was the best thing for my child. I salute all you home schoolers out there. Yes, it is a personal choice that has so many factors to weigh and each of us can only do what we feel is right for our children. How to educate our children is one of the toughest challenges we face as parents. I thank God for the BSA and the wonderful education it has offered to my son and me as well. A lot of BSA material you won't find in public or private schools. It is just another facet of education for our boys. Good luck to all of you in whatever choice you make. How to educate our kids is the toughest challenge we face as parents.
  5. Mommascout

    Integrated Hispanic/Anglo Troop

    Ozemu gave you wonderful advice. As a former pre-school teacher of 13 years I agree with the multicultural agenda. This idea can bring so much fun and understanding to your troop. Having the boys learn about several new cultures takes the focus off the differences in your group. I don't think there is one but there should be a merit badge on multicultural learning. Each culture has various holidays that you could base an entire program on. When the holiday comes up on the calendar there is a myriad of activities that you could do (customs, food & recipes, decorations, songs, dances, storytelling, crafts and even videos etc.) You can get ideas from any school, library or teacher store and of course online. Perhaps you could speak with local Spanish teachers and explain your goals. They should have lots of ideas and maybe would accept an invite to a troop meeting. Another thought on uniforms - perhaps until your troop and the families aquire Class A uniforms you could allow a simple inexpensive Class B t-shirt temporarily. Your local council or camp may have leftovers from previous camp years at a cheaper price. (Ours is always selling prior year t-shirts) A Class B and a scout cap shows uniformity as much as a Class A. Hope that helps, good luck to you. You have a great challenge before you.
  6. Mommascout

    Lousy Scoutmaster

    Hi Scouters: I strongly agree with everyone on the issue of parents who stifle their sons and try to do everything for them. I think that most parents who choose Scouting for their sons have done so with their child's best interests at heart and can usually step back once they learn about the program. Those new parents in SCTMOM's troop who were angered, left early, and decided on another troop after the FIRST campout, certainly did not give the Scoutmaster or troop a fair chance to grow. If they do go on to start their own troop they will inevitably have to go through training and then they will (hopefully!) come to a better understanding of how troops need to run. They will then be in the leadership position and have to prove themselves as worthy leaders to the parents of their scouts. They may get negative feedback if they can't let go of the "Do It My Way" mentality. I have no regrets about my family leaving our troop. As I said enrollment dropped dramatically over the past year (no new Webelos either) as many parents and scouts simply quit without looking back. We stayed for over a year - largely due to the fact that we are definitely "lifers" and will always be committed to Scouting. Attending the National Jamboree only reinforced that for us. There were so many reasons we left our troop that I could start 20 different threads to discuss them. Suffice it to say that after weighing all the factors and discussing it with our son (who lost interest in even attending meetings) we felt that we had given it our best and it was time to find a troop that truly exemplified Scout Spirit. And we did! The difference in leadership, friendliness and the general atmosphere was obvious immediately. But what most impressed my husband and me was how the entire meeting was scout-run - it was a breath of fresh scout spirit. We feel more at home there after 3 weeks than we did in our home troop after more than a year. Now our son is excited again about Scouting! And so are we!!!
  7. Mommascout

    Earrings

    My sentiments exactly !!! Thank you!
  8. Mommascout

    Lousy Scoutmaster

    sst3rd Sorry about the title of this thread "Lousy Scoutmaster" ... but at the moment I wrote that, it was how I truly felt. A lot of these forums take a turn from the original posting subject. I will title my next issue in a more tactful way. That also was my very first time I posted! I've learned alot from reading the others.
  9. Mommascout

    Troop Committees

    MomScouter: I understand your feelings of frustration completely. My family WALKED last week!!! For different problems but the same issue: a SM who tried to run the show and made obvious mistakes doing so. Our former troop had 33 registered active scouts one year ago. We were down to 14. And now that my son and 2 foster sons have moved on to a much, much greener pasture it is down to 11. It took us a full year to make the change because like you, I kept hoping and thinking surely this will change - every one of the adult leaders went to the trainings - the same ones my husband and I attended. Why could they not see what was happening? We checked out a couple of troops and asked questions and then just did it. Without going into specifics, there were so many pluses we discovered just at the first meeting and my son was thrilled so I know we made the right choice. Our Scout Spirit was fading and when we attended the National Jamboree last summer we witnessed scouting at it's best and our spirit was not only renewed it was ignited. We knew then that if things did not change in our troop we were moving on but we hung on to the hope that things would change. Sometimes you have to just make your own changes when you know in your heart it's the right thing!!! Good Luck in your new troop!
  10. Mommascout

    Appointed Senior Patrol Leaders?

    Ed & Bob; Forgive my tone. I don't mean to come off in an Unscoutlike manner. I am very new to the forums and my goal is to learn from the masters and not be defensive or offensive. BSA has been such a positive force in my life and in my family and I guess I get scout fever sometimes. I'm sorry guys.
  11. Mommascout

    Lousy Scoutmaster

    (continuation) The boys will get to be PL for one meeting as a way of breaking the ice and easing into the program for any new scouts. Then after each has had a turn they will hold elections. There 11 or 12 scouts so they should complete their trial run in about 3 months.
  12. Mommascout

    Lousy Scoutmaster

    Scouter Paul: Our new Webelos have just crossed over and will have similar opportunities that OGE's troop offers. They each will get a turn and will proceed in alphabetical order.
  13. Mommascout

    Lousy Scoutmaster

    Ed Mori: In response - No, I never said a 15 year old is equal to an 18 year old in their experiences and mentality. I took the Ages and Stages training - remember? I said the 11-13 age group is very different than the 15-18 group. I was making a generalization to make a point about why the patrol method is important. I did not say patrols should be divided by age but many patrols are grouped with similar age-ranges. New scouts should be in their own new patrol until they reach the rank of First Class and have learned the basic skills needed and then they should move on to more experienced patrols that usually are mixed ages. But many new (Webelos) scouts choose to stay together as a patrol when they do reach First Class because the bonds have been created. Of course, this is not typical in all troops. Each scout proceeds up the advancement ranks on an individual basis so of course the ages will be mixed to some degree. My son's old troop grouped the scouts into patrols of similar age, rank and experience and it worked very well. The older scouts were usually assigned to teaching scout skills instruction to the younger and inexperienced boys. So on that note we finally agree on something. Older scouts are leaders to younger scouts. In one paragraph you are telling us how different the 15 year old boys are from the 18 year old boys and how you can't "lump" them in the same group and in the next you say each patrol should be intermixed with different ages. I'm confused about what you are questioning me about??? A patrol - no matter what the mixture of ages and stages is - has a right to plan some meetings, service projects, hikes, campouts or whatever - independent of the troop as long as it is approved by the SM and does not interfere with a troop activity. (Even the new Scout Patrol has that right - they may need more guidance of course but they can go to a professional baseball game or a play as a patrol - any activity will strenghthen that patrol and that is the goal.) Take the Challenge Ed! Try it once - just one weekend to see what it is all about. Lead one patrol on a campout and leave the rest of the troop behind. What will happen? You will see each individual scout in a different light. The bond between you and each boy will be strengthened. They will get to know and respect you better, and you them. The patrol will create a stronger bond among the scouts. They can work on scout skills and get much more individual attention - less chaos and distraction. The growth and strength of that one patrol will only strengthen "their" TROOP even more. Enlist the other adult leaders to assist with supervising individual patrol outings. Regroup as a troop and discuss and reflect what was positive and what didn't work and how to help each patrol improve. Over time there can only be success. Have a discussion with your PLC and toss out the idea and you'll be surprised with the response. Good Luck!
  14. Mommascout

    Earrings

    I agree that kids (and adults) should be judged by character and not appearance. Body decorating (piercings, tatoos, hennas, hair design) goes back to ancient civilizations. It is simply a form of self expression. I don't think all boys with piercings are saying "look at me - I want your attention". I think they believe it is a cool trend or fad and just want to have fun with it. Yes, some may go to extremes and parents do need to try and limit overzealous teens. Peer pressure also comes into play. I don't think a tiny pinhole in one's ear can be considered "altering your body" - that's ridiculous. Do I feel that I must defend my parenting skills because my son has one ear pierced? No way Dedicated Dad. You're talking with Dedicated Mom here. I felt a little offended by the "Character Flaw" comment but that is ridiculous as well. My 14 year old son has had a pierced ear since he was 10. He occasionally wears an earring. He has had the spiked hair, the bleached blond tips and those hairstyles have passed. Kids like to stay trendy and try new things. As a parent you must know that you have to choose your battles carefully. I choose to not be as flexible when it comes to my high expectations of his behavior and grades and manners and respect for adults and his faith. But I also choose to give him freedom in making decisions for himself on issues that are not so important such as his hairstyle or the shoes he'd like to wear. Kids need to express themselves and also need to know that mom and dad approve. Of course I have said NO to some requests. My son is a Star Scout in the OA (Arrow of Light Cub), a super swimmer for the YMCA (5 years), a member of the school band (Clarinet for 5 years), and an altar server for our church. He is a wonderful conscientious young man and I grow more proud of him every day. Do I think he has a character flaw because of the pinhole in his ear? Oh yeah - his real passion is skateboarding. That sport has been labeled negatively just like tattoos and earrings . Don't judge people on how they look.
  15. Mommascout

    Appointed Senior Patrol Leaders?

    Bob White: You have tried and tried to be helpful, courteous, kind, friendly and above all patient with Ed Mori. I've been following the dialogue and suggest that you abandon the cause because he just is not capable of accepting your superior knowledge. This is exactly the mentality I had to deal with in my son's former troop and I felt so frustrated at times with the stubborn attitude of a power-hungry Scoutmaster , a control freak that insisted on a 'one man show'. You seem to be a natural teacher and it is your instinct to help others learn in a positive way. (I recognize that because I taught preschool for 13 years and CCD for 5) But you surely must know that some 'kids' just never get the lesson being taught. Ed's ego got bruised when he learned he didn't know about the correct patrol method and he felt angry and embarrassed in front of the class. It's okay Ed, I forgive your condescending attitude toward me and hope you can step back for a minute and reevaluate what we are trying to say to you about the patrol method. We are all adults trying to follow the best program for our kids. We need to learn from each other and offer advice and knowledge to each other. This is my 8th year in Scouting and I learn something new every time I'm involved - whether it's on a campout, reading a simple brochure or talking to another Scouter who has had more experience than I. (and going on the Scouter's Forum! which by the way was my very first time yesterday!) So, Bob White - you did your best and now it seems that Ed wants to continue negative debate. Give it up and advise other Scouter's who respect your insight and wealth of knowledge. Mommascout
  16. Mommascout

    Lousy Scoutmaster

    Sorry, my eyes were bugged after reading the 10 pages on the homosexuality issue on another board and I had to get some shuteye. Those guys are intense in their debate. About the Patrol method and where I heard of it? It is just basic to Scouting. I learned it in Scoutmaster Fundamentals as well as from speaking to different leaders at campouts, camporees and the National Jamboree. Because my former troop (scoutmaster) refused to consider it, I was always curious about how other troops handle the issue. There are a lot of troops who do NOT use the method properly. I've asked Scoutmasters if and how they incorporate it into their troop and those that use patrol method have sufficient, long-term experienced leadership and wouldn't have it any other way. Then there are those Scoutmasters that don't seem to have the basic knowledge or lack enough adult leadership within their troop to help implement it. As a former Cub Den Leader I know that working with the boys in a small group is extremely successful and much more conducive to learning. Every troop should learn more about the Patrol Method and we who know about it should spread the word.
  17. Mommascout

    Lousy Scoutmaster

    Dear Bob White: Thank you for your support. I was going to leave the forum because I didn't wish to deal with ignorance and arrogance. But I'm glad I came back. The patrol method is the core of scouting and those of us who listened at training know that!! Thanks again. Mommascout
  18. Mommascout

    Lousy Scoutmaster

    Dear Ed: 13 years! That's great.In the Scoutmaster Handbook, Chapter 3, "About Patrols" under the subheading "Patrol Activities" I quote: "A good patrol should carry out hikes, camping trips, and other activities of its own, and not just sit around waiting for the next troop event. After all, a patrol is not just one of several units into which a troop is conveniently divided, but one of several units that make up a troop.A patrol has every right to enlarge its share of Scouting adventure by planning activities of its own. A caution though: No patrol activity should conflict with or bypass a troop activity. And any patrol hike or overnight must have the Scoutmaster's approval. Sometimes a Scoutmaster may ask a Scout's parent and another adult leader to accompany a patrol on an outdoor experience. Safe fun is a lot better than the other kind." On the other topic of "Ages & Stages", during my Fundamentals of Scouting training, we had an entire segment devoted to the topic 'One Size Does Not Fit All'. Chapter 10 of the Scoutmaster Handbook is about basic child development. Assign appropriate tasks; Beware of size differences; Give clear precise instructions; A 13 year old may be clear and fair-minded where a 16 year old may be confused and unclear-minded. My point: boys occasionally need to do activities with boys of similar age and that is where the patrol activities outside the troop can come in. There are several other references to Patrol Activities in the handbook that are in a similar vein. These are simply guidelines of Scouting to be interpreted as you wish.
  19. Mommascout

    Lousy Scoutmaster

    To Ed Mori/Troop 1:We would quit your troop, too. The patrol method was established to create independence and age-appropriate experiences within a troop. The 15-18 year olds need the opportunity to occasionally- not consistently without the troop - to go on outings themselves (with adult leadership of course). The 11-13 year olds need to be able to learn some skills independently. There is a training course for SM's who don't understand this method - it's called Ages & Stages. There is a wide gap between a new 11 year old scout and an experienced 15 year old scout and that needs to be acknowledged by allowing patrols to be a bit more independent from the troop. Yes, I agree older scouts have the responsibility of helping to teach younger scouts - that is a given. Does anyone out there agree that patrols need to do independent activities??? On the other subject of putting conditions on attending trips... if your troop is falling apart because of this policy shouldn't the scoutmaster allow the scouts to choose which trips they want to attend? At least the attendance would increase and the SM could take the opportunity to try to convince the reluctant scouts what a great time they have on EVERY trip and if that were true then the scout would go on more trips. Anyone agree with that theory?
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