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About momof2cubs

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  1. oooo jblake that sounds entertaining!!! Brewmeiser: we are trying to provide variety. Our boys are pretty spoiled in terms of entertainment. Sigh... We do a bake off in February along similar lines as part of our birthday celebrations.
  2. I have combed the Baloo Bugle. I have googled till my fingers gave out. I have scoured through Scouting magazines. And I can't find something fresh and fun to do at the December pack meetings. I am looking for a fun, FUN!!!!!, game we can play in December. Possibly a gathering activity too. We have done the sock/snowball fight last year and it was a BLAST. The boys loved it. I know there are some among you that have done an equally awesome activity we can try out in December. I kinda need to keep the holiday celebrations diverse, as we are a PTA-sponsored pack and have scouts from several backgrounds. Let the games begin!
  3. Yeah, I'm very sorry, but I would be extremely firm with those parents. Explain that BSA does not, in fact, stand for Baby Sitters of America and they MUST stay available. And other kids will say no to him and he has to learn how to deal with it. And someone, and I honestly asking here, explain to me how ODD is not really just a way of saying defiant and disrespectful.
  4. 25 boys seems a tiny troop to me. My son's troop has about 60 to 70 active boys at any given meeting. Probably more than that are floaters. I think the official count is close to 100. My kid chose it after visiting several troops of all sizes. Things I, as a parent, like about a large troop: 1. The adult work is much more spread out. You have a much larger pool of parents and you don't burn out as easily. They have several ASMs and several committee members so the CC and SM are not overwhelmed. 2. They still split into patrols. Each patrol is about 6-8 boys. They keep the 1st years somewhat isolated in their own patrols. They of course participate in the troop meetings and can attend any campout the patrol organizes (except HA of course, designed for older boys), but they have at least one campout a month designed just for them (think 5-mile hike campout, intro to backpacking campout). They also have two ASMs dedicated to the 1st years. And the 1st patrols all have one troop guide (older boy). This, I think, makes it easier for a 1st timer to roll into scouting and not be intimidated by a whole sea of experienced scouts. It also promotes the whole 1st class by 1st year culture. Some people don't like that, I kinda do. 3. They have SO many things going on! They camp at least once a month, most of the times is twice. They have tons of service opportunities. They have tons of merit badge opportunities (yeah I know, don't start with me - I like MB classes and so does my busy son). Things I don't like: 1. Is still sometimes hard for a kid not to get lost in the crowd. We are talking about a lot of kids. 2. During the 1st year, they don't interact all that much with the older scouts.
  5. qwaze: lots. There were over 100 attending and around 60% succumbed. So as I type this, maybe it can't be reasonable to expect a phone call to all the parents of all the fallen. However, maybe a list sent to a leader at home would have been better. Or really, and I know I sound like a broken record, say NOTHING AT ALL.
  6. While yours was a valid assumption, it was actually a female leader that sent the message. I would have been WAY better off not knowing a dang thing.
  7. This "mommy" wouldn't have NEEDED to talk to her son if I had known nothing at all. And I wouldn't have "needed" to talk to my son if I had know that either a) he was fine or b) he did get sick, but he's fine now. Vague info is a million times worse than no info at all.
  8. Again, I care not a jot for "updates" or pictures or newsletters during camp. But this was not, in my opinion, a "minor" issue. It was MAJOR. over 60% of the scouts at camp came down with this. And it was NOT a minor bug. They were throwing up and down for 24 hours. Some had to go to the hospital. Yes, I do assume that the parents of kids that went to the hospital were notified. But I am upset at the MANNER in which communication was handled. A vague e-mail stating that "some" scouts came down with a stomach virus fills you with apprehension because we ALL know that if it had truly been "some" (i.e. 3 or 4 scouts) there would have been NO need for an e-mail. They sure didn't sent an e-mail saying that "some" scouts had gotten a cut or a scrape, did they? And I'm sure it happened. This was a serious enough ordeal that some of the troops there decided to leave. So how would *I* had handled it if I had been the adult in charge? One of two ways: 1. Option 1: say NOTHING. There is no need to know they were puking at camp, IF (as it is assumed) it was truly a minor illness. 2. Option 2: send a list of the "fallen" to one of the adults that is home and have them contact the parents and say not to worry, junior came down, he is fine now. A blanket e-mail does nothing. It only serves to worry people. And this is my 1st year as a troop mom, but I didn't just discover scouting yesterday, I DO know a thing or two. And I know what you are gonna say: well maybe next time you can volunteer to go to camp. Touche. But I probably will next time. That's assuming my kid even wants to go ever again.
  9. I would have rather heard NOTHING at all!! What good was it to send a vague e-mail telling some people were sick? What was accomplished by THAT? Absolutely nothing. I would have been fine not knowing a dang thing UNLESS it was one my children that got sick. How difficult is it to make a 30 second phone call? "Hi Mrs XYZ, this is Mr ABC over at Camp BSA. Everything is fine, we just wanted to let you know Johnnie got a stomach bug, nothing serious, he's drinking fluids and we are taking very good care of him, and doc says he'll be back on his feet in a day. Kaythanksbye! I guess that would put a damper of Medical Officer's camp experience. But there was NO point in sending a vague e-mail with no real details. It only served to make people worried. I rather have nothing at all.
  10. I'd like to clarify a couple of things: 1. My kid had been away without me and dad before. Not only at webelos campouts, but for a full week at a non-scout camp. He was fine and so was I about letting him go. In fact he was barely 8 years old the first time he went away for a week by himself. I didn't have any anxiety and neither did he. So I'm not a separation noob. 2. I read all the literature and did all the "right" things regarding preparing for camp. I was positive and upbeat, we talked about how to handle things if he got homesick, I never called. I didn't write because the letters weren't going to reach in time. I sent a CARE package because the troop encouraged that. 3. I am not involved with troop leadership because they don't exactly welcome female leadership. And I am sorta ok with that really. Not what I would do, but I can see why. Boys need men role models, specially boys that don't have that home. Boys also tend to feel more comfortable with male leaders and male leaders do tend to understand boys better than women. 4. I am NOT in any way, shape, or form a clingy or helicopterish parent. I encourage my son to try new things on his own, and grow in scouting without his parents. Having said all that, I could not help but being extremely worried when I heard about the illness and I will not change my position that communication was not great. I haven't made a decision on how to handle the cell phone thing in the future. But I still might tell him to pack it deep in his bag and off just in case.
  11. Yeah, a bleeding cut is not the same thing as over 60% of the scouts coming down with a serious illness. And whoever said "for the benefit of mom", yeah way to be kind. I'm sorry my worrying over my kid being ill puts a damper on your camp activities. And for the record, I didn't call camp.
  12. In regards to the cell phone policy: I get it. You don't want the boys distracted texting their buddies instead of enjoying camp. However, as a parent, I have a slight issue with it. I have obeyed the troop's policy and my son's phone stayed home. During summer camp this year, there was a nasty stomach bug (that included everything from throwing up to ..um..throwing down) that swept through camp. Over half the boys came down with it. Some troops even left. Some of the boys had to be sent to the hospital with dehydration (their fault, they were refusing to drink) as a result. So pretty serious. My issue was with the communication. They sent very vague e-mails a couple of times about a stomach bug and told us the boys were fine and they were taking good care of them. No mention of who got sick, the seriousness, nothing. Honestly, this does not make a mom's heart leap with joy. I had NO idea how my kid was. I *could* have called, but I didn't want to be "that" parent and I didn't want to risk speaking to my son and making him home sick. I didn't want to bother the staff. But I was VERY worried. And we didn't find out the seriousness until they got home. I would have given ANYTHING to be able to text my kid with a quick "you ok?". And honestly people, I am the farthest thing from a helicopter parent, but this was very worrisome! So I am honestly considering disregarding the troop's policy on cell phones at campouts. With the caveat that the phone is NEVER to be used except to respond to a text from ME or an emergency. I no longer trust leadership. And I know what you are gonna say: "Time to change troops, mom". Yeah, we all know sometimes is not THAT simple. And I like the troop and the troop's kids. Perhaps the policy should be changed to no USING cell phones as opposed to not HAVING cell phones.
  13. Eagledad, that's an EXCELLENT idea. Of course it will require troops to stop thinking of packs as the mikey mouse of scouting. In my area they do hardly any recruiting at all. The onus is all on the pack leaders to find and visit and explore the local troops. And needless to say, troops regularly complain of unprepared scouts.
  14. My son's troop does shakedowns and they also confiscate contraband if they find it at camp. I knew an old scout master that had the NO electronics rule even back in the 80s. Back then, there were not as many hand held devices as they are now, but you still had walkmans, and some others. His thing? If he found it on you or in your stuff, he would confiscate it...for A YEAR. And he did it too. But I think I understand that you are trying to address a larger issue here. I am going through growing pains myself with my 1st year scout. For me, it is a very very very fine balance between knowing he has to learn some things for himself and do his own scout journey, and also knowing the he is still only 12 years old. And I am OK(ish) if he sunburns because he forgot to pack his sunscreen for instance. But I am not really OK with him getting food poisoning because he didn't cook his food properly and none of the "boys" guides was around to supervise at the campout (this has happened TWICE in my son's troop, though not to my son personally) It is hard to entrust your son to the care of an adult you barely know and much harder to entrust him to the care of a teenager you know not at all. And that 1st year, that's what it is. I personally think that scout leaders (in general) could do a better job at reassuring parents that while this is a boy led troop, they will NOT let him get seriously hurt. I don't feel that reassurance right now in my son's troop.(This message has been edited by momof2cubs)
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