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Posts posted by MomToEli

  1. Work with the parents to understand what is going on. If they don't want to work with you, fine. That ends the situation.


    Two keys though are that #1 scouting is a group activity and that #2 scouting is a volunteer activity (both youth and adults). You can only go so far "forcing" youth to include someone who doesn't want to function as a part of their group. It's one thing if they exclude someone who wants to be involved. It's another if the kid won't socialize with them.


    QUESTION - Have you lost other scouts because of him? Or, have others said they'd rather not go on events if they have to camp with him? Just curious. It happens.


    If you really really think you can help this youth, great!


    BUT, scouting is not for everyone and I'd really warn against naively taking the "If any kid needs scouting, it's this kid" attitude. It's true, but the damage to your troop and your troop's reputation can be pretty bad.


    No, we haven't lost anyone, but I know everyone was really upset about it Saturday. They were trying very hard to do good and even the Webelos who went with us were pulling their weight.
  2. Well, there is a "Scout Spirit" requirement for every rank. So I assume he is not advancing...right? Consequences?
    He is one of my lads who hasn't done a pull-up yet so he is still a Scout. He and the other boy both crossed into the Troop almost a year ago now and neither of them seem to mind not having advanced. That may well change now that more boys are coming in who may well pass them up. Nothing like a little peer pressure to get you off dead center. But Scout Spirit is the next bridge I have to cross with him.
  3. Does he seem "lost" while you are giving instrutions? Could it be he has a learning disability/senory issuses they aren't telling you about? My DS has a problem that looks like ADD/hearing loss so he takes clues to what he should be doing from the other boys sometimes and if you didn't know it, it would sort of look like he was hanging back, doing nothing, or being counter productive. But, The Troop knows about his problems.
    No ... not lost. Uninterested, actually. He simply ignores what is said. If I ask him if he heard me he will say yes, but then continue to not do as instructed - I'm talking about things like. Mind you - eventually he does comply when he realizes I am not going to back down. I don't raise my voice. I just repeat the request and eventually he will do as asked. Honestly - and don't take this wrong - he reminds me of my Chocolate Lab when she is standing down by the burn pile and I'm calling her in. She will stand and look at me with that "make me" look on her face - eventually she will decide I mean business and come in the house :-)


    The bigger problem is trying to teach the SPL how to deal with it. I would say it is very possible he could be diagnosed, but mom and dad have opted for no meds - which I don't fault at all. But it does seem to get worse when he gets tired.

  4. I have two boys who can't do a pullup to save their lives. Do I think they are practicing? Not really, and neither of them really claim they are trying really hard and just can't get it. We take the pullup bar every couple of weeks and they try again.


    Do I withhold Tenderfoot until they do ONE pullup, or do I award the rank and move forward?

  5. I have asked him if he likes Scouts and he tells me that he does part of the time, though he can't tell me what part he does not like beyond it is hard. I know last summer he complained he wasn't used to walking, which is very possible in this day and age (we already have a plan to prepare better for this summer by beginning a regular hiking program as soon as the new boys cross over in a week).


    I am going to take the idea of putting him in charge of something and running with that. I have been thinking about that for ALL of the boys, actually. We are a small troop - rebuilding from a big mess about 3 years ago, finally having aged those out who weren't inclined to change (youth and adults both), and we will be doubling at cross-over. We have been implementing the patrol method as we could get transitioned, which is why I didn't go on the Klondike trail with the boys in the first place - I want them turning to the SPL for leadership rather than me. Anyway, that process will get smoother as we go. Back to this scout ...


    I have talked with Dad to make sure there is nothing going on with the other boys that I am not aware of, and Dad reassures me there is nothing on that front. I have taken to telling him that I can only listen to him if he stops crying as I can't understand him. I do think he is starting to realize that tears don't move me much.


    Ok ... this gives me a couple of ways to go with this. Basementdweller, sorry you have to deal with one, too, but glad I'm not alone!

  6. Eating is another issue, though Dad is the first one to say he eats what is presented or he goes hungry - just like at home (he doesn't like peanut butter along with everything else). And yes, he helps plan the meals. Makes for a long week of summer camp when you have a youth that won't eat the food.

  7. I have a young man in our troop who ... well, the best way i can say this is he is uncooperative. It isn't an issue of not hearing. He can be down right defiante. The way I have dealt with it is to make sure I have eye contact with him before I give him an instruction, and at that I may have to tell him something more than once. Dad is active - stays for meetings and camps with us when he can. And, Dad can be pretty harsh but it is voice only - I've never seen him make a move towards this kid. And the kid really likes having Dad around.


    We have taken him to summer camp without Dad, and while he did get a little homesick he did overall well. I noticed that he preferred to do things on his own - took different Merit Badges than the other boys, for instance. He is a great one for dragging his feet and lagging way behind and I finally told him that if he continued to do that he would be sitting out with me and another leader while the boys went swimming or whatever else was coming up. I also told him he would have to listen to one of the other boys walk along side him and tell him his "water lecture"! haha - that is almost as bad as water boarding according to the rest of the boys :-) Anyway, he finally picked the pace up.


    He has to be rode constantly to help with anything - cooking, cleaning, packing up, setting up - when we go camping. Now, he says he likes Scouts and always wants to go camping. But he just doesn't want to DO anything.


    This past weekend was the Klondike and he was so uncooperative with the other boys (small enough troop they went as one patrol). This was an issue at every single station. No matter what the patrol was attempting to do he would either do nothing or actually work in a counter productive way. As a result this group of boys who normally would at least make an honorable showing of things didn't place in a single event, and to a boy they blame this one boy. (We have talked about how winning isn't the only goal, that they are learning to work as a team, etc. and I've taken the time to let them know how proud I am of them and proud to be their Scoutmasters.)


    Talking to this youth yields nothing positive. He cries and says everyone is being mean to him. I have seen his behavior and have no doubt the other boys are telling the truth. But, I don't know how to teach them to handle it. I don't let them bully each other. They are trying to figure out how to deal with this - frankly they are to the point they'd rather he just stay home.


    Please - how do I teach them how to illict cooperation from him when even I can not?

  8. We are doiing Scout Sunday this weekend (the 10th). The Troop is coming out in force with boys and adults in uniform attending services, boys as ushers, and helping with parking. We have a new minister and want to make a good impression--we do this every year but this time a little more effort. We were asked NOT to do the color guard this time. On the church grounds we always have a "campsite" set up with a fire, a lashed bamboo gate way, and some dutch oven treats to share--we invite folks over for that.
    I like the idea of the campsite. Maybe we will do that sometime this spring. The brain is working :-)
  9. We always gave everyone a "I Did My Best" award. It was a Hot Wheels car hot glued onto a piece of wood with a paper label glued to the front. The kids loved them, though often they would twist the car off the piece of wood and play with the cars. We still have two or three of them from my son's years in the Pack.



  10. The 70% in favor of a local option here matches that of the polled number from the councils. With 70 samples here and 294 council samples (364 total), and 1,039,825 adults in the bsa (from wikipedia), the margin of error is just over 5%. This assumes the poll is random. Still, this is a surprising number to me.


    Maybe the silver lining of the way this has been handled is that it will start the conversation within the boy scouts. That could make 16 weeks waiting a good thing in the long term.

    Where can I find the details on that poll, MattR? This is the first I have heard of one.
  11. That flies in the face of National Camp Standards which state (unless changed for this year - I haven't seen the new camp standards yet) youth must be registered members of the BSA. Siblings are certainly welcome at Family Camp, specifically mentioned within those Camp Standards, so perhaps they are changing to Family Camps.

  12. Our SE was interviewed on the local news last night...said the phone calls he's receiving are overwhelmingly for the status quo. Not that it's his decision to make, of course...
    Ours did, too. One area Troop apparently wrote a letter to National in support of the change and that information, along with the unit number, was also on the news. Nothing like sticking your kids right out in front. Maybe that is less risky if you are taking the PC position?
  13. I have about had it with BSA's national leadership. I am seriously considering whether I can remain a member of this organization. I have been a scouter for 15 years, pack committee, Cubmaster, troop Committee Chair and for the last 8 years I have been an assistant scoutmaster. I have been crew advisor on 5 high adventure treks. The scouts that joined when my son aged out have just aged out themselves. Most earned Eagle. I have continued in scouting for the boys but I am increasingly uncomfortable with the out of date membership policy. At work I have had to be increasingly cautious about with whom I discuss my involvement in scouting. Eagle92 said it best, we are becoming a "Cultural pariah." Some would say we already are.


    I guess I will hold on to May but if BSA does not change the policy I will fulfill whatever commitments I have to our troop and then leave. I am tired of explaining my continued membership to my friends, my co-workers and--most importantly--my wife.

    Just know that I've been hearing these exact same comments from people on "the other side". Long time Scouters who are ready to immediately tender resignations if they vote to change. They were ready yesterday but now will wait and see.


    I have never met a person outside of the Boy Scouts who looked down on me, as an adult, for being involved in Scouts. I have never met a single person, adult or youth, who have complained about the membership policies (though I realize there have been those in different parts of the country) of the Boy Scouts. My son has several years of fundraising under his belt, being one of the top popcorn sellers in the Council for all of Cub Scouts and the first year of Boy Scouts, going door to door to residences and businesses, most of whom we don't know, and never once has anything said they wouldn't buy popcorn or whatever because they disagree with any part of the Boy Scout organization or program.


    All of that to say what you claim is totally contrary to my personal experience. (Which does not negate YOUR personal experience one bit.)

  14. I think DeanRx says it very well, except that in his last sentence, I wouldn't say I am "disgusted", just very disappointed. I have gotten used to the BSA not handling difficult issues very well, but it did seem like they were moving in the right direction on this one. I still don't get why they would put that statement up on Scouting.org, linked from the front page, if this were not a done deal.


    As for petitions and surveys, I have not participated in any on this subject. I guess I should decide which is the right way to make my opinions known to National, and do it.


    It also baffles me that anyone could read the opinions expressed in this forum, many of which favor the change, and still conclude that the impetus for this change is some "outside" group or groups. The people in this forum who favor the change are all active Scouters, with one exception that I am aware of. Additionally, as far as I know, not that it should matter but for whatever anyone thinks it's worth, none of the people actively posting in this forum are gay, or at least nobody has identified themselves as such. (There was one who did, but he has not posted for a number of years.) We're just Scouters who disagree with National's policy and think local option would be in the best interest of the organization, and ultimately in the best interests of the Scouts.

    Quite simple, actually. I don't believe that we represent a fair snapshot of Scouting in general. There are many people who don't get involved with any type of online forums for a variety of reasons - ranging from limited time to limited comfort with technology to whatever - and of those who do there is a really small percentage that engage in these types of conversations for a variety of reasons - the two biggest that come to mind are, again, limited time and then I've found even in real life few people have the stomach for any sort of controversy or debate. This board alone boasts something like 1400 active members and there are perhaps a dozen of us in this conversation?
  15. They don't need to ask every Scouter or parent. They only need to ask about 1500. Do a scientifically valid survey of the local unit volunteers and another of the parents. However, are we all going to be preapred to accept the survey results, whatever kind they might do?


    PS: If my math is off, Stats was a long time ago.

    Maybe they are counting on the 1400 who are involved in the Annual Board meeting to represent the masses.
  16. I remember someone posting about a year or so back.. I believe he was a youth, and did admit he was still in scouting, just not coming out.. "You know, the closeted homosexual, that we are suppose to accept, because they are not openly gay".. Some of our conservative scouters called him every name in the book, and acted like he was lower then pond scum.. Yet they say things like "Truely we respect them, just not near us".. I didn't blame him for not returning to the forum. It was not this forum's finest moment..
    And I was not among those calling him names, as the record here will prove. Not ALL conservatives are total asses on top of it.
  17. What stats might that be, Basementdweller? You mean the 1.4 million and where those votes came from? They came from Change.org - that is who produced the petitions that were hand carried with much fanfare to National. It has been all over the news. And anyone can vote at Change.org - from anywhere in the world. There is no stat I need to post a link for.


    I take nothing away from your signature. YOUR voice should be heard in the mix. You have an investment in the program.


    For the record, I have the exact same issue with any petitions that may have come from any of the big religious organizations. They don't mean squat to me.


    I would love to see EVERY registered adult and the responsible adult for EVERY registered youth sent a questionaire. There is likely already a record somewhere of just how many people have actually been removed and those who have applied and been turned away. They should be sent one. Plus, anyone else willing to fill out an application on behalf of their openly gay son needs to be heard from. And then ask the organizations that actually extend the charters -not their national organizations but the ones that really sign the charters. And that is it. Those are the people with a stake in this. Those are the voices I am interested in hearing from.


    I'm not afraid of that. Are you?




  18. I saw this coming. The executive board is probably just as divided on this issue as everyone else. But the fact the it was even considered is progress. I don't know why they think that there will be any difference in consensus in the general meeting in May.


    - The BSA acceptance of gay leaders in inevitable as more society is becoming more and more accepting of equal rights of gay Americans. There is not reversing this trend.


    - ]We interact with gay people is all aspects of our society including our houses of worship, schools, grocery markets, the military, YMCA, after-school sports programs, Boys & Girls Clubs, etc. I'm not sure whey certain people are afraid of allowing gay leaders and scouts in the BSA.


    - 70% of the COs are religious in nature but only because schools and parent/teacher organizations no longer sponsor troops and packs because of the gay ban. If the ban is lifted hopefully we can get Scouting back into the schools. That would be a great source for new scouts.

    Our unit has been sponsored by the same small church for 63 years or so. We have never been sponsored by a school. The Pack my son went through was sponsored by the PTA of the elementary school and met in the school. The reason the school itself didn't/doesn't sponsor the Pack is not because of the ban on homosexuals, rather because of the religious (notice I didn't say Christian) aspect of the Scouting program.
  19. "If I am following all of this correctly, at least we have a survey of the council positions, something I have never seen before."


    How come I'm not getting the warm fuzzies with councils being involved? Ours wrote the book on can kicking and finger pointing. It will be another excuse for a non decision come May, blame it on someone else. It's not the yes or no, (our unit doesn't care what is decided, we will do what we've been doing) what bugs me the most is the clowns in TX letting this fester. Lets shoot this dead horse so the media can pick on us for something else, such as teaching kids to use fire arms (what the media calls weapons) or how to burn stuff.


    Hey Wayne; how about you grow a pair, step up and be a leader.


    Now there is an idea. If we get pistol shooting into the Boy Scout program (not just Venturing) that will give everyone something else to talk about.
  20. I, for one am relieved. You all can bicker all you want. Now I can turn my focus back on to working with my new scouts and getting them assimilated into the Troop. (We are doubling in size in two weeks!) All parents, including my new young scout's two moms, will get engaged and involved. We (the boys) will plan our campouts and get ready for summer camp.


    I am appreciative that National decided that they need to hear and listen to the voices of those INSIDE the program at least as much, if not more as those outside the program.


    1.4 million names on an online petition don't carry any weight with me. 1.4 million names of people who have youth in the program or youth who have been turned away from the program (notice I said youth, not adults) carry a lot of weight. Those are the people with a stake in this, not political activists with an agenda who have simply targeted an organization because they are large and visible. In our neck of the woods we are highly suspect of any adult who stomps their feet and demands to be in leadership. There are many ways we can support our sons - not everyone will be a registered leader.


    So, fight away. But it won't be with me. I am content to wait.

  21. Scouts is considered uncool by some for sure. But when I look at our youth and our adults who are and have been active I see anything BUT uncool. I make sure our boys lift their heads up and see what a great group they stand with.


    One of my highschool boys now has been bullied for being a "goody two-shoes" (I didn't realize kids even used that term anymore!), but realizes that he would be just as goody even if he weren't in Scouts because it is who he is as a person (respectfully, etc). We've had boys who have participated in all sorts of school athletics, band members, National Merit Scholars. We have boys who avail themselves of all sorts of high adventures through Scouts, including hiking and my own son will be doing all the watersports at camp with the Troop plus a full week of SCUBA during a specialty camp.


    I also have one boy who gives anyone who will pretend to listen a 30 minute water lecture (the properties of water - NOT water sports), one who is pretty ADD and one youth is joining tonight who is autistic. We have aged out one who is wheelchair bound with MS. We have boys who have aged out, grown up (and may or may not be on our Troop Committee) who are active military, medical doctors, veterinarians, school administators. the Sheriff is our Committee Chair and a retired Sheriff was active in another area troop. We have adult leaders in our Council who are lawyers, one who has hiked thousands of miles in the mountains, lots of climbers, doctors, business owners, athletes. We also have a large array of blue collar workers and other white collar workers.




  22. I don't think Scouts bringing cell phones to camp means the terrorists have won :-) I do think it means that the world we live in is simply not as secure as it used to be. Plus, mom is having trouble trusting you care as much about her son's well being as you do. Well, maybe not that as much as you don't care about her son as much as you do your own, so if the boat is going down and you only have two PFDs it will be bye bye Johnny. And, of course, she is having a difficult time knowing he just doesn't need her as much anymore - her role in his life is changing :-)


    When we go on any camping trip the boys get to have their phones on the trip, they call home when we arrive and then they all get stowed away. They call home when we are ready to leave and then they have them on the return trip. All mothers have MY cell number and permission to call any time night or day. Last summer at camp (500 miles away) we only had one mom call and I convinced her that talking to her boy at that point would not be in his best interest because he was not struggling with homesickness and we didn't want to introduce that into his experience, right?


    All parents knew how we were going to handle the phones because, as we assured them, we needed to save battery life for a real emergency. I do know that the moms seem to relax a bit knowing there is a "mother" on the scene. Of course, one learned that I don't mother quite the way they do, but ... her son actually survived without being coddled.


    I can't help the guy whose wife calls every day. That would be me - not because I don't trust them, but because I miss them terribly. I solved that by being involved and fully trained so I go along ;-)


    I must say, listening to you guys talk about this stuff is quite fun :-)

  23. It would be nice to be able to reverse the sort order of a thread or forum, listing the newest first. I work around it by going into the forum or thread and clicking Latest Activity - that seems to change the order - but it is still difficult to navigate.


    Posting a link is great except that navigating between posting the link and typing text is difficult. Last I tried I had to click one at the top of the post (write something or post link), do my business, then click the other. It would be preferrable to be able to click between panels to navigate. If that even makes any sense.

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