I would appreciate some feedback from you all regarding ongoing issues. My son and two of his friends joined troop "A", after choosing between the two local options.
It appeared to be a good fit, but now I am not so sure.
My son wants to continue with this troop as that is where his two best friends are members.
The Scoutmaster is very hands on, and maintains a tight control over every aspect. Even though they say it is scout led, it is only to the extent that they lead the way he wants them to.
My son is only mildly interested in camping. Once or twice a year is plenty for him, and the week long camp is too long for him. The troop pushes for every scout to go camping monthly, and the week-long Summer camp is basically mandatory. They say it isn't, but not so subtle pressure is constantly being applied to those that don't want to go.
They use the time as the means to accomplish a number of merit badges, and over a 5-7 year scouting career, they will all make Eagle.
My son prefers academics, and is now running into issues with merit badges. The Scoutmaster will only let them work on one or two at a time, and only with his approval of merit badge counselors. There is an opportunity for my son to use a local counselor that holds workshops on weekend days to make scheduling easier. This offers local scouts the option of using alternate methods for completing merit badges that don't require a week long camping trip.
The Scoutmaster has refused to allow it as it is "Classroom Learning". My son pointed out that the week long camp-out merit badges were also classroom learning with multiple scouts attending, but he muttered "that's different".
This is the latest in a number of issues that we have had to deal with. The Scoutmaster likes to say that all scouts are not the same, and he realizes that some have different priorities than others. In practice, he pushes the scouts to all complete the same requirements on the same schedule with no flexibility.
I am beyond frustrated, and there is no doubt in my mind that my son will not get a fair shake. My son sees this, but doesn't care as he is with his friends. I pointed out to him that he will care when they make Eagle and he will not for some obscure infraction that will apply only to him.
At a recent meeting my son got up and spoke to the Leadership Committee about his feelings about a new rule that was being implemented. The Scoutmaster's response to an 11 year old? If you don't like it join another troop! I did give the Scoutmaster a bad time about that statement, but I really don't think he realizes his lack of leadership.
If it was up to me, we would leave and go to the other troop but my son is not ready to make the change.
Can a scout join two troops? Be a member of each, and keep his current troop as more social and the other troop where he advances?
Any help appreciated!