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Everything posted by Phrogger

  1. These are activities my son would have enjoyed. I think they are consistent with Scouting. I understand about not wanting adults to take over. I don't advocate for that. I do advocate for adults to do their job and guide the Scouts when things aren't working. I suppose he didn't have to go to every meeting, but rarely were activities announced and sometimes (rarely) they were important, so I was worried he would miss something if he didn't go. I think that part of the problem is the same thing with transitioning to middle school with this age group. Kids go really abruptly fro
  2. Thanks for the suggestions to find another troop. To their credit, the leadership did listen to my concerns about 6 months ago and made some positive changes, including changing patrols around to make sure a couple of good leaders were in each one, but it wasn't enough to keep us. I'm willing to give another try with a different troop, but I still think we should take a break for now. We might even look into Venturing when he's old enough. He has enough interest in adventure activities that it might be something we can revisit at a later date. Right now I think we'd like to try some other acti
  3. I am finally allowing my son to quit Scouts. We tried everything but in the end, it just isn't a good fit for him. He finished with a rank of Scout after just one year in the Troop. There are a couple reasons it didn't work out. He enjoyed the Cub Scouts but the Boy Scouts is a really different animal. I offer the following observations as a post-mortem, with follow up questions at the bottom. 1. He crossed over early (Webelos in 1 year) This wasn't my choice but the den leader's. He wasn't ready for the skills needed in Boy Scouts. I think BSA should actively discourage this except wi
  4. Agree with your son that troop meetings are a lot more boring than pack meetings. I was a cub den leader and we always had advancement activities planned, games, songs, crafts, etc. Now the boys just talk about the next campout. My son can't wait to quit. It's torture taking him to meetings because he fights me. I have other parents telling me to try a different troop but I can't see how it would be different.
  5. Agree with Eagledad on the first year Scout issue. My son is starting his second year and near quitting. We did Wolves all the way through Webelos but the transition to the troop was a shock. He doesn't find it fun. I think they ought to break out the tween-age group and give them their own activities.
  6. Sorry- DE is a term I don't know? Not looking for perfect. But it's better to try than to quit. Also, I have spoken to the Scoutmaster about it and we are going to try and see if we can't try something else first- like changing patrols. I'll give it to the end of summer.
  7. Any tips on how to spot a good one? I don't feel like you get to know much by just attending one meeting. Word of mouth obviously, but I only know one family in another troop.
  8. I wish it was just his perception. I've watched this dysfunction myself. As of now I'm taking the advice and sending him to camp, then shopping for troops afterwards. Can't hurt to look. If we aren't doing better after joining a new troop I'll consider letting him quit. Thanks everyone.
  9. Stosh and Tahawk, you make good points about mixed-age patrols. At first I thought that would be a good thing but now I feel less so. Here's the other thing about mixed-age patrols I don't like. Older boys talk about things that younger kids shouldn't hear. My son says one boy in his patrol swears a lot for example and his dad is an ASM. But I digress- that's one for the patrol discussion. This Troop operates as one big group. The patrols meet once a month but that usually involves eating at Wendy's for half an hour before the Troop meeting. One boy was supposed to be leading but I saw no
  10. Here we are a few months later. Recap: my son crossed over a year early and this is his 5th grade year. Although he's been in scouts since Wolf he's struggled to adjust to the changes from Cubs to Scouts. He isn't very athletic and has trouble doing many of the outdoor activities that the troop does. I've not made him do any of the overnight camping since he doesn't want to do it, and I'm afraid of turning him off of scouts permanently. In addition, he has no idea how to set up a tent or what gear to pack or how to do any of the camping basics and I don't know who is supposed to be in charge
  11. Yeah, not worried about 14 year old Eagle here, since I have a major procrastinator. But I don't want to put it off either (assuming we even last that long). In a neighboring troop we had a scout who was trying to get Eagle done basically skip school to do 7 merit badges in a week right before he aged out. Did he learn anything from that? I seriously doubt it. A few merit badges a year and Eagle at 17 sounds more like it.
  12. Nobody actually said it was required. Parents were sent a confusing schedule to sign up for and one of the options was "first year camper," so I assumed it was required. Even if not, I'd be afraid that he'd miss out on something important if he doesn't. There aren't any descriptions for the class except that it works on certain merit badges. I surmised that it might also contain "tips for first year campers" and extra help learning how to set up camp and such. This really is his first year at a sleepaway camp of any kind and I want him to have the best opportunity for success, whatever that lo
  13. I was told not to push him on advancements. He's been working on Scout most of the year. I have had to gently encourage him to make progress, as he isn't inclined to on his own. I guess I could suggest that. You are right, he isn't enjoying it, There is no program for younger scouts. He does have friends his age that he crossed over with, but they are split into different patrols and not all are present at the activities he goes to. I think it's a good idea to have the younger scouts pick a badge, but I don't really have any role in the troop yet and my work doesn't make time for it. I w
  14. Just throw in a little "maker" stuff. It doesn't have to be super structured. My son loves to make stuff and more of that would sure hold his interest.
  15. He signed up because it's the first badge that has been offered as a group. I know that badges can be done individually but he hasn't shown an interest in doing that yet. Honestly we are hanging on to scouts by a thread. He hates camping and since that's the majority of scouts well, I can see how things are going to go. At the suggestion of others on this forum I made sure to sign him up for summer camp this year to see if he will have a "bonding" experience and come to enjoy it. But if that doesn't happen after the next year I can't keep forcing it on him. Cub Scouts was so different. He had
  16. Well, the "First Year Camper" class is required and unfortunately it takes up 2/3 of the schedule. I hope they let them have some fun time too.
  17. On that note, what would be a good merit badge to start out with? He's going to Ransburg for summer camp so they'll be working on the Tenderfoot and Second Class requirements there.
  18. I'm not going to push the issue. The last thing I'd want is for him to be resented for "dragging down" the older scouts. But it's too bad. Our troop doesn't seem to like the younger scouts and don't plan many activities for them. My son alternates between being bored to death and in way over his head. Next year, after my job is more stable, I'm going to join the committee and try to push for change. If things don't work out I'm afraid he's going to quit. At the very least we'll be shopping for a new troop.
  19. My son recently signed up for the Cooking merit badge which is being offered with a group in my son's troop. I received an email from the organizer who told me it was only for First Class scouts and up and it would be "too hard" for him because it is Eagle required. My son is almost done with his Scout rank and has not had any merit badge opportunities yet. I read the requirements and didn't think they sounded too hard, especially since the troop expects him to do more difficult things on his own during campouts. Is this reasonable? Or is the organizer just trying to weed out the young
  20. Technically mine crossed in 4th grade, May. This year he is a full Boy Scout in 5th grade. I'm encouraged by your son's success story. But did he like Scouts? Did he ask to quit? That's my scenario right now. I'm trying to gauge how hard to push. Scouting just doesn't seem fun for him anymore. I understand the value of the program. But if the boy isn't having fun, where is the motivation to stay?
  21. It doesn't have to be like what the schools do. In cubs we made a simple radio with some copper wire and cardboard...it was really neat and the kids loved it. They don't do that kind of thing in school. Geocaching, model rockets, drones, amateur radio, aviation, these activities fit right in to the scouting program without being too "academic." I understand the reasons for sticking to core activities like fishing and camping, but a little STEM thrown in might be just the thing to keep some of these techhie boys (like mine) invested in the program.
  22. Jumping back in to answer a few questions. My son was 10 and 7 months when he crossed, they did Webelos and Arrow of Light in one year, so technically he was eligible. Also, there are no hard age restrictions for the events, but many of the physical activities (similar to those described by Hedgehog) are out of his capability or interest. If it wasn't for his friend in the patrol, I'd consider quitting and trying again when he's 13 or so. To those of you out there with agressive, physical, athletic boys, it's not the same for the less mature, quiet, non-athletic boys. I'm sure some may be
  23. They have mixed age patrols, but he does have one friend from his cub den in his patrol. They haven't been specifically excluded per se, but I think most of the trips and activities have been skewed towards the older boys.
  24. Thanks for all your thoughtful replies. I'm thinking we will stick it out for at least this year, and participate in a few, but maybe not all, activities. I'm not going to push this but we will try and stay connected. Next year we'll reconsider summer camp, and if things aren't working out we may look at a new troop. At some point he has to start taking initiative and liking it on his own though, and not because I'm forcing him to go. Like any activity, there has to be a balance between "making a kid do something that's good for them" and "not being a quitter just because things get hard" and
  25. Eagle 94-A1, to answer your questions: 1. We did not visit other troops. The den leader discouraged it and as a group we only visited the CO troop. We didn't camp with anybody. Realize we crammed a 2 year program into a few months, so we rushed to complete our requirements right before crossover in May. There wasn't enough time to do the regular Webelos 2 transition. Also, the other reason we didn't look at the other troops because they are way across town and not convenient, and he doesn't know anybody in them. 2. My son wants to quit. Right now he gets a "headache" right before the m
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