Posts posted by ScoutMom45036
On 3/28/2019 at 4:36 PM, PinkPajamas said:
Have you asked him what compromise would make him comfortable enough to go?
I think I will volunteer for half the week and set clear boundaries so he is not my "shadow."
On 3/26/2019 at 10:27 PM, Liz said:
3 of my 4 kids experience abnormal levels of anxiety. Anxiety is its own beast and is not the same thing as "separation anxiety" which should resolve itself within 24 hours or so of arriving at camp.
You know your son better than anybody. Do NOT be afraid to attend camp with him this first time if that's what he needs. If you feel he really just needs the push, don't be afraid to do that either. But don't push him if you think it's just something you "should" do. Push him if, in your experience, you find those pushes actually help him grow. If you have found in the past that those pushes make him feel more anxious, it's probably better to just go ahead and go, so he sees it isn't so scary. Next year he'll be more familiar with the location, and with the other kids, and possibly even the staff.
If you go to camp, perhaps volunteer to do something that will keep you busy, but still available if your son needs you. Maybe help in the kitchen, or supervise a merit badge station, or whatever. If your son's anxiety is too high he can hang out and help you with your task; and if he's feeling OK he can go around camp with his patrol and have fun.
I understand the suggestions, but knowing my kid, I have to set clear boundaries with how much time he spends with me at camp. Thanks for speaking up for anxious kids, though.
On 3/25/2019 at 12:12 PM, T2Eagle said:
Sign up and go as a leader. Scouting should be a years long journey. One of the surest ways to have that journey cut short is if the scout has a truly miserable experience early on. If your presence is necessary to keep his experience from being immiserating than you should be there. He may still not like it, scout camp can be a long week away from the things he knows he does like, but it's OK if it's not a great experience just as long as it's not so bad that he doesn't want to continue in scouts at all.
DavidCO's advice was don't make him go. I would choose that course of action only if you believe that even your presence will not make it a miserable experience for him, and you of course are the best, albeit still an imperfect, predictor of that.
Thanks. This is the conclusion I have reached... I will go for half the week. Scouting itself is a good fit, but you are right...a bad experience would make him want to quit....and I value him staying.
On 3/25/2019 at 11:09 AM, SSScout said:
Every kid goes thru some homesickness, to one degree or another, sometime. It may not be at camp, the grown adult may not remember it or acknowledge it, but it was there.
Your Scout needs understanding and folks to acknowledge and accept his feelings, his reticence. He needs to join with and get to know the Scouts in his Troop and to be reassured that, yeah, he is feeling low and lonely and misses … mom? Dad? but it will get better. Sometimes all it takes is another kid to say "yeah, I felt like that, but it does get better."
Dealing with separation anxiety is tough. Your boy must eventually learn and accept that 1) you and his home will be there when he gets back from wherever he goes. You WILL be there. 2) The divorce was NOT his fault, regardless of anything else he may have heard or decided. 3) Metaphorically, the world is his, he can take it in as slow or as fast as he wishes. Fire burns, ice chills, the world reacts accordingly, it doesn't care who one is or where one comes from. And Mom (Dad?) will be there when he gets back....
As he gains in life skills (doing his own laundry, cooking, putting stuff away so it will be there when he wants it the next time...) and Scouting will definitely help in this, he will come to realize he needs mom for other stuff, and the tent he set up and slept in is just temporary fun, another experience to experience and have fun with.
Should you become a Scout Leader? Absolutely, and help the other Scouts over their humps, just as the other Scouters will (I hope and expect!) help your boy over his. Repeat after me: "Why don't you go ask your Patrol Leader?"
Find a book by Eric Sloane, "Diary of an Early American Boy". If your young Scout is a reader, I think he would enjoy it. If he likes doing with his hands, find "A Reverence for Wood" by Mr. Sloane. Your boy may well become a Troop Instructor.
See you on the trail.
I love this. Very thoughtful response.
On 3/25/2019 at 9:23 AM, FireStone said:
Did he do any multi-night camping as a Cub Scout? I think this is where those cub camp summer sessions can really make a difference, doing 2-3 nights in camp with mom/dad, then maybe 5 nights as Webelos, so that by the time they cross over the idea of a week at summer camp is no big deal.
I know it's a little after-the-fact in this case, but just saying for others reading this thread. If you have a scout that might be anxious (as I do as well), I view the summer camp experience as a Cub as being a crucial transitional step into a Troop.
No overnight camp without me, but lots of pack campouts. I didn't think camping by himself was a big deal, since he vacations with his dad in a remote location each summer (no cell service).
On 3/25/2019 at 6:29 AM, ianwilkins said:
Start with an overnight? Or a weekend nearby?
Sorry for late reply....on vaca. I have thought about this.
11 hours ago, David CO said:
Scouting should be his activity. It should be something he wants to do. It shouldn't be something that he is pushed into doing because his parents feel it would be good for him. He gets plenty of that stuff in school.
As a scout leader, I sometimes got kids who didn't want to be there. Sometimes it was because the parents felt it would be good for them. Sometimes it was because the parents wanted a cheap babysitter. Either way, I felt used. I enjoyed sharing my hobbies with like-minded boys. I did not enjoy, or appreciate, being saddled with uncooperative, whiny kids who had no desire to join-in and cheerfully participate.
Pushing a kid into scouting does a disservice to both the boy and his scout leader.
David CO, I get what you're saying, but my son loves Scouts. He is struggling with being away from me. We are meeting with his therapist tonight, and I am pretty sure I will attend half of camp (as a certified leader), with the understanding that I am there to serve the whole troop and that he can't be my shadow. The other half he is on his own. My goal is to raise an independent kid.
I have been an involved Cub Scout mom for 6 years, and my 11yo recently crossed over to Boy Scouts. I want him to go to the weeklong camp this summer (Ransburg in IN); I feel it's important to start scouting with an immersive experience. He is bucking it big time. Supposedly he doesn't want to go because I won't be there. Backstory: his father and I divorced when he was young, and while we're both involved, he prefers time with me. His dad is not involved in scouting. As a school teacher, I could get certified as a volunteer and go to camp--but helping him become independent is a major reason I want him in scouting. He does see a counselor for anxiety and emotional issues. BTW I am not a hover mom-- I am excited about him trying new things at camp--but he is freaking out. Thoughts? TIA
My new Scout's going to camp but freaking out
in Working with Kids
Thank you. And this is one of the things I love most about scouting.