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Scout Step Parent with Issues

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DYB-Mike asked:


"Do you feel more welcome than before?"


Not really. We all went to the "Court of Honor" a couple of weeks ago. About the same result as before.


"Have you followed up on the suggestions to get more involved with leadership or instructing?"


No. I really have nothing to contribure, and baseball season has started here, so I'm swamped with coaching.


"Is your son enjoying himself?"


Overall, I really don't think so. That would be evidenced in that it is becoming increasingly difficult to get him to meetings and events on time. His participation is driven more by my wife that it is any interest of his.


"Does he like camping?"


Yes. Very much so....that would appear to be the biggest draws to BS for him.


"Does he appear to be getting anything out of it?"


No....I would say that he does not.


"If you are still concerned with the chaos do you talk with your son about what you think is wrong and get his feedback?"


The chaos is still unbelievable, to say that any of these kids get anything out of this is utterly ridiculous. It's really not my place to delve into.

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Thanks for filling us in. Just a couple of observations:


You still feel unwelcome. To be frank, as I read your posts which express disinterest, disapproval with the chaos, and the feeling that you have nothing to contribute, I wonder if you may be coming across to the troop adults as being someone who is aloof and judgmental. I mean no offense and you are certainly entitled to your opinions. Its just something that occurred to me as I thought about your situation. I honestly dont think being a step-dad has anything to do with acceptance. In the pack and troop that Im associated with we have step-parents, single parents, and even same-sex parents and what it comes down to for most of us is not what the parental status is, but how that person comes across.


As to the chaos, yes, that could be a sign of problems, but it could also be the sign of a truly boy-lead troop learning from mistakes and finding its way. The prime reason I suggested talking with your son was because if he has ideas and the troop is truly boy-lead then he has the opportunity to make a difference and you should encourage him. Even first year scouts, if they are well-liked and appear confident and assertive, can get their ideas heard and perhaps acted upon by their peers in their patrols and perhaps in the troop as a whole. You have also made it clear that you yourself do not wish to address the chaos as a leader or teacher, so nuff said about that.


At any rate if your sons interest is waning theres probably not much more to be said. It was suggested that you look for other troops in your area that appeal more to your (and your sons) sense of how things should operate. This could revive his interest, seeing that he does enjoy the camping, and make you feel more comfortable.


I wish you and your son well.







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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the reply Mike.


I've basically decided that BSA is not much more than a social-club/hobby for my SS.


Kind of an expensive hobby, certainly more than most, but less than some. The Troop leadership have made it clear that non-Scouts need not apply to help. So be it. I'm also not happy about the selective alliances and agendas that are pushed around...not appropriate for this day and age, that impact will have to be fixed before he gets much older.


I am going to have to put my foot down on his camping gear...if he want's to camp, somebody else but me is going to have to clean, maintain and put the gear away after the trips...that whole "responsibility" thing.

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Yes, exactly.

He should maintain his own gear, if possible even purchase it.


This is but one of the areas where Scouts differs from all of the "worthwhile" school clubs. While we have a Quartermaster - Equipment Manager, that person only deals with Troop - Organizational gear. In school sports often only the T-shirts and perhaps practice pants come home - all else is washed, cleaned, maintained and repaired by the organization. Because they fear losing the equipment or control over it and that goal is far more important than developing responsibility and character in the members/athletes of those organizations.


Scouts is really all about developing the character of the Scout, taking care of himself, his own equipment, being responsible to himself, his patrol and his Troop and to Society as a whole.


If you could look past your initial bias at what you walked in thinking was supposed to be going on, and examine the "aims" and "methods" of Scouting you MAY see an entirely different picture in what you see happening. Actually do a search on "Aims and Methods of Scouting" plenty of info out there...


As a Serving Scoutmaster I can definitely tell you things would run a whole lot smoother if I ran the Troop like I used to run Platoons.

But that is totally not what this organization is about.

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