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scrain

Age or grade level: Which determines den assignment?

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When a boy enrolls who is repeating or has repeated a grade, which takes precedence, his grade or age?

 

For instance, if a boy is new to Scouting and is repeating second grade, does that make him a Bear (his age) or a Wolf (his grade)? Or is it up to the judgement of the parent and/or leaders?

 

Obviously, this issue must be handled delicately, privately, without any embarassment to the boy.

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This is just my personal opinion but if he were new to scouting I would put him in with his grade if his parents did not object. These are the same boys he will be seeing everyday. But I repeat, this is JMHO.

 

Carol

 

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As a parent who has a son that has repeated a grade, I can tell you only what we decided to do and why we decided to do it that way. We had him go into scouting along with the rest of his grade. If he had started a year sooner, the boys who were in the same grade would've been questioning why he was a year a head of him in scouting...thus giving us no privacy of the fact that he repeated kindergarten. The only "downfall" point that I have learned regarding him starting a year later with scouting, is that he will have one less year to complete his Eagle rank (which we talk about all the time, and I think he will someday accomplish). Unlike Cub Scouting regarding ranks, the Eagle MUST be earned before the boy's 18th birthday and not before he graduates high school. However, even with having one less year of scouting experience, I have heard that many boys earn the rank of Eagle long before their 18th birthday, so to me it made sense to start him a year later when he would be going through it with his classmates.

YIS,

Jens3sons

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I have one who's the right age and grade for Bears, but is transferring into our pack as a Webelos I. He had started school and scouts in California, and because his birthday is in October was a year ahead of kids his age here in Texas. The school insisted on putting him back a grade, so he's in 3rd grade now. But since he's already completed Bears, what point would there be in having him repeat it?

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Jens3sons....I think your son will still have the same amount of time to complete his Eagle rank because the guidelines say he must be 11 yrs old to enter into Boy Scouts unless he is 10 and completed his Arrow of Light...That being the case then he will have probably 6 months less to complete his AOL. I could be wrong, because I'm just thinking off the cuff.

 

Angela

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The rule of thumb is to go with school grade, except for units charted to the Latter Day Saints which go by age.

 

In situations where a child has been held back, boosted a grade, or has other issues muddying the waters, you can usually work with the family and Cubmaster to find an acceptable compromise.

 

In our council, at least, the council itself will not object to a little 'tweaking'. Cub Scouts is not as formal, nor is a boy's record tracked as carefully as it is in the Boy Scouts.

 

In this situation, I would encourage the boy to register with his other classmates unless he and his family have some reason for going to Bears. As ScoutMomAng pointed out, it will not change his chances to get Eagle a single bit either way.

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Thanks to all.

 

What I'm hearing from you is that we can examine what's best for the boy and his circumstances. In the particular case I'm facing, going with age acutally makes more sense because it keeps him with a friend he has in the pack.

 

It's great to know there's always help from the Scouter community!

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Grade is definitely the way to go unless there are some extenuating circumstances.

 

My son was skipped over 1st grade and I initially wanted him to go into Tigers and stay with his age group. While we certainly wish he could have had the experience, it has worked out very well with him Scouting with his classmates.

 

 

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Go with grade level. We also get a lot of boys whose parents decided to start them a year later if it was felt they were not ready for kindergarten. They seem to prefer to be with boys their own grade level and really don't care about the age difference.

 

CMM

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I would recommend going with grade. Primary reason is that this will keep him with his classmates. Only exception would be in the case noted earlier where going with grade would cause a boy to repeat a rank. In that case, I'd advance him to the level...reapeating a rank would lead to boredom & you'd probably lose the boy.

 

mark

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Hmmm...I somehow skimmed right past scrain's comment in the thread about how sorting this boy by age keeps him with a friend. I agree with that. My main criteria whenever this comes up is to do what will make scouting the most fun for the boy...the goal is to keep him in the program. Usually (but not always), that goal is be achieved sorting by grade so classmates are together. But in your case, if age works, go for it.

If he's not enjoying Cubbing because his best friend is in another Den or rank group, you'll lose him.

 

A similar issue that comes up on occasion is the lad who's skipped a grade in school; i.e. a Wolf by age, but a Bear by grade. I've typically sorted him based on grade, my logic being that if he can handle X grade in school, he can handle X grade in Cub Scouts. Plus, again, this keeps him with his classmates. On the other hand, if his best buds were Wolves & he really wanted to be with them, then I'd let him.

 

mark

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