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Troop51OS

Friends...Too Close?

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I am the ASPL for our troop. We recently had a group of webelos cross over, and I have noticed most of them are adjusting well to Boy Scouts. I have noticed, however, that two of them are real close friends. They do everything together, and don't often include other people. I have also noticed that one of these boys fathers, has come on all the campouts, cooked for the kids, and set a big tent for them all to sleep in. I am getting a little worried that if one of the boys drops out, the other will be lost. Also, I think they need to gain a little independance and learn to pitch their own tents and make their own food. I have tried to get them to do seperate things around the site, but they always end up together again, alone, talking and playing in one part of the site, away from the rest of the troop. How could I make it so they would spend less time apart and meet new scouts? Is there anything I should do?

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I had a kid like this. His dad went on every camping trip. I told the dad that I didn't want him to go (he was a registered ASM) because I felt his son needed to be on his own. Both left Scouting. Have you tried splitting them into different patrols?

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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My alarm bell is going off. When you said "they all sleep in the tent together" you didn't mean the dad, too, did you? No adult except a scout's parent/guardian may sleep in a tent with him.

 

(This message has been edited by CubsRgr8)

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Good catch CubsRgr8!

Followup on this with your SM!

I would not try to break up the 2 scouts, put them in the same patrol with other scouts, so they have to interact with others. The scout handbook says the patrol should pick there own members, leaders should not be trying to break up patrols.

The SM or ASM needs to explain to the dad about boy lead, and what his role is.

Which is if he is an ASM, sign off of requirments when the scout ask, help learn the requirments, and watch for any issues.

 

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My son's friend would do this if he could get away with it. My son though enjoys being around other people and doing other things. They may be younger than the other Webelos or may just be immature for their age.

 

Many troop do not allow adults and youth to tent together or cook together. My son's troop has an adult area. Adults only help the boys with cooking when there is a safety issue or asked a specific question.

 

I think you need to talk to an adult leader about talking to the dad involved. Sometimes the parents have a hard time with the Cub Scout to Boy Scout transition.

 

Maybe the patrols can work on some activities that require everyone in the patrol to work together...like blind folded tent setup. This might help draw them out of their shells.

 

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OOoO great advice given!! I can't really add anything except to reinforce what has been said.

 

Since these boys are fresh out of Webelos, they are going to be more immature than the others and maybe they are frightened a bit by the new program and what is expected of them, so they stick together.

 

Adults should not be in the boys' areas when it comes to meal time. Be "on call" and "supervise" from a distance, but do not stay in their cooking area. Adults should have their own cooking area. If the dad is persistent in assisting the patrol, then give him a cooking assignment of his own for the adult meals. It's a bit hard for him to cook the meal for the adults AND for the boys ;)

 

Be cautious before telling a parent that he/she cannot attend a campout. As evmori found out - the results may not be the desired ones. I would be offended and ticked off if I had been told not to attend a campout.

Instead, like I suggested earlier, redirect and occupy his time so that he can't spend so much time babying his son ;)

 

I'm like cubsRgr8 - my first thought when I read about the large tent... ummmm.. NO! That is not allowed if the friend is staying in the same tent as the dad. It's simply not allowed and should never be tolerated.

Scapegoat it to National if you need to... "The National BSA rules state that..." If he insists on doing it anyway because "national isn't looking" - remind him that Scouting doesn't teach our boys to only obey the rules if someone is watching.

Use the ol' guilt trip of what scouting is all about and our goals and qualities that we are trying to instill into our boys ;) Works every time.. hehe

 

I'm sure that maybe he's just having a hard time cutting the apron strings from his son (since they are young) and hopefully in time, he will relax and see that they are having a great time and that they are safe. He will also see that his son is capable of doing skills without his assistance. (have skill relays so that he can watch his son actually put up a tent, have a cooking contest between the patrols, etc.)

 

I wish you all the best and enjoyment that Scouting has to offer! :)

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The problem isn't that the boys are friends and don't want to be apart. That's pretty natuaral. I'm nearly a zillion years old and I still like hanging with my buds.

 

The problem is with the dad. Dad needs to know when to let go.

 

I really don't see a problem with Dad eating with the Scouts but the Scouts should be doing the cooking.

 

We have similar problems in our troop. Some want to treat the new Scouts like Cub Scouts and do everything for them. We have one ASM that did all of the planning for her boys. We have another that "let the boys plan" under her stern gaze.

Gotta learn to let them go.

 

 

 

 

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Probably the summation so far is on the money however it might be worth checking if the dad is trying to spend time with his son for particular reasons. ie is the family split and dad only available on weekends? Does dad spend a lot of time away, is there an emotional issue for the boy that dad is dealing with? If so his reasons may be good but still he needs to be an ASM rather than a dad. Soemone needs to check.

 

He will still get time together - just differently to what he might think is the best right now. For the above reasons that might be real hard for him.

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Thanks a lot for all the advice. I especially like the idea of blind folded tent set up!! I will make sure that something is done right away about them all sharing a tent.

 

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As far as the two Scouts wanting to do everything together, that is natural. They are each other's security blanket for now. Eventually, they'll make other friends in the troop and be more inclusive (it will probably take several months).

 

When I was a Scout, we had two kids come in from Webelos that were the same way. They always wanted to be together and do everything together. When we went to summer camp, they insisted on sharing a tent (fortunately, both of their dads were more than happy to stay in the adult area) and taking all of their merit badge classes together. Basically, they were together 24/7 for more than a day or so for the first time ever. By the end of the week, they were no longer speaking to each other. They became friends again, but both stayed in the troop and made many more friends over the years.

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I agree with the other posts. The problem is less with the boys than it is with the dad. Find things to keep dad occupied elsewhere.

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Everyone has given excellent advice so far. Our Troop Committee insituted the following new patrol policy. We require that the Scouts rotate tent mates so that over time every boy shares a tent with every other Scout in his patrol. This seems to work for us.

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Well, what could I possibly add? The advice in all of the responses is "Right On"

 

My only comment would be about the very mature observances and leadership skills shown by Troop510S, Wow! Bravo! As ASPL for your troop, I can only say your troop is very lucky to have leadership such as yours. Right on top of the situation, and seeking advice to resolve an obvious problem.

 

Our troop has 8 ASPL's and all of them together would not have noticed a situation like this or sought out advice about it. Maybe our SPL, but I doubt it. We would have noticed it and fixed it. Once again, BRAVO! Excellent Job Troop510S, Your a true leader!

 

ASM1

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