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sctmom

Why one boy wants to quit

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Hi sctmom, your son is quiet while the Troop seems to be big so maybe he would prefer smaller groups. Maybe work on changing the Patrol rather than the whole Troop.

 

Maybe even smaller and get your son to choose two buddies for working on a cardboard box oven, or an alter fire built in a creek or height/accuracy test by blowing the lid off a coffee tin etc by boiling a little water inside. Any of that way out stuff you described.

 

This might firm up the good friends as james_clegg suggests.

 

If he won't get out of the car could you bring his scout buddies to him? ie an afternoon at your place or at the creek mentioned above?

 

 

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Right now we are taking an official one month break. During that time we are putting our ducks in a row to present to the Scoutmaster and CC what he thinks is not fun and some of the many suggestions I have found on this board of what IS fun.

 

I mentioned something about a Webelos campout we went to a year ago and his eyes lit up and he perked up with "Oh, that was FUN. Remember we when we did....."

 

The Pack we came from is not associated with the Troop. The pack has a informal association with another troop, that we didn't like last year. They have since changed adult leadership. I think while I'm helping the pack, my son will see some of the boys from that troop (the ones with brothers still in cubs). We will be able to find out if they are having fun and his interest may come back.

 

He's only 11, so it's not the end of the world for him to take break. Honestly, it's not the end of the world if he never goes back.

 

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You've mentioned that he has more fun doing things without the troop than with. Are any of his friend in the neighborhood in scouts? Perhaps he could invite a couple of them to attend with him when he returns.

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He's 11. I see that at about 1 year into scouts there is a drop in interest because Scouts is different to Webelos (?). It is less immediate fun and more long range challenge/fun. Some Troops handle this by having age appropriatte activities but most do not. They have either young or old Scouts. Yours has old Scouts.

 

His interest level in such a case is normal.

 

As he gets older I suspect he will get more interested in Scouts providing you can create / find a Troop that can meet his immediate needs...or give it another break and re-introduce Scouts some time next year.

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I didnt go to Scouts after Cubs but I came back when I was 40 as Cub leader and now ADC Cubs. Your son will join in when he is ready.There are always some kids that the Cub program is right for but not Scouts.

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Our Troop tends to have difficulty with new Scouts too. Particularly if the Cub den they came from was more "Artsy - Craftsy" than actively working on the Webelos program which starts the transistion into Boy Scouts. When this happens, particularly if the Den (Webelos) leader stays active after crossing, the boys seem to expect immediate gratification. They also seem to miss the concept that their level of fun is self determined. This is aided by the old den leader, who always seems to do for his old den, "because these guys just couldn't do something like this on their own!".

When this has happened, we've stepped in very quickly and asked our Troop Guides to assume a role closer to actual Patrol Leader and Asst. Leader. These guys know that in their patrol meetings they can plan whatever fun (or advancement, or skill) they want to. If they want to do something at a Troop - wide campout, the Guides know how to present it to the PLC to get them to accept it. And that makes the boys themselves responsible for their own entertainment.

I agree with the premise concerning a disparity in boys' ages in a troop. What the Troop Junior leadership (who are usually older) plan often is different than what younger guys will find interesting. But that is why it's called the Patrol Method, not the Troop Method. Each patrol is responsible for their own enjoyment.

Your initial question, and your follow ups to it, all ask if you should try to effect change in your Troop. Is it worth it? Oh my God, YES! the remarkable positive character traits that boys who are given, accept, and succeed with responsiblity are worth the effort you will make. And that's even if your son never learns a Scout skill, or never earns a merit badge.

I'm getting long winded, I know, but I'd just like to add a short note about my oldest son to support my point. He is 17 1/2. Been in Boy Scouts since 11. Almost Eagle. He started reminiscing (sp?) about his time in Scouts. He is proud of himself for everything he has accomplished, but he lists two things as the most important aspects of his career: Taking responsiblity for himself (our Scoutmaster is famous for telling guys "Your momma ain't here!"), and the stories he has to tell. He wouldn't trade either of these for any other activity he could have done in his teens.

 

Good luck!

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I'm guessing he's having trouble fitting in, and agree with those who say a friend in the troop would help. Considering we're now on our THIRD troop, I'm pretty familiar with this problem. My son is, well, sometimes annoying. I love him, but there it is.

 

I thought for a little while that this troop was going to lose him too and I would have to register my son as a Lone Scout, which would have been OK with him (he does want to make Eagle) but not at all ideal from my standpoint (I want socialization for him).

 

But as it turns out all I had to do was put two copies of the Troop Program Features in the hands of the SM and the SPL, with a bug in their ear to READ THEM and see if they could use some of these ideas - and the meetings immediately improved. We've now got a new SPL and he's settling in, there were a few weak meetings there, but with the support of the former SPL (now the JASM) he's getting it together too.

 

One thing that helps: our homeschooled kids are not NEARLY as uptight about what's "cool" and what's not as public school kids tend to be. So they are more inclined to just have fun, even the 15 and 16 year olds think the games are a riot and don't mind getting silly. Also, the SM and ASMs (myself and my husband) all don't mind making jackasses of ourselves and it does keep things lively.

 

Now, I know you can't homeschool your son and you might have some trouble putting him in a homeschool troop, but the attitude of "let's have fun" is what you're looking for, and surely there are some troops around that have that?

 

 

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When I recommended that we get some of his friends to visit/join the troop, I got a very sharp "NO!". He does have a couple of friends in the troop. I know he has at least one friend in particular, they are about 1 year apart in age but the same size (small!!).

 

I'm going to find out what the other troop nearby is doing now they have new adults. Right now he doesn't even want to visit them. We know some of the adults in that troop and he may listen to them about what they are doing.

 

Another troop in our area has about 12 scouts (mostly late teens), camps 4 times a year, and is struggling.

 

I checked out the web page of another nearby troop and will not even consider visiting them. Their webpage makes it very clear that as a female I'm not welcome. It says "fathers and male role models are encouraged to camp with the troop". There are other remarks about fathers are encouraged to work with their sons. They also make up extra rules about attendance. They also only have about 12 to 15 scouts.

 

I have tried everything I can to convince my son to give me a couple of months to make suggestions to the troop and help the patrol do things on their own. But he is just so frustrated about it, he will not try. On one hand I think he is trying. He has gotten dressed and into the car, but then when he gets to the meeting place he just can't make himself go in.

 

So I'm not pushing right now. I'm helping the Cub Scouts and he will be around some of the older boys at the meetings. All of our dens meet on the same night at the same place. Older and younger siblings tag along. The older boys (ex cub scouts, now Boy Scouts) wander around looking to see who has the most exciting den meeting going on that they can "help" with. I've mentioned den chief a few times to him to give him an incentive.

 

He is registered until next spring so we aren't saying he "dropped out" just "taking a break".

 

Weird thing is that now that he doesn't want to be there he WANTS to wear his uniform pants all the time!!! They are actually a bit baggy on him and he likes that! Along with those neat pocket snaps!

 

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