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Webelos 1 with 20 pins - now what?

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At one point our Pack had 50% of the youth ADD/ADHD and all sorts of developmental problems. I took some classes at the local childrens hospital to help me understand how they work and think.


To be real honest everything I would have done with them would have been not the best solution.



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>>At one point our Pack had 50% of the youth ADD/ADHD and all sorts of developmental problems. I took some classes at the local childrens hospital to help me understand how they work and think.


To be real honest everything I would have done with them would have been not the best solution.

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I guess I'm on the side of the fence with Seattle Pioneer.


As presented, it seems to me there are at least two possibilities here: 1) The leaders in the pack are not only the worst Scout leaders imaginable, but are so incredibly insensitive to the point of being intentionally cruel to this little fellow. Or, 2) There's another side to the story.


Your friend has time to be fully trained AND to take her son to every council and district event. He went to three weeks of day/resident camp last year with someone. Yet the mom doesn't have time to help with the den. If the mom's work schedule is a problem, does that mean the boy is being dropped off a den meetings unsupervised? And if he's in the program for the socialization it affords him, why are doing so much on their own?


The DLs are charged with running a program for the entire den. I wonder how your friend and her son react when they show up for a den meeting and learn the den will be working on a pin the boy already has? Are they glad for the opportunity to do something fun again, or do you get a heavy sigh and rolling eyes? Having the lad help the other boys may be a good idea, but I wonder how his ADS effects that? For the couple ADS boys I've worked with that would not be a good idea.


I can appreciate that Scouting is good for the boy and that working on all these achievements ahead of the den may be very beneficial to him. But ADS aside, that is something I as a pack and den leader I strongly advised parents against. Having one boy who has finished everything causes problems for the DL. It robs the Scout of a lot of the shared experiences and team building he would otherwise have. And it ultimately puts the Scout in exactly the position this boy is in -- a year left in Webelos with no challenges ahead of him.


I have a suspicion that the DLs cold attitude to the boy is a really poor and inappropriate way of saying they just can't handle the situation. Not everyone is cut out to deal with special needs Scouts and as volunteers we shouldn't be forced to. That needs to be a responsibility a leader takes on with fully informed consent. And, the leader, den or pack should have the ability to raise their hand(s) and say, I'm sorry, this is just more than I/we are capable of handling. Bless the folks who can take on special needs kids, but don't damn the ones who can't.


I have no idea how to fix this. My advice to you, Trainerlady, would be to help your friend take an objective look at her role in the situation. Maybe if everyone takes a deep breath there is common ground to be found with the den leaders. I rather doubt they are the cold-hearted twits they seem to be.


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Thanks everyone for your thoughts and insights.


Some more info on the situation.


Mom has a job that requires her to work mostly afternoon shifts during the school year and have short day shifts and lots of vacation time during the summer months. Hence she can do lots of activities with ASD boy and his sister over the summer. On the evenings she can arrange off during the school year she attends scout meetings with her son or GS meetings with daughter. On the nights she can't attend Grandma or Grandpa attend the meeting with the boy. They all live together anyway. Mom has made it a point to do ALL the online training there are and go to in person training and UoS when she can. When they started scouting in a different pack (they moved)she was an ADL (work situation was better then too).


Mom has offered to plan meetings and get supplies for the den leader that complains she never has time to plan anything for the meetings. Mom even bought the DL a copy of the Den and Pack Resource Guide this year to help her plan meetings. DL says she can do better than that, but doesn't. DL as a rule, looks for the fastest, easisest way to get as many requiremetns done at once as posiible. She double, triple and even quadruple dips the boys through their badges. ASD boy however does each step of each badge and shows it to her. He completes the online worksheets and gives them to her too. I think this maybe causing some of the tension between him and his den mates. Den meetings used to be 1 night a month for 2-3 hours. Now DL had figured out that the den is behind and schedules meetings that are inconvenient for not only ASD boy but others as well. The den has gone from 7 boys in September to 3-4 boys now.


Den meetings were set up at the beginning of the school year to be on second Thursday of the month. Mom arranged her schedule as best as possible to be off that night. Now meetings are whenever DL feels like it. She'll announce a meeting in a week, Mom makes arrangements, then DL bails out and changes days or drop the meeting totally. Mom and boy are then stuck if Grandma and Grandpa can't step in and fill in.


Mom hasn't signed off any badges except Family member and handiman. ASD boy has presented DL with his work for everything that wasn't signed off at camps. While Mom advocates she doesn't fluff over anything. She wants him to work with others. Her goal is that he is adjusted well enough to the troop and them to him that his first summer camp in the troop be done solo (no Mom in tow).


As for changing packs - at this point in the year not really worth it. ASD boy's pack will be shutting down for the summer in about 6 weeks (baseball season you know), most of the rest in the area end for the summer in mid May. Current pack does NO summer events. Grandpa and Grandma won't go to a site other than school - numerous reasons invovled. If he goes the Lone route and plays with the troop no need to find a new pack for fall.



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There are 3-4 boys in the den now, which means that he is "socializing" with only 2-3 boys. Boys who make fun of him. In a den that hardly ever meets.


Talk to the SM of the Troop and find out what Pack they generally get most of their Webelos from.


Have your friend, and her son, join that Pack NOW. YES, it IS worth it to do it now. The boy will get a much better Webelos experience. He might be re-doing some of his Webelos Activity Badges, but so what. The mom knew that was going to happen when she took her son to every Webelos camp all summer long.


The boy can have the time to make friends at the new Pack that he will be going to the Troop with. This will help ease the transition. He can also use the time in the Pack to mature a bit, get some camping trips in with the boys he will cross with, learn about Boy Scouting with his fellow Webelos, and in general have fun.


If the boy goes to "play" with the Troop instead of working with his fellow Cub Scouts in a Webelos den, he will not get the socialization he needs. He does NOT need to pretend to be a Boy Scout. He DOES need to get to know his fellow Webelos, and have fun in his last year as a Cub Scout.


Don't take that away from him.

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Oh, I am so sorry to her about the whole situation. My heart goes out to all involved.


One thought -- if the boy did find another pack now and that pack did summer camp as a group, he might be able to go to camp at the same time as his new den. Also, if a different pack meets every week or two weeks, there would still be a number of meetings before the summer.


Or the boy could just spend some time visiting other packs, looking for a good match for next year. The idea of finding what pack(s) his new troop draws from sounds like a plan too.


ETA Staying with the troop for now -- might there not be activities that the boy could not participate, GTSS-wise?(This message has been edited by Eliza)

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To everyone that has responded, thank you. I am the mother of the ASD Webelos I that we are discussing. Trainerlady is my best friend and placed this post for me. I am still learning about some of the additional resources available.


In order to provide a little more clarification I felt that I needed to also include some information myself. Yes, I am a fully trained leader, I was the assistant Den Leader for my son's Tiger through Bear years. After providing information to the den leader all summer in order to develop a strong program for the Webelos I this year and never getting a response back I found out once the school year started that I was replaced by another parent as assistant den leader. The DL never informed me of this change nor did the CM. I was informed by another parent. In addition the other leader just recently completed Youth Protection. I was also told that the boys do not need to start learning or understanding any of the Boy Scout things until January of their 2nd year as a Webelos.


My son did attend 3 different camps last summer. One day camp, which decided last minute not to run a Webelos program and did not tell us. A 2nd day camp with a Webelos program. And an amazing summer camp at Dan Beard's Cub World which resulted in my son for the 1st time talking about staying in Scouts to go to Boy Scouts and reach Eagle Rank. This is a major break through. After the camps and the traveling he returned to school achieving 10 of the 20 badges.


Since then I have not done any of the badges independently with him. We have waited for the badges to be started at Den meetings. However, when meeting once a month for 2 hours it is easy to see that one will not complete the badges easily. Once projects were started I did have my son complete the needed activities. Making 6 crafts for Craftsman resulted in my son making at least 12 projects because he enjoyed it so much. Scholar and Artist required looking at the school work that came home, very little was done in addition and all work was presented to the DL (collage and mobile and talkign to his family members who answered survey questions and his aunt who is a teacher). Fitness and Athlete were completed with his den. Communicator resulted in email communications to his father who is military and items done in computer class and presentation and secret code done for his den. Everything that has been done since the summer has been completed with his den.


The issue arises when the DL waits until the day of the meeting to cancel the meeting after I have already taken 4-5 hours off of work to be there or waits until the day before to tell us that there is a meeting that was worked out with the other parents a week ago. The best one was in the same email stating that the rest of his den needs to complete Parvuli Dei she schedules a den meeting for when my son is at the Cathedral for recognition because he had already earned his Parvuli Dei last year and stated in the email that he doesn't need to be there because, 'I am going to teach the other boys and not him."


I have absolutely no problem with my son completeing additional activities for badges he has already earned. It is good for him and he becomes more involved in communicationg and sharing responses this way thus working on socialization and public speaking. His behaviors that are considered bad and gets him told to "Shut Up" result from him standing to feel more comfortable and from him attempting to teach the other 3 boys the Scout Oath and the Scout Law as well as the handshake, sign and salute. Knowing how to fold a flag correctly and try to help the other boys is also considered bad behavior by the DL.


He will be receiving the last of his 4 pins for the 20 in April. Two of those are being completed with the den. One is being completed at school - showman and the last one is being signed off with his swim instructor and life guards at the rec center for aquanaut.


As far as being with the Troop that we have visited. They have done numerous activities with him. They have made him talk in front of the group, be part of a Patrol for the night and give his input and learn the call, reviewed knife safety and rules with him, worked with him on his square knots, answer any questions he has and the best is working with him on calling the Color Guard. This last paid off immensely for him when at his Blue and Gold Banquet he was the one to call the Color Guard to Retire the colors. He was very serious, professional and knew when to call what orders and when to wait for other parts to take place. He even had to correct his den members that were folding the flag star to star which later got him in trouble with the DL because he corrected the boys and not her even though they had been 2 folds into the triangle and she did not notice what was wrong. The Troop already considers him as part of their group and is impressed with his drive and motivation to become an Eagle Scout in which his current DL and CM did not know what he was talking about and in front of his Pack told him that there is no such thing as an Eagle Scout and my son was just trying to get all of the attention.


Twocubdad, I hope this clarifies the situation some for you. I would do anything to be at every meeting and have offered on numerous times to plan a meeting or lead a meeting. I have even asked to take over as DL, the current DL does not want to turn it over but has complained that she does everything by herself and noone will help.


I hope this clarifies things for everyone. I am trying to help him out the best way I can to continue keeping him almost off of the Autism Spectrum completely as his psychologist would say and still keep him motivated and focused. A 3 hour den meeting in which the DL talks to the other parents for 2.5 hours of that time to figure out how to best complete a task is not keeping any of the boys interested in completeing a task. My suggestion of asking the boys how a task could be completed results in me being told that, "They are not old enough to understand and be that independent." My son is the only one that will not be turning 10 this school year. He is the youngest yet he seems more than capable and willing to provide his unput as do the other boys when I have asked them and the DL and assistant DL are out of the room. The boys deserve the credit that is due to them and not just my son.

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Honestly, your den and Pack sound just awful, and leadership sounds unwilling to realise that. I think you should go elsewhere.


With your son being months away from being old enough to officially join the Troop, I would support your changing Packs. Ask the Scoutmaster for a Pack he knows, and one that's likely to be crossing over to that Troop. Your son will have six or ten months of getting to know THOSE boys, with an eye to joining the Troop.


And find out if your council has a special needs district or department or chairman. As your son progresses in Scouts, you should get to know what accomodations your council has. The disability chairman in my council is an invaluable resource for leaders who want to work with special needs Scouts, as well as support for the families of these Scouts.

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puzzlelady, so you do have other packs in the area to join? Because while I advocated Lone Scout earlier, I was under the impression that you didn't have any other options. Finding a friendly pack that meets on a regular schedule really is the best choice for your son. My district website has a list of packs and when they meet right on the website, perhaps yours does too. And talk to your friendly scoutmaster and other scouters. You might be surprised at what you find. Ours is more of a 9 month pack, btw, and that seems common here. But we would be interested in a 12 month program if there was someone to help plan and run more summer activities. Perhaps you could be that person for another pack.


There are more Cub Scout awards to work on until your son can move to Boy Scouts. I've been looking at Leave No Trace, World Conservation and the BSA Family Award for my den and scouts since we've finished rank work for the year.





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