Jump to content

Can a scout be too excited about scouting?

Recommended Posts

I have a question/concern. This is my son's first year in scouting, a Wolf, and he loves it. My son started a new school this year and had great difficulty adjusting and making friends. The kids teased him and the teacher was of no help. Thank God for scouting. My son came home from school excited about the Cubmaster visiting his class and asked me every night about the upcoming meeting. Well I am proud to say he has really blossomed. The problem is that in our pack we have divided up into 2 Dens. One den has great leaders: organized,prepared and they keep great records. The other den, ours, are very weak leaders, when they are even present. The boys never received their awards or recognition at pack meetings because they would misplace the information. This was so disheartening that when they asked for volunteers to keep records, I volunteered. Of course, I have been asked to a lot more than just recordkeeping but that's another story. And yes, I have been asked to be a bear leader next year. And yes, I will. The CM has decided to rejoin the dens until the end of the year.


My question is my son has really advanced quicker than the other boys. I have tried to encourage the other parents by sending emails and progress updates and it seems to work but he is still very far ahead of the others. Well my son was lightheartedly called "our little overachiever" in the den bead cermony, which he loved but I'm concerned. He has received his Wolf badge and has finished 55 electives. He has several belt loops, pins and various badges. We never miss a scout outing or meeting. I have never push him to do anything. He really loves it. He's an A honor student and I think he loves scouts because he's made so many friends and excel at it. Should I try to slow him down? We still have 2 more months before our crossover camp. Adults are already talking about when he's an Eagle and I'm just afraid that this might be too much pressure. Please give me any input. He wants his Conservation Badge and needs to complete 2 more electives should I have stop working on electives after those two? Please advise. Is that too many electives? How many arrow points can you earn? (Sorry so long but our pack is only 2 years old and everybody is pretty new so I don't have anybody I can really talk to.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good for you for jumping in to help with the den. If half the people who complained about things tried to help solve the problem, there wouldn't be anything to complain about.


I wouldn't do a thing to discourage your son's enthusiasm. What's the down side? Other people think he's an overachiever? So what?


Make sure he's really completing all the requirements and having fun. The only reason I'd worry about pacing him is if you feel like he's running out of something to do. Many of the belt loops are pretty easy to complete. Encourage him to work on the accompanying pins which are much more involved.


The World Conservation Badge is a great thing to go for. Do the conservation project and as many of the electives as appropriate as a den. That way everyone who has the interest to complete the other electives have the opportunity to earn the badge too.


Sounds like you're doing a good job as den leader-to-be by keeping the parents updated with their boy's progress.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tell your son great job!

Don't slow him up, try to redirect him a little. I am not up on the Cub program but maybe, with the CM's permission he could help the other boys with their requirments. It will do two things; Keep him active and reinforce what he has learned.

What do others on the list think?


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say don't slow him down. Just make sure he's having fun and really doing his best on the requirements.


A Wolf can earn all the arrow points he wants. I would try to keep him from doing the same things over and over.

As a Bear leader I just awarded on of my boys the Bear badge and 3 arrow points! He doesn't do Cub Scouts 24 hours a day, just his family is involved with him and likes to experience new things. He will easily get a 4th arrow point by just showing up to den meetings.


The suggestion to have him work with the other boys is a good one. Have him bring in samples of what he has done on some of his electives to show the other boys at den meetings.


Also look into the Cub Scout Leave No Trace Award. It is new this year.


Maybe have him tackle a belt loop & pin that is a challenge for him and will take some effort for him.


Congratulations on being involved and having an excited Cub Scout for a son.


By the way, I'm in Georgia too...Stockbridge.


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first son did well in Scouts and is starting on his third year in Boy Scouts. I was never his leader. My second son, from an award perspective, did even better. I was his den leader all the way through Cub Scouts and now SM for both of my boys. I'm sure many adults thought that he had it "easy" because his Dad was the leader and let him breeze through. Actually, I was harder on him (I should not have been) that I was on the other kids. Scouts excites him (school does not unfortunately). Luckily, the adults don't verbalize their thoughts to him.


Some kids live Scouting and are not that much interested in advancement. Others are very interested in advancement. Still others have no interest in Scouting either way. To each his own. Try to honor the boys wishes (not the parents) when it comes to advancement.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good job to your son. I wouldn't worry too much about how fast he's going as long as he's having fun. I was a Bear Leader last year and I had 4 boys out of 8 that ended up with 7-8 arrow points apiece. This was just from den meetings and a few things they did on their own. These same boys are the ones who are wanting to work on their Webelos activity pins this year. they love scouting and I rarely have to ask them if they completed their projects. Just keep encouraging him and don't worry about what the other adults say, you and he both know he earned those awards and thats all that matters

Link to post
Share on other sites

Leaders kids progress quicker than the children of non-leaders generally. Mostly because the parents are involved and encouraging. The children may also try to please the parents. All in all not much to worry about unless YOU can see some imbalance in his abilities.


Some Scouts are thriving in our program but in the rest of society they are misfits. As long as he has it all in perspective then he should go for his life.


We normally agree that we never sign off our own children. That avoids any criticism that they are getting favouritism. In fact our children have one less leader to go to and that can mean that they have to wait in line longer. Do you have a similar tradition over there?


Your son seems to be fine. Your approach is good and correct. Don't hold back.



Link to post
Share on other sites

That sounds like me, acco40. I have advanced very slowly ( First Class in almost three years). We found last night, while helping the new boys who just crossed over Thursday in which I helped the last two years, that I knew a lot more than my friend my age who will have Eagle in three weeks. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forums Mama Bear!! In answer to your question....a big NO, a scout can never be to excited about scouting :) . You are in for a wonderful experience with you son! My suggestion is to let your son set his pace, if he wants to work on his book, great, if he wants to work on belt loops and pins, also great! The way i see it, if he's coming to you to do things, he's not being overwhelmed or pressured. I'm sure his enthusiasm will soon inspire others in his den.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Can a Scout be too excitied about Scouting ?

Many of the great leaders in Scouting are as excited about Scouting, just as much today as they were as when the first joined.

Having your own child in your own unit can be a challenge. Of course,he gets to attend everything, because you attend everything. At times he may be the one who lands in hot water more then the other Scouts, because you don't have to think to remember his name.

He will always be the one in uniform, because he is your kid, and you set the example.

Please don't try and hold him back. Cub Scouting is family based, and it is the parent who signs off on the requirements, so if you as the parent are happy, and he is happy, that is all that counts.

So much can happen from now till whenever he is ready to become an Eagle Scout, if he ever does. Advancement is only a part of Scouting, there is a lot more to it then just advancing.

Oliver James is going on 15, and has been one merit badge and the planning of the project shy of his Eagle for well over a year. Yes I get the odd comment, but my answer is always the same. It is his Eagle.

Welcome to the forum.

The real joy in Scouting is staying as excited as the youth, and trying to provide activities that will keep that excitement alive.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hop Scout,


I'm glad to see you can now appreciate the value you got from working at your own pace. I am a believer in the general concept of First Class first year. Actually, our Troop uses approximately 18 months as the goal, because the traditional framework of the yearlong program we use takes @ 18 months for a boy to get an oppurtunity through the program to work on all the rank requirements. But if a boy wants to work outside the set program, for example, doing his 5 mile hike with a buddy on his own, he can certainly short circuit the 18 month cycle and be First Class sooner.


But our best Scouts (measured by knowledge of Scout skills) all took the full 18 months, and maybe even a bit longer, to get to 1st Class. And EVERY time we have seen comparisons between the skills our guys have compared to the skills of Scouts from other Troops who advance faster, our guys run circles around them, just like you're describing. I am convinced this is due to our "see one, do one, teach one" method, where an older Scout teaches a skill to a young Scout, the young Scout gets to practice it at an event, and after he has put it into real use, he is tested on it, by an older Scout. Once he has tested on all of the rank requirements (he's become 1st Class), he then is asked to teach these skills to the next group of new Scouts, and test them on the skill. It is in this part of the program that our guys really learn these skills. Let's face it: Even when practiced for real, a Scout can complete a requirement satisfactorily without really KNOWING the skill. But he can't possibly teach it with a low level of knowledge and skill.


You should be proud of your high level of competence. And as you test younger guys, although you should never make it harder than the requirement states, mkae sure that the high standards you have (or someone had for you) are met.


As to mama bear, I'd say that a boy absolutely cannot be too excited about anything good. My personal experience has been that I have mistaken my excitement for my boys' activities for their excitement. My youngest is a junior black belt. I assumed for 5 years that he was having a great time in karate, because I was having a great time watching and working with him. As he approached earning black belt, he arranged with his instructor and me to take the summer off right after he met his goal. that was a year ago, and he hasn't been back yet, and just told me this morning he figured he probably wouldn't. When I expressed suprise, he said that it was boring. I thought to myself, "Boring, I never thought it was boring!". Then it hit me. I'll be trying to determine if his interest in Scouts is similiar. I hope not, but I learned something this morning.


I am not suggesting this is your situation, but offer it as one perspective.


Good luck to you!



Link to post
Share on other sites


In the Cub program (6 to 11 years old) here in the States, the parents do the sign off for the first 3 years (Tigers, Wolves, Bears). In the last 2 years of Cubs (Webelos), the leader starts doing the sign off on most things.

Most Boy Scout (11 to 18) leaders prefer not to sign off their own sons.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can an athlete have too much hustle?


Can a piano player or anyone who plays a musical instrument play with too much passion?


Can an educationally gifted student learn to much?


If so, I guess a scout can be too excited about scouting, but I would have to hear the explanations on the first three statements I have to consider it.


At last night's chat, the name of Jim Croce came up. I quote from a line in his song, "Time in a bottle"


"But there never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do once you find them..."


If childhood is a special place to d the things you want to do, why would anyone interrupt?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone for your wise advice. I especially like the profound mesage left by OldGreyEagle. I never thought of it that way. Often as parents, we worry too much about if we are doing what is best for our children. My son loves scouting and it is a blessing that he has found something that gives him such great joy and acceptance.

When I decided to accept a leadership role next year, I sat down with my son and explained to him that my time would have to be split evenly and fairly among all the boys and he accepted and ackowledged that fact. I then asked him if he would prefer to be put in another leader's den. I understand Acco40's dilemma about fairness and also realize that having a scout allows us a wonderful opportunity to get a boy's opinion and point of view regarding den activities and meetings.

By the way, I do require his den leaders to sign off on his book and projects so that we have no problems down the road. I also have him bring in his posters or projects to meetings. ( More his idea than mine.) At the last meeting, each scout was asked to do a science project for the den, my son had practiced at home and I knew he was prepared and excited. ( You would think he was doing a magic show.) But at the meeting, the majority of the parents explained the project and how it worked why the child performed it. Of course my son turned to me and thought I would do the same. I refused and although very nervous, he explained in his own 8 year old way his science project, even asking questions of the other scouts. When it was over I could see the look of pride and accomplishment in his eyes. In the car he asked why I didn't go up there with him. I explained that it was HIS project and that scouting was about doing your best and I felt he had.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...