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singlemom

WARNING to Single moms be careful out sending your sons camping without you!

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Sorry to hear about this episode.. The fact that a fight broke out is wrong, but can happen when ever you put boys together.. (Worse when you put adults together as we can have worse fights, though maybe fewer are physical.. And don't get me started when it is girls.. (Not being sexist, just I am female raised with 2 sisters))..

 

Problem seems to be how your troop leaders handled it, and it was obviously not to your satisfaction. I understand completely.. When visiting troops when my son was a Webelos, one troop ended up in an ice fight, where my son was hit with ice which cut his eye.. We did not join that troop, not due to the fight itself, but due to the lack of any sort of discipline for the older scouts throwing the ice at the cub scouts as a form of a game. Without disciplining properly, you knew that type of action would happen again, as the boys saw nothing wrong with what they did.

 

The first troop we joined, had a picking system.. They get in about 40 crossovers from 3 different troops, chose there 10 top picks, and harassed the other scouts out.. Our son was not in the chosen group. We moved to a different troop before their treatment of him soured him to scouting..

 

My son though does have both parents.. Still we have hit problems similar to what you described.. Neither was due to the mens club.. Why?? If all over the country this type of treatment is only doled out to sons raised by a single mother??

 

Answer is.. There is moron leadership in the BSA.. And from this forum I have learned that these morons could be a group of morons, or a single moron who is loud and obnoxious and makes life miserable for everyone when they dont get their way..

 

But, for every one unit that has poor Leadership there are at least 2 with great leadership, adults that are enjoying empowering the youth (and to empower the youth they know they cannot equally empower themselves).. .. The majority try their best to provide the program that the BSA intended.

 

Therefore due to one bad unit, stating that all the units in BSA are the same, is not a very fair statement.

 

We found a troop that my son loved, and he is still involved as an adult leader at 20 years old. Had we pointed to one bad incident, no two bad incidents and gave up, we would have never found a Troop my son absolutely loved.

 

Most units welcome the single parent children. Many mothers raising sons on their own look to the BSA as a place they can get the father role model they are unable to provide. Many single family fathers want quality time with their kids, unplugged from the electronics.. More than half of our troop has boys of single parent homes, the majority of those being the mother as the parent.. I think our troop is not unusual with this type of makeup.. Therefore, although our single mothers rarely take up the camping part of the program, we welcome them when they do, and they are the majority on our Committees, and their sons make up the majority of the youth in our troops.. For all our troops to be discriminating against our majority population would # 1 be self defeating and #2 would have our Committee members come together as a majority and stomp on the unfair practices..

 

With units you just have to shop around, sometimes it is to just find the unit that has the activities you want, and sometimes it is to find the scouts and adult leaders that hold your values, and are offering the best scout program they possibly can..

 

If you walk away from everything based on one bad expirence, you (and your son) will be starting and walking away from lots of things.. What will happen when you put your son in baseball or football, and the boys who are the team favorites do something to make sure the rookies understand they are top dog.. Or the father of one of the boys in the team, argues and fights to get more playing time for their son??

 

Unfortunately morons are everywhere in the world.. They have infiltrated all our youth organizations, as well as our work places, schools and neighborhoods.. It has little to do with you being a single mother, although some morons, may make it their issue.. Really single parents are so common these days, few discrimate against them any more. I say this being raise by my mother in a broken home in the 60's when children of divorce were discriminated against. By the 70's & 80's while in high school & college, I watched the attitude toward divorced women and their children change.. Now adays, marriages that don't end in divorce is in the minority. Widows (like yourself) even in the 60's were never discriminated against.. People have always reached out to these single mothers and fathers..

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I'm sorry to hear about what happened to your son. Most units, and the BSA as an organization, take violence very seriously and likely would have handled this better. If the incident truly was as serious as the limited information in your post, then your council Scout Executive should be informed. If you don't know who this person is, go to your council website or call your local scout office. He or she will take the matter seriously.

 

Beyond that, I share in the others' sentiment that I don't see a nexus between the fact that you are a single parent (and did not attend this particular camping trip) and what happened to your son. The vast majority of scouts do not have parents attend camping trips. I realize that there are some "good old boy units" who may discourage participation by mothers. However, what a quality unit wants to avoid is interference in the boy-led process that sometimes flows when parents who are untrained and who do not understand the methods of scouting attend campouts.

 

I obviously do not know enough about your unit to opine where they fall on this spectrum. But I can tell you that the vast majority of leaders that I know care deeply about their scouts' well-being and will not tolerate abusive behavior. They will bend over backwards to make sure that a boy feels welcome and can participate freely in his unit.

 

If your son still has any interest, perhaps he should visit some other troops in the area. I think both of you may be pleasantly surprised.

 

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Singlemom

 

Look I understand where you are coming from, but as others have said your sons experience is not typical and cetainly not acceptable. Before you give up entirely on scouting my suggestion is you both do a little troop shopping, meet the adult leaders and let your son meet and talk to the youth leaders and other scouts in the troop. Let your boy make the decision if you find a troop that is properly run and looks like they have a fun and exciting program to give it another try. Scouting is truly an experience that will last a lifetime, do not let one bad experience spoil that opportunity for your son.

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This is an unusual first post by a new member to say the least.

 

The facts laid out by the poster are that--

 

Her son was beat up and is not interested in scouting any more.

The troop leaders have offered to discuss this with the poster but she refuses to do so.

 

So...other than issuing a "warning" to the forum at large, I'm not sure what the point of this is supposed to be.

 

Like other people have written here, I'd encourge the poster to meet with the troop, if you have any interest in seeing the situation somehow resolved. The offer has been made on their part, and you can plan your next action based on the result of that meeting.

 

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I have heard that no matter how flat you make a pancake, it still has TWO SIDES. I am always leery of parents that come into any kind of forum or internet media (facebook, twitter, whatever) and rant about how unfairly their children have been treated in "x" situation.

 

The anonymity that the internet affords allows for a soap box where no one can be questioned. She came. She ranted. She posted a "dire warning". She left.

 

She did the same in real life. Why won't she allow the leaders to discuss the situation? Why won't she allow the troop to try and investigate and rectify the situation? Could it be that maybe, just MAYBE, the boy is not completely blameless? And don't think for a moment that by posting that I am inferring that the older boy's actions were justified. Just that boys are well..boys. Well, kids are kids. Sometimes they can't control themselves. That's why we are all here, aren't we? It's no just about camping, knots, and badges. It's about helping boys become men of character. Along the way, there are bound to be bumps. Facts of life.

 

It's grossly unfair to broadly accuse the entire BSA leadership of a "good ole boy club" based on ONE single incident in ONE single troop that involved TWO boys. And then to walk away from the whole thing.

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In terms of the whole single mother thing, at our Crossover on Monday night, we had a father of a crossed over Scout who was really up in arms about the fact that mothers were invited to camp, if they wished. Our SM set him straight about it before our CC (a divorced mother of one of our Eagle Scouts turned ASM) tore him up. Got a few of the other mothers of crossovers (including my wife and two of her better friends) stirred up. Ironically, my wife and friends have no intention of camping with the Troop--they just didn't like this male chauvinist spouting off.

 

Singlemom, find another troop. You just wound up with a bad one. Each troop is different, and unfortunately, since troops are led by humans, they make mistakes and aren't always good.

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My son's father died when he was very young. Are you worried about statutory rape offense?

 

When my two sons were about the ages of about 1.5 and 3 my wife called me at work extremely distressed and almost hysterical. Son #1 hit son #2! She had no brothers and her sister was over five years younger so no physical violence there. I'm not dimininshing what happened to your son, although I don't know exactly what happened, "a beating" means many different things to many different folks. My response to my wife was "why are you calling me, that's what boys/brothers do." She was aghast that a family member would hit another family member.

 

I've worn the Scoutmaster hat and seen a larger (not necessarily older) kid physically challenge a smaller Scout. The larger scout had his father present. The smaller Scout did not. The smaller scout was the oldest child and was used to getting his way. What he could get away with at home he was not able to get away with at camp. However, the larger scout acted inappropriately too. I worked closely with one of my SAs and we got through the weekend with no deaths. I had Scoutmaster conferences with both Scouts (separately). Before departure, I sat down with the dads of each scout (separately), and gave them my take on what happened. Neither scout was without fault but each parent view their son as 100% innocent and the other scout as the antagonist. C'est la vie for a Scoutmaster.

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Basement - Know the old saying "Takes one to know one"..

 

Well I have had my moronic molments. Therefore, I'm qualified to point out others who are perpetulently moronic, or have had a moronic molment or two themselves..

 

 

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Call you council office and ask to speak to the Scout Executive (SE). Tell him your story, that your son was beaten on a scout campout and that the unit does not seem to be taking corrective action. (It does not look like you have given them much of an opportunity to do this, but that no longer matters).

 

If the troop leadership is doing their job they have already contacted the SE and reported the incident. In my experience the SE will assign a council director to investigate. At least in our council, this will typically result in the removal of the offending youth from scouting. A criminal complaint may be filed as well.

 

Be advised, just because your son was beaten does not mean that he was not culpable in the matter.

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If you're still here, I'm very sorry for what your son experienced. That type of conduct has no place in Scouting.

 

However, it's worth noting that a child today could be beaten up any place - school, after-school clubs, sports, youth groups. A parent can't protect a child every place, every time.

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First, to singlemom, and more importantly to her son, I'm sorry for your experience. Legitimately, your son would have to be very motivated to go back to any Scout troop. And for you to overcome your angst would be another big hurdle.

 

Yes, there is certainly situations where single parents are looked down on...even today. When I was a single Dad, going to school functions to help out was always an interesting mix by both married Mom's and married Dad's. The Mom's wanted to know what evil shyster I hired to take my kids away from their Mother, and the Dad's wondered if I was after their wives.

 

To the Forum...we've seen variations of this before on the board. Fight breaks out, the attacker is "real sorry" and nothing much more is done.

 

There is no possible way that a responsible parent (single or not) could in good conscious allowed their son to participate in an organization which they don't feel that the boy is protected in. That is amplified in Scouting because of the amount of time that the boys spend on outings at one time.

 

While going to District or the CO might yield some positive results, the reality is that it probably would not. Would District or the CO expel the attacker, when the SM would not?

 

I think singlemom's only solution is to move on to some other activity for her son...I wish her luck with that.

 

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Engineer61,

 

Your bias is showing. You are not happy with your son's troop and you are carrying that to others and sharing your bias

 

engineer 61 said: "Yep, I'd pull him if it were up to me...as I already said, I just get to pay for it ..."

 

just sayin' ;)

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"...singlemom's only solution is to move on to some other activity for her son..."

 

I completely disagree! Such nonsense only propagates the OP notion that all of Scouting is lousy nothing but a "Mens Club" where boys are beaten on a regular basis.

 

For this particular boys self esteem alone, he would be far better off to either go back to the Troop and stand up for himself, or find another Troop. It may be that he would be welcomed back to the Troop and may even become good friends with the boy he got in a fight with! It happens!!

 

But if he walks away now, what pattern does that set up in his life? What will he do when the next confrontation occur? Walk again? How many times can he do that?

 

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Engineer,

 

On a serious note, if two of your players had a fight during practice or a game, would you not get everyone involved together to sort it out? Would you also recommend that the offended party look to another activity? After all "the [player] would have to be very motivated to go back to any [team]. And for you to overcome your angst would be another big hurdle."

 

Let's face it "There is no possible way that a responsible parent (single or not) could in good conscious allowed their son to participate in [a team sport] which they don't feel that the boy is protected in. That is amplified in [any sport] because of the amount of time that the boys spend [at practices every nite and on game days].

 

I think your advice does reflect your bias against BSA, as the advice you have given can be applied to any endevour. And it really doesn't solve the question WHY DID IT HAPPEN, but rather encourages flight and blame.

 

On a very less serious note I agree 110% with the and the Dad's wondered if I was after their wives comment since I was a stay at home dad for 4 years. Only time I didn't get some funny looks on playdates was when I was in grad school for the second time.

 

 

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