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singlemom

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

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Singlemom, first, I am very sorry that your son had this experience. Obviously this is not something that we like to hear about and wish it never happens to anyone but blaming the Scouting program misses the mark pretty widely. It is a people problem not an organization issue. It does not happen often in Scouting but it does happen often in society, VERY often. As a general rule we can count on our boys to be better about these types of issues than the general public but as in anything in life there will be exceptions when people are involved. I can tell you that you being there or not probably would not have changed the situation other than making it worse for your son had you been there because you probably could not have stopped it and a hovering parent can make a target out of a child in any childrens social network. I can also speak of this with some authority because my son took a good punch at camp a few years ago right in front of me and nobody saw it coming.

 

There are lots of things that happen in life but there is no way as a parent that you can raise a healthy child by protecting them from the world and not allowing them to experience life on their own. I am not saying throw them under the bus but there will always be problem people and if your son does not recognize those kind of people because you have over protected him then he is at a much higher risk. I also have experienced boys with hovering parents who got beat up just because of the parent situation (not Scouting, I have volunteered with youth for 20 plus years in other areas).

 

What the people here have suggested are some really great advise and, like it or not, you need to follow up. If the Troop is not handling it properly then the Scout Executive for your Council needs to hear from you personally. If your son really was beat then the police need to be involved as well even if everybody else tells you it isn't necessary. Boys will be boys but Scouts don't beat up boys.

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Wow lots of responses and I don't know where to start. I was obviously very mad when I wrote that. I DO believe that people should be careful about sending their young children off with people they don't really know. I can't imagine a person would not be upset if they had this happen. For those of you that displayed empathy for the situation, bless you, for the rest of you, what calious individuals you must be. I did not expect this venom towards a parent with a hurt child. WOW!

 

I am not going to detail his injuires as I am not too interesed in giving specifics given the hostile environment here. Sufficient to say he had to go to the hospital. Again not to go into specifics but my son is disabled due to a very long term life threatening illness. They wre all aware of this and encouraged me to let him go without me because he would be safe with them. As far as being a quitter, I have myself survived a life threatening illness, lost his father and am raising a boy who is well adjusted and kind despite the things that have occurred in his life. That has taken a lot of work and is no accident. Further, kids like my son do not survive if they have parents that are quitters. I have always given him as much freedom as I possibly can and was trying to give him more by letting him go without me.

 

I have talked to the SMs and so has my son. Reread my original post. My son has been made to feel guilty and is hurt is that not enough for you yet? So I should force him to go back, which he does not want to do? Some of you are heartless individuals just heartless.

 

So because I think it may not be safe for people I don't know well to watch my son in the wilderness I am a quitter? Especially now when they have shown me they are not watching him well? And further when he gets hurt by another boy they defend the boy? These things show I am encouraging my son to be a quitter? I disagree. This is just evidence that I am smart enough not to followw the other lemmings off the bridge. And smart enough to know that when excuses are made for physical aggression, more will occur.

 

I posted here because I am at my wits end how to handle this. I don't want to embarass my son any more he is already embarassed and discouraged enough. HE does not want to go back because of how bad the SM's have alreaady made him feel. He is an upbeat positive person as am I despite what has happened to us in life. He doesn't want any more pain emotional from this nor do I. No one has even called to check on him. I have never said all scouting is bad, some of you are off the edge.

 

I know my original post was strong but think about what has just happened to my yes PRECIOUS child here. Mine is just as precious to me as yours is to you and it makes me very mad when people who claim to be role models act like this. I am not saying they are bad. In fact I am starting to believe a BIG part of the problem is that they do NOT know how to handle aggressive children.

 

Those of you that gave constructive answers thanks so much. I feel like I have some options now of how I might proceed. I also think its probably not because I am a SM. I think as engineer said that this kid probably gets in trouble a lot so they are used to defending him since dad is their buddy. I have found out that earlier in the year that he had started something with a kid but the kid's dad intervened and stopped it. SO yeah having a person that loves you and is looking out for you when you are a little guy is a big deal. I actually work with children and yeah 11 is little - in a different stage of development then the older middle schoolers.

 

FYI most aftercare places around here anyway dont let the older kids and younger kids mix because there are too many problems including injuries. I am not saying scouts should not let them mix but if they do they need to train leaders to understand how to keep the little kids as safe as possible. Also, perhaps SM should have to take a course in dealing with aggressive kids. After reading some of your closed minded responses however I suspect some of you would not want anything like that but perhaps you shoud consider that since BS was started there have been significant findings in child development. As in we don't let small children do everything we used to. In the depression era we can see that small children were often left alone at age no one would think to now.

 

 

The kids have told what happened that night but I am not going to go into all that here. I will tell you that my son was not physically aggressive. And you can't make ANY excuses for aggression save self defense. This is just giving positive reinforcement for the behavior.

 

 

I read all of your responses and I responded mostly because I wanted to that those of you that gave the kind constructive responses to a woman who was obviously at the end of her rope with grief for her child. Some of you really need to grow a heart.

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If singlemom is not TROLL, then she is an ENTITLEMENTER, you know, one of those entitled to everything and nothing is ever hers or her sons fault.

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there is a lot of "I"'s in your post.......Scouting is about him, NOT YOU.

 

"So because I think it may not be safe for people I don't know well to watch my son in the wilderness I am a quitter?"

 

hmmmmm, so did he or didn't he go and speak with the troop leadership?

 

Was the Adult and youth leadership aware of his condition?? does his condition contribute to behavior issues?????? If the leadership was unaware, you can hardly blame them if he acted out and got punched for his antics.

 

So is he autistic or AS or some other autism spectrum??? Palsy?

 

We have a couple autistic, adhd and a young man with Palsy in our Pack and troop. My son has terrible asthma twice daily meds and two different rescue inhalers.

 

 

I cannot imagine what your son would have that would make him so fragile that would preclude him or make him a target. The boys in the troop look after our young man with Palsy and have stepped in at resident camp when other troops start to pick on him. The boys look after my son, I have seen them stop him and tell him to hit the inhaler, yes he needed it. In our troop the older scouts look out for and train the younger scouts........Makes the old man smile when I see it.

 

Heartless, hardly.....most on this forum have years of volunteering at all levels of scouting. Most have dealt with fights among the youth and the adults. All have dealt with complaining parents and youth. Spent sleepless nights with sick or scared scouts, talked a young man the last 2 miles of the twenty mile hike, we are family councilors, youth psychologist, motivational speakers, seamstress, cook, shopper, Banker, cleaner, facilitator, educator, policeman, on and on and on......

 

Not looking for awards, praise or recognition....just giving you perspective.

 

His little parts hurt????? what the heck is that???? If my son was involved in a fight that resulted in him going to the hospital the police would be involved scouting or not. That is the realm of assault not a boyhood fight.

 

Our point, like it or not is......you cannot protect him for the rest of his life. Scouting is the safest youth organization for him to be in.......The adult leaders have their background checked, there are policies in place to safe guard against child abuse. Your son is safer in the wilderness than he is walking accrossed the parking lot at walmart or walking to school.

 

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Some of you guys are being nasty. Cut it out.

 

This mom is upset because her kid was hurt in what she thought would be a safe environment. She also sounds upset that she let her child down. What parent doesn't feel that way, when they encourage their child to do something a little scary/risky, and it backfires in a big way? HER CHILD WAS SENT TO THE HOSPITAL AS A RESULT OF INJURIES SUSTAINED AT A SCOUT EVENT. (sorry to yell, but this doesn't seem to have penetrated for some of you)

 

If you don't get that, then I don't know what to say to you.

----------------

 

Singlemom: I'm sorry you and your son had that experience. Sometimes, teen and pre-teen boys (and girls) can be unpleasant to each other, and sometimes they don't even really mean it, but are simply thoughtless. Sometimes, adults don't fathom the depth of the problem at first. Please do not judge the entire scouting movement on the basis of one bad experience, though.

 

Let me also point out that the bulk of responses here have been very supportive, and have offered multiple approaches and feedback. Consider that as representative of what's good about scouting. Obviously, none of us know you in person and can't speak specifically to your circumstances. And of course, there are always other sides to all stories, and many people here have been round the block a few times with folks who cry wolf. That doesn't mean everybody thinks YOU are crying wolf, but rather, that for some people, they take everything with a block of salt, instead of the proverbial grain. If some people's advice doesn't fit your situation, please feel free to disregard it.

 

As a mom whose son switched troops this year after a pretty rough time in his previous troop (though older - my son is almost 17), please also believe me when I say that the right troop, and the right outlook, makes all the difference in a boy's experience. I hope you and your son will consider finding another troop that is a better fit to your needs, rather than dropping and condemning scouting altogether. This could mean taking a slower approach, and it could mean traveling a little further to find the right fit, but it will be worth it if your son (re)gains his confidence and love of scouting, as a result.

 

And finally, almost all of us in scouting are volunteers, doing the best we can with what we have. Sometimes, we get it wrong. It may be a lot to ask, but I hope you will forgive mistakes and continue to look for all that is good in scouting.(This message has been edited by lisabob)

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singlemom - kudos to you for responding. I wasn't sure we'd hear back from you.

 

I posted here because I am at my wits end how to handle this. I don't want to embarrass my son any more he is already embarassed and discouraged enough. HE does not want to go back because of how bad the SM's have already made him feel.

 

I'm not sure why you are at wits end - it seems fairly straightforward how to handle it - I wouldn't force him to go back. I think that almost nothing positive results from forcing a boy to attend Scouts if he doesn't want to. If your son has a friend in another troop who's having a better experience, you might see if your son wanted to join him, but I don't think I'd send your son back to this troop. He doesn't want to go. You don't want him to go. It doesn't sound like you have a good relationship with the troop leaders. Seems like an easy decision to me :-)

 

perhaps SM should have to take a course in dealing with aggressive kids.

 

I'd be happy to take a course like that - as long as it was on-line and I could quickly read through things that I might already know. But there are also Scouts who have autism/aspergers, Scouts with Downs Syndrome, Scouts with ADD, Scouts from divorced parents, Scouts with generalized anxiety disorder, etc. All of their parents want us to deal with them. Keep in mind that Scoutmasters are not paid as child development specialists - they are just volunteers who started out, for the most part, because they wanted to help run a program for their own son. There is a limit to the level of expertise that can reasonably be expected in this situation.

 

you should consider that since BS was started there have been significant findings in child development. As in we don't let small children do everything we used to. In the depression era we can see that small children were often left alone at age no one would think to now.

 

That sounds perfectly reasonably, but well, it comes across as a little bit naive - Boy Scouts has made dramatic changes to its safety rules over the years. Scoutmasters who watch the movie "Follow Me, Boys!" can't help but be struck by how much more awareness there is of safety issues nowadays, and how many more rules there are to follow than there were back when that movie was made. Seriously. Tons more rules. Much more training.

 

I'm still not sure exactly what you're hoping for...I'm glad you've got some suggestions you can use, and your post certainly makes for a cautionary tale of what to watch out for. Thanks for sharing. Don't take the responses too hard - people here are used to some pretty blunt discussions, and we don't know enough from your posts to really know your situation and have a sense for all of the parties involved. And most of us have seen cases of bad behavior by leaders, as well as bad behavior by parents, and we know there are often some very different points of view out there. So there's a lot of general theorizing that goes on. Try not to take it personally (and yes, that's probably useless advice, I know.)

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I think this is a troll...

 

It is horrific if it is genuine, but too many things do not make sense.

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Basement person what in the world is wrong with you? Is Aspergers a life threatenting illness it would take over half his life to recove from? Connect the dots and pray you never have a child that has to live through it, carry the scars from it and then experience a person like you.

 

I do not need any more responses. I know my first post was strong my child has been treated very badly. And so many of you are so venomous it makes me wonder what percentage of those in scouting are this cruel to downplay something thta happened to a child that has already been through hell and back.

 

If you knew me you would know the hovering parent thing was laughable. Most kids that have things going on like my son aren't doing the things he is. he is because I have worked hard to help him ovecome his fear, understand his limits and what things he can and cant do so that he can go out into the world and take care of himself. I dont know why so many of you seem to think that these young children need such little supervision. You dont have to hove you can hang back and diffuse situations before they start. Like making them put down the rock they are carrying towards another child.

 

I am not going to post anymore. Do not get me wrong i admire anyone for volunteering with children. I love children. But if you are going to be responsible for other people's children be responsible. Or dont take it on. Dont try and pass the buck and downplay it if someone gets hurt on your watch. Dont make the kid feel like its his fault another kid went after him.

 

And I dont care how many volunteer hours you have put in, you dont know anything about hard work and persistence until you have been a child that goes out into the world every day knowing that there are things that other kids do that if you do them the results could be devastating or that if someone decides to strike you in a certain place you could end up in the hosptal.

 

Basement person, are you a Dr? If you are I could explain the details of my son's situation one to another. However, I do not believe that a person without a medical background would understand his diagnosis. Especially since you seem to think Aspergers is a life threatening medical condition.

 

I will not be posting here again but I do appreciate those of you that took the time to respond to a mother that was -as I said- at her wits end. I still stand with what I said about camping without a parent. I believe that 11 is too young to go out camping with people you do not know. Especially since as someone stated these people may be well meaning volunteers but they have no formal training in child care and may not even be that familiar with camping aside from their scouting experience.

 

Even people that are trained to care for children normally do not "mix" these age groups on a playground so what does that tell you? Children this young are still in the concrete thinking stage. Where you or the other lead they will follow, you cant expect them to have these complex thinking patterns that some of you seem to expect they are capable of to protect themselves. They are not there yet.

 

With that I do wish you the best. Those of you that are full of hatred I wish you peace.

 

 

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If you are looking for ways to handle your son's situation, here are some suggestions, and some questions -

 

If my son was beat up by someone, badly enough to be hospitalized, I would definitely make sure that the police were called to the hospital, and a complaint made as soon as possible. Was this done by you?

 

You stated you spoke to your son's SM, but that the SM did nothing. Yet you also stated that the Troop leaders want to get together with you to "get to the bottom of it" but you refused. Have you contacted the head of the Troop's Charter Organization? Since you stated that your son was in Cub Scouts, you should have an idea of how a BSA unit is set up. The Charter Organization owns the Troop. They are ultimately responsible for the Troop. If you have not contacted the Charter Org yet, I recommend doing so as soon as possible. Big, bad, "male role models" or not, they should be informed of what happened. They might actually be able to help.

 

According to BSA's Guide to Safe Scouting, all incidents involving serious injury should be reported to the council Scout Executive. Do you know if this was done?

 

I would suggest to you that you make an effort to see that the Troop does something to ensure that this kind of thing does not happen again. It will not only be closure for you and your son, but will help other young Scouts.

 

 

And in response to a few of your comments -

 

You stated "I have never said all scouting is bad". Well, actually, you kind of did. You stated "I am sickened that I encouraged my son so much towards scouting. From what I see and hear now in most places I read about scouting this is more of a men's club then a boys club. My son means nothing to his scout troop and yours probably will not either."

 

You have had experience with one Boy Scout Troop. Per BSA figures, as of Dec 31, 2010, there were 40,146 Boy Scout Troops chartered with BSA. Not all 40,146 are alike. I realize you were/are hurting, but bad mouthing like this will not solve anything.

 

 

You stated "Stick with sports. The men there don't need to exclude women from their activities to feel like men."

 

I must admit to laughing out loud when I read this. You must not be very familiar with sports at all. How many boys sports teams do you know of with female coaches? Have you ever heard of Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, and how it impacted, and is STILL impacting, females in sports?

 

Sports has more than it's fair share of Neanderthals too.

 

 

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singlemom -

 

Thanks so much for coming back and posting again. It is clear that you very much need to be listened to and need to be heard. This was clearly a very difficult time.

 

I've been a leader in Scouting for over 15 years, and a Scoutmaster for more than 10 years. In that time I've seen all kinds of things, the vast majority of it very positive. But sometimes negatives occur too. We deal with these quickly and transparently. If the action falls outside the Scout Law, then it must be dealt with immediately.

 

If there were a Scout in our Troop that outright beat up a younger new Scout resulting in hospitalization, he would likely suspended at the least, and may be expelled from the Troop. But in order to make a decision like that, I would need to know exactly what happened. I would immediately talk to all the Scouts involved and all who witnessed it. If his actions fell outside the Scout Law, then action would be taken.

 

The problem with info you have provided so far, is that I do not know what happened. I know that the mom is very upset, that the Scout is very upset and ended up with injuries that required hospitalization. But that is not enough.

 

So I'm asking you for the details. What exactly happened? And then, what was done by the Troop to rectify the situation. I know you said you would not post again, but I (and likely others here) would appreciate some details to more fully understand what happened.

 

And if you have not done so yet, I would highly recommend you get on the phone with the SM of the Troop your son was in and let him know in no uncertain terms exactly how you feel. Not comfortable talking to him? Then call his wife. Or the head of the Charter Organization. Either way, how you feel must be transmitted to the Troop. Perhaps they do not fully understand that they have a real problem child in their Troop that is abusive and driving Scouts out of the Troop.

 

We had a kid a few years back quit the Troop. All he would say to me was that he didn't feel like coming anymore. When I asked his parents, they said he had been bullied. Ok. News to me. I had not witnessed anything of the sort. I asked for details - who had done it, when it happened, what happened. No, they parents said, he doesn't feel comfortable talking about it. Now I have no idea what happened, who was involved, or even when it happened.

 

About a year later, several Scouts stepped forward and independently provided details on a Scout who was very abusive and very good at hiding it. By that time several other Scouts had quit the Troop, again not giving any information we could use. Once we understood what was happening the abusive Scout was dealt with and expelled from the Troop. But it did not have to go on for another year if that one Scout had told us what happened.

 

It's like this... if you saw a drunk driver careening through the streets, would you not call the Police? Or would you say that it was none of your business? This situation is very similar - the Troop needs to know that they have a problem Scout so they can do something about it.

 

So, I am humbly asking for two things:

1) please consider posting again and letting us know what happened.

2) please communicate to the Troop exactly how you feel, and give them the details of the situation as you understand it.

Thanks.

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For my own part, I am not insensitive to what this boy went through. This incident should have been dealt with much better. That said, I wonder what kind of responses the OP was expecting when she came in with guns blazing and attacking Scouting. It seems to me that the OP came in, dropped a bomb, and was unprepared for the fallout.

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As I posted originally, this should NOT have happened. Leaders need to be talked to ASAP to prevent this from happening to another scout AND so that the process of removing the abusive scout can go on.

 

 

If your son was sent to the hospital, then the Scout Executive (SE) NEEDS TO KNOW IMMEDIATELY so that the entire process can dealt with legally. SEs know the legal process they must follow in reporting abuse to the legal authorities.

 

From first hand experience, if your son will not talk about what happened to him, it will continue happening to others. Plus the abuse will affect him until he resolves it, and the best way to resolve the matter is to confront it head on NOW.

 

Will it be painful to your son, yes. Will it be embarrassing to your son, yes. Will it be awkward to your son, yes. Again I know form first hand expereince. BUT will it make your son feel better faster, YES. Will give him a sense of closure faster, YES. Will it make him more comfortable and confident if something like this rears its ugly head in other avenues in life, YES.

 

Good luck.

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The "blame the victim" mentality that has been displayed in some posts here is distressing! I'm not sure why the attitude toward new posters is "troll until proven otherwise" but it's something I've mentioned in other threads. Is this truly an open forum, or were you expecting she'd earn her "posting chops" over a few months before bringing this issue up? I think a few of you could learn the value of just keeping your mouth shut if you have nothing constructive to say, and that having the right to say something doesn't mean it should be said.

 

Yes, it was not particularly helpful for the OP to issue a "warning to single moms," which is why I said it was an unusual post. Neither do I think such a warning is needed because the BSA program has nothing against single moms. Is it a "boys club?" Well, yes. Does it exclude families, in whatever form those families may be? Absolutely not.

 

So again, just take the post at face value. The salient points are:

 

-Son was beat up.

-Mom and son don't want to talk to the Troop about it, despite offers from the Troop to do so.

 

So, to singlemom, if you're looking for advice, the advice has been given--to talk to someone, either within or outside the troop, not only for your and your son's benefit but as a duty to other boys who might be injured by this particular bully.

 

If you're only looking to this forum to be a sounding board, so be it, but I do not agree with your warning.

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I agree with Lisa. Read my first and only other post in this thread, the second response to the original and in response to Ned. Some of us, whether we intend it or not, are coming across as callous, uncaring, and willing to dismiss a mother's heartfelt expression by calling her a troll when we really have no evidence to support that dismissal.

 

Edited: I see that I'm in agreement with 83Eagle and a few others as well. I need to type these things more quickly.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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hehheeeheheh.......I am not a doctor that is for sure. But I have spent more than my fair share of time in hospitals. Parents and wife with cancer not that it matters and son's asthma which sends us in a couple times a year. I work in the medical field.

 

Life threatening is a lot of different things to a lot of different people.....I have seen a young autistic man melt down and become very self destructive.

 

If your son is that fragile then scouting isn't the place for him.

 

 

Gotta a chuckle here......child care, LADY I am not a babysitter. BSA does not stand for Baby sitters of America. At 11 years old your son should not need full time child care and on an outing I should not have to watch every single scout every single minute.

 

(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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