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qwazse

Youth Member vs. Former Member

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So ... how do you interact with youth who quit the BSA vs. youth of the same age who are members?

 

They both said that oath and law once. Let's assume that it wasn't some religious epiphany or denial of citizenship that drove him/her to drop, but it wasn't some extenuating circumstance (relocation financial/family troubles). Scouting - in spite of your best efforts to keep it totally youth led - just cramped his/her style.

 

You see him/her around, or they're still your FB friend ... whatever.

 

What changes in terms of your expectations? What stays the same?

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MIne would stay the same, but I pretty much expect my friends to come pretty close to following the Scout Oath and Law anyways.

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People come and go in my life all the time. It's no different with the hundreds of boys who have been part of my scouting program. Some I keep track of, most I don't. It's always good to see them and we take the time to catch up, they have their life to live. Hopefully something I said to them along the way was helpful.

 

Stosh

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I just try to be nice, tell them they were a good scout if I can't recall anything to the contrary. If they were one of my favorites I tell them. I see some of my old cubbies now after some switched schools are now back--some look at me like I look familiar. Rarely one will come up and say what an influence I had OR they remember something I said OR remember having fun.

 

Once I met a boy I saw a lot of potential with (a 'project') but he was such a handful his folks shipped off to a military school several states over. He seems to have straightened out and told me recently that he knew he was out of control but he really appreciated me trying and working with him. (So I thought he was a failed project but I helped a bit)

 

That kind of feedback goes a long way to help keep me going. As a long time 'support' ASM I do not think I get the same sorts of thanks that (deservedly) Scout Masters and the Committee members do.

 

I usually don't facebook friend a lad unless he is 18.

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I don't have different expectations for people whether they have ever been a Scout or not. I expect people to live by the Ideals of Scouting whether or not they have accepted them or not or even heard of them or not. I just think that's how people should behave. Consequently dropping out of Scouting doesn't change those expectations.

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I'm sad because I see them less often, but that's all that changes. As a scout leader I see the same kid, and will still do whatever I can to help him or her.

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So ... how do you interact with youth who quit the BSA vs. youth of the same age who are members?

I would say - Hi, how are you? How are your parents? Your brothers/sisters? Say hi to your parents from me. Bye!

 

The only thing that I might do differently with a member of my BSA unit would be to add - Looking forward to seeing you at the upcoming XYZ activity!

 

What changes in terms of your expectations? What stays the same?

Why would I have any expectations at all for a youth who was not related to me? Beyond the normal, basic good manners that is?

 

If you are a child's leader in any youth organization, I can see having certain - SPECIFIC - expectations - WITHIN that program. Outside of that program is another thing altogether. Also, why would I have any expectation that someone who is NOT a member of the youth organization would follow that organization's rules?

 

That said, as I stated, I DO expect everyone I run into - anywhere - to behave with basic good manners.

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So is this kid getting into trouble and you want to reach out to him to set him on the right path, or are you nursing hurt feelings that he didn't want to be in Scouting anymore despite all of the effort you put into making it a great program?

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I see quite a lot of former scouts simply because I live pretty close to our HQ and we draw from quite a compact area. I don't think I have any particular expectations from them. I'm always happy to stop for a chat, they vary in their response. Some are delighted to see me and will stand a talk for hours if you let them. Some prefer the acknowledging nod and smile. Some are old enough, particularly from my cub days which I did for many years, to buy me a beer and chew the fat over some memories. I've had a couple of girls running screaming up to me and throw their arms round me. I've had one or two ignore me or fail to recognise me altogether. It takes all sorts!

 

As it happens on Friday I ended up being present when one happened to be passing and fell of her bike and hit her head rather badly. Skip to the rescue! She was actually concussed and needed a trip to hospital. Barely recognised me in the state she was in. Had a lovely phone call from her the next day though to say thank you.

 

But in conclusion, I have no particular expectation but I am glad to say the majority of contact has been very positive!

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So is this kid getting into trouble and you want to reach out to him to set him on the right path' date=' or are you nursing hurt feelings that he didn't want to be in Scouting anymore despite all of the effort you put into making it a great program?[/quote']

 

None, or any, or all of those might apply. Depends on the person. Then again, same thing(s) may be going on with youth who didn't leave Scouting, so these subcategories are pointless.

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