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Natalie W

cubmaster is lying on registration form about boy's ages

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I'm the mom of one of the Bears. We started as Tiger in First Grade. With a bunch of other First Grade boys. My son has a Fall birthday that meant he joined when he was 6 and turned 7 less than a month later. They told me when we brought snacks that year that he 'is in the wrong group' and should be bumped up to Wolf but I didn't want to because he joined with other First Graders who are part of his afterschool program. The only Wolf at that time was a First Grader who did not live in the area but came with his grandpa who lived in the area. Now my son is a Bear in third grade and age 9. My older and younger son have a 9 year age difference. My older boy is now almost 18 but was in a different cub pack and Boy Scout troop through age 14 when he quit. I never understood the age rules in this new pack based off what the other pack did but went with it because assumed it was just something I didn't get. I couldn't imagine why anyone would lie.

 

I recently ran into a friend from the another pack/troop who was floored and insisted no 5 year old should ever be in scouts. I mentioned it to a mom from my younger son's pack who has become a friend of mine through this pack. She took over a leadership rule this year as a den leader and had commented about her mixed age den of Wolf boys. Another parent of an 8 year old Webelo 1 (who joined last year as a 7 year old Bear) is also in the know about all this.

 

Then we saw the new 2015 program changes that say cub scouts are 'eligible for AOL rank when completed 4th grade or been 10 years old for at least 6 months' would apply. Myself and the den leader were not sure how the pack was getting around the age requirement at this point but thought it must be OK since 'council' would know. But now these changes and wording really nagged us.

 

At this point, 'council' is just some entity and so I was designated to contact someone whose name I randomly pulled off the list. A different person emailed me to call her. This was last week and I've been in a panic since then. She said no kids under 7 should ever be enrolled and that was on registration form. She stated I probably was not understanding that these boys were likely just sitting in on meetings vs being scouts. She was away from computer but called me back 3 hours later to say 'according to our records the youngest member of your pack is TigerCub and he is in First Grade and will be 7 in January'. TigerCub is in is 5 years old according to him and his mom (and all us other parents know it). I stated this was not correct to my knowledge and then I asked specificallyof the boy who earned Tiger last years and who is in Wolf and is 6 years old and in First Grade according to the list which was given to the Wolf den leader. The lady looked him up and said 'no, he is in Second Grade and will be 8 in January'. I didn't know what to say at that point and asked her what we should do if the ages were not correct and she said 'we can't do anything if people lie'.

 

This was last week. Last night 2 Kindergarten kids joined, TigerCub came with his grandparents last night and when I asked what grade he was in they said 'he is in all day Kindergarten and talked about how he has loved starting school'. I didn't push it or ask anything else. I asked a friend for advice but seriously I've been losing sleep and really paranoid about the whole thing so been looking everywhere for help.

 

Is it just me or is the fact that the council has one list but the den and actual hands on people know one thing is weird. I never thought about the Charter Organization's role. Maybe the Cubmaster truly believes this because now that I think about it he tells everyone it is fine. If he knew it wasn't then he would probably just sign kids up quietly and not really talk about the ages. Nobody goes in saying 'hey, how old are you? what grade are you in?' The kids maybe ask each other but parents just seem to accept everything is fine. I can't figure out why the two lists: correct ages to hands on leaders but incorrect to district. And why talk about it so much if trying to keep it under the table?

 

Feeling better but still lots of questions. IF get answers will update.

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... That is one of the reasons we were scared to bring it up' date=' even within our pack. ...[/quote']

 

It's a shame you felt scared. A lot of dens operate with as many younger brothers and sisters in tow. No problem. Get to roundtable and get an idea of how other folks do things. You'll probably find that the worst thing was that you all paid registration fees that other families with kindergartners did not.

 

I once told a cub that if a fella wasn't having fun in Laurel Highlands Council, he should be beaten with a stick.

He got a Cheshire grin and said "I'm not having fun."

At which point I snapped up a pencil-thin twig and gave him a thrashing that brought him to giggles! wink.png

 

... The BSA will run from you as fast as they can because it wasn't THEM who told the scout it was ok to join. ...

 

PD, I have a funny feeling that this scheme didn't just pop into the CM's head. So if it comes down to litigation, the BSA will be on point for this. But, I've seen these guys manage catastrophes, and dickering over age is not part of their protocol. Besides, come rechartering time, they'll get a $1 and change from the little gompers for unit accident insurance. And this group poses exactly the kind of risks someone would be glad to underwrite!:rolleyes:

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Natalie, I may have missed this in your posts, but have you spoken with the Cubmaster to see what he has to say about it? I would "play innocent" as if you have not reached the conclusion you have apparently reached (i.e. that he is "lying.") Just tell him some parents have become aware that the ages of many of the boys as indicated in the council records are inaccurate, and would he like your help in getting the correct information, and fixing it? Then see what he says. Maybe there is an explanation that you have not thought of. (Nor have I, but I believe that almost anything is possible unless and until proven otherwise.)

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If I'm not mistaken (Pile on!). kindergartners were the first step of scouting at one time. There has been discussion about going back down to kindergarten.

If some of your boys get to repeat a few Tiger and Wolf activities, maybe they'll be better at them the second time!

 

Fear not your district personnel: they want your dollar.

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JoeBob is right about the DE. Numbers are really important so he'll do what he can to make sure no harm is done. When I checked the council records for some boys who were approaching Eagle, I found one of them with the wrong year for his birthdate. The council thought he was a year younger than he was. So I brought a copy of his birth certificate to the council and it took almost no time to make the correction.

 

I think NJ is correct that someone should raise this topic with the SM. I like the idea to offer to help with the corrections.

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Every year at recharter time, the unit leader will get an official printout of the unit roster, which includes birthdates, name, address, year in school, rank, etc. When the unit submits their recharter paperwork, the committee chair and Institutional Head (CO), sign off on it. I think it's done electronically now in some places, but the idea is the same. I think it's a shame that records are being knowingly falsified to boost the numbers. That's not what Scouting is all about. All levels of scouting are designed to be "age appropriate" and the age limits are there for a reason. The point above is well taken...when they go to join a Scout troop, a new BS application will need to be submitted...how long will the Scout and his parents lie about his age? And for what purpose?

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This is a contractural issue between the Chartered Organization and the Council' date=' in that the CO agreed to deliver the BSA program as it is written (LDS units have their own "agreement" as I understand it).[/quote'] Sorry for the sidebar, but wanted to clear up this misunderstanding. LDS units sign the exact same charter as any other units. They agree to deliver the BSA program as written. The only difference is that LDS units don't support Tiger dens, and the Packs aren't allowed to camp overnight. /sidebar.

 

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We have two best friends that are 8 weeks apart in birthdays but straddle school years. They both joined together when the older boy was Tiger eligible. He's seeming a bit young in Webelos 2 this year, but we'll see what happens. I've had parents ask about Kindergarteners (particularly ones with sisters in Girl Scouts that started in Kindergarten or even Pre-K on turning 5). I tell them that if they want, I'll register them, the application will go through, and they'll have a blast with the Tiger year. However, when they get to Wolf/Bear, they need to be able to read the book more, take ownership more, etc. If they want to come on the campouts, a parent is welcome to join the Pack Committee (with a Kindergarten aged son) and come on campouts. We open our "big" events to Kindergarteners.

 

Personally, I'd like to see Cubs become Lions/Tigers/Wolves/Bears from K-3, and move Webelos to a separate program for 4/5 graders that isn't a part of the pack, but it'll require BSA to revisit their concept of COs and Units and move to a single unit / multiple programs within the unit approach.

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Alex, just curious. How do your "register" an underage boy without falsifying paperwork? If I'm not mistaken, the Lions program for Kindergarteners has been rolled out in some Councils as a pilot program. It's been discussed on this forum before.

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Following up on what Alex and Papadaddy said, when I first saw this thread it made me think of the Lions program. (Not the Lions that existed when I joined Cub Scouts, which was for 10-year-olds and was eliminated in favor of making Webelos a full-year program, this was around 1967, but Lions as a kindergarten program.) It seems like its been five or more years since it became a pilot program in some councils. I have heard of some Lions programs that seemed to be part of a pack, and some that seemed to be separate and were technically part of "Learning for Life." It all seemed to be very experimental, with it being organized differently in different places. The fact that it has gone on for so long without being adopted nationally has led me to believe that National probably does not intend to do so, but that's just a guess. It's been a pretty long "experiment."

 

I personally think such a program would be a mistake, although admittedly I have no direct experience with a Cub program for kindergartners. I do have experience with the Tiger program, however, and in my opinion some of the kids weren't really ready in the first grade. I can't imagine what a Cub program for kids a year younger, some of whom are still essentially toddlers, would look like. I understand the philosophy and strategy of starting the program at the youngest feasible age, but I think kindergarten is too young.

 

Such a program would resolve the issue raised in this thread. Well, part of it. It would not resolve the issue of a Cubmaster who is falsifying registration records, if that is indeed what is happening. I am wondering whether the original poster has had a chance to speak with the Cubmaster as I suggested previously.

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[h=3]How old (or young) can a boy be to join Cub Scouting?[/h] Cub Scouting is for boys in the first through fifth grades, or 7 to 10 years of age. Boys who are older than 10, or who have completed the fifth grade, can no longer join Cub Scouting, but they may be eligible to join the Boy Scouting or Venturing program.

 

This is the rule. End of story. Cubmaster is WRONG, and needs to stop doing things that are counter to the rules. What other things is he doing incorrectly, based on what he wants?

 

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NJCubScouter,

 

I passed on some info about holding the kids to level to another mom and the Wolf den leader. The Wolf den leader seems to just want to let it slide now since she is moving soon. We talked to the Cubmaster (who actually is not the person I thought it was! I thought another person was the cubmaster who was the leader who asked me to move my boy up to Wolf when first started (the other bear mom says she was asked to move her boy up to when he was in Tiger by the same person who asked me--but he didn't say anything to either of us about changing the birthday). We said it came to our attention that boys under age 7 or who have not completed Kindergarten could not be registered or earn badges but that 'as we all know' some of our boys are in Kindergarten are doing this so we called council to check and learned that at least 2 boys are registered under incorrect birthdays. We said we would be willing to help and one option might be to hold at current level but award rank next year after they complete the correct level of scouting under the new program. The Cubmaster said he would look into it. We have not heard anything back BUT 3 days after we talked to him the pack registered 2 more Kindergarten kids as Tigers. We figure this is their response: basically they are not going to do anything. The Kindergarten (or kids who started in Kindergarten and are now scattered in the older groups) outnumber us so my guess is they are not going to do anything.

 

The mom, also of a Bear, who first brought it up is probably going to quit. Although she claims learning this just fueled her decision and that she was already looking for a good reason to tell her son to pick another pack or join up a different camping program offered through his school (because our pack is so boring compared to her older boy's experience years ago with a different pack). As I said the Wolf leader is moving so will not be with the pack much longer.

 

I will probably stay but on the advice of the other Bear mom will not be taking any leadership positions. I have to add because while I do feel like knowing has tarnished Cub Scouting for me (although maybe this is the other Bear mom talking as she used these words too) now that the shock has worn off I now am feeling a 'competitive mom' anger. One of the improperly registered Kindergarten kids beat my child out of the third place trophy last year in our Pinewood Derby and the year before another scout who started early knocked him out too (so far my son has been 4th/'thanks for participating ribbon' every year with one improperly registered scout earning a trophy each year): silly because same principle of do you best/be a good loser should apply and he was but now I'm irritated. Silly but irritating to me. I shouldn't care since my son didn't seem to either (because the pack does an amazing job of making it fun and not about winning or losing) but maybe my son would enjoy scouting more if he actually got to go to camping with his pack or win a trophy or go to summer camp: we are encouraged to do these events as single participants but I'm too intimidated to try that and besides they tell us about them but then we have to go find forms and contacts on our own which is intimidating too. The other Bear parent in the know claimed she was going to summer camp as a single this year but if she quits I guess not. Everything has now taken on a 'tone' with me but maybe that is not it at all: now instead of shock I'm feeling angry. I just feel like the reason our pack doesn't do any of the fun things offered by our Council is that so many of our boys are underage so they don't want anyone to know.

 

And, of course, all the above might not really by all about age. Many of our scouts live outside the area and attend with grandparents for example and meetings are not near there home. Participation in fund raising is low. Turn out at outings is poor. So it probably is not all about age but now it feels like that.

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This all sounds like a mess. Let me clear one point up. Generally a child will be six years old when he starts 1st grade, but that is not always the case. In NE when my oldest started Kindergartedn the cut off date was Oct 15th, not sometime in July as seems to be the standard in most of the U.S. So he was still 5 the first few weeks when he started Tiger in 1st grade. Good luck with your pack, sounds confusing.

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Good grief !

 

Go look for a new Pack to join. One that is run correctly, and does the fun stuff that you and your son want to do.

 

Life is to short to put up with all of that drama.

 

You want your son's Scouting experience to be better? Find a better Pack!

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There is definitely one child who is 5 years old and just started all day Kindergarten in September and he is registered as having completed first grade and being age 6 years old and turning 7 in January. There is a 3rd grade child younger than my child who is a Webelo First Year but I have no idea how he is registered or if maybe he skipped a grade or some other factor could be in play. The Wolf den leader has a 'register' (apparently not correct according to the council) that lists one boy as being 6 years old in First Grade but the boy is registered as being in Second Grade. The Kindergarten boy's mom said she would talk to the Cubmaster at next den meeting. The only mess is because some of us found out. My fear is that if the pack found out I will be seen as trouble maker (particularly since I have such a harsh header and clearly don't understand all of what is going on here: the 'cubmaster' I thought was lying is not even the Cubmaster). I wish I didn't know but as my son is registered correctly and seems to like it I'm just going to keep going.

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