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Someone asked how someone who does not live by the scout oath and law' date=' yet advances affects others. In my experience is VERY negatively. The bullying, year-round soccer playing "scout" I mentioned previously is an example. As soon as my son heard that the scout was going to be appointed troop guide for my son's den when they crossed over, my son said he definately didn't want to join the troop since the troublemaker would be in charge of him.[/quote']

 

Hey, if a Webelos boy can recognize a total lack of leadership on the part of a scout, why can't the others? LEADERship, with no one wanting to follow. Sounds like that boy has no business being in a POR that expects a bit of leadership when he has absolutely no qualifications to be able to do so.

 

So who's going to appoint him TG? The BFF SPL? Totally disconnected SM? I guess if I was that boy, I would make it very clear to the SPL that until that troop gets its act together, the den will be shopping around for another troop. In the mean time, it might serve the troop well to start learning about servant leadership.

 

Stosh

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I occasionally get a newer parent yelling "Do you know what word my son learned on the campout?" or "I thought Scouts are supposed to be (fill in a point of the Scout Law)." I tell them the image they have in mind is the finished product. I'm working with the raw materials.

 

I don't think you can make blanket judgments about any group like that. Some of the biggest jerks I have in the troop are terrific soccer players. Remarkably self-centered, think the rest of the world is here for their amusement and convenience and have no clue their poop stinks. Should I make the assumption all soccer players are like that? Kids are kids. A big part of their job in life is to learn where the boundaries are by pushing them.

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So who's going to appoint him TG? The BFF SPL? Totally disconnected SM? I guess if I was that boy' date=' I would make it very clear to the SPL that until that troop gets its act together, the den will be shopping around for another troop. In the mean time, it might serve the troop well to start learning about servant leadership. Stosh[/quote']

 

 

The person appointing him is his totally disconnected Dad who happens to be SM. Dad appoints all PORs "becasue the same scouts kept getting elected and now everyone gets a chance at being a leader."

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The person appointing him is his totally disconnected Dad who happens to be SM. Dad appoints all PORs "becasue the same scouts kept getting elected and now everyone gets a chance at being a leader."

 

In this case I would have no problem with my son the Webelos checking out a different program. Sounds like SM's family program rather than a scouting program. This is the exact problem I inherited when I took over my previous troop. SM dad was stepping down and I took over. I was able to straighten the boy out with a bit of passive cooperation from dad and the boy turned out great and Eagled with no objection whatsoever from me.

 

However, after I was asked to leave, it reverted back to a different dad that had 3 boys in the program and the troop struggles once again with membership. When I was SM the troop grew from 5 to 26, and now it's back down to 7-8 boys last time I checked. It's unbelievable what one boy can do to ruin a troop's program.

 

Stosh

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The person appointing him is his totally disconnected Dad who happens to be SM. Dad appoints all PORs "becasue the same scouts kept getting elected and now everyone gets a chance at being a leader."

 

 

So it isn't even a Boy Scout Troop.

"nless the patrol method is in operation, you don’t really have a Boy Scout troop.â€Â

 

Boy Scouts of America, 2015 ( and every year since 1930).

 

We ought to try Boy Scouting before deciding it does not "work."

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I have to disagree. The boys in our troop are great. Just watching them over the past couple of weeks take care of the Webelos that joined our troop is awesome. All of the guys address me as Mr. Hedgehog. Not withstanding that formality, they actually talk to me about issues they have in scouting, concerns about the guys in their patrol, how they are doing in their POR, Monte Python, ways to build fires, how to sharpen knives, the existence of God, etc. When you backpack and hike with guys for hours, that's what you do -- talk. I've known a bunch of them since Cub Scouts and know their parents. Anytime I ask them for help, they help - I'm not talking small tasks but stuff like come and teach this Cub Scout Den to build fires, come and help me run a Backpacking Merit Badge Class, etc. I've seen these guys take care of each other on campouts and at summer camp. I'm proud to say that these guys are part of the Troop. Geeky, awkward and a bunch of goofballs? Yes. Brats? No way.

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Only in name are they a troop. As you can guess, this is the problem troop I've discussed previously. The very sad thing for me is I know the struggle the original SM and 2 ASMs had getting it to be Boy-led. I helped train the SM, worked with the boys via MBs and OA, and mentored the SM. 5 years of getting it together, to the point where the troop almost didn't need the adults hanging around, only to have the new SM screw it up. And because the SM's son is the biggest troublemaker, ask anyone who is or has been in the troop except SM Dad, nothing is done to correct his behaviour.

 

Sometimes I wonder if the "Peter Principle" is going on in regards to the scout, i.e. get him to Eagle so that he and dad can quit.

 

 

 

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I can understand where the original poster is coming from as I have seen other troops with boys that bully younger kids, yell at each other and overall have a lack of respect for each other. Part of that comes from the adult leaders of that troop as they tend to yell at the kids to "knock it off" while they sit in their camp chairs and drink coffee. The boy leaders are only going to take their clues from the adult leaders in the troop in how to handle discipline and if all the adults do is yell at the kids, then that's what the boy leaders are going to do as well. In the past we have had a couple of adults that would be on campouts and yell at the kids as the general way of "leading" the boys and I would pull them aside and let them know that wasn't how we handled things in the troop and that the boys learned from us. After that I would have no further problems from those adults.

 

When I was SM last time, we made sure before we went anywhere that we let the boys know that they were representing not only themselves, but the church that we are chartered to as well as the leaders and Boy Scouts in general. Typically in the past I have been exceedingly proud of the behavior of the boys in our troop and we, as leaders, have gotten compliments from those outside of scouting as to how well behaved and how courteous our boys were.

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"...we let the boys know that they were representing not only themselves, but the church that we are chartered to as well as the leaders and Boy Scouts in general."

Reminds me of one of my best memories: on our way to the Keys, stopped at a fast food place for a quick breakfast before we got back on the highway. The boys were being boys, sticking straws up their noses, or sometimes a tatertot, and I spot two girls about the same age with their moms sitting at a nearby table...totally engrossed in the spectacle unfolding before them. I walked over and asked the moms if it would be ok to say something to their daughters. They agreed. They had no idea what I was about to say. I looked at the girls and said, "you see those boys over there?", we all stared at them with horrified fascination...and then I said, "Someday, you're going to marry one of those." the look on those girls' faces was priceless. The moms were snorting coffee out their noses.

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I'm just venting frustration over something which over my years as a Scout Leader seems to be commonplace across the boys in the BSA as a whole' date='[/quote']

I disagree with the premise that this is commonplace across the BSA or even true in general. I don't like to generalize -- every boy/troop/council/family is different -- but in my experience (at least where I am and with the families I've worked with), the kids who are also involved in sports are often more of a problem than the pure BSA-devotees.

 

What I've observed (and again these are somewhat broad generalizations here) is that the sports-kids are better at at straightening up around adults (parents, teachers, coaches, Scoutmasters, ect.) so they'll exhibit self-control and behave like a perfect 10 (or a 9) when being "watched" but will often slip to a 5 or 6 when left on their own and without structure. Whereas the Scout-kids (while often not 100% perfect) are at least consistent... they're a 7 or 8 all the time (around their parents, around their Scoutmaster, and around each other).

 

But I also think it also depends on how you define "good behavior." Standing at attention, not talking when the sign is up, and saying "yes, sir" or "no, sir"... you might get that more naturally from a disciplined athlete more than from a rambunctious Scout. But I've found that sometimes the sports-kids also carry an attitude of superiority, perfection, rigidity and self-importance that may cause bigger problems within the troop.

 

Yes, I've seen some self-entitled Scout-brats.... and I've dealt with egocentric sports-brats too. I've dealt with bullying and hazing from both; and disruptions and misbehavior from both. I don't really know if one (sports or lack-thereof) causes the other (a kid to be bratty or a bully or disruptive). Is there is an actual correlation between the two? Maybe... maybe not. My sampling of the approximately 100+ Scouts and young athletes that I've worked with over the years is probably isn't big or diverse enough to draw any meaningful conclusions.

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Someone posted a comment about how we are working with "Raw Materials" and that Scouts living by the Oath and Law are the "Finished Product." I gotta agree with that. I attended an Eagle COH recently and was reminded of that. I was reminded that the Eagle was once a smart-alec know-it-all, who wanted to get Eagle and move on. That brought back memories of his AOL and Crossover Ceremonies. Nobody thought he would last long with his attitude.

 

But over the past 6 years, the Eagle changed. He was molded and mentored.He was not focused only on getting Eagle and being done. He was having fun and giving back. He served on day camp staff for several years, and to be honest I completely forgot about the smart-alec, know -it-all that he was until it was mentioned at his ECOH. Today he is the OA chapter chief, a JASM in his troop and a member of the Venturing crew.

 

My memory gets foggy with age, but that process of maturing happens with those who are really into Scouting. If I thought long and hard, I could probably give hundred of such examples of Scouts I've known over the years.

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Generally, I respectfully take an opposite view from the OP.

 

My kids (now grown) and I were also involved in youth sports. I coached soccer and baseball for a number of years, and I have been an adult Scouter for more than thirty years. During the sports years with my kids, my observation was that kids in sports, especially the older ones, tend to be more competitive and egocentric than many boys who only do Scouting. Some have been downright rotten. It has also been my observation that it is usually a parent, screaming from the sidelines, who was behind that rotten behavior and sometimes even encouraged it.

 

Some coaches, too many, foster a commando-like mindset in their young charges. Based on my experiences, many coaches are more concerned about stroking their own egos by reliving their lost youth than they are about teaching self-discipline, teamwork, and respect. I do not agree with the notion that kids in sports are:

 

".....far more well behaved, considerate and respectful than the Boy Scouts; it's not even a close comparison and I am referring to comparable age groups, 11-18 essentially."

 

My personal belief is that the rivalry, competition and kick-butt attitudes (usually stoked by adult coaches and hysterical parents) that are often present in youth sports will drive away boys who may not fair well in team sports and sit out these events on the bench. More kids are forced to participate in sports by their parents than many people who have never coached may realize. Sports often turn out to be a humiliating esteem-buster for kids like these, especially when their more athletically talented team mates-or even worse, their coach-marginalize them.

 

Scouting is usually an individual effort by the Scout. Yes, the Patrol Method has similarities to the team-concept behind sports. But the level of participation, and the satisfaction derived from it, is up to the individual scout. Have I seen Scouts over the years that I silently hoped would not return to the Troop? You bet I have. Did I, and the other youth and adult leaders in our Troop, try our best to work with them? You bet we did. Another poster raised a valid point: How well do youth-athletes behave when nobody is watching them? Not very well in many cases, quite badly in a few.

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Thanks to all.

 

I do sincerely appreciate, all of the comments, feeback and input.

 

Fred, in answer to your question, my older son started as a Webelos II so he has been in scouts (Webelos and Boy Scouts combined) for about six years now.

 

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