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Boy Scout Brats

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This is not a question. 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, so call it a rant if you will.

 

In addition to scouting, my sons have always been very actively involved in multiple sports throughout the year.

 

From what I have observed, the kids who are also involved 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.

 

Within the leagues that we're involved with there is great emphasis on the coaches and the players treating others with great respect, as adults. Often times the coaches will shake hands with the boys, even as young as 11 and 12, when they arrive for practice and again at the end of practices or games.

 

The ultimate irony to me is that these athletes, very few of whom are scouts (I would presume) have (on the whole) always demonstrated a much greater display of living the Scout Oath and Law then the actual boys who are Boy Scouts.

 

I realize I'm preaching against the choir, but in my experience so many - too many - of these scouts are just complete and total brats...selfish, spoiled and often mean spirited with no sense of self-control or boundaries with regards to proper behavior (cursing and swearing, rampant racial jokes, hitting or grabbing others impulsively, etc.) and these are often high ranking scouts! Unfortunately during BORs there is rarely any accountability for their conduct outside of the BOR room. They answer the questions as they know they should and then get a rubber stamp of approval.

 

Granted my perceptions are largely colored by my experience within our troop but during summer camp and other district wide Camporees, Klondike, I have observed this to be common place across too many boys.

 

I am an Eagle myself and got my kids involved in scouts so that they too could have the same positive experience that I had, however, in hindsight if I knew six years ago what I know now...I would never have gotten my kids involved with the BSA; and if asked the question, I would be very hard pressed to actually recommend the BSA to any boy or family who was looking for an experience that would benefit him and help him to build character.

 

I do know that there are many scouts who do exemplify the Scout Oath and Law and who are genuinely exceptional individuals, however, they tend to be the exception rather than the rule; and that shouldn't be the case.

 

Thanks for listening.

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My question to you is how do the athletes act when the coaches are not around? In my younger days I've been around student-athletes who acted just as bad as some of the Scouts, sometimes worse. Arrogant, egotistical, rules don't apply to me attitude, damaging property, causing fights, bullying, ad nauseum. Worse part of two jobs was dealing with the athletes.

 

Do I see a spoiled brats in Scouting, yes I do. I also see them in everyday life in all endeavors,including sports. Heck the worse "scout" I know does soccer year-round in various programs.

 

Sorry you feel that you cannot recommend Scouting. I'd pick Scouting over sports any day. Scouting allows youth a chance at becoming self-reliant, to do things, make decisions, lead, etc. Scouting allows youth to screw up in a safe environment so that you can learn from the mistakes.

 

In sports, adults tell them what top do and how to do it. If you are not as good as others on your team, you get little to no chance to participate. And if you lose, sometimes the coaches go overboard with the "motivation" sessions IMHO.

 

 

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Good points, but remember everyone is fallible. It doesn't make any difference if that person is a sport coach or a Scoutmaster. A lot has to do with the combination of coaches, teachers, scouters and most importantly of all parents.

 

I think there might be a modicum of truth to the idea that people today don't spend as much time training courtesy, kindness, etc. as they have in the past.

 

So where does that leave us in Scouting? Maybe it's up to us to do the heavy lifting. I make it a major emphasis in my troop to err on the side of too courteous and at time my boys when they make a mistake apologize TOO MUCH. It kinda drives me crazy. I keep having to tell them we are here to learn and make mistakes and it's part of the process. I know you're sorry, but maybe tell me just once.

 

I even have boys who apologize for apologizing too much. :)

 

I have noticed that there tends to be an increasing level of narcissism among today's youth, so I emphasize the duty to others, helping others at all times, etc. kind of lessons in the troop.Tenderfoot Advancement #9. The Buddy System - taking care of someone other than just yourself. It's a lot more than just leaving camp and swimming in pairs.

 

Stosh

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Yeah What Eagle94 said, the kids in sports do all the, "cursing and swearing, rampant racial jokes, hitting or grabbing others impulsively, etc." as well (speaking in generalities) they just do it out of the coaches ear shot. In my experience Boy Scouts tend to get more comfortable around the adult leaders. I know I was certainly more comfortable around my leaders than I was my coaches.

 

Plus a coach can sit a kid or make him bear crawl a cycle if the kid does something the coach disagrees with, so the kid is more likely to make sure the coach doesn't see the bad behavior. In scouts we tend towards the "Really you think that was the right thing to do" type of guidance.

 

 

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I'd have to say my experience has been that the guys involved in sports more than in Scouting are more self-absorbed than the guys who involved more in Scouting than sports.

 

In terms of "brattiness" IMHO it goes to the parents rather than to what the kids are in. I have kids in both camps that are just as nice/bratty as the other guys. I have found that if the kid is self-absorbed, clueless or needy it usually mirrors how the parent is.

 

My two cents.

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When I was younger, it was the sports kids that were trouble. Locker room hazing that would be criminal today. Drinking parties. Swearing. And just being a general thug. Saw it with hockey players near my house and self-absorbed football stars. It's the main reason I did not push sports with my kids and could not recommend it.

 

Even today, I know some parents like the local traveling sports programs because the parents get to hang out and disappear to a bar at times. Also, it always includes one or two big tournaments a year where they stay at hotels. The parents I know like those tournaments because the kids are left in the hotel room and the parents go hang in the bar. I've heard it from several hockey parents. They were astounded when they learned all the 12 year old hockey players were left in a few hotel rooms for the evening with one parent who hung back and the rest went to the bar. That was 2014. Way way after all the youth protection was a known issue.

 

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With that said, here are some things I've seen ...

 

- Parents using scouting as an informal treatment plan for autism spectrum disorders or major behavior issues.

 

- Parents forcing kids to participate. IMHO, bad results will be much more visible in scouting than in the on-the-field sports areas because scouts is about independence. And, it's hard to be independent in a program they don't want to be in.

 

- Adult leaders that have not evolved with the times and want to re-create the "Leave It To Beaver" troop of 1950s.

 

- Adult leaders who don't call out bad behavior early.

 

- Fewer adult leaders who really focus on behavior and teaching character. And too many that just want to hang out.

 

​- BSA thinking kids should stay in scouts from six years old to 18. IMHO, there is a sweet spot where the program fresh and the kids are motivated. IMHO, kids are starting scouts too early and are already burnt out by the time the really cool stuff starts.

 

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I've been watching our scouts lately and I have never been prouder of them. They are extremely well behaved and best of friends. We have to get on them at times when they want to test the limits. But all kids want to test the limits.

 

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IMHO, the original poster is talking from his experience and his view point. For him, it may be valid. But it is not the common experience. On the whole, I've seen extremely good behavior from our scouts. It's a very good program.

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Yeah What Eagle94 said, the kids in sports do all the, "cursing and swearing, rampant racial jokes, hitting or grabbing others impulsively, etc." as well (speaking in generalities) they just do it out of the coaches ear shot. In my experience Boy Scouts tend to get more comfortable around the adult leaders. I know I was certainly more comfortable around my leaders than I was my coaches.

 

Plus a coach can sit a kid or make him bear crawl a cycle if the kid does something the coach disagrees with, so the kid is more likely to make sure the coach doesn't see the bad behavior. In scouts we tend towards the "Really you think that was the right thing to do" type of guidance.

 

 

 

Fully agree. Scouts are more comfortable being themselves around scout leaders. It's a more relaxed environment. That's when real behavior is visible.

 

I do believe scout leaders need to address character and humility more. Generally, the environments are not comparable.

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This really triggers many many thoughts. ... Another being cub scout meetings. Many times the parent leader are asked to step up with little or no experience and now run events every month with 40+ cub scouts. The meetings can get away from leaders and the young scouts take advantage and the parents sit in the background.

 

Just thousands of thoughts on this. I don't think the original posters statement is fair, but I can understand some of the experiences.

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I came to this thread hoping to find new recipes for dutch oven brats, special to scouting activities. Why would I ever think a Scout could be impolite or worse?

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So, if nice kids are in sports and not scouting, what does that say about the kids that are in both and are nice.... or not nice. There's a lot of validity to the arrogance of the star athletics too.

 

Just depends on the people involved.

 

I have seen bullying and hazing going on in scouting as well as sport programs. The only youth activities where that is not experienced has been with the church youth groups. Now it's not dependent on which youth are worse, it's dependent more on how the adults are dealing with it. Turning a blind eye is not a youth problem as much as it is an adult problem.

 

I don't know SFF's situation, but as an Eagle Scout maybe if he were to invest as much in Scouting as he is in athletics maybe the numbers would even out a bit.

 

I find that kids tend to learn bullying and hazing from their peers, but courtesy and respect is learned from the adults that are in many cases just standing around watching.

 

As an adult I spend my time teaching my youth maturity, citizenship, courage to meet the challenges of adulthood. And that is far more difficult than teaching them to win at a particular game.

 

I have in 45 years never raised my voice against a kid that screwed something up along the way. Can most coaches brag the same?

 

Stosh

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In Wisconsin we like our brats boiled in onions and beer, then grilled and then resoaked in the beer and onions until served on a brat bun with sauerkraut and condiments.

 

They then to be very polite if done up this way.

 

Stosh

 

BTW, the recipe is the one used by all vendors at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

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SSF - Question ... You said six years. That makes me think you mainly were in the Cub Scout program.

 

Could you comment on what years of scouting you saw? Lion? Tiger? Wolf? Bear? Webelos 1? Webelos 2?

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I can't agree with the original premise.

 

I've seen high performing athletes who are complete brats, because the coach and the parents let them get away with murder hoping to get a scholarship.

 

In Scouts, the SM sets the tone through the PLC as to what's allowed. If the SM can't teach respect and control his boys... Well.

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Most of us begin by assuming "Boy Scouts" as the poster said "Boy Scouts", but we all know how often people mean Cub Scouts when saying Boy Scouts. When talking bratty behavior, I often wonder because Tiger dens are often wild. And, Cub Scout leaders are usually much less experienced and know less about controlling the kids. It's not easy.

 

During Boy Scout years, it can still happen. But when the poster said six years, that's making me think Cub Scouts.

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