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christineka

How to discern whether parent's or boy's responsibility

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I'm trying to get my son to take care of communication that is appropriate for him.  When he finishes a merit badge requirement, I have him contact the merit badge counselor.   (Totally reasonable, I think.)  We've found out that the community troop isn't going to work with our schedule.  He wants to go camping more often with boy scouts, however.  Should I have him contact the various boy scout troops in the area to ask if he can go on campouts with them?  Or is that the sort of thing I, as parent should do?  On the one hand, it's an odd request, on the other, he's the one that wants to earn the camping merit badge.

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I love to hear from youth when they talk to me about this. But, I know I need to hear from parents.

For example, I had a girl who wanted to join our crew, but her mom was dead set against it. I wished I could have got the two of them and Dad in the same room at the same time.

Other times, I had a mom or dad who talked me an earful about getting their kid into scouts, but the kid was hardly interested.

 

I think your son calling the SM and asking to meet with you and him would be the right way to go.

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I don't think this is an either/or situation.  There are things you and the potential SM want to talk about and there are different things your son and the SM would want to talk about.

 

As a SM I think hearing from the parent first can let me help the conversation with the scout be much more productive.

 

Given what you've written in these forums I think you and your son should pick one community troop to be a part of and stick with them rather thanpicking and choosing campouts to go on. Although I think most troops would always welcome a guest, if this is going to be more than a one time situation I think it's a better experience for everybody if he becomes part of a patrol, a group of friends, and learns to work and grow with them.

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How of his homework or projects at school do you do for him? Hopefully the answer is zero. Scouts should be no different.

 

Unless he's just crossed over I'd leave us to him but with your guidance.

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I think most SMs and SPLs would like to meet the scout and his family of who is making this type of request. I certainly would have a few questions for your family. One suggestion would be for your son to call and request a meeting between your family, the SM and SPL at their next troop meeting. This would provide the time and place for everyone to meet each other and see the troop in action at the same time. 

 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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Given what you've written in these forums I think you and your son should pick one community troop to be a part of and stick with them rather thanpicking and choosing campouts to go on. Although I think most troops would always welcome a guest, if this is going to be more than a one time situation I think it's a better experience for everybody if he becomes part of a patrol, a group of friends, and learns to work and grow with them.

 

We had planned for him to join a community troop, but we've proven weekly for the last month that the day/time of a second boy scout meeting is not going to work for our family.  It's a very bad day and time.  There is another community troop in the works, but it's been in the works for 8 months now, so not sure if it'll ever come to fruition.  I was going to advise my son to contact the other scoutmasters in our church area.  (We have 8 or so of what are called wards in our stake area.)  It would seem most reasonable to just ask them about joining up for camping.  I do not know if they camp on a monthly basis or not, but I suspect at least one of them does.  

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.  I was going to advise my son to contact the other scoutmasters in our church area.  (We have 8 or so of what are called wards in our stake area.

Regional bias on my part, we only have 2 or 3 LDS troops in our whole council, spread out over several counties.  Community troops wold be the only realistic alternative if you didn't want to drive over an hour.

 

I really was just advising that if you want to go camping with another troop, pick just one so that he becomes a part of the gang, even if only a part time member.

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We had several LDS scouts in our troop because they didn't like the way the LDS troop was run. 

 

Barry

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I would suggest he call, making sure that he explains that he may isn't wanting to join their troop but that he wants more camping nights and was hoping they would let him join them for a few campouts once.  And after he talks for a while, suggest that he ask if the SM would like to speak with you to be sure everyone is on the same page. 

Edited by 5yearscouter

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I may be alone here, but that would strike me as an odd request and would raise a number of red flags.  We've certainly had visitors on campouts, generally friends of current members or occasionally Scouts looking to transfer.  But a wanting to camp with us because you're unsatisfied with your existing troop, but not unwilling to make a change is a bit odd.  In addition to having a discussion with the Scout and parent, I'd be making a call to the other SM, too.  Frankly, I'd want to know what the heck is going on, but also as a courtesy to him.

 

How is that going to work anyway?  Is you son just going to breeze in and show up for the campout?  How will he participate in the patrol planning and effort which goes into a campout?  Taking his turn to buy food?  Cleaning and maintaining patrol gear?  Scout troops aren't camping clubs or guide services.  The purpose of the outdoor program is the development of leadership, teamwork and being responsible for and to the rest of the patrol.  How does anyone do that just showing up for the campout now and again?  How does your son contribute to the other troop?  How long before the other Scouts tire of him?

 

You wrote that a second weekly troop meeting didn't work for your family.  Well sure.  I don't know many of us who could swing a second set of meetings.  Your son and your family needs to pick one troop and make it work.  I don't understand the internal politics of LDS wards, but if you feel you are required to stay there, you and your son can either accept the program which exists or work to fix it. 

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If memory serves, LDS Scouts must be aactive in their church's unit. They don'tget a choice.

 

 

Idon't know if there is a penalty or punishment if LDS Scouts transfer to another troopor not, but that may needto be done.

.

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If memory serves, LDS Scouts must be aactive in their church's unit. They don'tget a choice.

 

 

Idon't know if there is a penalty or punishment if LDS Scouts transfer to another troopor not, but that may needto be done.

.

That's not a hard-and-fast requirement.

But there's pressure from family, as in the OP's case, to devote time to to the LDS unit.

 

I can see it as a real challenge for an SM to declare that his religious duty is all about guiding boys into the woods monthly. Been there a little myself. We've also heard from scouters whose religious restrictions make Saturdays or Sundays "off limits". So, I get why units are the way they are, and how a boy whose breaking the mold can't induce change.

 

On the other hand I do venturing, so I really understand how tough it is, as @@Twocubdad describes, to have boys just drop in for the campout and maintain that youth led sense. But, I'm proof that there are scouters out there who will let it happen and let the youth-led failures-to-communicate chips fall where they may. That's what boys actually like about my program -- and I often feel it's the worst aspect of it.

 

Have the kid make the phone calls. You never know what kind of troops are out there and what they'll accommodate.

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It is a case, where we feel obligated to have our son in our church's boy scout troop.  They have activities on a weekly basis, but only two of those nights are for scouts. One night is to work on Duty to God (which is both a church award and a scout award).  i think the other night is for the boys and girls to have a combined fun activity.  It would be really odd for my son to join a boy scout troop that meets in the same building at the same time, but isn't ours.  Someone in here (or several someones) said the boy didn't actually have to belong to the troop to go camping with them.  Is that not correct?  It is now the end of August.  So far, other than residential camp, the troop has camped once this year.  I asked a scout leader about the camporee I had heard they would attend.  Apparently, that has been nixed because they don't want to drive an hour.  If the troop continues this practice of camping once a year, son will age out of scouts before earning the camping merit badge.  So will all the other boys.  I don't know what there plan is if they even have one.  I worry that they'll fudge things, by counting multiple residential camps.  Son really does want to go camping with boy scouts.  It's not me :)  (Okay, it's also nice to have him gone for a couple days.)  

 

P.S.  Although not a scout position, there are leadership positions in the boys' organization at church.  My son is an assistant to the president.  It seems very important that he participate in our church's weekly activities.  If ever the community troop in the works comes to fruition, he can attend that.  It's supposed to be held on a day/time that actually works for us.

Edited by christineka
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....  Someone in here (or several someones) said the boy didn't actually have to belong to the troop to go camping with them.  Is that not correct? ...

Bottom line: nothing official would prevent it. With our troop we often encourage it. Usually it's because the boys are friends across troop boundaries. But there have been other reasons as well, like a boy couldn't go to summer camp with his troop on a particular week.

 

Your son is absolutely within his rights to call other SMs and explain his situation. And the SM is within his rights to explain his. For example, he might say he is really trying to get the boys to plan better, so it's important for him to attend the two meetings prior to a campout. Or there might be a training on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. That stuff you'll only know if you call. The opinions of a bunch of old farts on the internet hardly matter.

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It seems that yet again, I've instigated opening a can of worms.  There will now be discussions with higher up leadership to see if the boy scout troops can combine, so that ours can go camping on a monthly basis.  

 

I, honestly do not know why our troop does not camp very often.  I do know that the one campout they had was a maybe until the night before, on account of the need for leadership.  Our cub and 11 year old boy scout programs are combined with a neighboring church's program, in order to have enough boys and leaders.  When that began, our most recent former scout master (he moved out of state) had been the cub master and had stated that it would also be good to combine the regular scout troop with another troop as well.  I was the one to instigate the partnership with the 8-11 program.  I hope I'm not known as a meddler or being a tattle tale.  

 

Camping for all the boys in my son's troop would be awesome.  I know my son isn't the only one that desires to go camping or earn eagle. 

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