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Grubdad

Behavior problems: What is expected, how to deal with?

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@@Grubdad, there are lots of scouts that move troops and they rarely move because they're happy where they are. The new SM wants to know what's going on with your situation as much as you want to know how he'd deal with it. Ask a vague question and see how the new SM responds. You just want to get him talking. See if they've ever dealt with similar issues. You know that Krampus has dealt with this before because of the detail he went into. If the SM doesn't have much to say about scouts that use bad language then I'd worry. Or if you get a boilerplate description I'd also worry. Dealing with troublesome scouts is important in the growth of the scouts so this should be something the SM deals with and can talk about. There are different approaches but for this topic there should be some approach.

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Yah, hmmm...

 

I think from what yeh write that your son's current troop isn't a good fit for you.   It's not clear whether or not it's a good fit for your son, but given how involved yeh want to be that might not matter, eh?    Troops need to be a good fit for parents, too, since we're trustin' our kids to them.  Seems like yeh don't trust da current troop, so I reckon that's sayin' all yeh need to know, eh?

 

I try not to judge from afar when I can avoid it.  I've seen parents who are really strict with their boys get their knickers in a twist over what can be fairly ordinary behavior by other people's kids;  I've also seen troops that were way too lax about behaviors and set my teeth on edge.   You are throwin' me signals of each, eh?   Maybe both.   So it's just somethin' that I'd ask you to reflect on.

 

Yep, lax troops with behavior issues set my teeth on edge, and if your current troop is doin' that for you then yeh have to recognize you're not goin' to get anywhere by comin' in as a new dad demanding to discipline other people's kids.   It takes a longer game to change troop cultures like that, and yeh don't seem to want to play the longer game.  So if that's the case, look to move to another troop.  Go on a campout or two with 'em.   Maybe if you and a few other families leave, the current troop will get da message and start to address the behaviors.  I've seen that happen sometimes.  Your leavin' could be the right thing for them as well as you.

 

Scoutin' is a youth run endeavor though.   There are always goin' to be issues with youth leadership, older boys not usin' church language at times, imperfect communication and all the rest.   That's how Scoutin' is done.   It's messy, and even in da best of troops there are goin' to be behaviors that are let slide until the boy receives da natural consequence of his actions rather than the adult consequence.   If you're really lookin' for a tight ship where everything's always runnin' well and all the boys behave as well as your son behaves when he's in your line of sight, then it may be that Boy Scouting isn't for you.    In that case, yeh should look at other more adult-run and organized groups, eh?   Stuff through home-schooler associations with like-minded parents and such, or more expensive adult-run options like martial arts or sports programs.   You might be happier with such alternatives, so I'd explore them alongside lookin' at a new troop.

 

Good luck with da quest, and on behalf of Scoutin' I'm sorry your current experience isn't workin' out.

 

Beavah

Edited by Beavah
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Sorry I'm late to the party. As some know I'm dealing with similar issues, but with adults. However I came over here because of a conversation I had with son this weekend, and the way one Scout is acting in his patrol. @@Beavah made the comment "you can't save the child from his parents," and from what son is telling me, This Scout is starting to mirror his dad in attitude and in doing things. Hoping to get some ideas.

 

My thoughts.

 

1. Each situation is different as each Scout is different. There really is no one size fits all.

 

2. From my experiences growing up, and my conversations with my troop's current venture patrol of older Scouts ( FYI yep I'm calling them a venture patrol b/c that's what they are in reality if not recognized by the adults in the troop) Scouts do not like new adults who know nothing about the troop and it's dynamics telling them what to do.  A lot of times it's the result of the new crossover parents trying to implement Cub Scouts on a Boy Scout troop. Other times the parents do not know what the heck they are doing.

 

3. HOWEVER, Health and safety are any adults' concern. Urination in a campsite is a health issue. And 1 program I worked for ( not Scouts) had 2 campers die for lying down in the middle of the road.

 

4. Leaders' kids are the hardest to deal with. Some adults put politics into play. That's the situation I'm in now. One leader's kid is the the second worst Scout in the troop, but the SM wants to keep the ASM. And ASM won't keep him from doing trips, just yells at the kid. From personal experience, sending your son home 1 time from a camp out will solve the problem. Yep, I told my 2 older kids to pack it up one time while in Cubs. Never had issues with them since.

 

5. The troop described by the OP sounds just like the one my pack's CO has with the exception that it's the SM's son as the #1 bully, and the OP's troop camps. The problem if not nipped in the bud now will get worse, and will affect the entire culture of the troop. When my troop attended summer camp with the troop above, there was a lot of bullying and harassment of my troop members. One Scout from that troop was best friends with one of the guys in my troop via school, Cub Scouts, and for 9 months Boy Scouts. They are in different schools now, and the Scout in my troop transferred into  my troop 6 months prior to summer camp. The bullying culture of that troop corrupted the remaining Scout, and was the biggest thorn in my Scout's side that week.

 

6. Good luck and follow your Son's lead.

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Thanks for the reply, Eagle94-A1

 

My boy and I visited a campout with another Troop this last weekend to see them in action for a few hours. The difference I saw between the two troops is remarkable.

 

With this new troop we're checking out, it seemed like everyone really got along well together. The adult leaders agreed that sure, they have their occasional squabbles in their troop, but these disputes were dealt with quickly, quietly, firmly and fairly. I know I just saw a small sample of their time together, but I think it was still informative.

 

I compare it to that campout with our current troop I described at the beginning of the thread that was the big eye-opener for me, where 3 or 4 boys were constant troublemakers. It seemed there was a near-constant level of arguing, yelling, name-calling, foul language, and ignoring instructions from either Patrol Leaders or adults. Mix in a few shoving matches, and a general refrain of "I don't have to listen to you", and it got real dispiriting to the adults, and confusing and discouraging to the majority of the scouts who are really good kids. I agree with you that it can poison the culture of the whole troop.

 

My boy doesn't really seem to care which troop he belongs to; he is happy doing anything active with any group of boys. He's pretty easy to please. But he seems to see the difference, and likes the more pleasant troops he has seen. I worry that he could become attracted to the rougher boys, because he always gravitates to wherever there is energy and action, even if it is negative or even dangerous. He's a bit immature in some ways still, and I think good peer role models are important for him.

 

This is a lot of work! Between checking out other troops and doing stuff with our current one, we did four different scout activities just last week.

Edited by Grubdad

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YOUR SON (emphasis) has to do what he has to do. You just need to let him make the decision since it is his scouting career.

 

A little background, my son visited a troop very familiar to yours. He wasn't too thrilled and looked around. Troop he wanted to join went Trails Life, so we are on choice #2. Things started out OK if challenging, troop was restarting and not enough adult support. In 2 years, troop has tripled in size, but with the tripleing came issues, specifically the new NSP came from 3 different packs and 5 different dens. And they were at various levels of preparedness for Scouting. Now we have some leader issues, and 2 of the 3 "challenging Scouts" come from the leader's old pack.

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My boy doesn't really seem to care which troop he belongs to; he is happy doing anything active with any group of boys. He's pretty easy to please. But he seems to see the difference, and likes the more pleasant troops he has seen. I worry that he could become attracted to the rougher boys, because he always gravitates to wherever there is energy and action, even if it is negative or even dangerous. He's a bit immature in some ways still, and I think good peer role models are important for him.

 

 

Yah, trust your instincts, @@Grubdad.   You know your boy better than any of us, eh?

 

In middle school/boy scout age da people who have the most direct influence on kids shifts, eh?  Elementary school it's parents who have da biggest influence, but as kids move to adolescence and teen years peers take over as da biggest part of their lives.   If your instincts are that your lad will be a bit of a follower and soak up da peer influence around him, then choose da program where you think the peer influences are good ones.

 

If your boy doesn't have a strong preference, I reckon da parental choice is a no-brainer. 

 

Beavah

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YOUR SON (emphasis) has to do what he has to do. You just need to let him make the decision since it is his scouting career.

 

A little background, my son visited a troop very familiar to yours. He wasn't too thrilled and looked around. Troop he wanted to join went Trails Life, so we are on choice #2. Things started out OK if challenging, troop was restarting and not enough adult support. In 2 years, troop has tripled in size, but with the tripleing came issues, specifically the new NSP came from 3 different packs and 5 different dens. And they were at various levels of preparedness for Scouting. Now we have some leader issues, and 2 of the 3 "challenging Scouts" come from the leader's old pack.

 

It's always interesting with the mixed den/pack situations.  I have 3 packs we can pull from but there are three troops vying for their attention. The really interesting thing about this whole thing is with the packs being weak and the boys coming in haven't formed many bonds with each other on the den level.  My boys do surprising well with getting along even before they have joined up with the troop.  Although they are technically Webelos boys, they did a service project, worked well together at camp doing a project for the camp.  Last Saturday they took on a service project getting a cemetery ready for Memorial Day, this Tuesday we will be placing flags on veterans' graves.  Memorial Day they will march in the parade and the following day they will cross over into Scouts.  All this with just 2 older boys in the troop drawing from 2-3 different packs.......It can't be done?  Yeah, right, tell my boys that.

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Not saying it can't be done.  I too have seen this done.  What I am saying is that part of the issues with the NSP was preparedness for Scouting.   The three packs had different ways of doing things, and that has affected the dynamics of the patrol.

 

1 pack starts the transition process in May of the 3rd grade year, essentially when pack moves up a level. They are active in the summer, and they are acting like and treated like Boy Scouts.

 

1 pack starts the process essentially between October and January of 4th grade.

 

Both of those packs generally move the Scouts up in December of 5th grade.

 

The pack that one leader came from, and the 2 challenging Scouts were in, I have no idea when they started the process of transitioning. Whenever it was, it was too late. That or they are so dependent on their parents, they cannot cope with being a Boy Scout. Or it may be a combination of the two.

 

So to go on a tangent but dealing with behavior problems, How do your Scouts deal with younger Scouts who don't want to listen to other youth, telling folks to "deal with it" when they are corrected,  cry and complain when it is their turn for KP, etc? And yes I do mean cry.

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Not saying it can't be done.  I too have seen this done.  What I am saying is that part of the issues with the NSP was preparedness for Scouting.   The three packs had different ways of doing things, and that has affected the dynamics of the patrol.

 

1 pack starts the transition process in May of the 3rd grade year, essentially when pack moves up a level. They are active in the summer, and they are acting like and treated like Boy Scouts.

 

1 pack starts the process essentially between October and January of 4th grade.

 

Both of those packs generally move the Scouts up in December of 5th grade.

 

The pack that one leader came from, and the 2 challenging Scouts were in, I have no idea when they started the process of transitioning. Whenever it was, it was too late. That or they are so dependent on their parents, they cannot cope with being a Boy Scout. Or it may be a combination of the two.

 

So to go on a tangent but dealing with behavior problems, How do your Scouts deal with younger Scouts who don't want to listen to other youth, telling folks to "deal with it" when they are corrected,  cry and complain when it is their turn for KP, etc? And yes I do mean cry.

 

This is one of the problems with mixing up the boys.  If one has 5 boys that are causing problems, what's the sense of having one in each patrol?  They were probably feeding off of each other and now they are split up to feed off the different patrols.  I'm sure they wouldn't be too impressed with being split up either.

 

After all, I see this as a common sense issue.  Why take a bad situation and spread it throughout the troop.  Why not just focus it into the new patrol and work with the problem at a single source.  So, one has 2 boys, very immature and need a bit more attention than the rest.  One either has a choice of making two patrols deal with the problem or leave them together and work the problem from there.  NSP?  only with a seasoned TG.  TG would need to be someone the two troublemakers view as a DC.  As a matter of fact because the situation is rather unique, the NSP might need to be a bit of a Web II for a couple of months. (with the TG as DL)  Maybe two TG's, one for the NSP and an "assistant" TG that works with the two immature boys directly.

 

I'm just thinking that if one were to just toss them into an older patrol, they wouldn't get the attention needed to break away from mom and dad and connect up with the other scouts.

 

Every situation is unique and sometimes it takes a bit of out-of-the-box thinking to make it work for the various boys.  I see my role as SM to figure these things out and support the PL's, TG's, etc. with getting these boys up and running in Boy Scouts.  These boys need to grow up just like any other boy and it appears mom and dad aren't ready for that process yet.

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Stosh,

 

    I know you and your two active scouts have been working towards these new scouts moving into your current troop. I hope all of them come from all of the packs and give your two scouts the opportunity to show how an active proper patrol scouting program is done.

    No doubt you might lose a few to the more adult oriented troop programs, as they are easier to participate in. But they wont know what they're missing. I find at this age, they still will blab to their non scout friends what a great time they had on their camping trips. I never had our pack graduate Webelos consistantly to our troop (as our pack came and went with adult leadership), and in my area, every pack was linked with their troop, period. We picked up friends one at a time, and we grew from there.

    You have a great opportunity for your program, and I know you wont let them down. I'm sure your two current scouts are excited about the challenge.

 

Party on........

 

sst3rd

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We lost at least half of the available boys to the husband/wife eagle mill troop in the area.  Oh, by the way, I used the term "lost" not in any negative way..... :)

Edited by Stosh

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We lost at least half of the available boys to the husband/wife eagle mill troop in the area.  Oh, by the way, I used the term "lost" not in any negative way..... :)

 

You never know. We had a Scout growing up switch troops and 2 years later came back to us.

 

 

This is one of the problems with mixing up the boys.  If one has 5 boys that are causing problems, what's the sense of having one in each patrol?  They were probably feeding off of each other and now they are split up to feed off the different patrols.  I'm sure they wouldn't be too impressed with being split up either.

 

After all, I see this as a common sense issue.  Why take a bad situation and spread it throughout the troop.  Why not just focus it into the new patrol and work with the problem at a single source.  So, one has 2 boys, very immature and need a bit more attention than the rest.  One either has a choice of making two patrols deal with the problem or leave them together and work the problem from there.  NSP?  only with a seasoned TG.  TG would need to be someone the two troublemakers view as a DC.  As a matter of fact because the situation is rather unique, the NSP might need to be a bit of a Web II for a couple of months. (with the TG as DL)  Maybe two TG's, one for the NSP and an "assistant" TG that works with the two immature boys directly.

 

I'm just thinking that if one were to just toss them into an older patrol, they wouldn't get the attention needed to break away from mom and dad and connect up with the other scouts.

 

Every situation is unique and sometimes it takes a bit of out-of-the-box thinking to make it work for the various boys.  I see my role as SM to figure these things out and support the PL's, TG's, etc. with getting these boys up and running in Boy Scouts.  These boys need to grow up just like any other boy and it appears mom and dad aren't ready for that process yet.

 

Challenge was that the rest of the patrol was suffering, and suffering miserably, because of these two.They would not listen to their PLs or their TGs, only to adults. Now grant you, we had one TG who became a challenge himself, and my son whose philosophy was to let them learn the hard way. But the adults, one in particular, would either come to their rescue or start yelling at his son. Funny thing is son does better when dad is not around.

 

Originally the plan was to place them with one or two older Scouts who would not take the garbage and could be someone more imposing. But more on that.

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With dad jumping in, sounds like there are more problems here than just two boys.

 

Obviously if the boys would only listen to adults, why didn't the adults tell these boys to straighten up and fly right? 

 

It sounds like the boys causing the problems know how to work the system quite well to their advantage. 

 

By the way, your son has the correct course of action.  These two boys need to be held accountable for their actions and until they are, they will keep doing what they are doing.

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Yes, more problems than just these two as my other thread shows.  Multiple adults told them to get their act together. Heck I even commented about performances at BORs for them. But the Gunship swoops in. And they are working the system quite well as dad is a facilitator.  In one case, Scout sneaks in phone and calls mom at 1AM saying how horrible summer camp is, and momma drives over and picks ups first thing. Going to get interesting this camp since we are going to be about 1:30-2:00 away one-way instead of 45 minutes.

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I always told my Webe families to "shop around". All Troops have different cultures...not always which is the 'best' question but 'best fit' for family in scout. Usually the choice is based on friends or a loved adult leader crossing over but sometimes ourdoor program or how spit and polish. In my part of town there are 4-5 Troops nearby so there is a choice. They all naturally wax and wane a bit in quality. 

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