Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
wdfa89

how are your first years advancing?

Recommended Posts

We 'dump' the Cyberchip on the older boys to run and they do a surprisingly good job--their view of dangers seems better than us old folks. 

 

Shouldn't one be "dumping" everything on the older boys to run?.... and maybe one would be surprised they would do a good job on the other things too.  Never do for a boy what he can do for himself.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

As parents, how long do you wait before speaking up? As a Cub parent, I would just step up and offer to lead a portion of a den meeting and organize whatever activity he was needing (this was usually only necessary to finish electives that my son was working on alone). I get that's not how Scouts works, but how does it work then? I just keep telling my son, "You got to speak up for yourself and talk to your patrol leader." But he says he is... what more can I do to encourage him and help him feel less frustrated?

 

Yah, hmmmm...

 

My question for yeh is "Is your son having fun?".   For a first-year boy, the most important thing is if he is havin' fun and figuring out how the group works, eh?  Where he fits in socially, how he can keep himself comfortable on campouts, how he can contribute to the group in some ways, findin' older boys he likes, etc.

 

If as a parent you're worried about advancement, or he is, then you're doin' it wrong.  Unless maybe you're in an advancement-focused/mill troop where Advancement is a big part of da social scene and how yeh fit in, but that doesn't seem to be the case in your troop.

 

If a troop is usin' Advancement well it's a small part of da program that integrates with outdoors and youth leadership and all the rest.  They aren't practicin' knots in fake situations in a meeting, they're usin' knots for real in the outdoors.  They're not makin' up patrol yells because it's a requirement in the book, they're comin' up with patrol slogans, or patrol theme songs, or patrol chants or patrol totems, etc. just because they feel like it.  

 

Advancement is like a suntan, it comes naturally.  Da thing to be quietly alert for as a parent of a new scout is whether he's makin' social connections to other boys, whether he's comin' home with stories of fun, mayhem, or daring-do.  

 

For da rest, if it seems like the troop has kids of different rank in it, with a good mix of Star-Life's and an Eagle or three each year, then I reckon they'll do right by your boy advancement-wise along the way.  Let his progress be his, and his PL and SM's.

 

Beavah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stosh, let's go back to what you said:

 

If one were to do a comparison of the Arrow of Light requirements and the Scout/Tenderfoot requirements the bulk of them are identical.  Scout and Tenderfoot should be a walk through for boys that actually earned their Arrow of Light.  If they didn't really earn their AOL, then it will be a major retest for them.

 

We all know what the meaning of "is" is, or in this case, "are", which is the plural of "is."  It means, currently, like right now, and in the context of your sentence you were saying that the "bulk" (a vague phrase in and of itself, but it means at least a majority, if not more) of the Scout requirements are "identical" to those of Arrow of Light - a true statement - and that bulk of the Tenderfoot requirements are identical to those of Arrow of Light.

 

That last part, about Tenderfoot, is not true.  I just re-read the requirements.  What is interesting is that if you COMBINE the requirements for the Webelos Badge and Arrow of Light, it is closer to the truth, but as of last year the Webelos Badge is no longer required for the Arrow of Light.  And all those activity badges, Readyman, etc., no longer exist.  They have been reorganized into "adventures", some of which are "core" for Webelos and Arrow of Light, and some of which are optional for those ranks.  I didn't actually know most of this until a day or two ago, because I had no reason to.  My last involvement with a Cub Scout pack was in 2003.  But my experience from my pack from 199-whatever to 2003, and your (Stosh's) experience from 1994-1996, is irrelevant to what the current requirements are and how the Webelos/Arrow of Light requirements match up, if at all, to the Tenderfoot requirements.  (Not to mention, even in 1995, awarding the Tenderfoot rank based on meeting the AOL requirements, was "subtracting from the requirements" for Tenderfoot, even if someone at council "approved" it.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My question for yeh is "Is your son having fun?".   For a first-year boy, the most important thing is if he is havin' fun and figuring out how the group works, eh?  Where he fits in socially, how he can keep himself comfortable on campouts, how he can contribute to the group in some ways, findin' older boys he likes, etc.

 

[...]

 

If as a parent you're worried about advancement, or he is, then you're doin' it wrong. 

 

[...]

 

If a troop is usin' Advancement well it's a small part of da program that integrates with outdoors and youth leadership and all the rest.  They aren't practicin' knots in fake situations in a meeting, they're usin' knots for real in the outdoors.  They're not makin' up patrol yells because it's a requirement in the book, they're comin' up with patrol slogans, or patrol theme songs, or patrol chants or patrol totems, etc. just because they feel like it.  

 

I am not 100% sure but I don't think he is having fun. He is a people-pleaser though so he says he likes it when anyone asks but he is very unenthusiastic about going to events (he likes Troop meetings though). He asked today if he could skip the campout this weekend because he went to summer camp already this month. I said okay because it is a big change for him and am fine if he wants to take it slow. I don't want to push him any harder yet one way or the other because I am hoping the more he goes, the more he will like it. 

 

I have to say I have been more hands-off with Boy Scouts than I ever expected to be. I am just so burnt out on scouting from Cubs that I am more than happy to be hands-off for the time being. But I just don't think my son is enjoying himself that much. Even after summer camp, he is just not that enthused. 

 

What I do know is that "achievements" are a big thing for him. When he was in first grade his school used this math program called IXL. It awarded virtual badges for various successes. It totally worked on him (and on the plus side, he has been quite the math whiz ever since). I have noticed this being a motivational concept in just about everything targeted at his generation from schoolwork to games. Do you know they even have a website called Chore Wars where you can load up all your household chores and the kids can earn achievements for taking our the trash and loading the dishwasher? Cub Scouts reinforced that with belt-loops and adventure pins.

 

This Troop is definitely not a badge mill, but they place so low of a priority on advancement that my son is losing interest. He's 11... he doesn't quite get yet that learning is its own reward. I am just hoping he will stick it out long enough to make a connection and get pulled in. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally if things aren't working out still, as a SM I always want to know that.  Especially for a new scout I am fine if the parent helps the scout approach me to talk about these things, you can walk up to me with your scout and ask me to speak with him, I'll be glad to have that conversation with him.

 

That's good advice. I'll give it some more time and then try that. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not 100% sure but I don't think he is having fun. He is a people-pleaser though so he says he likes it when anyone asks but he is very unenthusiastic about going to events (he likes Troop meetings though). He asked today if he could skip the campout this weekend because he went to summer camp already this month. I said okay because it is a big change for him and am fine if he wants to take it slow. I don't want to push him any harder yet one way or the other because I am hoping the more he goes, the more he will like it. 

 

I have to say I have been more hands-off with Boy Scouts than I ever expected to be. I am just so burnt out on scouting from Cubs that I am more than happy to be hands-off for the time being. But I just don't think my son is enjoying himself that much. Even after summer camp, he is just not that enthused. 

 

What I do know is that "achievements" are a big thing for him. When he was in first grade his school used this math program called IXL. It awarded virtual badges for various successes. It totally worked on him (and on the plus side, he has been quite the math whiz ever since). I have noticed this being a motivational concept in just about everything targeted at his generation from schoolwork to games. Do you know they even have a website called Chore Wars where you can load up all your household chores and the kids can earn achievements for taking our the trash and loading the dishwasher? Cub Scouts reinforced that with belt-loops and adventure pins.

 

This Troop is definitely not a badge mill, but they place so low of a priority on advancement that my son is losing interest. He's 11... he doesn't quite get yet that learning is its own reward. I am just hoping he will stick it out long enough to make a connection and get pulled in. 

 

Just from listening to the comments, it sounds a bit like your son needs measurable successes to find satisfaction with the situation.  It is as if it is okay only if it can be proven to be such by getting something done, either a virtual award or rank advancement.  It is how the boy is measuring his self worth.  Now one disagree with him and say he's worth something on his own, but he doesn't see it because it is not measurable, i.e. tangible.

 

You are correct when you say learning is its own reward, but he's not buying it.  Besides the advancement, what other ways might he be able to measure different successes?  Make any new friends today?  Meet someone interesting?  I know you like knots, here's a book on them, might find some of them interesting.  I have run into boys over the years that needed the A's and B's to be able to visualize success, that it wasn't internal to their thinking.  It just takes time to find avenues that will open up that process.  For example if he is the QM for his patrol, how does HE measure success in the job?  Internal definitions rather than relying on others to furnish the definitions.  Once he figures out that if he sets goals higher than others and the accomplishes them, he no longer will need to rely on others to tell him he's valuable to the group.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yah, hmmm...

 

I like @@Stosh's approach here.

 

@@Zaphod, I reckon your lad is in that funny space of tryin' to figure out a new world and his place in it.   That's normal, eh?  It will be part of his transition to middle school and to high school and to college and to a job.  Often da best choice is to sit and watch for a while, to figure out how things work in the new environment.

 

If he's a high achiever and da success doesn't come immediately, that can be more discouragin' than we adults remember.  Not somethin' he's used to, eh?   It's healthy discouragement, in that as long as he doesn't quit it will help him build da character and skills he needs in da other transitions that will come in his life.

 

Can I ask a question?   What is your son really good at?  Where do his strengths lie?

 

I think as parents too often we look at our kids' weaknesses, eh?  A lad gets 6 "A"s and one "B" on a report card, and we focus on the "B".  Mrs. Beavah thinks that's the best way to get kids to hate school. :confused:  We build healthier kids when we spend most of our time focusing on our kids' strengths.

 

So if you were to identify your kids' strengths, how can yeh give him just a bit of support at home to help those strengths shine and be recognized in his patrol in Scouting?  Your son's troop ain't badge-focused, which probably means they're closer to real life where people get recognized for how they contribute.  What's the best/easiest way for your son to contribute?

 

Maybe he's a bit of a cook?  In that case, I'd have him practice a bunch of great meals at home to get good, and then he'll shine and be recognized for those skills in the woods.  Maybe he's a bit of an engineer?  In that case, I might grab a book on knots and lashings and get him some poles at home.  Pretty soon he'll be the lashings-and-gadgets guy for his patrol.  Da other advancement will follow once he finds his place and ability to succeed in da new environment.

 

Beavah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shouldn't one be "dumping" everything on the older boys to run?.... and maybe one would be surprised they would do a good job on the other things too.  Never do for a boy what he can do for himself.  :)

 

Not exactly surprised but it is nice to see rays of hope again sometime. It is interesting to hear from the boys who are thinking of applying for college on what they are scrubbing from their online social sites. Several just decided to go 'dark' after a predominant HS student blew up his Naval Academy invite when he circulated some...err...personal pictures of himself and it flared up into a big school issue. Had to drop out from some key school leadership positions because of 'behavior' clauses and had his Eagle progress (in another Troop) put on hold. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yah, hmmm...

 

I like @@Stosh's approach here.

 

@@Zaphod, I reckon your lad is in that funny space of tryin' to figure out a new world and his place in it.   That's normal, eh?  It will be part of his transition to middle school and to high school and to college and to a job.  Often da best choice is to sit and watch for a while, to figure out how things work in the new environment.

 

If he's a high achiever and da success doesn't come immediately, that can be more discouragin' than we adults remember.  Not somethin' he's used to, eh?   It's healthy discouragement, in that as long as he doesn't quit it will help him build da character and skills he needs in da other transitions that will come in his life.

 

Can I ask a question?   What is your son really good at?  Where do his strengths lie?

 

I think as parents too often we look at our kids' weaknesses, eh?  A lad gets 6 "A"s and one "B" on a report card, and we focus on the "B".  Mrs. Beavah thinks that's the best way to get kids to hate school. :confused:  We build healthier kids when we spend most of our time focusing on our kids' strengths.

 

So if you were to identify your kids' strengths, how can yeh give him just a bit of support at home to help those strengths shine and be recognized in his patrol in Scouting?  Your son's troop ain't badge-focused, which probably means they're closer to real life where people get recognized for how they contribute.  What's the best/easiest way for your son to contribute?

 

Maybe he's a bit of a cook?  In that case, I'd have him practice a bunch of great meals at home to get good, and then he'll shine and be recognized for those skills in the woods.  Maybe he's a bit of an engineer?  In that case, I might grab a book on knots and lashings and get him some poles at home.  Pretty soon he'll be the lashings-and-gadgets guy for his patrol.  Da other advancement will follow once he finds his place and ability to succeed in da new environment.

 

Beavah

 

There is such a diversity of things for the new scout to do that surely he can find something fun. Focus on the doing (but help him learn to keep track) and success will come. My now SPL-Son had 90 nights of camping before it occurred to him to start the Camping MB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I ask a question?   What is your son really good at?  Where do his strengths lie?

 

I think as parents too often we look at our kids' weaknesses, eh?  A lad gets 6 "A"s and one "B" on a report card, and we focus on the "B".  Mrs. Beavah thinks that's the best way to get kids to hate school. :confused:  We build healthier kids when we spend most of our time focusing on our kids' strengths.

 

So if you were to identify your kids' strengths, how can yeh give him just a bit of support at home to help those strengths shine and be recognized in his patrol in Scouting?  Your son's troop ain't badge-focused, which probably means they're closer to real life where people get recognized for how they contribute.  What's the best/easiest way for your son to contribute?

 

Oh boy... he has so many strengths but not a lick of self-confidence. I don't need to encourage him to improve when he makes a mistake, he'll beat himself up for it enough. After reading this, I asked him what he thought his strengths were, and he wouldn't say anything at all!

 

I think his biggest strengths are along academic lines (reading, math, computers). He is also very responsible and mature (for an 11 year old).* He was reading chapter books at 5 years old and wrote is first computer program around that time as well. He remembers everything he reads and will quote back odd little facts months later from the most obscure sources. He'll spend an hour in one room at the museum reading every little plaque. And of course video games.... he loves those more than anything! 

 

He has never excelled in outdoorsy or athletic arenas. He is not at all competitive. He is very uncoordinated and at an age where he is very aware that all the other boys his age are better than him and want good teammates so he would rather hang back than enter-in. 

 

Honestly, I wasn't sure he'd want to stick with Scouts but I don't think he has quite figured out yet that Scouts is about the outdoors and not really just about the merit badges!  lol  I am hoping once he does figure that out, he'll have done it enough that he has friends and enjoys it. That he'll understand he doesn't have to be the best to just have fun.

 

Does the Troop need a "little professor", video game coach, or librarian?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are correct when you say learning is its own reward, but he's not buying it.  Besides the advancement, what other ways might he be able to measure different successes?  Make any new friends today?  Meet someone interesting?  I know you like knots, here's a book on them, might find some of them interesting.  I have run into boys over the years that needed the A's and B's to be able to visualize success, that it wasn't internal to their thinking.  It just takes time to find avenues that will open up that process. 

 

Hmmm that's interesting, we'll have to work on figuring that out. We've have tried really hard to avoid putting our kids in a position where they measure success externally. For example, take reading programs. After a little research, I came to believe that it's not healthy in the long run to have kids perform for prizes*. 

 

I will have to start working on your suggestions with him. Figuring out how to define success so he does feel a sense of accomplishment on his own terms and not based on a prize. Thanks for that perspective.

 

*An interesting read on this topic: http://www.alfiekohn.org/article/reading-incentives/

Edited by Zaphod

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does the Troop need a "little professor", video game coach, or librarian?

Yes, when it comes time to build a trebuchet! Also, the best campfire stories come from well-read boys.

 

Meanwhile, if it's recognition he needs, encourage him. To focus on the round awards if the oval is slow coming.

 

Librarian is a troop position of responsibility. Given your son's experience, he may want to help the troop start a Kindle collection of scouting materials.

Merit badges of interest: Reading, Signs Signals and Codes, Programming, Digital Technology, Geocaching.

 

Finally, encourage him to make the next campout. I can understand an 11 year old being too young to make everything, camping every couple of months is a healthy goal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have him pick an outdoors' skill and excel at it.  Learn about trees, flowers, native vs. invasive, have him become the outdoor professor.  Otherwise, there's First Aid that he will appreciate knowing a lot about down the road.  Orienteering, have him become the expert on map, compass and GPS.  He doesn't have to pick an indoor activity all the time to be successful, have him try something outdoors.  I took Weather and Climate in college and still use the information today.  Herb and medicines and other useful plants, edible plants, etc. there's a plethora of outdoor stuff he could master and excel at.  He just may find his future vocation staring him in the face.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×