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Stosh

Just wonderin'

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Coaches (youth & high school) and high schools are the problem.  Just need to know how and when to push back, and hard.  Had a Scout due to summer camp and another non-Scouting conflict asked to skip an entire week of school, finals week no less.  He took it to counselor, then assistant principal, then principal, then assistant district superintendent., and then finally the superintendent.  A year later the principal right before graduation thanked the student for "educating" him.  2 years later the principal enrolled his son in Cub Scouts.  

 

Coaches and band directors (unless they are Eagle themselves) are awful.  Had Scouts miss Philmont since a Scout asked to go to 12 days of band camp instead of 15.  If some Scouts push back exceptions are sometimes made.  My own son in youth football said he would only play if he didn't have to attend summer workouts.  The coaches caved and agreed.  Sometimes if a rule seems stupid, it likely is.  

 

Tragically, we've lost Scouts due to stupid coaches and sadly a couple of years later these former Scouts quit the sport due to stupid coaches.  The kids ended up losing both activities.  

Edited by DadScouts
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Coaches (youth & high school) and high schools are the problem.  Just need to know how and when to push back, and hard.  Had a Scout due to summer camp and another non-Scouting conflict asked to skip an entire week of school, finals week no less.  He took it to counselor, then assistant principal, then principal, then assistant district superintendent., and then finally the superintendent.  A year later the principal right before graduation thanked the student for "educating" him.  2 years later the principal enrolled his son in Cub Scouts.  

 

Coaches and band directors (unless they are Eagle themselves) are awful.  Had Scouts miss Philmont since a Scout needed to go to 12 days of band camp instead of 15.  If some Scouts push back exceptions are sometimes made.  My own son in youth football said he would only play if he didn't have to attend summer workouts.  The coaches caved and agreed.  Sometimes if a rule seems stupid, it likely is.  

 

Tragically, we've lost Scouts due to stupid coaches and sadly a couple of years later these former Scouts quit the sport due to stupid coaches.  The kids ended up losing both activities.  

 

Successful outshines the stupid. Good luck against  coaches of  winning school teams whose students score scholarships.

Edited by RememberSchiff

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Is it just me or is there something about the notion of "girls, cars, and jobs" that doesn't ring true in the debate of attendance?

 

Sports don't seem to suffer from such affects......

 

School extra curricular activities don't seem to suffer from such affects.....

 

Families are a bit hit and miss, but generally family trumps the situation....

 

Karate doesn't seem to suffer from such affects....

 

LAN parties that last all weekend long don't seem to suffer from such affects....

 

So what do they know that BSA hasn't figured out in today's culture?

Yeah, I'm not so sure of the premise.  My little adopted and actual home towns are just a sample of two, but, my observations include:

 

Sports:  Lots of kids involved in summer baseball, basketball camps, etc at the grade school/middle school ages.  Way more than participate at the HS level.  It's a trade off between skill/effort and reward.

 

Extracurriculars:  During my son's HS time he saw multiple friends drop or scale back Drama Club and Scholastic Bowl in favor of a job or other more rewarding extracurricular.  

 

Karate: I see way more 3rd, 4th and 5th graders in Karate than sophomores, juniors and seniors in HS.  

 

LAN Parties: Is this still a thing?  :)

 

As kids get older they naturally specialize in the things they enjoy/are good at and provide a reward they value/need.  BSA has been doing "older scout" programs since the 30s to try to deal with the issue.  Maybe "girls, cars, and jobs" is an excuse, or maybe it's just short-hand for "boys grow up and narrow their interests."

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I remember when football was a fall sport. You reported to training camp in August (mid or late) and then the season ended in late October or November, unless you went to state. Now they have (mandatory) spring football and you report in late July for training camp.

 

I remember when band was a fall thing. Like football, you went to camp in August. You played at games on Friday night. If you were good you went to a competition. Now EVERYONE goes to competitions. Practices are after school, before school and on weekends and they are mandatory. Then you have spring band camp.

 

I remember when there was recreational and select sports. Only the best players went select, the rest played recreational. You started around 7 or 8 and played through high school, usually with your friends. Now EVERYONE plays select. Rec leagues are dying because players as young as 6 are playing "academy" or pre-select. Practices are several times a week and games or tournaments every weekend. The costs can run as high as $5,000 a year or more.

 

The problem? Parents pushing kids or thinking their kids is the next Pele or Nolan Ryan. Schools pushing kids by making things mandatory so they can't say no if they want to participate if even just a bit. Heck, even church groups are becoming mandatory these days.

 

Scouts is one of the only non-obligatory things around these days. You'd think that would make it popular, but it's become just another thing that takes up a weeknight or weekend.

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The problem? Parents pushing kids or thinking their kids is the next Pele or Nolan Ryan.

Yes, or at the very least, that the kid will be able to get a free ride to college. I have seen a number of kids quit Scouting because their parents were pushing them to prioritize sports.

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Obligatory is relative to what you want out of something.

 

I'm a little concerned that I've had to "dumb down" our impending wilderness backpacking trip because the boys in the crew have not proven their orienteering skills. (Instead of multiple teams with multiple insertions and rendezvous, we're down to single insertion/extraction.) That's mainly because soccer conflicted with the times available to master land navigation. (Girls and jobs are in the mix, but secondary. This bunch are not really into cars.)

 

I could hear the frustration in my crew president's voice, as he's learning about his friends' consecutive club seasons.

 

He's beginning to see what I've seen in my kids. The one kid is having a great time with the sport, but is quite some distance from scholarship material.

 

On the flip side, there aren't a lot of entries into college for junior survivalists!

 

But, this is venturing. I can live with youth having to work with each other and build a united vision.

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Flip the coin for a moment....

 

While we may see scouts miss evenings of trips etc for sport or music or whatever remember that you won't notice it the other way around. Look at the scouts that turn up for everything. Have some of them been dropped from sports teams or orchestras because they didn't turn up because they were at scout camp?

 

Two of my patrol leaders are also musicians. One has an armful of badges, will easily make Chief Scouts Gold, will probably end up as SPL but there's no way she'll get into the school orchestra because she's on camp when she should be practising. The other one was has very few badges (except all the musician awards!), won't make Chief Scouts Gold but is an exceptional talent on the flute, practicing hard when her friends are at camp.

 

As Stosh says, it's all about choices. But just listen out because some of them may be sacrificing other things for scouts and it may be that you are just not hearing about it.

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Personal experience of mine:

 

Had my Scoutmaster in 2009 made me choose Scouts or Marching band, I would have chosen band. Thankfully I was able to make them both work.

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While we may see scouts miss evenings of trips etc for sport or music or whatever remember that you won't notice it the other way around. Look at the scouts that turn up for everything. Have some of them been dropped from sports teams or orchestras because they didn't turn up because they were at scout camp?

 

Yes, quite often.

 

In fact, the local school district tried to make an ad hoc band practice mandatory (e.g., for a grade). One rather astute parent -- whom I think was related to @@NJCubScouter due to her ability to find the pertinent section of some obscure, yet relevant document -- found the school board's own policy prohibiting making such events mandatory.

 

What did the band director do? While not mandatory, anyone who missed the event could not go on the fun band trip; essentially coercing attendance. So the troop canoe trip that had 45 Scouts signed up ended up going with 20 since the other Scouts were compelled to attend the band event.

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This discussion started out on the pretense that the rewards from Scouting activities are equal to all other competing activities. Human nature is to go towards the most rewarding activity. If a unit struggles with scout participation (at any age), the program likely needs some changes.

 

Barry

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A football team that cuts players because they aren't good enough, or let's them put on a jersey but never spend meaningful time in a game because it would imperil the chances of winning, can not credibly claim to be concerned about building future citizens from either the cut or the bench-warming player.  

 

True.

 

But a troop that allows a somewhat active Scout to barely complete the minimum set of requirements to become Eagle does not strengthen the Eagle or Scouting brand. Such Scouts are the Scouting equivalent of bench-warmers. They still show up, do the bare minimum and yet still get the ultimate prize...many times with mom or dad bulldozing the way for them.

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True.

 

But a troop that allows a somewhat active Scout to barely complete the minimum set of requirements to become Eagle does not strengthen the Eagle or Scouting brand. Such Scouts are the Scouting equivalent of bench-warmers. They still show up, do the bare minimum and yet still get the ultimate prize...many times with mom or dad bulldozing the way for them.

So make the requirements harder?

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True.

 

But a troop that allows a somewhat active Scout to barely complete the minimum set of requirements to become Eagle does not strengthen the Eagle or Scouting brand. Such Scouts are the Scouting equivalent of bench-warmers. They still show up, do the bare minimum and yet still get the ultimate prize...many times with mom or dad bulldozing the way for them.

Apples and oranges to me. Teams makes choices for individuals on the team to benefit the performance of the whole team. The Eagle is an individual accomplishment that doesn't require a team to succeed. Scouting has always had the advantage that individuals can set and work toward their own personal goals within set published requirements. Lone Scouts is an example of that advantage.

 

Barry

Edited by RememberSchiff
typo
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