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Eagle94-A1

Dealing with Helicopter Parents

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I think it is terribly unfair that you guys with ADHD get all the sympathy. You even get you own acronym.

 

The average teenage boys, who are as slow as a sloth, lethargic as a piece of dead driftwood in a stagnant pond, and as lazy as a 14 year old basset hound on a humid 90 degree July afternoon, get no such favorable treatment. It's just not fair.  

Edited by David CO
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Having to struggle with disabilities (of which most of us have that don't have acronyms) is not something to be jealous of.  We all struggle in different ways.  How we overcome these disabilities and desperately try to fit into society is what one needs to focus on.  Everyone prefers to be "normal" but even that is not a constant.

 

I have found that having worked with young people during their developmental years a source of great joy when they are able to overcome society's demands, and heartbreaking when they can't.  Yet the human nature in us all hopefully finds a common ground in the ability to find our niche and be contented with who we are. 

 

When I was starting high school I was 4' 11" tall weighing 97 pounds.  Only one boy in my class of 200 was smaller than me.  About half the girls in my class were taller than me.  I did get my growth spurt and by the end of my sophomore year I was 6' 135 pounds.  My mother kept taking back my blue jeans to the store every time she laundered them, she was certain they were shrinking in the wash.  My school guidance counselors told me I wasn't college material and I should focus on getting a job with the local factory in the area if I wanted to make good money.

 

Would I ever want to go back and relive those years?  No way in Hell!  And it to these kids I have dedicated my whole life to because they all face the same challenges I did.  I happen to overcome those years, but it wasn't easy.  A few adults here and there made it bearable. 

 

I just hope I'm one of those kinds of adults that some of these kids look back on and feel the same about me.  Nobody wants to take on those years alone.

 

Maybe this is why I spend too much time trying to hang on to classic Boy Scouts.  It was the Golden Age of hanging out with friends where you were accepted for who you were at the moment.  Kinda like a safe place in life just sitting around the fire doing absolutely nothing that kept us going.

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One of our creative ASM's has told some "family campers, helicopter parents" that the BSA insurance does not cover them and that "scout family outings" cannot be considered scouting activities for advancement.   :eek:

 

Though it stretches the truth, it seems to be working.

 

Maybe add that into advancement requirements.

 

Since joining Boy Scouts, participate in 10 separate troop/patrol activities without your parents or guardians unless they have been Boy Scout leaders for at least a year (mitigate the Cub Scout culture effect), at least six of which must be held outdoors. Of the outdoor activities, at least three must include overnight camping. These activities do not include troop or patrol meetings . On campouts, spend the night in a tent that you pitch or other structure that you help erect, such as a lean-to, snow cave, or tepee.

 

Hmmm.

Edited by RememberSchiff

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Question for ya @WisconsinMomma,  what was the Webelos program like for your 13 year old? Did the DL treat it like a continuation of Cub Scouts, or started treating it more like a Boy Scout patrol?

My husband, his Dad, was den leader.  As we have had no prior experience with Scouting, we each did the basic requirements for what was in the Webelos handbook with our dens.  

 

I read your description of what you did with a Webelos/AOL den but that seems to be above and beyond the norm. 

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My husband, his Dad, was den leader.  As we have had no prior experience with Scouting, we each did the basic requirements for what was in the Webelos handbook with our dens.  

 

I read your description of what you did with a Webelos/AOL den but that seems to be above and beyond the norm.

 

 

 

That’s the thing. Growing up my Webelos den did some of that, basically what was allowed at the time. When Webelos got to do more, my troop started doing the above. Grant you, the PLC came up with the ideas, but for a troop without a feeder pack for a long time, it was extremely successful. I guess that is another reason why I like boy-led, it not only works, but a lot of times it works better than with adults interfering.

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I'm not sure if you're suggesting that my husband did anything wrong as a Webelos leader, and I don't think he did.  He was a fine den leader and now serves as an ASM, showing up at pretty much everything so that the troop has adults available. I know his used the older book, and my den used the newer book, and I don't know exactly what they covered.  Just because and adult is there, doesn't mean they're an interfering adult.  Den leaders have responsibilities, and what I remember in the Webelos / Arrow of light curriculum was about getting started with learning the patrol method, not mastering it. 

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I'm not sure if you're suggesting that my husband did anything wrong as a Webelos leader, and I don't think he did.  He was a fine den leader and now serves as an ASM, showing up at pretty much everything so that the troop has adults available. I know his used the older book, and my den used the newer book, and I don't know exactly what they covered.  Just because and adult is there, doesn't mean they're an interfering adult.  Den leaders have responsibilities, and what I remember in the Webelos / Arrow of light curriculum was about getting started with learning the patrol method, not mastering it. 

 

I wish I have a nickel for every time I have told a new scout have they asked their PL when they have asked me a question even though I could have given them the answer.

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I'm not sure if you're suggesting that my husband did anything wrong as a Webelos leader, and I don't think he did.  He was a fine den leader and now serves as an ASM, showing up at pretty much everything so that the troop has adults available. I know his used the older book, and my den used the newer book, and I don't know exactly what they covered.  Just because and adult is there, doesn't mean they're an interfering adult.  Den leaders have responsibilities, and what I remember in the Webelos / Arrow of light curriculum was about getting started with learning the patrol method, not mastering it. 

 

No, not my intention at all. And I want to apologize. In rereading my post, it comes across as very negative. 

 

Part of that is the ADD. One problem we suffer from is our minds are going a mile-a-minute, and we can switch from one topic to another, and it makes sense to us. But when expressed,it makes no sense.

 

Part of it is my own frustration with this situation, as you will see.

 

That’s the thing. Growing up my Webelos den did some of that, basically what was allowed at the time. When Webelos got to do more, my troop started doing the above. Grant you, the PLC came up with the ideas, but for a troop without a feeder pack for a long time, it was extremely successful. I guess that is another reason why I like boy-led, it not only works, but a lot of times it works better than with adults interfering.

 

So How did I go from "That’s the thing. Growing up my Webelos den did some of that, basically what was allowed at the time." to "Grant you, the PLC came up with the ideas,...." to "...why I like boy-led, it not only works, but a lot of times it works better than with adults interfering." ? And it relates to the topic at hand.

 

Back in the day, Webelos, heck Cub Scouts in general, were limited in their outdoor experiences. "Dad and Lad" was the only time Cubs could camp, Webelos could camp with a troop 1 time. My WDL, started the transition by giving us more repsonibilties, visiting a troop, and then modeling the patrol method. When we finally camped, we were integrated into patrols that we later joined. FYI, New Scout Patrols didn't exist until 1989, and some troop still do not use them because they found traditional, mixed-aged patrols better.Anyway that is the "That’s the thing. Growing up my Webelos den did some of that, basically what was allowed at the time."

 

This is where the "Grant you, the PLC came up with the ideas,...." comes in. After Webelos were allowed to do more outdoor activities,and not limited to"dad and lad" type stuff. My troop had a camp out planned that almost turned into a fiasco. Night before the camp out, we discovered tents, tarps, lanterns, and other gear destroyed. Long story short, another group at the CO used out brand new fiberglass shed as a dartboard. Instead of canceling, we decided to turn the weekend into a quasi-wilderness survival camp. It was a huge success and morphed over time due to ideas from the PLC. To help aid in the transition, we provided den chiefs to the feeder pack we eventually got. This  also covers part of the boy-led because the adults wanted to cancel initially.

 

Now to the "I guess that is another reason why I like boy-led, it not only works, but a lot of times it works better than with adults interfering. " Again this is more commentary on my sons' troop more than anything.If you search some of my previous posts from a year or longer ago, you would see that the troop has had some issues with adults taking over from the Scouts. A little over a year ago, things started to get better. that was due to a change in SMs and a meeting of adults to get us on one page. The improvements were going well until this last batch of parents came in. Orientation meeting was in one ear and out the other. Trying to chat, mentor, etc with multiple people doing the talking has not worked.Several of the adults who have tried to talk to them have either backed away, helping only when absolutely needed, or quit outright. The one who quit outright is a real loss because A, he did high adventure andB, he helped some of the adults sitting on the fence last year about the Patrol Method and Youth led see what can happen when you " Train 'em. Trust 'em. LET THEM LEAD!" The new parents keep interfering and not letting  Scouts do what they need to do.  Best example is the adults attempting to fix a problem that really did not need fixing.Instead of listening to the Scouts, the adults ended up destroying a tarp.

 

Another example with this bunch of new parents would be when the new Scouts were still Webelos. One of the Boy Scouts, working with the SM, two CMs, and two WDLS was suppose to have worked with to different dens from different packs on Castaway. Instruction was going to be done at their meeting location. Long story short, the adults ignored the meeting plans, the other den, and the Boy Scout to do their own thing. The WDL was embarrased, and the visiting WDL invited the Boy Scout to their place to finish up, which he did. Then the meeting before the camp out, the adults getytheSPL  upset because they finally realized that they never had any instruction and were not prepared . Again the adults interfered, and it caused problems for their sons. The other den had a blast.

 

A third example that thankfully the SPL handled in a firm, but polite manner was these same new parents trying to change 2 months of meetings so that their sons could possibly get a MB. SPL stated plans were made, the Scouts need to prepare for the next two campouts, and hey will have time to earn the MB some other time.

 

So that is how I got from Point A to B to C. I'm sure you are now understanding this since many ADHD suffers are the same way. 

I'm not sure if you're suggesting that my husband did anything wrong as a Webelos leader, and I don't think he did.  He was a fine den leader and now serves as an ASM, showing up at pretty much everything so that the troop has adults available. I know his used the older book, and my den used the newer book, and I don't know exactly what they covered.  Just because and adult is there, doesn't mean they're an interfering adult.  Den leaders have responsibilities, and what I remember in the Webelos / Arrow of light curriculum was about getting started with learning the patrol method, not mastering it. 

 

No, not my intention at all. And I want to apologize. In rereading my post, it comes across as very negative. 

 

Part of that is the ADD. One problem we suffer from is our minds are going a mile-a-minute, and we can switch from one topic to another, and it makes sense to us. But when expressed,it makes no sense.

 

 

That’s the thing. Growing up my Webelos den did some of that, basically what was allowed at the time. When Webelos got to do more, my troop started doing the above. Grant you, the PLC came up with the ideas, but for a troop without a feeder pack for a long time, it was extremely successful. I guess that is another reason why I like boy-led, it not only works, but a lot of times it works better than with adults interfering.

 

So How did I go from "That’s the thing. Growing up my Webelos den did some of that, basically what was allowed at the time." to "Grant you, the PLC came up with the ideas,...." to "...why I like boy-led, it not only works, but a lot of times it works better than with adults interfering." ? And it relates to the topic at hand.

 

Back in the day, Webelos, heck Cub Scouts in general, were limited in their outdoor experiences. "Dad and Lad" was the only time Cubs could camp, Webelos could camp with a troop 1 time. My WDL, started the transition by giving us more repsonibilties, visiting a troop, and then modeling the patrol method. When we finally camped, we were integrated into patrols that we later joined. FYI, New Scout Patrols didn't exist until 1989, and some troop still do not use them because they found traditional, mixed-aged patrols better.Anyway that is the "That’s the thing. Growing up my Webelos den did some of that, basically what was allowed at the time."

 

This is where the "Grant you, the PLC came up with the ideas,...." comes in. After Webelos were allowed to do more outdoor activities,and not limited to"dad and lad" type stuff. My troop had a camp out planned that almost turned into a fiasco. Night before the camp out, we discovered tents, tarps, lanterns, and other gear destroyed. Long story short, another group at the CO used out brand new fiberglass shed as a dartboard. Instead of canceling, we decided to turn the weekend into a quasi-wilderness survival camp. It was a huge success and morphed over time due to ideas from the PLC. To help aid in the transition, we provided den chiefs to the feeder pack we eventually got. This  also covers part of the boy-led because the adults wanted to cancel initially.

 

Now to the "I guess that is another reason why I like boy-led, it not only works, but a lot of times it works better than with adults interfering. " This is more commentary on my sons' troop more than anything.If you search some of my previous posts from a year or longer ago, you would see that the troop has had some issues with adults taking over from the Scouts. A little over a year ago, things started to get better. that was due to a change in SMs and a meeting of adults to get us on one page. The improvements were going well until this last batch of parents came in. Orientation meeting was in one ear and out the other. Trying to chat, mentor, etc with multiple people doing the talking has not worked. They keep interfering and not letting  Scouts do what they need to do.  Best example is the adults attempting to fix a problem that really did not need fixing.Instead of listening to the Scouts, the adults ended up destroying a tarp.

 

Another example with this bunch would be when the Scouts were still Webelos. One of the Boy Scouts, working with the SM, two CMs, and two WDLS was suppose to have worked with to different dens from different packs on Castaway. Instruction was going to be done at their meeting location. Long story short, the adults ignored the meeting plans, the other den, and the Boy Scout to do their own thing. The WDL was embarrased, and the visiting WDL invited the Boy Scout to their place to finish up, which he did. Then the meeting before the camp out, the adults getytheSPL  upset because they finally realized that they never had any instruction and were not prepared . Again the adults interfered, and it caused problems.

 

A third example that thankfully the SPL handled in a firm, but polite manner was these same new parents trying to change 2 months of meetings so that their sons could possibly get a MB.

 

So that is how we got from Point A to B to C. I'm sure you are now understanding this since many ADHD suffers are the same way. 

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@WisconsinMomma I have many boys in my troop that have ADD, ADHD, and other challenges.  I also have many boys that are 1.5 years in with only 2nd class or less.  I wouldn't rush anything, he will progress whenever he is ready.  He has 5 more years to make Eagle, and that is not the goal of scouting.  The only thing I want from my boys is to be able to follow our code of conduct.  If they do that, the troop runs smoothly.  

 

We have a contract that the parents sign that explains to them what they can and can't do camping.   Some parents can't handle it, and most have problems right away but then adjust.

Our code is:

In order to make sure these privileges are observed, I agree to the following:
• I will follow all directions promptly and respectfully.
• I will not disturb others.
• I will treat all others with proper respect at all times.
• I will not say bad things about others or use profanity.
• I will respect troop equipment. 
• I will respect the personal equipment and property of others. 
• I will abide by the Electronics Policy set forth in the “Troop Information†binder.
• I will demonstrate good Scout spirit, and follow the Scout Oath, Law, Motto and Slogan.
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I had a friend in Scouts who was autistic and he could do anything the other scouts could if he had a list. I’d encourage parents to allow their kids to fail and learn and stop trying to save them.

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I am ADHD, but not OCD.  Yet I have precise lists posted on my closet door that dictates what gets packed for certain activities.  I have pre-packed (OMG, there goes a Squirrel!!)

 

prepacked backpacks, one for Red Cross deployment already to go on a moments notice.  I grab and go and am on a plane within hours.

 

Then there's the Boy Scout weekend backpack, already filled (Hey, what's that shiny thing over there under the chair).

 

Already filled with everything for a weekend camp out.  The #1 thing on the list is backpack and then the list of things I need to grab from storage like sleeping bag, etc.

 

I wonder if I've checked my email lately.

 

Then there are just lists of things needing to be put together for a less pressing activity, like a vacation.  Am I going to go south where it's warm or head to Canada fishing?  Pack accordingly.

 

Oops, forgot my BP pills.  hold that thought.

 

I'm back.  Where was I, oh yeah....

 

Lists are mandatory for people like me.  Over the years, I have added and subtracted from the lists, but I always have "the List" available.  Maybe I should get some breakfast, what'll I have?.... 

 

Then there's the Mrs's list.  That I have no control over other than crossing things off.

 

Now this post may sound very much like a joke, poking fun at ADHD disabilities, but I can assure you it's dead serious.  Those are the exact thoughts I had while writing this post, including the joke about the squirrel and shiny things.  This is a daily struggle I have had to deal with for 67 years and one never gets over it, but we all learn to live with it.

 

Focus me and I will lose all track of time and the next thing you know, it's 2:00 am and I'm still running on high speed.

 

For those scouters out there that don't have ADD or ADHD, talk with those who are.  There are a lot more of us out there than you think, we cover it up pretty well.  I have no problems with taking on ASM's to help me cover things.  I don't do well with paperwork, such as rechartering and advancement, so they do it for me.  I have a zillion ideas, but I need ASM's to flesh out the details.  I jaw-jack with the boys too much and lose track of time and I need an ASM to keep me scheduled.

 

Lists are one of the "crutches" we use to help us stay focused.  There are many other things as well.  I know American Sign Language and so if given 2 tasks, I hold my right and left hands in certain configurations to remind me of two different things at one time.  Even a list of 2 is necessary at times.

 

I wear a pocketed vest and I know at any time that in my right pants pocket is my keys to the truck, left pocket is jack knife, left rear is hankerchief, right rear is wallet, top two vest pockets, are cellphones, personal on the left, ARC on the right.  Cords for them both are in lower pockets on the right.  Ring of keys for all my vehicles in the lower right vest pocket, duplicate vehicle keys and all other keys, lower left, etc.  If anything is misplaced, I look like a smoker looking for his lighter. 

 

Routine, lists, and an over focused purposeful attention are necessary to remember where one is at anyone time.  If these things are stressed by the SM assisting an ADD/ADHD scout, they too can learn many of these life skills to help them along.  If they catch on they can do great things towards at least appearing to be "normal" and if unleashed can even do the "extraordinary".

 

As far as Helicopter Parents are concerned.  They will totally destroy this process by interfering.  I do not need you to find things for me.  I do not need you to organize things for me, and I definitely don't want you doing things for me.  Every time you do you keep me from learning how to adapt on my own.  Let me fail, let me be frustrated, let me vent, it's my way of learning.

 

As I mentioned before, my parents bought me my BSA uniform, but then were 100% hands off my Scouting career.  I didn't progress beyond 2nd Class, but what I learned stayed with me for all my life.  Helicopter parents are the worst thing for ADD/ADHD scouts.  What they should be doing is educating non-ADD/ADHD SM's what that disability means and how he/she can make the most of it for all scouts dealing with the situation.

Edited by Stosh

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Well here's another update. There was leaders' meeting at the camp out this past weekend. It was suppose to have been a weekday, but that didn't come through. All but 2 adults were at this impromptu meeting, me and one other. I admit I am a bit miffed because this is the second time they had a meeting on a camp out that I was unable to attend. And the SM and ASM who briefed us last nite both knew I wanted to talk about the troop situation at this meeting. But there is nothing I can do.

 

I do not know what happened this weekend on the camp out, but something did regarding the new Scouts. Long story short, we will be taking those Scouts under a certain rank out of their current patrols, creating a NSP and having the adults, you read that right ADULTS, teach these guys how to set up tents, cook, the T-2-1 skills, etc. Yep they will be camping near the adults, cooking with adults, etc on camp outs. And the new Scouts we are getting in December will be joining them. Once they hit a certain rank, they get integrated into the rest of the troop.Originally it was mentioned once they get Tenderfoot, they get integrated. When one Scout's name was mentioned as needing the help, I reminded the adults he's already Tenderfoot, and  it would not affect him. That's when they said Second Class.

 

Since my middle son may be affected, he's Tenderfoot, I encouraged him tonite to finish ASAP his Second Class. He has some motivation, he wants to do the Appalachian Trail this summer, and needs to be First Class to go. Hopefully the backpacking trip this weekend will put his butt in gear. I know he wass tired of Cub Scouts, and has commented on how the newer Scouts act. It looks like the NSP will become; Webelos 3. I did not tell him what the adults want to do. Then again they may not do it to him since he was appointed APL of his patrol. Plus the adults thought he was already Second Class.

 

I'm backing away. I'll maintain my registration, and go camping when needed. And help those Scouts with MBs who come to me. But that's pretty much it.

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Well here's another update. There was leaders' meeting at the camp out this past weekend. It was suppose to have been a weekday, but that didn't come through. All but 2 adults were at this impromptu meeting, me and one other. I admit I am a bit miffed because this is the second time they had a meeting on a camp out that I was unable to attend. And the SM and ASM who briefed us last nite both knew I wanted to talk about the troop situation at this meeting. But there is nothing I can do.

 

I do not know what happened this weekend on the camp out, but something did regarding the new Scouts. Long story short, we will be taking those Scouts under a certain rank out of their current patrols, creating a NSP and having the adults, you read that right ADULTS, teach these guys how to set up tents, cook, the T-2-1 skills, etc. Yep they will be camping near the adults, cooking with adults, etc on camp outs. And the new Scouts we are getting in December will be joining them. Once they hit a certain rank, they get integrated into the rest of the troop.Originally it was mentioned once they get Tenderfoot, they get integrated. When one Scout's name was mentioned as needing the help, I reminded the adults he's already Tenderfoot, and  it would not affect him. That's when they said Second Class.

 

Since my middle son may be affected, he's Tenderfoot, I encouraged him tonite to finish ASAP his Second Class. He has some motivation, he wants to do the Appalachian Trail this summer, and needs to be First Class to go. Hopefully the backpacking trip this weekend will put his butt in gear. I know he wass tired of Cub Scouts, and has commented on how the newer Scouts act. It looks like the NSP will become; Webelos 3. I did not tell him what the adults want to do. Then again they may not do it to him since he was appointed APL of his patrol. Plus the adults thought he was already Second Class.

 

I'm backing away. I'll maintain my registration, and go camping when needed. And help those Scouts with MBs who come to me. But that's pretty much it.

 

SO many things wrong with this scenario. Nothing about it is boy led. The Adults are doing the deciding, the adults are doing the teaching, the adults are leading, (well, actually that is debatable) as opposed to guiding.

 

Does your unit THINK/CLAIM they are boy led? If so, every time they do or say something like this, remind them that it is not boy led, remind them that Scouting is a safe place to fail, remind them that most of what the boys generally want is first to have fun, advancement is somewhere down the list.

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Why isn't the troop Instructor teaching the NSP, it's his job! 

Where's the TG in this whole process, it's his job!

Where's the mentoring of the SPL with the NSP PL, it's his job!

Where's the PLC setting rules and regulations, it's their job!

 

Cheesh, I have more youth led going on in my church's youth group than what's happening in this troop!

 

Oh, by the way, your troop does not have helicopter parents, they have bulldozer parents.  Big difference.

Edited by Stosh

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I do not think any of the youth know a thing about this yet. And I agree, it's not youth led. Scouts are not being given responsibility. What ticks me off is that we had this discussion a  little over a year ago, some things were done to make it more youth led, AND IT WAS WORKING! Was it perfect? NO. Was it chaotic? YES. Did the Scouts make mistakes? ABSOLUTELY! And did they learn from those mistakes? YES INDEED! Did they have room to improve? OF COURSE THEY DID! But apparently the change is not fast enough for some folks, especially the new parents because I have heard them complain about how things are different from Cub Scouts.

 

One mentor of mine said it takes 3 years to get a troop started. One year to get started, make mistakes, and see what is needed etc. Another year to fine tune it. And a third year establish customs, traditions, and procedures to pass along.

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