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Eagle94-A1

Dealing with Helicopter Parents

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 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.

 

And that is Boy Scouting in a nutshell. And Yes is VASTLY different from Cub Scouts, more importantly, it is meant to be.

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Eagle 94, sorry to hear about the New Scout Patrol being set up.   I was just reading our Troop's bylaws and a new scout patrol is written into our Troop's bylaws!   I could use some help coming up with a way to try work with our parent committee to get this particular detail changed.  

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Here is the language from our Troop bylaws.  Any suggestions on how to re-write? How are patrols typically formed -- by the Scoutmaster? 

 

Thank you for any help.

 

The older scouts are organized into 2 or more permanent patrols depending on the size of the troop. New scouts that have just crossed over from the cub pack will be placed in their own patrol for their first year. In the following January, the Scoutmaster or their designee will break up the new scout patrol and will distributed its members into the existing permanent patrols.

 

 

ETA: I could just propose that the Troop eliminate all the bylaws and just operate under BSA policy!  People would likely freak, but it might be interesting!  

Edited by WisconsinMomma

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E94, you got to know when to hold 'em:

Well here's another update. .... 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....

NEVER NEGOTIATE BACKWARDS!

:mad:

That's as bad as violating my rule #1 (don't ask for a rule)!

You could have said "OKay, whatever, tenderfoot it is." And left the room.

It's not my job to solve some adult's beef about a kid. If it matters, the SM can just say "kid, you're not ready yet."

I sure hope that you went and apologized to that scout.

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I'm not a fan of by-laws because they are extremely legalistic, and someone can argue that  according to XYZ rule they met the requirements, do whatever event, etc. In fact it's already happened. We have two Scouts who "earned" their Tenderfoot. But there was a lot of "discussion" about the requirements by their parents, and the SM signed off despite his, and other Scouters', reservations because of the legelese in advancment policy. 

 

Personally I do NOT like adults signing off on the S-T-2-1 requirements Since it's A) taking responsibility away from the PLs, Instructors, SPL, etc and B) The Scouts are better judges of other Scouts' abilities than the adults. Unfortunately one ASM, who lookes like he will become SM in the future, had a bad expereince as a Scout. Apparently he was denied Tenderfoot twice by the then allowed youthled BOR. Only when the adults intervened for the thrid BOR did he finally  get Tenderfoot.

 

E94, you got to know when to hold 'em:

NEVER NEGOTIATE BACKWARDS!

:mad:

That's as bad as violating my rule #1 (don't ask for a rule)!

You could have said "OKay, whatever, tenderfoot it is." And left the room.

It's not my job to solve some adult's beef about a kid. If it matters, the SM can just say "kid, you're not ready yet."

I sure hope that you went and apologized to that scout.

 

My point in mentioning the Scout in question to the SM and ASM briefing me and the other adult who did not know about the meeting was to point out how making such a rule is nonsense. Sadly they did not see it that way.

 

As for apologizing to the Scout, I do not know what for. He was not involved in the conversation, other than his name being mentioned by the SM or ASM as needing help camping. All I did was mention that the rule would still not apply since he is already Tenderfoot.

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How are adult created rules and by-laws a part of boy-led?

 

After many years of working with youth, I have NEVER resorted to looking it up in some rules document to make a point.  By the time one is looking for some support for their argument, they have already lost control of the situation.  It is far better to head off problems before they occur.

 

99% of the rules, regulations and by-laws created by the adults are additions to the requirements of BSA policies.  This is an inappropriate way of running a BSA unit.

 

I go with qwazse on this one.  Adult rules are worthless.  Doing what one believes to be the right thing at the time is generally a better policy than referencing rules made up by some committee because of some perceived shortcoming in the program.  The program is just fine, adults don't need to fix anything.

 

I operate under only 3 basic personal "rules".

 

1) Safety first - nothing trumps this rule and anyone in the area can bring full authority into the situation to keep everyone safe, both feet and a 2X4 if necessary.

2) Look and act like a scout - this pertains to proper clothing and following the Scout Oath and Law.  Never got any pushback on this one.

3) Have fun - this may sound strange, but if someone is feeling bullied, he isn't having fun.  If he is homesick, he isn't having fun.  If he is bored, he isn't having fun.  If he is struggling with advancement because of some stupid adult rule, he isn't having fun.  The list goes on and on.  All these things are an infraction of the rule and must be dealt with immediately.

 

There's enough drama and conflict to begin with, one doesn't need rules to correct it, all they need is the Scout Law and Oath.

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Here is the language from our Troop bylaws.  Any suggestions on how to re-write? How are patrols typically formed -- by the Scoutmaster? 

 

Thank you for any help.

 

The older scouts are organized into 2 or more permanent patrols depending on the size of the troop. New scouts that have just crossed over from the cub pack will be placed in their own patrol for their first year. In the following January, the Scoutmaster or their designee will break up the new scout patrol and will distributed its members into the existing permanent patrols.

 

 

ETA: I could just propose that the Troop eliminate all the bylaws and just operate under BSA policy!  People would likely freak, but it might be interesting!  

 

And this runs counter to everything ever written by BP!   I use the NSP effectively in my troops.  The NSP get's to pick it's own members from the group of incoming newbies AND any other scouts in the unit they wish to invite.  I had one instance where an older brother of one of the new boys join the NSP as their PL.  It worked out just fine and they didn't need a TG.  6-8 per patrol, and THEY TELL ME what they want for membership.  They get a TG and depending on the skill of that person, that can cover multiple NSPs if necessary.  At the end of the first year, the NAME of the patrol changes.  I as an adult never interfere in the membership of a patrol.  The NAME changes from NSP to REGULAR patrol.  That's it, nothing else changes, except at that point the TG begins an exit strategy from the operation of the patrol.

 

One of the reasons why the NSP works for me is that I don't have any helicopter parents, ASM's or adult interfering in the selection, operation or membership retention of the patrol.  No SM in his/her right mind would do an "apple-cart upside-down" on a regular patrol or a venture patrol, so why don't they offer the same respect to the NSP?  Well,... unless they think they know better than the boys.  That disrespect will carry on through those boys' scouting memory for a long time.  To me, that's not a decent way of taking care of my boys, especially when they are first starting out in scouting and are testing the waters of a whole new adventure.  Adults don't need to be making waves.

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Right.  The problem I have with this bylaw is that it is dictating to a Scoutmaster how things must be done.   I think the easiest proposal may be to eliminate this part of the bylaws altogether, and let a Scoutmaster do his or her job.  If the Scoutmaster wants a new scout patrol, great, if not, great, and ideally the Scoutmaster is listening to the boys about how they want to organize. 

 

ETA:  I am guessing our Troop could use more training on the patrol method.  Changing this bylaw might open up some conversation. 

Edited by WisconsinMomma
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And that is Boy Scouting in a nutshell. And Yes is VASTLY different from Cub Scouts, more importantly, it is meant to be.

I don't think it was meant to be almost the polar opposite though. At one time the dens operated like patrols with the den leader as the patrol leader. There were no "parent sign-offs" on requirements. Activities were done as a den, and awards, arrowheads, etc... were earned as a cub scout not done at home with mommy or daddy. Pack activities were limited to only a few a year, pinewood derby, and blue&gold were the only ones I even recollect as a kid except for the pack campouts which were really den campouts with dozens of other dens around. I think the idea behind cubs was worthy as a growth step for boys to become Boy Scouts, but along the way it has morphed into something so different that in many cases is an obstacle to becoming a boy scout.

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Here is another piece of our Troop's bylaws that needs to go:

 

A designated member of the Parent Committee shall keep a “cuss†box. 25 cents will be charged for every word considered by the troop to be a "cuss". Theft from the "cuss" box will be punishable with the return of the money in twofold. The money will be periodically turned over to the Troop Treasurer for the Troop funds. The "cuss" box is applicable at Troop meetings and all Troop outings.

 

Doh!

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I don't think it was meant to be almost the polar opposite though. At one time the dens operated like patrols with the den leader as the patrol leader. There were no "parent sign-offs" on requirements. Activities were done as a den, and awards, arrowheads, etc... were earned as a cub scout not done at home with mommy or daddy. Pack activities were limited to only a few a year, pinewood derby, and blue&gold were the only ones I even recollect as a kid except for the pack campouts which were really den campouts with dozens of other dens around. I think the idea behind cubs was worthy as a growth step for boys to become Boy Scouts, but along the way it has morphed into something so different that in many cases is an obstacle to becoming a boy scout.

 

This is especially true for the transitional program of Webelos and NSP!  This is the core of one's retention process.  The programs change and special attention at this junction is critical so that the BOYS change along with the program.

 

Here is another piece of our Troop's bylaws that needs to go:

 

A designated member of the Parent Committee shall keep a “cuss†box. 25 cents will be charged for every word considered by the troop to be a "cuss". Theft from the "cuss" box will be punishable with the return of the money in twofold. The money will be periodically turned over to the Troop Treasurer for the Troop funds. The "cuss" box is applicable at Troop meetings and all Troop outings.

 

Doh!

 

Naw, gotta keep that one in there.  That's how I financially support my troop.  They make more money that way than just relying on FOS from me.  :)

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I'm not a fan of by-laws 

 

Neither am I. Organizations have by-laws. A scout unit is not a separate organization. It is owned by a Chartered Organization.

 

Creating by-laws for a unit implies autonomy. Boy Scout units are not supposed to be autonomous. Rather than wasting a lot of time and effort on writing by-laws (and arguing about them), a scout unit would be better off by strengthening its relationship with its CO.

Edited by David CO

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Right, would it be fair to say that a BSA Troop operates per BSA policies?  Is there a piece of literature that would be referred to?

 

I am not sure if I should attempt a bylaws repeal with the parent committee, or a "repeal and replace" with something extremely simplified. 

 

Or, just go as is, assuming no one reads or really follows the bylaws anyway?

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Right, would it be fair to say that a BSA Troop operates per BSA policies?  Is there a piece of literature that would be referred to?

 

I am not sure if I should attempt a bylaws repeal with the parent committee, or a "repeal and replace" with something extremely simplified. 

 

Or, just go as is, assuming no one reads or really follows the bylaws anyway?

 

One would assume that every adult that volunteers for the BSA get the appropriate training for the job they will be doing. If one has by-laws, that should be #1.  After that Rule #2 should be Stay in your own lane and quit worrying about what everyone else is doing, they are trained to do it and have responsibility to do it.  I don't know what rule #3 would be. 

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