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ParaSloth

AOL Scout - No Camping!

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Seeking advice here - will try to keep scenario short so I'll stick to the facts.

 

My AOL den has been working hard since June to get our advancements in so we can cross over in January. As a den we decided to attend our district's Yule Log weekend camping event to fulfill Scouting Adventure requirement #4 (...participate in a Boy Scout troop's campout or other outdoor activity ... ).  All of my boys are going ... except one.  The troop we are moving up into will only allow parents to camp IF they are registered scout leaders with current YPT. Two dad's decided to register so they can come camping; both will probably remain leaders. The scout's parents are not ready to allow him to camp by himself, the mother does not want to camp and the father works out of state. This is the only chance we have to complete this requirement before our planned AOL and Cross Over. I'm trying to figure out my options with this kid:

 

a)  Just leave him be - he never was really active and this just seals the deal.  He probably won't move on to a troop since he cannot go camping alone.

b)  Recommend the parent to another troop to participate in a troop activity, then award the AOL after he has completed that.  

c)  Forget about the requirement and pass him anyway.

d)  ???

 

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I never understood why DL's get worked up over this sort of thing.

...

a)  Just leave him be - he never was really active and this just seals the deal.  He probably won't move on to a troop since he cannot go camping alone.

...

Bingo!

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Whatever you do, do NOT "just pass him anyway." No boy should earn an award he has not merited, and you would be teaching both him and his parents the wrong principles. NEVER "forget about the requirements and pass (a boy) anyway." That's just not how things are done.

 

I would do both a. and b. Talk to his parents and explain that if he does not participate in some kind of outdoor activity, he won't be able to meet the requirement and will thus be disqualified from receiving his Arrow of Light. Remind them that it does not have to be an overnight camp-out. The second set of requirements for the Outdoorsman adventure are specifically designed to service boys who are not allowed to go overnight camping yet. He could join the boys either for the first few hours of the camp-out, or for the next day's activities; he does not have to be there the whole time nor overnight to meet the requirement. 

 

If you present a number of outdoor activity options to the family and they still do not bend, then you will just have to let the situation be. It's unfortunate for the boy, but it will at least allow you to maintain the integrity of the program while giving the boy the desire to work harder so that he won't be left out as he grows older and, hopefully, into a Boy Scout troop. But DO NOT give in to pressure to just award the AofL to him anyway. That makes a mockery of the program and is a slap in the face to all the boys who DID fulfill the requirements and worked hard to get that award. 

 

Hope this helps!

Edited by The Latin Scot
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@ParaSloth, please don't be offended by the snark of that last reply.

 

The whole "won't go camping alone" seals the deal. We just have to accept that ...

  • Mom and dad have their reasons for not getting registered and trained.
  • The boy isn't ready to be off on his own.
  • The troop has it's policies for their own reasons.
  • Nobody is going to adjust in time for crossing-over.

And you know what? That's really okay.

 

We're assuming you want to do your best. Thus your post. I think your best is to encourage this boy to spend as much time as he can with the pack and the webelos den. Then, on his 11th birthday, consider joining your troop. But, also give your parents a list of troops in your district and encourage them to take him for a visit.

 

The whole AOL award is secondary. The goal is for the scout to have fun. Being in a troop that he's not comfortable with is not fun. Are you transferring to the troop? If so, the next-in-line DL will have to help with the award. This isn't bad. Maybe by learning to work with a different DL, he can be more comfortable with the new caring adults that he may find wherever he lands.

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Thank you both!  Honestly I'm sad to lose this boy as he's been with me from a Tiger.  qwazse your answer made me chuckle and sad at the same time - unfortunately I think this is going to be the outcome.  Latin Scot your answer is right on - I'm going to spell it out and let them make the decision (I shouldn't be the one to stress over it!).  "C" was never really an option - just me going out of my mind trying to accomodate this kid, as we typically do as scout leaders!

 

Thanks again!

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You have recieved very good advice thus far. I only wanted to comment as to some of the rationale. The age/grade joining requirements for Boy Scouts are less for those those who have earned arrow of light. The assumption is that by earning that award, they have demonstrated their readiness at a younger age. Thus if they have not earned the award, they need to wait to join until they are "age-grade ready". Of course the assumption that those who earned AoL are ready is not always true either.

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I've seen first hand what happens when Scouts who had Cub leaders "Forget about the requirement and pass him anyway." or got rather "creative" or "sea lawyery" in meeting AOL requirements so the Cub could move to Boy Scouts, and and it is not pretty.

 

Out of the den we got just like that, we lost 3 outright,have one we have not seen since summer camp, have 1 who will not camp, and 2 who won't camp unless a parent is with them, and will sneak into parents tent at night. It's gotten to the point that the adults in the troop are reconsidering doing an NSP for the group, and having adults teach them how to do things before reintergration with the rest of the troop. Sad thing is that my youngest and his freinds will be affected since they have not met the proposed rank requirements for reintergration. Middle son is already complaining the campouts of late are boring, and skipped this past weekend where all this came about in order to go backpacking this weekend.

 

Do the right thing talk to the parents, and let them and the Scout decide.

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Just sent her an email with two options.  Here is the relevant part of my email.  I hope it was fair!

 

On another note, no issues if you are still feeling like he cannot go alone.  You have to make that decision as a mother and I hold nothing against that.  The requirement states that the boy "must participate in a Boy Scout troop's camping or outdoor adventure ...", so he will have to complete that before he can be awarded the AOL and cross over.  There are a couple options:
 
1) You can wait until a later date when Troop 529 (or I can help you find another troop) is conducting a non-camping outdoor activity.  I am not sure when that will be.  Once he completes this I can put him in for the AOL and he can cross over to a troop.  He would have until 31 May.  
 
2) You can wait until his 11th birthday (3 June) then just register him in a troop, but he does not have the AOL.
 
The requirements for entering a Boy Scout troop is that the boy must be 11 years old, or 10 years old and have earned the AOL. This is designed to ensure the younger boy has the experience to enter a troop earlier (if he has his AOL).  It's all about making sure the boy is ready to be out on his own (in a controlled environment, of course).  
 
I understand this is a tough decision to make, but I certainly stand behind whatever path you choose.  I'm happy to help out where I can, so please keep me informed!

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Just as a matter of professionalism, I recommend calling and having a discussion when there are sensitive issues instead of email.

 

Written words can seem cold and you can't convey your emotion. Better to have a discussion with give and take than an email that she might perceive in a manner not intended.

 

You might consider calling her and asking her if she received the email and if there was any part you could add any additional clarity.

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Good point, Hawkwin.  The email is sort of a follow-up to our conversation where I told her I would seek out his options, so I'll follow it up with a phone call to make sure she understands.  Very good point so thank you.

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The requirement says "campout or other outdoor activity".  See if a local Troop has an outing coming up that the Arrow of Light scout can attend during daytime hours.

 

My Arrow of Light den did not camp with a Troop, we visited a troop during their fishing outing.  Drove out in the morning, spent several hours, and left in the afternoon.  This kind of outdoor activity may be more feasible for the scout in your den.

 

As to the boy's future in Boy Scouts, that's a choice for him and his family, of course.  Do not stress over it.

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Seeking advice here - will try to keep scenario short so I'll stick to the facts.

 

My AOL den has been working hard since June to get our advancements in so we can cross over in January. As a den we decided to attend our district's Yule Log weekend camping event to fulfill Scouting Adventure requirement #4 (...participate in a Boy Scout troop's campout or other outdoor activity ... ).  All of my boys are going ... except one.  The troop we are moving up into will only allow parents to camp IF they are registered scout leaders with current YPT. Two dad's decided to register so they can come camping; both will probably remain leaders. The scout's parents are not ready to allow him to camp by himself, the mother does not want to camp and the father works out of state. This is the only chance we have to complete this requirement before our planned AOL and Cross Over. I'm trying to figure out my options with this kid:

 

a)  Just leave him be - he never was really active and this just seals the deal.  He probably won't move on to a troop since he cannot go camping alone.

b)  Recommend the parent to another troop to participate in a troop activity, then award the AOL after he has completed that.  

c)  Forget about the requirement and pass him anyway.

d)  ???

The Troop is out of line. Parents should be allowed to observe any activity without YPT and being a registered adult.  IMHO, that contravenes YPT.  

 

Can the boy come to the campout as a day trip? Their is no requirement that he camp.   I'd pick b or a modified b--day tripper to the campout.  

 

That said, if the parents can't get out of the helicopter parent mindset, the boy misses out.  

 

I would also recomend that you ask the mother to take YPT. Not so much for her becoming a leader, but so she understands the rules and precautions that BSA leaders have to take.  

Edited by perdidochas
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I won’t lie, I was the same way as a Cub Scout, I could never handle a over night camping trip. But, soon as I became a Boy Scout I was able to be alone, all that “anxiety†(I guess?) went away. It went away for me as I aged.

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On the other hand, I couldn't wait to get away from family and be with my buddies.  I have been camping since I was 4 years old and at age 11, I got the chance to finally dump the family and go out into the great outdoors with my buddies.

 

Of course, I never grew up and I married a gal that didn't either.  Flew down to Orlando for the Red Cross to help with the relief of Hurricane Irma.  They asked if the Mrs. and I were interested in driving one of the Red Cross trucks to Sacramento.  I looked at the Mrs. and she smiled and said ROAD TRIP.  When we got to the wild fires in California, we put in two weeks there and I decided to head home.  I asked the Mrs. to make arrangements for a flight home.  She said, there's a Wisconsin Red Cross truck in the shop, should be done in a day or two.  I smiled and said ROAD TRIP!

 

There are some people that from an early age never quite figure out what a real Adventure is all about!  They sign on for the fun and adventure and then can't let go long enough to really experience it.  I don't care if it's into the woods, into the wilds, or on down the road, if it smacks of the unknown possibilities of an adventure, I'm all over it.

 

Just this morning my son-in-law came in from hunting on my back 9 acres.  He showed me a picture of a deer scrape.  He's not much of an outdoorsman, but he did get his first deer/buck this past weekend.  I assured him what he was showing a picture of was not a deer scrape, it was 8' from ground up that tore the dead tree to shreds.  I told him that when he and I go out tomorrow to hunt, don't just watch out for the deer, there's a bear out there, too.  And the adventure begins!!! 

 

ad·ven·ture
/adˈven(t)SHər/

noun

verb

  • 1. engage in hazardous and exciting activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory: "they had adventured into the forest"

What do these kids think scouting adventure is supposed to be anyway?  Sleeping in a tent with Mom?  Com' on!

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