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Tampa Turtle

TampaTurtle: Unneeded parents on hikes

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4 hours ago, WisconsinMomma said:

Is it possible to involve parents and families on an occasional basis?  I don't get the impression that parents and siblings want to do every activity and trip, but maybe show up once in a while.  At Troop meetings, we have a group of moms and younger siblings who hang out down the hall while the boys meet in the gym.  That's not interfering.   My husband is an ASM and goes to summer camp and says with the same breath that he does nothing and that what he does is important.   This year I almost went to camp to do nothing too but the schedule did not work out.  I don't see the big problem if I go to a thing once in a while.  In fact, I am thinking of going to and sitting in on a PLC meeting, just to be a fly on the wall.  I am curious how much the Troop adults participate vs the boys and I'd like to see it in action.

We tried allowing the entire family to show up for a campout, once. I hate to say it but all the bad things everyone mentions here actually happened. There's a huge pull between the families that showed up and the young scouts of those families that just wanted to be with their family when, say, the young scouts were supposed to be helping their patrol clean up. It just didn't work. I suppose it could work but it would require some severe rules on separation.

But what you also asked was whether you could go camping. There seem to be two views of adults on campouts. One is that they shouldn't be there. The other is that being there is okay, as long as they watch, listen, and respect the scout's need for separation. I really enjoyed my time with my son on campouts. Mostly I let him be. On occasion we wrestled in the dirt. Often I just watched him grow or we'd share a great view of the mountains. Maybe I'd see him for 10 or 15 minutes a day. These were great memories so I understand a parent that wants to participate. I even encouraged it because those parents are the ones that are going to help out. They just have to understand how to participate. I would often pull parents aside and request that they let the scouts solve that problem on their own or there was time to let the scouts be.

Since you're curious about how the PLC operates, you have to understand that you just being a fly on the wall will completely change how the PLC operates because, well, you're going to be more like the elephant in the room. If they only have the SM in the room, or more likely nobody in the room, then your presence will completely change the dynamic. A better way would be to gain some trust with the scouts, and then ask them how the PLC meetings go. Until the scouts can trust you they won't tell you anything. Gaining their trust is key and it takes time.

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Let me get this straight.  We are supposed to be doing the patrol method.  How do parents and siblings fit into the patrol method?  In  my humble opinion, they don't.  And then, what's the purpose of a parent/sibling patrol that hangs around 300' away?  Is that purpose useful?  In my humble opinion, no.

My main concern with this whole mixed bag thingy is that it might work when one has an adult run, troop program.  Then at least mom can wash the dishes and pick up camp while the boys run around doing nothing but getting into trouble someplace else. 

I've tried to be open on this whole process, but from my experience, co-ed and family are two different entities.  Co-ed in an all-boy environment is bad enough.  Mom and Dad and siblings, and the therapy dog, and friends of friends does nothing but distract and destroy the patrol method of scouting.  While one can pound a screw into wood with a hammer, it destroys the wood and the screw at the same time.  It's not ideal and if one is looking for mediocrity, this is a surefire way of getting it.

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Cub Scouts is a family oriented program.

Boy Scouts is NOT a family oriented program.

If parents want to join in Boy Scout activities then get trained, become an ASM and help out. Otherwise, stay home and let your boy enjoy his time with his friends, learn from others and experience interaction with adults he's not related to.

I am beginning to think "Family Scouting" is just code for giving hopelessly addicted helicopter/lawnmower/bulldozer/drone parents an excuse to fulfill their compulsion for control.

Edited by Col. Flagg
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I am hoping 'Family Scouting' was just a poorly chosen phrase then a program change like when I said "Quality Control" and stepped on a land-mine.

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2 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

I am hoping 'Family Scouting' was just a poorly chosen phrase then a program change like when I said "Quality Control" and stepped on a land-mine.

One would hope that's the issue. But looking at the over use of the word "family" in all their social media posts, as well as in BL and Scouting mags, I suspect good old Mike S. wants to do exactly that; make Boy Scouts a one-stop-shop for the family. I don't think his intention is to just make Cubs more family-like. I think his sole purpose for these changes is to make all programs within BSA (Cubs, Boy Scouts, Venturing, etc.) a family experience.

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19 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

One would hope that's the issue. But looking at the over use of the word "family" in all their social media posts, as well as in BL and Scouting mags, I suspect good old Mike S. wants to do exactly that; make Boy Scouts a one-stop-shop for the family. I don't think his intention is to just make Cubs more family-like. I think his sole purpose for these changes is to make all programs within BSA (Cubs, Boy Scouts, Venturing, etc.) a family experience.

Now on need to go in my Wayback Machine to 1915 and talk B.P. out of that Cubbing idea. I always thought a lot of the boys liked scouting to GET AWAY from their family a weekend a month! LOL

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8 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

Now on need to go in my Wayback Machine to 1915 and talk B.P. out of that Cubbing idea. I always thought a lot of the boys liked scouting to GET AWAY from their family a weekend a month! LOL

On literally every high adventure or summer camp I have staffed over the years there has been at least a handful of Scouts who have remarked how nice it was to be away from siblings and parents to just "chill". Same with weekend camp outs. When you take the "SM Walk" at night to quietly do bed check, you hear the guys talking about various things. The most consistent topic, besides girls and video games, is how cool it is to be "grown up" and not have family around.

I bet @Stosh and others have similar stories.

I can tell you I have never heard a kid lament not having his siblings around. 

Edited by Col. Flagg
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37 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

One would hope that's the issue. But looking at the over use of the word "family" in all their social media posts, as well as in BL and Scouting mags, I suspect good old Mike S. wants to do exactly that; make Boy Scouts a one-stop-shop for the family. I don't think his intention is to just make Cubs more family-like. I think his sole purpose for these changes is to make all programs within BSA (Cubs, Boy Scouts, Venturing, etc.) a family experience.

Agree and that was my take when I read the (now famous) 10/11 announcement.  Follow up clarifications, talks, question sessions continually mention families and not just when talking about Cubs.  There are many many family oriented activities and groups out there.  An organization that hopes to be all things to all people, ends up being little or nothing to anyone.

On our outings if we can teeter on the edge of Lord of the Flies (not to include the fire scene, rolling large rocks on kids, or burning up an island) then so much the better,  There is mayhem there are disagreements, there are scouts solving their issues.  There is unplanned time where they get to see what is actually around the bend from the campsite.  

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40 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

On literally every high adventure or summer camp I have staffed over the years there has been at least a handful of Scouts who have remarked how nice it was to be away from siblings and parents to just "chill". Same with weekend camp outs. When you take the "SM Walk" at night to quietly do bed check, you hear the guys talking about various things. The most consistent topic, besides girls and video games, is how cool it is to be "grown up" and not have family around.

I bet @Stosh and others have similar stories.

I can tell you I have never heard a kid lament not having his siblings around. 

I think Son#1 was not happy when Son#2 joined the Troop. And when Son#2 was his SPL.

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28 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

Agree and that was my take when I read the (now famous) 10/11 announcement.  Follow up clarifications, talks, question sessions continually mention families and not just when talking about Cubs.  There are many many family oriented activities and groups out there.  An organization that hopes to be all things to all people, ends up being little or nothing to anyone.

On our outings if we can teeter on the edge of Lord of the Flies (not to include the fire scene, rolling large rocks on kids, or burning up an island) then so much the better,  There is mayhem there are disagreements, there are scouts solving their issues.  There is unplanned time where they get to see what is actually around the bend from the campsite.  

Maybe the occasional finger amputation, tent on fire, or old school latrine will cull some out.

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As I said in another thread, I think that when the BSA used the word "family" in the context of this change, what they meant was sons and daughters, not parents (other than for Cub Scouts.)  Apparently they decided they didn't want to say "girls" very often.  The standard, National-issued announcement for councils to send out about the meetings in the summer did not include the word "girls," although some councils changed the statement to include "girls."  Of course, when the CSE was onstage or on-video giving a speech about it, he couldn't really avoid using the word "girls," so I don't understand why they even tried to avoid it in the first place.  And then their choice of a more "innocuous" word backfired on them, because evidently BSA forgot that the word "family" actually does include parents.  It does make you wonder.

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3 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

As I said in another thread, I think that when the BSA used the word "family" in the context of this change, what they meant was sons and daughters, not parents (other than for Cub Scouts.)  Apparently they decided they didn't want to say "girls" very often.  

Disagree. In all the social media posts and magazines they manage, they had pictures of families doing Scout stuff together...and not just at Cub-like events. Go back and look at BL and Scouting magazine for the last 6-8 months. Go back and look at their social media pics and posts. 

If BSA didn't mean to make Boy Scouts more family-oriented, their publishing group did not get the memo.

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23 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

Disagree. In all the social media posts and magazines they manage, they had pictures of families doing Scout stuff together...and not just at Cub-like events. Go back and look at BL and Scouting magazine for the last 6-8 months. Go back and look at their social media pics and posts. 

If BSA didn't mean to make Boy Scouts more family-oriented, their publishing group did not get the memo.

I have seen most of those pictures and articles.  What I have not seen is any specific words either in those articles or anywhere else that say that the program is changing to expand the role of parents.  Have you?  (Other than just the word "family", I mean.)

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30 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

I have seen most of those pictures and articles.  What I have not seen is any specific words either in those articles or anywhere else that say that the program is changing to expand the role of parents.  Have you?  (Other than just the word "family", I mean.)

You are expecting BSA to be specific, purposeful and direct in their communications? You know better. ;) 

Mike S. and his band of merry men/women are channeling Mr. Subliminal in most of what they are peddling. But if you look at a few issues of Scouting there are articles and pictures depicting families doing non-Cub stuff.

Their last 3-4 covers haven family camping, family hiking, family canoeing, etc. Great. For Cubs I love it. But what are the chances of 5-6 covers in ANY given year being dedicated to family stuff? Just a quick perusal of the past several years and I can find 2 from 2010-2016. In 2017 there are 6!!! Coincidence?

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8 hours ago, MattR said:

We tried allowing the entire family to show up for a campout, once. I hate to say it but all the bad things everyone mentions here actually happened. There's a huge pull between the families that showed up and the young scouts of those families that just wanted to be with their family when, say, the young scouts were supposed to be helping their patrol clean up. It just didn't work. I suppose it could work but it would require some severe rules on separation.

 

I'm going to suggest that the disaster you had was the Troops fault.  You planned a Boy Scout outing an invited families.  

My Troop had a family camping weekend every other year - and never had the kinds of issues you faced.  Why?  Because we didn't plan a Boy Scout outing - we planned a Family outing. 

We camped in the same Boy Scout camp ground - used the big shelter for a "dining hall".  The adult leaders cooked.  The Scouts ran food from the kitchen to the tables (just like summer camp "waiters").  Dishes were washed by Scouts and adult leaders (we did cheat though and used paper plates and plastic utensils - much easier than trying to wash 100+ plates, bowls, sets of utensils, etc. without a summer camp dishwasher).  Scouts ate with their families - and families often ended up grouped by who was in their son's patrol.

The younger Scouts usually camped with their families - and that was fine.  The older Scouts would usually camp together in a Scout only encampment.

Patrols had to plan one activity for the siblings to do - it could be a camporee event that they enjoyed, a scavenger hunt, a camp wide game - Scouts and siblings were kept busy with the activities the Scouts came up with.

Parents got to lounge around their campsites or the dining hall in the morning, and catch-up with the Scoutmaster and other leaders.  In the afternoon, they were invited to go on a nature walk led by members of the Leadership Corps, or they could just hang back and read or chat.

Each patrol had to come up with a Saturday night campfire skit - the campfire was prepared and hosted by the SPL and Leadership Corps.   Since the Troops sister Explorer Post was a native american-style dance post, and most of the post members were also part of the Troop, the Post provided some of the entertainment as well.  The campfire always started at 7:30 and ended at 8:30.  Towards the end of the campfire, members of the Leadership Corp would use shovels to scoop still burning logs from the main campfire and take them to smaller campfire set-ups in the area and set them to blaze.  At the end of the campfire program, we usually had 4 additional fires going and folks split up to make and enjoy marshmallows and s'mores.  

 

This campout wasn't a time for working on advancement.  It was a time for the families to hang out and get to know each other better.  More than that, it was  way for the Troop leaders and Scouts to thank their families for their support.

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