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Anyone else get a "Voice of Scouting" survey on families being "welcomed" by troops? I did, and I was completely truthful: the inclusion of "family camping" is hurting the Boy Scouts, because adults are taking over planning, limiting choices on where to camp, and are bringing siblings which interfere. There are only two trips my sons are looking forward to this year, and possibly a third. Summer Camp and the AT trek are the two confirmed, and possibly the AT prep trip, depending upon location.

When the PLC met for the annual planning conference, because the Scouts were not fully prepared, the adults took over. OK, traditionally 1/2 the year is planned in advance: January is lock in, March is Webeloree, April is Council Camporee, June or July is summer camp, and October is district camporee. But when the Scouts tried to branch out to few different camp grounds they had info on, the adults torpedoed those because they are too far to travel and we would get there too late at night. One Scout, actually his dad, came up with a white water family camp out. Apparently this was something the troop did 20+ years ago before they folded. Later when the Scouts proposed another major trip  to do Thanksgiving weekend, the adults said that would make a good family camp out too, and may use that instead of the whitewater trip. But the adults have said the only camping will be at the fundraiser. And that will be a family camp out since it's in conjunction with the pack.

Now I found out that one of the families is tagging along with our trip to a museum this weekend. When I told my two, one turned around walked off and yelled in his room "NO!" The other was shocked. At first he said if the parent are controlling him he's "MEH" about it. Then the other said, "that's the problem they don't control him and he causes problems. When an incident with the sibling was mentioned, the "MEH" son said, "yeah, I can see him doing that. He doesn't need to be there."

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Since there is no program documentation yet, how are families being welcomed into your Troop? How does the inclusion of families make a Troop not Boy Led? The Scouts should still come up with their calendar, and the inclusion of families should be designed to not interfere with the existing program. Have it run like a separate patrol- the family campsite should be separate from any of the other patrols, and if there are activities planned that are not appropriate for the families, they have to find an alternate activity during that time. The existing Scouting program should not be adversely affected by the inclusion of families. Alternatively, there can be a separate calendar of events for families. Individual Scouts can attend those if they wish, or not. 

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Got the survey and completed it. No surprise, my response was fairly similar to yours. 

I did acknowledge that family camping was important at the Cub level, but that by Webelos those Dens should focus more on unit camping (a la traditional Boy Scouts). I offered that family camping has no place in Boy Scouts as part of the regular program, but I did see a place for it once a year if units so wanted.

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@AVTech

 

1) WELCOME TO THE FORUMS!!!!!!!!

2) To answer your question, you need to go back to previous threads over the last 2 years, with an emphasis on posts since April. Long story short, we have parents, who are now registered committee members, who don't care a fig about the Patrol Method or youth led. There have been major issues with them jumping in and interfering with the program to the point that the older Scouts have walked away in frustration. They are bringing siblings along on camp outs, even if they are not suppose to be there i.e. District camporee. And now, with the encouragement of one of the ASMs, they want a major summer family camp out. I know the ASM pushed it so that the troop could do whitewater without having to follow G2SS since it's a "family camp out."

 

Parents have been told multiple times to leave their kids alone and send them back to their tents/shelters  when they try to sneak into their tents. It isn't happening. Last camp out had dad sitting in front of the shelter his son was in until kid fell asleep.

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So I'm wondering, now that the boy scout program is changing into a family camping program, what activities, organizations, or groups, can boys join without their families tagging along. Sports? I don't know much about 4H, is it a family program.

Are there other programs where boys make their own decisions for the purpose of learning from the consequences of the decision?

Barry

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4H has multiple programs within it, but they are all coed as far as I know. at least around here. My sons are involved in the 4-H Envirothon program. It's pretty intense, at least the group we have. And it is very adult driven?

In all honesty, I have no clue to other programs that allow boys to make their own decisions, and learn from the consequences.

 

Talking to the oldest, as long as it doesn't get too bad, he's staying. He's got friends in the troop, and is Life. But he knows other troops are out there.

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15 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Are there other programs where boys make their own decisions for the purpose of learning from the consequences of the decision?

Girl Scouts? ;)

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

So I'm wondering, now that the boy scout program is changing into a family camping program

Perhaps it isn't changing into such. Perhaps some Troops are just have a problem with parents and setting boundaries?

I've been on a single overnight campout with my son since joining Boy Scouts. From what I know of other campouts, it is very rare for a non-volunteer, non-registered parent to attend a campout for any reason. I know of a few occasions where there have been tag-alongs but those were only kids of registered leaders where both parents are leaders (and the scout still pitched his own tent with a tent-mate). The rest of the family pitched their tent away from the troop.

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Yes, setting boundaries is a problem with this troop IMHO. part of it is that when the troop was dying, The SM and a MC would be the 2 adults. Problem was that sometimes a daughter or grandson would show up. and even before that, the troop did a yearly whitewater family trip. Then after the troop as resurrected, at one time there was not enough adults involved. So the current SM would at times have to bring his daughter when he had her that weekend. No one sees the problem with with that. When I brought it up once before, I got nailed by multiple parties. Since I had bigger things to deal with at the time, I said the heck with it. 

As the whitewater trip is appealing, we are not going. We will go backpacking as a family instead.

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1 hour ago, Tampa Turtle said:

I did not get a survey this time, alas.

@Eagle94-A1 it is eerie (or more likely a sign of the times) that we are having similar issues. 

I think I got it, but deleted it, as I get alot of Scouting related emails and I don't read ones I don't have to read. 

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1 hour ago, Hawkwin said:

Perhaps it isn't changing into such. Perhaps some Troops are just have a problem with parents and setting boundaries?

It's inevitable. The motivation to put your son into a program for building character is different than what ever motivation for the whole family joining.  There are plenty of helicopter parent stories to support that reasoning.

Barry

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1 minute ago, Eagledad said:

It's inevitable. The motivation to put your son into a program for building character is different than what ever motivation for the whole family joining.  There are plenty of helicopter parent stories to support that reasoning.

Barry

That's just it, I don't think the families want to join. Most parents now a days want to drop their kids off at one spot and pick them up later. This is where I think Scouting is making a huge mistake. For every one family that joins en masse, I think you will get 4-5 that just sign all their kids up and drop them off like it's day care.

We already see enough of that now. Parents park their kids at Cubs or Boy Scouts and drive off, only to come back (late) to the meeting to pick them up.

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7 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

That's just it, I don't think the families want to join. Most parents now a days want to drop their kids off at one spot and pick them up later. This is where I think Scouting is making a huge mistake. For every one family that joins en masse, I think you will get 4-5 that just sign all their kids up and drop them off like it's day care.

We already see enough of that now. Parents park their kids at Cubs or Boy Scouts and drive off, only to come back (late) to the meeting to pick them up.

As I mentioned a couple months ago, the number one topic of a couple SMs I ran into was helicopter parenting. I believe the term "family scouting" in of itself will give parents more power to control the whole program. How could it not. It's one thing for a SM to tell a parent that the SM directs the program, not the parents. Now parents will feel they have more skin in the game. It's our human nature. It's inevitable. 

Barry

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