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11 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.

The problem is that when the family joins en masse, they cause problems. We have one family that refuses to let their son go camping or any other activity unless one of them go. Summer camp? Yep, mom went. This weekend's museum visit. Again Mom will be there. The dad is the one that wanted 100%  guarantee that nothing would happen to his son. The other family does like to camp. problem is they jump in and do everything for their Scout. And the let their Tiger go crazy.

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2 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Now parents will feel they have more skin in the game. It's our human nature. It's inevitable. 

I must be missing something major then as I don't feel, as a parent, that I somehow have more skin in the game than I did a year ago. If anything, I feel as though I have less as I have better learned about the Patrol method and how Troops are different than Packs. I learned this because the leaders did a good job of training us parents as to how Boy Scouts are different than Cub Scouts - and for some of us (myself included), we were told more than once.

None of that has relation to the use of the term "family scouting." I've not heard the term used locally at all and absent this board, would not even have a heightened awareness of how the term may be misinterpreted.

My experience, and what I can speak anecdotally about our Troop is more like what Col Flagg stated, drop them off on a Friday and pick them up on a Sunday without any more parent involvement (unless you are a required driver) than that.

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17 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

I must be missing something major then as I don't feel, as a parent, that I somehow have more skin in the game than I did a year ago. If anything, I feel as though I have less as I have better learned about the Patrol method and how Troops are different than Packs. I learned this because the leaders did a good job of training us parents as to how Boy Scouts are different than Cub Scouts - and for some of us (myself included), we were told more than once.

None of that has relation to the use of the term "family scouting." I've not heard the term used locally at all and absent this board, would not even have a heightened awareness of how the term may be misinterpreted.

My experience, and what I can speak anecdotally about our Troop is more like what Col Flagg stated, drop them off on a Friday and pick them up on a Sunday without any more parent involvement (unless you are a required driver) than that.

So you are basing your whole opinion on your personal approach to your sons program. I have dozens of parent discussions stories where I, as the SM, had to draw a line in sand to enforce the direction of the program as long as I was the SM. I have seen parents join the committee because they assumed it give them more stature to push change over the SM.

You only need to go back to helicopter parent discussions to understand the struggle of keeping a program on track. Adding "family" into the program gives other members of the "family" a lot more power to suggest changes. It's not a theory, I have the t-shirts.

As I write these responses, flashes of discussions with impassioned parents keep running through my mind. At least back then, I had the leader-parent barrier to give me some advantage.

Barry

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43 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

I must be missing something major then as I don't feel, as a parent, that I somehow have more skin in the game than I did a year ago. If anything, I feel as though I have less as I have better learned about the Patrol method and how Troops are different than Packs. I learned this because the leaders did a good job of training us parents as to how Boy Scouts are different than Cub Scouts - and for some of us (myself included), we were told more than once.

None of that has relation to the use of the term "family scouting." I've not heard the term used locally at all and absent this board, would not even have a heightened awareness of how the term may be misinterpreted.

My experience, and what I can speak anecdotally about our Troop is more like what Col Flagg stated, drop them off on a Friday and pick them up on a Sunday without any more parent involvement (unless you are a required driver) than that.

I suspect the increase "skin in the game" will go something like this:

  • Scouting has been playing up the "family Scouting" angle.
  • Units that have a more traditional Scouting program will feel pressure to have more "inclusive" programs and events. Simply said, less backpacking, more plop camping.
  • Parents may treat troop committee meetings more like pack committee meetings, where they (mistakenly) think that the committee drives what the boys (troop) do.
  • The parents will push their kids to have their (family Scouting) voice heard, or will volunteer as leaders and attempt to take over boy-led programs and activities.

While I could see this happening, it is already happening when some parents join, so not a new issue. Will it increase? Who knows. As @Eagledad said, some parents think the amount of clout they have is related to the number of kids they have in the program, or how many WB beads they have, or how long they've been a volunteer.

I actually think what will happen will be the drop-n-dash, leaving their sons (and now, daughters) at the new BSA one-stop-shop for youth activities. What impact THAT has on an outdoor program is anyone's guess.

Edited by Col. Flagg
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6 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:
  • Units that have a more traditional Scouting program will feel pressure to have more "inclusive" programs and events. Simply said, less backpacking, more plop camping.
 

Why does "inclusive" mean less backpacking? 

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1 minute ago, EmberMike said:

Why does "inclusive" mean less backpacking? 

In this instance it may be because the incoming "families" want more activities that everyone can do. Ever see an 11 year old with a 35lb pack go on a 20 miler? Me neither.

Or what about if they want to go caving? Only the older Scouts can go. Opps, nope, now you can't do that because the younger Scouts are left out. Same with water treks above Class III, certain climbing activities and a few other things.

Does this already happen in some units? Sure. But I believe the "family camping" will precipitate this even more. There will be pressure to have events and activities the whole family can do. That will reduce the list of potential activities even more. Just check out the age appropriate matrix BSA puts out.

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8 minutes ago, EmberMike said:

Why does "inclusive" mean less backpacking? 

To be totally sexist (and my wife agrees), there are many fewer women that will poop in the woods than men.  They aren't going to want to go backpacking. It takes a bit more adventurous of a spirit to backpack than to car camp.  I know in my sons' former troop, they have stopped backpacking since my sons (and a few of the older scouts and leaders) left.  I'm thinking about rejoining as a leader to help them get the adventure back.  

 

Edit: I do want to add that the best backpacker in that Troop was one of the boys' moms. The only campout she would go on was backpacking. Otherwise she felt it was a waste of her time.  

Edited by perdidochas
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56 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

Same with water treks above Class III, certain climbing activities and a few other things.

With my troop, that is why call the whitewater trek a "family camp out with each family responsible for themselves," so they can do Class IV rapids.

 

58 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

Ever see an 11 year old with a 35lb pack go on a 20 miler? Me neither.

HEHEHEHEHE. That's why my middle son is pushing hard to get First Class ASAP, as well as working out. He wants to go on the AT this year after doing the 18 mile prep trip with his brother last year. Only reason why he couldn't go last year was he wasn't First Class in time. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Col. Flagg said:

Ever see an 11 year old with a 35lb pack go on a 20 miler?

Yes.

His parents? Doubtful.

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Can someone please point me to the new leader's guides or training materials that has changed how the program works with respect to scout led?  I'm not aware of any.

As best I know, we're still as boy led as ever.  Sure, there's some marketing stuff about family scouting, but I've not seen any program changes at the Boy Scout level.

I cringe reading this because it feels like troops freelancing with the program.

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The Boy Scouts of America are becoming "family friendly" (a huge mistake) and the troop in question is being overrun by parents who don't value the patrol method.

What is the solution?

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10 minutes ago, SSF said:

The Boy Scouts of America are becoming "family friendly" (a huge mistake) and the troop in question is being overrun by parents who don't value the patrol method.

What is the solution?

Teach the parents about the importance of the patrol method and how it benefits their boys. 

Alternatively, quit if you don't want to run a program like that. I know if my troop becomes family camping I'm out. 

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The tail is wagging the dog here.

The SM is responsible for the Scouting Program in his/her troop. If the SM decides NO family outings, then there are none. If SM decides one a year, then one a year.

My $0.02

 

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7 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

Teach the parents about the importance of the patrol method and how it benefits their boys. 

 What are some ways of doing this? Folks in my troop are out of ideas. We've had 3 parent meetings and it's been in one ear out the other. We've had individual sessions with offending parents, and they keep on doing what they want. We had Scouts walk away from their interference, and let the parents do dishes, cooking, etc.

Only thing I can think of is having the Scouts start complaining at BORs.  And I do not know if it has been brought up at BORs; whether because the Scouts are afraid to comment, or the ones getting ticked off have not advanced. The thing that surprised me, until I found out details, was at his Life BOR he was not asked  "how he would improve the troop." Then I found out 2 of the worst helicopters were sitting on his BOR with the CC. The topic never came up. I am hoping middle son has his Second Class BOR Monday. I told him be polite, don't name names, BUT TELL THE BOR WHAT IS WRONG AND HOW TO FIX IT, I.E. FAMILY CAMPING ( emphasis). Some Scouts can be intimidated.

 

16 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

The tail is wagging the dog here.

The SM is responsible for the Scouting Program in his/her troop. If the SM decides NO family outings, then there are none. If SM decides one a year, then one a year.

My $0.02

 

IMHO that's part of the problem. We went from a SM in failing health to an SM whose job keeps him on call a lot. He doesn't have the time to commit. The troop is actually being run by an ASM with a history of having siblings or grandkids camp with the troop in order to have enough adult go.

 

7 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

Alternatively, quit if you don't want to run a program like that. I know if my troop becomes family camping I'm out. 

 

I've reminded my boys there are other troops out there. Both want to stay because there are friends in the troop. Also one still wants to change the troop and get it back on track.

Edited by Eagle94-A1

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23 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

 IMHO that's part of the problem. We went from a SM in failing health to an SM whose job keeps him on call a lot. He doesn't have the time to commit. The troop is actually being run by an ASM with a history of having siblings or grandkids camp with the troop in order to have enough adult go.

So your ASM lead by example and opened the gate. :(

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