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WisconsinMomma

What would you do (if you were me) in this situation?

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When my oldest Scout was young this happened to him often on campouts. As he got older, he and his friends got tighter and they didn't spend much time with the younger scouts. It happens with age and they need some time by themselves. I try to remind my wife that you won't always be there to pick all of the pebbles off of the road of life for our boys. Scouts have been the best thing for both of them because they can grow up, make mistakes, and learn from their mistakes without an adult telling them what they are about to do wrong. 

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Bear with the following, it'll come together in the end.

My son is the oldest in the troop now. We have been in 3 different troops over the years (various reasons for switching, not pertinent here). When we were in our first troop he was one of the youngest scouts in a mixed age patrol troop. He tried several times to make friends with the older boys but they had no interest. The 'fumes' thing really make a difference between 11 year olds and 16/17 year olds. The young ones stuck together regardless of patrol. It was just the way it was. On occasion at the urging of the SM both groups and the one in the middle, 13-15 year olds, would do things together. Every now and again a young one would strike up a relationship with an older one. It was rare. 

In the second troop everyone was pretty much the same age. The issue here and what ultimately drove us away from it was groupings of scouts by schools. Since my son went to a different school than the rest he was constantly left out of things. Trips were planned based on 1 school schedule not that of the group. The guys hung out with each other, went to school together, played sports together, they were a patrol in the true sense. They weren't interested in adding a new guy, no matter how hard he tried. Facebook just made the 'being left out' even worse.

We finally found a home in troop 3. He was an older boy and Eagle in a troop that was rebuilding. He's a good teacher and the younger guys flocked to him. He also had friends that moved troops with us so he had peers to hang with as well. Unfortunately, some of the parents of the less popular middle and older boys decided that it was inappropriate for older boys to be friends with younger boys. They caused crap and actually broke up the troop. 

So, in my experience, no matter what type of troop you're in there is always going to be issues with boys getting along with each other. It is a good lesson for life. Learn to deal with interpersonal relationships in a safe monitored space. If parents step in to solve/fix their child's issues they rob their child of a lesson to learn, IMHO. At the extreme of parental stepping in a troop can be destroyed. 

My advice, do nothing as far as the troop goes. Teach your son about rejection and arm him with tools to help himself. I like the advice above - take a ball, book, your own deck of cards, etc.

 

 

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Have the boys pick their group of friends for a patrol and all this drama goes away.

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My scoutmaster would have reminded the older boys that a Scout is friendly and should invite the boy to play. Especially since he asked so nice. But you make it clear that he can play for 15 mins or so and then the boys can play by themselves again. I know because this happened to me. I was allowed to play but I also had to realize the older guys wanted to play with guys their own age. Everyone wins. 

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On 1/23/2018 at 9:41 PM, bsaggcmom said:

Learn to deal with interpersonal relationships in a safe monitored space. If parents step in to solve/fix their child's issues they rob their child of a lesson to learn, IMHO. At the extreme of parental stepping in a troop can be destroyed. 

"Interpersonal skills" is the number one thing scouts learn.  We can talk leadership and skills, but dealing with people is where scouts shines.  But I do love the canoe trips.  :)  

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9 minutes ago, fred johnson said:

 

"Interpersonal skills" is the number one thing scouts learn.  We can talk leadership and skills, but dealing with people is where scouts shines.  But I do love the canoe trips.  :)  

But a lot of leadership is interpersonal skills.

Either way, I strongly agree with what you say. This is also a difficult idea to get across to parents. Many see the only problems the scouts need to deal with are learning skills and dealing with things other than people, whereas the real rub, and fun, is dealing with people.

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