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Jameson76

Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

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We have all been given 24 hours each day.  How we divide that up is up to the individual.  My interests and priorities are not the same as anyone else's.  If they have an interest and wish to volunteer for Boy Scouts, that's great.  If they have an interest and wish to volunteer for some other organization, that's great, too.  Everyone out there needs volunteers.  But then again, not everyone is interested in the same things.  I would prefer all those who volunteer for something have an interest in it.  Being coerced doesn't make anyone a good volunteer candidate.

I once had a pastor that told the education committee not to ask school teachers to teach Sunday School.  If they volunteered, fine, but don't ask just because they are teachers.  They teach every day, give them a day of rest on Sunday.  Same for me spending everyday in class with kids.  Maybe I would like to spend some volunteer time with people my own age for a change.

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Oh, by the way, as I said my wife's a trained teacher and every opportunity she gets she volunteers to do nature studies at the local conservancy and state park.  Where does she get the time?  She doesn't, it's part of our home-schooling for our children.  What can I say, teaching is not her interest, it's her passion.

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12 hours ago, Pselb said:

I'll take this as a sincere question.  Aside from a full time job and full time stay-at-home mothering, we are very busy with our children.  With three, they all have their own interests that need to be encouraged and supported as parents.  Our son happens to be interested in Cub Scouts because we are an active outdoor type of family.  Homeschooling i the areas of science and history take my summer vacation time to the limit where we do camping, fishing, nature hikes, plant identification, swimming conservation, etc. in the setting other than a traditional classroom.  Museums, historical places, and such fill up our history "lessons" with on-site learning from the docents.  With that in mind, we use the programs to enhance their home-schooling.  Socially, our children have church, youth programs (that they are interested in), independent educational programs, (nature conservancies, etc.) that they are meeting other people and interacting with them.

As far as us volunteering? Would it be suffice to say that if do not have an interest our children do, why should we volunteer?  We have OUR interests to pursue as well and volunteer elsewhere.  As my father used to say, We "do our own thing."  We have our interests and they have theirs and as a family we work out the details.

At our Pack level, my son has not been "short changed" in anyway because we as parents don't volunteer.  His den leaders don't ever comment that our lack of involvement has stiffed his getting out of the program what it has to offer.  If he has a question that we as parents need to address we do so, but that is very rare.  He seems to enjoy what he's doing and we get no complaints from the program leaders.  Does his involvement affect our family?  In many ways, our daughters have fun sewing onto his shirt whatever awards he might get.  If there's a family invite to the annual banquet, we as a family attend to support his involvement.

With the discussion on this forum tending to be rather negative towards the program, fortunately our son has not felt any impact with it.  I got on the forum when he started and only recently began to post.    With home-schooling on the rise in America and everything else in the youth world tending a downward spiral, it begs the question why?  I left out video games and cell phones as the only exception that is growing at an astounding rate.    As a teacher in a public school, I hear the comments from the schools and from forums such as this and constantly wonder why I want to jump into the fray.  Thus in the interest of my family and my responsibility towards it, I don't.

Like I said, your reasons are your own, so fair enough.  Most families don't feel that scouting is as big a part of their lives as my family does, and I'm fine with that.  I still find it incredulous that because you don't share an interest in something, you choose not to help make it better or at the very least feign interest.

Everything you're saying here and in your subsequent posts all deal with the direct "boy-facing" volunteer opportunities.  There are plenty of ways you and other parents can help besides teaching a class or giving a lecture.  By your own admission your family does plenty of other great activities, many of them outdoors.  Have you considered offering to help set up an outing to these areas? 

You say that the den and packs are running just fine without your help. While this may be true, I find it hard to believe that any pack would turn down additional help; especially a volunteer with knowledge of plant identification and other outdoor skills.  At every single roundtable or Scouting University, the most attended topics always center on how to get more parents involved.  Maybe your pack is the exception, though I doubt it.

 

 

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I can see both sides of the "babysitters" argument. I don't ask for a lot of adults, just good ones. That apllies to both Scouts and Sunday school.

We have built a heavily parent-dependent culture. That's on us. Other scout associations around the world make their older scouts run the cub programs.

My sons, as adults, were asked to help the youth soccer program. They were not asked lead a den. Think about it. Why doesn't NESA send every Pack CC a list of every adult Eagle Scout who currently lives in their neighborhood?

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2 hours ago, Pale Horse said:

Like I said, your reasons are your own, so fair enough.  Most families don't feel that scouting is as big a part of their lives as my family does, and I'm fine with that.  I still find it incredulous that because you don't share an interest in something, you choose not to help make it better or at the very least feign interest.  1*

Everything you're saying here and in your subsequent posts all deal with the direct "boy-facing" volunteer opportunities.  There are plenty of ways you and other parents can help besides teaching a class or giving a lecture.  By your own admission your family does plenty of other great activities, many of them outdoors.  Have you considered offering to help set up an outing to these areas?   2*

You say that the den and packs are running just fine without your help. While this may be true, I find it hard to believe that any pack would turn down additional help; especially a volunteer with knowledge of plant identification and other outdoor skills.  At every single roundtable or Scouting University, the most attended topics always center on how to get more parents involved.  Maybe your pack is the exception, though I doubt it.  3*


 

1* This is true, but if I'm not interested, why does it befall me to have to improve someone else's program?  BSA offers training for those that have an interest in the program as you and your family have.  Take the training and then the quality of the program will greatly improve.  The minimum of 4 years of training provides the basis for entry level professional teaching.  Then continuing education is required to keep the job.  That's a major time commitment that is added on to the already busy teaching schedule plus outside assignment grading, etc.  The way it appears on this forum, training is tantamount to strong arm-twisting if not flat out requirement with the pack's own existence being held hostage until it is.  I have no interest in "running" the BSA's program, nor the interest to be trained to do so.  I have had Youth Protection Training through my job as one who works with kids on a daily basis.  Yet I need to put in more time to do it "correctly" with the scouts?  I find reinventing the wheel is a waste of time.  As for feigning interest?  Isn't that a polite way of suggesting I lie about it?

2*  As I said, my wife and I do get involved in areas of interest and expertise for which we are experienced.  So why should I set up a program that is already set up by others?  The Conservancy has it's classes for school groups, church groups, adult interest groups and if asked they would probably set up classes for the scouts, and we volunteer to teach.  The state park does the same thing, as well the local historical society and other such programs.  I have an interest in teaching with the skills I have, but whether it be my volunteering or professional teaching, someone else with a lot more expertise sets these things up to begin with.  I create a test for the students, and email a copy of it to the school office letting them now how many copies I need.  Then by magic the tests are all printed out and in my mail slot.  I know how to run a copier, but there are people there that are trained, more proficient and are on paid time to do it.  I haven't the time to take away their employment time.

3*  As far as my son is concerned, the pack is running just fine.  As far as I know, I have no idea. 

I'm not trying to be a hard-nose about any of this, but from my perspective on this whole thing, it comes as friendly observations from the "outside" side of the program.  If this viewpoint is not welcome, I can find other ways to fill my busy schedule.  And if one were to sit and think about it for 5 seconds, my participation on this forum IS a way of being involved....   Like the semi-annual teacher reviews, when the evaluator sits in the back of the classroom and observes your teaching for a while.  They see things that no one else in the room sees, both with the teacher, the students, the lesson and the interaction going on.  Some teachers "fear" this process, I like it because it helps me improve in my profession.  Everyone is different.

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@Pselb You keep referring to Cub Scouts as "someone else's program".  Your son is in it, so it is his program, and since he is under 10, by default, it is your program too.  Like others have said, maybe you don't need to be the den leader, but you definitely have something to add to the program.  

By the way, my wife is also a teacher.  Although she wasn't the den leader, she saw the chaos of our first couple of meetings and helped me with planning the meetings to keep the kids engaged and under control...  She was my coach behind the scenes.  She was not a registered volunteer, but she added greatly to "my" program and it benefited all the boys, not just my own.  

She also has to run her own copies for her tests... no magically appearing in her box in this district.  :)

Maybe your son's den leader has the meetings well under control and doesn't need your help there, but could use help with planning an activity...  not asking you to create the activity, but you might suggest "Hey, the state park has this great program and it would be a great activity for the outdoor requirement.  I can email you the info on it."  Just sharing your experience or knowledge with the den leader may help as he is trying to find activities and things for the boys to do.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, Pselb said:

 

1 hour ago, Pselb said:

1* This is true, but if I'm not interested, why does it befall me to have to improve someone else's program?  BSA offers training for those that have an interest in the program as you and your family have.  Take the training and then the quality of the program will greatly improve.  The minimum of 4 years of training provides the basis for entry level professional teaching.  Then continuing education is required to keep the job.  That's a major time commitment that is added on to the already busy teaching schedule plus outside assignment grading, etc.  The way it appears on this forum, training is tantamount to strong arm-twisting if not flat out requirement with the pack's own existence being held hostage until it is.  I have no interest in "running" the BSA's program, nor the interest to be trained to do so.  I have had Youth Protection Training through my job as one who works with kids on a daily basis.  Yet I need to put in more time to do it "correctly" with the scouts?  I find reinventing the wheel is a waste of time.  As for feigning interest?  Isn't that a polite way of suggesting I lie about it?

2*  As I said, my wife and I do get involved in areas of interest and expertise for which we are experienced.  So why should I set up a program that is already set up by others?  The Conservancy has it's classes for school groups, church groups, adult interest groups and if asked they would probably set up classes for the scouts, and we volunteer to teach.  The state park does the same thing, as well the local historical society and other such programs.  I have an interest in teaching with the skills I have, but whether it be my volunteering or professional teaching, someone else with a lot more expertise sets these things up to begin with.  I create a test for the students, and email a copy of it to the school office letting them now how many copies I need.  Then by magic the tests are all printed out and in my mail slot.  I know how to run a copier, but there are people there that are trained, more proficient and are on paid time to do it.  I haven't the time to take away their employment time.

3*  As far as my son is concerned, the pack is running just fine.  As far as I know, I have no idea. 

I'm not trying to be a hard-nose about any of this, but from my perspective on this whole thing, it comes as friendly observations from the "outside" side of the program.  If this viewpoint is not welcome, I can find other ways to fill my busy schedule.  And if one were to sit and think about it for 5 seconds, my participation on this forum IS a way of being involved....   Like the semi-annual teacher reviews, when the evaluator sits in the back of the classroom and observes your teaching for a while.  They see things that no one else in the room sees, both with the teacher, the students, the lesson and the interaction going on.  Some teachers "fear" this process, I like it because it helps me improve in my profession.  Everyone is different.

#1: This isn't somebody else's program. This is your son's program.  You teach highschoolers, but I assume you're familiar with elementary education. When teachers assign projects, homework or spelling lists, you have to know that kids aren't going home and doing everything by themselves.  Absolutely zero science projects have been completed by 7 year olds with their parents off doing their own thing.  Parental involvement and assistance is needed then just as it is in Cub Scouts.  

#2: Nobody is asking you or anyone to recreate the wheel, but how do you think outings to the conservancy, state park, or historical societies take place?  Everyone just mysteriously knows where and when to show up to a place, and everything is ready for you?  No, a volunteer has to contact the location, reserve a time and then disseminate the information to other parents. Not a big deal, or anywhere hard to do, but when 40 families look to the same 4-5 people wearing uniforms to do everything, it becomes irritating.  More so, if we see that you're already doing these things with your family or volunteering at these locations. Honestly, it would be incredibly easy to put forth a little effort to "make the pack go."

#3 Have you attended any parent meetings to even know if the pack is running fine?

Every person's time valuable; any excuse that someone is "too busy" to help comes across as petty.  Our registered volunteers are all fully-employed in professional careers. 

 

Edited by Pale Horse
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1 hour ago, Pale Horse said:

Honestly, it would be incredibly easy to put forth a little effort to "make the pack go."

They did away with the Pack Law and now use the Scout Oath and Law...  I liked it better the old way!

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3 minutes ago, cyphertext said:
1 hour ago, Pale Horse said:

... Honestly, it would be incredibly easy to put forth a little effort to "make the pack go." ...

They did away with the Pack Law and now use the Scout Oath and Law...  I liked it better the old way!

Because @Pselb might not have been around when the Law of the Pack was extant, I'll pitch in and make his argument.

The full line read "The Cub Scout helps the pack go."

There was no mention of parents in The Law of the Pack. Except, when the parent is Akela, but that was to emphasize that the behavior that the Cubs were learning also applied at home, where their "Pack" was their family.

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5 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Because @Pselb might not have been around when the Law of the Pack was extant, I'll pitch in and make his argument.

The full line read "The Cub Scout helps the pack go."

There was no mention of parents in The Law of the Pack. Except, when the parent is Akela, but that was to emphasize that the behavior that the Cubs were learning also applied at home, where their "Pack" was their family.

True, but it also says "The pack helps the Cub Scout grow"... and that pack is a lot more than just the kids.  The point is, unlike Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts is not boy led and is not intended to be.  It shouldn't be his son's program, or some one else's program...

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Common sense is any youth organization staffed by volunteers like scouts, band, lacrosse, football, lego robotics, is gonna put the touch on parents to pitch in from time to time. 

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1 hour ago, cyphertext said:

@Pselb You keep referring to Cub Scouts as "someone else's program".  Your son is in it, so it is his program, and since he is under 10, by default, it is your program too.  Like others have said, maybe you don't need to be the den leader, but you definitely have something to add to the program.  

By the way, my wife is also a teacher.  Although she wasn't the den leader, she saw the chaos of our first couple of meetings and helped me with planning the meetings to keep the kids engaged and under control...  She was my coach behind the scenes.  She was not a registered volunteer, but she added greatly to "my" program and it benefited all the boys, not just my own.  

She also has to run her own copies for her tests... no magically appearing in her box in this district.  :)

Maybe your son's den leader has the meetings well under control and doesn't need your help there, but could use help with planning an activity...  not asking you to create the activity, but you might suggest "Hey, the state park has this great program and it would be a great activity for the outdoor requirement.  I can email you the info on it."  Just sharing your experience or knowledge with the den leader may help as he is trying to find activities and things for the boys to do.  

 

 

:)  My son IS someone else.  It's his program, not mine.  I support his interest in the program, not the program itself.  He doesn't seem to be having any issues and is excited to go back each time without a hassle.  Life is good.  If asked for my expertise and I am available, I will offer what I have.  So far those kinds of requests have not been forthcoming from the den leaders.  Instead they want me to BE a leader.  I haven't got the time to make that kind of commitment.  I'm from the old philosophy of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  My son is happy which means to him and HIS program, it ain't broken, and my meddling is not warranted.  You need to couple this with the discussion you have been having concerning helicopter parents.  Is this "involvement" the training ground for future helicopter parents when the boy goes on to Boy Scouts.  Next year my son will be in Webelos.  I have no idea whether or not there will be an increase or decrease expectation coming my way at that point.  I would think it would be ideally a decrease in expectations in light of what others on this thread are calling "boy led" down the road in Boy Scouts.

1 hour ago, Pale Horse said:

#1: This isn't somebody else's program. This is your son's program.  You teach highschoolers, but I assume you're familiar with elementary education. When teachers assign projects, homework or spelling lists, you have to know that kids aren't going home and doing everything by themselves.  Absolutely zero science projects have been completed by 7 year olds with their parents off doing their own thing.  Parental involvement and assistance is needed then just as it is in Cub Scouts.  

#2: Nobody is asking you or anyone to recreate the wheel, but how do you think outings to the conservancy, state park, or historical societies take place?  Everyone just mysteriously knows where and when to show up to a place, and everything is ready for you?  No, a volunteer has to contact the location, reserve a time and then disseminate the information to other parents. Not a big deal, or anywhere hard to do, but when 40 families look to the same 4-5 people wearing uniforms to do everything, it becomes irritating.  More so, if we see that you're already doing these things with your family or volunteering at these locations. Honestly, it would be incredibly easy to put forth a little effort to "make the pack go."

#3 Have you attended any parent meetings to even know if the pack is running fine?

Every person's time valuable; any excuse that someone is "too busy" to help comes across as petty.  Our registered volunteers are all fully-employed in professional careers. 

 

As I have mentioned earlier., my son is home-schooled so all of our parental time is devoted to his education (as well as 2 other daughters).  On the other hand what parents do with their kids in off-school hours is up to the parents, not the school.  We give out the assignments, they turn them in.  That's how the system works.  How is it a reflection on the student's learning if the material turned in is a result of the parents and not the student?  I see it all the time.  That's quite a disservice to the student.

10 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Because @Pselb might not have been around when the Law of the Pack was extant, I'll pitch in and make his argument.

The full line read "The Cub Scout helps the pack go."

There was no mention of parents in The Law of the Pack. Except, when the parent is Akela, but that was to emphasize that the behavior that the Cubs were learning also applied at home, where their "Pack" was their family.

Thank you, well said.

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13 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

Common sense is any youth organization staffed by volunteers like scouts, band, lacrosse, football, lego robotics, is gonna put the touch on parents to pitch in from time to time. 

I assume that this refers to organizations not associated with the public school system.  The clubs at our school are staffed by school employees who have expressed an interest in those areas.  If I need to do a field trip for a class of 25 students, I may ask a parent or two to help herd the group, but most of the time it is another teacher.  What other organizations do is of no impact on me.

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3 hours ago, Pselb said:

I'm not trying to be a hard-nose about any of this, but from my perspective on this whole thing, it comes as friendly observations from the "outside" side of the program.  If this viewpoint is not welcome, I can find other ways to fill my busy schedule.  And if one were to sit and think about it for 5 seconds, my participation on this forum IS a way of being involved....   Like the semi-annual teacher reviews, when the evaluator sits in the back of the classroom and observes your teaching for a while.  They see things that no one else in the room sees, both with the teacher, the students, the lesson and the interaction going on.  Some teachers "fear" this process, I like it because it helps me improve in my profession.  Everyone is different.

While I know there are a few "Scouter-retirees" lurking on this board most of the folks here have active skin in the game and experience in dealing with the actual issues...I do not think your comments amount to much effective feedback because obviously you have volunteered to be disengaged from scouting or, at your admission, really helping out because you have said you basically have better things to do. That is your right but it will irk folks who put in the time and grapple with the issues. Most teacher evaluators have some experience in teaching...if you say what you mean sit in the back of some pack or den meetings, make your observations, and then "improve the profession" face-to-face 'cause every Troop, Pack, and Den are different. 

And you know every den I was ever in that had a teacher...everyone gave them a lot of slack cause they knew they were really, really busy...but even then every one of those teachers (almost all of them were sponsors of clubs, had 2nd jobs, were pursuing degrees, had other kids) managed to help out now and again. 

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