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Bobbys_mommy

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Good call - walking away is best.  There are lots of packs out there that function very well.  You only get a small window of time as a Cub Scout parent.  It's one thing to try to change a few things.  But, when it gets to this level, I really don't think it's worth your energy.  You're right to put this on the door step of others who dig into the issues.

For those of us that have been around for a while, the structure and behavior you describe of this unit are very unusual.  A single combined pack/troop committee is odd.  A committee that told the leaders not to come - very odd.  The district getting involved this directly is also very unusual.  Districts rarely get involved in internal unit operations like this - especially not field directors.  They don't call special meetings to complain about the unit.  There is a lot that is unusual here.  That's why you're getting lots of questions.

Best of luck!

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On 4/28/2018 at 4:12 PM, Bobbys_mommy said:

He was recently dual registered in a 2nd pack that is more geared towards special needs. Upon finding out, his cub master at his original pack started telling us this was a problem and it was not allowed.

Not to diminish all the other items going on with the pack.

I thought that the rule was clear. "A Scout may not multiple register in two troops." Registration Procedures Manual.

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Thanks Parkman. I agree with "a lot of unusual" things happening. Unfortunately it was our first experience and we did not know better for the first year-and-a-half.

Jameson, I've confirmed with multiple District Commissioners that dual registration is allowed, and according to the Guide to Advancement one pack/troop will be the "home pack" where advancement records are tracked because basically it would be too confusing to keep them at multiple units. The other pack does not collect full dues from the scout as registration only has to be paid once.

What follows is what the DC quoted to me:

This is from the guide to advancement.
 
Dual Registration. If a Scout has multiple registrations with units in different councils, his advancement records should be maintained in only one of the units. As he passes requirements in any other unit, the information should be relayed to his primary unit so only one advancement record is maintained. It is not possible to electronically consolidate data across different units in different councils. If advancement records are maintained in multiple units, then cooperation between the units will be required in order to generate the reports necessary to report and obtain the awards.

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It is important to remember that a unit doesn't have to do everything that BSA allows. BSA allows dual registrations. It does not require either one of the units to accept a dually registered scout. 

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Understood David. But that does not excuse an adult leader bullying a special needs child. That is why this had to be taken to a district level.

I think we may very well be coming from very different experiences. Sounds like perhaps district has been involved to the detriment of a unit in your personal experience. I'm sorry if that's the case. I think they should be there to help in circumstances that warrant it, but not be detrimental to a well-running unit.

If a pack chooses to not allow a dual registered scout, they should say so straightforwardly. Allowing/making excuses for an adult leader treating a child in such a manner that the child is cowering under a table to hide from said leader is unacceptable in any circumstance. If my child was being targeted because of the dual registration, there were a lot of much more adult and respectable ways to handle it.

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If your child has been bullied, it is a direct violation of BSA Youth Protection policies, and should be reported immediately to the Council Scout Executive directly.  Call the Council Office and use the code words, "I need to speak immediately to the Scout Executive about a Youth Protection matter."  Do NOT deal with the Pack Committee, the Commissioners, or the District.  This will get their attention, believe me.  I take it from your posts that you are a registered Leader?  If so, you have no doubt taken the online BSA Youth Protection training, which is required of all adult volunteers.  Bullying a child is NEVER acceptable in the Scouting program, especially by an adult.  If you get no satisfaction from the BSA, you always have the option of contacting your local Child Protective Services.  

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Thank you scoutldr, that is who I've been drafting this e-mail too, after it was suggested here in some of the first responses.

Yes my husband and I were both registered leaders but we resigned last week. We felt that if our son were to continue at this pack, one of us would have to be by his side at all time, as one other special needs parent does with his son, and that wouldn't leave us the freedom of time for leadership responsibilities.

They were sad to lose my husband but just plain blaming me for reporting them. But like I said, Happy to be hated for this purpose. There was no way I was going to allow our son to be treated that way and not stand up for him, or worse have him see me not stand up for him.

I'm not looking for revenge here. I just don't want them to get away with it and/or do it again to another child.

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19 hours ago, Bobbys_mommy said:

If a pack chooses to not allow a dual registered scout, they should say so straightforwardly. Allowing/making excuses for an adult leader treating a child in such a manner that the child is cowering under a table to hide from said leader is unacceptable in any circumstance. If my child was being targeted because of the dual registration, there were a lot of much more adult and respectable ways to handle it.

I have intentional avoided discussing the behavior of the scout leader because, unless I have missed something somewhere, you haven't actually told us what he did. You have labeled it as harassment and bullying. You have described your son's reaction to it. But you haven't told us what he did.

I'm fine with that. I don't want to pry. I just don't want to jump to a conclusion about a scout leader, especially if I don't actually know what he did.

I agree that a scout unit should be very straightforward with its policies.  It won't end all disagreements, but it will resolve them more quickly and with less confrontation. That is one of the reasons why I prefer to discuss policy rather than talk about people and their personalities. 

 

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I'm happy to share David.

So our son got pushed around, knocked down by other cub scouts on a nearly weekly basis. When he would get frustrated by this, we had a process in place. He would come sit at the parent table with me, I would ask him if we needed to leave, he would ALWAYS say no. So we would then sit there, take some deep breaths, drink a little water, and once he had recovered he would go back to rejoin activities. All leaders were familiar with this process and we've been doing it for over a year. 

On the night in question, he was sitting at the table with me after being pushed around for the 3rd time. The cub master approached and began badgering him, "What are you doing over here??? Why aren't you participating??? Did you already do everything there is to do??? Did you do each activity already???"

At this point my son slid off the chair he was sitting in and crawled under the table to hide from cub master. But cub master continued, "Where the heck are you going??? What you can't talk to me now??? Fine, whatever!" Turned on his heels and walked away.

When he was gone, 2 parents who were sitting there and witnessed the whole thing said, "What the heck was that???" and "Was that his version of concern???"

I tried once again to help our son recover but this time when I asked him if we needed to leave, he responded yes for the first time ever.

On the way home he tearfully told us that he needed to talk to us about something when we got home.

When we got him he tearfully told us that he has tried and tried but he doesn't think he can go back there again.

This is a dedicated cub who has earned Wolf & Bear, along with Bobcat and 28 belt loops in under 2 years. Even the cub master says he is the best scout out of the bunch and he never has any problems with him.

So what I don't understand is why, if you've just approached a child and he is hiding under a table from you, would you not stop what you are doing and say "Whoa! I didn't mean to scare you" or something like that. Why go on badgering him? Why defend yourself as if you did nothing wrong and try to insinuate that is it was the 8-year-old special needs child's fault? When the child was sitting there, perfectly fine until he was approached?

I in no way was trying to keep this a secret, it's just honestly painful to think/talk about. It brings about a lot of emotions, to say the least.

This should ever have happened in the first place. Anyone working with children should know better. If I were in that situation, I don't care if I believed I had done nothing wrong, I would tell the child I'm very sorry, I did not intend to scare you, but I am so sorry that you got scared. Because I would be the adult in the situation.

Add to that the cub master's father acting as though he had to be held back from saying or doing something to me... This is not acceptable behavior IMHO. Something needs to be done to prevent it from happening again. This is why I feel so strongly about it.

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I should also add that I tried to take this up directly with the cub master first, after the meeting. But he screamed at me that he did nothing wrong and it was my son's fault and then hung up on me.

I have a friend who is a DC from another district. I asked him who should I report this to and he offered to forward my complaint for me. So that is why this went to the DC for our district.

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On ‎4‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 3:12 PM, Bobbys_mommy said:

 

Our boy has been a cub scout for 2 years now. He loves scouting. He is interested in nothing else, no sports or karate, just scouts.

 

Don't sign your son up for sports. 

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Posted (edited)

I'm just curious about the situation.

Was this at a den meeting?   Who is / where was the den leader?  

Is the cubmaster's father  a registered leader?  Why is he attending the meetings? Some of this sounds weird.

But in your situation, I would also make a break with that Pack, unless your Den is a good den and then I'd just go to your den meetings and stay the heck away from the Cubmaster.   Things can get tough in smaller towns and it can be a tough divide between homeschooling and regular school parents.  I hope you find a group that serves your family and that you have a great Scouting journey.   My older son (with ADHD) and my family had difficulty once with a person in our Troop, but that person got out of Scouting.  

I feel you are owed an apology and reconciliation by the Cubmaster.  But it also sounds like that is very unlikely.  So, take care of your family and make positive relationships wherever you can find them.  You don't want to be all alone out there, and there are friendly people in Scouting. 

As for taking it up the chain, that is OK to a point, but don't make it into a war.  The most important thing is finding the right, welcoming group for your son, and making as many positive relationships as you can so he and your family have a lot of community available to you.   In our Troop, there are many waves I could make, but I have to remember that it's not about me and my ideals.  My sons like their Troop and I don't want to undermine their experience by being a difficult parent.  So I really try to choose the things that are meaningful, and stay out of the way on many other things. While I help out, I am not a dominant parent in the Troop and I think that benefits my kids. 

 

 

Edited by WisconsinMomma

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Not planning on it David. He has no interest in sports. He's is cray into science-type stuff.

WisconsinMama, they don't have den meetings. The entire pack meets once a week.

Typically all of the boys are together regardless of rank because there aren't enough den leaders to separate them into dens.

The cub master's father is to my knowledge a registered den leader on paper, just because they don't have enough leaders, but he never has had anything to do with the cub scouts except to yell at them when they are being too loud.

The cub master's wife is registered for the same reason, even thought she never attends meetings. 

I certainly not about making waves, which is why I've bit my tongue for nearly 2 years. But this was the last straw.

We are done with this pack. They are in trouble. Most of the parents are not returning because they are sick of the lack of communication, finding out about things last minute like the day before, the lack of planning, I could go on and on, but we'd be here all day. That is why the district is going to lead this first committee meeting that the parents have been invited to. They are trying to address all the issues and prevent the pack from folding.

 I just need to get my son's records transferred which they are making difficult. 

I have to focus on my child, which is why I wanted to make sure that this was reported to the proper persons who can address it and prevent anyone from being treated this way again. I already have a new pack lined up for us to check out tomorrow evening.

We've had no issues at the pack we are dual registered at and have no plans to leave there. Our reasoning behind the dual registration is that the 2nd pack is very geared towards special needs, which our son has some minor special needs. I feel it is good exposure for him to be with other kids who have special needs. However they are all much more severe than his. I think this is a good thing. I think they can teach our son that while he has some struggles, there are others who struggle far more, and he can be a good friend to them and help them. 

But I also don't feel he needs to be restricted to only special needs kids. The original pack gave him the experience of being around more neuro-typical children. 

As I said he is not interested in sports or anything of the like. But he's all-about scouting, just as he is all-about science, and we don't hold him back when it comes to things he is passionate about. I purchase materials that are 2-4 grades ahead just to satisfy his thirst for knowledge in science/weather related topics.

 

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No den meetings?  You should walk away based on that alone.

As far as the Cubmaster "bullying", I wasn't there, but for him to come check on your son doesn't sound unreasonable.  From what was written, that doesn't sound bad, but of course I am not getting the tone.  When the child hid from him though, he should have changed course...

I will tell you that having a group of Scouters go against you is something that I have seen as well.  In a troop that we left, there was a complaint made about the Scoutmaster by another parent and the district was called in.  The District Executive told all of us in leadership that he would always side with a Scoutmaster over a parent, as he can find plenty of parents but not enough Scoutmasters!  My son changed troops for his own reasons, but I was shocked to hear this from the DE!

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Wow cyphertext. That surprises me as well. Maybe when they hear the same complaints from the other parents they will change their tune.

The parents are also pointing out that word is getting around at the school most of these kids are recruited from, so if they think they will just replace them with all new scouters next year, they will be very disappointed as not many will likely be willing to even give it a try.

The DE in our case was trying to be helpful. I think he is just young and in over his head. In the past the cub master has bragged to us (fellow leaders) about "putting the DE in his place" and "setting him straight".

I agree, things can be said and come out in a tone that was unintended but once a child is hiding under a table in fear, I would think common sense would dictate you stop and change course.

I just want my child's records transferred at this point but apparently that is not even going to be easy :(

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