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Fat Old Guy

Parental involvement?

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I've heard a number of SMs say, "We tell the parents that if they aren't willing to be involved that they had better find a new troop."

 

Sounds good, doesn't it? Get the parents involved. Have lots of help. Right?

 

Nah. Don't think so. Quite often, the kid with the parents who aren't involved and aren't willing to be involved are the ones who need Scouting the most.

 

There are Scouts in my troop (yes, my troop) whose parents I wouldn't want involved with the troop beyond bringing soda to Christmas party. These kids need to see that there are people out there that care about them and they need positive role models. Scouting may be the best place for that.

 

 

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I've heard a number of SMs say, "We tell the parents that if they aren't willing to be involved that they had better find a new troop."

 

And then there are us moms who want to get involved when asked to but end up labeled pushy moms. And all we need to do to earn that title at times is simply be a mom who completes and turns in an app!

 

As for good role models, isn't that what the approval process is about--trying to screen applicants and avoid problems. That said, we are learning the hard way that when the applicants aren't met with and interviewed and checked out that the unit suffers for that.

 

I agree with you about the need for good role models and that Scouting may be the best place for that for many.

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On the flip side, our troop has parents who have nothing better to do! Why should I and my fellow compadres use our vacation days to get ready for campouts (the overall logistics ... the boys take care of the details) when there are parents who can assist in this matter? Why should I and the other Scoutmasters in our troop spent time in the troop meetings, the campouts, the trainings, etc. and have to attend the Committee meeting because we don't have enough parents to help? Why should the scoutmasters spend the troop time collect all of the permission slips, health forms, etc. for every campout (I know ... I know ... the boys should be doing this, but we are not that far along with the boy-led idealology yet)? Why should the scoutmasters arrange for the reservation of the campsites, tour permits, etc.? Why should the scoutmasters take on the fundraisers (I had to lead the popcorn drive this past year because no one else wants to do it!) Why should the scoutmasters be the only ones signed up as merit badge counselors in the troop? This is what the scoutmasters in our troop had to do before we required the every parent has to do something for the troop is his/her son is a scout. You know the details of what a parent could do to help the troop. We all know the usual excuses ... "I'm too busy!" "I have to work late!" "I have younger child!" "I don't know anything about scouting!" "I have a long commute!" "They are involved in too many activities!" etc. ... My normal response is "I have 3 boys. On their own choices, they take Tae-kwon-do, piano, swim team, and scouting. I drive 41 miles one way to work. I work 50-60 hours a week. My wife works full time as well. As you are, I don't have the time, but I make the time and it is a very well spent time with my sons and their friends!"

 

I guess that I could have as easily chosen to drop my son off and come back and pick him up. The wealth has to be shared by everyone. Also, I noticed that the boys who have parents actively involved tend to go further in scouting than those who don't. Of the 23 boys who came in with my son a year ago, we have 14 left. Of the 9 who left the troop, only 2 have parents actively involved in our troop, one of whom is one of our ASMs ... a good one, too!

 

We wouldn't go as far as to say, "We tell the parents that if they aren't willing to be involved that they had better find a new troop." But then again, after seeing a couple of these parents, I don't want them to teach my son or the boys!

 

In your case FOG, I empathize with you. Your situation calls for different measure. Sometimes, parents can get in the way! But a troop cannot function well and efficiently with only a handfull of folks ... two handfulls ... yes, but with less than a handfull, the word "burnout" comes to mind!

YIS,

1Hour(This message has been edited by OneHour)

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We ask all families of boys who join the troop to provide one adult in a leadership position for the first year. Most of these become committee members, while a few may become ASMs. The purpose is so that they will understand what it takes to run the troop and to gain an appreciation of Scoutings Aims & Methods. They get to serve on BORs and participate in activities according to their interest level. Overall, I believe it strengthens their commitment to Scouting and will help reinforce it with the boys.

 

Now, if a parent says 'no', would I kick the boy out. Absolutely not. Thankfully, I haven't run into that yet.

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We invite all parents to share in the fun of scouting with their sons. We as adult leaders take time at scout meetings and events to get to know as many parents as possible. When we discover parents with skills, resources, characteristics that we evaluate as useful for delivering the program we encourage them to come play the game of scouting with us. We currently have 14 committee members and 7 program leaders That represents about 40% of the families in the troop. We don't have 31 responsibilities to give to the others to do. As a new need comes up we will find the adult or adults best suited to do the job and invite them to come play.

 

Laurie quotes a poster as saying ""We tell the parents that if they aren't willing to be involved that they had better find a new troop.".

 

Personally I would never join a troop that had the rudeness to say such a thing to me. What do they know of my life, my skills, my time availability, my other responsibilities? Just because they chose to be a scout leader don't presume to order me what to do. If you want an adult to help then find them a job that fits their abilities and interests, invite them to join in, train them, give them the support and resources available to succeed and make it fun for them.

 

We have enough bosses in our lives, how arrogant of a scout leader to assume he or she is one of them.

 

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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"We tell the parents that if they aren't willing to be involved that they had better find a new troop."

 

Patience...I was not involved with the troop for the first year of my son's Boy Scout career. I was gently "worked on", and the next thing I know,

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Satan just called, he's concerned about the weather down there because Bob White and I agree on something.

 

 

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We simply invited all parents to participate in some way. Generally the rule was, at least, one event (or project) per year. If they had special time restraints, then we could always work to get the job done.

 

The response was overwhelming and we never knew how well some parents with so little time or money could take on one project and do so much.

 

If anybody needed assistance with their project, they could ask for and get it. The help would come from parents that took more than one job.

 

At our Annual Dinner, we would line people up across the auditorium and hand out certificates and tell about their job(s) that year. I was always amazed. I will always be appreciative of their work.

FB

(This message has been edited by Fuzzy Bear)

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I like the way Kiwanis does it. I've been in a couple of different clubs. Generally, after joining the club, someone hands you a form and asks "Which committee would you like to be on?" Not checking a box is an implied non-option. Some actually assign you to a committee and that's not as effective.

 

Perhaps asking a parent to chose from a list of tasks or jobs is a good way to go.

 

Unc.

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" Generally, after joining the club, someone hands you a form and asks 'Which committee would you like to be on?'"

 

However, there is a difference between the Kiwanis and the Scouts. In Scouting, the boy is joining the Troop and the parent isn't, at least not up front.

 

 

 

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this is boy scouts the parents do not need to hold there kids hand. and leaders should not expect the parents to

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