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beaglelover

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Trying to decide if we should find a new Pack or give the one we are at some more time, would appreciate some advice

Moved to anew pack mid-year (DEC) due to a job move.  Old pack is hours away, so not an option.  We were very involved in our old pack (CC DL), and were hoping to be involved here.  However, the reception we have received has given us the impression our help is not wanted.  We have volunteered several times, but are generally dismissed as thank you not needed.  The one project they did include us on was extremely frustrating, with no direction on  what they wanted that left us scrambling at the last minute to pull something together b/c after months of hearing nothing back on our questions we assumed they did not want us to do anything.  We tried our best, and thankfully it was not that important as it was just decorations for an event, but we felt bad it did not look better.

 

Anyway, after all this, spouse and I decided to step back, stop volunteering for stuff and just participate as parents.  We are somewhat disappointed by this, as we had very much enjoyed being involved before.  However, neither of us are interested in spinning our wheels or trying to force our way into a group that does not want us.  We honestly have no idea why we ' seem to fit in with this group (they have always been very polite when turning us down), but it is becoming clear we just don't.  The Pack apparently went through some stuff last year, including ousting a Cubmaster and others that supposeldy got ugly, but I have only heard bits and pieces about this.  

 

Anyway, we had planned on just accepting not being involved, when now our son has started complaining about being bullied at scouts.  He is admittedly an only child and is pretty sensitive. Some of it is pretty typical (they called me names, they would not let me play the game with them).  Others were a bit more concerning (a plan to do something they weren't supposed to do, and then blame it on him).  Further complicating the issue the person our son named as the ringleader is the Cubmasters son.  Most of the scouts involved appear to be from the older dens, so it has mostly been happening at Pack functions (campout, daycamp, etc.).     Because of our "adult" issues, we have been somewhat hesitant to bring this up to pack leadership.  So far they have always been polite, but I have no idea how they would react to this.  

We were content just to stay with this Pack b/c we thought our son liked it, but now that he has been having problems, we are having some doubts.  When we ask him if he wants to move packs, it varies from maybe (directly after camp) to I don't know (a few weeks later).  I ask if he is having fun at scouts, and he says yes, but adds he had fun at all his packs.  If we did move, it would be his 4th pack in 2 years (we moved packs in our old town after his Tiger year, but pretty much the entire den moved as well, so it did not really FEEL like moving packs).    The one thing he is consistent about it liking his old pack better and wanting to go back to them.

Anyway, just wanted some outside opinions.  We don't want the fact that my spouse and I are unhappy with the Pack to influence the decision.  We want it to be about what is best for our son, not for us, but it is hard not to let our feelings color it.  This is further complicated by the fact our son is somewhat wishy-washy about making decisions--one of reasons we wanted him to try scouts!   Admittedly, if we are going to go, now seems like the time to do it since he has not really made friends with anyone in his den (at camp, he hung out more with the kids in the den below his).  But these are the kids he goes to school with.  He has also struggled to make friends at school, and we were hoping scouts would help him with that like it did in our old town, but it just has not worked out that way.  Maybe it is the fact we went from a small, rural town to the suburb of a large city, but the kiddo  has had a much harder time adjusting after this move.  

Most of all, I just don't want our son to start disliking scouts. I feel like scouts really helped him with some of his anxiety and confidence issues in our old town. He has already started disliking school due to issues there.    I realize that moving pack is no guarantee--we could walk into an even worse situation, especially since we don't really know any of the other area Packs.   We could possibly try to visit other packs this summer to test them, but I am also pretty sure that us doing so would get back to our current pack.  So I am torn as what to do, give  it more time to see if things work out, or make a break for it now when it will cause the least disruption.  

 

 

 

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A constant dislike of scouts right after the meetings isn't the best sign. Assuming he's going into the 3rd grade, kids of that age still don't seem to be great at self reflection to figure out if they would be happier somewhere else. There might also be some issues that are happening at school that are feeding into the stuff happening at scouts if its the same group of kids. It can't hurt to at least look at some other packs.

In addition, the pack leaders turn down volunteers seems like a not great sign. I'd probably have a heart attack if a parent came up and asked to be assigned more work, not brush them off. They might be gun shy if they just had a big leadership change, but still.

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Never be afraid to shop around. Also never be afraid to and try your best at keeping your eyes open at self examination. 

Sometimes it's the unit. Units are good fits for some folks and bad fits for others. 

Sometimes it's us. We're too "us" and we need to change what we're doing. 

But again, it never hurts to see what other units are around. And even though I hate the thought of a kid leaving scouts, sometimes you need a break. I would rather someone take a year off then get frustrated to the point where they don't ever want to be a part of it again. People try to give the impression that you have to be in it from Lion to Eagle, but really you need to do what is best for you. Malraux has a good post too. 

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Hmm.  I want to say this kindly.  It seems like your son struggles a bit in social situations— Scouts and school are mentioned as being difficult for him.  I appreciate that you want to help him grown and build those skills.  However, I’d look at ways you can do that within this pack.  Nothing you’ve mentioned sounds too egregious, and it might be really good for him to see that he can work through difficulties.

you say the problems happen when he’s with the whole Pack.  Can you stick closer to him at those times?  Or make sure there are more structured activities in place?  Also, can you help him figure out how to handle these situations?  Don’t just tell him what to do, but give him the chance to role play and try it out.  

I don’t think he should stay ina terrible situation, but I’d try to work it out before I encouraged changing packs.

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Oh, he is definitely socially awkward.  It is an area he has always struggled.  This, along with some other personality traits, are likely always going to make him a target for bullies.  It is one of the reasons I expect school to only get harder as he gets older.  It is also the reason I really hoped scouting would be an oasis for him.  

I guess I am mostly wondering if anybody has had a similar situation that started as rocky as this, but ended up being positive.  

 

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Ask your DE about other units. They may know of adults who run a safe program. I know personally the DE helped bullied scouts in our district by advising parents of more accepting programs. Two of those very awkward scouts are now Eagles.

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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2 hours ago, beaglelover said:

Oh, he is definitely socially awkward.  It is an area he has always struggled.  This, along with some other personality traits, are likely always going to make him a target for bullies.  It is one of the reasons I expect school to only get harder as he gets older.  It is also the reason I really hoped scouting would be an oasis for him.  

I guess I am mostly wondering if anybody has had a similar situation that started as rocky as this, but ended up being positive.  

 

Yes. I once had a very socially awkward boy on my football team. The boy understood from the get-go that it was going to be difficult, but he had made a conscious decision to bite the bullet and stick it out. It did help him to make friends with the other boys (who he might not have otherwise gotten to know).

I think it is important to emphasize that this was his decision. It wasn't something that was forced on him.

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On 6/28/2018 at 4:58 PM, beaglelover said:

Oh, he is definitely socially awkward.  It is an area he has always struggled.  This, along with some other personality traits, are likely always going to make him a target for bullies.  It is one of the reasons I expect school to only get harder as he gets older.  It is also the reason I really hoped scouting would be an oasis for him.  

I guess I am mostly wondering if anybody has had a similar situation that started as rocky as this, but ended up being positive.  

 

This year, in my Tiger Den, I had a kid who was pretty awkward.  His den mates were fine, but I knew he was having a few issues with other kids.  I pulled them aside (both were Bears) and told them I’d heard some dreadful news!  Someone was picking on one of my Tigers!  I played it up, said I came to them because they were so responsible, etc.  Asked them to be my “bully patrol”, and we practiced the way they would discreetly come and find me if there were any problems.  Lo and behold, the bullying stopped. ;)

The trouble is, though, that takes the leaders buy in.  I’d say, as a teacher, I wouldn’t label a kid that young as socially awkward— lots of kids seem weird but then they turn it around.  Maybe by next year things will have changed a bit.

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