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cocomax

Lawnmower Parents

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2 hours ago, perdidochas said:

No, he's saying that we shouldn't add on unnecessary rules because of the parents that are doing things for their kids.

Damn, I wish this campfire was real and not digital.

 

First, when I say "we" I mean American society, and at some points also some Scouting activities I have observed.

Second, I have observed situations in Scouting and school were rewards / accomplishment were given based on criteria that could only be achieved with a significant level of parental / adult control - well beyond just input or mentoring.

The OP started this mentioning the "2am Saturday morning a group of dads were busy building the award winning pioneering project while the boys slept." If, instead, the Camporee disallowed that award based on who built it - it would be a better camporee.  By giving the adults that award, however, that Camporee rewarded the lawnmower parenting that the article described.

The same occurs in the schools. It is not the assignment of the projects, it is when the ONLY way to get top marks is to have a parent take over that we enable and encourage lawnmower parenting.

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19 hours ago, Horizon said:

The OP started this mentioning the "2am Saturday morning a group of dads were busy building the award winning pioneering project while the boys slept." If, instead, the Camporee disallowed that award based on who built it - it would be a better camporee.  By giving the adults that award, however, that Camporee rewarded the lawnmower parenting that the article described.

Camporees when I was a youth were different from the camporees of today. They were a very serious competition that ranked troops in the district. Horizon reminded me that we spent 4 saturdays in a row practicing skills for camporee. We were experts. Not just our patrol or troop, but all the patrols and troops in our area. Talk about patrol pride, carrying the patrol flag was a respected responsibility.

Looking back, our finely honed skills were driven by the ambitions of the adults, and maybe older scouts. I imagine that was the case for all the troops. And we resented it to a small degree until we competed against the other patrols of the district. We were quite proud of ourselves as we competed against patrols of other troops. We were good, so where they. The difference between winners and losers were often just a few points or couple of seconds. But reflecting on this subject, I wonder if our adults back then would be considered lawnmowing adults. If so, it was pretty much all the adults in district. 

Of course there is a vast difference between how the adults then drove their ambitions back then compared to todays adults, I still retain most of the skills that were driven in me at age 11. And we never saw adults during the camporee competitions. It was a scout thing. As much as the adult wanted to watch, they stayed in their campsites. We were on our own. We were always on our own. 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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19 hours ago, Horizon said:

Damn, I wish this campfire was real and not digital.

 

First, when I say "we" I mean American society, and at some points also some Scouting activities I have observed.

Second, I have observed situations in Scouting and school were rewards / accomplishment were given based on criteria that could only be achieved with a significant level of parental / adult control - well beyond just input or mentoring.

The OP started this mentioning the "2am Saturday morning a group of dads were busy building the award winning pioneering project while the boys slept." If, instead, the Camporee disallowed that award based on who built it - it would be a better camporee.  By giving the adults that award, however, that Camporee rewarded the lawnmower parenting that the article described.

The same occurs in the schools. It is not the assignment of the projects, it is when the ONLY way to get top marks is to have a parent take over that we enable and encourage lawnmower parenting.

I'm a former high/middle school science teacher.  My sons always did miserably in science fair. Why?  I did very little, and let them do it, while the other parents did the majority of their children's projects. That said, I'm happy that I did that, not because my sons lost, but but because they did it, not me.  I have never liked Camporees, in general. Partly, it's because I hate watching how other Troops were not as Scout led as we are.  One incident that really bothered me was a pumpkin chucking competition we had.   The boys were supposed to build a pumpkin chucking catapult between 8 and noon, and then in the afternoon we would have the actual pumpking tossing competition using the catapults.  Our boys managed to cobble together something that worked.  Didn't toss the pumpkins far, but did toss them, and was built by the boys with no   adult input (did have a couple older--17yr old scouts).  They lost miserably in the competition, and it was to troops that pre-built their catapults carrying them on a trailer to the site, and with much adult input.  No disqualification, nothing said to the cheating troops.  Just turned me off more. 

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Camp-o-ree event that I have seen in person, a few months ago.

Rocket Launching Contest: (Lawn Mower Scouter Style)

Goal, scouts launch a solid fuel model rocket and try to land it closest to a marked target area. The patrol that lands their rocket closest to the target wins the contest.

No farther instructions are given to the scouts, other than "stand in line over there."

An adult (event staff and wood badge trained) loads a rocket engine into the rocket.

An adult (event staff and wood badge trained) packs the wadding and rocket recovery device.

An adult (event staff and wood badge trained)  installs electric rocket engine ignition device.

An adult (event staff and wood badge trained)  places rocket on launch pad.

An adult (event staff and wood badge trained)  aims launch pad to adjust for wind.

An adult (event staff and wood badge trained)  hooks up micro clips to the igniter.

An adult (event staff and wood badge trained)  picks one of the scouts to launch the rocket.

An adult (event staff and wood badge trained)  pushes the safety button to allow the launch button to work.

SCOUT PUSHES BUTTON!!!   

Another adult (event staff) measures the distance to target that the rocket landed and carries the rocket back. 

Later that night at the campfire (after the very long and boring Wood Badge part of the camp fire) an award is given out to the patrol that landed closest to the target. 

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Well, on the plus side, girls get to push the button now. 

The WB beading is symbolic of the problem with today's adults. I have never understood adults wanting to do this. 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad
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17 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

The WB beading is symbolic of the problem with today's adults. I have never understood adults wanting to this.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to experience Scouting adventures alongside my son and his troop friends. But it is clearly their program while I am along for the ride. Wood Badge transforms the program to have the adults playing the game - that just seems awkward and weird to me. I don't even notice beads - if they are worn at all, any perceived prestige is entirely lost on me. Frankly, I want to spend as much of my limited Scouting time as possible with the boys, and I seek to spend as little of my Scouting time as possible with other adult Scouters doing things like Wood Badge.

Edited by gblotter

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1 minute ago, gblotter said:

I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to experience Scouting adventures alongside my son and his troop friends. But it is clearly their program while I am along for the ride. Wood Badge transforms the program to have the adults playing the game - that just seems awkward and weird to me. I don't even notice beads - if they are worn at all, any perceived prestige is entirely lost on me. Frankly, I want to spend as much of my limited Scouting time as possible with the boys, and I seek to spend as little of my Scouting time as possible with other adult Scouters doing things like Wood Badge.

Yes, this was something that started between when I left the troop in the mid 70s and started again in the early 90s. What were they thinking? I remember getting very angry the first time I saw a beading at camporee. I then saw one at the Blue and Gold and a Crossover. I've not seen it, but I've heard of them at ECOHs. Shesh, can adults think of other ways to make scouting boring and drive the scouts out of the program!

Now you've done it, you pushed a button. :dry:

Barry

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What is weird is when I was a scout in the 1970's  I never once remember hearing the words, "Wood Badge". I was a scout for 6 years and had no clue what wood badge was.

My scout master had a funny looking neckerchief slide made of leather and some beads, but he never once talked about what that was. 

I knew all about the Order of the Arrow, we all thought that was a really cool group. 

Now days scouts and scouters hear about wood badge all the time.  At distinct events and summer camp wood badgers will stop scouters at random and spread the good news of wood badge, and the scouts have to listen again and again to the same old story of how life changing wood badge is. . . (the truth is they need warm bodies at the next wood badge class and this wood badger has a ticket that a goal to recruit X number of scouters to go to wood badge)

I can't remember a camp-o-ree that I went to over the last 7 years that did not have their camp fire taken over by wood badgers.  It really spoils the camp fire for the scouts, it is boring to everyone to listen to the same old speech about how great wood badge is and how to sign up today, followed by a bunch of mean spirited inside jokes (possibly off colored, I don't know) and name calling and hazing between the wood badgers, I can never make heads or tails of it. The wood badge program always seems to run about 45 minutes. 

The worst is when they subject CUB SCOUTS to this non-sense. The poor cubs were expecting a fun camp fire program and they end up with a SURPRISE wood badge beading campfire program,  instead. 

     

Edited by cocomax

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26 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

The WB beading is symbolic of the problem with today's adults. I have never understood adults wanting to do this. 

That is the truth.  We had one leader who had the beading ceremony, took an excruciating 45 minutes.  Go get trained, enjoy, but WB is not in fact why we (leaders) are around.  But so many adults are involved doing purely adult things and consider that Scouting.  Which it is in some cases.  Some non unit facing work is needed, like District EBOR, recharter, training, large fundraising, etc.  There is however a good deal of adult involvement that merely begets more adult involvement.  The rocket thing is a great example of adults who simply do not get it.  They are not really there for development of Scouts, they are there to run things RIGHT dang it.

We had a camporee where troops handled/manned events.  In this case expectation was leaders staffed the events, scouts went and did stuff.  Our unit did a station with three events, we gave minimal direction, Scouts figured out what to do, they did stuff, we watched from afar and tallied.  Our guys went to some where their feedback to us was, we did , in this case lashing,  for 20 minutes, then some old guys yelled at how wrong we were for 20 minutes and made us watch him do it right.

We don't do a lot of camporees

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Just now, gblotter said:

We don't do ANY Camporees.

Well...technically we don't either, I was being kind.  Honestly that was our lowest attended events.  We dropped the Spring camporee about 8 years ago, during planning the Scouts asked if they had to go, we said it's up to you guys.

The district has a winter event we would do, but honestly has not changed, or been revised, since it started.  Has a really cool 20 page guide.  The update seems to be changing the date on the cover.  During planning last year they asked if we had to attend that, we again said nope, so we went backpacking.

Bottom line Scouts were not interested

Changing from Camporee to other events - Attendance in that month is up 400%

Changing from winter event to backpacking - We doubled the attendance

Now...before you comment..."Well maybe if you guys helped plan them, they would be better".  That is a valid point.  We have discussed that option.  Challenge is you have the double edged sword of the OA Cabal and the WB Cult that run these things in our district.  I am here to tell you, just the safety overview for the weekend was 30 minutes.  It's not like we don't do maybe 30 nights of camping each year, we've got this.  So we decided life is too short to fight that battle and went our own way.

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What's a camporee? Oh, you mean a district gathering with some funky theme for demonstrating unusual skills like starting fires without matches (Oh, and model rocket ignition button pushing competitions). 

AND, they are typically planned by the troop with an adult completing A WB TICKET ITEM.

OK, hold me back. :mad:

Barry

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14 minutes ago, gblotter said:

We don't do ANY Camporees.

Have we got a camporee for you guys ... 

Advance Camp - arrive Friday night and  instead of conducting a bonfire as part of the camp, the Scouts will be turned loose on the amusement park. Spend Sat  earning meritbadges ( a long list). Meals provided. No patrol cooking, no patrol competition, no patrol method period. One night camp?

http://www.advancecamp.com

https://www.dailyrepublic.com/all-dr-news/solano-news/fairfield/facility-rentals-lead-way-in-solano-fairgrounds-revenue-swing/

 

 

Edited by RememberSchiff

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16 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

Advance Camp - arrive Friday night and  instead of conducting a bonfire as part of the camp, the Scouts will be turned loose on the amusement park. Spend Sat  earning meritbadges ( a long list). Meals provided. No patrol cooking, no patrol competition, no patrol method period. One night camp?

http://www.advancecamp.com

Our troop will be there at AdvanceCamp (along with thousands of other Scouts), and the boys voted enthusiastically in favor of attending the event (partly because of the amusement park adventure on Friday night). Meals are provided only for the staff and merit badge counselors. The boys do their own patrol cooking. It is a one-night camping experience (on Friday night) before earning merit badges on Saturday. So what? That seems better than just doing the merit badge workshop only (which is what would usually happen). AdvanceCamp is more akin to a regional Jamboree experience with merit badges - not a Camporee. If the event includes camping, cooking, fun, and advancement - and the boys vote for it - why is that worthy of sarcasm just because it doesn't fit the stale and rejected model of a District Camporee?

Edited by gblotter

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