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cocomax

Lawnmower Parents

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25 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

The problem is the motivation of raising numbers and instead of adding opportunities for growth. When a scout follows the guidelines of the MB process, he is required to communicate with several adults before he even meets the counselor. He has to inquire of details and record some of the details on paperwork that has to be submitted to another adult for approval. All those actions require scouts to make decisions and process information. MB courses and summer camp take almost all of that away from the scout.

To makes it worse, our district requires scouts to attend the MB College all day for 8 hours. So even if the scout wanted to take one class, he was stuck for eight hours. I found that appalling and complained. The reasoning is the staff didn't want to be responsible for tracking scouts coming and going. Once in their are in until time is up and all could leave.

MC Colleges and similar programs take the character growth out of the advancement process. They can be made to encourage character growth by following the BSA advancement guidelines, but most don't do it because scout growth isn't the motivation. Change the motivation and these programs will improve the quality of learning.

By the way, I did that and was told to go away.

Barry

Sure - taking a Merit Badge in a class setting like this reduces and perhaps even eliminates the benefit from the adult interaction.

If every merit badge earned at an event like this was replaced by a one-on-one experience with a counsellor I'd full agree with you.  However, I'd expect that for the preponderance of Scouts the lack of programs like these would instead result in fewer merit badges attempted and earned.  The net result would be fewer experiences for the Scouts. 

So - instead of not doing these, should we instead push to do these with better quality? I know you tried and were rebuked - but i think we keep trying.

Of course - the other angle is that individual troops need to have a program that involves more than attending colleges.  I suspect you underscore that in your trainings - but I'm not sure how many others do.

Edited by ParkMan
fixed weird double post.

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10 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Sure - taking a Merit Badge in a class setting like this reduces and perhaps even eliminates the benefit from the adult interaction.

If every merit badge earned at an event like this was replaced by a one-on-one experience with a counsellor I'd full agree with you.  However, I'd expect that for the preponderance of Scouts the lack of programs like these would instead result in fewer merit badges attempted and earned.  The net result would be fewer experiences for the Scouts. 

It's not just the one-on-one experience it's all the decisions and actions the scout has to initiate just to get to the counselor. The growth from the one on one with the counselor is just a bonus.

 

12 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

So - instead of not doing these, should we instead push to do these with better quality? I know you tried and were rebuked - but i think we keep trying.

Sure, of course. And for two reasons: One is to give scouts more opportunities for personal growth. The other is show unit leaders how they can also give scouts more opportunities for personal growth. 

I can't say it enough, units will drive their programs to mimic training and district level activities. Quality of the unit program is only as good as the quality of the district. It shouldn't be that way, but it is.

Barry

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4 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Sure, of course. And for two reasons: One is to give scouts more opportunities for personal growth. The other is show unit leaders how they can also give scouts more opportunities for personal growth. 

I can't say it enough, units will drive their programs to mimic training and district level activities. Quality of the unit program is only as good as the quality of the district. It shouldn't be that way, but it is.

Barry

Understood.

It brings me back to the conclusion that the right remedy here is to drive for quality at the district and council level.  Both in terms of things like merit badge colleges and also in things like training.  

The challenge I don't know how to address yet is how to get the really high quality unit level volunteers to help.

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On 9/4/2018 at 2:04 PM, cocomax said:

Please step aside Helicopter Parents there is a new, even worse form of parent taking the field. 

https://www.weareteachers.com/lawnmower-parents/

I know some scouts that are near getting their eagle that have their mom stepping in and speaking to the scout master and SPL on the their behalf, for easy things like if they were or were not going on the next trip..

I have seen moms acting as a buffer between between merit badge councilors and scouts, to really help speed things up.

I have been to Camp-O-Rees where at 2am Saturday morning a group of dads were busy building the award wining pioneering project while the boys slept.

So I have seen these take charge parents in the wild. . .  I just did not know it was such a wide spread thing.

 

 

Wow.  In my boys' former troop (former because they aged out, both after getting their Eagles), the SM or SPL would politely listen to the mom, and tell her, get your Scout to do this. We aren't doing this for him unless he asks.  As a MB counselor, I would tell the Mom to buzz off. The only thing I need parents for in MBC is to drive the Scout and/or be there for YPT purposes.  I've seen the same with pioneering projects. 

On 9/30/2018 at 12:26 PM, gblotter said:

We are a small troop of just 30 Scouts. I think we do a great job with the limited resources available to us, but our talent pool reflects the size of our troop. Taking advantage of a much larger talent pool at AdvanceCamp gave us exposure to some expertise we simply don't have in-house.

Sure - we can always "wing it" if needed, but it's inspiring to learn from true experts in the subject matter.

30 scouts is a medium-sized troop. A large troop is over 50, a small troop under 15. 

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59 minutes ago, perdidochas said:

30 scouts is a medium-sized troop. A large troop is over 50, a small troop under 15. 

Depends entirely on your local area. 30 would be a large troop in my neck of the woods.

edited: Just checked for accuracy. My district has six troops with under 16 Scouts (three of which are just single-patrol sized), two in the 20s, one in the 30s, one in the 40s, and one in the 50s. The average troop size is 22 Scouts.

Edited by shortridge

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I am the Lawn Mower parent, but that's only because Scoutson is now 24 and there is no one else to mow the lawn..... 

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1 hour ago, SSScout said:

I am the Lawn Mower parent, but that's only because Scoutson is now 24 and there is no one else to mow the lawn..... 

I know the pain all to well.  As soon as they are finally trained well enough to not need supervision every 15 minutes,  they pack the car up and leave. 

Bye, see you at Thanksgiving.  

 

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I gotta brag about Son #1. A family was in dire straits with their baby hospitalized for an extended period. So he swung by their place every week this summer and mowed their lawn. Once coming back from them he stopped and weed whacked at my place because I had injured myself the week before, and he was afraid I'd overdo it.

I have a lawnmower kid!

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I'm a push mower parent. Not nearly as loud or obnoxious as a lawnmower parent and I can also cut the lawn at 7am on a Sunday and not bother the neighbors.

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On ‎9‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 3:23 PM, Horizon said:

It exists, and we created it. Let me provide some examples.

Pinewood derby - when the winning car comes from the kid whose family has the tool set at home to build the perfect racer or art object. They get the awards, while the kids who actually did it himself goes home discouraged. The next year, other parents learn the rules of the game and take over.

Campsite pioneering projects - where the camp rewards the 2:00 AM dads, while the Troop of boys whose gateway is a lashed collection of random poles and lines (but with proper knots) does not place. The next year, adult leaders either take charge - or the Troop votes to not bother with that part of the contest.

Eagle projects - where someone at the Council starts adding requirements until the only way to get approved is to have a parent used to running RFPs, procurement, or large-scale construction projects involved. Eagle being marketed as the most important thing in the world means that parents quickly realize the only path forward is to take control.

I can give similar observations for science fair, the dreaded California Mission projects, or other ways the school issue homework that can only be completed to the teacher's satisfaction when parents become heavily involved

We can be the ones in the way, insisting on only working with the youth. BUT. We also must ensure that what we require is appropriate for the youth we are mentoring, and that we are not adding to the requirements in such a way as to make it impossible (or improbable) that a youth can complete on their own.

Had to trophy your post for this comment.  Our schools have a FaceBook page for each grade.  For the last week, every post from the parents has been about a particular assignment that there is no way the kids can complete on their own.  Some of the comments are hysterical, but the underlying issue is not.

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On ‎9‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 3:49 PM, Horizon said:

What I am saying, apparently not clear enough, is that when you force adult requirements on children - don't be surprised when they turn to adults to get it done.

What adult requirements are we (BSA) forcing on children?

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On ‎10‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 12:18 AM, MattR said:

I'm a push mower parent. Not nearly as loud or obnoxious as a lawnmower parent and I can also cut the lawn at 7am on a Sunday and not bother the neighbors.

You must live in a very arid region.   My grass never gets dry enough to cut until after 10:00 AM!

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Bring the whole family! (Parents are responsible for the supervision of their children)

I was told by someone from council that under the new family scouting guidelines parents are welcome to go on any scout outing they wish, because parents are welcome observers at all meetings and outings as they have always been. I was also told parents are welcome to bring any other family member, because we are now welcoming whole families into scouting.

I did see many young girls just hanging out at summer camp with their parents this year, so our summer camp is already being run as a family camp to some extent.

Also RVs and trucks were parked in the scout camp sites and I will see what looked like families having tail gate parties happening during the evenings at camp, I wish they would not have to play their music and TVs so loud.

One RV was running a very loud generator to power a microwave oven the parents had set up in the middle of camp.

Is this the new normal?

If that is what is being done at summer camp,  what is a simple weekend outing suppose to look like?

Is a 5 mile hike even possible anymore for most troops?  Many troops are here are already in family mode and only car camp, some are only day camping at the lake.

I am surprised at the rate that things are changing from "Boy Scout Troops" to "Saturday Family Tailgate BBQ Clubs (with easy mode scout style advancement)"

A lot of the mom's that I have been talking to love all the changes and love how they can now easily be part of their son's scouting program.  I have seen some mom's helping the scout cook their dinner and make sure they do everything correctly and don't make any mistakes. The super helpful moms even pack their sons camping suit cases for them.

The funny thing is most Girl Scout troops are run the same way. The mom's plan and do everything and the girls only get to help in small ways once in a while. The moms are happy and the girls are bored.

I know a few Girl Scout Troop that know how to scout and they are Greenbar Bill amazing because they have some old girl scouts leading things that know the old ways. It would be an honor to camp next to one of those Girl Scout Troops.

Many parents know that most boys quit scouting young so they push them hard to get eagle before age 14, so they can eagle out and check off a box on a college form later on. . . they never seem to blame the boring program the troop is running, they always blame the boys becoming more interested in girls and cars at age 15 as being the problem.  

It is really something to behold when you see a group of mom's take charge and run a scout camping trip. 

I  am seeing a lot of really happy moms and dads. . . and a lot of very bored scouts that mostly quit by age 14. 

I  think the group the BSA is trying hardest to cater to are moms, if they can make moms happy they can get the moms to put their kids into scouting.

. . .  and I think BSA is doing a very good job making moms happy. 

 

 

From Guide to Safe Scouting 2018:  Page 22

Family Camping
Family camping is an outdoor experience, other than resident camping, that involves Cub Scouting, Scouting, Sea Scouting, or Venturing program elements in overnight settings with two or more family members, including at least one BSA member of that family. Parents are responsible for the supervision of their children, and Youth Protection policies apply.

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On 10/12/2018 at 11:36 AM, SSScout said:

I am the Lawn Mower parent, but that's only because Scoutson is now 24 and there is no one else to mow the lawn..... 

I resemble that remark.  In my case, it's  Scoutsons are 18 and 20 and go to universities that are out of state. 

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3 hours ago, acco40 said:

What adult requirements are we (BSA) forcing on children?

I wondered that myself.  My sons could do the requirements without an adult (except for the signing off part)

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