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ournextadventure

Lone Scout Questions

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Hi all!

I need some guidance and don't really know where to turn, as we have not been involved in scouts before now. My son, who is 9 and homeschooled, is interested in becoming a scout, but for a variety of reasons, joining a troop is not an option for us. We did some research and learned about the Lone Scout Program. I called our local council (not sure if that's the right word?) to find out how to register as a Lone Scout, had some trouble connecting with them, sent an email, and made a follow up call two days later when I didn't hear anything. When I finally got a chance to speak with the man I sent the email, he said that he had forwarded my email to someone else who "is in charge of that area." Glad I called, as he didn't send me a reply to tell me he had pushed me off on someone else. 

He went on to say that he wasn't sure how this other man would want to handle this, as they only have one cub scout and two boy scouts who are Lone Scouts in the entire council. He didn't specifically say so, but his tone indicated that my son's prospects of becoming a Lone Scout are improbable.  I made a follow up call and left a voicemail for the second man, but have not heard back from him. I feel like I am not a priority to them and am kind of being given the run- around.  

Maybe I am reading into things, but if I'm right, why would this be? I was under the impression that Lone Scouting has a long history and was designed to encourage boys or families who, for one reason or another, are outliers to the regular troop process. Can we be denied? Is there any reason it shouldn't be an easy process? We did the same thing recently through Girl Scouts for my daughter (as they have a similar program) and they were really helpful and it was not a problem at all. Any advice? I'd really appreciate it!

Edited by RememberSchiff
clarity

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Your son is too young to be in Boy Scouts, but he could be in Cub Scouts as a lone scout.  So maybe that is where they are coming from, your son is not old enough to register as a Scout, but could be a Cub.

Have you looked at all the churches and schools in your area for a Pack to join?  I would probably approach the question as -- my child wants to be in Scouting, we have not found an organization to join, and we might want to pursue Lone Scouting (for whatever reasons) -- what do you recommend?  If they don't have a lot of experience with Lone Scouting they may just not have a lot of knowledge to share.  Read up online and if possible, talk to others who have done it.  It also might take you a while to find the right person.  Be persistent and polite in your follow ups.

Get a Youth Application and turn it in as a Lone Scout?  I don't see how they can turn down your application, to be honest.  

Good luck! 

https://www.scouting.org/commissioners/lone-scout/

https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2015/09/28/what-are-lone-scouts/

Here's a Facebook group for lone scouting:

https://www.facebook.com/LoneScoutingUSA/

 

 

 

Edited by WisconsinMomma

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If there's only 1 Lone Scout in your entire Council, it's probably reasonable to to assume that Packs are available for you to join. 

From https://www.scouting.org/commissioners/lone-scout/: "He applies for membership as an individual Lone Scout only if he cannot conveniently join a Cub Scout pack or Boy Scout troop".   Lone Scouts isn't really designed as a "we just want to do it by ourselves" option.  Not saying you are, but if you gave that impression in your discussion/emails with the Council, they know off the bat that it's not going to work.   

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Scout executives strongly discourage Lone Scouting. It doesn't really matter if it is the most appropriate choice for the boy. 

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Lone scouting is generally discouraged, and an option for those who cant join/find a troop,

as an alternative, you can find a pack/troop talk to the leaders about following their schedule and doing most of the activities on your own,

then can probably join the pack/troop on occasion for like outings and camp outs,

a big part of scouting is not just the activities but the comradery with other scouts,

and in Boy scouts it being scout lead , hard to do on your own.

 

 

 

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Greetings, Ournextadventure.  As has been said, "Lone Scouts" was originally designed/intended for kids that lived too far from a regular Cub Pack/Scout Troop to easily participate in the group.  I suppose your family's dynamic and desire might lead you to want to help your boy be involved in Scouting "alone", but understand that a lot of the activities involve multiple boy (!) involvement.  As a past "home schooler", I know how it might go. Our "child" (now a strapping successful 24 year old) went thru Scouting to his definite benefit.  As he benefited by his experience, so did his parents and those around us in our Scouting trek. 

I feel sure, with Scouting's desire to be accepting and inclusive, you can find a Scout Unit (Cub Pack and Den in your age group) that your boy might find a Scout home in.  Perhaps there are other families in your area that share your desire to have their children experience Scouting but also share your sensitivities for their children ?  Perhaps there is a possibility for you to found your own Scout Unit?  It has been done that way, I have seen it happen.   Scouting is a good thing, ultimately, and you , as parents, can adapt it for your child's benefit.  

Please use  Scouting dot com for your questions and let us benefit from your adventure ! 

See you on the trail... 

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23 hours ago, SSScout said:

As has been said, "Lone Scouts" was originally designed/intended for kids that lived too far from a regular Cub Pack/Scout Troop to easily participate in the group.

Lone Scouting was originally a program run by a completely separate organization, Lone Scouts of America.  It did not start as a program intended for BSA members who lived too far from a BSA unit.

Lone Scouting started as a program for working class city boys. The first Lone Scouts were newspaper boys from Chicago. 

 

 

Edited by David CO

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6 hours ago, David CO said:

Lone Scouting was originally a program run by a completely separate organization, Lone Scouts of America.  It did not start as a program intended for BSA members who lived too far from a BSA unit.

Lone Scouting started as a program for working class city boys. The first Lone Scouts were newspaper boys from Chicago.

Yep.  And then merged into the BSA as an opportunity for boys that might not live close enough to a regular Scout Pack or Troop.   See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lone_Scouts_of_America       for a good history. 

"Lone Scout"  is not usually promoted in urban areas, but can be pursued if you insist on it. 

 

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The interactions I have had with SE's regarding Lone Scouts are much of what has been described.  They are usually only approved when all other options are not available. They are not usually approved when it is just what the family prefers for one reason or another. 

 

I understand why you might not, but you will definitely get better answers here if you explain how you came to decided Lone Scouting was for your son.  

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23 hours ago, DuctTape said:

I thought Boyce started the lone scout program for rural boys?

That's what most people think.  BSA promotes that version of revisionist history because it fits with what they want to do with Lone Scouting.

The main difference between BSA and LSA wasn't urban/rural. It was middle class/working class. Boyce was a newspaper publisher. He learned that very few of his working class boys (newsboys, copy boys, etc.) were joining BSA. At first, he made efforts to convince BSA to reach out to working class boys. When that failed, he decided to form LSA to meet that need.

He was also concerned that BSA was becoming too adult run.

When word got out that there was now a scouting organization for working class city boys, many working farm boys also decided to join. Before long, the farm boys outnumbered the city boys.

 

 

 

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I realize the OP posted this in September, but I'm chiming in now to share what I've found in the last couple days

If you look at my post history, you'll see we've had some difficulties in pack structure and leadership, and our den meetings at our local pack had deteriorated.  Much more to the story, but it's a tl:dr.  We switched packs at the end of the school year.  With our new pack, we did all kinds of summer events, and my son was having a great time, but we didn't meet his den leader until very end of the summer.  That was the first warning bell.  So... fast-forward, and we've only had one den meeting so far this entire year.  This is the entire reason we changed packs: my son really wants to earn his Arrow of Light, like his brother did, but it wasn't and isn't happening with either of these dens.

I called council to see if we could set him up as a lone scout just so he can finish his last few requirements.  Their first question/suggestion was that we join another pack.  Ugh.  It's not exactly easy for many boys to fit into an existing group, and I don't really want to put my son through that again.  I suppose I could go through what  I did with the last pack - offering to plan and host den meetings, track the boys' progress, etc., but by the time things get sorted, I'm afraid it will be too late. 

I had only talked to the person in charge of registration, and he gave me our DE's number.  I left a message and haven't received a call back.  Pretty much what I expected.  No one likes to deal with this stuff.  Now what?  I don't know.  It seems like council and/or the DE is hoping that if they ignore me, I'll go away.  At this point, it's really freaking tempting to have my son do the requirements and hand him the Arrow patch whether it's officially recognized, or not.

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9 hours ago, swilliams said:

 At this point, it's really freaking tempting to have my son do the requirements and hand him the Arrow patch whether it's officially recognized, or not.

You do realize you don't need to be a Lone Scout to work on requirements outside of Den Meetings?

Do the requirements, have your son talk to his Den Leader about them and get them signed off.   

Edited by Pale Horse
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@swilliams   Is your son currently in the 5th grade?  Is there a separate Webelos den for 4th graders?  If so, both dens are actually Webelos dens and he can meet with either (if the den leader of the den for 4th graders is agreeable).

Like @Pale Horse says, most Cub Scout requirements can be done on your own (outside of den meetings).  Do the requirement, then have your son talk to his Den Leader about what he did, and get it signed off.  Even better is if he takes pictures to show what he did.  This is actually good practice for when he joins a troop.

As another option, talk to the Cubmaster / Pack Committee Chair about taking over as the Webelos Den Leader for the 5th graders.

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