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Webelos to Scouts Transition

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As SM I feel for your SM. I am in a similiar situation. We have 2 meetings with parents the first is a gentle discussion regarding boy lead, "don't do what a scout can do", "let the scouts teach each other" etc. Then I send some emails with great stoies of how scouting works and why its important to be hands off.

During the first camp out we get new parents that feel that they have to be there which according to BSA they can observe but we end up taking way too many cars and too many empty seats (like Cub Scouts). At the first dinner (adults are in a single patrol, we talk about not helping and letting them fail etc, also HIP (hands in pockets). Most get it but 1 or 2 do not. 

Then there are always the 1 or 2 that don't make it to parents meetings dont read mail or take home info. 

At summer camp the last 2 years I have had 10 - 12 adults argue that they need to be there (we have 35 scouts). I do my best to talk them out of it and but what can I do, We have a meeting before summer camp with the adults going where I spell out - We (SM and 2 ASMs) don't need help with the scouts, don't help them unless for safety reasons, I know you have skills but lets them teach, stay out of patrol ares, don't help the SPL with his leadership - I got this.

As soon as I get far enough away, then come back I find adults teaching square knots, telling the SPL to clean up this or that, putting their sons in charge of this or that or teaching axe and saw skills. 

When I pull them away to discuss boy led troop they either get it or they blow up in my face and tell me thats not how it works. Either way its uncomfortable for me to have this conversation 10 more times.

2 months ago I allowed a mom and her mom to go on a bike campout. WIthin 15 minutes they had both tried to take over from the scouts. When we came in a situation where there was an element of danger I asked grand ma to do what I ask her and the scouts to do. She refused saying "youre not the boss of me" . The next morning the mom was rolling her sons pants legs up and I pulled her and her mom over to discuss a better option. - Why don't we discuss this as a safety thing with the SPL and let him have the Pls help. She immediately jump in my face and said thats not how Boy Scouts works! Grandma stepped up too yelling at me, I did my best to help them understand but they continued to try to interfere. Grandma sent a note to the council saying that I was not being safe and let the scouts lead not the parents etc,, made up a few things too..

 

Sorry for the long rant but what I decided to do is to have any adult that will be attending a campout sign a contract signaling that they know and understand my role as SM and they will respect the boundaries, Signed and initaled in several places. CC has not let me use these yet.

 

 

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46 minutes ago, TMSM said:

- Moved discussion to new thread

As SM I feel for your SM. I am in a similiar situation. We have 2 meetings with parents the first is a gentle discussion regarding boy lead, "don't do what a scout can do", "let the scouts teach each other" etc. Then I send some emails with great stoies of how scouting works and why its important to be hands off.

During the first camp out we get new parents that feel that they have to be there which according to BSA they can observe but we end up taking way too many cars and too many empty seats (like Cub Scouts). At the first dinner (adults are in a single patrol, we talk about not helping and letting them fail etc, also HIP (hands in pockets). Most get it but 1 or 2 do not. 

Then there are always the 1 or 2 that don't make it to parents meetings dont read mail or take home info. 

At summer camp the last 2 years I have had 10 - 12 adults argue that they need to be there (we have 35 scouts). I do my best to talk them out of it and but what can I do, We have a meeting before summer camp with the adults going where I spell out - We (SM and 2 ASMs) don't need help with the scouts, don't help them unless for safety reasons, I know you have skills but lets them teach, stay out of patrol ares, don't help the SPL with his leadership - I got this.

As soon as I get far enough away, then come back I find adults teaching square knots, telling the SPL to clean up this or that, putting their sons in charge of this or that or teaching axe and saw skills. 

When I pull them away to discuss boy led troop they either get it or they blow up in my face and tell me thats not how it works. Either way its uncomfortable for me to have this conversation 10 more times.

2 months ago I allowed a mom and her mom to go on a bike campout. WIthin 15 minutes they had both tried to take over from the scouts. When we came in a situation where there was an element of danger I asked grand ma to do what I ask her and the scouts to do. She refused saying "youre not the boss of me" . The next morning the mom was rolling her sons pants legs up and I pulled her and her mom over to discuss a better option. - Why don't we discuss this as a safety thing with the SPL and let him have the Pls help. She immediately jump in my face and said thats not how Boy Scouts works! Grandma stepped up too yelling at me, I did my best to help them understand but they continued to try to interfere. Grandma sent a note to the council saying that I was not being safe and let the scouts lead not the parents etc,, made up a few things too..

 

Sorry for the long rant but what I decided to do is to have any adult that will be attending a campout sign a contract signaling that they know and understand my role as SM and they will respect the boundaries, Signed and initaled in several places. CC has not let me use these yet.

 

 

Wow.  IMHO, if I was a DE and got a note saying that the scouts were leading, and not the parents, I'd be congratulating the troop. 

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43 minutes ago, TMSM said:

Sorry for the long rant but what I decided to do is to have any adult that will be attending a campout sign a contract signaling that they know and understand my role as SM and they will respect the boundaries, Signed and initaled in several places. CC has not let me use these yet.

For clarity from the start we are very clear that the troop is youth led and that either the SM or the Outdoor chair is the leader in charge at outings.  Adult leaders are welcome, not so much if you want to come as a parent.  We clearly camp away from the Scouts, cook and eat together.

As we have explained, our main task as leaders is logistics, safety, and sort of overall timekeepers.  

For ANY parent attending an outing we require them to take YPT and have that certificate, that diffuses some that may feel the need to come and "assist".  We also have a firm transit plan and will only take the needed cars.  Scouts meet at the church and we return to the church, end of story.

We did have one parent who was sort of oblivious to our efforts, he was an Eagle Scout, but had a different drummer he marched to.  He and the younger son have decided to move on to another unit and we feel that is a super decision.

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55 minutes ago, perdidochas said:

Wow.  IMHO, if I was a DE and got a note saying that the scouts were leading, and not the parents, I'd be congratulating the troop. 

Yes, it was amusing that both these women basically told me they new how boy scouts worked and that I was wrong. DE also liked the trip plan that I had the scouts do which clearly refuted some of her other staements about me not knowing where I was going. Duh of course I knew but I  let the scout think they were lost so they could figure it out themselves.

We did get grief from DE for not sharing phone #s with the ladies althought they didnt show up at the troop meeting before the campout so I didnt know this. Both had YPT and both were helicopters.

We live in area where parents are really demanding of teachers and I get the same attitudes as if they are my boss and are paying me through taxes. I do this for free, I enjoy working with the scouts, the Committee is happy with me and my program but new parents are really making me want to quit.

I have tried many times to go to a Webelos meeting and discuss with the parents the changes that are coming but no takers. We pull from 6 different packs so its not easy to get sme time.

 

Does BSA have a video I can send new parents that shows what not to do, how to act when new to a troop etc?

 

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1 minute ago, TMSM said:

Does BSA have a video I can send new parents that shows what not to do, how to act when new to a troop etc?

image.jpeg.ac6d98a815698f2faf4f2890617fb9ad.jpeg

The scene where the Scouts go camping by themselves and they rescue themselves is very timely for your discussion.  Also when they take on the army to get their SM out of the stockade during war games shows a good level of personal initiative

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One of the things my troop growing up did was  restrict new Scouters, except the 18-20 year olds, to committee positions for a minimum of a year, and they had to complete training. After a few months supporting the troop, they could go camping with us. We had CCs who rode herd on the adults, letting the SM focus on the SPL and Scouts. That was a comment I made to the SM today.

 

2 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

image.jpeg.ac6d98a815698f2faf4f2890617fb9ad.jpeg

The scene where the Scouts go camping by themselves and they rescue themselves is very timely for your discussion.  Also when they take on the army to get their SM out of the stockade during war games shows a good level of personal initiative

Just wish the Scout tied a bowline for the rescue ;)  Book is even better.

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Sadly TMSM, it doesn’t really get any easier because you get new parents every year. So, you need to learn how to stand your ground and to become a good salesman. Get use to selling your vision and program everyday, all the time. Learn how to kindly push back.

You want your parents’ support because patrol method is hard and you need their trust that you are trying. That is important because some days you will do it wrong. 

You can’t change the program to fit every scout. That is when you are friendly, courteous and kind in standing your ground in saying no.

You need your ASMs to respect your directions, even if they don’t understand, but you also need a CC who will tell the parents they are intruding. Never tell the parents to leave; just tell them your firm expectations. If they resist, ask them to call the CC. 

Finally, try your best to spread camp sites as far apart as you can to keep the parents away.

As your program grows and the scouts have fun, you will gain more solid support, respect, and a reputation. Takes a little time, but you will grow into it. It seems to me from your posts that you have the qualities to be a great SM. Practice selling everyday. 

Barry

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No doubt I stand my ground but some people dont want to be sold to and some just cant help themselves, I have turned the troop around fromadult to boy led and sold this to 60 parents already so I think I have the sales pitch down too. We have come a long way with the program and tripled the size of the troop and increased camp out participation from 25 to 75%. I do think the CC needs to do a better job selling to the parents in an active way. 

We all came out of a situation with too much drama in the troop 4 years ago so I have no problem asking people to move on if they cant/won't understand the program and want to make everyones life more miserable. This of course is in a nice way, we have 4 other troops in town and based on the problem they have with our troop I convince them there is a better fit. 

I have few problems with webelos making the transition. Some have home sickness issues but they outgrow these during summer camp. We do have some that just don't want to be responsible for anything so they move on. Not sure how you fix that.

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1 hour ago, TMSM said:

Yes, it was amusing that both these women basically told me they new how boy scouts worked and that I was wrong. DE also liked the trip plan that I had the scouts do which clearly refuted some of her other staements about me not knowing where I was going. Duh of course I knew but I  let the scout think they were lost so they could figure it out themselves.

We did get grief from DE for not sharing phone #s with the ladies althought they didnt show up at the troop meeting before the campout so I didnt know this. Both had YPT and both were helicopters.

We live in area where parents are really demanding of teachers and I get the same attitudes as if they are my boss and are paying me through taxes. I do this for free, I enjoy working with the scouts, the Committee is happy with me and my program but new parents are really making me want to quit.

I have tried many times to go to a Webelos meeting and discuss with the parents the changes that are coming but no takers. We pull from 6 different packs so its not easy to get sme time.

 

Does BSA have a video I can send new parents that shows what not to do, how to act when new to a troop etc?

 

Well, helicopters (and their friends, the lawnmowers) make things hard sometimes.  I don't think there is a video, because troop expectations are so different.  I do think that the SM (or New Scout/Parent coordinator) should take all of the new parents aside in the first week or two after crossover, and have a meeting to both explain how the Troop (and BSA) works, and to answer any questions they have. 

Some things that have to be addressed:

How camping is done should be explicit (i.e. that the scouts camp by patrols, that the adults camp away from them, that permission is required (under normal, not emergency situations) for either group to enter the other group's area), also, the normal logistics of a campout--i.e. that one member of a patrol (or the whole patrol) will have to do the grocery shopping, the time we usually leave for a campout, expectations for food on that first night, etc.  (Our troop meets at 5 pm Friday night and plans to pull out of the parking lot at 6 pm (usually later, but that's the goal). We expect the Scouts to either have eaten before then, or to bring food with them (no stopping for fast food, etc.) for Friday night supper. 

The SPL is in charge, and the parents should ASK the SPL/ASPL first (again, unless an emergency situation) before doing anything with the troop. 

The general advancement structure should be taught to them (especially emphasizing that advancement is the Scout's responsibility, and until the Scout has tried to deal with a problem, the parent should leave things alone, also that advancement is not a group thing, but an individual one).

Money issues. (which are very specific to the troop).

 

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1 hour ago, perdidochas said:

Well, helicopters (and their friends, the lawnmowers) make things hard sometimes.  I don't think there is a video, because troop expectations are so different.  I do think that the SM (or New Scout/Parent coordinator) should take all of the new parents aside in the first week or two after crossover, and have a meeting to both explain how the Troop (and BSA) works, and to answer any questions they have. 

Some things that have to be addressed:

How camping is done should be explicit (i.e. that the scouts camp by patrols, that the adults camp away from them, that permission is required (under normal, not emergency situations) for either group to enter the other group's area), also, the normal logistics of a campout--i.e. that one member of a patrol (or the whole patrol) will have to do the grocery shopping, the time we usually leave for a campout, expectations for food on that first night, etc.  (Our troop meets at 5 pm Friday night and plans to pull out of the parking lot at 6 pm (usually later, but that's the goal). We expect the Scouts to either have eaten before then, or to bring food with them (no stopping for fast food, etc.) for Friday night supper. 

The SPL is in charge, and the parents should ASK the SPL/ASPL first (again, unless an emergency situation) before doing anything with the troop. 

The general advancement structure should be taught to them (especially emphasizing that advancement is the Scout's responsibility, and until the Scout has tried to deal with a problem, the parent should leave things alone, also that advancement is not a group thing, but an individual one).

Money issues. (which are very specific to the troop).

 

IMO, also add Each scout packs his own gear and whatever gear his patrol assigns. Each scout is responsible for that gear, specifically cleaning and drying himself. He should setup a clothes line at home (he knows the knots and has rope) and learn how to use the washer and dryer. Learning  to sew would also be great.

Should parents talk to the SPL or the SM first? 

My $0.02

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Parents should always talk to the SM first not the SPL. Sure there are exceptions, but the SM may be working with the SPL on something specific 

 (keeping camp clean) and may be waiting for a teaching moment. Adults should work through the SM on campouts and agree on what is the right questions to ask the SPL.

 

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This is all rather easy in our troop.  We have only the occasional problems with helicopter parents, but they sort themselves out very quickly.

We always have one or two new scout program ASMs.  They are always experienced troop ASMs and take control of the program for Scouts for the first year or two.  To simplify their job, we recruit new scout parents to help them as ASMs assisting with the new scout program.

It's very clear to all which adult has the overall responsibility for new scouts trips - either the SM, ASM New Scouts, or his designee.

We don't have rules about what parents can do and cannot.  The adults all tend to camp togther on trips which is great.   We also do try to limit new adults.  There are no rules about being a committee member for a year or whatever.  If a new parent wants to be an ASM - that's great.  They just take direction from the New Scouts ASM.

 

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3 hours ago, ParkMan said:

This is all rather easy in our troop.  We have only the occasional problems with helicopter parents, but they sort themselves out very quickly.

We always have one or two new scout program ASMs.  They are always experienced troop ASMs and take control of the program for Scouts for the first year or two.  To simplify their job, we recruit new scout parents to help them as ASMs assisting with the new scout program.

It's very clear to all which adult has the overall responsibility for new scouts trips - either the SM, ASM New Scouts, or his designee.

We don't have rules about what parents can do and cannot.  The adults all tend to camp togther on trips which is great.   We also do try to limit new adults.  There are no rules about being a committee member for a year or whatever.  If a new parent wants to be an ASM - that's great.  They just take direction from the New Scouts ASM.

 

Just so there is no confusion, that should have been: "We also do not try to limit new adults".  I had that backwards.

I know that it is a common thing to ask first year parents to be committee members or to ask them to wait a year to volunteer.  We don't do that.  Really what we tend to do is just guide new parents.  If a new parent starts doing too much for the scouts, the New Scout ASM simply pulls them aside and mentors them.   That tends to be all we need to do.

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I'm glad Parkman's method works for his unit. We did something similar, and it has not worked out. That's one reason why we are transferring. What's ironic is stuff I suggested in the past to help deal with the situation is now being considered. The new adults in question have ignored all those who have been trying to help them and their sons, including the SM.

My idea of Webelos -to-Scout Transition is multiyear process that really picks up as Webelos. It involves the use of Den Chiefs, Order of the Arrow ( at least until Dec. 31st. OA ceremony team refuses to do the new national ceremonies, with or without regalia), and visiting the "Common Areas" of the Boy Scout Camporee and Cub Scout Family Campout." As Webelos it really picks up. Working on Scouting Adventure as Webelos 1s to get them and their parents use to the Patrol Method and what is expected of them. Promoting camping with the troop, especially since NONE of my Webelos have ever camped before (yes the returning Webelos have NEVER camped in their 3 previous years, despite 2 camp outs a year the Pack does). Webeloree, a competition just like Camporee, is a major even in the district, and now council. it's always good fun, and prepares them for Boy Scouts very well, IF THE PARENTS GET OUT OF THE WAY AND LETS THEM DO STUFF ON THEIR OWN. (emphasis)

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The SM/Advisor needs a cheering section. Our CC does a lot of communication to the parents. Historically our "emeritus" SM's/CC's approach parents about helicoptering or other issues. This year, on several occasions, an MC sent notes to parents about how the boys were doing and how well the SM made sure that every one was well cared for. He then basically said the same thing to parents at our last CoH.

As our new SM rotates in, I am quick to point out the things he does right. I also tell him that it's his turn to build a record in the boys' collective history of goofy screw-ups. So there is a promise of a full amount of ribbing, along with a guarantee of support.

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