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jsychk

How should I help my boy?

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I think you were refering to my response as being scary.  I don't think I was, I am concerned and thing that talking to the Scoutmaster is key but also it sounds like the boy and parents could use help navigating this hard period in life based on the incident at camp and the plea for help.  Mom is clearly a caring person and wants help.  I think counseling is good for most people including me.   

If I offended anyone, I apologize.  I just want the best for the boy and parents.

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51 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

I think you were refering to my response as being scary.  I don't think I was, I am concerned and thing that talking to the Scoutmaster is key but also it sounds like the boy and parents could use help navigating this hard period in life based on the incident at camp and the plea for help.  Mom is clearly a caring person and wants help.  I think counseling is good for most people including me.   

If I offended anyone, I apologize.  I just want the best for the boy and parents.

mashmaster, you are fine! I don't think they were referring your response as being scary. Your input is valuable to me and I don't think you offended anyone. They were just referring to the "Thread" on why my son was suspended from the troop for 6 months. You are cool! :)

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11 minutes ago, jsychk said:

mashmaster, you are fine! I don't think they were referring your response as being scary. Your input is valuable to me and I don't think you offended anyone. They were just referring to the "Thread" on why my son was suspended from the troop for 6 months. You are cool! :)

ok, great.  I hope it all works out for y'all.

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First of all, thank you so much for reading my post and gave me your thoughtful advice. 

It sounds like most agree on talking to the Scoutmaster. At this point, I have to give a try. I hope I will run into a couple leaders at the recognition dinner on Thursday and hopefully get to know my son's status in their troop. 

I have not been involved with the Troop much, but I heard tidbits from my husband or son here & there. I think my son works better the previous SM who is a college professor and has 6 or 7 kids. He seems to give the boys plenty of room to make mistakes & learn. For example, my son said they were assigned to build a shelter (using sticks & leaves?) at the camp. If the shelter lasts til next day, they get sign-off. A scout built one on the branches above ground & slept in it but fell down in the middle of the night & broke his arm (parents were called). The current SM sounds more strict. He doesn't allow tree climbing. My son said they punished another group of scouts for jumping down from a building at the same camp last year. They said the boys' wild behaviors were embarrassing and give their troop a bad name.

I don't see scouting is a replacement for Dad but an addition to help my boys to learn more from different role models. After all, it takes a village to raise a child. He respects two leaders in this troop very much. From the book "Raising Boys," I hope he will find a mentor who would tell him that buying that motorcycle is a stupid idea in Colorado!" 




 

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It's tough -- basic safety is important, but the kids need some room.  Different people have very different tolerances for what is acceptable.  The word that jumps out to me in your paragraph above is "punish".  Giving instruction and setting boundaries is different from punishment.  I don't know if tree climbing is covered in BSA guidelines, but I can understand that it could be a safety hazard.  

Some people take it too far.  One of the former leaders in our troop that I did not get along with corrected my son for sliding his feet on an icy patch on the ground.  He was 12.  We said that it was micromanaging our son.  He claimed that our son could have gotten a concussion and brain damage if he fell.  I felt that that person wanted to bubble wrap my kid, and he was not SM or ASM (he was a my-way-only CC).  It was not his job to manage our son.  He got all huffy about safety, though.  Sliding on a little patch of ice!  

Different points of view, for sure.  You'll have to feel it out.

Also, I do not get a lot of info from my husband or sons on Boy Scouts.  It is frustrating and it took me a year to find a balance with learning how the troop works, and working out basic communication with my husband.  However, my spouse goes on all the trips and is an ASM so he is plugged in, I just don't get much of a download.  Your husband might be totally hands off and let the boy learn his own way.  That can work, but sometimes the kids need support.  

Edited by WisconsinMomma
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15 hours ago, qwazse said:

@Ranman328, you need to visit our troop. Then you'll know at least one.  I've never read anywhere that a committee needs to notify anyone at the district when they decide to suspend a scout. If you have a reference, do share.

Dropping the boy from the charter was a lame move.

Per the National Capital Area Council, which is my council, you must notify District and Council of any disciplinary actions taken by the troop to a scout.  Not sure what area you are from but this according to them has been BSA Policy for years.  If a Scout is a first time offender or is involved in a fight, I find it sad that a Troop would just suspend that scout without sitting him and his parents down for a discussion first.  Just my opinion. 

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15 hours ago, qwazse said:

@Ranman328, you need to visit our troop. Then you'll know at least one.  I've never read anywhere that a committee needs to notify anyone at the district when they decide to suspend a scout. If you have a reference, do share.

Dropping the boy from the charter was a lame move.

Per our District Scout Executive the Guide to Safe Scouting states that if a Scout's membership is revoked for any reason and yes a suspension counts as a revocation, you are to notify Council immediately along with providing the Youth Protection/Membership Incident Information Form.

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There seems to be a lot of unaddressed gaps in here. I think there needs to be some conversations and common understanding before any progress can be made.

Examples:

You said your husband doesn't get involved in meetings or go on campouts. Unlike Cubs, Scouts utilize registered leaders to take on those duties. Scouts are a different level. Not every parent is willing, capable, or needed as an active participant in Troop activities. A conversation with leadership on the boundaries of parental involvement and leadership requirements along with program aims and methods and the current Troop leadership situation seems to be in order so everyone knows what is possible and what is needed.

@David_CO was right when he said there was a disconnect between you and your husband on Scouting. At some point you are going to have to have that talk and figure out what each of you are able and willing to do in furtherance of your son's involvement in Scouting. Maybe it's as simple as getting him to meetings and events and providing support and encouragement. Maybe it's more. But you have to hash this out, come to an understanding, and work from there. Families that have disparate feelings on Scouting rarely produce the best experience for the Scout.

The best unit in the world isn't going to be able to help your son if the family foundation in regards to Scouting isn't solid. While this may all sound harsh, it is better to face unpleasant truths and address them if you truly want your son to be involved and excel as much as possible.

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2 hours ago, Ranman328 said:

Per the National Capital Area Council, which is my council, you must notify District and Council of any disciplinary actions taken by the troop to a scout.  Not sure what area you are from but this according to them has been BSA Policy for years.  If a Scout is a first time offender or is involved in a fight, I find it sad that a Troop would just suspend that scout without sitting him and his parents down for a discussion first.  Just my opinion. 

The Troop suspended my son when they were in an out-of-state camp (10 hours away). They called us to pick him up at around 11 AM on Wednesday. My husband drove over there after work (5 PM). In fact, the other suspended kid's dad was nice enough to pick both (suspended) kids up from the camp and drove in our direction. My husband supposed to meet them somewhere in between and he paid for the hotel reservation (2 rooms) for everyone. According to the BSA policy, the other kid's dad can't sleep in the same room with my kid alone even his son is present. I think at the end my husband just picked my kid up at the hotel, turned around and headed back home in the middle of the night. 

My son was the first time offender. I don't think he got in a fight with the "victim". He was the one who asked the other kid to let him go. From what my son wrote, all the boys were playing a game. The "victim" was "it" & hidden in a tent. When the boys discovered him, he ran away so other kids chased him. One kid caught him and they rolled on the ground. No adult was there and witnessed anything. Each involved kid was interrogated by a leader (who is in active military) alone in the tent. They came up with the conclusion. Two kids were suspended and 4 or 5 other kids were given warning. Parents were called. 

Now, the suspension is over. I just want to learn from this and move on. The kid needs scouting and he wants to go back but just doesn't know where. 

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3 hours ago, Ranman328 said:

Per the National Capital Area Council, which is my council, you must notify District and Council of any disciplinary actions taken by the troop to a scout.  Not sure what area you are from but this according to them has been BSA Policy for years.  If a Scout is a first time offender or is involved in a fight, I find it sad that a Troop would just suspend that scout without sitting him and his parents down for a discussion first.  Just my opinion. 

 

2 hours ago, Ranman328 said:

Per our District Scout Executive the Guide to Safe Scouting states that if a Scout's membership is revoked for any reason and yes a suspension counts as a revocation, you are to notify Council immediately along with providing the Youth Protection/Membership Incident Information Form.

I am not trying to be obstinate. When I counseled our troop regarding our wayward youth, as did others before me, we worked through G2SS:

Quote
Physical violence, sexual activity, emotional abuse, spiritual abuse, unauthorized weapons, hazing, discrimination, harassment, initiation rites, bullying, cyberbullying, theft, verbal insults, drugs, alcohol, and pornography have no place in the Scouting program and may result in revocation of membership.

We read that to mean that the unit may revoke a youth's membership.  I can't find any wording to indicate that the district or council needs to be involved in that revocation ... let alone suspension -- which I think is slightly different. (Thus why I thought it was lame to drop the kid from the charter.)

I'm not saying it's a bad idea to give your unit commissioner a call when these things happen. I'm just saying I can't find a written policy requiring it.

If you have something in writing that I'm not seeing. Do share.

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4 hours ago, Ranman328 said:

Per the National Capital Area Council, which is my council, you must notify District and Council of any disciplinary actions taken by the troop to a scout.  

That just seems to be an incredibly broad and overreaching statement

  • If two Boy Scouts have a disagreement over some aspect of an outing and we counsel them, send them to their hammocks for 30 minutes to cool off, the unit has to notify District and Council?
  • If you have a Boy Scout that will not cooperate with the youth leadership, after a conference with the SM, decision is made to call parents to come get him, the unit has to notify District and Council?
  • If you have a Scout being careless with knife on an outing so an ASM takes the knife, the unit has to notify District and Council?

The requirement (note this one is not in GTSS) that you must notify District and Council of any disciplinary actions taken by the troop to a scout in writing from the council and is somehow agreed to by the units and enforced by the council?  Are there disciplinary action notification commissioners roving about everywhere?

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2 hours ago, jsychk said:

The Troop suspended my son when they were in an out-of-state camp (10 hours away). They called us to pick him up at around 11 AM on Wednesday. My husband drove over there after work (5 PM). In fact, the other suspended kid's dad was nice enough to pick both (suspended) kids up from the camp and drove in our direction. My husband supposed to meet them somewhere in between and he paid for the hotel reservation (2 rooms) for everyone. According to the BSA policy, the other kid's dad can't sleep in the same room with my kid alone even his son is present. I think at the end my husband just picked my kid up at the hotel, turned around and headed back home in the middle of the night. 

My son was the first time offender. I don't think he got in a fight with the "victim". He was the one who asked the other kid to let him go. From what my son wrote, all the boys were playing a game. The "victim" was "it" & hidden in a tent. When the boys discovered him, he ran away so other kids chased him. One kid caught him and they rolled on the ground. No adult was there and witnessed anything. Each involved kid was interrogated by a leader (who is in active military) alone in the tent. They came up with the conclusion. Two kids were suspended and 4 or 5 other kids were given warning. Parents were called. 

Now, the suspension is over. I just want to learn from this and move on. The kid needs scouting and he wants to go back but just doesn't know where. 

I am very sorry you went through this. As a Scoutmaster and former Unit District Commissioner, I think some Adult Scouters jumped the gun. Ok. Unless there was a previous incident, they should have sat down the Scouts involved with the most Senior Scout and fixed it at camp without sending plScouts home. Suspension is uncalled for.  I suggest you move in and find a troop that actually functions in the Patrol Method. 

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2 hours ago, qwazse said:

 

I am not trying to be obstinate. When I counseled our troop regarding our wayward youth, as did others before me, we worked through G2SS:

We read that to mean that the unit may revoke a youth's membership.  I can't find any wording to indicate that the district or council needs to be involved in that revocation ... let alone suspension -- which I think is slightly different. (Thus why I thought it was lame to drop the kid from the charter.)

I'm not saying it's a bad idea to give your unit commissioner a call when these things happen. I'm just saying I can't find a written policy requiring it.

If you have something in writing that I'm not seeing. Do share.

@qwazse why do you always pick and choose partial phrases to fit your narrative. I NEVER said council was to be involved in the suspension process. I said they have to be notified of a suspension. 

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5 hours ago, Ranman328 said:

Per our District Scout Executive the Guide to Safe Scouting states that if a Scout's membership is revoked for any reason and yes a suspension counts as a revocation, you are to notify Council immediately along with providing the Youth Protection/Membership Incident Information Form.

District Executives are not a reliable source of good information. This is a case in point. The Chartered Organization can suspend or revoke a boy's membership in the unit for just about any reason. The CO doesn't even have to give a reason. 

YP violations are not the only reason a scout could be dropped from a unit. For example, a scout could be dropped for not paying his dues. An incident form is only necessary if there was a specific YP incident that brought about the suspension or revocation.

 

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1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

That just seems to be an incredibly broad and overreaching statement

  • If two Boy Scouts have a disagreement over some aspect of an outing and we counsel them, send them to their hammocks for 30 minutes to cool off, the unit has to notify District and Council?
  • If you have a Boy Scout that will not cooperate with the youth leadership, after a conference with the SM, decision is made to call parents to come get him, the unit has to notify District and Council?
  • If you have a Scout being careless with knife on an outing so an ASM takes the knife, the unit has to notify District and Council?

The requirement (note this one is not in GTSS) that you must notify District and Council of any disciplinary actions taken by the troop to a scout in writing from the council and is somehow agreed to by the units and enforced by the council?  Are there disciplinary action notification commissioners roving about everywhere?

Where are you getting this. I never said any of which you have stated above. I don’t think you would suspend a Scout for a disagreement or a knife incident or not cooperating with youth Leadership. You obviously have no training what so ever if you are going to put something like that in writing and maybe that is the reason why your Teoop would suspend a Scout for that. I suggest you read the Guide to Safe Scouting and review the forms in the back. I never said anything about notifying Council about any disciplinary decision. I said Revoking a Membership. Please read what I wrote before commenting!

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