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Momleader

Back to school night recruitment

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Things went good tonight. Couple odd questions I’ve never been asked before and I’ve been a Cub Scout leader for almost 15 years. Both my own kids are eagles. 

1. Does the cost to join include the uniform. (No, never has in our pack over 50+ years)

2.  What den are your kids in?  One in college and one is a high school senior and  JASM (Eagle). 

3. So if your kids are pretty much done why are you still doing it?  I wanted to give the snippy answer ‘because parents aren’t volunteering to be leaders and the kids deserve the chance to be cub scouts’. I gave the adult answer ‘ I saw how much my kids had fun in the pack and want other kiddos to have the same fun and I work with scouts up until they are Eagles’. 

 

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I can answer #3 for you: If you are still in scouting after your kids have aged out some parents will wonder if you are a pedophile. I can't tell you how many parents have told me this is a worry.

 

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8 hours ago, yknot said:

I can answer #3 for you: If you are still in scouting after your kids have aged out some parents will wonder if you are a pedophile. I can't tell you how many parents have told me this is a worry.

 

Oh that’s just great!  Makes me really sad and kinda feel used by younger families in our area. I even wore my Uniform that has my district patches on it.   Last year I helped get the lion den off the ground since parents were not stepping up to be a leader/point person for the den - some were shocked that they couldn’t just drop the kid off for the hour activity - what does that say?

I get that people are especially wary and want to protect their kid given the history and the news.   Our Cubmaster & some leaders wouldn’t have been able to attend 3 different schools we recruit from because they’re at one of them as a parents for their kids. I wish the people could see This is when the committee members with older kids step up and help the pack out because they want to help not because they have bad intents   

 

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9 hours ago, yknot said:

I can answer #3 for you: If you are still in scouting after your kids have aged out some parents will wonder if you are a pedophile. I can't tell you how many parents have told me this is a worry.

Having known a few of those experienced scouters, I'm much more inclined to be worried about the damage done by a fear mongering gossiper, spreading rumors about good people.   Such things constitute defamation and the parents should be quietly advised to keep their fears and ignorance to themselves.

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The "what den our your kids in" is a classic type of question that feeds into the next question of "why are you doing this then". 

And I get it and I agree that parents should ask simply because when it comes to protecting our kids, it isn't a spectator role. Might not make us feel all that good with someone eyeing us with suspicion, but no harm with folks being curious. And as with everything, you have to watch folks who come up with a crazy idea and if they try to spread it around. There's always those kinds of parents and they will dream something up no matter what is going on. 

And frankly, I LIKE not having an adult leader with their kid currently in the unit. I've seen a lot of adults play favoritism with their own and even when they don't try, other adults tend to favor their kids if that adult is in some position of power.

We adults whose kids have moved on or even if we don't have a kid in scouting, enjoy being scouters and helping the kids. I love being able to be there when I'm needed. I love not being needed too, where I can enjoy a camping trip and stay out of their way. I especially like the questions of, "how did you tie that rope" when I set up a ridge line. 

 

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I get the full range of variations on that question - I'm a single guy in my 30's who doesn't even have kids yet. So naturally I often get asked - "what are you doing here?" I generally bring up two points. First, I was asked to fill a need because I work with children professionally and my church leaders requested that I serve, and finding I enjoy the program, I have stuck with it. Secondly, I feel that everybody should play an active role in his or her community, and my service in Scouting is one way in which I can break away from the rather selfish lives most single millennials endure and instead play an active, meaningful role in my neighborhood and do something for the greater good. But it is a very delicate dance sometimes; I have to be triply vigilant over how I interact with the Scouts, and there are some boundaries I simply will not cross. For example, I don't feel comfortable working with the new influx of Scouts who are girls, and I defer to other leaders when they come to me for merit badges or what have you. It's not about sexism or favoritism - it's about my feeling safe, and making sure my position isn't jeopardized because I was careless in my interactions. 

It's unfortunate when people make assumptions about your motives when you are trying to do good. I simply offer my simple reasons, and then do my job the best I can. I've found that invariably, those who are watching closely come to appreciate the work I do despite whatever prejudices they may have at the start.

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On 9/12/2019 at 9:14 PM, Momleader said:

3. So if your kids are pretty much done why are you still doing it?

When I was in my 20's and working on a second degree I worked with my home troop, was an Eagle Scout there, was my home church, so parents saw the connection.  Did not get any awkward questions.

My son is now a Senior in College and 4 years removed from the troop I have been working with 10+ years.  He worked at our council camp, so even those Scouts that did not know him from the troop days, met him there, etc.  We are a smaller community in a large urban area, so I have actual Scouts that live on my street.  I suspect as a few more years roll by, that connection will get more faint.  Then I'll just be the old Scout guy who hangs around.

Dad was Eagle and a long-term council Scouter, my brother is an Eagle, long-term council Scouter, so I guess I have Scout street cred.  That being said, with all the press about past issues, we need to have the elevator speech about why we still are involved at the ready.

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32 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

When I was in my 20's and working on a second degree I worked with my home troop, was an Eagle Scout there, was my home church, so parents saw the connection.  Did not get any awkward questions.

My son is now a Senior in College and 4 years removed from the troop I have been working with 10+ years.  He worked at our council camp, so even those Scouts that did not know him from the troop days, met him there, etc.  We are a smaller community in a large urban area, so I have actual Scouts that live on my street.  I suspect as a few more years roll by, that connection will get more faint.  Then I'll just be the old Scout guy who hangs around.

Dad was Eagle and a long-term council Scouter, my brother is an Eagle, long-term council Scouter, so I guess I have Scout street cred.  That being said, with all the press about past issues, we need to have the elevator speech about why we still are involved at the ready.

I think there is less wariness of leaders without kids in Boy Scouts than in Cub Scouts.  I will be honest, being a Tiger and Bear Den leader was tough. I didn't particularly enjoy it much, but I did it cheerfully (at least to everybody else involved) because the Pack needed it.  I did enjoy being a Webelos and Boy Scout leader.  I cannot imagine how anyone without kids in a Pack would be a Cub leader, but that's just my personal taste. I can imagine being a Boy Scout leader without a boy in the Troop. 

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I don't have children at all, and I was a Den Leader for three years. I loved it, but then I love children in general and work with them professionally as a teacher and child development specialist. And honestly, I don't really perceive any difference between being a Cub leader without a cub and a Troop leader without a boy.

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