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I know I'm late to this party, but . . .


I found everyone's ideas interesting, especially yours. Below, I pulled your words from your posts. It's not the best way, but messageboards are difficult tools to use for problem solving.


It seems to me that you don't feel you have the rules on your side, you just feel strongly this boy(and his family, since Cubs don't make too many of their own life choices) have crossed some invisible "quitter" line. You appear to say that you're tired of going the extra mile for this boy. That you've given more than your fair share.


I read into all this that you hope one of us can think of that "magic solution" which brings the rules into allignment with what you know to be right. But, I also think you know that solution doesn't exist. It would have been a lot simpler, but you've been dwelling on this much longer than we have and you know nothin's gonna bring right and RIGHT together for you and this boy.


You have to let him go. There's several reasons to keep him home, but none of those are based on policies and standards that you use with other Scouts.


The fact that you've "let him go" in a thousand other situations over the past years and helped him "more than he deserved" all those times gives you the right to be tired, and gives you the right to be "done" with this boy. It even gives you the right to be ready to teach him "The Hard Lesson".


The problem is, this situation isn't set up for teaching the RIGHT lesson, hard or otherwise.


If you didn't take his money all those months ago, that would have been the time and place to teach the right lesson. If you explain to him why this is the last time you'll "let him go", and then stick to that converstaion, that's teaching the right lesson at the right time. If you pull the dad aside and remind him he's got a second son, that's teaching the right lesson at the right time. If you find the older brother and help him see the support his younger brother needs, that's teaching the right lesson at the right time. There's even other RIGHT lessons to be taught to this boy and his family.


There's also RIGHT lessons for us (Scouting adults) to learn or at least, remember.


A contract, particulary one where you accept money in good faith, should be lived up to and we should demonstrate that.


Undefined rules and expectations lead to rule bending because the rule is, at best, "goooey" when it's left open to every individual's interpretation.


Certainly, if this is a reward situation or comes with an expectation that participation is based on future commitment, THAT needs to be fully explained and IN PRINT.


If we allow ourselves a tired place, where we figure it's OK to draw a dark line canceling out a child, it will just get easier and easier to get tired and cancel out more and more kids. The tough ones are the ones we're sent here to help. We all know Scouters who only want the easy boys and the easy challenges, but I'll bet none of us see ourselves as THAT Scouter. Yet, it's certainly lurking around inside each of us on occasion -- we just need to keep him bottled up.


Foto, it's a shame you're in this boat, and I'll bet part of the problem is that you figure it shouldn't have gone this far, that soewhere along the line a different decision would have kept this issue from giving you such a headache. I think you and your unit will survive this either way, so what's the best that you can make of it? Do you really think teaching this boy some arbitrarily chosen "tough lesson" is the best for you, him and all your other Scouts? Is there a better lesson that more kids and adults can learn from this situation by letting the boy go?


I hope I've been clear about what I think. I'm curious how you'll end up answering the question, after all the posts. Good luck.









. . .

Our charter is up in December, so technically this boy is still registered until December. So here is my dilemma, I think it sends the wrong message to allow this boy to come on the trip at this time. All of the boys and families going are committed to another year of Scouting.


Weve worked with this boy for a long time. I am beyond thinking of it as a last attempt to keep the boy. All it would do is prolong the inevitable. As far as putting more time in with this boy is concerned, been there-done that, is my response.


So yes, the Quitting Badge may very well be a call for attention, but its not my attention that hes seeking.


He has had more than his share of special attention already, the time for that has passed; there is no purpose in extending that effort into this trip.


an argument could be made that his paid membership has expired, and that he is now on our time.


In fact hes a good kid, hes not his brother but he is a good kid. The boy quit, for the second or third time, and Im not comfortable with extending the privilege of allowing him to attend the trip.


In fact hes a good kid, hes not his brother but he is a good kid. The boy quit, for the second or third time, and Im not comfortable with extending the privilege of allowing him to attend the trip.


Its about the integrity of our program. Im not here putting on a program for the quitters to take advantage of. I'm not in the business of creating special experiences and memories for the boys or families that have already quit.


My interest, my time, my energies are directed toward the boys that are in the program, and not those that have left the program and might feel some perverse desire to take advantage of its special opportunities simply because they can.


I dont believe for one second that any of the posters here would expect to participate on this trip after having quit the unit. Most of you would simply assume that youd not be welcome regardless of your registration status.


The lesson here is that there is no free meal.


. . .




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foto -


I've been watching this thread and do not have a clear answer for you. I see both sides of the issue. Those that say you "have to" do this or that, don't have the full picture of your situation. In the end, you have to make the call. Or, should it really be the committee making the call? Nevertheless, it's a local unit decision.


I understand your concerns. I had a scout quit last year, the only one to quit in a long time. He's a good kid. He just didn't like the outdoor stuff. Mom and dad told him he couldn't quit until he made First Class. He stuck it out, coming to meetings for a couple of more months. He made FC and bolted. Unfortunately, during those last couple of months, his attitude got real negative. He didn't want to be around. In front of the adults he was fine, but in patrol situations he was causing problems.


The lesson from this is that a boy who doesn't want to be in scouting, can be a drain on the existing scouts. Yes, you may be able to turn him around. But, you are just as likely to turn others off.


Therefore, if I were in this situation, I'd probably start with a conversation with the boy and the dad. I'd tell them that - if he goes - he is going as a Cub Scout. He must wear the uniform, t-shirt, whatever you require. He must act like a Cub Scout. He'll participate with his den.... My guess is, if he hates being a Cub Scout, he won't want to come on the trip.




One other thought. Is there any chance of transfering the deposit to another scout. Maybe you have a new member you've recruited?

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With all due respect to you Foto, it sounds to me that you are just burned out on this kid. We've all been there, investing time and effort into a boy who drops despite our best efforts. At some point you just throw your hands up and decide the resources are better spent on Scouts who are sticking with the program.


Unfortunately in this situation, I don't think you've made a good case for denying the boy the trip. He isn't a discipline problem and if he is trying influence other boys to quit you've not mentioned that. The worse thing that is happening is that the fact of his quitting is getting some buzz among the other Scouts. There's not much you or the Scout can do about that.


I think the most you can do is go to the dad and suggest that since they are dropping out that they consider giving up their slot on the trip to a new Scout. But unless they drop the trip on their own initiative, you absolutely owe them their money back.

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Foto you have personalized this issue too much. He has rejected even your best efforts and that burns you. Its almost like its payback time. You rejected me so I will reject you "cue evil laugh" bwahahahaha.


Step back from this for a minute. Kids quit activities for all sorts of reasons. Scouting isn't easy it takes a lot of commitment. Look if you let him go your legacy with this boy will be one of a true blue guy. It will be hard for him or his family to ever blame you for his departure from scouting. Finish the job you started. Let him go.

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You may hate my answer, but ...


Always keep the door open, never burn your bridges. I've had boys who quit and later returned. Remember ... it is not a requirement for a boy scout to have been a cub scout, nor is it a requirement for a cub scout to complete any given year in order to go to the next rank - he only has to complete the requirements in any given year in order to earn the rank patch. Constantly encourage the boy to return and continue to invite him to events - even after his membership has expired - of course once he is not a chartered member there is not insurance component for him.


By keeping the door open, my unit has maintained significant retention.



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Heres my read on this.


A registered Cub Scout signs up for a trip in the month of October. Afterwards, he decides that Cub Scouting no longer appeals to him. The Cub tells his dad. The family decides that its okay for their son to quit. Dad, being an honest man, informs the Cubmaster that the Cub will no longer be attending meetings starting in September. If the Cub attends the October outing, the Cubmaster believes people will talk. Thus, he feels he has a dilemma.


I agree with BW. Hes paid. Hes officially registered. The BSA has no mandatory attendance polices. Therefore, hes entitled. And he may even change his mind about quitting. Let him go.


If we were discussing a Scout, instead of a Cub, I might be inclined to take a harder stance. But even then, if hes registered and paid and not a problem, why not let him go? As much as I like the Scouts for building character mentoring boys to become men (and anyone whos seen my posts know this to be true), I think there are times when we need to lighten up. This is an opportunity to provide a good kid with a good memory. If people talk and complain, perhaps you should do a Scoutmaster Minute on the evils of gossip and complaining.


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I had a similar situation in our Den 2 years ago. A cub decided that he wants to play baseball instead of cub scout. He wants to quit. He and his dad signed up and paid to go to the USS Lexington sleepover. I had no problem with the young man wanting to pursue his sport. I asked them not to withdraw from the trip since it will be a waste of money (we were at a point where refund was not an option).


The day came and the boy/his father attended the sleepover. After that event, the young man changed his mind again and decided to stay in cub scout. He is currently a Star scout in our troop.


Let them attend since they are still registered to both the Pack and National. Who knows, if the trip is fun enough, the boy and his parents will change their minds. I don't think that the boys wear the "quitting badge" more proudly. If the chorus of "how come Mickey is here, he's not a CS anymore" chimes, then I would respond it with "Mickey is still a cub scout with our Pack until next year. He is still welcome at any time to join us again."


Good luck,



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Well I may as well throw my 2 cents in.


I've read the thread, and while I sympathize with foto I'm inclined to agree with those that would let the boy attend. EagleinKY comes the closest to capturing my thoughts.


If the boy is still registered, and has expressed interest in the trip and has paid a deposit he should be allowed to attend...as a Cub Scout. I would ask the boy if he is a Cub Scout or not. Let him know that the trip is a Cub Scout/Pack activity. If he says he is a Cub Scout, and is willing to try an live up to the Cub Scout Promise, he is welcome to attend as a part of the Pack and his Den. If he says he is not a Cub Scout, tell him the Pack will try and find someone who is interested in his spot and refund his deposit. If he decides he is not a Cub Scout, I would let him know if he ever changes his mind, and wants to be a Cub Scout or Boy Scout again, he would be welcomed back.


When my boys were Cubs, we went to Battleship Cove twice. It really is an interesting place. You get to sleep on the Battleship in the crews quarters, explore the ship(It's hugh,) and learn about life aboard a Navy vessel. There is also a Submarine and a Destroyer you can go through. We had several Navy vets among the Dads that attended with us, and they all had great stories about their time in the service. The trip was one of the highlights of my boys Cub Scout experience.


So, foto, go and have fun and don't get too wrapped up some of the small stuff. Good luck.





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Late to the party as usual. Ask them if they want to go. If they say yes, take it as a chance to bring the scout back. If not, give the opppurtunity to someone else.


On a different note - our pack did Battleship Cove last February and had a fabulous time. I hope you do too.




Pack 102

Orland, ME

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