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Momleader

What are we required to do for scout

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I’m so frustrated as a leader. I have over 12 years as a cub leader. And have a lot of experience special ed students (my own children).  We have a family in the pack who joined and stayed a year then transferred to another pack and came back last school year. The poor boy clearly doesn’t want to participate and  He has educational/attention challenges which from the outside it look like immaturity and stubborness but it’s actually been diagnosed. Anyhow poor kid when comes He tells us he wants to leave as soon as a den Or pack meeting starts - when the parents leave he sulks  or is very disruptive. This year the parent say our pack needs to supply a mentor scout like a den chief or adult leader for him because the school provides a para educator daily.   We are all doing the best we can but just don’t have enough adults for this mandate. We have 1 leader covering 2 dens, committee chair handling advancement and a den, One  leader with 1 den and just got a parent to volunteer for tigers. How much can the parents reasonably require of us?  The mom always says she’ll take it to Council and make us give him services like school does and we’re ready to say “Fine  that’s your right”. How can we get these parents to stay and help him when the other parents drop off for meetings. We aren’t trained special educators just folks trying hard for the kids so they all get the best experience possible.  

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I would send her email with the District Executive on the email stating that you aren't able to provide this and that the parents are welcome to attend the events and help their child.  If that isn't acceptable, mention how the District Executive may know of a pack that is able to do this for their son.

 

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BSA is not Babysitters of Anyone.  Inform the mom that we are volunteer run organization.  As such, we look forward to the helping a wide range of youth with their advancement in the program.  However, that only happens when the adults volunteer to help guide the youth.  Given that her child requires additional attention, this is a great program for her to go get trained and be an assistant den leader.  This will insure that her child experiences the best of the program. Ask "dont you want the best for your child?"  Then state that the volunteering to help will fulfill that desire.  

There are no written statements that anyone is required to look after another persons child.

She is more than welcome to contact any and all professionals, who should/will tell her the same..........

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Parents are not required to accept responsibility for other people's kids.  We are all volunteers.  If you are not comfortable, then don't do it.  

It's also acceptable to not do it if it's hurting the experience of the other cubs.  

"IF" the parent has already said they would talk to the council, then I would suggest they do that.  The council does have special need units.  They probably do have a special needs pack that would accept the scout.  

I would require the parents to stay until the cub says he's okay with them leaving and you are comfortable with the cub staying without the parent. 

I'd also ask if the bridges are already burnt.  If the parent is saying they'll take it to the council, I'd be tempted to say they already acknowledged the situation is bad.  Maybe they should move on.  

Edited by fred8033
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5 hours ago, Momleader said:

...This year the parent say our pack needs to supply a mentor scout like a den chief or adult leader for him because the school provides a para educator daily...

Holy moly... That is either a woefully uninformed parent who thinks the BSA is somehow connected to their public school system, or an informed but still incredibly ballsy parent to demand that a mostly volunteer-run organization provide that kind support for their child.

I want to believe it's the former, but suspect it's the latter.

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The best way to do this is to have a consistent policy at the unit level. You need to meet as a committee and lay out how you handle disruptive scouts and write a policy. In our unit, we say we make an effort to accommodate all scouts, but if issues arise then a parent or parent appointed guardian may be required to attend meetings with the scout. If a parent cannot attend and the scout is disruptive, then the parent will be called to come pick up the scout. 

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All good advice above and spot on.  Alert your District Commissioner and District Executive that this is coming.  99% of us are just volunteer parents with no special training or ability in handling special needs scouts.  We all are willing to do the best we can, but that obligation applies to ALL the scouts in the unit, who also expect a good program.  If it gets ugly or she just doesn't get the message, they can be removed from your unit at the unit's discretion.  

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14 hours ago, Momleader said:

We have a family in the pack who joined and stayed a year then transferred to another pack and came back last school year.

Wild guess as to why the bouncing: she tried pulling this with the pack they transferred to and they told her off/BSA does not stand for Baby Sitters of America.

Edited by CynicalScouter

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54 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

I flip back and forth on this.  My experience is that scouting units (packs, troops) need relatively light policy and procedure documents.  Document habits.  When do you meet?  How much are dues and when?  How do you share fundraiser profits?  ... A new parent guide ... Beyond that, I find little need to document policies and procedures. 

RECOMMENDATION:  Resolve the situation first.  Then, outside the situation, discuss whether a policy is needed. 

I've sat in too many committee meetings where hours are spent debating a well written policy that is driven by one or two situations.  Then, after the incident is done, we never touch the policy again.  It's never published.  It's never communicated again.  It really turns out it was a policy for this one incident.   My conclusion:  Don't create policy during problem situations.  You will often end up with policy that you don't want to live with and that others won't follow. 

Queue a policy discussion for later, but don't create the new policy during the situation.  Policies written during situations often become bad policy. 

Sometimes I wonder if discussing policy is the passive aggressive way to handle bad situations that are really best handled clean and upfront.

This so spot on. You do not need a policy to have common sense.  Many units paint themselves into corners with policies and multi-page (with colored tabs no doubt) Pack Procedure manual.  This takes away the ability to really manage the issue.  

In this situation basically they want YOU (The pack) to provide an accommodation for their son similar to the School system.  The schools are a public items, governed by a myriad of laws, guidelines, rules.  The pack is not under that guidance.

Situation - Cub is disruptive and needs to be removed from the meeting.  That is the issue, deal with THAT issue

Solution 1 - Parent stays and manages their Cub, works with them, works with the pack system, registers, and his attendance is dependent on their attendance OR their recruitment of someone to manage THEIR son.

Solution 2 - They need to find a pack that may better fit their specific needs

Go forth and have fun Scouting

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Isn't it BSA policy that parents (or guardian) must attend meetings with their cubs? Maybe that was a rule the Pack I was associated with had. 

Irregardless, it is only the parent's responsibility to deal with their disruptive cub scout (and other behavioral problems). The pack can require the parent to either be present with their scout or they should find another pack. The Den leader has to focus on the program that benefits the group as a whole. No need for long Pack policy documents. Just remember that scout leaders are not allowed to discipline scouts, since that is the realm of parents. Scout leaders can kick out scouts if parents do not cooperate, however, remember that scouting is all about character development, so expulsion should be the last resort. Any investment of time with scouts like this is worth it over time.

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2 minutes ago, Owls_are_cool said:

Isn't it BSA policy that parents (or guardian) must attend meetings with their cubs? Maybe that was a rule the Pack I was associated with had.

Lions must have a parent, per BSA.

I know some packs that have imposed the parent rule at least for the younger ranks.

Edited by CynicalScouter
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Lions and Tigers need to have parent at the meeting with them - it’s how the program was designed. 
 

I think the one of y’all is onto something. They may bounce packs if it doesn’t suit them. 
We leaders are forwarding the email from parent to us up to the Field service person at council (we are in between district commissioners now) and our request that the parent attends meetings with their cub to help them acclimate and succeed. 
 
maybe council has a special needs pack that’s a better fit - tired of being called not inclusive when we have tried and just don’t have the resources/bodies to help them, and I can’t put that responsibility into a young teen den chief. 

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I agree with all theabove comments/suggestions.

Observations:

Does the family have any other children? How do they deal with them?  Only one child?    If , as has been stated, the school system provides a para educator, that person is PAID (tax dollars) to be with the child.  I was a sub teacher, worked occasionally in Special Ed, and have great respect for those folks, it is a "leading",  a profession, and very draining and challenging.  Scouting is not that,  we are  well meaning volunteers.  AND,,,

as we all know,  sometimes the parent does not want to be a parent.  Ever have a Scout dropped off at summer camp and you need to call the parent only to find (surprise!) they left on a caribean cruise 2 hours after they dropped the kid off?  Who to contact for the broken arm?   

The parents here need to be reminded that even tho there is a Membership Fee, that only entitles the Scout to "participate", not to be "minded".  This is a quid pro quo (where did I hear that before?) situation.  . You help with my Scout, I'll help with yours.  Together we will raise good citizens.  What is this family offering in exchange for us providing their urchin with the opportunity to go camping, hiking, learn knots and what Poison Ivy looks like? 

It is a given that Scouting is not a one size fits everyone. But it is also known that sometimes (SOMETIMES)  Scouting can be just what the Special Ed kid needs, with  a mom or dad's support.  Sometimes...... 

 

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