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Its Me

I am considering pulling by boy out of scouts

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Its Me:

Somewhere along the way you've missed out on the magic that Scouting brings into your life. I have it and I can see it in many of my fellow forum members as I read what they post. You mention soccer and the chess club but neither of these can begin to compare to what Scouting (properly done) will bring into your life. Soccer may benefit the body thru physical activity and chess may benefit the mind thru mental exercise, but Scouting benefits the whole of a person. Not many things out there that do that. Like the others have said please don't force your son out because of what you feel. Step back and just be a parent. If the time comes that he wants to stop being a Scout on his own, fine. But let that decision belong to him.

From a person who believes in Scouting

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Here's another thought. If your SON (not YOU) isn't so sure he wants to go through another 6-8-12 months as a webelos II before joining a troop, and if HE (not YOU) is chomping at the bit to take his scouting experience to a new level, then maybe the two of you should consider having him cross over to the troop a little early.

 

If he is 10 and has his arrow of light,

OR

If he is 10 and has completed 5th grade,

OR

If he is 11 years old

 

then he can join a troop.

 

But please, don't make this decision for him - if YOU are burned out on cubbing but HE is not, then it wouldn't be right.

 

The drawbacks to doing the above are:

1) he might not want to move on to boy scouts ahead of his buddies from his den

2) He'd almost certainly be the youngest boy in the troop and the only, or one of very few, brand new scouts.

3) A lot of troops run a solid New Scout program for cross-overs, which usually is organized to kick in whenever cross-over happens in your area, so your boy might be in the troop for a while before that happens.

4) Boy Scouting is much more demanding of the boy than Cub Scouting and not all boys are ready for that (mentally and emotionally as well as physically) at the beginning of 5th grade. Some mature a great deal between August and March/April/May, or whenever cross over is in your area.

5) They'll miss out on some fun activities with their former pack since they won't be cub scouts any more.

 

I think those are pretty significant caution points to consider. But, for some boys, they're ready at the beginning of 5th grade and have met the AoL requirements, and can't wait to move on. If that's your son (not YOU), then it might be worth talking over the summer with the Scoutmaster about this option.

 

When my husband and I were Webelos DLs, we had a couple of boys who were on the edge like this. Ultimately they and their families decided not to leave early and we had a GREAT W II year - much better, actually, than W I . Like your son, most of our boys were close to done w/ the AoL requirements by the end of 4th/early 5th grade. That gave us all kinds of room to really ramp up the program and do things "just for fun" instead of worrying about rank advancement.

 

And I am really glad, looking back, because right now my son is in that obnoxious "don't walk too close to me in public" stage and I'm so happy that we both have those shared experiences from when he was in cubs and still thought I was "cool." (Here's hoping I become "cool" again not-too-far down the road.)

 

Lisa'bob

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Interesting take on the leadership. My first year scout is patrol leader. Can't advise you on the rest cuz I didn't do much with cubs - DH was tiger cub leader, then drafted for CC. Did a darn good job at it, if I say so myself! Pack was better than it was when he arrived when he retired.

 

I picked up at Boy Scouts. You'll make your own decision, but the opportunity to help a boy learn how to make their own decisions in a relatively safe microcosm of society is, to me, priceless. In EVERY other activity I can think of a boy is told what to do, what is right, and what is wrong at every turn.

 

"...ethical (and moral) choices over their lifetime..."

 

Vicki

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I was talking to our old DE on the phone.

We are still very good friends and she now serves on the Ship's Committee.

We were looking back, taking a walk down memory lane.

We laughed about all the work we had put into running Day Camps, fussing to meet Standards.

We laughed about my grand stand production at a District Committee meeting where I said if we had another Camporee with a string burning contest I'd go nuts!!

We talked about the good people in the District and some of the twits (Yes I know it's not very Scout-like.)

We laughed about the time when the Webelos Scouts were sleeping in a cabin and were attacked by a "Killer Mouse" and when OJ went winter camping at Twin Echo and was worried if he sat on the metal toilet seat that he would be frozen to it.

I said how OJ and the Lodge Chief were taking the Explorer up to camp this weekend and how they had all met to go to a restaurant last week and eat chicken wings.

I said how lucky I felt that the kids he runs with are all good kids and how I wished they would not drive as fast!!

I said how much the Ship and I were looking forward to the high adventure sea kayaking trip.

You and your Lad can do all this without being a member of the BSA.

I can't look inside of my Lads head. I'm not sure I want to!! But he is going to be 18 this year. I think he thinks the most important thing in his life right now is his friends.

He is as busy as all the kids his age are. I didn't pick his friends for him, I know that his involvement in Scouting, the OA and now the Ship has helped shape who his friends are. Lord knows that they aren't Angels, but they are good kids.

Kids who have parents who have stood by them. They have driven to camp to eat really bad food, sat through pack meetings where the acoustics are so bad that they haven't heard a word.

They have forked over their hard earned cash to send their kid to Philmont, Jamborees, Camporees, bought uniforms, sewed patches on the wrong pocket and had to redo it.

Some have had the time to be with their son along the way, many were there part of the way.

I agree it's one heck of an investment.

Time, money, frustration, dealing with people that maybe you don't like or have a hard time working with.

But I think the investment pays off.

In time the little Lad who lives in your house will want less and less to do with you. Try as hard as you like, he is going to grow up into his own man. If you don't let him or try to stop him, he is going to like you even less.

He may decide that he doesn't want to remain in Scouting.

But when I see what Scouting has done for my Lad, I couldn't be more happy with the pay off from my investment. It's not a get rich quick investment and maybe I've been lucky.

You have to decide what is best for you and your family, but I think if you look at the long term plan of what Scouting could do for your Lad, you will do everything you can not to allow him to leave.

Eamonn

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I was talking to our old DE on the phone.

We are still very good friends and she now serves on the Ship's Committee.

We were looking back, taking a walk down memory lane.

We laughed about all the work we had put into running Day Camps, fussing to meet Standards.

We laughed about my grand stand production at a District Committee meeting where I said if we had another Camporee with a string burning contest I'd go nuts!!

We talked about the good people in the District and some of the twits (Yes I know it's not very Scout-like.)

We laughed about the time when the Webelos Scouts were sleeping in a cabin and were attacked by a "Killer Mouse" and when OJ went winter camping at Twin Echo and was worried if he sat on the metal toilet seat that he would be frozen to it.

I said how OJ and the Lodge Chief were taking the Explorer up to camp this weekend and how they had all met to go to a restaurant last week and eat chicken wings.

I said how lucky I felt that the kids he runs with are all good kids and how I wished they would not drive as fast!!

I said how much the Ship and I were looking forward to the high adventure sea kayaking trip.

You and your Lad can do all this without being a member of the BSA.

I can't look inside of my Lads head. I'm not sure I want to!! But he is going to be 18 this year. I think he thinks the most important thing in his life right now is his friends.

He is as busy as all the kids his age are. I didn't pick his friends for him, I know that his involvement in Scouting, the OA and now the Ship has helped shape who his friends are. Lord knows that they aren't Angels, but they are good kids.

Kids who have parents who have stood by them. They have driven to camp to eat really bad food, sat through pack meetings where the acoustics are so bad that they haven't heard a word.

They have forked over their hard earned cash to send their kid to Philmont, Jamborees, Camporees, bought uniforms, sewed patches on the wrong pocket and had to redo it.

Some have had the time to be with their son along the way, many were there part of the way.

I agree it's one heck of an investment.

Time, money, frustration, dealing with people that maybe you don't like or have a hard time working with.

But I think the investment pays off.

In time the little Lad who lives in your house will want less and less to do with you. Try as hard as you like, he is going to grow up into his own man. If you don't let him or try to stop him, he is going to like you even less.

He may decide that he doesn't want to remain in Scouting.

But when I see what Scouting has done for my Lad, I couldn't be more happy with the pay off from my investment. It's not a get rich quick investment and maybe I've been lucky.

You have to decide what is best for you and your family, but I think if you look at the long term plan of what Scouting could do for your Lad, you will do everything you can not to allow him to leave.

Eamonn

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It's Me,

 

Why does there have to be a return on you investment? Are you in this for yourself or the boys? If you are in this for yourself, then you are in this for the wrong reason and you should get out. But just because you going to end your involvement in Scouting doesn't mean your son needs to. There is a lot of good he can get from Scouting that he can't get else where.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10(This message has been edited by evmori)

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"Why stay when there appears to be so little return on the investment?"

 

As a Scoutmaster, please believe me that a Scout gets the MOST out of the program those first two years. Not even their own parents can believe the changes that take place right after Webelos graduation.

 

You have already identified leadership as an important part of our program. It's something that other youth programs don't offer, at least not to the same level as Boy Scouts. Does the team captain call the plays? Design the plays? Run the practices? No.

 

Learning leadership, most definitely, does not start when being put in the position of being a leader. It starts when you see others learning leadership by doing. The newest members of a Boy Scout patrol are well aware of the fact that they will soon be taking on important leadership roles in the patrol and are comparing how they think they will respond to certain situations as they watch their own patrol leaders.

 

Also, there is a HUGE difference between backpacking with the family and backpacking with a Boy Scout troop. The level of independence and self-reliance a Scout will develop on a troop outing simply cannot be matched on a family trip.

 

Please give your son a chance with Boy Scouts. I am confident that you and your son will find that your "investment" is richly rewarded.

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I don't know where the idea that his leadership skills would not begin being taught until he was 14.

Kevin will be 13 Sunday. So far he has been Patrol Leader twice. Is OA Troop Rep. Den Chief for a Web II Den. He has Jr. Staffer a Adult Leader Outdoor training. Has been ask back and was ask Thursday night if he would be interested in helping train Den Chiefs. He is working on his Eagle and in only two badges short of having all his required badges. So how do you figure his leadership skills have not been being taught.

 

If you SON is having in Scouting. And you are not bad mouthing the program to him. I would suggest that you step down and let him be a Scout and you back away. I have worked in some way with either Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts for close to 40 years. And 90% of the time when I hear these types of comments from a parent it is because the parent wants more from the program that the boys want.

So if you want to teach your some responsibility how about also teaching him to do his best. Or is it easier to teach him to quit when things aren't going the way he wants then to go.

I started teaching leadership skills to my boys when they were in Wolves. By the time they were Web II they were pretty much acting as a troop patrol. When we moved into the Troop they stepped in and took responsibilities within the troop.

Like I said. Leadership skills don't magically begin being taught at 14. They start at 7-8

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You people are over selling scouting to the point of exaggeration. To express that scouting is the unsurpassed program for developing youths is fictional. Its foolishness to consider that pulling him out of scouting will do irreparably harm.

 

My son did very well in piano. At age 6-7 he was picking it up quite well mainly playing by ear. His piano instructor thought he had real talent then she raised her rates and moved. A few trials with other instructors proved unsuccessful. One could argue that I am denying his true ambitions to play the piano.

 

He swims pretty well. I bet if I found a lesson plan for him and private lessons he could develop further as a swimmer. I am sure the swimming.com forum would scold me as well for pulling him out of swimming.

 

He has played soccer for many years and we intend to have him try out for a select or competitive team. If we dont let him play competitive soccer maybe I am denying all those wonderful opportunities to bond with other boys, travel and achieve common goals.

 

His mother and I spend an exceptional amount of time considering the phases of his development. To assess his time spent in any one and all his youth programs is in my opinion good parenting. To us the opportunity cost of the time spent in scout must be weighed against what is lost. In my opinion Webelos II scouting is hardly the magical rewarding program that all scouting is billed as on these forums.

 

To end this I will say that we will likely allow him to continue in scouts. Maybe as we finally get into Boy scouts and out of the Cub world I will see the magic. As for me, it better get a lot better in Boy Scouts for me to stay in.

 

By the way my favorite year as a den leader was the wolf year. The kids were great the parents were great. But five years latter still teaching the same old home safety rules, bike safety rules and assigning what amounts to be American history homework has gotten a little dull.

 

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As for me, it better get a lot better in Boy Scouts for me to stay in.

 

A lot better? Based on your posts you seem to want more out of the program than you are willing to put into it! And that isn't going to happen any where at any time in any program. If you think it will, then you are wasting your time & should move on to something else that requires a minimum investment like watching television.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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>As for me, it better get a lot better in Boy Scouts for me to stay in.

 

By the way my favorite year as a den leader was the wolf year. The kids were great the parents were great. But five years latter still teaching the same old home safety rules, bike safety rules and assigning what amounts to be American history homework has gotten a little dull. >

 

Sounds like a leadership problem to me. Don't think you're doing anybody any favors here, Its Me. The program is only as good as you're willing to make it.

 

On a side note - Good luck with that select soccer thing, btw - it's a LOT more draining than scouts. Speaking from experience on that one.

 

Vicki

 

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Its Me

 

What did you expect with that question on this site? The people that frequent this site all have one thing in common - we love scouting and we recognize the benefits. You seem to be a bright fellow so I suspect you already knew that when you posted. If you were looking for encouragement to hang in there, then you have received many good posts. If you are looking for a reason to quit, then I suppose you will find that too. When you cut through all the other stuff in your posts and boil it all down and consider the people you are talking to, what did you really want these folks to tell you? When you can clearly state that, then you will get your answer.

 

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Soccer, schmoccer.

 

Where's the future in that? Probably about the same place as is is for all those "stars" that think they're going to win a full scholarship to play NCAA basketball in college and become a 1st-round draft pick in the NBA. Ha!

 

An Eagle will look a lot better on college applications than a select soccer team membership.

 

So, to Its Me: I think you see where those of us who believe in the program AND ARE WILLING TO MAKE IT WORK stand on the issue. But ultimately, you AND YOUR SON need do decide.

 

To everyone else: I think we all know that Scouting just isn't "right" for every boy. As much as we all treasure the wonderful things that scouting has to offer, and as much as every boy really needs what Scouting offers, we'll never "save" all the boys. Perhaps this is one that we should be thankful doesn't continue. I'm sure we all need parents who are constantly complaining, whose kids show up irregularly and then wonder why they're not advancing, and generally become a thorn in the side. I say let Its Me go, and let's concentrate our efforts on those who appreciate our efforts. After all, as highly trained, exorbitantly paid volunteers, our time is valuable. Let's make OUR investment count.

 

Call it sour grapes, but you can't win every argument. I prefer to choose my battles.

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Its Me,

 

You did solicit the advice of the forum on "Why stay when there appears to be so little return on the investment?"

 

I'm not sure what kind of answers you were expecting to get in this forum other than differing opinions on the value of the investment in scouting.

 

My only advice is to let your boy have a say in what youth programs he participates in. If you don't have time and budget for all of the ones you approve of, let him be involved in setting priorities on which ones he prefers--perhaps he's not ready to do that yet.

 

I just don't see return on investment as a significant requirement for extracurricular activities. I'm more interested in my boy participating in things that interest him (other than the video game club).

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