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Apache Bob

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I'm rather skeptical of the whole idea of promotign Scouting as a "family" program. To me that defeats one of the purposes of Scouting, to allow a boy to grow and learn on his own.

 

Could be just a sign of prevailing ailment of our times. Mommy and daddy have to be involved to the nth degree or junior won't participate.

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I agree with GW. Parents seem more & more unwilling to let little Billy do anything without them being right there. It's sad.

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For Cub Scout age boys and their parents I think this is a great idea but once a boy moves up to Boy Scouts this is exactly the opposite IMHO that needs to happen. Parents need to fade into the background while still being supportive. IMHO the very best Scoutmasters are those without boys in the program. Parents with boys in the program should fill ASM and committee roles.

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"For Cub Scout age boys and their parents I think this is a great idea . . ."

 

Even Cub Scouts need to have the apron string cut. They have a Den Leader and assistant Den Leader as well as a Den Chief.

 

Think back to olden times, the 50s, 60s and even the 70s when children had undirected and mostly unsupervised play. Other than feeding us, the neighborhood mothers were rarely involved in any of of our grand exploits. If memory serves, a friend's mother cut the view ports in the refrigerator box so we could use it as a tank.

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Yes, most of my outdoor play time was undirected and usupervised. But, if I did anything wrong, my mother knew about it before I got home. Somebody was always watching us...

 

My son aged out before I took over as Scoutmaster three years ago. As to BrotherhoodWWW's comment about those without boys in the program - it's a two edged sword. I can't be accused of playing favorites and care about every boy equally, but I miss not having my son in the troop. I missed him the most at summer camp.

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I understand the whole "apron cutting" thing but not at the Cub Scout level. I see no reason as to why the parents can't and shouldn't be involved. I know my Tigers and Wolfs love having their parents involved in the activities with them. I for one enjoy them being there because I'm not a babysitter, I'm their den leader. Maybe I'm lucky, but my parents sit back and let me lead the meeting but are there to step up to aid in the hands-on activities. The parents have told me time and time again how much they themselves enjoy being with their boys during their Sccout time.

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" The parents have told me time and time again how much they themselves enjoy being with their boys during their Sccout time."

 

Of course they do . . .

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One of the 10 Purposes of Cub Scouting -

 

Family Understanding

 

 

One of the 7 Methods of Cub Scouting -

 

Family Involvement

 

 

Cub Scouting IS Family and parent involvement is part of the program.

 

My problem with the ScoutParent Initiative is that it requires units and councils to sign up even more volunteers, to create more volunteer committees, to do more fundraising, to find more corporate sponsors, to PURCHASE MARKETING MATERIALS.

 

While marketing materials are helpful, I would rather create my own and utilize the free resources of my council, than pay $250 for them.

 

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"Family Involvement"

 

When I was a Cub Scout, family involvement meant that your parents signed off on your book that you had done things and that your parents helped you with your projects so you didn't cut your fingers off.

 

We met after school at the Den Mother's house and did stuff. There was no ADL, just a Den Chief.

 

Now for some reason, you need parents around all the time. Parents to help assuage the hurt feeling because Jimmy's project isn't a nice looking as Bobby's.

 

Parent feel the "need" to be there because they aren't around to kiss boo-boos or to teach Jimmy to ride a bike.

 

 

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I unfortunately had two boys last year who did not go camping. I met the mom in the parking lot after a meeting and asked why they did not go with the troop on the campouts. She said, "Well, we will only let him go if we are with him, and I cannot go on weekends, and my husband can only go one weekend per month." I told her that parents attendance on campouts is not required, and that we had enough adult supervision to cover her sons. She was very adamant that she would not let her boys go without a parent being present. sigh.

 

These boys are no longer in the troop. They dropped out.

 

 

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I think yall are mixing apples and oranges. There is a difference between having too many parents and having parents involved that don't understand or follow the "scouting method". SO the issue related to this isnt if they are involved but how.

 

It must be nice to have the issue of having too much parental involvement. The norm I see is unit's having troubling filling the core adult leadership positions much less a cadre of surplus parents.

 

As for all this nostalgia about the days "when I was a kid", Well sorry but the world just isnt the same place. At a minimum, letting kids do alot of the things my generation could do as children would get you a vist from Child Protective Services. In addition, the world is just a rougher, less civil and more dangerous place then it used to be. Growing up we could leave our back door open, you would be an idiot to even think about doing that today. The list could go on and on.

 

As for Family Involvement. Before reading this thread, I had never heard a cry that there is too much "Family" in American Society! BSA should be doing everything it can to support family life and to teach these boys (soon to be men and fathers) the importance of and their responsibility to family.

 

As for "babying" kids, I agree we should not shield them from all the hickups, bumps and bruises that occur along their developmental trail. But the suggestion that parental involvment necessarily impedes putting on the scout program (or allowing kids to grow and learn on their own) is ridiculous.

 

Let me turn it around: why should I trust someone else to be my childs scout leader? What would make me think someone else could better teach my son to grow into a man? What are the odds, they have a longer, deeper and more complete understanding of the Scouting program then me? What would make me think my son would held to a higher standard by someone else then by me?

 

It was written above that someone thought the best Scoutmasters were ones that didnt have a son in the program. I agree with that from my experiences but the Scoutmasters that come to mind are excellent Scoutmasters now because they have been doing in for 15-20+ years. The fact that their sons (who are now grown) are no longer in the program has nothing to do with it. They are excellent because of their passion, knowledge, commitment and experience.

 

 

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Cub Scouts is a different world from Boy Scouts. And even w/in the Cub Scout program Tigers is different still - it requires 100% parent participation - 1 Tiger Cub + 1 adult = 1 Tiger Team - No parent, no Tiger.

 

When I explain Ages and Stages to parents I tell them that it meant to wean them off their sons as much as it is meant to wean their sons off of them. Some parents do well, while others don't. As long as Family Involvement is one of the Methods of Cub Scouting you have to be able to utilize the good and try to minimize the bad.

 

The world our children are growing up in is vastly different than the world we grew up in. It is (imho) far less safe, yet our children are growing up faster and losing their innocence younger. The trick, as I see it, is to give your child the tools to keep him/her self safe in the world they are inheriting. Sometimes parents need to learn what those tools are, how to get them to their children and then to trust their children to use the tools they have been given. Scouts is a safe setting for that learning (for both parties) to take place in.

 

YiS

Michelle(This message has been edited by msnowman)

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>>The fact that their sons (who are now grown) are no longer in the program has nothing to do with it. They are excellent because of their passion, knowledge, commitment and experience.

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There are a couple of issues I see. First issue is parents who want their kids to be examples for their own bragging rights and will do whatever they can to see that it happens. The second is parent paranoia. They see the TV news and live in fear. The term Helicopter parents covers both groups. Both issues need to be addressed with some parent orientation. They need to be informed that scouting is supposed to prepare kids for life, to be prepared, but to do that, the kids need to be trusted to make their own decisions. The kids need to learn to fail and pick themselves up. On the second issue, the parents need to trust the adult leaders. Explain the leadership rules, criminal background checks etc. The parents need to be weaned from their kids!

 

My own involvement in scouting started with my older son but I did my best to distance myself from him. There were campouts where I doubt we exchanged more than a dozen words and I stayed out of his advancement trail. I can't say other adult leaders did the same with their sons and now that our kids have been in the real world, the results show it. Many of these kids suffer from "failure to launch" and have been college dropouts.

 

My younger son was a different matter as he is autistic. Here the other adult leaders were the paranoid ones. The opportunities for the other boys and adults to learn from different kids were initially quite good but the new wore off as he got older. Younger boys were not interested in being social with an older "different" kid and parents with the above issues reinforce the isolation. Having seen my boys through the program, I have a pretty good perspective of where it works and where it fails. When it comes to challenged kids, I no longer see scouting as inclusive as the organization thinks it is. There are a few exceptions but these exceptions are based on individuals putting out the effort, not BSA. Some would argue otherwise but my own experience and discussions with other parents and guardians though Special Olympics form the basis of my experience.

 

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