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"But he will certainly do the minimum"


Being an Eagle Scout shouldn't be about doing the minimum of anything, at least not if is supposed to be as meaningful as it once was. I've never understand wanting an award if it's devalued by the methods used to obtain it. If you and your son don't think you have the time or skill set for Scouts and are not willing to put 100% into it I would suggest concentrating on those activities that you are interested in and leaving behind scouting.


If it's just about the patch it would seem anyone can pick one up at the link below:




But it's always seemed to me that what you do during the Eagle journey and how you live your life afterward is more important than a piece of fabric.


Best wishes,



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Hello Daddy-O:


I put a brief response on another board and was referred to this one.


A few thoughts.


As others have said, what Scouting is trying to do is different from what the boys see and from what many adults see.


We participate in a movement which attempts to improve the citizenship, character and fitness of youth. We use means like youth leadership, ideals, independence, etc. as means to achieve our objectives. It turns out that living in the outdoors is a particularly effective means toward improving and enhancing independence, leadership in youth and to have them have fun doing it. Whether the outdoor emphasis in Scouting was developed as a good means to achieve the objectives or whether the outdoors came first and then the ideals second is not important but we Scouters believe that outdoor living is a great experience and one that strongly reinforces our ideals.


But the outdoors is not the only means to accomplish these objectives. You and your son need to decide:


1) Is Scouting, an outdoor oriented organization, one that will help you achieve your objectives of fun, growth, etc. noting that the outdoor orientation can be modified as noted below

2) Will some other organization achieve the objectives better taking into account that you need to modify less of their base program than you would need to for Scouting


It's up to you and your son and the decision doesn't need to be irrevocable. If he wishes, let him start and try. Make it very clear that for physical reasons, camping will be difficult if not impossible for him. Let him do his best and if not being able to camp becomes too frustrating or too limiting, he drops out with no hard feeling on anybody's part. That way, you haven't told him he can't do it.


One is not a Scouting failure if they don't become an Eagle Scout. A good Scout promises to do his or her best. Physical limitations can strongly impact what "best" is.


If your son truly is so severely allergic to mold, and I have no reason to believe you are exaggerating, and it is so diagnosed by an allergist, I believe that he would qualify for a medical waiver for many Scouting advancement requirements. This does NOT mean that he gets a free pass. Rather, he, plus you, plus his Troop, identify activities of equal difficulty and complexity which he can do within his physical limitations. I'm sure that he's not the first boy to have physical challenges which make camping difficult if not impossible. If you do decide that he should join a Troop, keep this alternative in mind.

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Daddy_O, I would say first that your boy's desire should be the primary criteria. If he feels Scouting isn't for him then he shouldn't be pressured to join or participate. Likewise, if he wants to continue in the program because he enjoys it, he should be allowed to.


I can certainly understand your concerns about his health. Most troops I've been in have been outdoors troops but we have occasionally had Scouts who were not built for or not interested in a lot of outdoor activity. That's fine as long as he does what he needs to and participates fully in other portions of the program.


On the other hand, perhaps I'm missing something but it seems like you want the "adult-led" troop more than your son does. In all honesty, he will probably get more out of the troop he enjoys. He will meet new boys, participate in new activities, learn new skills. He will do all of it more enthusiastically (and therefore get more out of it) if he enjoys the troop. I personally believe people learn more by doing things themselves hence the preference for a "boy-led" troop.


You say he likes scouting and wants to continue. Let him. Where there's a will, there's a way. Honestly, you'll probably find other parents will be willing to give him a lift to and from meetings or activities if you're bogged down with your other child.


I'm not quite getting why you're in such a hurry or say time is not on your side. He can always switch troops later if he decides this one isn't to his liking. You say he needs a path forward but it sounds like he's already on a path he likes, he just needs to watch for and accommodate physical limitations.

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"We need an Adult led advancement-oriented troop. You guys write derisively about such outfits, but thats exactly what we need How do I find them?"


There are reasons we "write derisively" about them.


If that is truly what you want for your son, then you can find them by looking in your local yellow pages, under Youth Organizations, for anything EXCEPT the Boy Scouts of America.


What you want is definitely NOT Scouting!


Good luck.





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Daddy_O, like the others it seems to me that you are the driving force here not your son. Attaining Eagle is an accomplishment that requires some perseverance, some personal drive, some getting wet in the rain, some getting hot and sweaty (and down here in the South a lot of bug swatting), some cold and uncomfortable times in winter months, but most importantly, it requires determination and desire to grow and achieve a personally set goal.


You seem to be only interested in his sporting achievements and activities. Your personal history in Scouting should not be a limit or become a stopping point for him if he truly wants to continue. From the last paragraph it sounds like he needs to work a little on his inter-personal skills. I know that you have moved around because of your job, but, you say he has no real buddies in his Pack. The Troop experience can and will lead to lifelong relationships with his Scouting buddies.


Finally, you said "If this doesnt work out we wasted a LOT of time and energy. Like most others in todays economy, my job is always at risk. We may move again (I hope not) and thats so disruptive of everything WE do!" What has been wasted? Has he not learned anything in his Cub Scouting experience that will assist him in team building on his sports teams, helped to become a little goal oriented, or simply a little better person? If not I wonder if his Arrow of Light was awarded in the same fashion as you are looking for his Eagle to be awarded!

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If I can hop in on the allergen issue - I encourage you to visit a doctor who specializes in allergies. I suffered quite a bit from "hayfever" in my younger days (not so much now - but I'm still prepared). In my case, it was mostly reactions to ragweed pollen - active from August to November. I still remember many nights camping with the Troop or my family when I woke up in the middle of the night struggling to breathe because of my allergies - and those camping trips were always in the fall. For just that reason, I always had an inhaler with me - the same type asthmatics would have. When I woke up, I would get dressed, be out of the tent, and sitting under the tarp after using the inhaler to get breathing normally and relaxed again - usually with my tentmate (who couldn't help but be woken up by my panicked thrashing around while I was getting dressed and getting my inhaler) and often one of the adult leaders (who would hear the commotion). By the time I was 16, I was given pills I could take to help prevent the reaction - worked pretty well - and I understand they've gotten better since then.


The mold allergen issue your son is having isn't insurmountable - and probably is something the Scout leaders already have some experience with.



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The Scoutmaster split up your son and his best friend? The whole point of the Patrol Method is share great adventures with your best friends. The Scoutmaster might actually agree with that. Did you or your son ask him? He might have just assumed that keeping the Dens together was what the new Scouts wanted. Since this Scoutmaster runs this Troop and you like the whole adult-led thing, then you should simply tell him that your son wants to be in the same Patrol as his best friend.


Daddy_O writes:


"This is a camping troop, and my kid is really not an outdoor type. He wants to be an Eagle Scout, and earn merit badges. But his plate is full. Were not going to have weekends to camp. I understand that some camping is required, but he will certainly do the minimum. Hell do service though, and work like crazy. Hes declined to go to summer camp as it interferes with his highly-select baseball team."


"You guys write derisively about such outfits."


Yeah, that would include me :)


Most of the people who want to "broaden the appeal of Scouting" by attracting boys who hate Scoutcraft (camping), are not as honest about it as you are, Daddy_O! They usually justify their actions by citing the "Mission Statement" which was written by office managers who hate Scoutcraft enough to defy an Act of Congress--and then talk piously about the importance of "values" like "obedience." :)


According to our Charter,


The purposes of the corporation are to promote, through organization, and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods that were in common use by boy scouts on June 15, 1916.


So in an organization that openly disobeys an Act of Congress it should be very easy to find a Troop that offers camping but does not really require it for Eagle. I know a Troop that signs off on "signs of wildlife" for pictures of a puppy, a kitten, a tiger, a bear, and a monkey downloaded from the Internet. The Troop is wildly popular, parents drive past local Troops in their own towns to get to there because they prefer an adult-run advancement Troop that stresses the "Mission of Scouting."


Perfect, huh? :)


Daddy_O writes:


"We need an Adult led advancement-oriented troop....How do I find them?"


Here is how you do it, Daddy_O: First watch the video at the end of this post. Then go to Roundtable and ask the District Executives and/or Commissioners in your Council if they are as excited as you are about the "brave new 21st century" direction that the Chief Scout Executive is taking the Boy Scouts of America.


Quote the Chief Scout Executive's reference to camping as "rubbing two sticks together" and snicker. Then ask them if they agree with Robert Mazzuca that your son can learn about character and leadership using aerospace and computers while sitting indoors side by side with adults of character. Most importantly, tell him that you want your son to learn how to do what billionaire CEOs have done to this country with their state of the art "leadership" techniques.


Then ask him if he knows of such a "21st century" Troop in your area:


You can teach a kid about character and leadership using aerospace and computers. The secret is to get them side by side with adults of character. We run the risk of becoming irrelevant if we don't adapt to things that attract kids today. We recognize the evolving science of leadership. We've had CEOs on our board say they want to send their people to Wood Badge, our adult leader training program, because we use state-of-the-art techniques (Chief Scout Executive Robert Mazzuca, USA Today, 7/20/2008).


Tell him or her what you told us, that camping is not necessarily a big thing with you, as a matter of fact it is not big at all. Tell him you are far more interested in what the BSA has for families regarding character development and leadership skill growth. Tell him it is not important to get your son into a tent, and that the reason should be fairly obvious.


Tell him how it makes you feel when a Troop says they want to take your ten-year-old son camping but grandma and baby sis can't come! A modern Scout Troop should engage the entire family! The BSA should recognize your issues accommodate them. Tell him that your son would rather play soccer than go camping.


Camping is not necessarily a big thing with them, as a matter of fact in some cases it is not big at all. So we need to kind of think about, is it more important that we reach that child with the kind of things we have for children and we have for families in character development and leadership skill growth and all of those things? Or is it more important that we get them in a tent next week? And so I think the answer to that is fairly obvious to us.


The other is that marvelous passion for family in the Hispanic world and when we say 'we want to take your twelve-year-old son but you can't come' we're making a mistake there. We have to engage an entire family. We need to reach out and do those sorts of things that recognize their cultural issues and accommodate them. For example one of our pilot programs over the last recent years has been Scouting and soccer, using the attraction of the soccer game to gather Hispanic families around.... (Chief Scout Executive Robert Mazzuca, MSNBC, below).


Yes, we write derisively about your needs now, Daddy_O, but when Robert Mazzuca is done with the BSA, Boy Scouts will play soccer. Loyal holders of the Wood Badge will get all weepy and proclaim "Wood Badge has always been about coaching!"







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LisaBob,Thanks for the disclaimer. I really (really) did not comprehend Kudu's post. I've been on the sidelines for 5 years. I don't know what most of that means... Honestly.


I appreciate these replies, even the scathing ones, because this IS a big decision for our fam. The troop wants my kid to join because he is quiet and well-behaved, and never caused his WDL (see, I'm learning!) ANY problems. That's why I hold a high card. In the chaos that's a cub meeting he was always a role model of calm.


Of course he's seeing a physician. He takes several pills, and he could get shots, but neither his mother nor I wish to ramp-up his medications - so he can camp! The less exogeneous substances in one's body the beter IMO.


Sincerely thanks for you opioions, please keep 'em commin'!



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Daddy_O writes:


"LisaBob,Thanks for the disclaimer. I really (really) did not comprehend Kudu's post. I've been on the sidelines for 5 years."


Daddy_O if you have been away for five years, then you should study Lisabob's post carefully because she uses a form of Wood Badge Logic that you will encounter many times in Scouting forums: An ad hominem attack.


Look up ad hominem, and you will see that it describes perfectly what Lisabob has done: ad hominem (Latin: "argument to the man", "argument against the man") consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking the person, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim.


The fun thing about Wood Badge Logic is that such personal attacks are ALWAYS a form of "projection." In other words, when a holder of the Wood Badge attacks somebody in a purely personal way as Lisabob has done, they "project" on that person things that they secretly fear about themselves!


In other words when Lisabob writes: "you should be aware that some posters have agendas and will use any excuse to push them. Kudu is one of those posters. Kudu, please don't hijack this thread."


It means Lisa:


1) Has agendas (and secretly believes that it is wrong for her to have them!).


2) Will use any excuse (such as your thread) to push them.


3) She is one of "those posters."


4) She has just hijacked this thread.


If you looked up ad hominem you will recognize Point #4 right away: By attacking me, "The process of proving or disproving the claim is thereby subverted, and the argumentum ad hominem works to change the subject."


In other words she hijacked the thread away from your question "We need an Adult led advancement-oriented troop...thats exactly what we need...How do I find them?" and changed the discussion to, um, KUDU!


And it worked, didn't it?


Usually a Wood Badge attack includes other holders of the Wood Badge swarming into to "defend" the attacker (they are seriously overdue tonight, aren't they?), and soon everybody is talking about Kudu's personality rather than helping you find a nice adult-led Eagle mill, or explaining why that is not such a good idea. :)


If you "really (really) do not comprehend" something, then try following the URLs and other references, or use Google rather than believing that somebody like "Lisabob" understands it any better than you do.


So let's review, shall we Daddy_O?


1) So far I am the only one who that actually answered your question.


2) If you click on the URL I provided, you will see that the Chief Scout Executive agrees with you about camping (Basically, he says that Scouting is all about "character" and "leadership" and you learn those by playing soccer or sitting indoors in front of a computer screen "side by side with adults of character").


3) Learn Robert Mazzuca's name so you can drop it into conversations at Roundtables, and memorize enough of what he is saying so that you can impress any paid BSA employees (or volunteers with silver tabs) that you ask to help you find an Eagle mill. When they try to tell you that "21st century Scouting" is about moldy stuff like camping, try this: "Is Robert Mazzuca's office aware that you do not support his important new national initiative to 'Reinvent Scouting'?" :)


4) If you memorize the "Mission of Scouting" and spout it every chance you get, you will soon find a nice adult-led Eagle mill that talks passionately about "values," "leadership," and "rules" (always with the Troop rules) but winks at Camping requirements.


One final point: My agenda is: Obey the Boy Scouts of America's Congressional Charter. If you think that 1916 is too "old-fashioned," unfair, and not popular enough with "urban youth" and the Hispanic community, try to have the Charter changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey it.


In case you missed it:


The purposes of the corporation are to promote, through organization, and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods that were in common use by boy scouts on June 15, 1916.


Oh, by the way, one more "final point:"


You write:


"and never caused his WDL (see, I'm learning!)"


Be careful about picking up bad habits. Only a holder of the Wood Badge would use an abbreviation without first spelling out the whole term for readers who are not yet familiar with Scouting jargon. :)




(This message has been edited by kudu)

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Daddy_O, you should be aware that some posters have agendas and will use any excuse to push them. Kudu is one of those posters. Kudu, please don't hijack this thread.


WTH? I may be new to these fora but Kudu is one of the best posters I've seen on this. He actually knows about the values and heritage of Scouting and he provides documentation or citations. Oh yeah, he answered the OP's question, you're the one hijacking the thread by attacking him.

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Hold on now. That was not an attack on Kudu. Actually I think Kudu has a lot of very helpful information about how to run a scouting program that appeals to boys. While his "100 feet/300 feet" thing gets old sometimes and isn't a panacea, I frequently find that I agree with his basic point that adults need to get the heck out of the way of the kids and that really utilizing the patrol method is important.


His anti-Wood Badge stuff has no relevance to the original poster's question though. The poster is trying to figure out whether boy scouts is the right program for his kid, not what the politics of Wood Badge are.


That's all I'll say. Happy Scouting.



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Yah, I gotta agree with Lisabob, eh? This was not the place for another Kudu Woodbadge rant. Apparently in staying true to his version of traditional Scouting, Kudu forgot the whole Helpful, Friendly, Courteous routine ;).


Daddy_O, do yeh have any other questions for us?



(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Beav wasn't lying about the drugs. Saw a boy my son used to hang with just two years ago (they attended the same private school) and he now has super-long hair, piercings etc. and my son told me he is heavy in to drugs now which is why they don't hang together anymore. So they can change fast.


Next I coach two different sports, so I LOVE sports. But if time is the issue, drop a sport and keep scouts. With that said to get the full value of the Boy Scout program use a "boy led" troop and let him go camping (get him to a doctor who will run a battery of test to find out what specifically your son is allergic to). I don't mean to sound harsh, but if all he wants to be in Scouts for is to get his Eagle badge, go down and buy one and give it to him. It is the knowledge, skills and fun that he gets in Scout which gives the Eagle badge meaning. Otherwise it is just a piece of cloth with colorful thread.

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