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Yah, so many things can look so different if we just change our own attitude, eh?


*We already missed a couple of events because of baseball....His friends in the other patrol have moved on, I guess they already have tenderfoot, mine still just has his AOL.


So? It ain't a race. Scoutin' is a video game. Those who play it more advance to higher levels faster. Doesn't mean it isn't fun to play even if your friends are further along.


*The SM put a new kid from another feeder pack into my kid's patrol. This boy is in my kids class at school, and my kid loathes him. This is the class pariah who picks his nose. My kid is not a snob, but there are limits.


Yah, I reckon it's important for us as adults to support our kids in treatin' other boys as pariahs. :p I can't help but wishin' for you a forced job change, so that your son has to move to a different school where he gets to experience what it's like bein' the new guy who is on da "out" with the cool kids. Bein' da "pariah" for a bit might help him learn empathy and compassion.


*Even his mom, who was always VERY supportive of his scouting activities, is burned out....I guess what we needed was "Webelos III" as some of you have suggested.


You're jokin' right? If mom is burnt out, why would she want Webelos III where she has to keep doin' everything the way she did in Webelos II? The advantage of Boy Scouting is that it's not like that. Adults can fade back and let da kids shoulder some of the burden, so the lads are learnin' and the adults aren't gettin' burnt out.


*Were accustomed to summers off. We need this down time. Camping every other week, 52 weeks a year for the WHOLE weekend is out of our reach.


Who is this "our?". Sometimes I reckon parents think of their kids as an appendage of themselves. You might need summers off. Most boys get pretty bored and would love to be goin' on campouts and runnin' around and playin' capture the flag in the mud and dark and learnin' how to be independent in the woods and survivin'.


If yeh view your son as a separate person with his own needs (and his own schedule!) and stop thinkin' of him as an appendage of "us", you'll find that your life as a family improves quite a bit. It's scarier, it feels less in control, but in da end the love and the pride make up for it.




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Beavah (& 92Eagle),

Thanks for taking the time to write. I appreciate your candor. My boy still likes scouts, and he's not happy about fading-out. Please don't wish a relocation on me! We just moved (Coast-to-coast) in 2007. He's had to reinvent himself already! I'm an old man. I can roll with the punches. But for my kids, with no grandparents and nothing but new friends, it's really tough. Grades 2-5 he was in a new school EVERY year! I said earlier that cub scouts was one of his few constants - he loved it; it really helped.

However, the transition to a troop from a pack is an extreme change.

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It is only an extreme change because you've apparently decided to make it one. Parental attitude about this sort of thing is the single biggest influence I have seen, in terms of which boys stick with it and which ones don't. Your son is "fading out" of scouting because it appears pretty plain that you want him to. Makes your life simpler, I suppose.


Well that's ok. But please. Don't blame it on scouting.

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Daddy_O, for what it's worth, it sounds like your family needs to move ON to Boy Scouts, not back to Webelos. Your son sounds ready. Your wife should know that she doesn't have to be involved in it every week like she would be in Webelos. Heck, I'm happy as punch if a parent from every family is involved quarterly (beyond the Courts of Honor). Your boy is growing up, he doesn't need diapers or apron strings now.


As Beavah said, your son will have to deal with people he doesn't like more and more as he grows up. The patrolmate he despises is good training. I had one of those during my first year in Scouts, I lasted, he didn't.


First year summer camp is a great way for your son to transition and build independence. If he waits a year, he'll find himself behind his classmates (I took almost 2 years off from Scouting and it was a bit of a pain). What I would suggest is that he continue with Boy Scouts but don't worry about missing some meetings or activities so he can also do baseball. Scouting is not supposed to be a singular focus or obsession -- but don't overlook its role in the larger picture.

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I didn't notice the OUR in your post. That or I am starting to go into CS mode as oldest is just now becoming a TC, I'm signed up to be his TCDL, and I am staffing CSDC. ;) But the Beav and HICO are right in that this IS when parents are supposed to ease back and let the scout do his thing. YOU do not need to be involved except to bring him to meetings, support him along the Trail to Eagle, and possibly help out when the troop needs you, i.e. fundraiser, bringin a covered dish to a COH, etc. YOU do not need to do anything as it is the SCOUT'S RESPONSIBILITY.


I know it's kinda hard to let go as I've seen it with new parents entering my old troop. They couldn't get the idea that a 11 y.o. can do so much when given the opportunity and direction FROM AN OLDER SCOUT. I pray that I can let go when my boys get to scouts. With 9 years of CS ahead, I hope I can remember to let go when the time comes 'cause CS leaders who move up to the troop are the worse ones letting go ;)


If your son want to go to summer camp, LET HIM. You don't need to go, heck I encourage a vacation WITH THE SM HAVING YOUR CONTACT INFO JUST IN CASE. That way the scout is on his own, and if he does get homesick, you cannot get him as he will get over it. IME it's the down time at nite on the wed or thrus. of camp that homesickness fall is. rets of the time he will be tooo busy.



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I know I'm new here, but the following comment struck a chord with me:


" . . . We just moved (Coast-to-coast) in 2007. He's had to reinvent himself already! I'm an old man. I can roll with the punches. But for my kids, with no grandparents and nothing but new friends, it's really tough. Grades 2-5 he was in a new school EVERY year! I said earlier that cub scouts was one of his few constants - he loved it; it really helped.

However, the transition to a troop from a pack is an extreme change."



I grew up in a military family, where we permanently changed stations every 2 to 3 years. By the time I was in the 7th grade, I had attended 6 separate schools, living in 5 different states - one of which was Alaska. For a young boy, the age yours is right now, one of the constants in my life was the Cub/Boy Scout uniform. Everywhere we moved, there was a Pack - or Troop - ready to accept me and help me along the path to my adulthood. I don't want to speak for any of the other comentators here, however, I dare say that most would testify that the values they learned and the friends they made while participating in Scouting each are some of the most valuable possessions they have. That is certainly the case with me.


I, too, was an introverted kid who excelled in sports but had never spent the night in a tent. But - the outdoor experiences I gained through Scouting have served me much more than those I received in athletics. When I graduated from high school, I was still a pretty good baseball player, but through Scouting I had become a responsible young man who had learned to rely upon himself and his friends to survive together in some very extereme environments.


My suggestion is for you to give your son the opportunity to experience all Scouting has to give - not only to him, but to your entire family. And, if he enjoys Scouting and respects what the program is all about, then his advancement to the rank of Eagle Scout will be the natural process of his experience, and not a simple "checking off" of a list of accomplishments.


If you try to mould Scouting to your expectations of what you want for your son, he will never have the incredible experience of understanding manhood while waiting with his peers for the sun to rise on Mount Baldy. Your kid deserves that opportunity.



(This message has been edited by maccars)

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I am confused, first Daddy_O you say


"Be thankful for cartoon parents like me; my boy is the one yours hides behind when some tough kid wants his lunch money! Be thankful. You're welcome."


and on the same page you post your son does not want to be in the Class Pariah's patrol. So, does he help other people at all times (Pariah or not) or does his choose whom he defends?


So Class Pariah cannot depend on your son when some tough kid wants his lunch money or did I misunderstand something?

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*The SM put a new kid from another feeder pack into my kid's patrol. This boy is in my kids class at school, and my kid loathes him. This is the class pariah who picks his nose. My kid is not a snob, but there are limits. "


Hello Daddy-O,


This line from your post has kept gnawing on me. If I had been in your son's school and your son's Troop, I probably would be put in the same category. I would probably have been considered the class pariah and low status kid. I probably even was considered to pick my nose on occasion.


There is an extremely clearly defined pecking order and status in middle school. The jocks, the beautiful people and the socially elite are at the top. The weird kids, most physically disabled kids, and the outcasts are at the bottom. The nerds are slightly above. Then there are those in the middle who occasionally get to mingle with the high status kids, when numbers are needed, but not always.


One of the things that I liked about Scouting was that point of the Scout Law "A Scout is Friendly." The fine print said "A Scout is a friend to all and a brother to every other Scout." Being an only child whose parents had moved to the middle of nowhere with no one else around, that meant a lot to me. If I showed up for a campout prepared, I got to go and participate. I didn't need to worry about being excluded by the high status kids or not even told that something was happening. Granted, it wasn't perfect. Order of the Arrow elections were a cruel pain. Patrol Leader elections could be a cruel pain also, but normally there were enough appointed leadership jobs that there was something that I could do. And over time, I learned and it got better. But that learning experience and what it did for me is the largest part of why I have stayed in Scouting.


Some of the high status kids and jocks started out in Scouting also. By and large, they dropped out in my community. Scouting wasn't the high status thing to do. Some did stay and they were wonderful Scouts and wonderful leaders too. Normally, this happened when their parents believed in Scouting and stayed active as leaders.


As far as "there are limits", I don't know which Bible you commonly read, but in my version Matthew 18:21-22, it suggests that one should forgive "seventy times seven" which in the vernacular of those times meant an uncountably large number. I am sure that the young man in question does not wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and say "Today, I'm going to be a pariah. I going to do everything that I can to be low status and to be picked on." It is not your job and your son's job to help this young man, but neither is it appropriate, I would respectfully suggest, to reinforce his low status. It would appear that your son is high status, likes that (understandably) and wants to keep that, possibly by keeping others in lower status. With respect to you, it would appear that you are reinforcing and supporting this behavior in your son. I well know that associating with lower status youth is a way that high status youth compromise their high status. I believe that is part of the reason that high status youth sometimes drop out of Scouting.


There would seem to be some agendas operating with you and your family which are much more complex than just Scouting or non-Scouting. The Scouting program is there, what it can do is well established and can be extraordinarily beneficial. But you and your son need to decide what you want at this time and whether principles like "A Scout is Kind" and "A Scout is Friendly" are at odds with the limits you wish to set.

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I never said my boy was Christ-like. He doesnt have to eat with the lepers. If this so-called pariah was getting pummeled at recess, rest assured, the big-guy (my kid) would put a stop to it. But he (my kid) is a new kid in town. He cant be expected to like being joined at the hip with the kid the other kids dont like.




Wow, what a post. You gave me a lot to think about. I respect and appreciate that. Your appraisal of Junior High school life is profound. I honestly dont think my boy wants to put himself up - by putting another down that is in NO WAY his style - maybe hes worried about being pulled down himself. Ill IM you a more detailed reply later.








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This question of the class pariah is an interesting side issue. There are boys in my son's troop that he just does not like. One of them in particular is liked by almost nobody because of his annoying behavior. He talks way too much, loves inappropriate humor, likes to tease others, gets angry easily, seems to be incapable of being serious, etc.


While on the one hand I do ask my son to be tolerant of others, I don't expect him to be buddies with this kid. Even most of the adults can't stand to be around him for very long. While in some respects it can be chalked up to family problems, I think he could do more to get along better with the other boys. He will be eligible for OA this year, but I seriously doubt he will be elected. I am sort of hoping is is not, because I think it may the wake-up call he needs.


Unfortunately, such people need to eventually learn that their behavior, whether it be picking their nose or something worse, needs to change. They can't expect everybody to accommodate them all the time. The sooner they learn this the better off they will be in life.


On the other hand, I can totally sympathize with the Scoutmaster who has to put such a boy in a patrol. One only hopes that the rest of the patrol will find a way to deal with the inconvenience and it doesn't ruin the experience for them.

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Like others, I would encourage you to allow your son to go to summer camp. It is a wonderful experience.. and if their new scout program is like most, he will be basically at the same advancement level as the others that just moved into Boy Scouts.


You mentioned his severe allergies, and I truly understand. I am basically allergic to the area I live in. I fight pollen in the spring, all the grasses like ragweed and golden rod in the fall and mold and mildew year round. Over the years, I have learned to deal with my allergies and your son will too. By the time I started college, I knew as much about my allergies as most general practioners did (and more than some.) If Scouting is what your son wants to do, he can and will learn to adapt his activities to accomodate Scouting and allergies.


Contact the camp director, to get in touch with the medical director at camp and have a talk with him. You will likely find someone who is concerned and doesn't want your child to become severely ill from camping either. I know our medical director at camp really truly cares about the boys and wants them to get all they can from camp and the program. If yours is anything like ours, you will find that the medical issue (at least for summer camp) is not insurmountable. And for what it is worth, that same medical director is the medical director for many of our council/district sponsored weekends at camp. Participating in those type events where you know your son has medical supervision should help your son have the camping experience that Scouting provides.

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Children mimic parental attitudes. Boy, have I learned that through the years.


Children mimic parental attitudes. Daddy-O, that's the i received from Lisa's post.


Children mimic parental attitudes. If you son is already fading, look first to your own attitude towards Scouting. In the case of Lisa's boy and my own, we've both modelled that Scouting was something good and positive, and we've participated. Not always alongside necessarily, but we've invested because it meant something better for our respective children.


Children mimic parental attitudes. Meditate on that, please.(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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