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Beavah

Are we part of the overscheduling craze?

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Yah, in da previous thread, RememberSchiff says:

 

By age 12, my son had been on more campouts, summer camps, and earned Camping mb than I had by 15, why? ... Back in my day...you were ACTIVE and INVOLVED in your greater community not indentured to your troop. ... There was time for other important things producing a better rounded young man. The best and brightest kids - the A students, team captains, band members, school leaders were Eagles. Today? Rarely.

 

I think there's no doubt that there's a trend to overscheduling young folks, especially at elementary and middle school. I've never considered scoutin' to be a part of it, particularly. Compared with most school activities and sports programs, we really seem pretty relaxed to me.

 

What do the rest of you think? Yeh think scouting scheduling adds disproportionately to the scheduling burden?

 

Beavah

 

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Depends on what your unit, district, and council are doing. I know that my council sometimes over schedules activities, i.e. putting a CS family campout on the same weekend as a OA Fellowship, and placing events back to back, i.e. Conclave one week and a camporee and family campout the next. Then if you got an active troop that camps 11 out of 12 months a year (December was the down month for us b/c of exams and holidays), it can be intersting.

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At least in my area, I would say that scouting is more the victim of overscheduling than the cause. Many families are hesitant to sign up for scouts with the various sporting commitments they already have. Being involved in either cubs or boy scouts, involves making a family commitment to the program. Unfortunately, that is not something that everyone is looking for these days.

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I would agree with you, Beavah. I mean Scouting is sort of supposed to be more-or-less "work at your own pace." There is a sense of competition at times, but not on the same level as sports. A kid can go like mad and get Eagle by 13-14 or take his sweet time and maybe get Eagle by 18 or maybe not and really no one should freak-out if he ends the trail at Life.

I do think we run into leaders (scouts parents in leadership in particular) who try to pressurize things. But really a kid can be rather "successful" in Scouting without nearly the time it takes to be "successful" in sports, music, theatre etc...

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I agree with you, zippy.

 

Scouts seems to take a back seat to all of the other activities a youngster may be involved with. I have seen many kids "fade out" of scouting due to other interests, and/or being told by parents to choose one or the other, not both. Yes, scouting does take up some time, but consider: we meet once per week, go camping once per month. Many of the other activities they are involved in meet/practice every day, have events one, two, sometimes more, per week. I really think scouting should tout the fact that it is a learn at your own pace type of thing. We do that when we meet with prospective new parents. We also tell them that the more that the boy participates, the more opportunities he will have for advancement and awards.

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>>What do the rest of you think? Yeh think scouting scheduling adds disproportionately to the scheduling burden?

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Yes - kids are scheduled too much, at least in my burbs.

 

I don't think Scouting puts undue pressure on it, unless the kids are in every sport imaginable, plus band.

 

Sometimes a Scout event conflicts with a church youth event. That one is a little tougher, but we manage.

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Given

 

The outrageous cost of a university education ... as a percentage of income, my sons' is far more expensive to me than mine was to my Dad ... (dollars converted to constant cost using the NASA calculators)

 

The emphasis so many universities want on "the active, whole person." ... when we went college campus touring 3 years ago, you should see some of the apps/essays/resumes that Admissions Officers say "will make the cut"/"didn't make the cut"

 

The earnest desire of many families that their children start their post-graduate lives debt-free ... PUBLIC university education right now is about $64K across Freshman-graduate...

 

A financial aid world where the middle class gets loans, period. Do you know how bad I'd like my son to have work-study?

 

A merit-based scholarship world where the GPA cut line is going higher each year, thanks to endowments going down, thanks to the ongoing Depression...

 

Any activity out there is part of the mix the child/parent chooses, and scheduling a childs' life is almost as complex as scheduling a work cycle in our day jobs

 

Then, as stated earlier, it does not help that our Districts and Councils schedule events on top of events

 

To answer your question ... Beavah, every activity contributes to the overall calendar, imo, and every activity has an incremental part of the role.

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I think we are part of the overscheduling craze and are greatly hurt by it.

 

I bet that we will find that there is a greater % of Eagles in the next 10 yrs than in the earlier 100 yrs of Scouting. On the other hand, the other scheduled activities are increasingly taking more time. Band practices for example are much more intense than they used to be. It's hard to be in the band and in any other activity. The same with football and other high school sports. Not only do they have practice, but they are also expected to hit the weight room, etc.

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Part of the problem is the duration of these activities. When I was growing up there were specific seasons for football, little league, etc. Now there is football, spring football, summer little league, fall baseball, soccer is year round now with indoor and outdoor. Not to mention practices. There is marching band, concert band, jazz band, etc.

 

Plus these other activities are much more regulated than Scouting. If you don't attend every game or practice, you won't play regularly ever again. If you miss a band performance your grade will suffer. We have no such threats in Scouting.

 

It definitely is more challenging these days....

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That's exactly right. I don't see kids doing a significantly larger number of activities than 30 years ago, the difference is the depth of the activities they are involved in the the time required.

 

When I think back through the things I did in high school, my sons, now in the 9th and 11th grades, are actually doing less.

 

In the day, we were allowed to dabble in activities. No more. My older son was asked by his English teacher to please join the school's mock trial team. They were short-handed and only wanted someone to come to practice and serve as time keeper. He has ZERO interest in a legal career and even less interest in mock trial. But the teacher is a favorite of his so he agreed as a favor to the teacher. Cutting to the chase, after two months with this tar baby, he had to prepare for four different speaking parts and was putting 12-15 hours a week into this. And is wasn't as if he fell in love with mock trial and wanted to put that time into it, he basically got steam rolled and didn't want to back out on the teacher. We drew the line when they tried to schedule a practice 9AM SUNDAY MORNING.

 

My other son is a very good drummer and wanted to play in the school marching band. To be in the band NEXT FALL, you have to attend 2.5-hour, twice-weekly after school practices BEGINNING NOW. The band will practice a half-day every week through the summer. All band members are REQUIRED to attend two weeks of band camp in the summer. NO EXCEPTIONS. When school starts in the fall, the 2.5 hour after school rehersals go to three days a week. All this is on top of band meeting as a regular class during the school day.

 

While I would love to see my son persue his drumming, he's decided to drop band next year. Of course band camp is the last week of July and the first of week of August -- the same as National Jamboree. The band director game him an either/or choice and he chose jamboree. That he registered for jamboree 18 months ago and we've paid-in almost $2000 in probably-unrefundable fees, doesn't matter.

 

I played trumpet in my high school band. Somehow our band maintained a decades-long string of Superior contest scores rehersing our one-hour a day during our band class time.

 

And it's not just my kids. I've not seen one boy in the troop since early November. He's on the school's robotics team. They meet 30 HOURS A WEEK! Four hours after school every day, all day on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

 

Somehow, the standard has become the Olympic gymnast who gets to the gym at 3:00 for a four-hour workout before school. I don't know where the motivation for that lies. Must everything be a 24/7 eat/sleep/drink obsession?

 

While I agree with John in KC that every meeting is another brick in the wall, Scouting doesn't put these sorts of demands on people. My son is SPL and spends maybe three hours a week on Scouts -- more the week of PLC. "Monthly" campouts are really about 8 times a years. And when people raise hell about troops setting attendance requirements, most troops "require" attendance in the ballpark of half to two-thirds.

 

Show up for half the band practices and see where it gets you.

 

Sorry for the rant. This is a real sore spot for me.

 

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I'm right there with you, twocubdad.

 

When I look at the Scouting schedule, its a maximum of one day a week and one weekend a month. That's it, there's really no more time. And, if you don't want to attend something, there's no punishment, no being held back, nothing.

 

I compare that to just about every other recreation and school event that requires 2-4 nights a week, many, many weekends, and severe punishments if you miss any practice, event, or game. Scouting is pretty easy on the schedule comparatively.

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Maybe the solution is more activity not less. There could be a scouting season - say in the Fall. Meetings twice a week for 3 hours plus campouts everyother weekend that are mandatory.

 

Saying this tongue in cheek but this may actually make more sense to some of the troop parents. The slower more relaxed pace and meeting schedule seems to relegate Scouting to the role of third class citizen. Crazy.

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The slower more relaxed pace and meeting schedule seems to relegate Scouting to the role of third class citizen.

 

Yah, that's what I'm seein'.

 

If yeh don't have a busy schedule full of mandatory stuff, you must not be worthwhile. So scoutin' gets to be the Ugly Betty at the ball, eh? We get their attention only when they don't have somethin' "better". Even though we've got a great personality :).

 

There's some truth to it, too. If yeh really are practicing a lot, with required team play, yeh get good at stuff fast. You see results. Yeh get stronger, yeh get faster, yeh get better at blockin' shots on goal. When yeh only meet once a week for an hour, yeh don't grow as quickly. Yeh don't see results. And there's that other thread about parents pushin' for results, eh?

 

So I think those go-go-go programs are meeting a real demand. Professional coaches, regular mandatory practices, rapid results. Our relaxed, go-at-your-own-pace, led-by-volunteer-parents thing may be outdated. I honestly don't see us as part of da overscheduling craze, though. I think that's just a reflection of da pressures other activities are placing on families. Seems like making boys choose between things would be a lot kinder than givin' 'em badges for being overscheduled.

 

Beavah

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Not trying to change the subject or hijack the thread.

I wonder if this "Craze" plays a part into why older youth(16+) seem to want too not be as busy and give into (Buy into??) such a hectic time?

Or is it that over time parents kinda give up?

Visit an elementary school on parents night and you will see parents lined up waiting for an audience with the teacher.

By eighth grade there are no lines and the teachers manage to go home on time.

Ea.

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