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Shop around, or not? The American way or the WOSM way?

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The problem with shopping around is that you really don't know what to look for.


You can be armed with all the questions in the world and go to meetings and outings but it takes some time in the unit to really uncover how good a fit it is.


If I were to do it over again, I wouldn't have presented any options to my son and just let him cross to our sister troop. Then after a period of time I would see how well it was working for him. Instead we spent quite a bit of time window shopping yet are still unsure if it's the right unit for him.


When you go shopping as an inexperienced scout parent, you don't know what you don't know.

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The other thing to consider is that while the WOSM model might be to not shop around, Europeans especially have other choices that may not be available to families in the U.S. For example, in France there are many different scouting organizations:




If the Wikipedia stats are to be believed, the WOSM/WAGGGS representative has 120K members (but is itself a federation of smaller organizations), while the CFS has about 1/4 to 1/3 of that (and it also a federation of smaller organizations). Even in the UK there are options apart from the Scout Association (though I don't know how large the other scouting orgs are).


In the U.S., though, the BSA is pretty much the only player in town. Plus troops can differ greatly depending on the chartering organization. So it makes a lot of sense to shop around.


OwnTheNight wrote:

My understanding from talking to friends in Europe, is that Scouting is a totally seperate entity and not connected with the church, at least in the sense of not being an active part of their outreach ministry.


It depends on the organization. That might be the case with WOSM/WAGGGS but scouting isn't limited to those federations (and in Europe, you can even say that you're a scouting organization even if you aren't affiliated with WOSM/WAGGGS).

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Cubs to Weebs to Scouts to Sea Scouts to Scouters. Hmmm, if you're always with the same group, it soon takes on the appearance of a closed shop where newcomers have a bit of a go fitting in. Even chickens have their pecking order.

Sounds more efficient on the surface -- probably because it has no need to embrace infinite diversity.

Always with the same group, and these groups naturally get smaller & smaller as the boys get older. Wouldn't you soon be too small to do much of a group activity?

Also, if your group wants to specialize/spend most of their time doing community service while you want to do survival camping, you're kind of stuck.

No reason both paths can't co-exist

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FYI Webelos are still Cubs.


Now grant you I was only there briefly, and what I write is limited by what I saw and talked about, but the group concept doesn't limit diversity. Rather it helps to make transitions easier. The sea scout troop I kayaked with was very welcoming and we had a grand time.

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Trevorum doth protest too much! C'mon, admit it, I've seen your photo....:). But speaking in behavioral terms of course, if we want to grok people, we merely need to carefully observe our closest relatives.

OGE, "...you big ape!" Now I've also been 'outed' for sure...how did my photo get leaked to you anyway!!!???

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If you want the boy to stay in scouts, you'd better let him pick the troop. We had a big class of Qebelos commit to us one year , 22 of them. Would have been great. A competing troop held a bonus event for them, and 12 changed their minds.

Fast forward one year. All 10 that joined us are still with us. All 12 which joined the other troop have quit.

The troop was picked by the dad, where his friends were, not where the boy wanted to go. Such a shame, that was a great group of boys, excited for scouting.

Each troop has a personality, you have to let the boy find the one for him.

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boomerscout said


"Always with the same group, and these groups naturally get smaller & smaller as the boys get older. Wouldn't you soon be too small to do much of a group activity?"


Why do you assume the group get smaller or have I miss-understood your comment?


I do recognise the the potential for a closed shop mentality, particularly with the adults, that's where you need a good Group Scout Leader (GSL). Ultimately if the programme is poor then both young people and adults vote with their feet.





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I had to brachiate around campus for a while to ponder that question. I guess all of humanity originated in the 'Old World' so I guess it's 'anything goes' for the 'New World Order'. ;)


Edited to remove some unflattering things. At least I didn't use the 'M' word!(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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Mom and Scout definitely shopped around with a group of other Cubs.


3 or 4 of them picked the current troop....one decided to drop and play baseball...much to the glee of the parents...who were fed up with Scouting.


The trick was finding a non-LDS troop with the program they wanted.

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