Jump to content

Recommended Posts

My sin crossed over from CS a little over a year ago. I was his CM and/or Den Leader throughout his time in Cubs. When he crossed over I registered as an ASM and I stay as active in the troop as I can (weekly meetings, occasional campouts and Ive been a MBC for a few boys in the troop including my son) I never talk to the SM or to the youth leadership about my son I am an Eagle scout and I fully believe in boy-led and I understand the importance of my son being the one to ask for signatures,MBC, scout master's conference etc. Let me give you some examples of the things I have done however that make me question if I am doing to much. My son had most of his signatures for second and first class then he lost his book I bought him a new book went through the requirements with him and help him write a list of the requirements he had completed so he could have them "re-signed"


Tonight he needs to ask for a SM conference and I will remind him on the ride to the meeting

Last night I worked with him on tying a Bowline

last night he told me he wanted to work on a MB but wasn't sure with one so we went through the 2012 requirements book and I helped him pick out a few to choose from. When I say help I mean I told him things like wait till your a little older for that one, thats a good Summer camp one things like that.


I don't think Im being a helicopter parent just the father of an 11 yr old but I just want to make sure Im not taking anything away from what he should be getting out of Scouting



Link to post
Share on other sites



It is his journey not yours...


Since HE lost HIS book....HE should go the HIS SM and get the book brought back up to date.


I hope your not signing off his requirements.......Did he come to you and ask for help or did you go to him and offer, suggest or otherwise motivate him???



I have seen it recommended on this forum for a Cub leader to take a year off to deprogram.....I think it is a good idea



Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the bit you did about the lost book does go a little far. Now, I will admit, I would be involved in getting a book re-signed, but that's because I'm the Advancement chair, and I would print out the records for him from Troopmaster (as I would do for any other scout). Then he would have to get with the SM or an ASM to sign them, and if it wasn't in Troopmaster, he would have to negotiate with them to reconstruct or redo. The rest is just what any scout parent should do, and that may make me a helicopter as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have taken a huge step back although I am not taking a year off Believe me I am well aware of the fact that it is his Journey as a former CM and a current ASM and Unit Commissioner my biggest issue is adults forgetting this program is for boys and not for us. I spent a lot of years as a Scout and although I loved every second I am not in any way trying to relive my youth through my son


No I am not signing requirements for him in our Troop older scouts do that. He did take his book to those older scouts I just helped him make a list at home of the requirements he had signed off in the old book after he asked me to help him create the list. It took him 4 months or so to bring the idea up to me and that whole time I just sat back. When the time came I helped him to make the list I certainly did not make it for him and some requirements that I know he has completed where left off the list because he did not remember to add them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Helping an 11yr old? The HORROR! Now if a 14yr old kid lost his book, I'd feel differently, but how does an 11yr old know what to do without at least SOME help from an adult leader?


As an ASM you are supposed to guide the young-uns so that they can learn to do things for themselves. The expectation that a new 11yr old scout will 'know' exactly what to do is unrealistic, IMHO.


This is in no stretch of the imagination a 'helicopter parent', at least not in my experience.... I could tell you some stories... ;-)



Link to post
Share on other sites

Many if not not of us in this forum are parents of Scouts.

All of us want what we think is best for our kid.

I'm not sure what someone else's definition of a helicopter parent is.

I think it has a lot to do with the way things are done.

If you force your son to attend and be active in things that he doesn't want to do? If what he does is never good enough? If you Lord over everything he does and try to make sure that he is better than everyone else?

Then in my book you might qualify as a helicopter parent.

I have in this forum talked about how important it is for us to give our kids Roots and Wings.

It is important that our son's learn the values that hold close and dear. In time they will look at these, some they will accept, some they will for a time rebel against. We can try to force these values but when dealing with teenagers this all too often backfires. It's far better that we give them the time and the space to work things out for themselves. This at time can be for us parents hard work and very frustrating.

The great thing about Scouts and Scouting is that it's a safe place to learn life lessons and just as importantly a safe place to make mistakes and learn from them.

It is also a safe place for parents who are involved to make mistakes and learn from them, just so long as they are willing to take the time to look at what they have done and what they are doing and be honest with themselves.

As for looking at labels? I wouldn't waste my time.

It his journey but it is also a journey for you.

A great time to get to know and learn from that great kid that you have.


Link to post
Share on other sites

My son and I had the exact conversation....


Dad I lost my book....


Well did ya look for it???




Where did ya look???? Where do you last remember having it???


Well guess your going to need to buy yourself another......


Dad but what about all the stuff in it......


Guess you need to talk to SM about it......




I took him to the scout shop where he bought a new book then it took him a month to man up and tell the SM he lost his book and ask to have the new one updated....... But he did it...


He found his book, it was in his daypack that he took to jlow training the boys attended.

Link to post
Share on other sites



I did not mean to concentrate on the label I just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing too much and you and some of the other posters have answered that question for me. Thank You all so much I just wanted to make sure I am not "robbing" my son of the experience and I really appreciate the input fro most of you Thanks again and Eamonn I love the idea of roots and wings




Here is the conversation between me and my son but Ill have to paraphrase a bit since I don't typically employ a stenographer when chatting with my son


Son: Dad you know my scout book that I have been telling you for 2 or 3 months now is falling apart well I finally lost some of the pages and the requirement pages are part of the lost documents


Me: Well son since your 11 and Autistic I am going to have to be the one who gets you a new book and since Im busy working 56 hrs a week as a firefighter it will have to wait until I get the chance


some time later.........


Me: Here you go son your brand spanking new book next time ill listen when you repeatedly tell me your book is falling to pieces


Son: dad I need to get these requirements signed off again


Me: well son just like the time that you forgot your sleeping bag while cabin camping in February ten minutes from the house its not my problem but if you ask I would be more then willing to help I did have a hand in creating you and i still feel I have some responsibility in your upbringing although it would be nice if I could just hand you off to your SPL and SM


a few months later...........

Son: dad could you help me make a list so I can finally get these things signed


Me : sure thats what dads do son(This message has been edited by jpuckett)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not an HP.


An HP would be nagging an SM until his or her baby's book was brought up to date.

An HP would give the kid a list of merit badges to work on in order from easiest to hardest for the next two years and would have already called the counselor for the first one. Or, an HP would have said MBs? Why don't we wait 'till your 1st Class?

An HP would not only help junior with his knot, but would make sure he got tested that night (lest he forget how later) and breath down the PL's neck when junior was getting tested.


Naw, jp, your an ASM. It sounds like the kind of thing you'd do for any boy in your troop if they'd ask. (Between putting out fires, that is. :) )

Link to post
Share on other sites



Nothing says parents must be removed from their son's participation in Scouting.


Parents' are responsible for raising their children. Scouting is one tool parents have in helping them raise their sons. It is wholly appropriate for parents to engage their son Scouting-related activities OUTSIDE troop and patrol programs. We are ALL -- parents and Scout leaders -- trying to teach and train our boys to be of good character. Why in the world should parents not help with that? Some of my greatest successes have been with Scouts where the troop leaders and parents have actively worked to gether to reinforce the lessons between Scouts and home.


Certainly, parents cross the line. We have thousands and thousands of threads on that. But every instance you mentioned included the pharase "with him". If that changes to "for him" or "made him" or "told him", then you may want to rethink.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My take on this:


If you THINK you are a HP, then you are on the verge of it. At least you are asking yourself the question. At that point, shift gears! Start making suggestions instead of telling him what to do next. "If it were me, I'd start saving up for a new book. But that's only a suggestion." Need the pages filled out again? "Well, I would suggest you talk with the SM about that, that's between you and him." Need some help with a knot? "I probably won't do as well as your PL, but let's see what we can do. Show me how much you already know and we'll go from there." etc.!


You are there to help and assist just like any other boy that has hit a road block. Either nudge him a bit but offer up suggestions of things that he could try on his own. Any time your son says, "But Dad, you're an Eagle Scout and show know these things, and yes, you know the importance of boy-led and you'll make sure your boy learns to stand on his own two feet so that when he's an Eagle Scout too, he'll know just as much as his old man. :)



Link to post
Share on other sites

Like some of the others, I dont really know what a helicopter parent is. I do understand what its like to be a parent and a SM. As a SM, I understand the parenting part of us can interfere with the growth part of the scout. I found myself coaching parents just as much as coaching scouts.


From my SM point of view, we arent so much trying to develop skills in scouts as were trying to develop the confidence for them to take the initiative for taking on challening task where they themselves learn skills. I like to teach adults that we arent trying to light up the dark room so the scouts can see to enter, the confidence we want to give is a flashlight they can use to enter the dark room and turn the light on themselves. The adults job isnt lighting up the dark, its only giving them the flashlight.


In your sons case, and in most young scouts like him, he knows what he wants to say to the SM, he just lacks the confidence to do it. We do several small lessons to give scouts the confidence to approach and talk with adults. One small way of doing that is through calling adults to set up arrangements for their activities. We teach the scouts how to contact all MB counselors on their own and set up their meetings and get the information for filling out the MB Card. In just a couple minutes time, we show them how to identify themselves to the counselor and then explain why he is calling. No big deal to adults or even 14 year olds, but to 10 and 11 year olds who only uses texting for communication with strangers, it is a Huge scary obstacle. A little practice with the parents or SM and a little boost of encouragement, they go make that call. Typically the first MC call is really hard, the second is easier and the third is no big deal. It actually surprised us adults that it only took three MBs for the scouts to have the confidence to contact all their counselors on their own initiative.


For the scouts in your troop, not just your son, figure out the skill they lack for that little bit of confidence they need to reach the bigger goal. If your son has trouble talking to other adults or authority figures dont focus on the goal of the SM Conference or discussion on the lost book, focus on building just enough confidence to get him to make that first step. It will take courage on his part, but he will be reward by the success of his talk. You will learn that these guys are really pretty brave, so they dont need as much of a boost or flashlight as you think. And that one small step will give them the confidence for the next bigger step. That is the difference between how a parent does things and a scout leader. Just a little nudge, thats basically all they need, then once they get going, it will be all you can do to keep up. As your scouts get older and more experienced, you will see them become more courageous in taking on challenging task like planning activities and mature leader positions. They might even run for student council president.


Just remember, they dont need you to turn the light on, they just needed a little bit of confidence to enter the dark room and turn the light on themself.


When you master this skill, you will understand more why you love this scouting stuff.




Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...