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tough night at the old troop meeting last night.....


SPL quit scouting last night.....Football coach says scouts is for whimps and gay men and he will never get anywhere being a scout..... Really??? Wasn't sure how to reply to that other than.....He could step down and continue to be active in the troop as his football schedule would allow...... He said no thanks and was gone........Just got back from NYLT training which the troop picked up the cost and I had a lot of personal time invested in the young man as well.....A real slap in the face......


I couldn't believe what I was hearing......I couldn't think of anything positive to say to him......He is small and probably will never start......So John, when your 40 years old are you going to be talking about warming the bench or if you remained a scout, the camporees, backpacking, canoeing and fellowship??????


Instead the football team will lock you in the lockers in the locker room, fill your shoes with shaving cream and shave your head.......


Tear in the corner of my eye......I am going to miss him.


Followed up my the boys who didn't have money to attend summer camp bringing their Disney pictures to share with the troop....They flew to disney and spent a week at the parks....So I spent $500 on your boys summer camp so you could go to disney........


hmmm, SM was there......I went for a walk.....


Ya know I am simply done with it.......


Parents who couldn't take a week off to help with summer camp are taking motorcycle trips with out the kids......


4 weeks of summer camp for me.....No family vacation. I have significant $$$$ and effort tied up in getting others folks scouts to camp.



Long time scouters.......


How do you find balance?????

Have you paid for scouts to attend events out of pocket????

How do you deal with the sport coaches and band directors??????


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I have seen similar things, and understand the exasperation of "getting a Scout to camp" or when Scouts choose sports, cars, or girls.


I have come round to this:


Scouting, while cheaper than seasonal sports does not come without $ or effort. Any Parent/Scout who does not understand this or is unwilling to provide 1 or the other won't be around long.


Nothing given away is ever valued.


I withhold my $ until I see some effort but give my time freely.


Serve the Scouts that are involved and active....


You don't deal with Coaches/Band Directors (Both my Scout Children March/Jazz/Pep/Ensemble), you deal with Scouts... Scout functions are not exclusive and never this OVER that ... it's up to the Scout to figure out how to make it work with your help.


I'd drop this scout a call once Football season is over, and let him know he's welcome back anytime...

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Sorry to hear of your tough times. Many of us have been through similar situations. Some of us have a passion for this program that others do not share. Its frustrating at times but we need to keep things in perspective, otherwise WE are the ones who lose out.


Regarding out of pocket expenses...


We as a troop will subsidize each scouts summer camp fees to the tune of about $30. We had a kid come into the troop some years back and the mom just assumed that we would provide a 'campership' for her son due to their financial issues. We told her participation in fund raisers (scout bucks) would help and we would provide her with a link to the council web site to see if they had a campership program. She did neither but amazingly he still attended camp that year.


Former SM forked over bucks one year for a scout and got the same Disney pictures in return. All donations of that sort ended after that incident....that's why we have fundraisers and scout bucks.


I've helped out with campsite fees on occasion, or paid for the scouts portion of the fuel cost, but not much more than that... that's why we have fundraisers and scout bucks.




Yes, some parents should have their cards revoked. Nothing new there...


How do you find the balance?


YOU have to find the balance. You are too far in... get some help, enlist others, delegate and share the load. Not everyone will do it the same as you want it done, so you'll have to manage your expectations and let things ride...


Coaches/Band Directors


You may think they expect too much but they may think the same about you (idiots like the football coach don't count, they are just idiots).



BSA is still the best program around. You know it is too. Stay the course, find your balance and things will get better.






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Basement, my brother, take a deep breath. Take a break if you need to. I had to go for a walk recently too. :)


Sometimes you just lose a guy. He made a decision and we want them to make choices. Maybe he will come back. I know it is tough when you have invested a lot in a boy and they go away. Oh course he probably made a bad choice. I spent a HUGE amount of time with one lad who, I later found out, was only coming long enough to collect his parental bribe. I felt betrayed.


Yes I know we get know respect from coaches and band leaders. They make near impossible demands. I don't think you can fight that.


I had such a moment last week at a campout, was so angry, went right up to my beleaguered SM and used some foul language damning the Troop. I was so disillusioned at working with other people's kids and mine were being bullied elsewhere. Why was I doing it. I was fed up and probably a bit burned out. But I cleared the air and the SM said that was reason he liked me was that I was passionate about Scouting. Well I was passionate that night.


(Needless to say I kinda put my Chaplin's plans on hold--I really set a bad example. Too many F-Bombs)


Basement, from your other posts I know you are passionate and care. You have helped a bunch of boys that may have never had scouting. And like many things in life when you put your heart out there you can get hurt.


As for parents I read you loud and clear. But we don't do it for them. But yeah I have been to 3 summercamps and 35 campout weekends in the last three years and have yet to have a nice vacation with the wife.


I have not found that balance yet.


I do not front money as that would be a deal breaker for my wife. But I do subsidize things other ways. Probably a few thousand a year--I rationalize as a hobby cost.

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Its not personal, its just business.


I understand the kick you received, but, all scouts do not view the program through adult eyes. They have a lot of pressure on them from peers, coaches, etc. If you step back, scouts does have a bed rep. Unfortunately, your spl did not have the fortitude to stand up to the pressure. But, I would try to keep contact with him, through his parents possibly, just to keep him in the loop. Second, did he have a group of other scouts he hung with, or was he a bit of a loner. If he was with a group, see if they can convince him to come back some time. If he was a loner, use it as a learning tool for the rest of the troop to include everyone. Sounds like he may have found a group he wants to hang with, and didn't want to not fit in with them. If we are all honest, being on the football team does more for getting dates than does being in scouts. It is just something to deal with.


Further, I don't see why you cannot set up a meeting with the coach, and very professionally explain to him what happened, and the value in scouting, and the fact that scouting and football can co-exist.


On a side, anyone running for SPL where i am needs to committ that he will be at most of the meetings and events. During the fall, that knocks out the football and band guys. During the spring, it knocks out the Lacross and baseball guys.


regarding paying for individual scouts, I don't do that. I do, however, do things for the troop as a whole, sometimes picking up equipment, or canoe rental, etc. But, i never tell the scouts, and never publicise it to the parents.

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Hey, man, I feel your pain; I've been there, too. You want so badly for those youngsters to understand what a golden opportunity Scouting is, and for them to take full advantage of it.


I concur with dg98adams: keep in touch with that young man.


And I might add, pray for him.


Best regards,

Eagle '77

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Yah, BD, I reckon we all hit that point from time to time. Scouters are generous, community-oriented folks, and at times we all feel that our generosity is being taken advantage of.


Sometimes, we really are being taken for granted or taken advantage of, eh? That can be because both adults and kids sometimes need to be taught or reminded about appropriate behavior. I sometimes find I need to have "courtesy talks" with folks - reminding 'em that if someone is giving their time for free, that means yeh have an obligation to honor that with your own personal commitment of time and attention.


Lots of times, though, we really aren't being taken advantage of, eh? I reckon it's OK for a family to scrimp and save to take a family vacation to Disney World, even if it means prioritizing that over sending one member of the family to scout camp. That Disney Trip might be the thing that helps keep da family together, to renew commitments to each other. Best we not think of such things as taking away from Scoutin'.


So yep, I've paid for lads out of pocket. Many times. It can be hard. But I reckon yeh need to think of it as an investment. Not every investment pays off. Sometimes yeh just lose money on your investment. Yeh buy da Facebook IPO :). Yeh send a lad to NYLT only to have him quit. Investments come with risk. Yeh can't let da risk get to yeh, because sometimes those investments hit the home run, eh? Yeh buy Apple In 1998. Yeh provide a boy the experience that changes his life forever.


I think we have a lot of the latter in scouting, eh? When yeh talk to former scouts, there are an amazing number of 'em whose scouting experience stuck with 'em a lot longer than school or band or football, and quite a few for whom their scoutin' was a life changing experience. The experience that upped their aspirations, that started 'em on a road to a career, that gave 'em the skills they needed for life.


Don't let the failed investments get yeh down, especially when yeh don't yet know whether that investment will pay off in the long term. That NYLT lad 20 years from now may be the scoutmaster for your troop, who carries on the legacy for his own son and other boys. Sometimes the seeds we plant need time to grow.


Recognizin' that helps with balance, eh? But like the lads, sometimes yeh need to do other stuff that's important, like take a vacation with your own family. When yeh start to resent the seeds that don't start growing right away, it's time to lay off the gardening and go to a movie. ;). Sounds like that's where you're at, BD. Time to take a bit of a break.


As for the jacka** of a coach, I think yeh call the school's Athletic Director and Principal, and set up a meeting to discuss what da school and community's expectations are for da proper behavior of coaches.



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"How do you find balance?????"


I take breaks during different points periods of the year (especially the summer), take my wife and family on family vacations, and I do not pay for the cost of camp for other scouts out of my own pocket. I'm also involved in other volunteer work with our CO church that keeps me from being too busy with Scouting.


I'm the CM and I will not be going to our June Pack Campout. It sounds like fun, but the summer is my extended break period and time to re-fresh. I will attend a couple of Pack events this summer but that will be it. Scouting is a very busy program and one can burn out very easily with all the demands of recruiting, scheduling, planning, dealing with parents (even nice ones), and dealing with district requests. I love Scouting but I must step away at certain points. I find myself at times forcing myself to say "No" because I have to for the sake of my sanity, marriage, and relationship with my children.


As a youth, I was active in Scouts, but I was also very active in Band and other activities. To be honest, Scouting was not my primary interest, but I stayed with it for 4.5 very active years and had a great time and grew personally from the program. I have found that Scouts that are very active in the Troop are also very active in other activities because that's who they are. The same motivation they had when they joined Scouts is also the same motivation that draws them to sports or music or the arts. All Scouts will leave the Troop at some point. My oldest son dropped out of scouts after only 2 years. Was I disappointed? Yes, but he had other interests that included Band and the Tennis Team.


Regarding the football coach comment that scouts are for "whimps and gay men" - I think that is an amazing comment from someone who should know that footbal does not necessarily draw boys that only like girls. We need to look no farther than Penn State.

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"Yah, BD, I reckon we all hit that point from time to time. Scouters are generous, community-oriented folks, and at times we all feel that our generosity is being taken advantage of."


So right off the bat I want to state that I don't disagree with Beavah's comments. I'm using his first line just to emphasize something it took me a while to realize.

Yes, we tend to be generous. We tend to be altruistic. And we tend to be taken advantage of - at least that's what "we all feel" sometimes.

Basementdweller, this is going to sound harsh and I don't want it to but I know it's going to so I'm going to write it anyway.

You were suffering from a self-deception. Actually, lots of them. On the surface you felt that you were making sacrifices for others and you just might have been. On the surface you had yourself convinced that the time, the money, etc., was justified by the 'good' you were doing for others and the example you were setting for them. And now you feel betrayed by them.

In fact, in putting yourself in this situation by giving time and resources with no stated expectation of anything in return, you betrayed yourself. And you know it. And THAT is why you're angry and disappointed.

'Other People' did what other people almost always do - they took advantage of a situation. What is it about scouting that made you think that 'other people' would behave differently in a scouting program than they would from any other part of life? Answer: there's no reason to think they're any different...UNLESS, you think they all follow the ethic that YOU follow.

Guess what? They don't. They are selfish. They are driven by all sorts of diverse interests and motives that may (or probably are not) similar to yours.

This was nothing more than a reality check for you. Don't be angry at people who merely are what they are. Direct your anger at yourself for having been self-deceived. And then forgive yourself.

NOW, you're better prepared to do what you thought you were doing back when you started into all this.

So the decision is yours. Take a hike...or return with a new outlook. 'Other people' will continue to be themselves either way.

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Sorry to read about Basement's crisis of confidence.


There was a Scout in the last troop where I was AS (2004-2006), He was enthusiastic about Scout but petrified of water and swimming, and his family was low income. I paid for swimming lessons at the local pool. They had an excellent program and he learned quite a bit before he quit the lessons in favor of other things.


It's pretty natural for a lot of boys to outgrow Scouting after 1st Class. A fact of life, especially if a Troop doesn't offer high adventure programs that offer fresh challenges to young men.


To my way of thinking, the most important things in Scouting are learned by 1st Class.


Personally, I don't deal with leaders of competing activities. They do their things and we do our thing.


At our June2-3 Pack campout, a lot of boys were going to come late after sports games. So I scheduled a Raingutter Regatta as our lead off activity from 1-2 PM, and a number of boys chose to attend that activity in the end.


But even if they don't, making choices is part of life. By the time the Raingutter Regatta was completed we had most boys present to form their dens and do our other activities as dens.


And in the Cub Scouts, we Do Our Best. Sometimes that's not all we wish it might be.

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You know, we always talk about going to DE's, SE's, COR's and UC's with issues. In this case, I see nothing wrong with going to the school prinicpal for a discussion about how his coach is handling kids. Tell him you'll make a deal. You won't encourage kids to drop band because only wimpy geeks do band or drop sports because only dumb kids can use their brawn instead of their brains if the coach will lay off of the scouts and let them make their own decisions. I'm exagerating of course. But a discussion about the benefits of scouting ads well as physical activity and arts is in order. They can compliment each other and should be available to any kid to take part in. Tell them you are looking for a partnership between programs. Any halfway enlightened educator already understands the benefits.

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You know, I agree with SR540Beaver ........


Go talk to the principal and then the coach. Tell him you won't go around saying that football is for big dumb jocks who can't count past ten or read above Dick and Jane - as long as he stops with the wimps and gay men comments.


Reminds me of the coach character John Goodman played in "Nerds".


And I have felt the dissapointment you felt too. Not necessarily in scouting alone, but other places as well.


Had it put into perspective by a friend who said: " You can give a homeless man money. It's a good deed regardless of where the money actually goes. Could be a bottle of liquer, or a hot meal. The kind act was the act of giving, not how the money was spent."



And you know what, it's true. You gave of yourself, did a grteat thing and showed compassion. The scouts will remember that one day even if the parents blew it.

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