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sctmom

Who's responsible?

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Sctmom,

The requirement in question I believe would be Tenderfoot req #1, right? "Present yourself to your leader, properly dressed,before going on an overnight camping trip. Show the camping gear you will use. Show the right way to pack and carry it." As a Scoutmaster one of my biggest challenges is to teach the boys to take responsibility for themselves, READ THE REQUIREMENT, and make prior arrangements with leaders when a boy wants something. Yes leaving from a parking lot is hecktick, outings should have a planned time table. These aren't carved in stone but everyone should know what is going on and when. If a boy plans on covering some requirement skill he should check with the person he plans to work with and be sure this will be possible. If you want someone to come up to your son and say "Now we'll do this so get your books so they can be signed", this is what he will learn to expect. Life don't work that way! Scouting is a learning experience. When I was a scout we didn't have troop guides, now we do, cuz we've grown. In my troop the reminder comes from the troop guide and only for the first six months. After that he is their to answer questions and spot individual problems which he brings to the attention of ASPL or ASM. Boys that are expected to be self sufficant become self sufficant, which does not preclude asking for help. Tell your son to have a one on one with the troop guide or ASPL and find out the routine for working on advancement. In our troop the SPL has all the new guys bring their packs, READY TO CAMP, to a troop meeting before the outing. The new patrol cover this requirement during their patrol time during the meeting.(This message has been edited by LongHaul)

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Sctmom - I know that your son's elementary school is probably doing their level best to train you to be responsible for his work. Don't you just enjoy getting those phone calls about the missing assignments, with the implied message "What are you going to do about it?"

 

I suggest that you resist the pressure and inform all involved, including your son, that you already did elementary school once and you are not going to do it again. Tell your son that he is responsible for developing some kind of system for keeping up with his work. I'm sure they've introduced agenda books and all that at school, and if he's a typical somewhat ADHD boy they may as well have been whistling in the wind. He'll have to develop his own system, externally applied systems almost never work.

 

Then you have the hardest job in the world - you have to allow him to fail. You will probably not have to punish him further for failing, he'll feel badly enough. Offer empathy - "wow, too bad. Gee. You must feel terrible." Then encourage him to figure out a way he can succeed the next time. If part of his answer is to make YOUR responsible again (Mom, I need you to remind me to take my homework every day, say NO, and ask him how he could remember it himself. Don't tell him how to solve it until he's given you three bad ideas, and maybe tried them all out. If he really can't think of a workable solution, give him two silly or lousy ideas and then follow with "some kids do it this way..." And ask if he thinks it will work? Make it HIS idea.

 

Iterate as needed.

 

His path might not be through the valedictorian office, but with your love and encouragement, he'll find a way. It will be HIS way, and HE will build his self-esteem in finding it.

 

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Oh, and about the scout requirements... I am sort of in the middle on those - I think it IS appropriate for the troop guide, ASM, or SPL to point out "hey guys, if you haven't made tenderfoot yet this campout would be a chance to get some of these requirements met...anyone want to show me anything?" As Bob White said, catch them doing something right....

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We crossed over our first 8 Webelos into our new Troop two weeks ago. We are having our first campout this weekend. I've been following this thread because I want to start the boys off right. I've been serving as Troop Guide since we don't have any older scouts. Hopefully I've been doing the right thing by working with the PL and telling him to tell the boys about having their bags checked on Friday. I gave an instruction session on what to pack (right from the Scout Book) and how to pack (Bag of Bags). My plans are to remind the PL (Boys) less and less each time so that hopefully within 6 months or so they will start to get the idea. Is 6 months reasonable or is it to long?

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In my troop it would have been the scouts patrol leader responsibility to "remind" the new boys the requirements of the badge work it would have been the leaders job to "remind" the patrol leader. As for reading the book and knowing before it happens what is required this I've found is a very rare skill in young scouts and usually helped by parental "reminding".

 

Now I may be missing something here but what's to stop the scout arranging with the examiner to bring their pack in on a troop night and have it marked off. You have to allow scouts to catch up missed chances otherwise they end up behind their peers and become the butt of jokes and teasing and then they leave.

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In our troop how we do it is once a year we have a meeting devoted to what to pack and how to pack. We show them and have them bring gear to the meeting the week of the campout and go over it. And we have a ASM who is assigned to checking on requirements all the time and reminding the leadership of what is needed and how to get them done. All it takes is a minute in a troop committee meeting or even in PLC to remind people of what is needed. We also have a weekly tracking chart update before the meeting.

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