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CA_Scouter

New Kid challenge

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We had a problem with one of our new crossover kids at Camporee this last weekend.

 

Kid was hitting the bathroom a lot and asked yet again but his buddy said no, he was tired of taking him so please get someone else. New kid grabbed his buddy, buddy pushed him off, ASM broke it up, end of incident. New kid is very upset that the buddy pushed him back, does not address the fact that he initiated the contact.

 

Later in the evening, new kid has a fit about not wanting to spend the night, he has to go home... he tells us that 'I've had a very emotional day and I'm emotionally exhausted and I want to go home to my family'. Yes. Seriously. He used those words. This kid is 10 years old.

 

We try to encourage him to stay, talk about the day, how fun it was, does he need to change tent buddies, what can we do to make him comfortable, etc.,etc. We can't really get an answer as to why he wants to leave... one of my ASM's thinks maybe the kid wet himself and checks his sleeping bag, which turns out to be dry ( but its Sat night and he hasn't been in the bag all day ). Finally I give in and he calls Mom and the boyfriend drives up to pick him up. First time I've ever had a kid want to leave a troop activity ( in nearly 6 years ).

 

So I have an email exchange with Mom the next day and she apologizes for not letting us know that kid has an 'active bladder' and that because his buddy wouldn't take him to the bathroom Friday night the sleeping bag got 'wet' (unconfirmed about the buddy). My ASMs and myself think there is a lot more going on here than an 'active bladder' and suspect possibly bed-wetting and other ( for lack of a better term ) 'emotional' issues. Kid is from a split family, live-in boyfriend, Dad not in the picture, Mommy's little boy and he plays her like a fiddle, etc.. I bet some of you have been in similar situations....

 

My thoughts are that he may not be mature enough to handle outings at this time without a parent around. Especially with the 'active bladder', I'd hate to obligate another Scout to accompany him to the loo every hour during the night. On top of that there is the embarrassment issue that I'd like to protect this kid from if at all possible.

 

Looking for opinions/comments on those of you who've been in this or similar situations. Call it a sanity check. :-)

 

thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yah, perhaps yeh can just dispense with the notion of taking a buddy to the bathroom? I know we're all in favor of the buddy system, but I've always found that particular interpretation to be a bit silly (and even a bit creepy) for boy scout aged youth. Are yeh regularly camping in areas where it's a long and confusing hike to da latrine, with cliffs about?

 

Meet with mom and talk about issues. Aside from the wetting issue which is one to manage thoughtfully, da rest just seems like ordinary homesickness rather than a behavioral issue that demands a parent be present.

 

You're the folks who count, though. If you're not comfortable managing the lad, then yeh should ask a parent to come out.

 

Beavah

 

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Okay, just us guys here, right?

 

How many of us really get up, dress, put our boots on and hike to the latrine in the middle of the night?

 

Good luck, CA, let me know what you come up with. The same kid just crossed over into our troop without -- so far -- the bladder issues. The ASMs all have a pool on how many day of summer camp he makes it through. This kid wants to be one of the big dogs, but when the dogs get to scrappin', he goes crying to daddy. His dad sees his job in life as walking the trail in front of his son, picking up pebbles and sticks.

 

Last troop meeting some of the guys were standing around and this kid come up and tells another boy the he was standing "in his spot." The second kid tells him that we don't have assigned spots. (Which I thought was a great answer!) The first kid nudged the second kid out of the way. The second kid then put the first guy on his butt. Of course, he started balling. The SPL witnessed the whole thing and told the kid he needed to find his dad and hang out with him for awhile. A pretty good outcome, I thought.

 

So far, my inclination is to let the herd take care of itself. I told the SPL to keep and eye on things and to make sure I am aware of what's going on. My experience is these things tend to work themselves out over time.

 

Your case is slightly different, in that there are potential medical issues to consider. I wish I had a better idea for you, but maybe you just let it run it's course. Maybe the boy does a little growing up. Maybe the mom gets tired of midnight trips to camp.

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No dispensing with buddies to go to the bathroom no way no how. This is not a lost issue it is a youth protection issue you can read that leader protection issue if you want. You start letting em run all over the place by themselves then how do you answer the "so and so showed me his equipment in the bathroom". Its bad enough that it sometimes happens for real but a lot of these kids are sharp enough that if they have an ax to grind you will be the one getting ground. Been there lived the nightmare don't even think about short changing it we don't even when its the troops private bathroom at the scout reservation. We harp more about "where's your buddy" than anything else even at our regular meeting place

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If the boy truely has an Active bladder, than the physical form should note that. The scouts doctor can help troop leadership get a better understanding of the problem and treatement.

 

If it is bedwetting, there are several medication routes that help keep scouts dry. We always packed a pull-up inside the sleeping bag at home with a plastic grocery sack. The scout changes into and out of the pull-up in the sleeping bag and puts the pull-up in the opaque grocery sack. Scout puts grocery sack in trash. Other scouts are not aware of the bed wetting problem.

 

The nose spray meds worked at home but somehow got completely emptied on each campout. The pills meds work very well.

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We've done the bed wetting thing in our troop. Depends/Pull-ups are a good recourse without the medications. The boy's buddy pointed out that his buddy had a bed-wetting problem when he saw his buddy using the Depends. I told him it was a medical problem/condition and would he feel any better if it was diareha instead? After that his buddy made sure he was ready for bed and kept the "secret" to the two of them for the rest of the outing.

 

Kids will surprise you if you explain the problem and then make no big deal about it. By the way, the buddy will be getting his Eagle this coming Sunday afternoon.

 

Stosh

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Keep taking him camping! In 20 years I have seen some scouts who start out like this, who have turned out to be awesome down the road. It is a big change from Cub Scouts, and having your parents around to "lean on" all the time. Talk to him about the problem, talk to his mom. Tell her and him, that he is starting his transition to manhood and there are some different expectations for men vs boys (every boy likes to think he is becoming a man). That you will be treating him more like a man, but that you understand that it take some time. I am not a big fan of taking the parent as it just prolongs the problem.

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>>No dispensing with buddies to go to the bathroom no way no how. This is not a lost issue it is a youth protection issue you can read that leader protection issue if you want.

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This should not be a deal breaker - he can deal with his issues and camp too. Lot's of kids have similar issues and still go camping and to summer camp and have fun being a Scout.

Pull-ups (GoodNights) work great at night to keep the sleeping bag dry. If he's got to pee and there's no buddy available, he can just find a tree within sight of the campsite. Yea, he does need a buddy to go the latrine, but otherwise, a tree works just fine. And if he wakes up at night, a tree just outside the tent works too.

 

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LOL @ Twocubdad - I love our winter camping trips when you wake up in the morning and see all the yellow snow just a couple feet from the tents.

 

IMO - if busy campground where sharing facilities with non-scouts then take a buddy... if long hike or dangerous areas then take a buddy... if multiple stalls and none seperate for adults and boys then take a buddy. But if you you have your own little kybo or a tree near by then just let your tent mate that you're going to go pee.

 

with my girl scout troop who won't use trees, the girls paired off tent mates based on bathroom visits LOL

 

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If the kid can control it, suggest using a "dedicated and well marked" Nalgene bottle at night. If not, Depends is a good option.

 

My Webelo still soaks the bed every night. He's had maybe 25 dry night is his life. 20 in the last few months though. None of the home remedies work. The alarm wakes up everyone in the house except him.

 

I'm not normally a fan of watering trees in an active campsite, but I'd make an exception for him.

 

See if an older scout would take him under his wing and take on the challenge.

 

Above all though, be very clear that next time, the outing is over at the scheduled time and he cannot call his mom.

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Kid wets his bed, gets physical with his buddy. Blames buddy for aggression. Then demands to go because he is emotionally exhausted. RED FLAGS

 

I bet that's not even the entire list.

 

The mom needs to level with you on what is going on with this kid. He ain't right. If the bladder issue is a long term issue he would have had the experience to deal with it. He would have time before where people got frustrated with taking him to the bathroom. And the bed wetting he should have known to wear pull-ups. I suspect that the "bladder issues" are the product of an emotional response to the campout. Find out if the bladder issues come and go and if so under what circumstances do these issue occur.

 

Also if this occurred on the second day of the campout was there medication that was supposed to be taken but wasn't. His former den leader may be able to shed some light on these issues.

 

 

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Good ideas all. I do have to disagree with Beavah b/c I had a friend accused of violating YP, and she is history. I know the "scout" who made the accusation, would not trust him to spit on me if I was on fire, and had problems with him and is 'trustworthiness." YP is there for both the scout and adult's protection.

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@twocubdad. You should consider talking to the "his spot" boy's parents to see if there are any other autistic/asperger's tendencies or diagnosis. It's common with those tendencies/diagnosis to need that kind of structure and a fairly simple accomodation to make. Could be he's just a pain, could be he needs a little additional help.

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