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Scout interest fading...causing conflict.

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So, my Scout's interest in Scouting is pretty simple.


He want's to do the "fun badges", go camping, help on other's Eagle projects (to some extent) and let the whole Eagle thing go by.


Ok...my thought is...well, it's your activity...you decide what you want from it. It's like pushing a kid to play a position in baseball when that's not what he wants to play....it's not good.


Mom, on the other hand doesn't see it that way. Clearly, she wants Scout to Eagle....like G-pa, Uncle and Bio-dad.


It's getting a little messy...pushing advancement issues because Friend-X has made Y. Pushing badges that are Eagle requirements rather than letting Scout pick what he wants to do at Advancement Day and being happy that he's going.


Scouting is becoming that elephant in the corner.




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This is something that is ultimately between you, your wife and your son.


Boy scouts and more over becoming an eagle scout isnt for everyone. However getting eagle is what for most people legitimizes the time you were in scouts. If I were the parents i would explain just one last time what it means to be an eagle scout and let him know that just what being an eagle scout means both in and outside of the world of scouting. then leave and let him make the choice if he wishes to get his eagle.


Forcing him to get the eagle is only positive in the sense he will have something nice to put on a resume. However you run the risk of then ruining something it sounds like he enjoys. I think that if he is forced to get his eagle it wont mean to him what it means to myself and those who got it on our own accord.

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Yah, up to you and the Mrs. And harder for you as da non-bio-dad.


FWIW, you're right. A lad who is allowed to have fun in Scouting, do fun badges, help out on others' Eagle projects and all that will love scouting, love the outdoors, and is really likely to eventually discover that getting Eagle is fun, too, and worth his effort. Best tactic as a parent is to praise him for da Scouting stuff he's doing and the badges he's earning, whatever they are. Reinforces doing well rather than reinforcing other stuff.


But in a marriage, it doesn't always pay to be right, eh? ;) Sometimes best yeh can do is buy the lad a little space is all. Hopefully that's enough.




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Might want to have a quiet and non-confrontational conversation with mom about this. It will help if you both have a common understanding of what the goals are for encouraging Jr. to stick with scouting.


From other posts - I think your son is in middle school. Keep in mind, too, that middle school boys are a flighty lot who seem to have GREAT fear of being publicly identified as boy scouts. If the boy is getting a lot of conflicting pressures related to scouting at home, it might be more and more enticing for him to just drop scouts entirely, given the negative social points boys this age attach to scouting anyway.


Good luck.



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Just before I was married I would visit the USA several times a year.

I used to stop in at a local bar.

The first time I visited I asked for a beer. The guy behind the bar was the owner, asked what type? I said that I knew nothing about American beers, so he gave me a local beer, a Stoneys.

It was OK and I thought all American beers were like it.

Over the years I stopped in at this bar a fair amount and every-time the guy would put up a Stoneys. I never had the heart to tell him that I didn't like it. As a rule I'd drink a couple and change to scotch.

About 15 years went by and one day this guy was playing in my golf tournament and he caught me with a Bass Ale. He was a little surprised. I explained that I'd never really liked Stoneys and was afraid that I might upset him.

We both laughed.

I think that there comes a time when we all work out what we really like and what we don't.

When it comes to dealing with our own kids we can if we want take the hard line. Sometimes this is needed and necessary. But sometimes it just isn't worth the fight.

Many times I've found that taking plenty of no notice is the best way to deal with things and all to often things have a way of working themselves out.

Chances are that if this Lad feels that he is being forced into doing something, he will rebel against it all and find a way of walking away from it all.

My son had a 101 reasons why he wasn't going to complete his Eagle Scout rank.

His mother had bought all the Eagle Scout table cloths, napkins and cups and was saying how she wanted the room in the cupboard.

He said that his reason for completing it was because Camp Staffers with Eagle got paid a $100 bonus at the end of the summer. I tend to think that there was more to it than that and this was his way of saving face.

I don't know your son, each and every Lad is different. Some are very goal oriented and need a goal in order to move from point A to point B.

Sadly all to often the goal really isn't their goal, just something that will please others, much like a good grade on a report card. Worse still is when the goal over-rides everything leaving no room for any real learning and any real fun.

I really don't think that a lot of people who really haven't experienced scouts and scouting from the inside really understand it.

Maybe having one of the relatives who made Eagle talk to your good Lady and explain that Eagle isn't all that there is to Scouting might be a good idea.


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>>From other posts - I think your son is in middle school. Keep in mind, too, that middle school boys are a flighty lot who seem to have GREAT fear of being publicly identified as boy scouts.

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"Maybe having one of the relatives who made Eagle talk to your good Lady and explain that Eagle isn't all that there is to Scouting might be a good idea."


An interesting idea, except they are even more pushy than Mom is ...


Funny, my sister-in-law just had a baby boy...when my wife said something to her about being in Scouts in a few years, she replied, "Heck no! I'm gonna make sure he's gay!"


Probably speaks volumes.


As for the peer pressure issue with Scouts...it really isn't a factor in our school system here....since Scouts are prohibited from using school facilities or participating in school functions since it is considered to be a religious club or organization.


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I'd totally lay off!


We run our Troop at about a rank a year. We have nearly 90% achieving Eagle. We have nearly 95% attendance at Troop meetings and outings. We don't even discuss Eagle until the Scouts are either out of middle school or have achieved Star.


I know this is heresy with regard to both BSA guidance and the way many Troops are run, i.e. 1st Class in the 1st year. Sorry, but we let the guys be Scouts and do Scouting activities -- we do lots of camping and have lots of fun, and provided plenty of opportunity for advancement. But we don't make advancement the number one priority - we make outings, activities, and Scout experiences the number one activity.


We let the Scout work though advancement, and only get worried if he is advancing slower than a rank a year. Of course a number of Scouts move along much faster, which is fine - they make great examples for the other Scouts.


But there is no way I'd get hyper about Eagle merit badges until he was 15.


E61 -- I agree, let him have fun! He's still a kid! Let mom know he's got plenty of time and pushing at 12 will do nothing but discourage him. We have had many Scouts not kick in till they were 15 or 16 and make Eagle with out a problem.


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I also say that a discussion with mom is needed to back off and let son have fun. Tell you a tale of two Eagles.


First Eagle was the son of an Eagle and Silver recipient. Dad pushed him to get into Scouting and get Eagle, there was no Silver at the time so no pressure on that one. Yep he got Eagle at 13 and dropped out. Didn't get back involved in Scouting until son got involved.


Second Eagle was First's cousin. "Double Eagle" Uncle also pushed 2nd to get Eagle. 2nd was motivated, was Life at 13, but something happened. 2nd eagle got into the OA and had a little fun, not much at that point, but enough to remember and get back involved later. Then 2nd Eagle went through Brownsea 22, the NYLT of its time, and not only had fun, but picked up advance outdoor skills and leadership skills that are still used today. A year later he went to Jambo and did his first of three 50 milers in the Canadian wilderness, the highlight of his time as a youth. While job, school, and girls prevented him from attending many campouts after that trip, he attended all the meetings he could, taught what he knew, and started seeing those folks who were in his patrol and who hetaught and mentored pass him up. It really hit home 8 months before his 18th birthday, when he focused on the only 2 things preventing him from Eagle, Communications MB and Personal Management MB. He completed everything but his EBOR 5 days before turning 18. Even after turing 18 he remained active with the troop until getting a job as a DE in another state.


While an adult he's worked summer camp staff (some of the best times he's ever had), did the European Camp Staff program (the second best hightlite as an adult to date), served in various district positions, and watched his son become a TC and Wolf ( the best highlites of my career to date). 18 years after getting Eagle, I'm still having a blast!


So tell me, who has had the most fun? Who has the most adventures? Who has Scouting made the bigger impact on.


Moral of the story, DON"T PUSH SCOUTS!( caps for emphasis)

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My son's troop is along the lines of SMT224's. High percentage of scouts that stay make eagle, but usually quite late since they don't get serious about it until 16 or so. First Class is required for HA and after that they coast until (unless) they decide to work toward eagle rank. The ones that are pushed hardest tend to drop out entirely since the fun is gone.

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Sbemis1 reminded me of one young man I encountered. Dad was an Eagle, and pushed, pushed, pushed. Son went to EVERYTHING, summer camp with the troop, provisional week at camp, winter camp, etc. over time son had 62 MBs. BUT son was not having fun, was a PITA, and eventually dropped out. If dad hadn't pushed, I bet he would have made Eagle.


Another young man made Eagle. Dad wanted him to be Eagle b/c he was a 'Life for Life" But he allowed son to have fun. yes he encouraged son to get Eagle, dad reminded son how he was so close and didn't get Eagle, but let him move at his own pace. Son got Eagle at 16 and had fun in the troop getting it too.

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He's only twelve?


Holy smoke!


Yah, pushin' a lot of Eagle required MBs on a lad at that age is da wrong way to go. Quite frankly, a lot of 'em are book-work type stuff where it's best to be in high school to work through 'em and get the most out of 'em. Personal management works best when yeh have a job. Cit World works best when you've already had some world history and are readin' the news on your own. On and on.


Pushin' a 12 year old on Eagle is like pushin' a 12 year old on a high school diploma or why he doesn't start work on AP Chemistry right away. Only goin' to frustrate the kid and make him hate it.




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