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Boy Scout Dilema


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Oh please help me! I am seriously about to shove ice picks in my eyes just to avoid our den mom.

 

Deep breaths. And a :chillpill:.

 

I really want my son involved in Boy Scouts. It is a great organization. Poor guy is stuck with girls all day long. He needs boys. He needs to do boy stuff. He needs to have something for him and dh to work on together. However, the pack here is in complete disarray. There is no leadership. Honestly, in this town, if it isn't football or wrestling, no one really cares about it. Enter manical den mom.

 

Now, I really respect what she is trying to do. She is trying to get Boy Scouts up and running. But she's CRAAAAZY!!! You know that one person in your life that is just sooo draining it drives you to drink? That's her. I'm fairly certain she has the IQ of a flea, yet she thinks she is the smartest woman around. She latches on to people and DOES. NOT. LET. GO. She yells at her kids during meeting, but somehow still doesn't discipline them. Now, I have to drive all the way into town for meetings, often towing along my other 2 dc. I do NOT appreciate the fact that the boys spend the first 15 minutes or so of the meeting playing video games. (Not opposed to video games, just prefer not to waste time at a BOY SCOUT meeting playing them.) And her kids are atrocious. The oldest, who is my son's age, has this baby, whiney voice he uses ALL. THE. TIME. And he is constantly in the other boys' faces. And she does nothing to stop him. There is also the fact that I do not trust this woman alone with my kids. I cannot leave the meeting if no other parents are there, which basically means I can never leave him alone there with her. Oh, and she just called me to ask if I would be her assistant den leader! Of course, the whole time we were on the phone she was yelling at her youngest and completely ignoring the fact that I said no.

 

Why can't I just join another den? First, this is it for the area. The nearest Boy Scout troop/pack/den thing is 30 minutes away, though it is very active and full of homeschoolers. Second, my son seems to enjoy himself, and you all know what we mothers are willing to endure to make our kids happy. Finally, I cannot bring myself to tell her, looney though she is, we are leaving. Her dh works closely with my dh. I still have Navy wife syndrome, where you feel obligated to get along with every wife in your hubby's department to avoid problems at work. I've already had similar issues when another wife and I did not get along and her dh caused drama at work. I cannot do that to my hubby.

 

So, help me put on my big girl panties and tell me to either a) suck it up and deal or b) grow a pair and leave.

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b) grow a pair and leave.

 

This is not a healthy activity for your son. These people aren't good role models and will continue to get worse--undoing any positive character he has developed from the program. And with Cub Scouts, you can do all the activities independently and still get all the badges and everything, IIRC.

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My ds isn't near old enough for scouts yet, but we have good friends in three different cub/boys scout groups here and they are all led by men. Moms provide food, transportation, encouragement, clean uniforms etc., but scouts is very much an all male deal around here. Especially true of Boy Scouts since they're older.

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It sounds like it's time to jump ship. I understand wanting a "boy" activity for your son, but he's still very young so 1) I think you can find something else, and 2) I don't think it's *vital* that he have totally boy-oriented activities for a few years yet.

 

Personally, we chose not to be involved in Scouts before ds was actually old enough to be a Boy Scout. Cubs and Webelos just... well, not really what I was looking for. Sure, there was a wee bit of adjustment for ds coming into Scouts when many of the boys had done Cub Scout prior, but ultimately it was fine and he's really enjoying his troop. I wouldn't keep a 7 or 8yo in a poor Cub Scout situation just on the off chance that it would make being in Boy Scouts easier later on.

 

Perhaps there's a 4-H club or chess club or... something else that might be heavily weighted towards boys in your area? Martial arts class?

 

As to leaving the troop... Well, this seems a good time to take a break. If you *really* can't face any confrontation with this mom, just tell her that you guys need to take a break for the summer. And then don't go back. And when/if she calls you in September, you can say, "I'm sorry, it just won't fit into our schedule right now..."

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My ds isn't near old enough for scouts yet, but we have good friends in three different cub/boys scout groups here and they are all led by men. Moms provide food, transportation, encouragement, clean uniforms etc., but scouts is very much an all male deal around here. Especially true of Boy Scouts since they're older.

 

The pack(?) leader is a dad, but I gather he is completely ineffective and does absolutely nothing. Here, it is mostly women running the show, which I don't particularly like. But, I have no experience at all with Scouts. I have no idea how this should work. I do know it should be better than this.

 

BTW, as I said in the op, if it isn't football or wrestling, most people (read dads) aren't interested. My dh works rotating shifts, so that makes leading a group difficult. I do think the group 30 minutes away is run by men.

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To me, it sounds like the environment this Den Leader provides is far worse than your son being "stuck" with his sisters.

 

Edit: I misread your post and didn't realize that there's another den half an hour away. Might be worth at least giving that one a try. No harm in finding out.

Edited by GretaLynne
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My sanity would probably be worth a 30 minute drive, even towing 2 other children along. As far as "telling her", I wouldn't. I would just find out when the other group meets and go check it out. If she ever asks, just use the "fits better with our schedule" excuse or the "need support from other homeschoolers" excuse. Or just smile and talk about how brilliant HER children are - that usually distracts them enough that you can escape. :lol:

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Her dh works closely with my dh. I still have Navy wife syndrome, where you feel obligated to get along with every wife in your hubby's department to avoid problems at work. I've already had similar issues when another wife and I did not get along and her dh caused drama at work. I cannot do that to my hubby.

 

I wanted to comment on this too. You're not doing anything to him--they are. You can't let your DH's work situation trap you into unhealthy relationships.

 

Why not just put him in football or wrestling? If your goal is to get him in a "boy activity" (which I can totally relate to), that would be a good way for him to make some friends, even if it's not your first choice of activities for him.

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Why can't I just join another den? First, this is it for the area. The nearest Boy Scout troop/pack/den thing is 30 minutes away, though it is very active and full of homeschoolers.

 

Sounds like an unpleasant situation !

 

Living in Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex as I do, 30 minutes' of driving is nothing at all to cause concern ! My dd's Girl Scout troop meetings are 45 minutes from us, in Arlington. She is with wonderful girls, whose mothers are equally pleasant. Why not give the other group a chance ? Maybe call the leader and ask if you could make a "sample visit" just to explore whether it would be a good "fit" for your son.

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I do NOT appreciate the fact that the boys spend the first 15 minutes or so of the meeting playing video games. (Not opposed to video games, just prefer not to waste time at a BOY SCOUT meeting playing them.) And her kids are atrocious. The oldest, who is my son's age, has this baby, whiney voice he uses ALL. THE. TIME. And he is constantly in the other boys' faces. And she does nothing to stop him. There is also the fact that I do not trust this woman alone with my kids. I cannot leave the meeting if no other parents are there, which basically means I can never leave him alone there with her. Oh, and she just called me to ask if I would be her assistant den leader! Of course, the whole time we were on the phone she was yelling at her youngest and completely ignoring the fact that I said no.

 

 

Although your leader may be very annoying personally, some of these issues are actually cub scout norm. The schedule calls for 15 minutes of play time at the beginning of the meeting. It would be better if these were outdoor games or more organized, but if this at her house, it might be hard to do.

 

Actually, you always have to have 2 adults present (I'm not sure if they have to have their Youth Protection Training current, but in our pack all adults have to do YPT). If your son is a Tiger, he has to have a parent or adult partner (grandparent, for example) with him at all the activities. For a wolf, you could drop and run if there were enough adults present.

 

It also sounds like her son might have some special needs, which she may not have chosen to share with the other parents.

 

Cub scouts requires a lot from all of the parents in the den to be successful. No one adult can coordinate all the activities for advancement, belt loops and electives without serious burn-out. Even if you don't want to be an assistant leader, you will need to assess how much you can contribute. If your dh or you really can't make a commitment to helping out consistently, you might be more comfortable in another activity.

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I'm going to have to vote you grow a pair and leave. Suck up the 30 minute drive to get your son involved in a good den.

:iagree:

 

I drive at least 30 minutes to get to all of our activities, and I usually drag all of my kids with me. It's not that bad - just takes some planning.

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Wendi, honestly I'd leave. 30 minutes isn't that bad of a drive for an activity & it sounds like it would make you a lot happier. I know you said your son is happy with this den, but it's also all he knows. Maybe the other more active & organized den would also make him happy -- maybe even happier. You can always use the excuse that you JUST found out the other den is full of homeschoolers & you'd like to network with other homeschooling moms in your area.

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Thanks for the kick in the pants. I know a 30 minute drive is nothing. I have to drive over an hour to get to the closest decent grocery store.

 

Someone else mentioned helping out. Yes, ds is a Tiger. I always stay, though no one else does. Den mom made it seem like we were supposed to drop off the boys. Also, I am pretty sure she has received no training at all. I have no problem helping out, staying, and even planning activities. Just not with this woman.

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Someone else mentioned helping out. Yes, ds is a Tiger. I always stay, though no one else does. Den mom made it seem like we were supposed to drop off the boys. Also, I am pretty sure she has received no training at all. I have no problem helping out, staying, and even planning activities. Just not with this woman.
It's against BSA rules for Tigers to attend without their own adult. :001_huh:
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Woman, please...

 

Unless you can't afford the gas, a half hour is NOTHING.

 

Just go, lie if you must, murmur something about scheduling ... JUST GO. :auto:

 

 

:iagree: If my DS stays in Scouts next year, I'm going to do the same thing and suck it up and make the drive to join the homeschool pack that meets on the far side of town. Otherwise he'll be the only kid in his den, and what's the point of that?

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It's against BSA rules for Tigers to attend without their own adult. :001_huh:

 

 

Wow. I obviously need a rule book or something. I *thought* things should run more smoothly, den mom should have some sort of training, but I didn't know how unusual my situation was. Reason # 5,724 to leave.

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Honestly?

 

I would leave too. I ran into kinda the same thing here with a troop, not boy scouts but a different troop.

I just didn't agree with the track the leader was taking and the child that was in the troop decided that they didn't want to go anymore. It was a life or death decision to go every meeting day so we finally quit and it was for the best.

 

No more stress!

 

Oh and the drive? We had to drive an hour every week to go to the meetings. If there was something good 30 minutes away I would jump. It ain't nothing but a thang.

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Our whole family loves scouts! I'd encourage you to travel the 30 minutes and give the other group a try. Video games for the open play portion of the den meeting would be UNHEARD of in our den. Go to the new group and don't look back. If the den mom asks why you aren't coming anymore, just mention what you posted to us - that there are a lot of home schoolers in the group and you decided it was a better fit for your family.

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with what i have read i would be tempted to report this den leader to the cubmaster or com. chair when I left and let them know WHY you are leaving.. you dont have to tell the den leader but you should alert them to the goings on in the den so they can get her properly trained and get that den moving in the right direction. I am sure you are not the only parent concerned. If the cubmaster or com chair wont listen to you.. i would then report it to council.

 

some things i would ask to be addressed:

1. those boys should NOT be playing video games during a meeting unless working on the new video game belt loop/pin

 

2. an adult leader should NEVER yell at the kids even if it is their own

 

3. a parent must stay with tigers at all time!

 

4. 2 deep leadership must be in place for the meeting to take place

 

5. chaos of meetings (the pack should have provided the leader or they can purchase it at the scout store a leaders book that has monthly meetings planned out if they need help planning.)

 

 

having been involved in cubs/boyscouts all my life and my husband as well this really pains our hearts to hear of a den like this. It just makes a bad name for scouting all around. I am sure this is not going to be a popular answer but if you dont speak up for change for the boys who are still there then who will?

 

p.s. i do agree on you moving to another den/pack .. as fast as you can!!

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Based on personal experience, I vote "grow a pair and leave"

 

We started cub scouts for the first time at the beginning of last summer. One boy joined as a Tiger, and one as a WeBeLoS II. We were directed to the pack that serves our local elementary school. There were quite a few homeschoolers and it seemed like it should work. By September I was absolutely crazy. There were so many things in the pack that just didn't fit for us. Poorly organized, lower behavior standards, poor communication, too much focus on awards rather than experiences.... So, we decided to stick it out a year until ds11 moved to a boy scout troop. He'd really fit in well in his den and I was den leader for the Tigers and didn't want to leave them hanging.

 

By December it was unbearable! Even though I tried to help as much as I could, things got worse, not better. I rushed my den through their Tiger badge and bailed. We did leave our older son in the old pack and just skipped the pack meetings. (He just got his Arrow of Light on Friday, BTW!!!!)

 

When I called to let the committee chair know, she was pretty upset. I just emphasized that the pack wasn't a good fit for me. Nothing else. It was a very difficult phone call.

 

We found a new pack that is much more our family's style and we're all happier. Turns out I enjoy being a cub scout leader. Who knew?

 

My only regret? That I waited so long after it became apparent that this was not the pack for us to move on.

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Agreeing with those who are pointing out that there are MANY BSA rules being violated here. Not only would I leave, but I'd be tempted to mention the violations to the chartered organization (a Cub Scout pack must be sponsored by a school/church/etc.).

 

I really dislike the disorganization of my ds's Pack. Some of this I remember from when my brothers were Cubs, but the pack leadership has some serious parenting issues of their own children which make managing others' children ineffective. We stay because the Den leader has things together (his older ds and our older ds are in Boy Scouts together. (And because ds has only his 2 Webelos years left now.)

 

In your case, I'd run to the pack a half hour away. The situation you're in now is not a pleasant one for you or him. Being a Navy family growing up, it wasn't uncommon for my mom to have to try a couple of Cub Scout packs/Boy Scout troops/Girl Scout troops to find a good fit for each of us. Scouting was a wonderful, stabilizing force in our lives, but part of that was because my mom wasn't afraid to pick us up and move us to another group if the first one we tried didn't work.

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Dittoing. The two-deep leadership is a BIG rule ... not only for all scouting programs, but also for other things ... if you are meeting in a church, for instance, she may be violating their rules (and insurance) too. Plus the Tiger program absolutely requires an adult partner per Tiger.

 

As a den leader myself ... that would drive me nuts. (There's no rule that they have to play 15 minutes at the beginning, but it is considered good form to have an opening activity for boys to do while waiting for everyone else to show up. There are good ideas in the Program Helps guide, which she can access online if she didn't buy a copy. My meetings go smoother when I remember to plan one of those.)

 

There is a Lone Scout program, and you can certainly go that route for a little while, if the other den doesn't work out for you. Plus anybody can buy the Belt Loop guide and some of the other extras, which you can work on at your own pace. (ETA: Not sure how to file paperwork for earning them, though ... our pack leader does all our papers. Your Scout Shop should be able to help you figure that out.)

 

We've loved Cub Scouts because of its family emphasis (siblings invited to Rain Gutter Regatta, Pinewood Derby, campouts, etc). And we tried not to let our Wolf and Bear parents realize they actually could leave. :D By having them stay and observe, they learn the routine and can later be begged into volunteering! (Ours is a small pack but we desperately need a few more leaders ... as it is I lead a mixed-level den and that's tricky to juggle.)

 

Anyway, if you go the Lone Scout route, you might be able to round up a few other boys to do special events with, perhaps. And he would still be eligible for Day Camp and other things. Just be sure to get on any relevant local mail or email lists so you're sure to hear about stuff.

 

(We're venturing into Girl Scout realm next year too ... and if we can't make the minimum, they'll be the Girl Scout version of Lone Scouts, "Juliettes", and just happen to meet together... would save a ton of paperwork that way, for sure... I am so crazy for trying to lead both but it has to happen if we want something to match our schedule.)

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Drive the 30 min to the other pack.

 

This one will not get better. It will suck the life out of you and will NOT give your son what you are hoping for. Just Drive.

 

Bring a book to read with your youngers, or a portable DVD for them to watch a movie (treat!) in the car while you read a book.

 

Just do it.

 

Most of my kids' activities are 30 min or so away from home, including ds's scouts. (Which we LOVE LOVE LOVE and is the highlight of ds's social calendar. . . And, we had a decent one 10 min closer that I rejected for a number of reasons. . . The quality of the people in the troop is of utmost importance!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

 

With a little luck, in time you'll find another family from your neighborhood who joins the other troop and you can carpool sometimes.

 

In the meantime, drive!

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I'm not a babysitter. I am not a one-woman-show. I am the Bear Leader and I'm stuck babysitting Tigers and Wolves. I am the committee chair that parents complain to when their children are doing things that just don't seem Scoutish. I am one of the three women team that is helping our pack survive. I am sick and tired of parents that want to clamber onto their high horses and complain, while refusing to help out.

 

Tigers are not supposed to be dropped off. Tigers are supposed to be working shoulder to shoulder with their parent partners. Tiger parents are supposed to take an active role in their sons' scouting experience.

 

If you aren't willing to help then stop hurting and move on. This poor woman signed up for way less than she's got on her plate and she's stressing to the breaking point. She's stuck planning and working and doing for a pack of kids whose parents seem to think she is a free babysitter. If you want the kids to play games for the opening, then plan some and take that over for her.

 

I'm a Bear Leader and I'm tired of complaints from parents that refuse to help remedy anything.

Although your leader may be very annoying personally, some of these issues are actually cub scout norm. The schedule calls for 15 minutes of play time at the beginning of the meeting. It would be better if these were outdoor games or more organized, but if this at her house, it might be hard to do.

 

Actually, you always have to have 2 adults present (I'm not sure if they have to have their Youth Protection Training current, but in our pack all adults have to do YPT). If your son is a Tiger, he has to have a parent or adult partner (grandparent, for example) with him at all the activities. For a wolf, you could drop and run if there were enough adults present.

 

It also sounds like her son might have some special needs, which she may not have chosen to share with the other parents.

 

Cub scouts requires a lot from all of the parents in the den to be successful. No one adult can coordinate all the activities for advancement, belt loops and electives without serious burn-out. Even if you don't want to be an assistant leader, you will need to assess how much you can contribute. If your dh or you really can't make a commitment to helping out consistently, you might be more comfortable in another activity.

:iagree:

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This woman was nuts before this Cub Scout thing. Now, as I stated many times, I am usually the only one who stays. DL actually volunteers to bring the other boys home from school so they can attend the meeting. She never, EVER told us we were required to stay. She is a glorified babysitter, as one mom drops off her son on her way to class:glare:.

 

I never knew there were so many regulations. As far as I know, we are not sponsered by anyone. There have been two pack meets cancelled because the pack leader was "busy" or some other lame excuse. We meet in her home. No one really knows what they are doing. How do I find out? This is my very first exposure to Cub Scouts.

 

I'm not a babysitter. I am not a one-woman-show. I am the Bear Leader and I'm stuck babysitting Tigers and Wolves. I am the committee chair that parents complain to when their children are doing things that just don't seem Scoutish. I am one of the three women team that is helping our pack survive. I am sick and tired of parents that want to clamber onto their high horses and complain, while refusing to help out.

 

Tigers are not supposed to be dropped off. Tigers are supposed to be working shoulder to shoulder with their parent partners. Tiger parents are supposed to take an active role in their sons' scouting experience.

 

If you aren't willing to help then stop hurting and move on. This poor woman signed up for way less than she's got on her plate and she's stressing to the breaking point. She's stuck planning and working and doing for a pack of kids whose parents seem to think she is a free babysitter. If you want the kids to play games for the opening, then plan some and take that over for her.

 

I'm a Bear Leader and I'm tired of complaints from parents that refuse to help remedy anything.

 

:iagree:

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This woman was nuts before this Cub Scout thing. Now, as I stated many times, I am usually the only one who stays. DL actually volunteers to bring the other boys home from school so they can attend the meeting. She never, EVER told us we were required to stay. She is a glorified babysitter, as one mom drops off her son on her way to class:glare:.

 

I never knew there were so many regulations. As far as I know, we are not sponsered by anyone. There have been two pack meets cancelled because the pack leader was "busy" or some other lame excuse. We meet in her home. No one really knows what they are doing. How do I find out? This is my very first exposure to Cub Scouts.

http://www.scouting.org/

 

Also, read your son's hand book. The first section outlines most of the more obvious things.

 

Our pack is run by three moms that want their sons to have fun. We beg (beg BEG) for help. This is our last year. We're quiting, all three of us, as of the end of this summer. I don't know what the 10+ other scouts will do, but we're finding a pack with more parental support. As of now, our council is begging us not to leave (it actually comes off as a command, but I'm sure that is not how it's meant). The fact of the matter is, being a leader is hard work. Being a leader with no support is impossible. If she was crazy before then this will drive her over the edge. Your pack leader is probably running the entire show (and you'd be surprised at how much work there is when you have no table) and just couldn't do the pack meetings. If there's no second in command to take over, that's just the way it's going to be. The pack leader made a commitment, but there's supposed to be fall backs for when personal things come up and they just can't be there.

 

You can also locate your local counsel and call them. The odds are that your leaders have asked for help from them too.

 

I don't mean to make this sound hopeless. Helping and supporting are huge. Up until two years ago our pack was thriving with so many volunteers sharing the work that we could do tons of extras. All those parents moved on to Boy Scouts, though.

 

You can make your son's experience worth while. As an assistant den leader you can take some of the load off the leader's shoulders and insure that (for instance) the boys are active and playing, instead of vegetating infront of a tv screen. You'll also get to know the ins and outs of scouting, you'll get to help plan the go see its and next year you'll get to help conquer Mount Wolf Achievements (which is the most massive load of achievements). It is worth it, when there's enough people to share the load.

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I'm not a babysitter. I am not a one-woman-show. I am the Bear Leader and I'm stuck babysitting Tigers and Wolves. I am the committee chair that parents complain to when their children are doing things that just don't seem Scoutish. I am one of the three women team that is helping our pack survive. I am sick and tired of parents that want to clamber onto their high horses and complain, while refusing to help out.

 

 

 

It sounds like you're not being supported in your pack and that there just aren't enough parents helping out. Perhaps some things (camping trips, raingutter regatta, pinewood derby) need to not happen unless other parents step up. If the pack has a lot of parents that don't help, then maybe the pack doesn't need to survive.

 

When I looked at moving packs, I struggled with the question of should I stay and help fix it or leave. I was serving as a den leader and had already tried to make changes from within. I finally realized that 1. The others in the pack weren't looking for the same type of experience I was, 2. That the leadership wasn't really open to doing things differently, and 3. that I didn't have the energy to devote to single handedly revamping the pack.

 

One of the great thing about scouts is that packs and troops are all different with different emphases, so you can pick the one that works best for your family.

 

One of the hard thing about scouts is that packs and troops are all different with different emphases, so you have to find the one that works best for your family.

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How do I find out? This is my very first exposure to Cub Scouts.

 

There's advice to parents at the front (as far as I remember) which includes the rules about a parent being with the child at every meeting. If you don't have a copy, then you should get one. There are lots of activities that you need to do with your Tiger so that he can advance, in addition to whatever he does in his den.

 

Best wishes

 

Laura

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It sounds like you're not being supported in your pack and that there just aren't enough parents helping out. Perhaps some things (camping trips, raingutter regatta, pinewood derby) need to not happen unless other parents step up. If the pack has a lot of parents that don't help, then maybe the pack doesn't need to survive.

 

When I looked at moving packs, I struggled with the question of should I stay and help fix it or leave. I was serving as a den leader and had already tried to make changes from within. I finally realized that 1. The others in the pack weren't looking for the same type of experience I was, 2. That the leadership wasn't really open to doing things differently, and 3. that I didn't have the energy to devote to single handedly revamping the pack.

 

One of the great thing about scouts is that packs and troops are all different with different emphases, so you can pick the one that works best for your family.

 

One of the hard thing about scouts is that packs and troops are all different with different emphases, so you have to find the one that works best for your family.

We are the leaders :glare:

 

What drives me crazy is that the parents want their children to have the experience, but none of the parents want to work to make that happen. Being the committee chair (as well as the advancements team of one) I get to hear most of the complaints. I've started shushing people... Not my best PR moment, but I'm tired of hearing it from people that refuse to help. They're sitting in the car, refusing to turn the key or push the pedals and complaining because they aren't going anywhere.

 

Because of #3 the leadership in this pack will be gone by Fall. We can't take it anymore. I do wonder what those parents will do when there is no pack in the area anymore... But I think I already know. They won't do anything, it seems to be second nature for them :glare:

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Because of #3 the leadership in this pack will be gone by Fall. We can't take it anymore. I do wonder what those parents will do when there is no pack in the area anymore... But I think I already know. They won't do anything, it seems to be second nature for them :glare:

 

Sounds like you've made the right choice. Unfortunately, the right choice isn't always the easy one, is it? :grouphug:

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b) grow a pair and leave.

 

or C) Offer to be the den leader for this age next year, get training over the summer (most/all of it will be online by July) and just do a better job.

 

Many packs have women as den leaders and doing most of the heavy lifting on the committee (chair, treasurer, activities coordinator). So that doesn't strike me as odd.

 

But it does sound like she is neither delivering cub scouts as it is designed and intended nor even providing something creatively beneficial.

 

This is a great time of year to make a break. Contact the other pack and ask if they are doing things over the summer because you would like to check them out. Then if it is a good match, register with them in the fall.

 

You don't really owe folks an explanation for why you're leaving.

 

I've been a den leader, and committee member for cubs and boy scouts. There are good programs out there. Find one or start one. But don't feel like you have to try to reform one that isn't right.

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Does your son have a manual? Did she at least tell the parents to get those? Because the parent/child rule is in that, and every Tiger achievement has three components ... a den activity, a family activity, and some sort of outing. We have a tiny pack (that's why my den is Tigers through Bears, and the other den is Webelos) so we wiggle the requirements a bit, but in every level there is a lot that must be done at home, with family. If she didn't tell y'all at least that much, then it's very poor leadership indeed.

 

I will say, I can agree with the poster above who's quitting leadership. I've spent much of the year trying to whack parents over the head to read the manuals ... and since we have told them, there's really no excuse. Some of our early boys dropped out mid-year, and several more joined late, so that's complicated things for us ... I was about in tears this month because so far the ONLY child in our entire pack to reach rank this year was my son. But my whacking has paid off ... a few other boys are going to be there by next week (our closing party) and I'm pretty sure my co-leaders' kids are also there, they just haven't marked up their manuals yet.

 

I only got into this because our pack leader and former den leader was expecting a baby last spring and sensibly said she couldn't lead everything this year. It was Step Up or No Pack, so here I am. She still handles the paperwork, and another parent stepped up for Webelos, and we're doing okay. Still need more help though, but I think some parents are coming around and considering it.

 

That's very different from the drop-off, video game scenario though. I'd go crazy with that.

 

If you do get involved, see if your area has a Roundtable or something similar. It's a monthly meeting designed to give you ideas of what to do using the Program Guide themes ... you're not forced to use them but it does save some brainstorming. Our roundtables are pretty fun and it is good to hear what other packs are doing ... sometimes you can team up with another pack to achieve something neither can do on its own.

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or C) Offer to be the den leader for this age next year, get training over the summer (most/all of it will be online by July) and just do a better job.

 

Many packs have women as den leaders and doing most of the heavy lifting on the committee (chair, treasurer, activities coordinator). So that doesn't strike me as odd.

 

But it does sound like she is neither delivering cub scouts as it is designed and intended nor even providing something creatively beneficial.

 

This is a great time of year to make a break. Contact the other pack and ask if they are doing things over the summer because you would like to check them out. Then if it is a good match, register with them in the fall.

 

You don't really owe folks an explanation for why you're leaving.

 

I've been a den leader, and committee member for cubs and boy scouts. There are good programs out there. Find one or start one. But don't feel like you have to try to reform one that isn't right.

 

:iagree:

Scouts has been great for my son, but you really have to find the "right" pack. I would opt for the 30 minute drive and you don't have to explain anything. Your son's achievements will transfer to the new pack.

Our pack has 3 schools and a lot of homeschoolers as well. There are a lot of women in the committee and those type roles. Our tiger leader is a woman. The other dens are led by men. Women can be good leaders with the right training. I would question whether this pack has even been trained.

It sounds like this is this woman's personality every where not just at scouts. Scouts can be great. My suggestion would either be jump in and help change this pack or jump ship and find the type of pack you are looking for and volunteer there.

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Wow. I obviously need a rule book or something. I *thought* things should run more smoothly, den mom should have some sort of training, but I didn't know how unusual my situation was. Reason # 5,724 to leave.

 

Yes, she should have training. The most basic levels (Youth Protection, This is Scouting and Fast Start for Tiger Leaders) are available online, take a couple hours to complete and would lay out several of the things that others have mentioned, like that Tigers have to join with an adult partner, who attends meetings with them (this is also laid out on the youth registration form) and that there should be two adults (preferably two trained leaders but a leader and a parent in a pinch).

 

A pack that isn't getting this basic part of the program right is probably cutting a lot of other corners.

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I'm not a babysitter. I am not a one-woman-show. I am the Bear Leader and I'm stuck babysitting Tigers and Wolves. I am the committee chair that parents complain to when their children are doing things that just don't seem Scoutish. I am one of the three women team that is helping our pack survive. I am sick and tired of parents that want to clamber onto their high horses and complain, while refusing to help out.

 

Tigers are not supposed to be dropped off. Tigers are supposed to be working shoulder to shoulder with their parent partners. Tiger parents are supposed to take an active role in their sons' scouting experience.

 

If you aren't willing to help then stop hurting and move on. This poor woman signed up for way less than she's got on her plate and she's stressing to the breaking point. She's stuck planning and working and doing for a pack of kids whose parents seem to think she is a free babysitter. If you want the kids to play games for the opening, then plan some and take that over for her.

 

I'm a Bear Leader and I'm tired of complaints from parents that refuse to help remedy anything.

 

:iagree:

 

I know how this feels too. It is very agravating to be working very hard and then have others take it not only for granted but as something that they can critique. Is there a reason why you can't tell the parents that they either stay or take their kid home?

 

Tigers cannot participate at meetings or outings without their adult partner.

 

If the wolf leader isn't there and the wolf parents aren't taking over for him/her, then there isn't a wolf meeting that day.

 

The council cannot force you to keep a unit afloat when you want to move on. But do realize that the paid staff are sometimes judged by the numbers of active/growing units that they have. And they also probably hate to see a unit that was thriving a few years ago fall apart. Have you asked the charter org or a commissioner for help with bringing more parents in on the leadership side?

 

It is a tiring point in the year. I've been so ready to throw in the towel at this point in several packs. But it also sounds like you are one of the people who has the power to change things in this pack.

 

Instead of you leaving, why not make it clear that all families are expected to be volunteers and that families who will not volunteer are free to find another pack?

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Sounds like you've made the right choice. Unfortunately, the right choice isn't always the easy one, is it? :grouphug:

In this case, it's not so hard. The two leaders going with me are also the parents of ds' best friends. So, the boys will go together and since they've been the core of my den all along it won't hurt so bad.

I know how this feels too. It is very agravating to be working very hard and then have others take it not only for granted but as something that they can critique. Is there a reason why you can't tell the parents that they either stay or take their kid home?

There is a language barrier. The Tigers that stay alone (for the most part) are bilingual, but for some reason can't make their parents understand that they MUST stay. This has killed most of our routes of communication. I use Word to type out letters to their parents (since it translates for me), but apparently they can't read those either...

Tigers cannot participate at meetings or outings without their adult partner.

Don't I know it.

If the wolf leader isn't there and the wolf parents aren't taking over for him/her, then there isn't a wolf meeting that day.

There was a leader, but they dropped out when baseball started. The Wolfs that are left are dropped off in the parking lot. We've sent emails and attempted to call, but apparently no one gets the message.

The council cannot force you to keep a unit afloat when you want to move on. But do realize that the paid staff are sometimes judged by the numbers of active/growing units that they have. And they also probably hate to see a unit that was thriving a few years ago fall apart. Have you asked the charter org or a commissioner for help with bringing more parents in on the leadership side?

YES! They came to the Blue & Gold Dinner and did a huge song and dance, we had parents volunteer, all the way to filling out the paper work. Again, suddenly, they're incommunicado.

It is a tiring point in the year. I've been so ready to throw in the towel at this point in several packs. But it also sounds like you are one of the people who has the power to change things in this pack.

We've tried. The Pack Leader doubles as a Den Leader, the Activities Leader/Treasurer does the same, but it really looks like there are no new parents to take the places of those that moved on. It was one thing carrying it all through Wolf, but now Bear is almost done and I refuse to try and be a Webelo leader while also being committee chair. It's just too important to my dedicated Scouts to do that to them, again, for another year. We're in our last two years of Cubs and I don't think we'll make it carrying the loads we're carrying.

Instead of you leaving, why not make it clear that all families are expected to be volunteers and that families who will not volunteer are free to find another pack?

I would if the parents didn't mysteriously disappear. It's incredible how hard people can be to get ahold of when they don't care to talk. We've made exceptions for a few boys whose parents couldn't speak English and now all the English speakers are taking advantage of it. It's hard to turn away the kids that want to do this because their parents will not help, especially when faced with the kids who don't want to be there, but you can't find their parents to return them :glare:

 

Maybe we could schedule an end of year meeting for all the scouts and explain all this. It would be nice if the parents would chip in (we don't even get dues anymore). The few parents who started to help took to the hills once the amount of help needed became clear. Right now our pack just seems to be over.

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In this case, it's not so hard. The two leaders going with me are also the parents of ds' best friends. So, the boys will go together and since they've been the core of my den all along it won't hurt so bad.

 

I would if the parents didn't mysteriously disappear. It's incredible how hard people can be to get ahold of when they don't care to talk. We've made exceptions for a few boys whose parents couldn't speak English and now all the English speakers are taking advantage of it. It's hard to turn away the kids that want to do this because their parents will not help, especially when faced with the kids who don't want to be there, but you can't find their parents to return them :glare:

 

Maybe we could schedule an end of year meeting for all the scouts and explain all this. It would be nice if the parents would chip in (we don't even get dues anymore). The few parents who started to help took to the hills once the amount of help needed became clear. Right now our pack just seems to be over.

 

Is your charter org one that would care if its pack falls apart or one that is just signing the paperwork as a favor to the pack?

 

Do they realize the problems that you are having?

 

The language issue is a tough one. We have several boy scout families that are US military/Japanese. It can be hard to explain expectations to them in a way that they understand and act on.

 

Good luck.

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b) grow a pair and leave.

 

I had to do the same thing after running the only homeschooled girl scout troop in our area with only one other family and 2 girls in the troop. They never once volunteered to help with anything. I had to lead the troop, manage all the sales (cookies, calendars, and magazines) and then they wrote me a bad check to cover cookie sale money. My dd10 is out of gs until we find another troop since I can't run the troop anymore.

 

K

:tongue_smilie:

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Go - 30 min. is not a long drive.

 

There is a family in ds's troop that drives 2 hours each way to meetings.

 

Ds is really enjoying scouts. He joined just a few months ago. It's a homeschool group where dads are involved. In fact it's mostly dads--sometimes a mom or two is there to help out. Dh and ds visited several times and dh was very impressed at how involved the dads are and how enthusiastic the boys were.

 

Oh, we only drive 20 mins to meetings.

 

Cinder

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