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craftymama

Anyone willing to offer some thoughts on Cub Scouts?

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We just moved and had to change packs.  There is a big difference in the approach to the requirements.    

 

In our old pack the kids memorized the law and oath for Bobcat, they knew the sign, salute, and all that and could tell you what those things meant in their own words.  Here new members were told "You don't have to memorize it, we have time.  You just need to do your best."  All new Scouts are participating in the Bobcat ceremony next week regardless.  

 

My son went to his leader and asked if he could recite the Outdoor Code which he did, but the other boys in the room were making comments about it and the co-leader made a comment about needing to get the other boys caught up.  Yet, the others have already been awarded the beltloop the requirement falls under.  

 

At our last meeting they counted saying the Pledge of Allegiance as a "participating in a flag ceremony" and signing their name on a store bought thank you card as writing a thank you note.  When I asked my son about the meeting he said "It was OK.  Signing your name doesn't seem like that much of a thank you."  He as since asked to write his own note to send.  

 

I'm trying to figure out if this is the normal of Cub Scouts and we are being to by the book, or if this pack is being overly lax and we should look for a pack that is a bit more by the book.  

 

 

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There is a widespread variance in packs. Some stick closer to the guide. Some are much more laid back (sometimes too much).

 

It sounds like this pack has a different culture than the one you left and it bothers you. You should definitely look for a different pack that meshes more closely with your expectations. Nothing wrong with finding a better fit.

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Our pack is somewhere in the middle. We definitely have each boy “do their best,†but I can’t see anyone getting awarded something based on that small an effort. I don’t think my kid would want to stick with the pack that was so laid back. It sounds boring, if nothing else.

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We are only a year and a half into CS (My son is a Web1.), but I think your current pack is lax.

 

Our pack is somewhere in between the two you describe. They do actually teach all the requirements and some electives for each den. Den leaders vary on how diligent and exacting they are. I prefer the ones who keep it more challenging and require a lot of the boys, but that isn't always what we get. Our pack does have real flag ceremonies and each den leads one during the year. They camp 2x a year, plus do some extra things for just the Webelos. 

 

I'd tactfully find out if the pack has always been that was, or only with the current leadership. If other parents are also dissatisfied and/or the leadership will change next year, I might stay if your ds has friends.

 

If not, find another pack. Do you have other ones nearby?

 

 

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These are people who are only doing the minimum not their best.   Move to another pack, and before you accept, determine who the trained leaders are and interview them. no trained leaders means run away. By the book isn't what you are looking for, the book is flexible.  You are looking for depth and experiences, not superficiality.

 

Do realize there will be a lad or two who can't memorize and spit back the Law and Oath in two months. Their best is good enough -- that means they practiced with effort and have most of it.   My pack has leaders who promote multisensory methods, but I've met others who only use auditory and make the kid feel really bad that he cant process that quickly . At training I was told its like school, doesn't have to be 100% for a pass in Cubs...but in Boy Scouts it does. 

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The new pack is following the 2016 revisions.  Under those revisions scouts do not have to completely memorize the oath, law, and outdoor code until their Arrow of Light year.

 

IMO the 2016 revisions weakened the program.  Supposedly the 2015 were too difficult and too many boys did not earn rank.  So, mid-year the program changed.  Packs in my area were directed to be more lenient.  (Most scouts in the area did make rank under the 2015 revision, but retention was issue.  It was also an issue pre-2015.)  

 

But, some packs do require more from the boys than others.  Try other packs in your area.  If they all seem lax and you live near a district or council boundary, try the other district/council.  Some of the laxness may be a result of retention directives from higher levels.

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The new pack is following the 2016 revisions.  Under those revisions scouts do not have to completely memorize the oath, law, and outdoor code until their Arrow of Light year.

 

IMO the 2016 revisions weakened the program.  Supposedly the 2015 were too difficult and too many boys did not earn rank.  So, mid-year the program changed.  Packs in my area were directed to be more lenient.  (Most scouts in the area did make rank under the 2015 revision, but retention was issue.  It was also an issue pre-2015.)  

 

But, some packs do require more from the boys than others.  Try other packs in your area.  If they all seem lax and you live near a district or council boundary, try the other district/council.  Some of the laxness may be a result of retention directives from higher levels.

 

I knew the requirements were changed mid-year last year.  I didn't pay much attention to Bobcat as we were past that by then.  Thank you for that information.  I agree with you that the program was weakened. 

 

We've already been told not to come back to one pack.  I was not given a reason, but I did ask a lot of questions (Do you have an assistant den leader?  Are you using the latest requirements?  He seemed to be following the book very closely, and a few other questions about the pack and den.) and I did say I would consider stepping into a leadership role.  Another has disbanded.  The other had less than 10 boys in the pack which didn't seem very appealing for the new kid in town.  We are running out of packs to try in our area.  

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I knew the requirements were changed mid-year last year.  I didn't pay much attention to Bobcat as we were past that by then.  Thank you for that information.  I agree with you that the program was weakened. 

 

We've already been told not to come back to one pack.  I was not given a reason, but I did ask a lot of questions (Do you have an assistant den leader?  Are you using the latest requirements?  He seemed to be following the book very closely, and a few other questions about the pack and den.) and I did say I would consider stepping into a leadership role.  Another has disbanded.  The other had less than 10 boys in the pack which didn't seem very appealing for the new kid in town.  We are running out of packs to try in our area.  

 

Seriously?!  :confused1:  :mad: Since when can you be uninvited to scouts? Not that you'd want to be with people who would do that anyway! 

 

Sorry you are having such a hard time finding a good pack! 

Do you know any boys in good troops? Can you work backwards and find out what packs their boys came in from? 

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Seriously?!  :confused1:  :mad: Since when can you be uninvited to scouts? Not that you'd want to be with people who would do that anyway! 

 

Sorry you are having such a hard time finding a good pack! 

Do you know any boys in good troops? Can you work backwards and find out what packs their boys came in from? 

 

We haven't met many people here.  But working backward hasn't worked.  We tried that.  

 

I said we didn't get a reason...what the email said was the pack wasn't a good fit for our family.  Having just met us, I didn't feel it was their place to make that assessment so in reality they didn't give a reason.  District didn't have an explanation either.  I had to reach out to them to get contact information for another pack.  We went to this pack but as my son puts it, "In the beginning it seemed like a good pack, but now it seems they just want to have fun without learning the stuff."

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We haven't met many people here.  But working backward hasn't worked.  We tried that.  

 

I said we didn't get a reason...what the email said was the pack wasn't a good fit for our family.  Having just met us, I didn't feel it was their place to make that assessment so in reality they didn't give a reason.  District didn't have an explanation either.  I had to reach out to them to get contact information for another pack.  We went to this pack but as my son puts it, "In the beginning it seemed like a good pack, but now it seems they just want to have fun without learning the stuff."

 

Is that really such a horrible thing?

 

My son has a bunch of stuff to learn at school and he's learning by rote for AWANA as well. He enjoys Cub Scouts for doing activities with his friends and going Camping. He likes learning new skills (like whittling) and occasionally works on it outside of Cub night. But for the most part -- Cub Scouts is entertainment for him. He isn't interested in another source of homework. He chose not to make a car for the Grand Prix last year and just went to cheer on his friends who made cars because making the car is not what he considers fun. (And my husband has no special skills either to help that way)

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Not all packs are like that. Ours leans more toward the middle, however I am the Weblos 1 den leader this year and I expect my cubs scouts to do the work. That said, how old is your son? Our boys are tired of cubs and are going to do Weblos 1 and 2 in one year and bridge to Boy Scouts. They will be old enough, and are ready for more serious scouting.

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Is that really such a horrible thing?

 

My son has a bunch of stuff to learn at school and he's learning by rote for AWANA as well. He enjoys Cub Scouts for doing activities with his friends and going Camping. He likes learning new skills (like whittling) and occasionally works on it outside of Cub night. But for the most part -- Cub Scouts is entertainment for him. He isn't interested in another source of homework. He chose not to make a car for the Grand Prix last year and just went to cheer on his friends who made cars because making the car is not what he considers fun. (And my husband has no special skills either to help that way)

 

For this child, yes.  

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Our son's former cub pack and my son's current boy scout troop were/are sticklers for following the requirements for badges, belt loops, and recognition; they seem more like your previous pack.  Pledging to the flag and signing a name on a card would never fly here.  While I know there is variability between packs, blatantly skating by amounts to cheating on the part of the pack, IMO.

Edited by reefgazer
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I am a little shocked at some of these posts. Leading Scouts is a thankless volunteer job.

 

I am not familiar with the new program but it seems to me that your expectations are stricter than the current requirements and the pack's enforcement is on the other end of the spectrum. It sounds like you need to compromise a little.

 

This Pack doesn't seem like a good fit. My opinion is that if you don't like how things are done in a volunteer organization you need to volunteer yourself. So I would keep looking or get in there yourself and do it how you feel it should be done. A ton of Scout leaders have jumped in without prior experience(raising g and here). BSA has excellent training.

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I am a little shocked at some of these posts. Leading Scouts is a thankless volunteer job.

 

I am not familiar with the new program but it seems to me that your expectations are stricter than the current requirements and the pack's enforcement is on the other end of the spectrum. It sounds like you need to compromise a little.

 

This Pack doesn't seem like a good fit. My opinion is that if you don't like how things are done in a volunteer organization you need to volunteer yourself. So I would keep looking or get in there yourself and do it how you feel it should be done. A ton of Scout leaders have jumped in without prior experience(raising g and here). BSA has excellent training.

 

I have offered to help this pack four times.  I am attending the committee meeting on Thursday.  It is the first one I have been able to get information for at this pack.  I have served on both pack and troop committees as well as served as a den leader and merit badge counselor.  I am familiar with what it takes and how much falls on the volunteers.  And I am willing to volunteer.  I can't, however, force them to let me.  

 

I didn't know if this was normal for packs across the board.  If this level of lax is normal finding a new pack wouldn't change much.  I do work to have my children meet the requirements as written.  I'm not sure I would call that stricter than the current requirements.  

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We should have changed packs.  I tried to help.  I volunteered as the committee chair.  I have tried to help the pack have more fun and make sure the pack was at least following BSA policies on things like the weight of derby cars and promoting by 1 Jun and making sure the paperwork is complete.  I keep hearing how the pack does it and why.  Over and over.  All while having every new idea squashed because we don't need to fix what isn't broken.  I know it has only been three months.  

 

But today, I was verbally attacked at the Pinewood Derby.  I was accused of a lot of things to include poor communication because I use email through Scoutbook and being rude during the committee meeting.  There was a lot more, but it isn't worth reliving.  I was told things I was suppose to have done because that's the way the pack (the one I'm new to) does it every year. 

 

Additionally, my scout's experience has not improved.  He is bored at his meetings.  He is not having fun.  He has not made any friends.

 

The Blue and Gold is next week.  There will be complaints because the Cubmaster and I have added a theme with activities.  The next meeting is in a month.  There will be complaints because the Cubmaster agreed to the schedule I proposed for the remainder of the scout year.  The same schedule they didn't want to commit to at the Jan. meeting.  

 

I'm not sure if I'm looking for advice or just venting.  I was taken completely off guard today and missed the siblings races and awards.  Youngest was in those races and won them and middle one won 1st place for his den which I am also angry about.  

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Move to a different Pack now! You've given this one a good try and it's not a good fit. I'm sure there's another Pack somewhere who will be happy to take you at the next meeting. 

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As to being a Scouter being a thankless job, it often is, but I encourage those with hard working volunteers to recognize them. http://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Scouter_Awards There are a number of knots that do not require that much record-keeping to award. Most leaders have earned Unit Leader and the Training Award without much extra work. 

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