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DawnM
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My older two boys have their Eagle Scout awards.

 

We were a huge scouting family.  We were very involved, etc.....

 

Then we stopped homeschooling and youngest had to go to a different troop.  He has never quite gelled there, but even if we could go back to the other troop, we hear it has changed so much and his friends have almost all gone, that it wouldn't be the same anyway.

 

He has asked several times over the past year to quit.  We had told him to finish 1st Class, finish his 3 open merit badges, and then he could quit.  He finished the badges (one more blue card to turn in, but it is finished), and he has board of review to finish for 1st Class.

 

BofR can't happen for another 5 weeks they say.  But in those 5 weeks, there is the HUGE BBQ fundraiser where our family literally spends 20 hours working.  

 

It seems futile to work 20 hours on this BBQ if we are quitting in a few weeks.  It is my husband's busy season (CPA) and work is really stressful for me this year, and my son's heart is no longer in scouting.

 

No, he can't do BofR if we don't participate.  They area quite clear on that.

 

Our thought was to finish 1st Class so that if he quits and then changes his mind, he is at least that far along.  But I guess if he keeps his book, he could still do it later????

 

I am sad......so part of this is ME and MY feelings.  

 

Would you:

 

1. Quit now and cut your "losses"

2. Finish through the summer as planned and do the BBQ and get 1st Class?

 

He is in 8th grade and his 14th birthday is tomorrow.  Not sure if that makes any difference or not, but thought I would mention it.  He started as a Pre-Tiger, so this is hard for me.

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Because he held up his end of the bargain that you made with him (to finish the badges etc) I think that you guys have to hold up your end and do BBQ.  It's not really fair to him to tell him that he can't quit until he finishes up his work, then not participate in what's necessary for him to receive recognition for his work. 

 

Having said that, is there a way to do BofR with the other troop perhaps?  Or some other avenue that he can get his recognition, without having to wait five freaking weeks?  (seriously, that's a bit crazy to me, it's like having to wait 5 weeks to get paid for a week of work!   But then.....I have no experience with boy scouts.  Maybe it's not in any way similar.)

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What does HE want to do? Is he invested in continuing, or would he like to quit now?

From your post, it was not clear to me whether the bargain was you imposing condition for him to continue before being allowed to quit, or he consenting to quitting under the condition that you let him continue for a bit more. Who wants this to go on, and who wants to stop?

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My son quit Scouts months before our big fundraiser, and yet I was called to be given my time to be int he back frying donut holes for the pancake breakfast. When I told the other mom that, er, we were not IN Scouts any longer she got mad that I was not going to help. Hey, she did not even know our son had left - our family had made THAT much of an impression on them (part of the reason he quit - and he had finished the step before Eagle, so was a Life Scout but had NO desire to continue).

 

Do the fundraiser, but let them know your family is good for TEN hours. If they do not like it, stop cold if kid doesn't care.

 

Does this one even WANT to continue with Scouts in any troop? Does he care about making Eagle? Just because his brothers did it does nto mean he has to also. Is there anything else he is interested in as a hobby/volunteer work?

Edited by JFSinIL
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I'd ask him. 

If he still wants to quit and is only going through with this because you are making him there is no way I'd go through the hassle of the BBQ.

You made the requirements without knowing that you would have to do the BBQ. Although, I'm trying to figure out how they can rightly withold a BoR b/c of fundraising. By the rules, they are to hold a BoR if requested. AFAIK there is nothing in rank advancement about participating in fundraisers.

On the other hand, if there is any possibility that you think he might want to join back up in the future I'd want him to go ahead and get 1st class.

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Why are they making him wait 5 weeks for a BOR?  That doesn't seem right and is way too long.  And they cannot link his advancement to the family doing a volunteer activity.  That's against policy and is downright shady.

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I'd ask him. 

If he still wants to quit and is only going through with this because you are making him there is no way I'd go through the hassle of the BBQ.

You made the requirements without knowing that you would have to do the BBQ. Although, I'm trying to figure out how they can rightly withold a BoR b/c of fundraising. By the rules, they are to hold a BoR if requested. AFAIK there is nothing in rank advancement about participating in fundraisers.

On the other hand, if there is any possibility that you think he might want to join back up in the future I'd want him to go ahead and get 1st class.

 

No, we didn't make the requirement before knowing about the BBQ.

 

Sorry, I wasn't clear.

 

We ALL agreed to go through the summer.  Now HE is rethinking this and wondering what the point is to put all this work into the BBQ, going to scout camp to get Merit Badges, etc.....when he is sure he wants to quit anyway.

 

He wants to just quit now instead.

 

WE had the "through the summer" requirement, so I am asking if WE should bend and just call it quits now.

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As a kid, I quit an activity just before reaching the end, and I've always regretted it. It's just a summer, and then it's done. I would push through.

1st class is far from the end though, there is 2 more ranks before Eagle after it and a minimum time of 16 months (not to mention the work involved). 

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I would do it.  Is there any chance your older sons can fill in for your dh / you at the bbq?  They kind of owe you.

 

No.

 

Oldest is away at college.  Second son is so busy with theater and work that he is rarely home.  

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Because he did all the work, but really wants to be done, if it were me, I would really try to push for getting the things he earned now and be done. I would be making phone calls up the chain of command to see what could be done.

 

 

1st class is far from the end though, there is 2 more ranks before Eagle after it and a minimum time of 16 months (not to mention the work involved). 

 

Yeah, not the end at all.  We just thought if he got to 1st class and changed his mind later, it would be easier to jump back in.

 

But he has been saying all year that he is done with scouts.  He wants to play sports in high school and do the IB program, which is very demanding academically.

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I agree with a pp - tying a BOR to a family's community service is against the rules. If he has completed all of the requirements as stated in the handbook and has requested a BOR they have to grant him a BOR in a timely manner.

 

I'm sorry he is having a rough time with scouts but it is not for everyone. Does he have something else he enjoys that he will be able to do? 

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I agree with a pp - tying a BOR to a family's community service is against the rules. If he has completed all of the requirements as stated in the handbook and has requested a BOR they have to grant him a BOR in a timely manner.

 

I'm sorry he is having a rough time with scouts but it is not for everyone. Does he have something else he enjoys that he will be able to do? 

 

It isn't scouts, it is really this troop.  He wants to go back to his homeschool only troop (which he can't) and he wants it to be just like when we left it 2 years ago (it isn't the same at all, most have left.)

 

And as mentioned, he wants to do sports and the IB rigorous academic program at school for high school.

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I'd get through BOR (and the crappy bbq commitment) . Then stop going.

 

I see value in having first class done in case he changes his mind. I know quite a few IB/sports involved kids who still made Eagle. Since he is going to high school he's going to try a lot of new things. Some time off may have him rethink scouts, so having a rank in place would be good back up.

 

My DD took two years off an activity in middle school. She returned to it in high school and put her full attention into that activity until she finished high school. She worked hard to catch up to peers who didn't take time off. I'm sorry she missed that time but she had renewed focus when she returned.

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You wrote the homeschool troop is different. How so? Did the boys move on to other troops or quit scouts? If they moved on, can he find where they went and check out those troops? I understand being nostalgic for what-once-was. It's difficult to want to go back and finding it impossible. It's one of the reasons I no longer volunteer with scouts; too many changes in local leadership and whatnot and it's just different. 

 

 

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You wrote the homeschool troop is different. How so? Did the boys move on to other troops or quit scouts? If they moved on, can he find where they went and check out those troops? I understand being nostalgic for what-once-was. It's difficult to want to go back and finding it impossible. It's one of the reasons I no longer volunteer with scouts; too many changes in local leadership and whatnot and it's just different. 

 

They aged out!  My son is turing 14 (tomorrow) but his friends were all much older than he is.  They either got Eagle and stopped or have aged out.  There are about 3 kids still there who he hung out with but they are soon to age out as well.

 

The kids his age he just didn't gel with.  

 

Our troop was a very family oriented group.  We had pre-tiger groups, girls' groups, cubs and troop meet same night and used to hang out afterwards, moms, dads, very much for the entire family.  But it was HS only.  

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I would tell him that if he wants to do the BOR that you will do what you can to make that happen. Whether that is volunteering or fighting the requirement that tge BOR is somehow tied to family service/fundraising. We do Scouts and I agree with pps that isn’t right...or the time he has to wait.

 

I would also tell him that I think he might regret the decision to quit.

 

Then I would let him decide. He might regret it but I think there is value in letting him decide.

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I would tell him that if he wants to do the BOR that you will do what you can to make that happen. Whether that is volunteering or fighting the requirement that tge BOR is somehow tied to family service/fundraising. We do Scouts and I agree with pps that isn’t right...or the time he has to wait.

 

I would also tell him that I think he might regret the decision to quit.

 

Then I would let him decide. He might regret it but I think there is value in letting him decide.

 

We have already discussed the quitting at length.  He has been saying it for about a year now.  This isn't a new thought he is having.

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My DS had a hard time with the troop in our town when he crossed over. He thought the meetings were boring (they wore). He was scared of the leader Which led to a really bad experience on a troop trip. My DH is Eagle Scout and long time adult volunteer, and quitting wasn't an option for him, but we worked to make scouting a better experience for DS. He attended less of the meetings for a while. He skipped merit badges that he had no interest in. We did not make him finish merit badges that he didn't like. We did find other ways to show him what scouting could be. We took him to merit badge classes even when troop wasn't attending. DH took him to a parent/son event at Galveston Sea base (16hr drive from home). DS worked as a Den chief to get leadership hours that he couldn't get with the troop. He attended summer camp as a Lone Scout and had a wonderful time with another troop. He enjoyed it so much that he has applied to work at that camp this summer. He also attended Jamboree last summer. It has taken a lot of time and money on our part to do all this, but now he does understand why his dad didn't want him to quit and what scouting can be.

 

I forgot- I did have to force my DS to attend his first summer camp. (Not physicaly) I told him he had to go but if it was terrible he would never have to attend any more troop meetings. Luckily he had a good time.

Edited by City Mouse
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My DS had a hard time with the troop in our town when he crossed over. He thought the meetings were boring (they wore). He was scared of the leader Which led to a really bad experience on a troop trip. My DH is Eagle Scout and long time adult volunteer, and quitting wasn't an option for him, but we worked to make scouting a better experience for DS. He attended less of the meetings for a while. He skipped merit badges that he had no interest in. We did not make him finish merit badges that he didn't like. We did find other ways to show him what scouting could be. We took him to merit badge classes even when troop wasn't attending. DH took him to a parent/son event at Galveston Sea base (16hr drive from home). DS worked as a Den chief to get leadership hours that he couldn't get with the troop. He attended summer camp as a Lone Scout and had a wonderful time with another troop. He enjoyed it so much that he has applied to work at that camp this summer. He also attended Jamboree last summer. It has taken a lot of time and money on our part to do all this, but now he does understand why his dad didn't want him to quit and what scouting can be.

 

I forgot- I did have to force my DS to attend his first summer camp. (Not physicaly) I told him he had to go but if it was terrible he would never have to attend any more troop meetings. Luckily he had a good time.

s

 

This is basically what I'm doing with my daughter and her AHG troop

 

OP- both of my boys are in scouts and I can see how this is a tough decision. The fact that they are holding you "hostage", so to speak, with the BOR until after the BBQ might push me towards jumping ship. That's not right.

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I didn't read any of the other replies yet.

 

I wish we had let our son quit when he wanted to. He went all the way to Life Scout but he was bored and unhappy and I was dragging him along. For some reason I felt like Eagle Scout was so important.  I still think it's a great thing but, well, it's not the only thing.  

 

So, from that perspective, I'd go with quitting now.  And understand that he may never go back.  I mean, I know you know that, I'm not implying that you are an idiot, but if this is an important and emotional thing for you (as it was for me), then it might be hard remember and accept that.  

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I lean towards "finish what you start" in which case, I'd have him go through to the BOR even if it means investing time into the BBQ. I'd try to look at it as something I was doing to "thank" the troop for the years we participated as opposed to something I was doing to "appease" the troop so I could get my BOR. 

 

But the fact that they're trying to hold his rank hostage by delaying the BOR??? I'm annoyed on your behalf. I'd take it as a sign from God and the Universe that I'm supposed to tell this troop where they can shove their BBQ and their BOR. With this twist to the story, I'd honor my son's wishes (be it to quit pre-BBQ or to see it through to the BOR).

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It’s not quitting to not go and on with something your parents stuck you in when you were six. He’s had a good run. Let him free up that time for other pursuits . . . things he chooses for himself.

 

 

I agree... it's one thing to stick out a commitment that is a quarter or semester or even year long -- but he's been in for enough years to know when it is rewarding and when it is not (now).  I would just let him quit.  I have been on the bad side of forcing my kid to stick to a commitment (swimming) and it did a lot of damage and added unnecessary stress and tension to that time in our lives.  Summer is still a pretty long time away! That would be a much needed break before high school starts up and adds all the craziness of homework, long days and sports.  

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It’s not quitting to not go and on with something your parents stuck you in when you were six. He’s had a good run. Let him free up that time for other pursuits . . . things he chooses for himself.

In Dawn’s defense, though, it sounds like her ds really enjoyed scouting until fairly recently, so it’s not like she has been forcing him to stick with it for all these years. I got the impression that she’s concerned that he might regret his decision to quit so she’s wondering if he should finish 1st Class in case he changes his mind and decides to go back later. I didn’t get the impression that she never plans to let him quit; I think this is more an issue of timing.

 

My ds was never involved in scouting, so I don't really understand how all of this works. My inclination is to let him quit, but when I hear about all the time and effort her son has put into getting where he is, I can also understand why Dawn is concerned about making the wrong decision.

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I didn't read all the responses, but we are also a Scouting family.

 

Yes, I would finish First Class. 

 

I also wouldn't be hesitant at all to look for a different Troop in your area if you feel like that might be the issue truly at heart. 

 

I just reread your initial post.

 

Honestly, I would look for a different Troop. Our Troop would NEVER hold up a Scout's advancement like that. 

 

I completely understand the burden that BBQ would be!!!!! and my husband is a CPA also - and our one and only fundraiser is a mulch sale that is also occurring right now and for the next few weeks... 

 

We had to find a new troop in a new state when we moved five years ago- and we visited several to get a "feel" for each one. It is worth it to visit!

 

So, in summary- I am so sorry- but yes, I think you should help your son reach First Class. I also think you should consider a different Troop- unless your son is really done with Scouts (which is okay, too.)

 

((hugs))

Rebecca

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P.S. It is significant to rank First Class.

I am not able to get my thoughts out in a clear manner.

Is it the rank where all the Life Skills have been obtained?

It is a good stopping point- especially for someone who has been committed to Scouting.

 

This is one of the reasons why I supported reaching the rank before quitting.

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It’s not quitting to not go and on with something your parents stuck you in when you were six. He’s had a good run. Let him free up that time for other pursuits . . . things he chooses for himself.

 

Oh good grief.  I am guessing you are anti-scouts.  I didn't "stick it to him" when he was 6.  He enjoyed it up until recently.  

 

I "stick him" with school too......

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I didn't read all the responses, but we are also a Scouting family.

 

Yes, I would finish First Class. 

 

I also wouldn't be hesitant at all to look for a different Troop in your area if you feel like that might be the issue truly at heart. 

 

I just reread your initial post.

 

Honestly, I would look for a different Troop. Our Troop would NEVER hold up a Scout's advancement like that. 

 

I completely understand the burden that BBQ would be!!!!! and my husband is a CPA also - and our one and only fundraiser is a mulch sale that is also occurring right now and for the next few weeks... 

 

We had to find a new troop in a new state when we moved five years ago- and we visited several to get a "feel" for each one. It is worth it to visit!

 

So, in summary- I am so sorry- but yes, I think you should help your son reach First Class. I also think you should consider a different Troop- unless your son is really done with Scouts (which is okay, too.)

 

((hugs))

Rebecca

 

We visited several troops before deciding on this one.  He liked this one the best of the ones he could pick from.  And this one had most of the kids who went to his school, which was helpful when he started in a B&M school last year.

 

It is fine.  He is just done with scouting at this point.

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I would do the fundraising.  Someone likely did fundraising the year before you joined scouts for the first time to make it work for your kids.   Pay it forward.  

 

I understand you are done and want to avoid the commitment and maybe I would specifically limit the amount of time I would commit, but I would try to finish if you can. 

 

 

I hate fundraisers and try to avoid groups that require them. We don't have a lot of money but would still rather pay full price for everything we want, than to fundraise. I hate that fundraisers often require me to do double the hours it would take me to earn the same amount of money on my job. I often try to buy myself out of fundraisers, even paying other teens to take my place if I can. But at the end of the day, if it is part of what I signed up for, I suck it up and do it.  Is a buyout an option for you? 

Edited by Tap
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We have talked more today and he says he wants to stick with it until summer, but not go to summer camp.  

 

So, we will do the fundraiser, and finish first class, and then be done.  Probably in June when school ends, although he says he will see what he thinks then and maybe finish the summer too.

 

 

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My oldest loved Scouts and stayed with it to the end even tho he missed Eagle because he didn't finish a badge by the next cut after first class.

 

I wanted second ds to stick with it, but he fought me on it, so I just made him go to the volunteer projects (good for him to do).  He ended up playing jr/sr high school football with these same boys he never bonded with in 8th grade.  They all went Eagle, and several years later he asked why I didn't make him stick with Scouts.  He finished first class right near the end, wishing he'd gone the long haul.

 

Just a thought.  

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My oldest loved Scouts and stayed with it to the end even tho he missed Eagle because he didn't finish a badge by the next cut after first class.

 

I wanted second ds to stick with it, but he fought me on it, so I just made him go to the volunteer projects (good for him to do).  He ended up playing jr/sr high school football with these same boys he never bonded with in 8th grade.  They all went Eagle, and several years later he asked why I didn't make him stick with Scouts.  He finished first class right near the end, wishing he'd gone the long haul.

 

Just a thought.  

 

Well, as I mentioned, we have been going over all of this for a full year now.  This isn't a "last night he wanted to quit" thing.  He is well aware of the consequences and I will not take any responsibility for not making him stick with it.  I have already told him that.  His two older brothers are Eagle Scouts.  He is going into this decision owning it as HIS decision.  He knows I would prefer him to stay, but I also understand he is wanting to do some other things.

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Oh good grief. I am guessing you are anti-scouts. I didn't "stick it to him" when he was 6. He enjoyed it up until recently.

 

I "stick him" with school too......

You’d be wrong. I’ve stuck both kids in scouts, and loads of other things. (I would have said “enrolled†if I’d known the trouble my word choice would cause.) I’ve led Girl Scouts and my Dh was active in cub leadership. We aren’t remotely anti-scouting.

 

My point was it’s not really quitting to stop doing something your parents chose for you in kindergarten. Even if he enjoyed it, pressing a multi-year commitment on a child because he liked it in elementary school doesn’t make sense to me.

 

School is important. I get making them do that if they don’t want to, but school takes up a lot of time, so kids should be given some choice about their free time. I’ve seen parents freak out when their kids “quit†dance, swim team, scouts, instruments, etc. in middle school. Most of these kids went on to do something that better suited them when that time was freed up.

 

Scouts has clearly been a great family activity but, since you asked for opinions, I think it’s time to end on a high note and let him pursue his own interests.

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You’d be wrong. I’ve stuck both kids in scouts, and loads of other things. (I would have said “enrolled†if I’d known the trouble my word choice would cause.) I’ve led Girl Scouts and my Dh was active in cub leadership. We aren’t remotely anti-scouting.

 

My point was it’s not really quitting to stop doing something your parents chose for you in kindergarten. Even if he enjoyed it, pressing a multi-year commitment on a child because he liked it in elementary school doesn’t make sense to me.

 

School is important. I get making them do that if they don’t want to, but school takes up a lot of time, so kids should be given some choice about their free time. I’ve seen parents freak out when their kids “quit†dance, swim team, scouts, instruments, etc. in middle school. Most of these kids went on to do something that better suited them when that time was freed up.

 

Scouts has clearly been a great family activity but, since you asked for opinions, I think it’s time to end on a high note and let him pursue his own interests.

 

As I mentioned, he had already been given the permission to quit, my question was about timing.  

 

Thanks for clarifying.  

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   They all went Eagle, and several years later he asked why I didn't make him stick with Scouts.  

 

Kids will do that no matter what decision you make, lol. 

 

Why did you make me stick with Scouts? Why didn't you make me stick with Scouts? 

 

Why did you let me quit piano? I could be a concert pianist right now! 

 

Why didn't you let me quit piano? I could have used that time and made Eagle Scout! 

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