Son wants to quit scouts

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Son wants to quit scouts

Postby MT's Mom » Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:43 pm

No sure if this is the right forum, but here goes:

MT is almost 13 (7th grade, Tenderfoot). Joined Cubs as a Bear. I was not involved in the pack, other than helping out with the meetings, snacks etc. I was not a registered scouter or participated in the Committee.
When MT bridged, I became a registeded Scouter, CC, got trained, etc. I even have time off from work in June to go to Wood Badge.

MT has been grumbling for some time about how he hates me being involved in scouts. So I backed off, did not attend troop meetings. Now, he hates scouts and wants to quit. When he helps out with service projects, he has a blast. Hates working on rank advancement & merit badges. Took him two summers at camp to get his woodcarving mertit badge at the expense of loosing a corner off his Totin' chip!

I know it's his Scouting experience, not mine. But I can't help feeing heartbroken. I want him to have all the advantages that scouting offers. I've seen other scouts in the troop "take a break from scouting" never to return.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

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Re: Son wants to quit scouts

Postby FieldSports » Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:13 pm

Ask your son what is "Fun" or what would be "Fun" :D Have him concentrate on those areas for now. Scouting is "A game with a Purpose" - Lord Baden Powell

I would be concerned that he has been in for about 2 years and still is a Tenderfoot. If he is out camping, the advancement should have occured "naturally". There are tons of opportunties to cook, pitch tents, tie knots, see animals and plants, etc.

Try breaking down his goals into single steps. "Can you learn how to tie a bowline at this meeting, so that you can teach me?" "Who is cooking the meals for your patrol on this camping trip? Why don't you volunteer to help", etc.

My son complained about my involvement also. But, there were a number of times that he said "I did not go because you did not go". They will always send mixed messages...their kids. If you show interest, they know you value it also.

Good luck
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Re: Son wants to quit scouts

Postby wagionvigil » Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:24 pm

I've seen other scouts in the troop "take a break from scouting" never to return.



This usually signifes a Leadership issue if this is a pattern that boys quit a lot that were once pretty active. I too am concerned with still being a TF since as said before if you take part in camp outs and summer camp advancement comes almost automaticially.
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Re: Son wants to quit scouts

Postby kwildman » Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:41 pm

Scouts that dont advance are always at risk. If there are other scouts that have been TF that long then the leadership needs to be retrained or removed. First Class in the first year is recommended advancement and should be attainable if the scout goes to summer camp. Scouts should be initially coached/guided up to first class and given more responsibility for their own advancement as the progress.

I have seen this in other troops and it really hurts their retention. These troops typically do not have a "new scout patrol" or a designated ASM tasked with getting them to 1st class.
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Re: Son wants to quit scouts

Postby smtroop168 » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:14 pm

I know you are frustrated but some scouts are "into" advancement. As long as he is presented with opportunities, the troop is trying to do their part. Some don't want to do the work required to advance, some are "not good" at outdoor stuff. My treasurer's son dropped at 9th grade because he didn't like to camp. Another joined in 8th grade, went to camp 2 years and completed Canoeing, Rowing, Archery, Rifle and Shotgun MBs. He dropped out then saying he had learned some cool stuff from scouts but wanted to focus on football and wrestling.
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Re: Son wants to quit scouts

Postby Mrw » Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:21 pm

Another thing with boys this age is that seems to be the age when being in Scouting is the least "cool" and when my boys were most teased about it in school.

You might have a conversation about that. In the same vein, here is a link to a letter from Mike Rowe of "Dirty Jobs" to a boy who was feeling the same way your son is. http://meritbadge.org/wiki/images/3/30/ ... Letter.pdf It might be a good way to bridge the subject without your son thinking he is in for a lecture and turning off.

I always did Scouting with my sons, but was expressly banned from other youth activities unless they needed another driver by the younger one.
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Re: Son wants to quit scouts

Postby Cowboy » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:02 pm

Could you clarify? How would he really know that he hates rank advanceemnt work if he is still tenderfoot? I do not say this to be mean, I ask because it is not adding up for me. One merit badge (?) and no real advancement in two years. That means that he has not really been active. That is fine if that is what he wants. What can you do? Trick him! What does he like? What hobbies does he already have? Does he collect coins? If so, find you local Coin Collecting MBC and arrange for them to meet. Has he worked on knots, cooking , etc at camp? Talk to the SM and find out why he does not have these items marked off. Some people may not like my approach, but here is how I view things: the first year or two (up to 1st class) the boy really does need some pushing, dragging or outright trickery. Once they have made 1st Class they should have the skills and knowledge to keep going on their own. Note that this is where BSA makes them start taking initiative for advancement rather than skills and following the rest of the boys.
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Re: Son wants to quit scouts

Postby cballman » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:12 pm

Yes I will have to agree at ages we are talking about then yes their is a lot of peer pressure on the kids because scouting is not cool. But then when they start describing what types of activitys they do then most kids start drooling as they have never been there or done that. My Favorite son (only one) is now in training to be a Firefighter and going to class to become an EMT. Why did I bring him up in this discussion because through scouting he learned that he loves to help people and that is why is is going through those classes. Also I have a couple of boys of mine (men now) that are getting ready to graduate college this year. One of them is going to Navy to fly fighter jets, the other has been accepted to Medical school to become a DR. That is just two of my boys that I claim through scouting. It can make a difference in the childs life if you have let them have the proper guidence and leadership to bring out the best in them. Maybe the troop leadership has not worked with your son that much. Maybe he just needs to find a leader that he can relate so they can work together. Dont give up on him or scouting yet just talk to him and find out what his wants are and what his needs are also.
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Re: Son wants to quit scouts

Postby MT's Mom » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:15 pm

Thanks everyone for the replies.
In reviewing the Rank requirements, MT is not that far from 1st Class. He has to do the orienteering course, identify 10 native plants and plan a patrol menu. He does have 5 merit badges, which he proudly sewed on his sash (by himself with my sewing machine!) one night while I was at Committee. He did an excellent job. :D At the last MB fair, he was gung ho and earned 2 MB's . This last MB fair he could have cared less, didn't do any of the preparation, so I left him at home. When the troop works on rank advancement, he tells me he knows it all and it is boring, but then balks at the MB fair where he can learn something fun. Right now his patrol is working on the First Aid MB. All they had left to do is the CPR. The MB counselor arranged for the boys to go to the local fire station and the EMT's helped the boys with the requirement. MT refused to go! :x That's all he has left to do to complete the badge! "I already know how to do that". He dug in his heels.
He gets along with the boys in the patrol, but does not have a strong buddy. So he recruited a friend from school. That helped for a little while. He is not getting teased at school about being a scout, infact the troop has had 4 boys from the school join since January.
His dad could care less about scouts. Dad was a scout (2nd class, I believe) and had a bad experience and left scouts.
Is this 13 year old hormones?

Thanks for listening :(

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Re: Son wants to quit scouts

Postby wagionvigil » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:22 pm

Dad was a scout (2nd class, I believe) and had a bad experience and left scouts


BINGO! Boys and Girls we have a winner. Please donot take this wrong but in my opinion here lies the problem. Inside He wants his dad to take part and be supportive.
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Re: Son wants to quit scouts

Postby Billiken » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:30 pm

wagionvigil wrote:BINGO! Boys and Girls we have a winner. Please do not take this wrong but in my opinion here lies the problem. Inside He wants his dad to take part and be supportive.


+1 Agree.

My troop treasurer is 55 yr old father of 1 and soon to be 2 Eagle Scout.
He has the AOL knot on his uniform. As is an leadership asset to our troop.
Once asked him about Boy Scouting. Said he quit after 3 weeks.
Told me that on his first camp out in the late 1960, as a Troop initiation, the older scouts pulled him from his tent and urinated on him.
Quit BSA that day.

We've changed a lot since then.
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Re: Son wants to quit scouts

Postby Cowboy » Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:20 am

Yep, I have to agree, part of the issue would appear to be Dad. Almost all boys want to be like Dad, whether they will admit it or not. Use (trick) Dad into helping out. Is woodworking somewhere in Dads background? Get him to help with the woodworking MB. Fishing? Whatever, get your son to ask dad to help him with something without m,entioning that it is for a MB. Regarding the "I already know that". We (Mom & Dad) go through this quite often. Two teenage boys will bring that out very frequently! here is how we manage to get through it: If you know it, then show me! Since he already knows it, he just needs to show it to someone (qualified) and it will get checked off, then he does nto have to deal with it anymore. Additionally, this one works real well with #2 son: Since you already know it, we need you to show the younger guys. Have one fo the younger guys ASK HIM for help with it. Our son has really blossomed as a "teacher" as a result of this. He is dead set that he will be playing pro football, but Mom & I see the strong possiblity of a grammer school teacher.
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Re: Son wants to quit scouts

Postby dwightroberson » Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:34 pm

Another possibility is the Troop itself. Are there a number of adults involved or just a few? How engaged is the leadership? did you (and preferably your son) "shop around"?

We have both lost and gained Scouts to/from other Troops. Some Troops focus in different areas. We have one Troop that is really into water activities. Another is into camping. Perhaps he might benefit from visiting another Troop? Each one has a personality. Not that they're good or bad, but it needs to fit your son.
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