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Crossing over/Troop choice


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#1 bearess

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 05:08 PM

So, my older son is an AOL, and his group is starting to visit troops 'unofficially'- camping with them, etc. I suspect he'll end up with four choices, all of which are not great for different reasons. Ultimately, he'll choose, but there are a few variables I'd like to have others thoughts on so he and I can discuss them.

His AOL den is about seven boys. All, or nearly all, of them plan to cross over to Boy Scouts. He is particularly close to one boy, and friendly with all of them. One boy, C, is the son of the current den leader, M. M is a very, very involved parent. His son is still very young for his age, and very dependent on his father for everything. It's frustrating to my son, particularly when they are camping with a troop and C doesn't help, father does everything. C doesn't eat with everyone else, his father brings him separate meals. C doesn't participate in all activities, only ones his father OKs. Etc.

So, troops.
Troop 1 is located in our town. It's nearby, meets within walking distance. My son knows and likes the boys in it. Our pack has fed into this troop in recent years. However, his current den leader, M, doesn't like the ASM. I think he'll discourage the boys from choosing this troop. The troop is small, and not getting many (or any) boys this year would be challenging. It could shut down in that situation.
Troops 2 and 3 are both located 15-20 minutes away. My son doesn't know many/any boys well in them. He hasn't enjoyed spending time with them as much. I suspect his current den leader will prefer the boys to go to one of those.
Option 4 is trying to revive the Troop initially associated with the Pack, which shut down four or five years ago. It would be just these boys, at least initially. The issue there is that current DL would surely be SM. My son is done with him/frustrated by his babying his son, and I don't see it changing.
So.....thoughts? More questions? Anything I'm overlooking?
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#2 Stosh

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 05:31 PM

Go with Troop 1 - No doubt in my mind.  The relationship issues are the main reason, goes where he feels welcomed and the adult drama isn't a factor.  There's no way the DL will follow him there and small troops offer a lot of advantages.  I took over a troop of 5 boys and within 3 years was at 28 boys.  Sign on as an ASM and pitch in and help make your son's scouting career a success.


Edited by Stosh, 13 February 2017 - 06:04 PM.

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#3 Col. Flagg

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 05:40 PM

C sounds like many young scouts that crossover. He will grow up.

 

M sounds like a helicopter parent. He may never change so C may stay that way for a long time.

 

It is hard to give advice because there are many options and variables. I will give a few observations I have seen over the years:

  • Boys tend to stay in scouts longer when they are with friends, so there's something to be said for sticking with the den.
  • Boys tend to stay in scouts when they have fun, are active and things are less political.
  • You can always go to Troop 1 and, if they fail, you can move to Troop 2 or Troop 3.
  • I would not do Option 4. It take a LOT of work to start up a troop. You'd be better off going with Troop 1 and trying to keep them afloat...it is essentially the same as Option 4.

I know it's not much help but hopefully it will give you some idea of what is ahead. If it were me, I'd go with Troop 1. If your son likes the troop and the boys, that is huge. Who knows, maybe if he goes to Troop 1 the other guys in the den might follow. If M does not like Troop 1, and your son does not like M, it sounds like your son is a good judge of character.  ;)


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#4 Cubmaster Pete

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 05:53 PM

Go with Troop 1 - No doubt in my mind.  The relationship issues are the main reason, goes where he feels welcomed and the adult drama isn't a factor.  There's no way the DL will follow him there and small troops offer a lot of advantages.  I took over a troop of 5 boys and within 3 years was at 28 boys.  Sign on as an ASM and pitch in and help may your son's scouting career a success.

 

Agreed 100%.  

 

Who says those boys will all cross over as a group? Do your best to convince them that Troop 1 is a better option. You must know some of the other parents.

 

At some point, M will not be able to coddle C anymore, or C will grow out of it. And if C decides he can't do scouts anymore because his dad is either not allowed to coddle him or does not anymore, then you picked a troop that you didn't like for no reason.

 

Any SM worth his salt won't tolerate parents intervening like this at the troop level, and would gently put a stop to it. Boy Scouting is an inherently different program than Cub Scouting, where boys NEED to make mistakes and fend for themselves sometimes (within an arms reach of course). And C would eventually not like this, become discouraged, and drop out.

 

Troop 1 would be happy to have you, your son, and his Den mates. I would be....


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#5 Stosh

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 06:05 PM

I've been in both Troop 1 and Troop 4 position.  Those boys work hard to make it happen, their survival depends on it.  Sometimes larger troops get a bit complacent.


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#6 Cubmaster Pete

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 06:09 PM

I am enjoying my pack of 15 kids. I know all their names, their parents, and their siblings. The kids get way more out of the program I think....


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#7 bearess

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 06:41 PM

Glad to hear others feel as I do! I feel like troop one is the best, obvious choice. I guess they don't all have to cross over together- I suspect that 3-4 of the boys (including my son) would prefer/choose troop 1.
The other thing is that we live in an area with a lot of small towns- the troops that are a 15-20 minute drive away pull from different school districts. So there's no way he would ever see those kids outside of Scouts. C goes to a private school, so that issue doesn't impact him.
Troop 1 has also long operated on a model of doing one big trip/summer-- Grand Canyon, Boundary waters, etc. So that's really appealing to my son.
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#8 Cubmaster Pete

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 06:43 PM

It would be appealing to me too.  Hopefully everyone makes a decision right for them. I have always been one to support a local unit.


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#9 Stosh

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 06:50 PM

With 3 or 4 boys considering going to Troop 1, I'm doubling-down on my recommendation.  Go with Troop 1


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#10 fred johnson

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 10:45 PM

Lots of good reasons here.

 

All great reasons.  I'll add one more.  Within walking distance !!!!!  That's important given all the meetings and events and activities.  Plus, your son could eventually bike to the meetings.  Promoting easy of attendance and his ability to get himself there is important.  


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#11 The Latin Scot

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 11:02 PM

I concur with Stosh, as usual. Troop 1 is the group your boy likes, and others are going there as well. Who cares what the DL tells them? You are the parent, and your opinion is worth a thousand times more than anything the DL tells these kids. If you and your son participate in making Troop 1 a success from the day your son bridges over, he will have a far better experience during the crucial first-six-months than he ever could with the other Troops that he doesn't know and can't reach as easily. This option is close by, friendly with your son, and sounds like a great group to join. Troop 1 sounds perfect. Go with it! And get the other parents to go with it too!


Edited by The Latin Scot, 13 February 2017 - 11:04 PM.

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#12 David CO

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 12:01 AM

I'm glad to hear you say that your son will ultimately make the choice.  

 

You invited us to ask questions.

 

About option 4, the troop initially associated with your pack.  Are you saying that both units are owned by the same Chartered Organization?  Would your family prefer to stay with the same CO?

 

Does your family have any ties or membership with a CO that has a troop?  Is that a factor?

 

Would your son have any preferences based on the CO's who own the troops?  


Edited by David CO, 14 February 2017 - 12:19 AM.

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#13 bearess

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 05:34 AM

Yes, troop 4 had the same CO. CO makes no difference to us. It's the fire dept. I don't even know who the CO is for the other troops.

My son can start walking there as soon as he joins! He walks there now for planning meetings/to the grocery for supply shopping when he's camping with them. As far as I'm concerned, that's a HUGE benefit!

Edited by bearess, 14 February 2017 - 05:37 AM.

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#14 perdidochas

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 10:21 AM

Go with Troop 1 - No doubt in my mind.  The relationship issues are the main reason, goes where he feels welcomed and the adult drama isn't a factor.  There's no way the DL will follow him there and small troops offer a lot of advantages.  I took over a troop of 5 boys and within 3 years was at 28 boys.  Sign on as an ASM and pitch in and help make your son's scouting career a success.

I agree with the above. 


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#15 krikkitbot

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 10:32 AM

Troop 1 definitely sounds like the best choice. 


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#16 DadScouts

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 11:35 AM

Troop 1 and leave M behind.  M has a problem with the ASM?  That's a problem for no one, other than M.  Don't let M make the problem worse.


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#17 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 05:23 PM

I know every area is different, but the local Catholic church/school's was open to everyone. About 1/3 of my pack growing up had no affilaition to either the church or school.

 

That being said, do what your son wants to do. The troop my son joined was small, needed adults, and had some challenges. He liked it, and brought 3 of his buddies over to the troop within 9 months.


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#18 blw2

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 08:08 AM

My son wouldn't even consider going to a troop without his friends, and it would be a tough sell for him to go to a troop at a strange meeting place and strange leaders even with his friends coming along.

Going to a troop in a strange place where he knows nobody and alone with none of his friends along..... forget about it!  No way would that ever happen.  Scouts just isn't that important to him.  I can imagine a lot of scouts are this same way.

 

Yeah, I have to agree with others..... #1 seems like the best way to steer him


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#19 David CO

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 02:31 PM

My son wouldn't even consider going to a troop without his friends, and it would be a tough sell for him to go to a troop at a strange meeting place and strange leaders even with his friends coming along.

Going to a troop in a strange place where he knows nobody and alone with none of his friends along..... forget about it!  No way would that ever happen.  Scouts just isn't that important to him.  I can imagine a lot of scouts are this same way.

 

Yeah, I have to agree with others..... #1 seems like the best way to steer him

 

There seems to be a consensus on this forum that it is very important for scouts to stay with their friends.  I find this interesting because I don't see this happening so much in sports.  

 

Most boys choose a sports team based on the activity and the quality of the program, not on whether or not their friends will be on the same team.  In fact, most youth sports programs don't even bother to consider the boys' friendships when they divide up the teams.

 

Youth athletes seem to be more adventurous and resilient when it comes to meeting new people and making new friends.  They are more willing to step outside of their comfort zone.

 

I actually think this is one of the reason sports programs are so successful in competing with scouting.  Many parents want their boys to step out of their comfort zone a little bit.


Edited by David CO, 15 February 2017 - 02:34 PM.

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#20 krikkitbot

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 02:39 PM

There seems to be a consensus on this forum that it is very important for scouts to stay with their friends.  I find this interesting because I don't see this happening so much in sports.  

 

Most boys choose a sports team based on the activity and the quality of the program, not on whether or not their friends will be on the same team.  In fact, most youth sports programs don't even bother to consider the boys' friendships when the divide up the teams.

 

Youth athletes seem to be more adventurous and resilient when it comes to meeting new people and making new friends.

 

I actually think this is one of the reason sports programs are so successful in competing with scouting.  Many parents want their boys to step out of their comfort zone a little bit.

 

I think that's because there is this misguided belief that kids are going to get an athletic scholarship and go on to be the next millionaire athlete. 

 

Scouting is more of a social development program in which kids hang out with their friends and learn leadership and citizenship in the process. Eagle rank might get them some preferential treatment in applications but people don't associate people's success to them having become an eagle scout. There are plenty of successful individuals who were never scouts but very few professional athletes who were not in the pee wee leagues. 

 

My point is, that, in my opinion, it's best for the scout to have the support group of his friends as he moves from cubs to scouts. 


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