a bit of a rant I suppose....
I have tired of dreaming for a program as it "could be"
and seeing so many ways that the scouters squash what I would consider an ideal.
My son has tired of scouts. He does not want to go to the meetings...says he doesn't want to go just to talk about what they are going to do.
The meetings are boring...and I don't blame him a bit. I don't want to go either...and I have really stayed out of them all along anyway.
I think he has given up too.... well honestly he never really felt empowered to try really do in the first place....even though i have encouraged him over and over again to speak up and make a change.
He told me the other day that he liked cub scouts better. I was shocked. He said it's because they actually did stuff in the meetings. there was always an activity to do, something fun. In scouts, they plan for the next trip, talk about the next trip, or listen to someone talk about something they don't care about.
I think I understand why I was so shocked, is probably because I remember in a way that he does not. He has lost site of all the talking and school work type stuff they did in cubs. he's now looking at it through rose-colored glasses. I could be wrong, but I also am pretty sure I see some things about troop life that he doesn't see. You see, even when it's scout led, it's still so very strongly adult influenced. You have scouts setting rules and parroting things because they think that is what is expected.... well in many cases it is what is expected by the folks in the back of the room. He can't really understand how it might be if those folks in the back of the room would leave.
There has never really been anything I could do in my position to do anything about that...and honestly I no longer have much energy to care. That's why I "give up". I'd rather just go for a hike on my own.
and another thing....
The whole thing of coed used to be something I wanted to see....but now that it's finally on the horizon I'm not so sure. I don't see such a problem with girls in scouts for the most part....well depends on how implemented...but I'm doubtful it can be done well. More than that though, where I see the potential problem is with the moms. We have some mom scouters and MC's that bring a wonderful energy and willingness to "do"....and we have some dad scouters that struggle with jumping in too much now and then...but more an more I'm coming around to that old "sexist" idea that boys need a place to be boys...and they need male role models in a setting that is not girlied-up
My wife for years now has basically built a wall about scouts. She has never really wanted to hear me talk about scouts, shuts down whenever I'm trying to vent or brainstorm with her. recently I asked her if she had talked with any of son's friends mom about how well they are liking scouts. Well later, DW showed me the texting conversation, and it is very clear she has not "heard" anything i've said over the last few years. She still goes back to what she observed in cubs, where us dad scouters were not good disciplinarians. They think that maybe they need to get more involved now because of that. She also think that I would be happy if my son would eagle....when all I've ever said is that I'd really like to see him make 1st class.... well of course eagle would be great but that's not my dream.... Anyway, I don't know.... I guess this thing cemented for me that many moms will never get it. They really don't even care to try.
Anyway, I pretty much started this last year, but I'm more or less done trying to really push son to the meetings. I think he's about ready to quit. We skipped last night's meeting. As treasurer, I'll really need to go next week and I've told him that I'd really like him to come with me then.....but in my mind I figure he's paid up through to January recharter. If he doesn't want to go to any meetings or outings till then...ok by me. When that point nears I'll probably pay his dues so he can go as an inactive member for a year, and at the same time resign as treasurer but stay on as an inactive MC...I figure that way at least he'll see that he has the option to just take a break and go back later if he wants.
frustrating for me....but it IS HIS journey, not mine