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should I quit cub scouts?

Posted by on Oct. 16, 2013 at 7:13 AM
  • 26 Replies

ds has done cub scouts since 1st grade. He's 4th now. It's been a love-hate experience ever since. The den leader is pretty annoying. He likes to hold all meetings at his dining room table at 7:30 at night and wants boys to sit still and listen while he reads from the manual. Plus, we've always had conflicts with the meeting times, and the den leader is never accomodating to switching times and days, but that's another story.

The big problem is -- the boys are really BAD! They behave so badly, talk out of turn, make jokes, say inappropriate things, never answer anything seriously... last night was supposed to be about healthy eating and everything a kid said was a joke or rude. I'm usually pretty quick to correct my son. One other dad is too, the rest of the parents use it as social hour and just sit in the den leader's living room and chat. But, I also believe den leader has set this up and now it's been years in the making, because he never has hands-on stuff, outdoor things, field trips, etc -- it's all just sit and listen. So the boys are dying to act out and be silly since it's dull! Plus, the den leader gets really aggravated and starts to yell, and I think after all these years, it's clear the boys get quite a rise out of this and love to see him lose his cool. 

PLUS, everyone brings siblings!! In first and second grade this wasn't so bad as siblings were very young and playing at someone else's house was so novel and they were content to play with toddler-type toys. But now the siblings are around 5-6-7 and they were trashing the den leader's play room, screaming and yelling, slamming doors, trying to run into one girl's bedroom and generally being so annoying! Last night the moms of those kids did nothing. The den leaders wife was running around looking frazzled.

Then, we are all supposed to plan and host a meeting. Most parents volunteer once. Den leader is sort of controlling, so he seems happy to host the majority and he insists we meet weekly. I came clean to the den leader at the end of the meeting last night -- I'm not having those siblings at my house! I am a very calm, quiet and orderly person and my kids generally are too. We don't run around nuts in this house or throw toys, etc. To paint you a picture, I have a white rug, white furniture and a glass coffee table in my living room. And I own a drum set which was recently moved into our play room. But it is not a toy to be banged on like crazy. It's a musical instrument. My youngest are now 9, so we also don't have much left for "young kids" to stay busy with while completely unattended. And, half of our play room is now my home school area. I can't fathom these siblings in my house with out me blowing a fuse!

The scouts are difficult enough since they act bad. Admittedly my ds acts bad too, even though we coach him before we go, while we are at meetings, and tend to scold him afterwards! How much fun is that? the boys just feed off each other and I wil admit, I think 3 boys in particular are real brats and the parents should take away all their electronics and make them do some chores!!!

I was so stressed last night, I dont' know if hanging around with these boys is worth while if that is how it goes. But I'm so torn because, ya know, the "socialization" thing!!! I mean, he has been good friends with a few of these scouts all this time. But what is he learning here besides being rude?

Our older son is a very different kid, very calm and just naturally respectful. He's always loved scouts and is thriving in boy scouts. DH and I thought younger ds would really like boy scouts as it's much more independent... but I'm wondering if we should quit the cub scouts. You can join boy scouts without completing cub scouts, you just don't get the arrow of light.

sorry so long!!

by on Oct. 16, 2013 at 7:13 AM
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Replies (1-10):
TidewaterClan
by Kate on Oct. 16, 2013 at 7:47 AM
I just ended a 7 year Girl Scout leadership career. I loved the girls in our troop but they're all entering junior high. They're super busy and we are too so we disbanded.

The meetings you describe are nothing like ours! We held ours at church. I did one at the house and it was pure chaos with girls getting into everything. A blank room with a few tables and chairs is much easier!

We always started with the GS promise then two minutes later were doing a hands on craft, activity, or game. The girls rotated snack duty; after the first activity it was snack. I took that opportunity to ask what they wanted to do at the next meeting. Then onto something else active (usually a game).

As the girls got older we took our meetings down to 1x a month so it was fun but not stressful. We also switched times most years to find one that suited everyone (earlier the better for homework, etc.).

The girls made a rules chart - no bad words, no making fun of someone, etc. if anyone acted up they had one warning then sat out the next activity. That only happened once! My troop was feisty but good!


Are there any other troops in your area? Scouts should be fun and active, not just listening to an adult!
ablackdolphin
by Bronze Member on Oct. 16, 2013 at 7:57 AM
1 mom liked this
Wow that doesn't even sound like what it is supposed to be like!! Yep, I would bail and do something else like karate or something.
hwblyf
by Bronze Member on Oct. 16, 2013 at 8:32 AM

I love the cub scout program, but it's definitely intended for young boys who are active--get up and move!  Crafts, songs, games, activities!  Where does the rest of the pack meet?  I can't imagine this is a fun set up for anyone else, either, even the den leader.  Would you or any of the other parents be willing to co-lead with him?  Or have him take a more backseat position?

Chasing3
by Bronze Member on Oct. 16, 2013 at 9:00 AM
1 mom liked this

People have asked to co-lead, but den leader is sort of controlling and won't relinquish control. For example, he never asked any parents ever what night works for meetings, what time, how people would like to divide up teh work towards requirements, etc. There was an awesome dad who was a real natural with kids who wanted to co-lead for the past two years and kept asking and kept getting a "no" from den leader. He and his son quit this year. (Plus, he had a fabulous workshop at his house and hosted the best meetings ever there!)

Den leader doesn't want a co-leader, then he chastizes other parents for not helping enough, yet sort of puts-down others when they do. SO, I think he dug the whole we're in somewhat, and that is why a bunch of the parents sit around and chat and ignore what's going on. I tell ya, there are many times I get the feeling that a few of them are just dying to open a bottle of wine and snack on some cheese with the adults and let the boys play video games and call it a den meeting!!

anyway, I think I answered my question and we should move on from this den.

TidewaterClan
by Kate on Oct. 16, 2013 at 10:16 AM

 It sounds like it.  Sometimes the most helpful thing is to write out your thoughts and see where you stand.  Best wishes for finding a better troop, if that's where you head.  Did the father who quit start a new troop?

Quoting Chasing3:

People have asked to co-lead, but den leader is sort of controlling and won't relinquish control. For example, he never asked any parents ever what night works for meetings, what time, how people would like to divide up teh work towards requirements, etc. There was an awesome dad who was a real natural with kids who wanted to co-lead for the past two years and kept asking and kept getting a "no" from den leader. He and his son quit this year. (Plus, he had a fabulous workshop at his house and hosted the best meetings ever there!)

Den leader doesn't want a co-leader, then he chastizes other parents for not helping enough, yet sort of puts-down others when they do. SO, I think he dug the whole we're in somewhat, and that is why a bunch of the parents sit around and chat and ignore what's going on. I tell ya, there are many times I get the feeling that a few of them are just dying to open a bottle of wine and snack on some cheese with the adults and let the boys play video games and call it a den meeting!!

anyway, I think I answered my question and we should move on from this den.

 

TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Oct. 16, 2013 at 10:36 AM

We quit Girl Scouts last year.  It was not what it should have been, and I was sick of the spoiled bratty girls...and moms.  We had two moms that were co leaders, but they each had three kids and worked full time jobs (one as a reading specialist for an entire district and the other as a jr high guidance counselor--neither easy jobs)...they were too busy to really put the effort into girl scouts..which is totally understandable but they should have asked for someone to take over.

The last year we did it, they told parents they each had to plan and fund an entire meeting (before that it was just snack)...then they complained if parents didn't lead the meeting perfectly.  We made sooo much money selling cookies and my DD never did anything with the money with her troop.  The one big trip they planned was to spend the weekend at the Girl Scout camp on Martha's Vinyard, with the dads doing the camping while moms went into town to shop and drink.  This seemed to send the complete opposite message of what Girl Scouts is (independent girls not relying on a husband to do everything for them...) so we didn't attend.  I felt DD was missing out on the good time with her friends, but I couldn't support it.

So we thought maybe we would find a different troop, but we haven't.  We heard there is a homeschool troop, but we haven't looked very hard to find one.  I'm kind of good with their biweekly one hour co op class, weekly dance class for DD and DS will start basketball soon which is a weekly practice and weekly game.  We also spend some time with neighbors down the street that hs.  I don't think they need a ton of 'socializing'.

TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Oct. 16, 2013 at 10:36 AM

So I guess I'm saying I would probably quit if I were you and DS was fine with it..

Leissaintexas
by Bronze Member on Oct. 16, 2013 at 10:56 AM

It sounds like the problem is not with the club itself, just with the leadership, correct? If thats the case, join another troop, or start your own. The guy  soundl like he has no clue how to do this and he's making it suck for everybody. Don't spend good money for your kid to sit around a table with obnoxious kids. Contact the "whoevers in charge of these things"  and let them know that the troop is being run like this.

KrissyKC
by Silver Member on Oct. 16, 2013 at 10:57 AM

I personally would quit.    But that's me.   I also couldn't host... especially younger siblings.    I also don't like all the politics around scouting anymore.


KrissyKC
by Silver Member on Oct. 16, 2013 at 10:59 AM

I'm going to a meeting sometime next week about Trailblazers USA.   It's an alternative scouting program (very Christian, though if you aren't)..  It is just building up in the US, I am unsure if there would be one near you.


Quoting Chasing3:

People have asked to co-lead, but den leader is sort of controlling and won't relinquish control. For example, he never asked any parents ever what night works for meetings, what time, how people would like to divide up teh work towards requirements, etc. There was an awesome dad who was a real natural with kids who wanted to co-lead for the past two years and kept asking and kept getting a "no" from den leader. He and his son quit this year. (Plus, he had a fabulous workshop at his house and hosted the best meetings ever there!)

Den leader doesn't want a co-leader, then he chastizes other parents for not helping enough, yet sort of puts-down others when they do. SO, I think he dug the whole we're in somewhat, and that is why a bunch of the parents sit around and chat and ignore what's going on. I tell ya, there are many times I get the feeling that a few of them are just dying to open a bottle of wine and snack on some cheese with the adults and let the boys play video games and call it a den meeting!!

anyway, I think I answered my question and we should move on from this den.



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