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should I quit cub scouts?

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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
Replies (11-20):
by Sonja on Oct. 16, 2013 at 11:13 AM
Hi. Hugs. Being a good parent is never easy and sometimes not any fun. I feel your pain.
Here is my opinion for what it is worth...

If the situation is as negative is you say, I would pull them out. Now. What are your boys learning by the behaviors being presented? Is the end results of that exposure wirth the "socialization" of your boys?
I went through the same sort of dilemma myself. I would rather struggle with socialization than my children learn negative behaviors above and beyond my own teachings.
by Silver Member on Oct. 16, 2013 at 11:19 AM

I think you should definitely pull them.  That is not what scouts is about and that pack sounds seriously messed up. 

by Platinum Member on Oct. 16, 2013 at 11:31 AM
3 moms liked this
As an Assistant Cubmaster and Bear Den leader, I say take this to the committee. Ask for help for the den. Find a new Pack if you must.
by on Oct. 16, 2013 at 12:35 PM

 I would quit or find another pack to join!

by Bronze Member on Oct. 16, 2013 at 1:18 PM

 I think you need to look for a different pack

by on Oct. 16, 2013 at 2:21 PM
1 mom liked this

I would definitely quit that pack. Are there other packs in your area?

Our son is in his 2nd year of cub scouts. It's a really good program IMO, but we actually take him to a pack that is NOT our church (our church has a pack but it's laaaaame) but a different church. The cubmaster is very on top of things, and the den leaders are good too. 

That being said, I don't think boys need cub scouts in order to grow into good men, I think it's just a good program. I do disagree with their stance on homosexuals, but I think they are heading in the right direction with at last allowing homosexual scouts. It always seemed completely wrong to me that a sixteen year old boy who is having heterosexual intercourse with his teenage girlfriend could earn Eagle, but a sixteen year old boy who is chaste but homosexual could not. 

by on Oct. 16, 2013 at 2:36 PM

I'd see if that other dad would start a team! (Or whatever they are

Imo, the scouts are supposed to teach good behavior &social skills, if your kids are not learning these then what's the point?

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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by Jinx on Oct. 16, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Personally, I would eiher start a new Den of my own, or find a new Pack instead of quitting. I can'ttolerate dissrespectful kids.

Why hasn't the leader's behaviior, and the behavior of the Den been brought up to the Pack Committee? The Committe Chair and the Charter Org are responsible for ensuring leaders  that are properly trained and following BSA policy.

This leader is not being a good leader if he is allowing the kids to misbehave and is doing a disservice to everyone. If he gets upset and quits, great! , tag team i and get the kids through.

Webelos, IMO, as a Scoutmaster and former Cub District Trainer is such an important transition for the kids.. It shoulld be all about htem doing and being hands on, not sitting and reading from a book. It i about training them to think for themselves and being held to the standard of maturity needed to go into Boy Scouts. The boys should be workingas a team to decide which Activity pins they want to do and how they want to earn them.

AOL is the ONLY award a Cub can take from Cubs to Boy Scouts. I would tell my son," you made it this far, we need to stick it through and finish". That doesn't mean you can' t make changes. 

Jinx - Homeschooling, Scouting & Karate butt-kicking  Mom to Star Scout Ian 1/98, Scout Sean 9/00, Junior GS Heidi 4/03. Wife to Joe & Alpha to German Shepherd Spazz.

by on Oct. 16, 2013 at 2:39 PM

This den leader SUCKS! Of course the boys are fidgeting, hell I would too. The boys are supposed to be doing crafts, going on scavenger hunts, camping, etc.  You all need to hold a coup and get a new den leader.

by Bronze Member on Oct. 16, 2013 at 4:45 PM

thanks for all the replies! We were out all day!

There have been some complaints to the cubmaster, but it fell on deaf ears. The dens differ wildly depending on the leader. Older ds had a great leader and is loving boy scouts. He'll definately stay with boy scouts as it's a different troop than the cub scouts (although this cub scout pack can choose that boy scout troop, among others). I wouldn't say there are crazy politics, but more so that everyone is busy and more hands-off than anything, so no one really wants to take the lead and make positive changes, ya know?

The dad who quit, he politely said his boys got enough of the same experiences through other activities so therefore they were quitting scouts. I got the feeling he'd have felt it was unkind to say anything bad about the boys' behaviors or the den leader.

It's just younger ds' den leader. If I could jump ds ahead to weblos2, he'd have a great den leader. There are others in town I can check out.

And definately, the realization that the "socialization" ds is getting through this is a regular reinforcement of acting badly and laughing at the den leader -- not worth it!

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