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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 (21-26):
by Bronze Member on Oct. 16, 2013 at 5:06 PM
1 mom liked this

ok, I just had realization as to why I think the sibling thing suddenly got so bad... Past 3 years I used to bring siblings too, but one was my older son, and my dd was older than all the others by at least 2 years too. Looking back, they acted like babysitters for these little kids for an hour. Now they are old enough to stay home alone - and started begging to stay home alone by end of last year. Interesting....

by on Oct. 16, 2013 at 5:12 PM
As a cub master and devoted scouting mom I would urge you to not quit!

But I would be looking into another pack. One that meets in a church. Your son is weblos right?
He is so close to graduating into boy scouts! Please just look into a different pack and find one you enjoy.
You can try different ones out until you find one you like. You don't need to make a commitment at your first visit
by on Oct. 16, 2013 at 10:40 PM

All you need to do is re-read your post and you will have your answer. Would you want your child in the situation you describe.

I also notice that at no point in your post did you say, "but, he does all of this fun stuff like X, Y, and Z. He really loves it." or anything along those lines. You listed a whole hat of reasons why it is bad, the only good thing is getting the arrow?

by Bronze Member on Oct. 17, 2013 at 11:36 AM

We faced the same thing in our son's boy scout troop -- although it was somewhat worse than that.  My husband is an eagle scout and really got a lot out of boy scouts, but the troops in our area really didn't seem to be good -- the boys behaved exactly like what you are describing and our son was being made the goat a good portion of the time.  Finally, one of the boys decided to use foul language to our son with my husband standing right there.  That was the final straw.  To tell you the truth, I wish we had pulled him out earlier ....  Our older son's troop was much better -- not necessarily calm, but at least they weren't vicious.  Bottom line: if the cub scouts aren't helping your son to be a better person, you should let it go.  If ultimately he does decide to do boy scouts (hopefully with a better group of kids), it won't matter if he's arrow of light or not.  My husband got eagle and was actually offered a chance to go into management of boy scouts (he didn't want to be a professional scout, but that's another story) without the arrow of light.... If your son gets eagle no one will care that he wasn't a cub scout -- and if he's not eagle, no one would care that he was a cub scout.   

by Silver Member on Oct. 17, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Quoting ablackdolphin:

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.

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by on Oct. 17, 2013 at 2:44 PM

I would see if there is another cub scout pack in your area and try them out.  My oldest, who is almost thirteen, went through all five years of cub scouts and enjoyed it (he's in boy scouts now for his second year), and his younger brother is in his third year of cub scouts.  Cub scouts is meant to have fun and hands on experiences while at the same time following the cub scout (now boy scout law), learning new things, and showing respect towards one another.  Most of the cub scout dens have their den meetings in a church or community building and their pack meetings are in a church.

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