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Have you ever had to tell a parent??

Posted by on Feb. 13, 2009 at 7:04 PM
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I am taking over as CM in a week.  Yippee!  I have been taking on responsibilities over this year.  Last night, our Wolf leader called me, VERY upset.  She has a crazy momma in her den, and I do mean crazy!  She only brings her son to meetings about 1-2 times a month, yet she INSISTS he is all caught up with requirements to earn Wolf for B&G.  Yesterday afternoon, the leader told her the requirements that she knew for certain he had missed by not being at meetings.  Well, amazingly enough by their meeting at 6:30pm, she informed the leader that he had done ALL of the requirements except the section on outdoor flag ceremony.  She also told the leader that she MUST give him Wolf because it's not HER fault that her son wasn't there when they did it! (he's a returning Scout, so there's no reason he missed the first 3 meetings except that his mom's a bit crazy)  There's no way to do a proper ceremony with 3 feet of snow on the ground and wind and snow and rain, so according to mom, since she did her part to catch him up, the leader is the one letting the boy down.  Also, when the leader asked the boy about some of the things that he supposedly had done at home, he wouldn't answer her and his mom just kept saying "answer her, son" which of course he wouldn't. (or couldn't)

So after all that, the question is, have you ever denied a boy a badge that his parent says he has earned?  I tend to say to give it to him because it's not his fault that his parents won't give him the full experience of Scouting.  I have denied boys things that their parents say they've earned, but there were VERY clear requirements that there is NO way they could have done.  Usually this is because they did it over the summer and the boy didn't join Scouts until fall.

Please help!  Blue & Gold is in 1 week!!!

Scouting builds kids of character   

by on Feb. 13, 2009 at 7:04 PM
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Replies (1-10):
cajunjenn
by on Feb. 14, 2009 at 9:32 AM

 That's a tough one.  At University of Scouting, we were taught that as long as the boy "tried their best" at the benchmark, that it should count.  And I know personally my son wouldn't answer even though he knows the stuff.  He just doesn't talk to most people lol.

Other than those two thoughts, I really can't give you advice....sorry.  I hope you get the answer you need though

in love               playing soccer               butterfly on head
Marlin & Jenn        Seth                     Lillian
7-9-05                  1-30-01               12-20-04

wakymom
by Member on Feb. 14, 2009 at 9:33 AM

Is there any way you can talk to the boy w/o his mom there? Maybe he'd be more willing to speak up if she weren't looming over him. Since this is my 1st yr as the main leader, I've never had to make a decision like this. I have fudged it a bit on some requirements. Has he ever done an outdoor flag ceremony at all? If so, maybe you could count that? Sorry you're having to deal w/ a nutcase of a mom.

3cuties4me
by Group Owner on Feb. 14, 2009 at 9:49 AM

I agree with CajunJenn & WakyMom...if you believe he's tried his best then give him credit. I have, over the last couple of years as leader, encountered a few boys who I know wouldn't tell me what they had done but I could usually get them to open up to another kid discussing the topic and overhear.

Also, until this year, the school that charters our pack didn't have an outdoor flag pole for the boys to actually perform an outdoor ceremony with. As long as they ATTENDED an outdoor flag ceremony I gave them credit. One evening at a meeting when all the boys were in attendance we just took the flag outside and said the Pledge of Allegiance and the Cub Scout Promise & Law and I considered that an outdoor flag ceremony. Voila! Everyone got credit. :)

Good luck with your decision.

~Karen, loving wife to David and proud mama of Ryan, Megan & Braden

"Nothing you do for children is ever wasted. They seem not to notice us, hovering, averting our eyes, and they seldom offer thanks, but what we do for them is never wasted." 

~ Garrison Keillor

Webelos 1 Den Leader/Assistant Cubmaster ~ Cub Scout Pack 38

Leader ~ Brownie Troop 35


coleysmama
by Member on Feb. 14, 2009 at 11:22 AM

This is a tough one! I had a similar mom a few years ago. She was actually in my friends den but we worked together.The problem was with electives (Bear). The boy was not interested in scouts at all. He hardly participated when and if he would show up and never went on den or pack outings. Mom wanted him to have some arrow points on his uniform so about 3 weeks later he had supposedly earned 10 arrow points! It was ridiculous! The back of his book was just a sea of check marks...LOL, I asked the boy and he would just shrug and say yeah I guess I did them. ARRGHH!! Amazing, he barely had a pulse at our meetings but at home he was just an eager beaver! What could I do, I had to give it to him. Not only was he being denied a fulfilling scouting experience he was also being taught to lie and cheat. It's so unfair to him and to the boys that actually do the work.

I did however not give him the swimming belt loop after catching her in a lie. She didn't know I knew the swim instructor and she said that he was taking lessons and had completed the req. When I found out that he had not taken lessons for over a year and that those req were not covered she kinda just laughed it off and said that it should still count!   They quit at the end of that year.

 

5speedw
by New Member on Feb. 14, 2009 at 12:41 PM

If the requirements weren't met by a given deadline, then it wasn't earned.  When a scout misses a meeting, it is the parent's responsibility to make up what was missed, not the leaders.

 

SuperLooneyMom
by Bronze Member on Feb. 14, 2009 at 1:04 PM

From the Leader Specific Training I took for Tiger and Cub Scout levels, we were explained that the curricula responsibility is to the parents. In Webelos that is when the resposibility is turned to the den leader. SO if has done this work at home then there is no way we can prove he did not. But on the other hand try and test him or have his parent bring the project in. I am not saying trust every parent as we know some will cheat to get what they think their deserves. We all know there is someone like that in all of our dens. I have 2 at least. 1 That is pushing me over the edge. But if the scout has in fact done the requirement he sould be able to say yes Mrs. so andso I did this or that to the requirement. This is the game I played at school. But a parent is not the scout, the boys is.

Bryan (6/10/98) Johnathan (3/1/00) Kaitlyn (6/17/06)

Me between work Scouts and  family

nuts4scouts
by Bronze Member on Feb. 14, 2009 at 1:25 PM

2 things to remember with Cub Scouts

1) The criteria for ANY Cub Scout work is "Do Your Best".  Cubs are never to be re-tested, or quizzed, or put in a position to fail.  As long as they "Do Their Best" that is fine. 

2) The person who decides if the Cub Scout has done his best is his "Akela", or leader.  Parents are considered "Akelas", and for Tiger, Wolf & Bear, they are allowed (even encouraged) to sign off on all of their Scout's work.  The Cub program is written so that most of the work can be done at home with the family.

So it comes down to the fact that if a parent has signed off in the handbook, and stated their son has done his best, and has completed the requirements, there is nothing we can do.  We must take the parent's word for it, even if we suspect they are being untruthful.  This holds true for belt loops and pins too.

This changes in Webelos, and again when they get to Boy Scouts.  Which is unfortunately why these Scouts often do not stay long in Boy Scouts.  They are not used to doing the work that's needed.

For the outdoor flag ceremony - YES he DOES have to complete the requirement!

You said the boy was a returning Scout.  Did he attend any of the Council's Summer Camps, or District Day Camp? If he did then he most likely participated in an outdoor flag ceremony there.  Has he attended any baseball games over the summer or spring?  There is usually a flag ceremony of some kind at a baseball game.  A town Fourth of July or Veterans Day celebration?

It does not have to be a Scout flag ceremony.  He does not have to actually have a part in raising the flag himself.  An outdoor flagpole does not have to be used.  Any flag, and any kind of flag ceremony, held outside will do.

At this week's den meeting, if the Den Leader has access to an outside flag pole, she can take the boys out and point out the parts of the pole and how a flag would be attached and what/how an honor guard would go about raising a flag.  Or she can use pictures inside.

They can then use their regular flag, or a small handheld flag, or even a picture of a flag, and have their flag ceremony outside, and then go back in for the rest of the meeting.

Do Your Best

 

 

KidsHelper
by on Feb. 16, 2009 at 6:10 PM

Yes, he's returning, but not what I would call "actively" participating.  It's not that he doesn't try, he just has the kind of mom that wants him to get awards and she doesn't want to bother with doing the work.  She did not bring him to ANY of the summertime events last summer.  He was signed up for day camp, but she did not bring him.  On the night of the first day, she called her den leader to say that he would be missing the next two days as well, and could she receive a refund.  WHAT???  There was no illness or any reason he wasn't there, just that she decided not to bring him.  And we had several carpools going, so that wasn't an excuse she could use.  She did not bring him to our pack family camping, even though she signed their whole family up when we asked who was coming, and she did not register him for resident camp or bring him to the 4th of July parade or family fishing event.  Yet when she sees the other boys getting awards for these things, she questions why her son didn't get any!!  "He did those things over the summer too, just not with the Scouts."  In his Tiger year she tried to convince the leader that he had earned Leave No Trace!  I talked to the leader about it, and the mom had no answer when she asked her what service project he had done and pointed out that he had not made a poster and displayed it at a Pack meeting.  The funny part is, as a pack we worked on LNT this past summer, and she and her son were nowhere to be found!  She did not bring it up again this year.  I was surprised that she didn't have a long list of belt loops that she felt he'd earned.

It really just deives me crazy that there are boys and families that work so hard and then there are those who exert no effort at all and want all the awards too.  I hate when people try to get by with little or no effort or try to ride on other people's coat tails!!!

For the outdoor flag ceremony - YES he DOES have to complete the requirement!

You said the boy was a returning Scout.  Did he attend any of the Council's Summer Camps, or District Day Camp? If he did then he most likely participated in an outdoor flag ceremony there.  Has he attended any baseball games over the summer or spring?  There is usually a flag ceremony of some kind at a baseball game.  A town Fourth of July or Veterans Day celebration?

It does not have to be a Scout flag ceremony.  He does not have to actually have a part in raising the flag himself.  An outdoor flagpole does not have to be used.  Any flag, and any kind of flag ceremony, held outside will do.

At this week's den meeting, if the Den Leader has access to an outside flag pole, she can take the boys out and point out the parts of the pole and how a flag would be attached and what/how an honor guard would go about raising a flag.  Or she can use pictures inside.

They can then use their regular flag, or a small handheld flag, or even a picture of a flag, and have their flag ceremony outside, and then go back in for the rest of the meeting.

Do Your Best

 

 

 

Scouting builds kids of character   

stldenise
by Member on Feb. 17, 2009 at 10:36 AM

I remember when my guys were Tigers the other Tiger leader was pulling her hair out dealing with the parents. These parents - the whole den, it seemed - were jealous of the older scouts getting "all these awards" and why did the Tigers not get anything? They didn't realize that there's a huge difference between Tigers, who get beads, and Webelos, who earn pins.

As others have said regarding your problem, there isn't a lot we can do when we assign homework. We just have to assume it's getting done. That's why a lot of leaders try to do as much as you can at meetings.

For your kid, I would give him the rank. Its not his fault his mom is crazy. When the weather warms up, do an outdoor flag ceremony. Borrow the pack flag if you have to, or take the kids to a park with a flag. Improvise!

We're big on s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g the requirements in the book in my pack. Sometimes schedules just get to hectic to get everything done by the letter. We've been know to count the firemen's visit to school as "visiting a firehouse" for their requirements.

If you get TOO bogged down in the requirements, you run the risk of sucking the fun out of Scouts. Keep it fun, keep it simple!

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Cindy_T
by Member on Feb. 18, 2009 at 11:50 AM

One of the things that we do in our pack is award segment badges for activities as well.  The segments go on the red vest, or some are making felt blankets and placing the segment badges on these.  There are over 200 different segment patches that can be given.  I believe the website is www.idealemblem.com  , it can be found in the boys life magazine.  Our pack pays for these.  We just let our coordinator know what the boys need and when.  

It is sad that this mother does not want to really encourage he son to do his best.  Since starting scouting this past fall, in every thing my son does new he says "I'm a Cub Scout, so I have to do my best, isn't that right".  The right encouragement from parents in scouting can make a big impact with their child and not just in the scouting activities. 

 

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