Posts Tagged ‘parents’


Cub Scout Parents

Sometimes I write decent posts to this blog that some people find helpful. Sometimes I like to steer you to other Scouting blogs that have already wrote posts that you may find helpful. This is one of them.

There is a blog called Cub Scout Ideas.com that gives Cub Scout leaders a lot of good ideas to help them run their dens and packs. They recently had a post that I found to be interesting, and I thought I would pass it on to you. The post is called “Cub Scouts: Getting Parents Involved”. It lists 14 ways you can use to try to get parents involved with your program.

http://cubscoutideas.com/1459/cub-scouts-getting-parents-involved-involved/

I thought it was relevant to this time of year when most packs are seeing new families join the Scouting program. Check it out and let me know what you think of their list.

It is not a secret. Some Boy Scouts get nervous when it is time to do a scoutmaster conference for a rank. As a scoutmaster I do my best to put the Scout at ease and we usually get through it without a problem. Although there was the time when I held my first Eagle Scout conference back in the late 1980′s. That young man was so nervous that he could not recite the Scout Oath, even though he had repeated it at troop meetings for over six years. Ah, the memories.

One of the Boy Scouts recently came to the house for his Star Rank scoutmaster conference. He was accompanied by his mother. It did not take long to realize that he was nervous, and that having his mother sitting across the room from him was not helping matters. In fact, I think it was making it worse.

Let me set the stage for you. My front door opens into my living room. To the right, in front of the picture window, is the sofa. Across the room are two rocking recliners. At one end of the room is a gliding rocker chair. At the other end is the television and bookcases. When the Boy Scout arrived he sat down on the left end of the sofa, near the door. His mother sat in one of the recliners. I grabbed the troop record book and sat down on the sofa to the Scout’s right.

Like I said, it did not take long to realize this Scout was a little nervous. I also noticed that he kept looking at his mother as he answered several of the questions, instead of answering to me. I moved to the other recliner across the room. This helped in that he now had an easier time looking toward me but he still looked toward his mother, as if looking for approval of his answers and comments. His mother was also commenting on some of the subjects we were discussing.

I thought it might be better to make a few changes. I asked the Boy Scout if he was a bit nervous. He replied that he was. I asked him if having his mother sitting across the room was adding to his nervous. He said yes so I offered a new seating arrangement. I asked his mother to sit in the gliding rocker at the end of the room. I had the Scout sit in the recliner his mother had been using. This put the Scout between me and his mother, thus putting his mother out of his line of sight. I also asked his mother not to respond to any questions unless they were directed to her. She understood and pulled out her smartphone to play with.

The seating arrangement did help. Once his mother was “out of the picture” the Scout was more relaxed and had an easier time talking to me. He may have still been a little nervous but the discussion moved along much better. He passed his Star Rank scoutmaster conference and his now ready for his board of review.

Have you had any interesting experiences during a scoutmaster conference? Leave a response and tell us about it.

In the last article I printed a copy of the letter I sent to parents in 1986 when I was a scoutmaster having problems with the troop and ready to resign from the position. Part of that letter was a questionnaire that I asked the parents to fill out and send back to me. I really did not expect many questionnaires to be returned, but I received a pleasant surprise. (Keep in mind, this was long before everyone had access to the internet and email. We sent letters to each other by the US Postal Service!)

Here is a copy of that questionnaire:

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TROOP 68 PARENT QUESTIONNAIRE

NAME: ____________________________________________

Do you know the Scout Oath and Law? If not, would you be willing to learn them?

Do you think that the principles set forth in the Oath and Law are good goals to strive for?

Would you be willing to work with your son(s) on developing a proper and positive attitude about Scouting?

Do you know the requirements of the award(s) which your son(s) are currently working on?

Do you know what a merit badge counselor is? What is it? What subjects do you feel you could be a councilor for?

What kind of discipline actions should a scoutmaster be allowed to take?

What is your opinion of Scouts wearing the Scout uniform?

Are you willing to make sure that your son participates in Scout activities?

Would you be willing to spend two hours, or more, a month toward helping out and developing a better troop?

How important do you think it is for parents to attend a court of honor?

How do you think your son feels about Scouting in general? How do you feel about Scouting in general? What do you think about Scouting in Melrose?

How many hours a week do you think a scoutmaster should spend working on Scouting?

Please write any additional comments below.

You may not believe this, but I still have the questionnaires that were returned to me. I have them in a file in my Scouting cabinet. Nineteen people replied, which represented most of the troop when you count how many families had brothers involved. It gave me a pretty good idea about how the parents felt on the topics. For example, only 5 parents checked knowing the Scout Oath and Law, but nearly everyone replied that they would be willing to learn them.

How would your troop’s current parents answer these questions?

(And this irritates me. I cannot get the picture of the hats to rotate properly.)