Cub Scout/Boy Scout Question

Discussion in 'Camping with Kids/Pets' started by cwolfman13, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. hvac1877

    hvac1877 Old Dominion Iron Chefs Highland Springs, Va

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    I started in tiger cubs in 1981 and went until i was 18 then became a asst scoutmaster. Yes religion is part of BSA but all faiths are welcomed. I was raised catholic but my troop 77 was at a southern baptist church. we had a prayer but was very general. One of my friends father was a minister at another baptitst church. Our troop was runned by the scouts with little input from the scoutmasters. They were there to guide and help but us scouts did all the planning and and work. The BSA is a great!!!! During camporees or council jamboress we had two church a non-dom and a jewish. Each pack/troop is different. Go to you local Council and talk to them about your concerns and they will know a pack/troop that will fit for you. Good luck
     
  2. n6nvr

    n6nvr New Member

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    As far as lack of training, maybe you should volunteer and help. Helps you get out of the house one more week-end a month. Seriously though, most of the real problems that occurred in my area when I was a Scouter (adult) were as a result of there not being enough qualified adults willing or able to help. Mostly not willing. The most serious being when the boys were gathered and there ended up being one very untrained adult driving and then taking the boys on a hike into a pretty rough area. (Including hiking to the highest mountain peak in Southern California at over 11500 feet.) Not a good idea for any untrained or prepared group. The Dad didn't want to say, "No, we can't go" to the boys. Once on the trail and above the tree line the group separated, with one boy going to trail along behind and catch up as the others went to the summit. The trail near the top is well established, but it goes along a ridge and on both sides it's mostly talus. At some point the boy wandered off the main trail and apparently ended up falling or rolling down up to several thousand feet. Same thing with molestation incidents, Non-family volunteers allowed on trips without additional adults. Usually they were employees of the chartering organization.

    The chartering organization is supposed to make sure that qualified leadership happens and goes on ALL trips and meetings. If poop happens, they are going to be held in the chain of responsibility in the event of a major incident. Sometime over 20 years ago, a strict policy of no one and one was enacted. That's if you have less than one adult present, then 2 or more boys must be there, or, if only one boy, then 2 or more adults. To the best of my knowledge that has been strengthened and clarified. May say it might be too strict. I have no direct knowledge of the current rules. IIRC when taking Webelos camping there is supposed to be one adult for each Cub Scout, and if an adult has a supervisory role, ie Den Leader, then he can't also be responsible for one boy. Clearly, that's wrong, any of us who have been Webelos leaders, know that they need at least 2 adults to supervise each boy. Them little buggers are way too fast and smart for us to go one on one with.

    Training - Local Districts and Councils are the immediate training groups. Many adults have other training - Military, scouting experience, other experience and are willing to share that with the boys. Some troops on the other hand have problems finding adults with any relevant experience.
     
  3. RAGAR Family

    RAGAR Family Member

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    [{:)] As a 35 year veteran of the scouting program and a Hard Core Bible Believing Christian, I will say this.

    [2C]

    The Scouting program is an excellent way for today's youth to build character, learn outdoor skills and via the Merit Badge program get an excellent sampling of hobbies and different skills on everything from Bee Keeping to building websites.

    I treasure my experience in the Scouting program and have great memories of camping and backpacking. From backpacking the mountains of Philmont New Mexico(1987 & 2003) to paddling the waters of the Tinnerman Canoe Base, on the Georgian Bay in 1984 . (Tinnerman is now closed and for sale if anyone is interested in 9 acres of Canadian Land contact the Greater Cleveland Council BSA.)

    If you are looking for something that is Christian Based, then you should look into Heritage Girls, AWANAS, or Royal Rangers programs. My two kids are in AWANAs at our church and I must say I wish I would have had that level of a Bible training program as a child. AWANAs is like a Christian Cub Scouts, they have pinewood derbys, earn patches and awards etc etc.

    Yes the Mormon version of Scouting is much different than the majority of Scouting programs, living in NE Ohio there is a large Roman Catholic group active in our Scouting area. There are Troops that are Mormon, Roman Catholic and Jewish where all the member must be of that faith and are exposed to those teachings very heavily. The average BSA troop is more univiersialist in religion. They may say grace at meals and attend the charter orgainizations church service on Scout Sunday, but any type of faith training is not a primary goal. Each faith does have it's own Religious Award program that each scout can complete.
     
  4. BillNH60

    BillNH60 a bad day camping is just better than working

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    I'll say it again "look at the post above" he said it all. Boy Scouts is not a religious organization they just require a belief in God(Allah, Budda) or the name your faith uses to describe God as You believe. BSA is IMHO probably the best youth organization out there, if you (the PARENT) are involved, it's WAY better for your son and most likely others in his troop also.
     
  5. Matt O

    Matt O Strangers are friends who have not yet met

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    As a Scout I will always remember attending a non-denominational service by this guy Fred at summer camp. It was about 15 minutes long, we sang a basic song, said a scout prayer (very vanilla with no denominational affiliation) and the sermon boiled down to "The indians did not take more from the land than they could use. They tried to live a good life, You should be a good person as well".

    Shop around for a troop that fits your family. There can be 2 troops in town that are complete opposites. Do not let 1 experience with scouting sway you one way or another. You just need to find the troop that fits you.
     
  6. n6nvr

    n6nvr New Member

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    Definitely check most of them out, talk to involved parents. One of my son's was in a troop that went camping every month and a family camp once a year. With the camping ranging from mountains, peak bagging, rock climbing, but didn't really put a lot of emphasis on advancement. My second chose a troop one of his friends was in and to not be in his brother's troop. All their camps were family camps, but the boys were kept separate and working on advancement activities most of the time. I hate to say it, both boys should have gone in to the other troop to better fit their personalities.
     
  7. Papa Bear

    Papa Bear New Member

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    All the points I'm going to touch on have probably been touched on, but I'm not going to read through all the pages. Scouting is close to my heart as I was involved as a kid as as a leader in my sons' pack for 10 years. True, scouting is not about pushing a particular religion. Our pack has a small "Scouts Own" service at our family camps on Sunday Morning, not mandatory. Scouting, at all levels, has tremendious training for leaders. Some of which is mandatory. Outdoor leadership training is one. Get involved as a leader when the time comes, Tiger cubs start at 1st grade, and you shouldn't regret it. The leaders excitement rubs off on the boys and make for tremendious experience for all family members. Check out www.scouting.org for more info. PS, look up Philmont Scout Ranch, it's in your neck of the woods.
     
  8. Oski88

    Oski88 New Member

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    We just started my son in the Scouts. He attends a Catholic grade school and his Pack/Den is through the school. No prayers and no religion at the meetings so far, just traditional scout stuff like merit badges, events, etc. Your experience will be shaped by the other members of the Pack, maybe especially those who are doing most of the work. If the first Pack is too religious or not religious enough try another Pack in your area.
     
  9. 01YZF6

    01YZF6 Dothan, AL

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    Everyone has repeated the same basic principals on this subject....
    what it boils down t is this: it is up to YOU to make the difference with your childs experience in scouting.

    as a cub scout, learning core values is KEY to successful advancement.
    KNOWING about the FAITH portions in each rank, and PRACTICING IT are separate entities.
    no person shall be exploited or forced to believe anything other than what the hand books suggest.
    the Webelos book even requires to visit a faith organization outside of the childs own beliefs as part of a specific advancement.


    as was said, I think for retention purposes alone, the scouts has opened their guidelines to be more free will, and more so in the last 25 years.

    Charters can change, and all are required to re-charter annually.
    most are held in church facilities due to it being a public place, free, and convenient to the area most reside in.

    they will only succeed because the Leaders and Cubmasters are open to everyone.

    the biggest thing you have to ask yourself should not be in regards to the Faith exploits, but should be focused on how much you want to be involved in your childs progress and advancement.

    have you been able to find out more about what is available in your area?

    and to go along with what most have posted, when we offer a prayer/blessing before meals, camping, events, or awards ceremonies, we do not require for everyone to participate, but only ask that they be respectful for those who do.... (ie- remove your hat, remain quiet, etc. )

    I hope you find what it is you are looking for with scouting in your area.
    but we do not require them to BOW THEIR head or say AMEN, or PREACH during or at the end of the blessing
     
  10. Lori3778

    Lori3778 New Member

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    I am a very proud mom of a boy scout. Our charter organization is currently a Methodist Church, but we are soon to be chartered by a Catholic Church. This is because we've outgrown the current facility we are using for our meetings. And the Catholic church has generouosly given us a large cabin to hold our meetings in. I have no problems with it being affiliated with either religion, we are Baptist. We don't stress any religion, but most boys who join our troop are of the Christian faith and embrace those values. There is another group of local scouts who are chartered by a Morman church and there are mostly Morman families in it. So it depended on the Charter organization's influence and values as to which troop we joined. Our troop is boy lead, meaning we have patrol leaders in the troop who conduct the meeting. Our adult leaders are highly trained through the local scouting district in areas of camping, conduct, troop organization, and responibility. And mainly serve to give guidance to the boys. This gives the boys the chance to learn responsibility, to work as a group, and support each other. Our troop does not allow women to go on campouts which is fine. And I don't hear any complaints about discrimination in that regard. But, women do serve on our troop committee and I serve as treasurer. I think it is an outstanding organization and glad my son is a part of it.
     
  11. beemerboy

    beemerboy New Member

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    You may want to look in to the 4H program..

    They used to be primarily agracultural but now they are into science, community and leadership.
     
  12. tvketchum

    tvketchum New Member

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    A troop sponsored by a public school PTA/PTO is more likely to have multidenominational and nondenominational memberships than troops sponsored by a church. But all should be welcoming of new members, regardles of faith.
     
  13. pcfeld

    pcfeld New Member

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    As a parent who has 3 kids that are/were involved in scouts I agree it has been a great experience for them. DD was in girl scouts all the way through and just missed completing her Gold award, highest in Girl Scouts. The oldest son is finishing up he last requirements and hopefully will be looking at doing his eagle project. Youngest is in his second year.

    Unlike others mentioned here our Troop and a lot of the others in the area are sponsored by various Veteran groups. We are in a strong Catholic area so that is the primary religous badge worked on. The old son had a non-Catholic for a Den mother yet worked with other parents when it came to that aspect. Like a lot of youth orginizations they all rise and fall with parent help. Currently the parent meeting have 80% parent particapation so the troop is growing and boys enjoying it. Another local troop it the opposite and the boys are leaving in large numbers.
     
  14. lcprice3

    lcprice3 New Member

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    Not sure if someone's already mentioned it (though I did a brief search in the post for it and didn't see it), but you may (or may not) be interested the Civil Air Patrol. I was a part of that as a teen and it's like Scouts on steroids. It's an auxiliary of the US Air Force, not at all faith based, but structured like the military where the minors are cadets, wearing Air Force uniforms (with blue name patches on their BDUs). I wasn't too keen on that part, but I liked everything else so I played along. They are regularly called in to assist in real search and rescue missions for both missing hikers/campers and aircraft. In order to be qualified to participate (even the cadets do) you must take and pass a bunch of outdoors and orienteering classes, as well as some survival courses, so you better believe they aren't the ones giving Park Rangers any grief. On top of that, it's also very heavily focused on aviation (cadets actually take 3 introductory flight lessons) which is what I was most interested in.

    We'd often take weekend and longer backpacking trips to hone our skills of survival, search and rescue, and other 'boy scout-esque' topics. The only thing was, we didn't care about a badge for basket weaving. Rather we got certifications that permitted us to search for real people in real danger. Not trying to knock the Boy Scouts, but I'm glad it was mentioned in your post that for many Boy Scout troops, you get leader dads who have spent little time doing what they're teaching. I've always had that perception myself.

    For me it was a great combination of two of my passions, aviation and hiking. Now, as a christian myself living in the South, I think many of our troops are organized via the churches. So I will likely be eating my words when I have a boy, and submitting for my troop dad uniform (or whatever it's called). At least until he's 13 and can join CAP that is...
     
  15. barb_dave

    barb_dave Active Member

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    I was in the cub scouts when I was a kid with my Dad helping with a lot of the activities. Especially when it came to camping.

    It's now 40 years latter and our grandson has been in scouting for 2 years and I'm the treasurer of our pack. I've found scouting has changed since I was a kid as it encourages more family involvement. In cases where a trip is planned and the scouts parent couldn't attend another parent has always stepped up and offered to take the scout with them. So the child could go.

    I feel there is also a benefit to scouting as it helps children learn the basics of respect for themselves, the community and country plus the importance of helping others. We have several activities during the year where scouts will do clean up projects. These are from raking yards for senior citizens to cleaning up trash at other places within the community.

    One clean up was done at the start of the season at a local CG. We spent the afternoon raking camp sites and were then given free camping for a weekend. This was a great opportunity for the kids to learn how to set up tent's, fire building and safety, plus the aspects of camping.

    Overall scouting is a good program but it is only as good as the volunteers and the parents willingness to participate.
     
  16. traindude

    traindude ORYGUN

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    Scouts are a faith based in that you must believe in God. That's as far as it goes. Now as far as my own experience with the scout (Eagle scout here) The troop that I grew up with they were sponsored by a local parents club its was just made up so the troop could get its charter. The story behind it was my troop broke off of the troop that was sponsored by the Mormon church because they didn't like how the church was trying to run the troop. In my local counsel there was a couple of Mormon troops but a a lot more that was not. Now seeing how most of my troop was Mormon I was never pushed or preached at on the Mormon religion. Now the only downside to this was when it came to campout times we used to leave on the sat nights so the rest could make church on sun. To me this was not that big of a problem because all you do sun is get up and break camp and go home so it gave me a day to recover before school the next day. Scouts have taught me a lot of wonderful things and I dint think I would be the person I am today with out it. Now what I would do is check with the local council and see if there is more troops/packs in your area because the troop you went with you feel is not a good fit for you and your son. There is another option and that is to form your own parnets group to get a troop charter and start a new troop. I hope this helps.
     
  17. dfab

    dfab New Member

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    Idont think you need to believe in god to to join, I know some family's that are atheist that are apart of scouts. In cub Scouts there is a religious badge/ beltloop but for the kids that don't belong to a religion they have other avenues to get the badge. Scouts can be a grate experince for all even if they do only one year they will remember it for the rest of time. Advice for all step up and help out the den leaders and the pack / troop with your help the boys will get more out of it.
     
  18. Big_kid

    Big_kid Virginia Beach, VA

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    Contact your local council, find out when the leaders' roundtable meeting is and go. You'll get to meet leaders from many different packs in the area at the same time. Talk to them, see if one pack seems to be a better fit than the others.

    Round table meetings don't actually involve round tables. They're more of a practice run for the next month's pack meeting. Picture a regular pack meeting, but instead of Cub Scouts, the audience is all leaders and parents.
     
  19. jim123

    jim123 New Member

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    When i was in boy scouts i think the local fire dept was out sponsor. Also there was no preaching in our troop.
    For our scout meetings we just did things that would help us get our merit badges, some included having someone come
    in and teach or we just used the meeting for planning the next weekend camp out or jamboree.
     
  20. CommaHolly

    CommaHolly New Member

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    Not flaming you :) In fact, I admire you for wanting your son to have good role models of all faiths (or no faith) and sexual orientation.

    But I have to say that I never HEARD of this,,,,,,,,,seriously??

    I mean how would 10 or 12 year old boys even KNOW or CARE that someone was gay? It's not like we introduce cubmasters as "Joe,,,,,,,he's heterosexual."

    I mean unless some cub master was telling my son all about his sex life (GAY OR STRAIGHT) who cares???

    I happen to know a gay girl scout leader,,,,,,,,and she's dammed good at it too, and loves those kids and has taken them on some marvelous trips!
     

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