Re: webleos to scouts transition
Mon, 7 Oct 1991 13:31:35 CDT
My own son moved up into the troop our pack was affliated with when
he got his Arrow of Light, along with 3 other boys in his patrol.
Moms were encouraged to "get lost" ... so I became a Unit Commissioner
instead of Assistant Scoutmaster.
This is a large sucessful troop, but my son and his friends were
subjected to hazing and bullying by the older boys, and were
definately made to feel unwelcome. My husband and I tried several
times to straighten this troop out by having heart-to-heart talks
with the Scoutmaster and even with the entire troop committee, but
to no avail.
In the end, all four boys quit. Two boys were so disgusted with
their experiences that they refuse to even look at another scout
troop. My own son took a while to recover, but eventually my
husband and I convinced him that other troops might be better,
and he found another troop and joined it. The other boy is still
The troop we left STILL has a first class reputation in our district,
but I know from what happened to the boys from my pack and my own
son that those people do not come anywhere CLOSE to living by the
Scout Law. Also, these four boys are not the only ones who have
left...but I knew them best. The attrition is all among the
If you know a troop has hazing going on, and that they are not
conducting themselves according to scout law, and as a female
find yourself excluded from holding a leadership role in the troop,
maybe it would be better not to put your son in that troop.
I sure wish I hadn't put my son in, or encouraged him to stay in
while I tried to "change them from within". He was terribly hurt
by the experience, and neither of us will ever see scouting the
way we have before. Perhaps because I am female, my complaints
and suggestions were dismissed, and the younger boys told
not to be such "wusses".
The Scoutmaster there is an important person in our district who is
actively involved in all sorts of district level activities, and both
he and his troop are highly respected. It will do me no good, and
I suspect tarnish my own reputation, if I tell others what my own
experiences with him and his troop were like, or attempt, as unit
commissioner, to effect changes to that unit and its leadership.
They are a bunch of rough-and-tumble "macho" guys ... (and that
includes activities I'd call hazing) who will brook no interference
from silly females or male "wusses" with their ways of doing things.
I have advised my former pack to "unaffiliate" themselves from this
troop, based on the experiences of last year's graduates from the
pack. They have taken my advice, and are looking around for another
troop with which to affiliate.
In the future, I'd be inclined to encourage boys having this sort of
"scouting" experience to leave RIGHT AWAY, and find a good troop to
--- Monica Pilman
Unit Commissioner, Chitmacha District
New Orleans Area Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City