Re: Webelos Summer camp (I'm back)
Virginia Watts (vwatts@NETAXS.COM)
Sat, 29 Jul 1995 18:41:55 -0400
>The boys, minus three, were wonderful. Bright, happy, etc.
>The other three were the children from HELL.
>dis-respectful, free with the hands, rude, and uncaring when
>corrected. I am also writting letters to these boys parents and
>letting them know that their child was deplorable at camp.
>Any advice on how else to handle the problem?
>thanks for listening.
Rob, my husband was in a similar situation and was called by the scout
office to be a provisional leader at the last minute when someone backed
out. My son (1st yr Webelos) got to go to the 2nd yr week-long camp for
free. He had a great time, especially with the 4 other older boys from our
pack. This was over July 4th so I was invited over the weekend and the
holdiay and I got to observe a lot. There were 4 adult leaders and 20 boys.
The programs were carefully laid out so that the boys went from one
activity to another which were all supervised by other staff. Most of the
adult responsibility came from ensuring that the boys headed to the right
activity and at nights in the tents.
There were 3 boys, from other packs who were difficult. One was
hyperactive. Another had somekind of physical impairment (you could see
where his missing ear was being surgically reconstructed) and was also on
medication. And one hated being there; his dad forced him to go. He just
had a bad attitude all around. The kids themselves handled a lot of the
problems; those that didn't abide by the rules were ignored. This helped a
little with Kid #1 and I found that he was reasonable when the other kids
would put pressure on hime (I love positive peer pressure!). The 3rd boy
wouldn't bend and was ignored by everyone there. No one wanted a black
cloud for a buddy. The adult from his pack tried to expelain this to him.
The 2nd boy was eventually sent home. Just the times that I ate at his
table he was the type of child that wanted to demand 100% of all attention
available. He was selfish, rude, and once while I was there he hit another
kid who told him to knock it off. He received a warning. The second supper
that I was there, I finally told him to sit down and be quiet (like the mom
that I am). I really enjoyed being with the other boys and wanted to enjoy
what they had to offer, too. And I resented this boy trying to monopolize
every situation. My husband told me that he made it almost to the end but
through a temper tantrum and his money belt and almost beaned another
scout. His pack adult called his parents to pick him up. My husband, who at
times can be very critical of our son, admitted that he really never
appreciated how good and helpful our son was until this week :-)
I really haven't been in this very long, but I told my husband that maybe
next year I'll volunteer with him if they need more adult leaders. But I do
think that very difficult boys like the ones above should have a parent
present at the camp. I don't think that it is the job of everyone else to
spend the time needed with them at the expense of the other behaved boys.
Some of the boys, altho well behaved, were shy and needed some room to
grow. They don't need some of the difficult boys to invade their space;
they usually give in and become invisible and then the experience hasn't
Hopes this helps some. I don't think that it's the volunteer's job, altho
they may be helpful if there is parental control, to try and cure these
difficult boys. Most of the adults I met were parents; they've had no
special training in this area. It's the parents that have to help to make
this work. They can't just dump off their kids and expect a miracle to
New Britain, PA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City