It's a Mess Follow up
Joe Marsh (propwash@AIRMAIL.NET)
Mon, 20 Jul 1998 19:50:09 -0600
Hello the Camp,
This message is for the over 75 folks who responded to my original message
about the hovering, Dotting, over helpfull mom that I encountered at our
Troops first summer camp of this year and what approach I should take with
the fact that she was going to the next summer camp which was last week.
Several people on the list mentioned training. I gave her my Scoutmasters
handbook and asked that she read thru it, which she said she did. I did
not have a hope of linking her up with any other training in the two weeks
between our two summer camps.
I talked with her and explained as tactfully as I could that what she was
doing was not as helpfull as she believed it to be and it would work in
direct oposition to what the aims of Scouting were intended to accomplish.
Unfortunatly, her sister lost a four year old child due to drownding about
a day and a half before we left for our 14 hour trip to summer camp. She
called and explained that her son would still like to go but she would not
be able to go the first part of the week but would like to fly in on Wed
and join the group at summer camp. I assured her that we would find a way
to get her from the airport to the camp which was an hour by car.
I picked her up at the airport on Wed and had about two hours to talk with
her on the way to camp. I know that does not add up but we were hi-jacked
by a Chinese Restaurant at lunch. During our talk, I understood that she
had alot better understanding of Scouting and I expressed my understanding
of her reluctance to allow her son to grow and do for himself but it was
time in his life to let that happen. I thought all was lost when she said
a 12 year old was still a baby and needs his mom. I knew she was
overstating when she said even a sixteen year old needs mom's guidance. I
agreed with guidance but not everyday needs. I told her truthfully that
her son had done an excellent job of getting in the groove of camp life
having taken the swim test and passed it two hours off of an all night bus
ride. (Not even easy for me at 8200 feet. I don't think I breathed the
last three laps. GASP! SWALLOW! GASP!) He set up his tent and had made
every merit badge class and repersented himself without help at each merit
badge center. He was vastly differnt from two weeks earlier at our first
summer camp when he accused me of holding him prisoner.
I had to stop her a couple of times from laying out her son's cloths but
she cooperated each time and on Thursday I assigned her another Scout to
encourage and guide. We had a Scout who dispite having earned his swimming
merit badge last summer set up a mental block and could not get pasted the
swim test. He was in danger of not getting a single merit badge because
the swim test was a pre-requisite for Canoeing, Life Saving and Rowing.
She got in the water with him in street cloths and swam beside him
encouraging and would not allow him to quit! It was wonderfull. Her son
was on his own and she was focusd on helping someone! I had to keep and
eye on her but she even warned another long time dad about me when she
caught that dad sewing Troop numbers on his son's uniform shirt after I
told two older scouts if they did not remove there Jamboree Troop Numbers
and replace them with our troop numbers I would not advance them on the
Grounds of Scout spirit. Jamboree has been over for way too long and I
have been working on these two for that long to get our Troop numbers back
on there shirts.
In summary, I believe Training plus plenty of discussion coupled with a
spirit of cooperation on her part made this situation work out in a
favorable way. She expressed the desire to have an Eagle for a son and I
told her I would do mmy part, he would have to make his decision and do his
part and she has the hardest part; let it happen.
Thanks to all the folks who E-Mailed me in person with suggestions and
guidance. It seems this happens in most Troops every couple of years and
the combined wisdom of this list is awsome. Even the lady who accused me
of being sexest. I learned caution and tolerance. Thanks to all.
Scoutmaster Troop 86
Land of Texas
(The Colorado Merit Badge Folks did not know how to take the signature
line, "Land of Texas") It was plenty funny.
Bedford, Land of Texas
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City