Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Need some insight - New SPL whose dad is Scoutmaster
Need some insight - New SPL whose dad is Scoutmaster
Tue, 6 Oct 1998 14:15:44 -0600
>Our troop just elected the Scoutmaster's son as SPL. The boy is 14, a Life
Scout. The boy is bright and >very funny. The other Scouts, particularly the
younger ones, love him.
>Dad, the Scoutmaster, is concerned that the boy is not mature enough for this
I keep telling my 15 year old son that he is an experiment for me to learn how
to get it right with his younger brother and sister. Lately I have found nothing
is more painful than feeling like a bad parent. I could write the book on the
wrong things to say to kids. Thanks goodness for moms and second chances. I have
also found that my sons are the hardest Scouts to Scoutmaster. They listen to me
everyday at home talk about this and that. They know what I will say before I
say it. There is more pressure on the them to act like the perfect Scout and it
is equally hard for the SM to allow his son or sons to make choices in uniform,
advancement and general everyday boy stuff like a little horsing around without
responding as a father instead of an Adult Scouter speaking from wisdom and
That's why I asked a ASM to be a mentor to my two sons. It allows my sons to be
on equal grounds with the other Scouts and lets them act their age. He performs
the SM conferences for them and acts as their Scoutmaster when we feel that my
fathering gets in their way. He encourages them to set goals instead of dad
nagging them to get their Eagle. It's funny how life works. I am much more
concerned about each Scout in our Troop building the heart of an Eagle instead
of earning the patch of the Eagle. But it takes everything I have to not set the
course for my sons that will get their Eagle in a timely manner. It's hard to be
the son of the Scoutmaster because most Scoutmasters eat, drink, sleep Scouting,
but teenagers have other interest in their life. They don't want every
discussion to lead to Scouting. They don't want every Saturday devoted to troop
When I read your post, I understood and felt for the dad as well as the son
because it is a hard pull for each. Ask the dad to get an ASM to work beside
him. The two adults can work together with the SPL. The other adult can help the
SM separate what is expected of a SPL from what the dad expects of a son. The
other adult can separate the fathers emotional reactions from the Scoutmaster's
duty to build a man of character and values. At first this can be an awkward
situation but I think after a couple of months both the SM and his son will feel
the freedom to be themselves. Both will grow in character and life experiences.
I might be wrong about all this, as I have said, I could write the book on the
wrong things to say to Scouts, or was it children. Last week a wise friend told
me ""remember Barry, the main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing"".
When it comes to our own kids, our emotions can blind us from the main thing.
>These are good people. I am looking for some educational, perhaps inspirational
thoughts, ideas on what >to expect and suggestions on ways they can work through
the rough spots.
I admire your concern and compassion for this family and I have the feeling you
will help them a lot. The Scouts in your Troop are blessed by your friendship
and role modeling.
I love this Scouting Stuff. Have a great Scouting week.
Scoutmaster Troop 386