Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: AOL and homeschooled boys
AOL and homeschooled boys
Mon, 1 Feb 1999 10:24:01 -0700
I read DAvid's dilemma about the 9 year old who wants to go to Boy Scouts,
and is physically ready but not intellectually or emotionally ready. I
have a similar situation.
I have a 10 year old who joined the WEbelos den this year with his 11 year
old friend who joined this year. Both are homeschooled. I explained to
the 11 year old's mom that he was old enough for Boy Scouts when he joined
the Pack but he wanted to be in my son's den as he knew him. So friend
joins a couple weeks later.
I wasn't concerned about 11 year old because he really wouln't have to
hustle to meet any requirements. 10 year old, however, WILL have to earn
AOL. As soon as I realized the problem, I let parents know. 10 year old
has been working hard on his own as part of his homeschool program and Mom
has been signing him off primarily with me reviewing his work
periodically. I have taken the apporach that WDL's and parents are equal
partners in the signing off, but parents are aware that we are
"transitioning" to leader sign-off only. 10 year old had also told me his
family would be moving over Winter Break. We were tentatively scheduled
for the AOL ceremony at the Blue and Gold Banquet with the OA. BTW, this
was advertised to parents in the fall so that they could help their sons
complete any remaining requirements for AOL that we didn't cover or they
missed. . My intent here is that EVERYONE has a chance to earn Cub
Scout's highest honor, but it can't be only sweat and blood on MY or my
husband's part to "get it for the guys".
Well, 10 year old's family DIDN'T move, so I am left with a boy who has
not yet earned his Webelo's Badge (Fitness not complete), therefore he
cannot earn his AOL. I could not see holding back the other boys who have
worked to complete their work. So as soon as I saw the problem, I
NOTIFIED THE PARENTS. Dad (divorce family) would like him to go now. Mom
understands the rules. THis young man is mature, physically big and has
spent more time in the outdoors than the other boys put together, so he is
really ready. He also does not read or write particularly well, but then,
neither do most of the other boys.
TALK TO THE SCOUTMASTER. He/she may make the decision for you. 9 is
really too young, IMHO. I had already told the family, in my case, to
reregister the young man in the Pack. And he got his Pinewood derby car
to build (this boy has never run a Derby!). I was going to transfer his
for the 6 weeks or so until he was old enough or had earned his AOL to the
WEbelos I den. They will be working on the same requirements he needs.
(The young man is short on tenure in the den).
The SM, however, when appraised of the situation, was suitably impressed
with the boys maturity and skills at the last Troop activity (good reason
to get those WEbelos out to Scout meetings and activities) to allow that
he could attend Boy Scout meetings with his old den until his tenure is
met. The Pack will cross him over and award whatever he has earned at
that time in his own special ceremony (though not likely with the OA). He
will have the advantage of running a Pinewood Derby also, which to me is
an experience in Cubs not to be missed.
So to summarize
1) Communicate with the parents.
2) Talk to the Scoutmaster.
3) Review and make sure the requirements are met, as the WDL really has
the say. Don't hold the boy up because you aren't happy with parents, but
make sure that you do what is best with the boy.
I think it highly unlikely that a good SM will accept this boy because of
his young age.
Jan Mussler, Webelos Den Leader, Pack 170
Nederland, CO - Long's Peak Council