What do you think about cub scouts? see #53 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 80 Old 09-09-2008, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son really wants to join and everything looks alright, any problems with the general concept/organization? I know there's always a person here or there that can ruin the fun, I'm more interested in the whole program. Thanks!

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#2 of 80 Old 09-09-2008, 02:45 PM
 
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My brother did cub scouts all the way through to become an Eagle Scout. I wholeheartedly think that scouting help make him a responsible, thoughtful, and selfless person. He's really a terrific guy.

My husband also did scouting through the Life Scout (one step below Eagle), and he considers scouting to be his most cherished childhood memories. He did a lot of really neat things (especially outdoors) and was exposed to a lot more than he would have been otherwise.

I hope that helps!

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#3 of 80 Old 09-09-2008, 02:47 PM
 
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Are they related to boy scouts?

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#4 of 80 Old 09-09-2008, 02:48 PM
 
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Both of my brothers and my husband were boy scouts (2 became Eagle Scouts) and I know they all had good experiences. Some people have reservations about the scouting organization in general because it has shown some anti-gay tendencies. You might want to research that a bit, but I doubt it would come into play at the cub scout level.

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#5 of 80 Old 09-09-2008, 02:55 PM
 
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I grew up in the boy scouts.

I do not like the boy scouts of america.

Among many more abstract problems I have with them; They have policies which target (and exclude) homosexuals, athiests, and agnostics. These policies have been taken up to the supreme court and upheld due to the fact that it is a private organization.

Quote:
"The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God."

"Boy Scouts of America believes that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the obligations in the Scout Oath and Scout Law to be morally straight and clean in thought, word, and deed. The conduct of youth members must be in compliance with the Scout Oath and Law, and membership in Boy Scouts of America is contingent upon the willingness to accept Scouting’s values and beliefs."
I have a big problem with these statements, so neither me nor my kids will be supporting an organization which deliberatly and consistantly discriminates against people on the basis of religion or sexual orientation.
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#6 of 80 Old 09-09-2008, 02:58 PM
 
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Around here, cub scouts and brownies are pretty churchy so for my family, it wouldn't work. Something to consider if you're not religious (or of another religion).
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#7 of 80 Old 09-09-2008, 03:06 PM
 
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Cub scouts are baby boy scouts. I'm sure that the overall program is fun and does some good things for the included members. I'm not discounting that at all. My problem is that there are boys and men that they will not allow to join / lead.

They do have a particular stance on gays and athiests -- they exclude both from leadership and require boys to believe in God (or at least say they do). While I doubt your child would hear about these stances, especially in Cub Scouts, I think you need to be sure you are comfortable with what the entire organization stands for. I, and my family, are not. My husband was an Eagle scout, plus a leader for years. He says he can no longer support the organization and is not willing to send them money, including dues and fees.

They are a private organizatoin and can believe and advance whatever they like. But I don't have to support them and we don't, even though DS would enjoy being a cub scout. Instead we do Adventure Guides through the Y which doesn't have the same exclusionary stances in place.
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#8 of 80 Old 09-09-2008, 03:15 PM
 
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My husband grew up in the boy scouts and says the extent to which the official line is toed varies greatly among individual troops. You might want to see what kind of vibe you get from your local group and go from there.

I don't know dues is split between local and national levels, but too much direct support of BSA national would be a no-go for me now matter how inclusive the local troop was.
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#9 of 80 Old 09-09-2008, 03:34 PM
 
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my son has been in cub scouts and is now a boy scout. he is a much better kid than he was. he loves the weeklong camp in the summer.

no on ehas ever said anything about religion or sexual oreintation to him. they say god in their oath or whatever but DS says that you can mean anything by god. a higher power, nature force, etc. he says it is a name that all religions give their higher being/consciousness. he actually read about this when he was studying Buddhism. his troop used to meet at the church but now it meets at the fire station. he likes helping. he says the uniforms make him feel special.
i understand why some people dont like BS or CS, for us it has been beneficial.
forgot to add.. with us being lower income, he received his first uniform free and was given a scholarship so we didnt pay dues for 4 years.

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#10 of 80 Old 09-09-2008, 03:34 PM
 
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You might want to see what kind of vibe you get from your local group and go from there.
That's good advice.
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#11 of 80 Old 09-09-2008, 04:19 PM
 
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I love Cub Scouts! Both my brother's were Cub & then Boy Scouts. They loved it. They made a lot of great friends through it, did a lot of fun activities, it was really great for them. I hope my son develops an interest in joining.

I'm a pretty religious person, but I don't really recall them pushing the religion factor much. But then again, my mom was den mother for my brother's troop and she was an atheist, so that may have been why in my brother's troop. But I went to some of the family events and don't really recall there being a huge focus on religion.

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#12 of 80 Old 09-09-2008, 04:54 PM
 
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i have a problem with them because they don't allow gay people in, they won't allow gay leaders, they are para-military, they have cultural imperlist tendancies (sometimes out right racist) toward native americans, they want you to believe in god, they are very into people follow rules, they are a homosocial (ie only boys allowed) group.

dp was/is an eagle scout. He wants to be able to send his "eagle scout" card thing back and say that he doesn't want to be an eagle scout for all the reason above, except he can't find it to send it back.
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#13 of 80 Old 09-09-2008, 05:29 PM
 
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they are para-military
This is our biggest reason for planning to keep our DS out.
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#14 of 80 Old 09-09-2008, 05:59 PM
 
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My son wanted to join cub scouts this year so badly, and I did go and sign him up. Lol, that's exactly what my husband told me too... "you do realize you just signed him up in a paramilitary organization, right?"
FTR, DH was a scout, and is military. But he wanted me to be aware of how the scouts function. Sign ups were recent, and we haven't heard anything from them yet so I have no real experience to share other than in cub scouts, parents are very much involved and so you would have a chance to see for yourself if it's something you want your child involved in. That's my plan, anyway.
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#15 of 80 Old 09-09-2008, 06:30 PM
 
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For many of the reasons listed above (and the fact that the BSA has a long standing issue with the UUA), we will not sign our kids up for cub or boy scouts, despite them being very popular and well funded in our area. DH was a scout and has many fond memories of scouting. But we ethically cannot have our children involved with the organization which both discriminates based on sexual orientation AND would require our children to state a religious belief that we as a family do not believe.

I am going to my first parent meeting for the Earth Scouts on Thursday, an alternative for boy and girl scouts.

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#16 of 80 Old 09-09-2008, 06:31 PM
 
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Very sadly I have to inform you that the Scouts have become a homophobic organization. The values they teach are intolerance of gays. They were not always like that (sexulity used to be your own business).

My brother was an Eagle Scout and he is gay, he is a great man and scouting contributed to it.
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#17 of 80 Old 09-09-2008, 07:08 PM
 
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Since they discriminate based on religion and sexual orientation, we will not be participating.
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#18 of 80 Old 09-09-2008, 08:47 PM
 
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My husband grew up in the boy scouts and says the extent to which the official line is toed varies greatly among individual troops. You might want to see what kind of vibe you get from your local group and go from there.
I was going to say the same thing. A few weeks ago I asked my cousin what he thought about the issue. My cousin is an eagle scout and is also gay. He talked to me quite a bit about the infamous court case and got into specifics that I don't feel comfortable recounting for fear of misstating something. However, the gist of what he told me was that boy scouting was a wonderful experience for him, and he'd highly recommend that I look into the organization for my boys. In the areas that my cousin in familiar with, they practice a sort of 'don't ask, don't tell' policy in regards to homosexuality.

Now I'm not defending the boy scouts, and I still have reservations about the organization. But the fact that my (gay) cousin wholeheartedly endorses the boy scouts does say something to me.

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#19 of 80 Old 09-09-2008, 09:21 PM
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as an athiest i would NOt let my son join thank you all for pointing this stuff out about gay reservations and all i would have never known
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#20 of 80 Old 09-09-2008, 09:21 PM
 
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i have a problem with them because they don't allow gay people in, they won't allow gay leaders, they are para-military, they have cultural imperlist tendancies (sometimes out right racist) toward native americans, they want you to believe in god, they are very into people follow rules, they are a homosocial (ie only boys allowed) group.

dp was/is an eagle scout. He wants to be able to send his "eagle scout" card thing back and say that he doesn't want to be an eagle scout for all the reason above, except he can't find it to send it back.
yeah, i pretty much think boy scouts is a creepy organization. if you look into the history, i believe you'll see that scouting emerged around the turn of the 20th century as a means of creating "healthy" citizens. really, it was part of a larger cultural project of eugenics, and a lot of the exclusionary policies it has to this day reflect that.

i personally would not want my child to do scouting, but if they were really interested, i'd probably let them decide for themselves.

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#21 of 80 Old 09-10-2008, 12:39 AM
 
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i have a problem with them because they don't allow gay people in, they won't allow gay leaders, they are para-military, they have cultural imperlist tendancies (sometimes out right racist) toward native americans, they want you to believe in god, they are very into people follow rules, they are a homosocial (ie only boys allowed) group.

dp was/is an eagle scout. He wants to be able to send his "eagle scout" card thing back and say that he doesn't want to be an eagle scout for all the reason above, except he can't find it to send it back.
These are my problems with BSA as well. As for the only boys (I don't have a problem with that), once you reach the age of 14, there is a branch of BSA called Explorer Scouts that allows girls. My Dh was a scout his whole life and an Eagle Scout. I do have a lot of respect for how his scouting experience made him a better person. Our boys will be in BSA because of my husband's history with them, but he knows my problems with the organization and their thoughts on homosexuality.

I was also a Girl Scout my whole life and then an adult Girl Scout (who incidentally grew up in an area without a GSUSA camp, and the local BSA camp allowed my troop [ages 15+] to attend ever summer even though we were girls). Girl Scouts and Girl Guides are not homophobic. In fact, this organization has done a lot to try to combat the atmosphere that BSA has promoted about scouting in general, going as far to create a line of rainbow GSUSA merchandise that read: "Girl Scouts celebrate diversity!" : GSUSA allows gay members and leaders as well as male adult Girl Scouts. Because of this, I certainly have no problems with the Girl Scouts.
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#22 of 80 Old 09-10-2008, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! Well, my son is sooo excited because they took _all_ the first grade boys to an in school assembly, not noted to the parents first! and he is already having shyness and social problems so now I feel stuck. I am so not into anything that is even don't ask don't tell about being gay. That really bothers me. And while I have no issues with a higher power and the pursuit of understanding and harmony with a person's idea of what that means, but organized religion is something I am not comfortable with. On the other hand, it is about the only group thing available in our area unless we do 4H and add lots of animals to our already large and varied menagerie, and I have no idea how much 'group' ness there is involved. I checked out the cubscouts table at the school open house and the moms I met were pretty cool, but I don't feel comfortable with the organization as a whole, how do I back pedal with my sweet little sensitive boy? The Earth scouts sound great, and I'd be willing to start a chapter if I had the mental tolerance - I'm mentally disabled and can't even keep a job, and we live so rurally and in one of the most Religious Rightwing areas of the country - a little over an hour from Grand Rapids, MI. Sigh.

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#23 of 80 Old 09-10-2008, 09:20 AM
 
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Wow! Well, my son is sooo excited because they took _all_ the first grade boys to an in school assembly, not noted to the parents first!
This is one of the things that annoy me. Boy Scouts are allowed in schools as if they're school-sanctioned, yet they don't have to follow federal regulations because they're hiding behind the "private organization" banner. If it were me (and I'm sure it will be in a few years), I would just explain to my son that they believe in things we don't and that we're not going to permit him to be part of them. There are other things I wouldn't let my children do - go to Vacation Bible School at a Baptist church, for instance - and this is just one on the list.

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And while I have no issues with a higher power and the pursuit of understanding and harmony with a person's idea of what that means, but organized religion is something I am not comfortable with.
I would have no problem with this. In fact, I would encourage it. They don't really seem to do that, though. If you exclude atheists, then you're not exploring what the pursuit of higher power means for everyone. Plus they don't recognize the Unitarians, so they're no go for me on that, too.

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it is about the only group thing available in our area unless we do 4H and add lots of animals to our already large and varied menagerie, and I have no idea how much 'group' ness there is involved.
I was in 4-H and didn't raise animals. I went to consumer judging, extemporaneous speaking (I can't remember their name for it now). I learned a lot from 4-H, and it's something I would encourage my children to do. You definitely can be involved and get a sense of group spirit, especially in terms of rooting for the people from your group even if you share diverse interests.

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#24 of 80 Old 09-10-2008, 09:27 AM
 
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My son can't be involved in an anti-gay organization. We will try FFA or 4H when he is older.
We camp on our own.
In FFA, you don't have to keep the animal at your house.
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#25 of 80 Old 09-10-2008, 09:30 AM
 
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Wow! Well, my son is sooo excited because they took _all_ the first grade boys to an in school assembly, not noted to the parents first! and he is already having shyness and social problems so now I feel stuck. I am so not into anything that is even don't ask don't tell about being gay. That really bothers me. And while I have no issues with a higher power and the pursuit of understanding and harmony with a person's idea of what that means, but organized religion is something I am not comfortable with. On the other hand, it is about the only group thing available in our area unless we do 4H and add lots of animals to our already large and varied menagerie, and I have no idea how much 'group' ness there is involved. I checked out the cubscouts table at the school open house and the moms I met were pretty cool, but I don't feel comfortable with the organization as a whole, how do I back pedal with my sweet little sensitive boy? The Earth scouts sound great, and I'd be willing to start a chapter if I had the mental tolerance - I'm mentally disabled and can't even keep a job, and we live so rurally and in one of the most Religious Rightwing areas of the country - a little over an hour from Grand Rapids, MI. Sigh.
Heather, 4H isn't all about animals. They do a lot of other things, too, so you don't have to keep animals. You might want to check it out. I know GR also has Campfire Girls and Boys, so there might be chapters out your way. It's worth looking into. When ds1 gets a bit older, we're going to look into either Campfire or 4H. Dh was a boy scout, but for the reasons mentioned by pps, we're not going that route with our boys.

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#26 of 80 Old 09-10-2008, 09:51 AM
 
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Heather, 4H isn't all about animals. They do a lot of other things, too, so you don't have to keep animals. You might want to check it out.
This is exactly what I was going to say. I did 4H for a year or two after I dropped out of Girl Scouts (the leader was mean), and I never had an animal other than the family dog (who was not involved in my 4H projects). I remember enjoying 4H.

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#27 of 80 Old 09-10-2008, 09:55 AM
 
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Does anyone know if there are any of the same issues with Girl Guides/Boy Scouts in Canada? I'm pretty sure I remember the word God being in the little paragraph you say, but what about the homophobia/atheist exclusion part?

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#28 of 80 Old 09-10-2008, 10:36 AM
 
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Does anyone know if there are any of the same issues with Girl Guides/Boy Scouts in Canada? I'm pretty sure I remember the word God being in the little paragraph you say, but what about the homophobia/atheist exclusion part?
I'm wondering about this as well. I was involved in Guiding in Canada, and my dad and brother were both very involved in the Scouting movement. The politics of the organization weren't something I saw though, not at the community level. The stuff that the kids internalized from their involvement were things like the importance of helping your community, respecting and caring for yourself, self-sufficiency, helping others, teamwork, independent learning and mastery of skills, etc. At the community level I only saw positives.

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#29 of 80 Old 09-10-2008, 10:43 AM
 
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Does anyone know if there are any of the same issues with Girl Guides/Boy Scouts in Canada? I'm pretty sure I remember the word God being in the little paragraph you say, but what about the homophobia/atheist exclusion part?
Well I know the Girl Scouts of the USA have much better religious guidelines in my opinion (Girl Guides and Girl scouts of the usa are both part of the same Association WAGGGS)

Their religious policy in the USA is that you must pledge to god OR your religion, they changed this to allow for people who are not monothiests (in other words you are not required to mention the word "god" in your pledge like in the BSA)

The Girl scouts of the USA has much gentler verbage in their policy about sexual orientation. It would be nice if they put in a simple "we do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation", but I "No policy" is at least better than the BSA.
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Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. respects the values and beliefs of each of its members and does not intrude into personal matters. Therefore, there are no membership policies on sexual preference.
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#30 of 80 Old 09-10-2008, 10:51 AM
 
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For many of the reasons listed above (and the fact that the BSA has a long standing issue with the UUA), we will not sign our kids up for cub or boy scouts, despite them being very popular and well funded in our area. DH was a scout and has many fond memories of scouting. But we ethically cannot have our children involved with the organization which both discriminates based on sexual orientation AND would require our children to state a religious belief that we as a family do not believe.

I am going to my first parent meeting for the Earth Scouts on Thursday, an alternative for boy and girl scouts.
Thanks for the link. There isn't a group in my state yet, but maybe there will be some interest. I always wanted to do girl scouts. I remember my mom took me to one meeting, and then we never went back. Of course Girls Scouts and Boy Scouts are two separate things.
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