Norman Rockwell's Boy Scout painting

Information from New Scout Moms (or Dads)

Reader Robin sent in this request:

I am working on a project to help get our new moms more involved. I would like to hear from new moms or even those who have been in scouting for a while (and wish they had this information) to see what information these moms (and dads) would like to know that no one has told them and not sure how to find out.

One of our parents once said that sometimes Scouting has a pretty large learning curve. There is lingo new parents might not understand, an unfamiliar program structure, and different rules about advancement. And this seems to apply to Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Venturing.

One great resource is the book Beginning Boy Scouts - “An unofficial practical guide to Boy Scouting for parents and new leaders.” It has loads of great information for new Boy Scout parents.

So what do you which you knew when you started out in Scouting? What one piece of advice would you give to a new Scout parent?

Help Robin out with her project by leaving your suggestions in the comments below.

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4 Responses to Information from New Scout Moms (or Dads)

  1. Carol December 2, 2013 at 12:18 PM #

    1. Guide to the scouting lingo
    2. Detailed list of costs. We usually just tell new parents about joining costs (BSA fee, pack fee, uniform), but they don’t know what costs they will incur down the road. List for them the cost of rank change (new book, hat, shirt if changing to Webelos), cost of special events/trips and camp (also include method of payment available e.g. fundraising, scout accounts, etc)
    3. Detailed list of time commitment – will they be required to fill a volunteer position? drive to special event? host den events?

    I think that if we spend time educating the parents at the beginning, we will see increased retention and commitment from the parents.

  2. Jovanna December 2, 2013 at 7:41 PM #

    I didn’t know we were supposed to be keeping a scrapbook with our boy until we were almost done with Tigers. I wish someone would have told me this right away and explained the importance of it. You and your boy are supposed to work together to document his journey and show “proof” of all he has accomplished in scouting, this will be used when becoming an Eagle Scout.

  3. Denise December 2, 2013 at 8:39 PM #

    I am the Pack Trainer & at the beginning of each year, I conduct a CubScouting 101 class for parents for each Rank. For new parents, we discuss costs, break down what dues cover, uniforming, camping trips ect. For returning parents, we discuss how advancement differs from their son’s previous rank. The biggest piece of advice I give is that your scouting experience is what you make of it. It can be a father/son experience, it can be something you do on occasion as time allows or the way I prefer, a family experience where mom, dad, siblings, and even grandparents get involved. My husband and I were both leaders in the Pack, as well as my father. My daughter went on every campout her brother went on. It was a total family experience. You start out by asking parents to come to a committee meeting. Then you ask them to help out with an event, ie Christmas party, Derby etc.. Then you ask them to be in charge of something. That’s how you get them involved.

  4. Susan December 3, 2013 at 11:32 AM #

    Sadly our pack had a lot of people move up to Boy Scouts and all of the leadership moved up so its been some what disorganized so far this year. I am a 1st time Tiger den leader and am pretty much winging it. I would like to see the parents more involved. Out of about 9-10 boys in our den, only 2 parents other than myself are really involved. It’s the same 3 boys that go to all of the camping and scouting events. Needless to say we are advancing on belt loops faster than the other boys. I feel bad for the other boys. I do keep reminding parents that alot of the advancements and electives are meant to be done at home together. There is only so much I can fit into an hour with trying to keep with the requirements and mix in some fun. Thus why they need to work at home with their son. Even as the scout gets older they will still need parental involvement.

    Thank you for your website, it has been a great source of info for me.

    Susan

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