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Visiting a Scouts BSA Troop

James sent in this question:

My son has earned his Webelos badge and is working on AOL . all he has left to do for his AOL is with your Webelos den attend one boy scout troop meeting . The other boys in his den have barely got there Webelos badge req. done (they are not as into cub scouts as my son ) MY question is does he have to wait until the whole den is ready to visit a troop meeting or is that something he can do in order to get is arrow of light because who knows when they will get there Webelos badge done . seems kinda unfair to him that they are not progressing as fast as him . If he got permission from his den leader to visit a troop meeting with out the den would that be ok.

If the den leader feels the visit is fulfilling the requirement then it should be OK. But I think my approach would be to arrange a den visit for the whole den. Your son might be the only one who actually goes, but why not invite the others in his den? Who knows, maybe some of the others will want to see what goes on at a Scout meeting. It will be more fun if some of the others go, and an extra Scout meeting might be a good thing to get them moving. Ideally, the den would have multiple interactions with a troop, not just the visits to meet the requirements.

Readers, what do you think? Add your comments below.


3 responses to “Visiting a Scouts BSA Troop”

  1. Scoutmom2 Avatar

    Ask the Den Leader to set up Troop meeting visits with area Boy Scouts. If the Den Leader is not interested or wants to wait, then you can contact local troops and set up visits. Once your child has received his Arrow of Light and meets all requirements for Boy Scouts, he can join a troop at that time. It has been done.
    My son is a Super 20 Achiever and is very into Scouting. Almost lost him as some parents did not want him to get his badges for things he finished and wanted him to wait for other boys to earn them. Not my son’s fault if you do not bring your child to meetings or to the activities to earn them. So they held onto some of the badges until right before he bridged. Although he earned the Arrow of Light in November, it was not awarded to him until late March. It felt like it was being held hostage so he could not go ahead and join the Boy Scouts. My son went to every Boy Scout outing that he could find to keep interested.
    If this is what he is experiencing, then set up troop visit, have the Scout Master for the troop sign off in his book that your son was present at the meeting. Take it to your Den Leader and ask for him to submit Arrow of Light requirement met, have DL sign off in son’s book that all requirements have been completed. If your son meets the requirements for Boy Scouts – then join a troop. Your son should not be held back due to other’s disinterest in Scouting.

  2. Scoutmaster Shawn Avatar
    Scoutmaster Shawn

    There is no reason that you have to wait for the rest of the den…if you and your son want to do 18 visits, then so be it.

    On another note, as the den leader, you are *not* obligated to set up any meetings for your den. If you set up a visit, put out the blanket invite for all the Scouts in your den to attend. If they show up, they show up.

    If they don’t make it, then some time down the road decide they want to attend a Boy Scout Troop meeting, I would say your duty ends at providing the Scout and his family, the contact information for the Troop, and nothing more.

    Any unit that “holds” advancement is in the wrong. All BSA literature talks about Immediate Recognition. If the work is done, it’s done, and it’s not anyone else’s place to question when a Scout says the work is done. A Scout is Trustworthy.

    My troop offers many chances for visits and activities. Actually, I encourage Webelos to visit us whenever they want. We do have a couple Webelos-specific opportunities, but for the most part, we want them to see how we operate from a day-to-day perspective. No canned presentations for us.

  3. Heather Avatar

    We had a den leader that held onto the AoL award until everyone else was done too. It wasn’t fair to my son either. But in order for him to get that award, he had to wait until the Blue and Gold Banquet before he could join the Troop. We also had to keep attending den meetings, even though he had earned all 20 activity badges too, or he would not be considered “active”. I too felt like he was being punished. He was upset because that meant he could not start working on the computers merit badge before the December 31 deadline. But we did not have a choice. To keep his interest going, we checked out quite a few Troops and went on a few camp outs. We went to a few Troop meetings of the Troop he wanted to join, so all the boys knew him before he officially joined the Troop. He is much happier now and has earned his Scout rank and is egging on the rest of his patrol to earn theirs (he crossed over at the end of February this year.). He is quite the motivator.

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