Cub Scouts....

... lately I have become averse to joining things.. clubs and the like... I've provided a few of my relatives with documentation to join clubs, though... SAR, DAR... but I haven't taken the plunge yet... joining a "society" just seems suspect... I never know when I will be pooh-poohed for some insidious infraction that I never even knew I was committing....

... why so pessimistic?... here is an example... once upon a time, I was an assistant cub scout leader in Alaska... I assisted the "leader" in our activities... fishing, hiking, trips to the rifle range, teaching little cub scout classes.. you get the picture.. we'd planned a two-day camping trip for our 9 intrepid cubs, but the "leader" was called away for an emergency and I stepped up to the plate... me, 19 years old, took on the awesome responsibility of ensuring our nine 10 year olds camped, had fun, and arrived back to their parents safe and sound... the "leader" had the whole thing planned out... but when he handed me the permission slips, the map, and the activity guide, it all seemed boring... so I took the initiative...

... I did a good job... no, really... the kids loved it... instead of heading to the lake (at sea level) to camp, I took them to a ravine near the summit of Mt. Adagdak (2500 feet above sea level)... up there, we dug snow holes and stayed for two days... no tents... just sleeping bags and thermarests... it was a blast.. lots of stories were told.. lots of great grub was cooked... the boys had a whale of a time... the children of Sailors, they were...

... when I brought the kiddies back downtown to be retrieved by their parents, everything was groovy... the kids were absolutely beaming with pride over their accomplishments... two days later, the "leader" started getting phone calls from pissed off parents.. see, little Johnny and little Joey had begun to articulate the tales of their trip... digging into the snow with an entrenching tool... tunneling in, and carving out a seat... lighting a candle to help freeze the snow on the roof for better stability.... setting up a propane stove to cook on.. and then going over their cub scout manuals and practicing for their first aid badges... real survival stuff... well, the parents freaked.... how could I have "endangered" their little treasures on such a weekend get-away?... 10 year old kids evidently didn't need to know any survival skills... even though they were totally safe the whole time and had the experience of a lifetime, I was told by the "leader" that I could no longer take the children out on fieldtrips...

.. that's right... I was "fired"... I was fired from being assistant cub scout leader... why?.. because I taught 9 ten year old boys self-reliance?.. because I strayed from the game plan that the "leader" had jotted down?... why?... I still don't know... take it any way you want it, but I've been wary of joining clubs ever since...

by Eric on June 14, 2005 | Bullshit (17) | SWG Stories
Bullshit So Far

You did the right thing, regardless of the over reaction by some of those parents. They should have been grateful for what you taught their children.

God forbid one of their little ones went missing, without proper training and survival skills.

Too many children disappear and die of exposure because they have no clue how to take care of themselves. If some had skills, perhaps they might be alive today.

Bullshitted by Donna on June 14, 2005 11:00 AM

I am surprised you got any calls from "Alaskan scout parents". Now if you would have said Californias scouts, yeah I might have expected that...Alaska?

Bullshitted by ArmyWifeToddlerMom on June 14, 2005 12:11 PM

.. all of the kids were the children of sailors.. there was no native population there..

Bullshitted by Eric on June 14, 2005 12:22 PM

Well honey that kind of thing is exactly why I don't like my daughter having spend the night guests too much...too many parents that freak over the smallest thing...I let Ailey put up her tent a few weekends ago..the girls slept out in the backyard..I was cool with of the mom's was not..too late though..the damage had been done! Oh well....

Bullshitted by Sandy on June 14, 2005 01:30 PM

Some people are club joiners others are not. If you haven't really been into the club mode in all this time... you likely will have a difficult time fitting yourself in now. Regardless of the reason for the club - there is ALWAYS lots of politics and backstabbing etc. And - if it's a club that does "good works" then it usually turns out only a couple of people do all the work - the rest always have excuses why they can't.

As for the trip with the Boy Scouts... the only thing I can see that might have caused some concern by parents is the fact that they were told the kids were going to one place and instead they went somewhere different. I could see a few people getting bent about that... only because most parents like to know approximately where on the globe their kids are currently located. ;-) But as a parent, after the fact, the most I would've requested... please inform me of an itinerary change so I know about where you are. Since everyone arrived back safe and sound - there wasn't a reason to get angry!

Luckily my son was never interested in Boy Scouts so I didn't have to get involved in a group activity of that sort. *grin*

Bullshitted by Teresa on June 14, 2005 02:02 PM

Maybe it was the flask you passed around that pissed them off the most.........

Bullshitted by Maeve on June 14, 2005 03:33 PM

I had no idea you spent time in Alaska... yet one more cool-point for you!
About working with the cub scouts though: Thanks. I'm sure a few of them look back on that trip and still appreciate the time regardless of what their parents think. I know some of my best trips were where we went off the schedule and worked our own thing; though normally that caused worry with the scout master.

Bullshitted by Telebush on June 14, 2005 05:03 PM

ROFLMAO! I'm sorry, Eric, but this is frickin' hysterical. Maybe because I have a 10 year old and I know how much fun he thought it would be to do that. No, I would not have freaked. At 19, you were a damn Marine already, right? Sheesh.

Anyway, I promise you won't get kicked out of the SAR. ;-) Unless, of course, you stand up and proclaim yourself as a Nazi or Communist who hates America and all it stands for... and even then... they won't kick you out. You just won't ever be told where they meet... Heh. BTW, you will find many of them to be former military etc. The Patriotic sorts tend to have served.

Bullshitted by Bou on June 14, 2005 05:57 PM

Hell, those kids have never been safer than in the watch of a Marine. Stupid parents!

Bullshitted by Sissy on June 15, 2005 12:02 AM

Just another example of the pussification of America. The mamas hyperventilated and developed the vapors because something COULD have happened to Little Johnny on that trip. It was too "risky" for a 10 year-old.

I'll bet the boys had the time of their lives and never forgot that experience.

Bullshitted by acidman on June 15, 2005 02:00 AM

I volunteer with both Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. How it is today as compared to when I was a kid in scouting is different. Unfortunately litigation happy America has killed a lot of the High-Adventure style camps. I did a cub scout event a couple of years ago with my sons pack. I taught the boys knife safety and started doing wood carving. I had to stop because the parents were upset their children where handling knives. Another time I tried talking them into doing a camping trip, they wouldn't because they were afraid of being sued.

Bullshitted by Contagion on June 15, 2005 08:50 AM

Ok, I'm going to take a different tack here.

Those parents had every right to be fucking livid.

Not because of the situation, but because when they signed that permission slip it was for camping by that lake, not in a ravine dug into the snow 2500 feet up. Deviating that far from what the parents were told their kids were doing without informing them was a mistake. People can talk about how pussyish the parents were being, but you violated their trust, a contract between the scouts and the parents, and took their children into a situation without their consent.

Hell, if you asked me if my son could do such a trek not only would I say yes, I'd want to come along. But if I gave permission for my kid to be camping at a lake and you decided to take my kid up a mountain without my consent, I would be pretty goddamn pissed off.

Bullshitted by Graumagus on June 15, 2005 09:31 PM

Hell, that's why I went and had a buncha my own (6).

That way, when we go camping, we have plenty of people to make it fun and none of the bitchin'.

I'm not a big fan of clubs either.

Bullshitted by Kelly Drennan on June 16, 2005 03:13 PM

I appreciate Graumagus honesty but I disagree. As a parent of three I would have been happy to have someone teach them survival skills, even if it wasn't on the agenda.

Bullshitted by Donna on June 18, 2005 12:33 PM

OH MY GOD !! You people are idiots. What if something DID happen? Rescuers would have no idea where you were. Where were the other leaders? What happened to the 2 deep leadership policy? What happened to the 1 adult for every 2 scouts policy? Policies are there for protection. If something DID happen, the Insurance that BSA has would not pay because they varied from what was approved. Any properly trained and responsible LEADER would know exactly why the parents were pissed. Maybe you should try growing-up before your decisions gets someone's child KILLED!!

Bullshitted by Cubmaster on September 28, 2005 03:01 PM

.. I filed a hike plan, Cubmaster.... and I can assure you that at no time were the kids unsupervised or in any danger..

.. thanks for dropping by...

Bullshitted by Eric on September 28, 2005 03:09 PM

You continue miss the fact that you did almost everything wrong with your trip.
1) You first explained that the Leader had completed the plan and that you changed that once you were on the trip - there is no way to file a revised plan once you are on a trip like that. It is irrelevant that the kids had fun on YOUR trip.
2) BSA requires a minimum ratio of 1 Adult for every 2 Scouts. That was obviously broken.
3) Was your snow fort big enough to hold everyone? If not, then yes, there were times that some Scouts were unsupervised. Did you go with the Scouts when they needed to use the facilities? Then the others were unsupervised at that time.
4) Youth Protection rules discuss the policy of "Two Deep Leadership" This is to protect you as well as the Scouts.
5) Your trip DOES sound like it would have been a BLAST. It just needed to be announced to the parents, gaurdians, and those responsible for the group.

You shouldn't be bitter at the Scouts, Parents, Leaders, or Cub Scouts for this incident. YOU were the Leader and YOU need to assume the responsibility for this.

Bullshitted by Cubmaster on October 3, 2005 06:10 AM