I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all

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I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, sewer, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all, blogging, Costumed Beagle enthusiast. I am not always pleasant, although through intensive cupcake therapy I have learned not to throw knives at people anymore.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Deeper Questions of the Universe: To Scout or NOT to Scout

Wm at a Pinewood Derby 2 years ago
I have this dilemma.  I am not in love with the Boys Scouts.  But I have a Boy Scout.  And really, my dislike of scouting, in general, has not prevented me from supporting my scout to the best of my completely-oblivious-to-the-scouting-world ability.  But now, my son, being 11, is advancing from cub scouts to boy scouts.  I do not pretend to understand the differences between these groups, with one exception: Overnight Camping Trips.  And here is where it gets tricky.

We have a family policy.  No sleep-overs.  Period.  The one and only exception being to gram's house.  They do not get to sleep over with friends, cousins, or anyone else.  And the scouting program has these rather extensive pamphlets on protecting your son from sexual abuse which you have to go over every year.  But these same people are asking me to hand my 11 year old son over to strangers for an over-night trip into the woods.  I said no.  They said, fine, but he can't advance in scouting.  In fact, there is a camp-out this weekend, and they got him all excited about it.  And now he is sad.

Being Mormon, I am practically forced to include my son in the scouting program, and have done so almost willingly, but now they are telling him that unless he can get his mom to give-up a family policy put in place for his safety, he can no longer fully participate.  This seems wrong to me on so many levels I am practically apoplectic about it.

But then I thought about my daughter....and if I would let her go to Girl's Camp when she is 12 (which, by the way, is in NO WAY comparable to the scouting program, but that is a rant for another day...) and the answer, was "of course."  BUT, and here is the real distinction:  My daughter will go to girl's camp with all girls and all women leaders.  AND I will most likely know these women, AND I will most likely be in YW, because that's just how the universe rolls.

SO, here's the question: Am I over reacting?  Should I let William go?  I do not consider my self a helicopter parent, but I am very aware that there are predators everywhere--even among those you trust, and for me, it is easier to have a blanket policy that protects my children than to have to pick-and-choose who they go with and why they can't go with others...plus, I would probably trust the wrong person.  So I don't trust MY ability to trust.  And I am very angry at the church (and make no mistake, the boys scouts IS the church) for making me choose between a church program and what I believe is a good policy that strengthens MY family.



  1. I started to write a big response but I will just call you. Loves.

  2. I don't have any great advice, but I understand your frustration and worry. I'm already concerned about future overnight camping trips and my son is only 9. It doesn't help my worry that nearly every year a scout seems to get "lost" in the woods. IF I let him go, he will have a GPS sewn into his underwear or injected somewhere under his skin. The other issues are more serious, though...and not knowing or trusting the leaders is a very difficult situation. I say go with your gut. You're the mom, and if you don't feel good about it there's probably a very good reason. He might be disgruntled, but he'll be okay.

    1. I know, right? They either get lost, drown, or like last year 2 (on 2 separate occasions) were hit by lightening...you never hear about that crap at girl's camp!
      IF is the big question. I want him to have valuable experiences, but at what risk?

  3. We have the same overnight policy for our girls and it has been great. I think you can be assured your ward scout leaders have not been convicted of a prior child offense (I bet you feel safe now, right?). From there it gets a little less clear.
    I think I would become a tag-a-long father with a scout shirt if I had a boy because boy scouts was such a memorable part of my growing up--both good and bad experiences, but definitely helped me. I do think when it's done right (and well) it can be a great influence, but it's worth being direct and asking questions to see how the leaders view the scouting rules.