A question from a Facebook fan:
My son just bridged over into Boy Scouts from Webelos. I feel he is losing interest, he keeps saying he doesn’t want to go to the meetings or camp. My son and I have been active in cub scouts since he was a tiger. How should I help get him and keep him motivated?
There’s usually an adjustment period for any big change like this. When boys go from the Pack to the Troop they may not like the change, just like when they go from elementary school to middle school; it may not be what they expected.
From my point of view parents often give up on Scouting too soon when they meet a little resistance from their sons. A boy’s attitudes, likes and dislikes change very quickly at this age (sometimes from hour to hour!). To temper this volatility I suggest that you set a time period or other goal (six months, six camping trips, twelve Scout meetings) that are non-negotiable – that you require him to attend. Observe and ask questions during that time see if there are issues about the other Scouts, the program of that particular troop, or other things beyond his control that are making him reluctant to continue.
Nobody wants to force their kids to do anything; especially something that other children do as a voluntary activity. Most children go through periods where they are reluctant to go to school or church or participate in family activities. Sometimes it is our role to help them overcome periods of social, emotional or developmental uncertainty with some enforced consistency. I don’t know too many boys who were in my troop for five or six years that didn’t have to overcome some kind of obstacle. Sometimes the way they overcame it was because they were required to by their parents. Some of these Scouts went on to become Eagle Scouts and, almost without exception, when they received their Eagle they thanked their parents for helping them stay on course when they were reluctant to keep going.