Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My dilemma

I am seriously conflicted. Last night Peter and I had to split up because we were attending the pack meetings of 2 different Cub Scout troops. We are involved with our ward troop and also a troop affiliated with our school. Steven has been a member of the school Cub Scout group since 1st grade. Last night because the school troop operates on a different time table than the church troop, Steven bridged to Boy Scouts. He was excited. 
Steven has been with this group of 4-5 boys for several years. They are a GREAT group of kids and parents; they're very involved and absolutely committed to making this experience a good one for the kids. They have done some amazing activities as well. They camped overnight on a big aircraft carrier. They have gone up in an airplane and on a train ride and they have family camping twice a year. It's been fun and the kids have looked forward to going. 
I have been so committed to keeping Steven enjoying Scouts that since he was baptized and was able to participate in the scouting program, we have gone to 2 boy scout troops. The church troop I wanted him to go to because I want him to develop the friendships with the other boys from ward. In our ward, we are the only family in our ward that attends our school. It can be a little lonely for the kids sometimes. 
To complicate matter, Peter has been called in our ward to help out with the Bear den. So, last night he went with Jonathon to go to the pack meeting at our ward with Jonathon. Jon has been more involved with the church scout troop than the school troop. 
The problem here is that the program through the church isn't as fun. Besides the den meetings and pack meetings, there are no activities, except one where they went on a hike but that was just for the webelos. Our ward is trying a lot to turn it around. 
With all that background, I come to my problem. The Boy Scout troop Steven bridged into is AMAZING. They are with it, have den meetings packed with activities and progression through the ranks all in preparation for the boys to attend Boy Scout summer camp. My friends son has been involved and she has raved about it. The leaders are there because they are committed to Scouts and truly care. The current leader doesn't have sons in scouting anymore; they are Eagle scouts already. He just wants to give back to the community.
With our church program. We have some people involved that really care now. We have a pretty small group of boys. And I feel conflicted because I feel like I'm being a traitor. Maybe I should get involved with our ward scouts and make it better for everyone? I have a little time. I care about my son. I want him to have a good scouting experience to help motivate him to get his Eagle scout. 
We just have come to the time where we cannot do 2 troops anymore. Bekkah has her activities. Ethan takes his meds to help him sleep at 6:30 and is out by 7 pm. He needs his sleep. Last night was a nightmare at the bridging because Ethan had had his meds and I was up at the front with Steven doing the bridging ceremony and I had to leave 4 times to help Ethan calm down. The baby was also tired. He wanted to go to bed. Peter has a tremendous amount of prep work at night for his classes during the day.
I just don't know what to do. I want him to continue going through scouts with his buddies. I know that if he does so he will have a good experiences. It will be fun and enriched with wonderful activities. 
I also want him to do the church one. I feel like if he doesn't he will miss out on those friendships. He's not very good friends with some of the boys from the ward. I don't want him to feel like an outsider. 
So ... there lies my problem. Do any of you have any suggestions, insightful advice, words of wisdom? I would appreciate any input you might have as I try to make this decision. Thanks ahead of time.


Claudia said...

I understand your quandry. My first impulse is to say stay with the ward where you can expect that the people working with the scouting program have the same values and beliefs that you have. I've known some good people outside the church that worked with scouting programs and were a positive influence through and through for the youth they worked with. I've know others who were very involved with scouting and seemed like worthy people - but after time found that they had problems with profanity, smoking, sexual indiscretions, etc.

My second impulse after thinking about it for a while is that you should pray about it and then follow the inspiration. As a parent you are entitled to and obligated to receive inspiration for your family. God knows the answers, but I sometimes get so busy with my finite mind trying to decide independently that I forget taking it to Him for validation before putting my conclusions into action.

Stephanie G from RC said...

You mentioned that you want the boys to have a good scouting experience. As parents we all want the best for our children. I believe your dilemma is with your desires vs. your child's. If both scouting troops operate under the same by-laws, but one is more enjoyable then the other, then allow your children to decide which troop they prefer. I myself prefer to have my children involved in church affiliated activities, but sometimes other community programs are more superior.

Remember your children are building life experiences for themselves that will build the character of the men and women that will have a positive impact on this world someday. We can control this path to a certain degree, but we must allow them to find themselves on their own personal journey, of which we have limited influence. That's when God holds their hand to keep them on path and honor our best desires for our children.