1St Boy Scout Mtg Not Sure What to Think

Updated on November 07, 2013
M.E. asks from Bronx, NY
17 answers

So my sons and i went to our 1st boy scouts meeting last night and there was a group of boys sitting together and they were talking off and on while the meeting was going on. They guy who was giving the meeting tells the boys that they need to be quiet and then said they were acting like idiots. my son turns to me and says mom he said a bad word. im thinking what does he say when the mic is off?

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answers from New York on

Knowing boys, they probably were acting like idiots and they were called out on it. He did not call them idiots personally. Would not have bothered me.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

NEXT - yeah, if the den leader is already calling the kids idiots, I wouldn't wait around to see what else happens.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Wausau on

He didn't call the kids a name, he described their behavior. Perhaps not the best choice in phrasing, but I think you should pull your claws in and sit back for now.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Saying someone is acting like an idiot is not the same as calling someone an idiot. Same as saying someone made a stupid choice versus calling them a stupid person.
Addressing the behavior is not the same as attacking a person.
Do you not see the difference?
This wouldn't bother me at all. Maybe they WERE acting like idiots!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

It would help to know if this was a den meeting or a pack meeting and whether this is really boy scouts or actually cub scouts. (I realize you said boy scouts, but I've noticed many parents will slip up and say boy scouts no matter how old their son is.)

It takes courage and a real commitment to be a den leader or a pack leader. And for many people, speaking in public (and leading a den or pack meeting IS speaking in public) is a real challenge. I teach for a living and I've been speaking in public regularly since I was in 5th grade, so I don't blink about speaking in public. But for many, this is a very big deal.

Also, if this is in fact Boy Scouts and not Cub Scouts, those boys are intimidating. They are immature and goofy and not always very respectful. I teach college students. The thought of teaching high school or (gasp) middle school terrifies me. Don't make me do it!!! Those kids can be mean!!!

No, I don't think it was appropriate to say they were acting like idiots. They were, but he shouldn't have said it. But, really, put yourself in his position. He was probably flustered and needed to get he kids under control.

And FYI, not everyone considers "idiots" to be a bad word. Certainly not on par with many things my 4 & 7 year olds have heard - and not from me or my husband, either.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Idiot is not a bad word. Over time it has taken on a negative meaning in the same way that mentally retarded has. Use of those words has become politically incorrect. They started out as an accurate description of mental ability. I suggest that is an important distinction. "Bad" words are slang and have always had a negative antisocial meaning. They are demeaning on a personal level.

That said, it's also important to note that he did not say the boys were idiots. He said they were acting like idiots. He was describing their behavior. I agree that it was a poor choice of words. So he's not perfect. I suggest that this choice does not rise to the level of serious. Have you never used words in the stress of the moment that you wished you'd not used?

His use of idiot to describe behavior is not an indication of his ability to do good with kids. I suggest that use of idiot is minor faux pau. I urge you to get to know this leader before deciding about staying or leaving.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Idiot is not a bad word, but it was also not a nice thing to say. Where were the parents? Here the scouts (at least at the younger levels) are required to have a parent there to control their child's behavior, it is not free babysitting as many parents like to treat it as (at least that was our experience the year my husband was scout leader). If the parents were not keeping their kids in line and teaching them how to be respectful to the speaker I can understand why he got frustrated.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I would be a little turned off, but perhaps he was just mad because the kids were not listening and maybe he's known them a long time. We all say the wrong thing sometimes.

I would keep your radar up to make sure this is an uplifting troop and not one that demeans the kids.

Also if this troop doesn't seem like the right fit, don't be afraid to check out another one. A couple of weeks ago, we checked out one troop and my son didn't like them. I soon realized that they were completely unorganized and lacked communication. I found another troop through our church and they were more than welcoming. They were the opposite of the other troop- very organized, supportive, meetings were informative and fun.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

How old are the boys? And was this a den meeting (up to 6 boys all the same age), or a pack meeting (all the ages in the pack)? That would be how I'd ultimately decide how I felt about this: was he talking to 1st graders or 5th graders (because I can't imagine an actual child of boy scout age thinking "idiot" was a bad word, I'm going to assume you're talking about a cub scout meeting). Realize that he was probably talking to his son(s) and the son's friends. Also, I'm jumping on the bandwagon that says he didn't call a kid an idiot, he said you're acting LIKE an idiot. If he said it to my son.....well, I guess I can't imagine him saying it to my son because I would snap my fingers and stop the disrespectful attitude first (he's just turned 7 but knows to show respect and just wait a bit).
If I were at a den meeting and the leader couldn't maintain SOME control of a small group of 6 kids, I wouldn't think it was the pack for me. (There are loads of scout packs all over the place though, and some are great). If it were a pack meeting and he's speaking in front of 30-40 kids, then a little group off to the side could be a distraction and he was trying to get hold of them because their parents were failing to do so. That's always a hard spot to be in!
We do not consider idiot to be a bad word. Not nice, but not a curse word. We're also extremely involved in scouting because it's all volunteer and they need help. Volunteer and you can help set the tone, be in the know, have more say, etc.
Basically, I'm with sweetchaos on den vs pack stuff. We do attend pack campouts and occasional pack activities, but I don't like all that in general. We do everything with our den though, and I'm an assistant leader. Next year I'm going to be leader of my son's den, and we have great fun. We endeavor to take into account different maturity and learning levels since our den is just 6-7 years old boys, bring everyone to a higher level while being supportive, and for them to have a positive learning and playing environment.
I take great exception to Veruca Salt's comments. What a wide, ignorant, general statement to blanket on such a large organization! One of the biggest and most important things to learn in scouts when going out into nature is the "leave no trace" rule. I saw the story about breaking that little rock (it sounded like a massive boulder, it was smaller than his torso, but STILL it was a landmark and special, and should have never been touched at all) and saw the disgusting video: there were no kids around at all. I'm thinking those fools were dads, not leaders. If they WERE leaders then it shows that whatever little area they were from was DESPERATE for leaders because other parents don't show up. They were kicked out immediately for their stupidity. And a guy I went to school with (an Eagle) is actually an amazing man, a total man's man, tough, kind, generous, knows how to do EVERYTHING, is an ER doctor and avid naturalist, now a boy scout leader, is the very reason why my son joined cub scouts. He's an inspiration and a wonderful role model and mentor for young men. My husband is from the UK and joined their version of scouting for the express purpose of getting to shoot guns, he says (ha) but he is also a fine man, and he is involved in helping in any way needed to teach our guys to have honor, character, respect, physical strength, endurance, understand how to set goals and then the steps to achieve those goals, etc. That's what we're endeavoring to do. So V-Salt may have some negative experiences, but her blanket statement is not at all, IMO, an accurate one.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

That doesn't make a very good first impression, does it?

Was this a den meeting or a pack meeting? If this guy is the den leader, I'd find a different den (or even a different pack ASAP). I would never have my son in a den with that kind of negativity. If it was a pack meeting, I might consider letting it go this time, and watching to see what he says in the future. Pack meetings and activities are usually optional. I personally hate pack meetings and think they're a giant waste of time. My son does everything with his den, and barely anything with the pack. He does the Pinewood Derby and that's about it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

i know this is going to sound backwards and some night not agree with me, but I would look more at the boys than the leader, What kind of boys were they, did they look like they came from good homes and were just exuberant and they would have listened if he had nicely reminded them to quiet down, or are they a bunch of wild animals whose parents call them way worse things than that, a bunch of wild animals who aren't going to listen to a polite please be quiet and needed something stronger.

Cubscouts is an awesome wonderful low cost program, but it can attract the kids whose parents can't afford to drive them to travel baseball and pay thousands for hockey equipement, It has the expectation of being able to be surrogate fathers for boys that are being raised by single moms and elderly grandparents.

That's a hell of a lot for an unpaid volunteer. I would cut him some slack, step up and volunteer too, or find another pack that is more refined.

I honestly look more to the lack of parenting than I would to the leader calling them out on poor behavior.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Not that it really matters, but was this a Boy Scout meeting or a Cub Scout meeting? Like I said it really doesn't matter that was an inappropriate comment. Scouts is all about being a positive role model for growing boys and calling people idiots is obviously not positive. You might try talking to the leadership of the Troop or Pack.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Reading on

You did see the news piece about the boy scout leader that knocked down the ancient boulder formation, right? Yeah, they're not the brightest people, unfortunately - and my husband comes from a long line of them and is more critical than anyone. He is an eagle scout, and unfortunately, I think he is one of the only leaders in our pack who is. The ones who didn't go all the way through as boys are often the worst leaders.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

boy scout meeting are not like girl scout meetings. the boys are often running around loud and crazy.. the dads that run the meetings seem to enjoy the chaos.

it is still a good program.. but a lot depends on the leaders.. sounds like the leader could improve...


answers from Washington DC on

is this Boy Scouts or Cub Scouts?

If a Den Leader (Cub Scouts) said that I would said something right then. Yep...interrupted that meeting and said something - to BOTH parties.

Boy Scouts? Some of the older boys DO act like idiots! I would have said something.

Either way? I would most likely NOT go back. Ask for my dues to be reimbursed as that's not the type of Troop (Boy Scouts) or Den (Cub Scouts) I would want my kids to be involved in.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Sorry, but it is never ok for an adult to call a child an idiot. Way to set an example for his troop. I'd be out of there.



answers from Miami on

While the boys were being rude, there were better ways of addressing that. A simple "excuse me, it is VERY rude to talk over people, especially adults" or a simple "excuse me, babies don't know any better about interrupting adults but you're old enough to know, please stop talking and show respect to your group leader" would have been enough. Perhaps if it were a group of adult friends who are comfortable with each other goofing around I wouldn't be so surprised if they're told by someone in the group that they are acting like idiots, but I do find it the wrong type of wording to use around children. It's a bit harsh. Saying they're acting like babies gets the point across as well as saying they're acting like morons or idiots without being harsh or rude.

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