Who is right in this situation?

12 posts / 0 new
Last post
Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852
Who is right in this situation?

We have some neighbor kids that have been coming to our house for years, almost daily. They are good friends with my kids and have become like family to me. We know the parents but aren't good friends with them. They parent differently and don't always put the kids first.

We convinced parents to let the boys join cub scouts with our boys this year. They really wanted to and DH is scout master so he pulled strings to get them a lot of discounts. I guess this is where I mention that they are pretty poor and the kids go without a lot and I have always just filled in with what I can.

A year goes by and I continue to make ways for the boys to get to do the extra stuff with scouts. Giving them rides, reminding parents over and over of events, and so on. The boys love it. DH managed to get them free scholarships to scout camp. Everything is set and kids are excited. About 2 weeks before camp kids say they can't go. DH talks to the dad and dad says they are going. I know this is long...

Day to leave comes and they are a no show. I go by house and am told they can't go and parents aren't home. I find out later from mom that dad was actually at home but was being lazy and didn't get their stuff together.

Dh is pissed. The scholarships could have gone to some other kids and he point blank asked in time to get a refund. He has decided, and according to him, all the other leaders agree, that these kids will not get any help or discounts next year.

My take is that this is punishing the kids for the way their parents are. This is no surprise that the parents flaked out but the kids shouldn't get punished for this. There is no way the family will be able (willing?) for the kids to continue next year without the discounts.

Dh says I am blinded because I care so much for them.

So the debate is: should children be punished for their parents mistakes? or who's side are you on?

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

I am a cubmaster myself. And the way I see it is this. NO way should they get scholarships or deter from other children getting the money from the pack or other kids in the district or council that could use it. If you care so much about them, set up a car wash, or help them earn the money :), or pay for it yourself. Don't ask the pack to give up hard earned money for them.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

I agree. (sorry) I really do feel for what you are saying, but if these kids arent going to 'use' the money that is given to them, for whatever reason, then the money should go to someone else. It is really sad for these kids, and I dont think that you are 'blinded' by your feelings for them, it is just a really hard situation because these kids do deserve to go. But like I said, there are other kids out there who will be at the events and 'use' the money. Maybe try to look at it just in terms of money (which Im sure is how your husband and other leaders are looking at it). The money that they spent for these boys to go, is wasted. No matter what the reason there are other kids out there who are just as deserving who didnt get to go because this money went to these boys, and that is really sad too. And even though you dont know the other boys, they still deserved to go if there had been space, but now that space was wasted and thats not fair to anyone.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

Dh is AssistantCubmaster and I am Den Leader, so I too understand your predicament. The thing is, cub scouts revolves asmuch around the akela as the scout. You knew the parents in this situation were not involved in their kids life since you made it a point to say in the very beginning of your post that the parents "don't always put the kids first". That to me tells me that it is a big part of things.

So you chose in effect to take on the part of the akela for them really. You knew the parents wouldn't be a part of it and would be no help. So can you really be surprised that they were a no show? IMO, you can't.

I say, you can help them in ways that don't rely on the parents (like waiving dues and Go See It fees) but other then that, give the scholarships to kids whose parents are in need but involved. You will feel much better about it and the parents who raised the money during the year will, too.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

BTW, sicne you know 2 weeks ahead of time that they were not going, did you try an see if the district would allow them to use the money for someone else since it was a scholarship?

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

We didn't know two weeks because the parents said over and over that they were going. That was one of the reason dh was upset.

Thanks for sharing with me. I guess if I step back and look at it just from a money perspective, I know you are right. It just hurts to have the kids lose out because of the parents.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I also agree with your hubby. Next year let those scholarships go to a poor family who is involved. I would be irate if I couldn't afford camp and a family who wasted the scholarship the year before got it again.

I agree that if you want to help them you could do a carwash or something. That's a great idea.

zefroim's picture
Joined: 05/18/06
Posts: 126

"Emilys4Guppies" wrote:

I also agree with your hubby. Next year let those scholarships go to a poor family who is involved. I would be irate if I couldn't afford camp and a family who wasted the scholarship the year before got it again.

I agree that if you want to help them you could do a carwash or something. That's a great idea.

I agree with this and all the pp. It's really unfair to other families who will actually use the scholarship to give it to these kids whose parents let it go to watse.

RebeccaA'07's picture
Joined: 11/19/07
Posts: 1628

I also agree with the above, next year the money should go to a family that will actually utilize it correctly. It sounds like the parents involvement is decently important in the success here, sadly for those boys...they will be left out because their parents don't know how to be, parents.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

My son is a cub scout and I can't afford for him to go to the campouts and such... so I would be pissed to find out that another kid who was given a scholarship to go was a no show, regardless of the situation. Of course we can't take it out on the kids, but it sucks all the way around... for everyone. I admire that you care so much for these children, though... you are wonderful for that. I know it must drive you crazy, but there's really only so much you can do. Even though you can't do everything for them, you need to know that you've already done so much and made a huge difference in their lives, I'm sure.

MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3280

Melissa, I'm sorry that the kids were put in this situation. I would unlikely apply for future camp scholarships to happen for their behalf, but for those that have experience in scouting, would it be wrong to allow them to continue to receive discounts on fees to participate in normal activities that Melissa and her dh would be able to have a greater role in seeing that the kids are there to participate (i.e. make good use of the funds being used?) I'm going on the assumption that up until this point of missing camp (which agree is absolutely crummy on the part of BOTH parents!!), that they did participate fully as possible?

Since you did mention that they are poor, I am curious whether there were things required for the camping trip that they could not afford? Granted, if that was the case, I definitely believe that the parents should have simply stated that the kids would be unable to make it weeks before when asked vs. being a no show. I would also have concerns about fundraisers offer in the future on their behalf unless you or your dh had a way of controlling the money raised. Otherwise, if money is a major issue for them, it still may not go to their camp fees which would then be frauding those that donated - even through a car wash.

Good luck in working this out!

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

My dad was a Scout Master for Boy Scouts until my son graduated. He had them all do fundraising to pay for all camp and other events. He kept the money, separated into accounts for each kid. They earned their way to the activities, never requiring scholarships. He expected the boys to have less parental involvement and being responsible for meeting their own goals in what they wished to achieve. Most of the the older kids that were under his direction since the time they first entered boy scouts achieved Eagle Scouts while he was in charge.

My son's cub scouts was done fairly the same way, only with more parental involvement. But throughout my son's cub/boy scout history, his troop raised money on their own - never having the parents needing to pay a dime towards their activities. This included camp for a week each year for all of the members who earned their way and wanted to go as well as the required chaperones and leaders. Those that earned their way and chose not to go to the activity for whatever reason had the money they raised reserved in their account for future activities. I don't see why the boys in this situation couldn't "earn" their way through Cub Scouts without needing to fully rely on scholarships.