Offer to lend a hand with the indoor- and/or outdoor adult work that's necessary to keep the troop running.
Come to the monthly troop committee meetings.
Sign up to be a merit badge counselor for an area you are interested in. You do not have to be an expert, merely willing to help the boys teach themselves
Take the BSA's courses for New Leader Essentials, Youth Protection Training, Outdoor Skills, and Assistant Scoutmaster training.
We do not allow a parent to sign off on requirements in their own sons bookunless they are teaching a group of Scouts together AND this class has been approved ahead of time by the Troop Leaders.
When your son is done with his homework (and he’s had “enough” Game Boy etc.), suggest that he work on some advancement.
Do NOT do anything for you son that he can do for himself! OK, maybe he will forget to pack his raincoat, but he will learn better the next time! Make him call the Merit Badge councilor. Make him call the Patrol Leader or Scoutmaster! If you do things for your son, yes, you might get faster results, but you are NOT doing him any favors!!! Some day he will thank you for teaching him how to be self sufficient!
Give your Scout some room to make mistakes (except if there is an unsafe situation). Let his Patrol Leader or Scoutmaster decide if more coaching is needed, and then let them do the coaching.
Recognize that we strive for a boy-run troop. If you think that the Scouts are not running things the way they should be, feel free to say something, but (except in an unsafe situation) say it to the Scoutmaster or Committee. All members of the troop committee must be approved by the chartered organization (Armstrong Elementary P.T.A.). All parents are encouraged to attend troop committee meetings.
Your son's advancement depends on YOU! If you are not active in assisting your son, then he will not advance much and probably never become an Eagle Scout. We (the active leaders in the troop can not do it alone). This does not say to do it for him. But, if you want your son to stay interested in Scouting, YOU need to show an interest in Scouting too! Ask him how he is doing on advancement! Ask him to show you how to tie a knot or to cook something. Ask him what he did at Troop meeting. Ask him to tell you stories about the campouts.
You should NOT do:
Make his appointments for badges and advancements.
Hover over him during activities and meetings.
Pack his gear completely for him.
Do anything for him he can do himself.
Lastly, here is a letter from a new parent to the Scoutmaster:
Just a few comments from Mike's first boyscout experience.
I noticed that Mike was not carrying much for his first boyscout camping because he wanted to go "compact" and not carry much. I did not tell him anything, and just let him choose the cover (although we have four sleeping bags at home and he could have taken one). I gave him a pillow to take, he stated "it is to bulky I want to go compact". I then gave him a small inflatable pillow I use when I travel by plane.
After he came back from camping, I asked him, then how was camping and he stated the following "I got cold, forgot my silverware and had to eat from a teaspoon and used a measuring cup to drink, tried to use the small cover I took as ground cushion and a cover and it did not work the ground was still toooooo hard, the small inflatable I was using as pillow did not work, my new flashlight broke and I had a hard time packing my stuff in the little bag I took".
So I asked then did you enjoyed it. He stated " I had a great time!, Mr. Scouts is great!, The food was so delicious, I even ate vegetables. "I know now what I need for my next camping".
I want to thank you for making this an experience that Mike will truly cherish for the rest of his life. Experiences like this are what make the best memories!! He is looking forward for Summer camping.
Scoutmaster's note: Allowing scouts to learn some things the hard way can be very good for them. However, when doing this you must take into prespective whether it might be a safety issue or a well earned lesson!