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Sharing in Scouting

I need some leader wisdom.

A few weeks ago we had a “meet the pack” event. It was to welcome our families back, and a recruitment event. We had snow cones, a slip n slide and a great time.

There is a Webelo girl in our pack who becomes very bossy. My son who is a Tiger went up to her and was trying to play ball with her. She had a water spraying ball. She refused to share with him. I watched this unfold and kept to myself.

At home our son is required to share his toys at his discretion with his guests. As a rule he has to share, but if his guests abuse his toys he has the right to ask for them to not play with toy anymore (one of his guests broke his favorite Nintendo game by snapping the disk). He also does not have to give up the thing he is directly playing with, but can’t gripe when he guests are playing with something he is not (example: screaming over a toy he hasn’t touched in a month).

So when she refused to share with him, he moved on to do something else (like he has been taught).

The next week the meeting was almost over and our son was running around kicking a ball to himself (all the Tigers were as we had just finished a “Tiger Game”). The same girl came to him wanting his ball. Not to play a game with him, but just to take it (she is generally rude and complains about how hyper active our son is). When he refused, she came to me to Tattletale.

I explained to her that just the week before he had wanted to play ball with her and she refused. I did not make her share with him, why should I now make him share with her? She denied that she refused to share and said a Scout is supposed to share. I told her to ask him to play a game with her instead (she pouted off).

No logical adult would share every item they have at anytime with anybody. So that is how I teach my son (and scouts) to share, with discretion. And not to give up a toy or tool simply because someone else wants it.

Sharing a toy or tool when it is finished being used, or sharing time by being helpful is encouraged. But how would you suggest sharing in general be handled?

Ah, this is not unique to scouting but playgrounds everywhere. I do not believe in forcing children to share. However, sharing can be tied into the scout law (friendly, courteous, kind). However, I think the issue isn’t really sharing but a personality conflict with the older scout. Most leaders just suffer through scouts like this and do our best to impart as much of the scout law as possible.

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Lord willing that young lady will grow up to respect and admire you!

I would let her Den Leader know how you handled the situation. This is likely not unique to your son. But, you might be the first person to actually deal with this child in a manner that productively challenged her narcissistic world view. Other leaders might appreciate the pointer!

I did take the situation to our Cub Master. I explained to him that I was not upset with the youth, and that I feel like the situation was “handled”, but to get his input as I am helping him to deliver the program. And wanted to make sure that my way of teaching and thinking is appropriate to scouting.

He seen nothing wrong with how I handled it, but said if it happens again we take it to her Den Leader…who is her mom LoL.

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