Give your advice to a parent whose son wants to drop out of Scouting

If your son told you tomorrow that he’s thinking of leaving Scouting, what would you say?

For “Dave,” a concerned parent from an East Coast troop, that’s no hypothetical question.

The parent, whose name I changed to conceal his identity, writes:

My son is 15 and has been in Scouting since he was a Tiger Cub Scout, and over the past year, has been increasingly vocal about wanting to quit. He’s not “passionate” about the majority of Scouting activities and is finding our large troop with many younger scouts (some with emotional issues) “a waste of time.”

I am an active committee member and have been strongly encouraging him to stick with it, but it’s getting to the point where I don’t know what to say or do to keep him in.

We’ve explained the benefits of attaining Eagle Scout and that if he drops out, we won’t continue spending money on his non-Scouting interests (sports camps, going to watch pro games, music concerts, etc). I don’t like this approach but feel strongly about him getting to Eagle.

I think we have a very good Scoutmaster and assistant Scoutmasters and a diverse variety of activities.

He’s a tremendous boy who does well in school, plays sports and music, and has many friends. Any advice to help me keep him in Scouting?

Based on Dave’s e-mail, it looks like there’s still time to keep his son in the program. But how?

What would you do?

How would you respond if your son said he’d like to quit? What should Dave tell his son to convince him to stay? Have you successfully “saved” a Scout who considered dropping out? Offer your advice by leaving a comment below.

Dave will be reading your comments — as will others in a similar predicament.

117 thoughts on “Give your advice to a parent whose son wants to drop out of Scouting

  1. I have two boys 18 & 13 that have been in scouting since tiger cubs. I always asked my boys to give it 6 more months when they wanted to quit (which has happened more than once). Then I encouraged, guided, and gave them the opportunities (summer camp, merit badge univ, trip to the capital, etc) they needed to advance with a nice reward for each advancement (dinner at a favorite restaurant, those new shoes that are $50 more than I would normally spend, etc). I never restricted them from other activities, but scout night was a priority. My 18 year old was an Eagle Scout at the age of 13. He played football and was in band also. He just graduated high school and has a job as a supervisor over the summer because of the awesome skills he learned in scouting. He also has a lawn business on the weekends and will be attending a local college in the fall. The first thing he said to me the morning after his Eagle board of review is thanks for pushing me mom! My 13 year old is a life scout looking for a project and doing great, but he also has wanted to quit at times. The closer to eagle you get the tougher it gets and they will never see the value of the hard work until they have attained the rank and see for themselves the benefits. Help him make short term goals and keep on pushing!!

  2. Some years ago our SM had a parent meeting on this topic. He told us that he had quit at Life, to spite his parents & how he regretted it. He is about 63 now. After that, I talked to some of the ASMs & it turns out that most of them did not Eagle either, for various reasons. None of the men who quit were glad they did. I told my son that I would do everything in my power to see that he didn’t become a man who regretted quitting later in life. I asked the ASMs to continue encouraging him & they did, as did older Scouts in his troop. Eagle Scout is one thing he will put on his resume’s throughout life, unlike drum major, athlete, etc.
    Good luck with your son!

  3. Been there: with both of my two sons, who did stick with it and reach Eagle; and with subsequent Scouts in the Troop (which I’m now unit commissioner for). This is a not-uncommon situation with this age group. In addition to the occasional “drag to the meeting by the hair” that sometimes has to happen (because they WILL tell you after the fact that they had a good time), two things kept my sons in. The first was the friends they had in the Troop. It is important for unit health to have a good mix of older/middle/younger youth who can bond as peers, and have fun together “doing Scouts”. Recruiting older Scouts to keep this dynamic is challenging, but not to be overlooked.
    Second, it is important to establish unit long-term goals: in our case, the Committee encouraged the Troop to plan a Seabase Adventure two years out. This high-adventure trip was attractive to all the youth, and required that they commit to fundraising activities to get there. A similar goal can pull boys through a time like this, and rekindle the Scouting spark. We’re using the same “carrot” now with the older boys in our Troop, only this time it’s Jambo 2013. If similar activities are planned on a regular basis, younger Scouts will help the older ones fundraise, knowing that their turn will come.
    If the above seems impossible for your unit, do look into Venturing. However, the success of that tact as a means to get your son to Eagle will depend on the Crew. I’m a Crew Associate Advisor, and most youth in our program, Council-wide, aren’t that interested in “advancement.” It may be difficult to keep the eye on the prize if this peer group (who ARE the leaders in Venturing) isn’t supportive of individual achievement.

  4. Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs says it best:

    Kelby, Your Dad asked me to drop you a line and say something inspirational that might persuade you to dig down deep and find the determination to make the rank of Eagle Scout. It’s a reasonable request, from a father who obviously wants to see his son succeed. But here’s the thing – The Eagle Award is not really meant for people who need to be dragged across the finish line. It’s meant for a select few, and I have no idea if you have the guts to see it through. Statistically, I suspect you do not. Only one out of a hundred Scouts make Eagle, so if you fail, there will be lots of other people with whom you can share excuses. Quitting now might disappoint your Dad, but I doubt that he or anyone else will be overly surprised. Anytime 99 out of 100 people do the same thing, it’s not exactly a shock. I’m not trying to be cute with a bunch of reverse psychology. When I was 15, there was nothing that anyone could have said to me that would have inspired me to do something I didn’t want to do, especially a stranger with a TV show. So I’m not going to assume you’re any different, or pretend that I have some influence or insight that you haven’t already heard from a dozen other people who actually know and care about you. I’ll just tell you straight up, that doing something extraordinary can be very lonely, and most people simply aren’t cut out for it. Being an Eagle Scout requires you to be different than most everyone around you, and being different is really, really hard. That’s why the award is called “an accomplishment.” Personally, and for whatever it’s worth, the best decisions I’ve made in my own life, are those decisions that put me on the outside of being cool. Singing in the Opera, working in home shopping, staring in the school play when the entire football team laughed at me, and especially earning my Eagle, were all choices that required sacrifice, hard work, and delayed gratification. I have no idea if you possess those qualities, or even envy them. But I can tell you for certain, that NOT getting your Eagle, will be one of the easiest things you’ve ever done. Anyway, I have no idea if you would prefer an easy life of predictability and mediocrity, or if have [you] the passion to follow the road less traveled. Only you get to decide that.
    Good Luck,
    November 12, 2008

  5. As a youth, I was active in Cub Scouts and attained by Arrow of Light in Webelos. Then life happened and for whatever reasons, I didn’t continue onto Boy Scouts. Looking back today, I regret the missed opportunities. Now today, I have my own children. My oldest is a 13 year old Life Scout. Do I get frustrated and wish he was more motivated in scouting… sure. However, I have come to accept that if he wants his Eagle he is going to have to want it and earn it. I cannot do that for him. I would encourage you to look into the Mike Rowe responses already referenced in other’s comments, and countless other interviews and responses that Bryan has featured on this blog from Eagle Scouts:

  6. Let’s be real. At fifteen years of age, he is not thinking about how the Eagle Rank and Scouting is going to affect his life after he gets out of High School. There is something missing from the program, he is not finding his Scouting activities engaging or fun if he sees it as a waste of time. And let’s face facts, not every boy is cut out to complete the rank of Eagle. Either he is motivated towards it or not, and taking away other activities is only going to make him resent the Boy Scout program.

    I have heard a lot of Scouts complain that they aren’t happy in their Troop. That the Troop was too large, they felt like they were wasting their time, that they weren’t having fun on outings. I hear these things because the boys know that I understand their frustration and I am not going to give them the party-line answer. Scouting should not only be about merit badges, rank advancements and making Eagle. It must be fun and engaging. There is a time for work and a time for play, and the play has to be within their own age group because … well … as a Boy Scout adult would have enjoy Scouting if you had to play with the Cub Scouts every week? Wouldn’t you rather be with the older boys or the adults?

    So, let’s talk solutions. Let me play my part as a Unit Commissioner and let’s use your ideas to sort this out. What does he like about Scouting? What activities is he into, not into? Is his Troop the perfect match for him? Is there another Troop that he could go to that would be a better match for him?

    The solution to this problem is finding the perfect match, wouldn’t you agree? And if that means moving to another Troop, then you might want to consider moving him. If the Scoutmaster is there for the right reasons, they should be more than understanding that the object here is to keep your son in Scouting, not trapped in an environment he’s not happy in.

    Finally, let’s talk Venturing. Venturing may offer what your son is looking for that you may not be able to find in a Troop. Crews can specialize, and if done properly, its a more laid back approach to Scouting. Crews are often smaller groups that feel more like a family unit. Again, its a matter of finding the perfect match, but don’t discount what Venturing can offer.

    And as far as your son’s Eagle Rank is concerned. He can earn the ranks of Star, Life and Eagle as a Venturing Scout. You still do the merit badges, you have access to the counselors and programs. You can find more information about how to work Eagle on that path from your local council office.

    Again, don’t punish him because he’s lost interest. Don’t put him into the position of resenting Scouting to the point that your grandchildren will never have the chance to experience the programs. Work with him, see if you can find what’s missing and then try to match him to a unit that will give him back what he’s lost.

  7. I don’t think telling him why Scouts is beneficial or important is going to do much. Nor will offering him various incentives (negative or positive). As a matter of fact preaching Scouts to him will likely strengthen his resolve to quit.

    For a boy to continue in Scouting he needs to have his friends involved, he needs to have real responsibility for leading his patrol and troop, he needs to have the latitude to map his own way forward and he needs to enjoy doing the things that Scouts do.

    If one of these four things is missing there’s not a lot that is going to keep them around.

    Being 15 is intense. Some 15-year-olds are able to make reasoned decisions and some are not. Some will listen, some will not.

    In the end you’ll have to decide what is best. Either you’ll let him make this decision or you will decide for him. I’d sit down and talk this out and let him know that this is difficult for you too.

    You want him to become an Eagle Scout. You value your son’s ability to make his own decisions and lead his own life. These two things are not mutually exclusive.
    It may take some time but with enough talking and (more importantly) listening you can find a way forward.

  8. As a Scoutmaster with a 17 year old who just missed some critical deadlines and will now be a Life for Life, I feel your pain and possible sense of, not so much disappointment (he’s a great kid), regret for what could have been. But the thing here is to remember it isn’t about us, it’s not our Scouting career or our Eagle. It’s HIS opportunity and once we ensure they understand what they are walking away from, it’s their decision. Hopefully we have been preparing them to make decisions their entire life and not just been leading them thru the steps of doing things but showing them how to evaluate and make choices instead. If that’s the case and he’s decided to quit this activity, my only question for him would be what’s next? And then at that point I might evaluate the support I’m willing to put in vice what he’s going to have to do to support his new activity – ’cause if it’s sitting at home gaming – he’s paying for it… if it’s some varsity sport that he evidences talent for, well I’ve already been the VP of our Wrestling booster club for 3 years in addition to holding the SM spot at a Troop…

  9. What stands out the most to me here, is that you are not supporting your son’s desire and right to make his own decisions. As a former, long-active scout who never did attain the rank of Eagle, I still am very thankful for the lessons I learned from scouting and the memories and experiences that it has afforded me. When I was your son’s age, I too allowed other interests to steer me away from scouting. I still camped and went to meetings but never finished all the requirements and NOT finishing will likely be my lifes greatest regret . Never the less, I still am a registered scouter and I help out and support scouting in every way possible. Therefore, I believe that it would be best to explain the benefits of staying active in scouting but that its more important to trust your son. He sounds like a reasonable and very bright young man and you should have faith that your parenting and the lessons that scouting has given him will STILL lead him to great things in life . No doubt, he too may somehow grow to regret this but when he does,he will have someone to talk to about it. The scouting spirit within him will NEVER die.

  10. As a long time scout, scoutmaster I wish my parents, family, friends, teachers. preachers, adults had spoke to me when I expressed about quitting scouts around a similar age Star-Life rank 15-16 and all they said was “okay” and I did and have regretted it ever since. My oldest age 30 obtained Eagle scout and it made the difference with his first serious job because the decision maker was an eagle….they gave my son the consideration and he was given the job and is still there 5 years later! Otherwise, he would have had to start and obtain experience in a smaller market before being able to be where he is today. My youngest is a Life scout age 14 and desires to be an eagle. Stay in scouts and be involved for life, when you have kids you will then be happy you did!

  11. Check out Varsity Scouting! I had not heard of it until Wood Badge last year. But I researched it to do my part in my patrol presentation. It sounds like just the thing a sports-interested boy would be interested in. And he can recruit his team to join Scouting! Plus he still gets to pursue merit badges and rank advancements!

  12. My son is 16. I have had the same problem with his frustration with the troop… the next oldest scout is 14 and they really have nothing in common. My son is in “all things music” he even left soccer of 7 years for Music (Band, Choir, Show Choir, Guys Choir, Orchestra, etc you get the picture). All of his friends are there. I put my son in a Venture Crew. It helped. But the fact that he is in both it just makes it more difficult. The way I see it …. they need to want it themselves…. all the pushing in the world will not work… Support him in what he feels is important. That will bring you to a point where you can talk and find out the real “why” and possibly let him come up with a solution. With my son it wasn’t just the lack of commonality…. it was the frustration of the Merit Badges… some of them are writing extensive… or time consuming… in an age where we have instant answers sometimes it’s the simple lack of speed that is the problem. Communication starts at the home. Let him communicate …. have an open mind… yes Eagle is important to a Scouter… but not everyone needs a badge to be successful in life. I told my son that I want him to be successful in what ever he desires to do. It may not be what I want for him. But at least I will be here to back him. As I said, he is all things music…. I decided to work with him to find ways to make scouting fun for him… Pears are important… and at that age interaction with like minded people is the most important. My son is bright. Very intelegent and active. But totally is against “babysitting” as he puts it. But I told him when he made 1st class. He can make his eagle in the venture crew if he has outgrown the troop. Just something to think about.

  13. First, question is not one to ask of him, but of yourself. Is this your dream or his? Would you quit scouting so he could succeed on HIS OWN WITHOUT YOU. As dads, we often live vicariously through our children to a point where our dreams are not theirs. My dad loved baseball. I did not. My athleticism was fine, but he made me hate the game to this day. He went off and umpired, but I went and lettered in cross country running. His dream was not mine. No 15 year old wants to have a helicopter dad. I don’t know if you are or aren’t. You have to really look in the mirror on that topic.

    Your son may simply not like the program. I have a strong sense of what you are inferring by “kids with emotional issues”. My son deals with the same thing. Scouting is inclusive (and should be), but kids that are popular and athletic can be very offput by kids who have those types of problems. That’s an image problem that troops and councils need to deal with. He probably thinks Scouting is for “geeks”, but what is he doing to get guys and girls like him to participate? Unfortunately, most kids will not take the socials risks of recruiting, so they look around the program they are in and decide whether they fit or don’t. We can only do so much to affect that dynamic.

    A tactic you might try is to get out of the way. Let one of a friend of his or a trusted Scouter talk to him. Allow him to be involved in another program (Venturing may be a perfect one to try at his age) that allows him to make his own path. He may have decided he no longer is a fit in the current program, so allowing that new opportunity to inspire the next leg of his journey.

    You have to temper your emotions. You son just may be one of those boys that statistically doesn’t get to the Eagle Award. The Mike Rowe articles mentioned above are great. We do not punish people that do not become Generals, Admirals and Presidents, do we? You must accept that someday, his scouting journey in this guise will end. He must understand that the consequences for quitting will be his own. Give him a month off, but make sure he has a caring conversation with that 22 year old that made it or did not make it to Eagle. What does he want to do with his Eagle? It may help him on a job, but that’s not on many HR department checkboxes. A lot of HR people don’t even understand the magnitude of the award. Does he want to go to the military? If so, take him on a trip to an academy or base that he plans. That will influence him more than any punishment you can dole out.

    In the end, he must want it. That’s the most important lesson in life. He should understand that whatever he should pursue: career, athletics, academics, music, etc., that it is up to his own initiative, passion and talent to become a high achiever. We as parents can only support a young man at that point.

  14. If you wish to keep him in the Troop, I suggest leading “high adventure” troop outings. For example, take the White Water Merit Badge or hold a white water trip and the scout must have a certain level of ability or rank in order to attend. These trips keeps the more skilled boys active and gives the younger scouts encouragement to advance. A troop is supposed to run this way.

  15. Let him quit! Forcing anyone to stay in the program who clearly doesn’t want to keep doing it is a detriment to not just the boy being forced but also to the troop! His negative feelings regarding being forced to stay will cause nothing but trouble with the other kids; I saw it far too often when I was a youth.

    We need to be able to admit that while we think the program is awesome, that it is not for everyone, and we shouldn’t force kids who don’t have fun doing scouting-type things or being with the kids in their troop to keep doing scouting-type things and hanging out with kids they don’t like.

  16. Lots of great advice you have received already. I have two young sons, one a Webelos and the other a Boy Scout age 12 Second Class. I wanted them to have fun and enjoy opportunities in Scouting they might not otherwise have. Scout offers chances for them to grow and expand their leadership roles/qualities as they get older.
    Sounds like your son is in a good position to be a role model and leader in his troop.
    These leadership skills will serve him well through high school, college and beyond.

  17. If he is intrested in sport, Varsiy maybe a better option for him. Venturing would put him with older youths/young adults, but Varsity keeps him in sports. Add to the mix, you may have to start a Varsity team, and he can be involved in the recruiting and establishment of the team. This would provide a big challenge for him, and it would be something you would do together.

  18. Give him the opportunity to have the scouting adventure of a lifetime by sending him to the 2013 Natioanl Scout Jamboree or one of the BSA high adventure bases. I went to the 2010 National Jamboree and it was the best experience I have ever had in Scouting. Another idea is to get him involved in the Order of the Arrow.

  19. Hi.. Im with a great lakes council troop. My question to you is,Is he in scouting for you to have him get his eagle… Or for him to get his eagle. Not that I want him to drop out, but a committee member, I have seen scouts that are in to get an eagle rank ONLY because their parent wants them to. This makes it very hard on the troop, the scout and the adults.
    My son is pretty over it from time to time. I tell him he can’t leave till he grows out of his uniform… Then buy it a bit big. :).

  20. “A very large troop” might say it all. When there are many younger Scouts, the attention of Troop Leadership gets sent to the younger boys. Maybe finding a smaller Troop with Scouts more his age might help. He may just be getting bored and feeling neglected..

  21. It sounds like you are in a good position with this troop, but is it the right troop for him?

    Ask him what it would take to keep him in scouting. Are there troops that spport that interest? Is he in OA? Has he worked on staff at a camp?

    Can he move into a position that can affect change?

  22. Stop looking at your son’s decision as your own. It’s not yours. Ask him what he really wants to do. Have him give you a couple of different options that will continue to engage him. If he decides to stop participating it’s his decision and he will have to live with it. This is how we teach the boys, not by making the decisions for them. Although we try to “guide” them to make the appropriate decision they need to come to that conclusion on their own. Remember, most of us Scout parents are in our mid forties to early fifties. We have lived our lives and learned from our mistakes, so we see things differently than these young boys do. Think about this, if you have had opportunities to learn from your own mistakes, do you let your son do the same? Or, do you give him every opportunity to succeed without sacrifice?

    My son made Eagle a year ago. He had wanted to quit. Both my wife and I said NO WAY. By this point he was a Life scout and we felt he didn’t get that far to just up and quit. I was also his Scoutmaster during this period. I tried very hard to give him his room and let him try and complete things in his own time. In the end I became a harassing parent and he retreated from the very thing he should have been excited to earn. The one thing that helped him was that he decided to play football in school during his sophomore year. During the three seasons he played, I was not allowed to discuss Scouting with him. He was also allowed to miss some troop meetings and troop trips during this time. This helped but in the end he resented my nagging him to get things done and the stress was thick enough to cut with a knife.

    These boys need to live their lives and find out about themselves. They can do it in other activities other than Scouting. But, because we have invested so much of OUR time and effort into the program we forget who the program is for. Trust me, my relationship suffered terribly with my son because he felt I was forcing him. Today he is glad he earned it but is not proud of it. Earlier someone wrote that if your son quits it will look poorly on his work application. Really?? I was a First Class Scout and dropped out to play football and work. I also served in an elite military unit after high school and I have never been un-employed since high school and have never had trouble finding a job. I think that statement is an excuse to instill fear into the scout to stay active.

    Talk with your son, not to him and not at him. Listen to everything he has to say. If the two of you discuss this on his terms you may find a solution that works for him that satisfies you.

  23. My thoughts.

    1) Do not force the issue as it will come back to bite you. I knew a guy who was pushed and pushed by his parents and they did incentives like you are giving. Guess what, with 62 merit badges and everything but the service project needed for Eagle, he quit just to rebel.

    2) Have a hear to heart and find out what the issues are. Is it the younger kids? Is it lack of adventure for him? Is it the peer pressure form his teammates or coaches?

    As others mentioned, look at Sea Scout ships and Venturing crews, as long as he’s First Class he can continue on Eagle. Or look at other troops.

    Also look at other opportunities like Summer camp staff, OA, council HA treks, etc.

  24. I’ve seen it both ways, make him stay and he really gets to hate everyone involved or let him make up his own mind and he regrets it later in life. I’m an Eagle and have been a Scoutmaster in the 80′s for 15 years with 25 Eagle’s. Some have mentioned Ventures or Explorers, maybe finding out what he really likes could be a benefit. Maybe he is not challenged enough, I have found kids in school who hated it mainly because they were bored. Maybe find someone he is close to and they could mentor him (cause you know Mom and Dad) are always wrong. Some good ideas here in the earlier comments. Best of Luck!

  25. Guys. Advancement is only one of the Methods of Scouting; not an aim. If the boy had a good Scouting experience for 5 years but would have a bad one if forced to stay in for 7, then his staying in Scouting is actually counter-productive.

    Making Eagle is nice but not the primary goal nor even the secondary goal of being in Scouting. As a commissioner, we don’t look at the number of Eagles a troop has to judge its success; we look at the percentage of new Scouts who make First Class in a year.

    Why? Because those who make First Class in that timeframe tend to stay in Scouting for three years or more and that’s the time surveys have said is necessary to have the ideals of the Scout Oath and Law inculcated in the persons character as an adult.

    Creating “useful citizens” is in the BSA’s mission statement; making Eagle Scouts isn’t. We don’t consider the 98% of Scouts who don’t become Eagle failures. But those who only achieve Eagle just to add it to their resume or please their parents and don’t take the ideals of the Oath and Law to heart down the road as adults probably are.

  26. I’ve read excellent advice in most of the comments. Is there a Venturing Unit nearby?
    Perhaps one that specializes in sports or vocation. What are his future career interests. Many Venturing Units focus on careers. Talk with your District Commissioner maybe he/she can help. Talk with him not at him. Listen to what he has to say. This is an age where peer pressure in school can be difficult to handle.

  27. I suggest you go to visit other troops and possibly find one with either a Venture Patrol/Venture Crew, that does ‘high adventure’ activities, but stick with it and finish your “Trail to Eagle”. The unseen/unknown benefits far outweigh the ‘final push’ and work involved in the project. Looking back after will also give him a terrific sense of accomplishment that will follow him always. “Once an Eagle, always an Eagle.” (An Eagle Scout mom) Add this comment to those posted before me, they all go hand-in-hand.

  28. What are his feelings about the troop? Have you asked him what he would like to do to make your troop what he want? It’s his troop too, empower him!! Give him some ownership in the troop. Is it that he wants more of a certain activity? Have him organize something. Is it the younger kids? Reward the older kids who actively mentor the younger boys with an outing that is for 1st class and up.

  29. I know just how you feel my son droped that one me a few months ago. Here is what my husband and I did.. First, I talked to him about why he wanted to quit and part of the problem was he was feeling like he did not fit in and he was getting lost in the troop. He was in a big troop of over 80 boys. So we looked for a smaller troop and found one that was pretty new and most of the boys were young and looking for a few older scouts to help guide the boys.. He wwas also involved in several activities at school that were taking up his time and he was starting to feel stressed to do everything. Then we went to a merit badge workshop that just happen to be at the college he wants to attend. There were COR guys and that is also something he is into. While he was in class I started to talk to some of the COR guys that just happen to be Eagle Scouts. I ask them to help talk to him at the end of the day and they did. A few days latter after talking to his Scoutmaster he told me that he has decided to stay in and get this he now wants to get his Eagle.

    I can only tell you what I was told, Try to find out why he wants to quit the try to help him find reasons to stay in. My son does not know how I worked background to help find his way back. The one thing is don’t push it he will resent you and scouts. Remeber that goal for scouting is not to get their Eagle but to grow boys into strong independment men.
    Hope it helps

  30. My oldest son, now 22, dropped out of Scouting as a Star Scout. At the time he had a part-time job, was involved in school projects and convinced me he had Scout spirit, just little time for Scouting and no further interest in camping. He has recently voiced misgivings about not pursuing Eagle.

    My second son, a senior in high school, also has a part-time job, but is also involved in several Advanced Placement courses, is in the process of building the next super computer (literally, the thing is the size of a small refrigerator) and a member of the Quiz-Bowl team. He doesn’t want to give up his hours at work and the income.

    I still have one chance in my youngest son, now a freshman in high school — we’ll see.

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