Should parents be invited to sit in at troop meetings?

Tuesday-TalkbackAt all levels in Scouting, parents are expected to do much more than drop off and pick up their Scouts.

Though their role changes as their son’s age and abilities increase, they’re “encouraged to be engaged at all levels,” according to the Guide to Advancement.

But should that engagement end at the the entrance to the room where Boy Scout troop meetings happen?

In one troop in the San Diego-Imperial Council, there’s a “heated difference of opinion” about that very question. The assistant Scoutmaster wonders: Should parents be invited to sit in during troop meetings?

First, let’s check the Guide

There are times when parents absolutely should be involved in Boy Scouting. At home, for example, parents can encourage, mentor and support their son in this life-changing journey.

But there are other times where their presence isn’t needed, like boards of review. Parents or guardians cannot serve on a board of review for their son. And they cannot have any part in selecting any board of review members. In fact, it’s strongly recommended that they don’t even attend the board of review. From the Guide:

The Scout’s parents, relatives, or guardians should not be in attendance in any capacity — not as members of the board, as observers or even as the unit leader. Their presence can change the discussion dynamics. In cases where parents or guardians insist on attending a board of review, they should be counseled that their presence can change how their son addresses questions, and that the opportunity to further self-reliance and courage may be lessened. However, if parents or guardians still insist on being present, they must be permitted to attend as observers.

As for troop meetings …

It’s your turn to weigh in

The Guide doesn’t forbid parents from sitting in during troop meetings. It doesn’t require or recommend it, either.

So it’s up to you.

What’s your opinion? How does your troop handle this question? What are the pros and cons of inviting parents into the room where troop meetings happen? Leave a comment below.

Send in your Tuesday Talkback ideas

Have a question you’d like me to submit to the Scouting community? Email me.