Parental guidance suggested: What to do when Mom or Dad is too involved?

We want parents to be involved in their son’s pack, troop, team, post, ship or crew. Without dedicated parents, Scouting can’t function.

But how involved is too involved? What if Dad insists on his tent being right next to his son’s tent? Or Mom wants to sit outside of the room during merit badge instruction? Or Mom and Dad tell their Scout not to bother attending a troop event if he won’t earn a merit badge or check off a rank requirement there?

To me, that’s too involved. So for today’s Tuesday Talkback, let’s discuss ways to rein in that well-intentioned involvement.

First, read this letter I received from a Scouter. Then weigh in by leaving a comment.

The Scouter, who asked to remain anonymous, writes: 

I am a Scoutmaster and have been one for 1.5 years, so I’m still very new to the community of Scouting. But I love it.

The only issue that I am running into is this: I have a parent who is overly involved. They don’t let their child camp unless they are there, and if they are there, their tent has to be next to their son’s tent. They have to walk their child from class to class and sit outside of the classroom so they can peek in to see how the child is doing during merit badge instruction. They try to tell me when I need to do their child’s Scoutmaster conference and board of review. They feel that if the Scout is not earning anything toward advancement at an event, there’s no need to attend.

Parent involvement is great and encouraged, but it just seems as though they are too involved and “baby” him too much. I’m not quite sure how to handle this issue without being too blunt.

Concerned Scoutmaster

Have an idea for a Tuesday Talkback?

Have a question you’d like to pose to the friendly and helpful Scouting community?

Email me and use the subject line “Tuesday Talkback idea.”


About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.