Summary: What would you have done?
Jon Eidson (EIDSON@TCUBVM.BITNET)
Tue, 29 Sep 1992 07:47:53 CDT
The following posting appeard on rec.scouting that I though was worth
sharing to the scouts-l group:
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Many thanks for all the good responses to the question of handling the
Scout seen smoking at a campout.
In general, all agreed that the best thing to do (if fact, about the ONLY
thing one can do) is to 'council' the boy individually. Several people
stressed the fact that it should not be done in public. Several suggested
this might me a good time for a session for the whole troop on the use of
adictive chemicals, i.e. 'a Scout is CLEAN'. Others made the point about
this Scout (and the leaders) being an example. Thanksfully, none of the
adult leaders of our troop smoke, so this was not a problem.
There was some disagreement among responses about whether or not we, as
leaders, should tell the Scout's parents. In our discussion with the boy,
we asked him if his parents new that he smoked. His response was that he was
pretty sure they did. To my knowledge, his parents have not been approached
yet for a couple of reasons; 1) we are fairly sure they already know, and 2)
this was the first occurance.
Finally, several posters reiterated the BSA policy that the use of tobacco
is strongly discouraged in Scouting. This was actually the strongest point
we made with the boy. Regardless of his decision to smoke elsewhere, he
was told that smoking at any Scout function would not be tolerated and he
was in danger of being asked to leave the troop if it continued.
Interestingly enough, the following morning, at the Sunday morning
devotional period, (of which he was in charge as Chaplain's aid) the Scout
stood up and apologized to the troop for his actions. He said all the
right words about health, example, etc. This had been mentioned as a
possiblity during our session with him, but only if he really meant it
and wanted to do it. We did not require it of him. Our idea was, again,
his influence on the other Scouts. Afterward, our committee chairman, and
former Scoutmaster complimented the Scout and reiterated the standards we
expected of the boys and the BSA policy about smoking.
One of the posters requested that I re-post the original question, so it
is attached below. Any additional comments or thoughts are welcome.
> "What would YOU have done?"
> One of the boys in our troop, a 15 yr. old, Life Scout, was caught smoking
>by one of the adult leaders at our campout this past weekend. He was in the
>presence of other Scouts, some younger, when seen smoking. This particular
>Scout has been very active in the troop and is generally well liked. Although
>still somewhat immature, he has shown real improvement in maturing since
>joining the troop. He is currently in one of the leadership positions of
>the troop, that of Chaplain's aid. This was the first time he has been seen
>smoking at a Scout function, but one of the other adult leaders had been told
>that he has been seen smoking elsewhere.
> How would you, as a registered adult leader of the troop have handled the
ASM, Troop 895
Circle Ten Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City