ralph romig (rwromig@PPCO.COM)
Tue, 25 Jul 1995 15:08:50 -0500
>I would like to begin a discussion about discipline and find out what each
>of you do to handle boys who need it.
>1. What do you do with a boy who won't do his share of the camp
>chores. We had a duty roster and one boy just wouldn't do the cleanup.
Let the patrol, patrol leader, troop guide, or the SPL handle it. Monitor
the situation. Part of developing leadership is learning how to deal with
>2. How do you handle bullies.
This one is a safety situation. The boy is given a timeout and allowed to
cool off. This followed by a "Scoutmaster's conference" to discuss his
actions in light of the oath and promise and behavior expectations are
reemphasized. This conference is in full view, but private and done when
the SM is CALM.
>3. Who should be the policeman. The adults or the boys themselves.
For most things, the boys should be the policemen.
>4. What action would warrant sending a boy home from camp.
I wasn't there to witness the event, but I understand that a boy who pulled
a knife on another scout was sent home and asked to not return (several
>5. What punishments work.
I subscribe to the "natural consequences" theory. Try not to think in terms
of punishment. Think in terms of appropriate consequences for the behavior.
If the boy is out of control, he needs a cool down period to get back in
control. Allow him a timeout to cool off. If the boy can't treat others
with respect, counsel him by trying to get him to understand how he might
feel if the roles were reversed.
Every unit has some boys who are at least sometimes a behavior problem. One
of the reasons I joined this troop (as an ASM) is that they subscribe to the
same principles that I'm trying to use to parent my children. This approach
doesn't yield instant results, but it seems to work over the long run. It
takes patience and real concern and compassion for the boys.
I've heard how this has impacted some of the older boys in the troop.
I've seen significant progress by one boy who was a major behavior problem
as a cub. His second campout he provoked a fight with another boy. The SM
had 2 "heart-to-heart" conferences with the boy. I watched the conferences
carefully (from an appropriate distance) to get a feel for how the SM would
handle "discipline." The SM also had a session with the mother. The boy
has made impressive progress in the 5 months since. He's still a problem at
times, but he's much improved and he's starting to fit in.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City