Re: JLTC/scout punishment
Norman J. MacLeod (gaelwolf@MARLIN.SSNET.COM)
Sat, 12 Aug 1995 12:16:28 EDT
Something is wrong at a Leader training course if the participants have to
be punished at all for anything. It tends to mean that those in charge have
no really clear concept of what leadership means or how to lead their group
of trainees. I think your son, and all the other Scouts in the course with
him, were done a great dis-service, and I would NEVER allow anything like
the close-order drill, marching, or push-ups as punishment. We are NOT a
military organisation. Effective Leaders and instructors will set things up
so that each trainee has the best possible chance of succeeding at whatever
the task may be. If a trainee screws up, then it is an occasion for some
individual counseling out of hearing of the other trainees.
These Scouts were set a horrible example. All the adult Leaders who had
trainees attending the course have a vested interest in seeing that
something is done to correct the situation before their junior Leaders begin
applying what they were taught. After basic training, OCS, or Academy, the
military does not emply these tactics as punishment except as they are
employed in confinement as part of sentancing as part of a court martial or
administrative punishment proceeding.
I don't think I need to point out that these Scouts were never placed under
military discipline for their training...
Would you have put up with this as part of your Wood Badge training? No?
Well, then, should your Concil or District training staff allow this to
happen as part of JLT? I think not...
The Leaders of the Troops who had Scouts on this course need to have a
sit-down meeting with the course director and the Council executive staff
people with responsibility for training to determine how this could have
been allowed to happen, if there was any action taken to stop if occurring
after it started to be a feature of the course, and what the standard of
training for JLT courses ought to be in order to provide support to the
units. (I can see a whole bag of problems rearing their ugly heads when the
course trainees begin doing this sort of thing in their Troops...)
Since parents and Troops paid for the JLT, I would say that your Council has
incurred an obligation to repeat the training at no expense to the
participants, with a different staff who are able to provide a programme
that does not require punishment for such things as you mentioned.
Ignorance on the part of the instructor staff is not an excuse. The adults
responsible for allowing the junior staff members to administer punishment
in the course of training need to be counseled in detail by the Council's
executive staff. Whether they need to be removed from training
responsibilities would be another question, best answered by those who have
full knowledge of the goings on at the the course. After all, it's a poorly
conceived course of training that needs to allow this type of disciplinary
My opinions, of course, but I think there will be others who agree with me.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City