Re: Who should go to Scout Camp?
Ian N Ford (ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Sat, 10 Aug 1996 00:23:44 +0100
On Fri, 9 Aug 1996, Pete Murray wrote:
> I wasn't there, and so can only offer advice that does not take into
> account ALL that happened.
Likewise regarding my comments to your story ...
> I had a boy (ADD) who was just taken off of his medication and we did not
> know of his condition until AFTER the camp. The first evening he "lost it",
> he lost the priveledge of going on the night wade. As he had to be
> supervised, I had to miss it too. The second time he "lost it", we called
> his parents and informed them (and him) that three strikes and he was out.
Are you saying that (a) you had no idea from his behaviour at troop
meetings etc. that you really had no idea this lad had a problem , and
that (b) it was not mentioned on his medical form or raised during the
pre-camp meetings with parents ? If so then maybe his parents have some
responsibility for the matter.
I am not sure what you mean by " lost it " ... do you mean he had some
sort of a tantrum ? Did you try sitting down with him and working out
what was going on before resorting to threats ? Personally I favour a
graded response, and will try counseling, " time out " , and a range of
options before sending a kid home. You don't say what else you tried in
this case ?
> Fortunately there was no third time. He controlled his problems on his own
> and without the use of medication. Yes, he was more than careful around me,
> and did not seem to have as much fun. However, ALL of the rest of us had a
> tremendous time, and THAT is far more important.
Do you mean that it was more important that YOU had fun ?
In twenty-five years as a Leader I think I have had to involve parents in
disciplinary problems maybe a dozen times. Otherwise any problems have
been solved on the spot. As far as I am concerned unless an incident is
very serious it is dealt with and then done with - between the leaders
and the Scout and no ramifications.
I can remember a parent of another ADD kid who I met in the parking
lot after camp. " Your son has done well this weekend ... he's passed
several requirements for First Class and really worked well with the
patrol. " The guy paused. " I'm Christopher's dad ... do you mean him?"
I said that of course I did, he was a good kid. This poor guy was so
used to having people tell him of every thing his boy did wrong he could
not believe that his lad had NOT been in trouble.
Previously every time Chris had stepped out of line somebody had jumped
on him, when all he needed was a bit of time and space and some firm
The point is that I <asked> for a patrol with four AD/HD kids in it, and
made sure that I got to know them and what made them tick. After a while
I could sense what was coming. On one occasion I just looked hard at one
of the boys and said " No, don't even think it ... " Later he came up
to me and said " How did you know what I was planning ? " After a while, if
you really know the kids you can stay one jump ahead and often pre-empt
trouble. If you are prepared to work with kids, talk to them, it pays
I have found that all too often untrained, inexperienced or authoritarian
Leaders unconsciously provoke situations in which neither they nor the kid
can back down. They resort to threats and punishments because that is the
only technique they know ... maybe the technique <their> parents used
As a Camp Commissioner I have found that troops with their regular,
trained Scoutmaster and Assistants on camp have far fewer discipline
problems than those where you have a scratch team of adults who don't
know the boys and are not experienced in dealing with the group dynamics
that inevitably arise when you put a bunch of teenagers together in close
proximity for a week.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City