Re: Problem Scouts..
Robert S Nix (bnix@JUNO.COM)
Sun, 20 Apr 1997 22:42:39 EDT
We had a problem Scout. At one campout, he (Life Scout; preparing for
Eagle; dad is an Eagle and ASM) led 3 Tenderfoot Scouts up a rock-filled
ravine, all of them shedding shoes, shirts, gear on the way up, planning
to rock slide back down the creek. We felt that this was a form of
endangerment; along with other events, the committee and the SM agreed to
suspend him for 2 camping trips, some other service requirements.
(Please note that this event was perhaps the most dangerous, but most
certainly not the only time that this Scout has been in a disciplinary
situation.) That was January; he is not back yet. There are many
complicating factors with this youth; I will not share them here. but I
wish to make three points VERY STRONGLY!!
1) Document your efforts, in writing, in detail; interview all the
involved adults; have them document the events or document for them and
GET A SIGNATURE. In two years, if a lawsuit is tendered, and your memory
has faded, and 60% of your leadership has changed, you have left your
Troop and your Chartered Organization at risk.
2) Notify your Chartered Organization of your actions. Notify your DE
and your CE. Do not cause them to be in the position of responding to
allegations where they have no knowledge.
3) In conversations with our DE, he made a valid point, and made it
strongly: we are obligated to protect our youth. Once a Scout has
endangered other youth, you must take steps to ensure that it never
happens again, perhaps including immediate removal of that youth from
your program. Our DE expressed it more strongly: If a case can be made
for endangerment, remove that Scout from the program. Period.
This is a "tough love" sort of world. We must not ignore the destructive
behaviors of a few when those actions would cause another to be injured
or leave the program. Talk to the other uniformed leaders around you;
arrive at a consensus; then talk to the parents. Especially if a parent
is a uniformed leader, talk to the parents. Deal with a problem early.
DO NOT surprise a parent with a large negative problem simply because you
found it too uncomfortable or embarrassing to deal with a small problem.
Do not put yourself, or your parents, or your leaders, or your Scouts, in
that position. And above all, protect your Scouts.
Do not value your friendships with the parents higher than your honesty
and integrity. Protect your Scouts.
God Bless, and YIS,
Bob Nix ..ustaBabeaver.. firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City