Dan OCanna (ocanna@ALPHA.CAER.UKY.EDU)
Tue, 10 Jun 1997 11:49:26 -0400
John Pannell pointed out (and rightly so) that I had not really answered
the question about booting Willie from the troop for his "mooning"
>>>4. What if they demand you kick Willie out of the Troop -
>>> how will you answer?
>>Under the circumstances described kicking Willie out of the troop sounds
>>way too serious...
John points out some scenarios where the Charter Organization's leadership
might be very determined to expell Willie. I don't think that would be
likely to happen with an incident like Willie's. The CO certainly does
have the right to do so if they choose, however.
Let's reset the parameters of the discussion a bit. The question is
no longer Willie's actions but those of the Charter Org's people/person,
and your reactions. Through what ever chain of command exists in the CO
the decision has been made that a Scout must be expelled from the troop.
Then really the Scout is history as far as that troop is concerned.
As a Scout Leader you are faced with loyalty to the CO, loyalty to
the Scout and the Scouts in the troop. The CO gives the troop a place
to meet and support, but as a leader my primary allegence is to the young
men in the troop. All of the boys in the troop. For that reason my
response would have to take the best interests of the miscreant AND the
other boys in the troop. Life is, unfortunatly, complicated. The
following represent my OPINION.
If the Scout in question were obvously an unrepetent and seriously bad
influence or danger to the other boys in the troop then the answer is easy.
"If I can be of any real help in your future endevors let me know. We'll
miss you (maybe) at the troop meetings. Goodbye."
If the youth has the problems but some desire to overcome them my life gets
more complicated. Perhaps another troop would be willing to take the
boy on but he may need more help than Scouting can give. I'm certainly
out of my element here and need the advice of professionals.
If the originaly described situation with Willie were the case: An
obviously good kid who usually is a responsible leader, but made ONE
error in judgement. You have no reall option. Willie is gone from
this troop. He would probably be an asset to any other troop and
I expect I could help him find another. If the current troop were stable
and had plenty of adult leadership, Willie and I both would be looking
for another troop. The boys in the current troop would still have a
quality program available.
If the troop were shaky and such a strong action on my part would make
it likely that the troop might fold, I'd have to consider the fact
that the other boys in the troop could be left with no program. I would
certainly try to sway the opinon of those in the CO again. With no
change on their part I would try to help Wilie into another troop and
expend a good ammount of energy trying to get those in the CO to understand
that one of Scoutings Aims is DEVELOPING character in young men. If young
people already had all the characer they need then we could drop that from
the Aims of Scouting.
The SM of my troop often stresses to the boys that Scouting doesn't stop
when they take the uniform off. Citizenship, character and personal develop-
ment are the aims of Scouting. Whether a Scout is on a troop activity,
or not we expect them to act like Scouts. Part of a young person's
development involves making judgements about their own actions. During
a boy's Scouting years (11-18) he goes from having little say in his
activites to complete freedom of choice. A young person _will_ make
mistakes over that period of time. I can't imagine a group having
enough interest in young people to sponsor a Scout troop who would
insist on booting Wiliie. Real young people are faced with many tough
decisions and some will make the wrong choice. One minor wrong decision
should not end a boy's Scouting activities. The reason I'm in
Scouting is for the boys. Given the tough choice that John asked to
discuss I feel that I would have to look at what is best for the young
man and the troop, base my actions on my beliefs, hope for the best, and
be willing to modify my stand if the situation dictates.
Good call, John.
Yours in the spirit of Scouting,
Dan O'Canna Lexington, Kentucky
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City