Re: I lost my temper....mea culpa (long)
Jo Ernst (njernst@LOGICSOUTH.COM)
Wed, 5 Aug 1998 19:08:50 -0400
I personally think you did exactly the right thing. Actions speak LOUDER
than words. Your words were falling on deaf ears. I think you probably
surprised him more than anyone else. I do not think I would have apologized
to the kid. However, I would have taken the parents aside with the child
present and recounted his behavior of the week. Quit beating yourself up
over it. More than likely no one even remembers the incident. The good
times of summer camp have a way of overriding the "problems" we all face.
SM Troop 813
And a Good Old Fiesty Fox, too ...NE-VI-26
From: Wendie Howland <WAHowland@AOL.COM>
To: Multiple recipients of list SCOUTS-L <SCOUTS-L@TCUBVM.IS.TCU.EDU>
Date: Tuesday, August 04, 1998 10:22 PM
Subject: I lost my temper....mea culpa (long)
>I throw myself at the mercy of the list... and hope you'll give me an idea
>what I should do now, if anything.....
>Last day of camp: Hot, tired, but a pretty darn good week. No SM in camp...
>hasn't camped with us for at least a year ( long story, but a good guy).
>been the acting SM this week. Troop is cleaning up unit before commissioner
>comes by to check us out. Problem child of the week, age 12, who is
>a good kid but ADD-ish and prone to blaming everything on someone else, is
>sitting at the fire ring doing nothing. All week he has been asked to stop
>throwing rocks ("You never tell HIM to do anything! Why are you picking on
>ME?") by the amazingly helpful and mature SPL or me ("Steve (the SPL)
>does anything! He's just throwing his weight around!") and has been
>disciplined multiple times at Handicraft for GROSSLY unsafe knife behavior,
>waterfront for horseplay, and you get the idea. Multiple couselors asking
>"What is WITH this kid?" Saying, "Now, Aloysius, we're not talking about
>(or Bob or Carl or Paul or the whole rest of the human race) now, we're
>talking about your throwing rocks/nearly cutting Bobby's arm/pushing people
>off the raft..." or "I talk to Bobby/Steve/Carl/Paul about their actions,
>right now I'm talking to you about yours (specifics)" is met with more "But
>so-and-so did thus-and-such," and he NEVER acknowledges or owns his
>Etc, etc, etc.
>Two requests to get back to the tenting area and help his tentmate (APL)
>up all (his) candy wrappers and sweep the tent floor. Him: "You never ask
>anyone ELSE to..."
>Me: "Aloysius, everyone else has cleaned up their tents already without
>asked. Go and clean your tent, please."
>A: Whine, refuse
>Me: (Strongly) "Aloysius, I'm going to put this load in the vehicle. When I
>come back, I want to see you at your tent cleaning it up. I am tired of
>act, I have had entirely enough, and I am getting mad. "
>When I return, he is at the tenting area, but sitting at the table with his
>pack on, whining, watching his tentmate finish their tent.
>Me: "OK, Aloysius, take the cot out and sweep the floor."
>Tentmate APL, age 12: "It's OK, Mrs. H, I'll finish it." (he has already
>helped pack up troop gear, library & dining fly, picked up ALL the candy
>wrappers, and started with the tent, all of which without being asked once
>Me: "No, Jeremiah, thank you, but he needs to do his share."
>Aloysius: "You never make anybody else..." and that's as far as he got,
>because I grabbed his shoulders, stood him up, took off his backpack, put
>broom in his hand, and turned him in the direction of his tent., with some
>loud words about how I didn't want to hear it anymore.
>Stunned response from a few, mostly "It's about time" looks from the
>especially the very long-suffering SPL. Aloysius takes broom in one hand
>a muffin in the other) and takes about twenty minutes to sweep out 8x8 tent
>floor, an inch and a half at a time, holding up the troop, the
>and everyone else.
>I go off to deeply regret having laid hands on him, while simulataneously
>trying not to congratulate myself for strangling him on the spot. While
>beating off the SPL and half the troop from assisting.
>I thought about assembling everybody before retreat to say something like,
>"Sometimes when you try to do your best you don't do as well as you want
>I'm sorry I lost my temper and I will try to do my best not to let it
>again." Circumstances conspired against our having an opportunity to do so
>before we all left, but I did say it to the kid in his mother's presence.
>bless her, this woman has the patience of a saint with this child, and
>recognizes his unique abilities to do some things wonderfully and PISS
>OFF in others; she said pointedly, "Aloysius, do you have something you
>to apologise for to Mrs. H.?" Blank look.. like, huh? He finally said,
>"Sorry," but I really think he didn't have a clue as to what for.
>So my question: Do I
>1) Submit my resignation for resorting to physical actions in a moment of
>2) Stop being so hard on myself and try to forget it even though I know the
>3) Bring it up in Sept when the troop restarts?
>4) Apologise again to his parents (who are wonderful people and wake up
>day saying "Today will be different" with this boy <G> Really. )
>On or off-list, whatever you wish...
>SA T44 Pocasset MA
>Cape Cod & Islands Council
>Abake MiSaNaKi Lodge #393
>NSJ 1997 Nat'l Health & Safety
>I useta be an Eagle...
>'The staff is old and feeble, and we can sing no more,
>So we're getting out of Gilwell while we can!'
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City