scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Re: disciplinary dilemma
Jack H. Ablon (jablon@FLASH.NET
Thu Jun 15 2000 - 21:56:04 CDT
Ken Thomas wrote:
I am currently attempting to resolve what has become a long standing
behavioral problem with a scout. It has been a long standing problem
because past scoutmasters have not effectively dealt with the young
man in question. Many incidents have occurred involving the young man
and rarely have any of the incidents been brought forward to the
committee, let alone require the scout in question to apologize for
his actions or be made aware that further incidents will not be
tolerated. As a result I have never felt comfortable considering the
man eligible for Eagle and a majority of my committee have the same
You are missing a huge opportunity! The PLC is who should be addressing
this problem ( with careful coaching by the SM with the SPL).
The Scout in question is not living the by the Oath and Law. The Scout
is responsible for his OWN behavior.
If he slips:
Step 1, he should be counseled by his Patrol Leader that his behavior is
not acceptable. Patrol Leader could be ASPL if on troop staff etc.
Step 2, if step 1 doesn't work: He should be invited to appear befor
the PLC. Told what he has been accused of and asked to explain his
side. He should be reminded that when he joined the troop he agreed to
live by the Oath and Law in exchange to do what Scouts do and be a
Scout. His behavior is not in line with that agreement and the Scouts
of this troop will no longer tolerate his lack of self-control. The SPL
leading all of this would then explain that he is welcome in the troop
but not his negative behavior. It could stop here if he seriously
agrees his behavior was unacceptable and will not happen again. OR
Step 3, The SPL leading all of this would then explain that since he is
not displaying the proper Scout spirit in this matter, the troop wants
proof that he really wants to remain a member of this troop and one of
our brothers. He will have to prove his Scout spirit and membership
desire by planning and leading a service project in the community. To
show they want him to remain a member, but only if his behavior changes,
the troop will man the project with him. This project cannot count for
rank advancement! The choice is his, the project or find another troop!
The disipline of any troop has to be based on each Scout's personal
responsibility and the collective loyalty and trust of the troop
members. The boys need to know disipline is their responsibility,
individually and collectively. When adults leave a campsite, the
disiplinarian is still in residense (the Scouts).
If you deal with the boy directly, your troop will never lkearn
self-disipline and they will always look to the adults for disipline and
what you don't know won't hurt you! Put the responsibily for behavior
on the troop leadership where it belongs.
As leaders, we need the boys to trust us so they can approach us with
concerns. That is why SM's & ASM's are not to pass judgement and sit on
a Board of Review. If you are passing judgement in disipline (and
taking actual control of the troop), you are not the friendly mentor a
SM (& ASM) needs to be.
Once this is instituted, the boys will step up in other operational
aspects of the troop and older boys will stay with the troop much
longer! It works, that's what BP has left us as a Legacy for our boys!
Yours in Scouting,
Jack Ablon, SM T-256