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  • Disrespectful Scouts

    Hi, I am at my wits end & would like advise for the following situation:

    1) My first year as co-leader (k) our troop shared the cafateria with another troop year older (1st grade). While our troop was engaged in a craft, the other troop began running thru the cafeteria & junping off the stage platform about 3 feet in height. Their leader must was not in the room. I walked over to the scouts and told them sternly "There is NO Running and Certainly No Jumping in the school building. The rules are the same after school as they are during." When their troop leader learned of my repremand of her scouts, She told me I had No Right to discipline her Troop.
    2) At our Service Units Parent/Scout Dinner where about 250 where in attendance, there were several Public Address announcements made stating that was NO RUNNING at the catering hall. The PA system was ignored by most of the scouts. Their parents did nothing. Two scouts where particularly wild, running fast around tables. At first i tired to get their attention nicely by saying "Excuse me, No running, that dannger, and this is not a playground, etc etc.." But after the 2nd Loud Speaker announcement And watching the lil scout run right into a waiter serving a tray and nearly toppling it, I put my open hand & arm out in her path to stop her, I took her by the hand and in a stern voice I said "Wheres Your Mother". I took her to her mother and told her that she need to control her child. I then went to council and we both agreed of the aplorable disrepect these scouts were allowed to do, while their parents ignored the situation. Later the parent came to me visibly upset that i had "Touched" her child. I stated "If you dont disipline your child; I will". Everyone in our Troop and everyone I had spoken with therafter, agreed that the Parent/Scout dinner was Horrible and that something had to be done to curb the chaos.
    Fast forward to my third year in scouts.
    Again being asked to co-lead in June, i was extremely dissapoointed ot learn the Troops leader had not chosen me but instead 3,yes 3!!!!! other co-leaders for a group of 10 scouts. When I expressed my disappointment, I was informed that council denied my application because of these two incendents. I asked WHO was in charge andwas given the name of our service unit coordinator. When I spoke to her, i was informed by her that NO discipline in any form is permitted in scouting, and what i did in both instances was the WRONG thing to do.
    When I let my scouts troop leader and SU coordinator no that I had just taken the first day of training to lead my own troop, the SUC told me that I would Never lead a troop while she was SUC (1 yr of 4 year term) and further more, she was switching my daughter out of her troop of friends for the last 3 years and she was BARRING me from attending any further meetings and events. She called me a troublemaker, said she had no use for my "safety concerns" and that if I took this any further, she would "ruin me".

    I have contacted an attorney have been researching the safety-wise booklet and have found many other instances of the "rules not being respected". I have found there are not-for-profit whistle blower protection laws and i want to know if you have any advise on how I can get my safety concerns addressed.

    PS: During the first leader training, i met with several other brand new leaders from other SU's & school districts who have already put a child other than their own in time out and told parents that their child needs a good spanking.

    Please direct me to scouting policy on proper procedure for disiplining scouts who blatently ignore and disrespect rules.

    Leading by the book.

  • #2
    Of course discipline is allowed in Scouting. I would NOT recommend telling a parent her child needs a spanking, but telling another Troops girls to stop running & jumping is not wrong.

    Contact your GS council & talk to your area rep. Let them know what is going on.

    Your SUC sounds like a nut job to me.


    • #3
      Amen to Scoutnut.
      I'm not a GS leader, but in a BS Troop, ours at least, there is 'in loco parentis' in force. If my boy was misbehaving, I would expect to at least hear about it, and I would expect one of the other Troop leaders to at least caution my child about their behavior, should it be inappropriate. And they all know that I would inform them of their boys actions or language, if unScoutlike.
      There's discipline and then there's discipline. Spanking? not in my presence. Advising a parent to use physical discipline? Bad choice. Taking the child TO their parents? Very appropriate, I think.
      If we take your report at face value, I would think your SUC is either misinterpreting what happened or heard only one side of the events. I believe I would take it up the line of command, such as GS has, and get clarification as to what IS expected. Do the GS Troop leaders have an expectation of their charges behaving like young ladies inside or like football players outside at recess? You might point out that the girls have made a Promise and have a Law they are expected to abide by. In our case, "A Scout is... Courteous,kind, obedient...", none of which it would seem the subject youngsters were living up to? What expectations do the parents have, if not to encourage their child to follow the GSP and GSL?
      I would avoid the lawyer. That will unnecessarily thicken the soup, so to speak. Pursue the dialog in the GS world, politely, calmly, reasonably. You will clear your name and lead others to think about their use and type of "discipline".

      Thank you for being there.

      "The great successes of the world are accomplished by them what show up".

      YiS(This message has been edited by SSScout)


      • #4
        Thank you for your comment regarding the SU coordinator. I had already come to the same conclusion, hense the need to contact an attorney. What I need is Scout Documentation on the Proper procedure for helping scouts & scout leaders follow the rules of scouting as written in the safety-wise manual.

        It seems that the general concencus is that this service unit is very lax in it procedures, paperwork and repremand of leaders who are not following the Scout program as it is ment to run. As luck would have it, the Cub scouts were infront of my local supermarket this weekend, and I had the opportunity to offer my suppport as a co-leader and register my son with the troop in our district.

        I was in scouting and pioneer girls as a child, and i remember how being respectful and law abiding was part of the program. What happened? Is this only out of control on Long Island or NY, or is this a national problem?

        I really dont have the time or energy to devote to "uncovering" all these issues regarding my service unit and scouting in general, but I feel like ive just gone to the "monsenier" and reported an incidence of inappropriate conduct by a "man of the cloth" and have been blacklisted and told to keep quiet.

        I have nothing to hide and will testify to the events I have witnessed.
        Please write to me privately at

        Leading by the book,


        • #5
          Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry you have had to deal with this. There is definitely discipline in Girl Scouts. We had a couple who didn't follow our rules last Friday (our meeting day) while we were on a field trip. They had to sit out for the rest of the field trip and we talked to their parents when we got back. This was after my co-leader gave them a long speech about how disappointed she was in their behavior.

          I think you should check your local council's policies as well as Safety-Wise. I don't recall reading much about discipline in Safety-Wise but I think we have guidelines in our council policies.



          • #6
            Your only mistake was heading this thread as "Disrespectful Scouts." Instead, it should have read "Disrespectful Scout Leaders!"

            Of course you acted properly and responsibly. If I were you, I'd simply walk away and let the Scout leaders who don't believe in discipline preside over the resulting disasters. They showed you no respect and will surely reap what they have sown.


            • #7


              I can feel your pain.

              Years ago, at a neighborhood Pack meeting and their annual Blue and Gold banquet, I was visiting to conduct the annual FOS presentation. The chaos started long before I got to the stage, but the Cubbies' older sisters started practicing gymnastics during their younger brothers Blue and Gold Banquet, which got their younger brothers running, which led to uncontrollable chaos. Whew!

              And now having three nearly grown children of my own (one in college and two in high school), I've attended many Scout functions, school functions, sports banquets, PTA meetings, etc. Your description of events sounds more like a parental problem than just these Girl Scouts or their leaders.

              These forums are for BSA, GSUSA, Scouts of Canada and a few other Scouting associations. But the largest population, would probably be BSA. I don't think there is any publications in the BSA (past or present) that will address proper procedures for discipline. There may be policies in the individual unit bylaws, but not any Scouting policy from National BSA.

              Now regarding the BSA Guide to Safe Scouting. Scouts may be removed from that units membership, if the committee deems a Scout to be harmful to other Scouts.

              Some unit bylaws will allow Scouts being escorted directly home, from a meeting or event, by their parents when discipline becomes a problem. (for whatever reasons that break the units tolerance and threshold).

              Can you imagine getting a call, while your teenager is 200 miles away at camp, and being told to come retrieve your teenager right now? I've seen it happen a few times, and I've nearly had to make the call. Each time was justifiable.

              In Boy Scouts, occasions like this would only be found in unit policies, so be cautious while searching for a national discipline policy in the GS/USA.

              Scouting Forever and Venture On!
              Crew21 Adv