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Tough Choices to be made for BOR

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  • Tough Choices to be made for BOR

    Hi everyone,

    I am new to these forums but will admit that I have trolled the site quite a bit in the past! I started an account today because I have come to a dilemma and would like some advise on how to proceed. I am the advancement chair in our troop and run most of the BORs. We have a fairly new troop which will be a year old next month and our highest rank in the troop is currently a life. We have a 12 year old scout in our troop who will be up for his first class BOR tomorrow. Problem is that he has been acting out significantly on facebook lately. We have received more than a few complaints from the adults he has added to his facebook page about the way he talks to the girls on his friends list. He has over 700 friends and most of these seem to be 12-14 year old girls but he has also included scouts, scouters and even several cubscouts from our Pack in his friends list.

    His facebook behavior has progressively been getting worse starting with things such as: "Like my status and I will post the top 5 hotties on the list" in which he gets an overwhelming amount of responses from these young girls and last night he started posting about the girls on his friends list in a very sexual nature. When one of the girls spoke out about it, he got really vulgar and sexually explicit with her. The scoutmaster and other leaders in our unit saw this and called his Grandparents immediately, a few minutes later his facebook page was removed completely.

    My big dilemma is this: I do not think that this scout is living the scout oath and law at all. It is one thing to show up to a meeting in uniform and wow everyone with how many merit badges you have earned recently and how well you have meet your rank requirements but when you take off that uniform you are not supposed to stop living the scout oath and law. I feel that this behavior is completely unacceptable and it got pushed too far with his posts on facebook last night. His Grandparents acted very quickly and I have to assume that he has been made well aware of how inappropriate this is by them. Now I just need to figure out how this effects scouts, if it all? Do we ask him about his recent behavior on facebook during the BOR... it is not uncommon for me or another member of the board of review to ask a scout to explain how they are living in the scout spirit at home, school, etc. Do I let it hold him back from receiving rank right away and ask him to come back in a couple weeks and tell us how he better living the oath and law? The scoutmaster actually told me that he would not have progressed him this far had this happened prior to his scoutmaster conference. I don't want to punish the kid, that is his families decision and I don't want to push him away from scouting. I also have a bunch of timid younger scouts who know he is up for a BOR and I don't want them to get discouraged about what will happen when they go to theirs. I also do want to see this be a learning lesson for him in the fact that he is expected to live the scout oath and law even when not in uniform and the way he has been treating these girls certainly does not seem to be very much in the scout spirit. Any advise on this would be appreciated as I am currently struggling with how to proceed.

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Boys will be boys.....He probably is acting like his friends. But that isn't an excuse.

    Thank you for Standing up for what is right.

    As Scoutmaster I am not involved in the BOR process, but I would have not signed off on his scout spirit and had a SMC about respect.

    I would ask the usual BOR questions and about half way in, ask a leading question about scout spirit and if he thinks he is living the law and the oath. Basically fish, if he fails to clue in ask about his behavior on facebook and the way he treats his 700 friends.

    The lad is 12. He has time to stumble on his race toward Eagle. Holding him back 6 months won't kill him. I would not pass him on his BOR based on the complaints regardless on how he responds. I am going to guess this lad has figured out how to work adults.

    If he leaves scouting over it, then he really wasn't that interested.

    Comment


    • #3
      12 year old boys are learning to be men. Puberty is taking its toll, and girls have gone from something of limited interest into completely sexual objects. Part of our molding boys into men is to help them shape their views during this time period.

      1st Class is a serious rank, from there it's straight on to Eagle if he wants it. Whether you do a serious 6 month delay, or a slap on the wrist for a few weeks delay, you'll be communicating that this is not how men behave towards women.

      Teaching him that this behavior is not the proper behavior for a gentleman is a great thing you can do for him. Punishing him is his guardian's responsibility, but shaping his character through scouting is the goal of the program.

      Looks like some work on being Friendly, Courteous, Kind and Clean is in order.

      I wouldn't wait 6 months, I'd tell him that you'll reconvene in a month and see if he is improving in his living the Scout Law. A monthly review process gives him an opportunity to get constant feedback on if he's getting better.

      Comment


      • DuctTape
        DuctTape commented
        Editing a comment
        Don't forget Trustworthy. Even having a FB account is evidence of lying as one must be 13, and declare to be such in order to create and use an account.

    • #4
      Some points
      1. The SM can have a scout conference with a scout any time there is a need. The scoutmaster conference is not only requirement for advancement. Now would be good!
      2. I recall years ago, one of our scouts had his SM conference and just before his BOR was found to have stolen athletic equipment from his school. Our SM immediately had another conference and the scout, perhaps feeling the BOR would reject him, asked for a 3 month delay in his BOR (he was approved at that time). My point, a scout can ask that his BOR be delayed.
      3. No guilt trip, a BOR rejection is not about punishment. This scout needs to get himself back on the right track.
      4. SM should also talk to his family.

      My $0.02
      Last edited by RememberSchiff; 01-20-2014, 01:31 PM.

      Comment


      • #5
        I agree with those who've posted above me. The Scout is young, and this is a wonderful chance to help the Scout correct a mistake. 12 years old is as good a time as any to learn to respect others.

        Comment


        • #6
          Thank you all, I really appreciate the input you have given me. I think you guys are thinking along the same line as I was, but I wanted to make sure that I wasn't over reacting. I will be taking this advice and will hit heavily on the BOR how he is living the scout oath and law... if he does not bite, then I will bring it up. I really liked the suggestion to meet monthly to see if he is improving on living the scout oath and law. I just do not feel that I can let this behavior slide by because first class is a very important rank and by the time a scout is first class they should fully understand the oath and law and be living it!

          Thanks again!!!

          Comment


          • #7
            One suggestion I would make is that if you want to talk about his Facebook behavior then directly talk about his Facebook behavior, don't beat around the bush asking how he feels he lives the Oath and Law, don't put out bait and see if he'll bite. You want to talk to him about a topic talk about that topic.

            Twelve year old boys are not so self aware nor so discerning that most of them will catch your hints. For the most part that path will leave you frustrated and him confused until he either stumbles on what you want or you finally give it to him directly.

            Comment


            • Basementdweller
              Basementdweller commented
              Editing a comment
              How exactly do you think that a lad learns this?????

              A question like "Do you think you have lived the scout oath, law and spirit since your last BOR?" and if he misses " Can you think of any instances where you think you didn't?" If he still misses then you get the ball peen hammer of "I read your facebook post from x days/weeks ago, how do you feel your post about X reflects the scout oath and law?" and smack him between the eyes with it.

              Simply asking the question directly gets you no where.

            • T2Eagle
              T2Eagle commented
              Editing a comment
              Why not start with the ball peen hammer. Since a scout's last BOR is probably a number of months, he could list a hundred things before he stumbled on the only one you're really interested in. What matters is the answer he gives to the real question, not how well he can guess what the real question is.

              BOR:"Can you think of instances where you didn't?" SCOUT: I said my homework was done when it wasn't BOR "When else" SCOUT I wasn't kind to my sister. BOR "Any others" SCOUT I wasn't reverent I didn't pay attention in Church. BOR "Any others?" SCOUT I wasted a bunch of money on video games. BOR "Any others?" A kid could list every transgression in the last six months without getting to the one you actually want.

          • #8
            Social social behavior used to be shaped by family and community. But youth today have social media and puts them at a disadvantage because what the family and community may consider unacceptable is perfectly acceptable in their small digital world. I had a discussion with a 35 year old work colleague who surprised me when he said that anything said on the social media is private and protected in the courts. This guy has a PHD and used to work for NASA. I like the suggestion of speaking specifically about Facebook and pointing out how the scout works in that world. I would not make a big deal of it, but instead present the suggestions as a big brother or sister saving the scout from an embarrassing moment in the future. Good luck. Barry

            Comment


            • perdidochas
              perdidochas commented
              Editing a comment
              Your Ph.D friend who used to work for NASA is right (sort of). His social media behavior is protected by the courts in terms of the government taking action against him. It's not protected against employers or other people taking action against him.

          • #9
            Agree with all of the above. Especially to be direct.
            The committee chair should simply say that since the SM conference his behavior on the internet became a serious issue. Give him two options ... talk about it to you all now, or talk to the SM about it and re-schedule the BOR when he is confident that he has talked this over. That should be appropriate.

            Although there was some bad behavior, keep in mind the boy did some good things. For one thing, he included trustworthy adults as his friends. Explain to him that whatever he does with social media in the future, that he include continue to include people he and his grandparents respect as his friends. They will help him correct his behavior. As he gets older, he will find that one those folks may need his help to call him on the carpet.

            Comment


            • #10
              I am more concerned with adults being friends with 12yo on Facebook.
              Last edited by gsdad; 01-21-2014, 10:06 AM.

              Comment


              • Basementdweller
                Basementdweller commented
                Editing a comment
                of course my responses seem odd to you.

                We live in two different United States.

              • gsdad
                gsdad commented
                Editing a comment
                I am in the woods, water, etc... with them. People seem to be more brazen, and lose their inhibitions online. You do what makes you happy, I for one don't think there is a reason a 40yo should be friends with a kid. Nor do I text or email my players, or crew members without copying their parents. An accusation or implication of impropriety is as damning as actual misconduct and I am not opening myself up to any.

              • scoutergipper
                scoutergipper commented
                Editing a comment
                There's also a Youth Protection component of Adults being Facebook friends with youth. The Youth Protection guidelines protect not only the youth, but Adults as well. It is not very easy to make a false accusation of abuse against an Adult who has another Adult with him or her at all times. It is a short-sighted decision to friend a youth as that gives an Adult access (through Private Messaging) allows contact with the youth without "two-deep" and makes it easier for a false accusation to "stick."

                We also have a policy that no Adult should email a youth without also copying either that youth's parent(s) or at least one of the Adult Leaders.

            • #11
              I wanted to let you guys know how we put the advise to work:
              1. The SM had a SM conference prior to the BOR. Informed the scout that the BOR would address this with him, he decided to go through with it.
              2. The scout was asked if he felt he was living the Oath and Law and immediately said no and did a good job of explaining why. We counseled a bit on how his actions effect others but informed him we were not trying to punish him, but wanted him to understand the importance of living the oath and law.
              3. We asked the scout if he felt he was ready to advance in rank- scout said he WANTS to but probably not ready.
              4. BOR agreed to reconvene in 1 mo. and he is going to meet with SM weekly until then to discuss how he is better living oath and law.

              Thanks again everyone for your advise... I think it worked out well.

              gsdad- just to inform you several scouts in our Troop have added the leaders to their facebook friends, none of which have went and decided they were going to start requesting the scouts, it is the other way around. Several even have our DE and OA advisor added to their friends list as well. It helps us get information out to them and has never caused even a minor problem until this event. If anything, it has kept the leaders behaving better on facebook because we know we are setting the example for the scouts who have requested us as fb friends.

              dedkad- the cubscouts on facebook is concerning yes but the decision to have a fb account is not up to the troop leaders- it is up to the parents. I do know that several of the parents of the webelos control their kids accounts and will add or accept friend requests as they see fit.

              Comment


              • #12
                Thanks for coming back and letting us know what happened.

                His response is what I would have expected from a 12 year old.

                But I am curious why a mere month delay seems sufficient? the behavior the young man displayed too a while to become part of him, I think it will take more than a month to correct itself.


                as a parent I think the telling thing to look for is what other websites he is visiting.

                The young man learned these behaviors from someone, I am going to bet is was either youtube or porn sites.

                Comment


                • #13
                  Just to give you some legalese from the Guide to Advancement,http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf

                  8.0.1.5 After the Review - ... If a board does not approve, the candidate must be so informed and told what he can do to improve. Most Scouts accept responsibility for their behavior or for not completing requirements properly. If it is thought that a Scout, before his 18th birthday, can benefit from an opportunity to properly complete the requirements, the board may adjourn and reconvene at a later date. If the candidate agrees to this, then if possible, the same members should reassemble. If he does not agree, then the board must make its decision at that point. In any case, a follow-up letter must be promptly sent to a Scout who is turned down. It must include actions advised that may lead to advancement, and also an explanation of appeal procedures... The council must keep a copy of the letter.
                  FYI there is no appeal process for First Class and lower ranks.

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    Basementdweller: I'm sorry, I did not clarify well enough. We agreed to reconvene in a month, we did not agree to pass him through in a month. I do hope that the weekly SMC's will help him out with that though. I am also a bit curious as to where he is picking this up, perhaps I should suggest this to the SM for the SMC's.

                    Click23: Thank you for pointing this out, I had actually found it before the BOR took place as well. I did not see a lack of appeal process for first class or lower however so thank you for that! As far as giving him a letter, I am not sure we will need to because he actually said that he did not feel he was ready, he made the decision (even if it is the same decision we would have made for him).

                    Thanks again guys! Everytime I turn around, you guys are adding something new and interesting!

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      Sounds like you guys handled the situation well. As to where the lad is picking this stuff up? Youtube or a porn site? Hmmmm, maybe. I'd venture to guess its a little closer to home. Does this lad or any of his close friends have an older brother? One say in late high school or early college? Good bet he picked it up from a slightly older male aquantance that he views as being "cool", thus imitates the behavoir to seem "cool" too.

                      In our troop, I can almost without exception tell you which boys have older siblings (especially older brothers) and who has younger siblings. Thos with older sibs know more about sex, more about drugs, and have to be reminded more often to watch their language than those who are the eldest child in the house or are an only child. Simple fact, a younger sibling often grows up faster and is more "worldly" than his average peer. Not a hard and fast rule, but more often than not, this holds true.

                      YouTube, they can only find so much sex ed stuff... Youtube does a pretty good job of policing itself. A porn site - not sure what he would get from this. Unless his FB posts had him talking about sex acts / things a 12 y/o should have no knowledge about - I doubt he has found that corner of cyber-space yet. If its who was "hot" or who had the best "body part" lists... sounds like an older sibling / friend thing to me. IMHO

                      As an aside - this is a very good lesson for the lad to learn. Today it was just a BOR for scouts... what happens in a few years when a potential employer sees his FB activity of years past. Or, the father of the girl he really loves? Nothing really ever goes away completely in the digital age. Glad I was 12 y/o in the 1980's - no digital copy of every stupid thing I ever did exists

                      Sounds like you guys handled the situation well. As to where the lad is picking this stuff up? Youtube or a porn site? Hmmmm, maybe. I'd venture to guess its a little closer to home. Does this lad or any of his close friends have an older brother? One say in late high school or early college? Good bet he picked it up from a slightly older male aquantance that he views as being "cool", thus imitates the behavoir to seem "cool" too.

                      In our troop, I can almost without exception tell you which boys have older siblings (especially older brothers) and who has younger siblings. Thos with older sibs know more about sex, more about drugs, and have to be reminded more often to watch their language than those who are the eldest child in the house or are an only child. Simple fact, a younger sibling often grows up faster and is more "worldly" than his average peer. Not a hard and fast rule, but more often than not, this holds true.

                      YouTube, they can only find so much sex ed stuff... Youtube does a pretty good job of policing itself. A porn site - not sure what he would get from this. Unless his FB posts had him talking about sex acts / things a 12 y/o should have no knowledge about - I doubt he has found that corner of cyber-space yet. If its who was "hot" or who had the best "body part" lists... sounds like an older sibling / friend thing to me. IMHO

                      As an aside - this is a very good lesson for the lad to learn. Today it was just a BOR for scouts... what happens in a few years when a potential employer sees his FB activity of years past. Or, the father of the girl he really loves? Nothing really ever goes away completely in the digital age. Glad I was 12 y/o in the 1980's - no digital copy of every stupid thing I ever did exists

                      Comment


                      • qwazse
                        qwazse commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Double paste? Better than double post!
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