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  • #16
    My two cents. Decline him for scout spirit. Then explain your expectations in less then 5min. Afterwards have another meeting with him, his parents, CC, and yourself about the bullying. Make it less "come to Jesus" and more "these are our expectations". Kids need to know when they are acting like jerks, but that you will not be holding a grudge. This scout seems fixable, he just needs a kick in the butt.
    Last edited by SM bob; 06-06-2014, 12:18 PM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Twocubdad View Post
      ... immature and incredibly narcissistic.

      Q I like your thought of explaining what I want to see in a First Class Scout. The focus will be on servant leadership, helping other people at all times and the three-quarters of the Scout Law he doesn't get.

      And no, he's not going to listen. I do think declining his advancement could get his attention. It may be the first time anyone has ever told the boy no.
      I've seen a lot of narcissism, so I have every reason to consider this boy is credible. I hope your CC or someone has the stones to run interference with the parents for you.

      It's sounds like he's heard your opinion on the specific issues. Definitely no need to go there again.

      Just remember, there are probably plenty of adults who will waste words on him. All you have to do is point out what needs to appear (more kindness, courtesy, helpfulness, whatever) no excuses. We have a boy who's admittedly antisocial, we make it clear to him that we understand and don't care. His success depends on interacting with people; therefore, we will continue to put him in situations where he must do that. Your scout's success, it seems, depends on him growing some empathy. Lucky for him, your troop has situations where he can do just that.

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      • #18
        twocubdad ... Good luck. Sounds like you are handling it. My only comment is never wait for the "come to Jesus" moments. If bad behavior exists, always make it clear that it's not acceptable in scouting. Let him know that you value and like him. But that if he wants that type of behavior he should look elsewhere.

        I always hate seeing behavior problems discussed at advancement SMCs and/or BORs. Why wait? Problems must be dealt with in a timely way. Unresolved problems ( ... uhhhh .... BSA president Gates are you listening ...) only fester and create more damage than the incident.

        Over ten years, we've had several scouts like that. With the first two, we waited way too long before the come to Jesus moment. They drove good kids away. Good kids don't want to be near them and it damages your troop. Now, I'm very willing to discuss with the parents and/or the scouts the boundaries of scouting and that if they don't want to value and work within those boundaries they should consider other places to spend their time.

        It's as simple as that. You want to be a scout. Here's what we value and what is needed for us to be successful. You don't want to work in those boundaries, then move on. If you can work in the scouting boundaries, then we'd love to have you.


        king ding dong ... Your experience with GTA BOR advancement on a kid who didn't do his POR sounds right. The SM and his ASMs should have dealt with it. The committee members on the BOR are administrative and not fallback ASMs. Committee members should be working on infrastructure and not know / see enough of the boys to judge if they did their POR. I know it's not always this clean. But if you are not the SM, then you need to trust your SM or educate and improve your SM. I know things are not always that ideal, but its unfair to a scout if he was to get approval for specific requirements from the designated unit leader that works with the scouts and then to get reversed by someone else.

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        • #19
          Twocubdad, one thing still puzzles me. How did showing up for 4 hours result in this Scout retaining his POR and not being permanently replaced? The attitude in my troop seems to be if we make them "work to hard" they will quit and go somewhere else. So the camping club continues.

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          • #20
            KDD --Because he circled back around and told me he would be attending the campout, but would be arriving late. Didn't mention he would be nearly 24 hours late and would leave four hours later. The kid is good.

            Keep in mind that except for the two situations related to bullying, the other situations have taken place during the past month. I feel like we've done a good job of bring these issues up to him in real time. But now it's time to have a formal conversation looking at the cumulative situation. That would be happening one way or another. It is coincidental he requested a SMC this weekend. And yes, I'm aware SM conferences can be called for non-advancement reasons. I am also aware that each of the conversations I outlined could be considered "conferences" in according to BSA definitions.

            OX-Eagle -- not surprisingly, I don't think we are an Eagle machine. Our program has many strengths and weaknesses, but that's not one of our weaknesses. That we are holding this kid's feet to the fire should be an indication of that. The purpose of this thread isn't WETHER we should hold him accountable, but HOW that conversation should go. Frankly, I'm looking for you guys to talk me down off the ledge. My inclination is to stomp on him with both feet. I'm looking for cooler heads to help me craft a conversation which will be positive and move us toward the ultimate goal of turning this kid in the right direction.

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            • #21
              I've tried to read all these posts so I apologize if I've missed this, but are his parents aware of all this? Are they involved? What do they say, how do they react? I've seen similar personalities but they don't normally gravitate to the troop (thank goodness). Their fate isn't very good most of the time, no matter what they're involved in and it's too bad that they make things miserable for others as well.

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              • #22
                I really suggest reading the whole section in the GTA it is a good outline. If this boy and his parents are as crafty as you suspect, following the procedures outlined will be very beneficial if they end up appealing your actions which sounds likely. Like you, I am not skilled enough to craft a totally positive conversation in a circumstance like this. Are you familiar with a Personal Improvement Plan used by business to put an errant employee in a box? There is only one way out of the box and the choice is theirs.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by King Ding Dong View Post
                  I really suggest reading the whole section in the GTA it is a good outline. If this boy and his parents are as crafty as you suspect, following the procedures outlined will be very beneficial if they end up appealing your actions which sounds likely. Like you, I am not skilled enough to craft a totally positive conversation in a circumstance like this. Are you familiar with a Personal Improvement Plan used by business to put an errant employee in a box? There is only one way out of the box and the choice is theirs.
                  If there is no way to reach this Scout and his parents support his behavior, there is no appeal process if they are shown the door.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Twocubdad View Post
                    ... My inclination is to stomp on him with both feet. I'm looking for cooler heads to help me craft a conversation which will be positive and move us toward the ultimate goal of turning this kid in the right direction.
                    I've stomped and spit nails. Apologized for it shortly thereafter. About half the kids stayed on the advancement track. Telling someone that they are not a first class scout is a positive conversation. You set the bar, watch a kid climb toward it. Like I said earlier, you don't bring up a list of past wrongs. (It sounds like 2c did this.) You lay down expectations of what you want to see, and provide opportunities for a boy to show it.

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                    • #25
                      These are hard conversations to have with a boy (and parents), I have had to sit in to back up my SM in a couple. I recall the Dad afterward coming up and saying "Oh I didn't understand--you are one of THOSE troops!". Apparently boy had been progressing nicely in an adult led unit and the expectations were different...in that case we gave him partial credit for time served and extended his term with extra support...but the family dropped out anyway.

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                      • #26
                        Where to start......

                        I have neither the time nor inclination to write the 10,000 word post this needs, but here the Readers' Digest version:

                        I met with the Scout late Saturday afternoon for his SM conference. After the prelims, we got around to Scout Spirit. I asked him to run through the Scout Law and tell me how he live the 12 points in his everyday life. Starting with Trustworthy, he used the example of being on a sports team that his teammates had to trust that he could cover his position, handle the ball when it was passed to him and pass it back to the other players.

                        "In other words," I said, "they trust you to do your job."

                        "Yeah, exactly," he said.

                        "So can the new Scouts trust you to do your job as Troop Guide when you don't show up for campouts?"

                        Long silence.

                        So it goes through a couple more examples of how he has failed to live up to the Oath and Law with me pointing out a couple more issues -- "Was it Friendly when you...." I was careful not to pile on and I thought he understood my point. We had a good conversation about the specifics and transitioned into a discussion of what is expected. Mainly that he begin to consider the feelings and needs of those around him, especially the new Scouts in his charge. That he needs to be a team player. When a leader, youth or adult, assigns a task to him it is his obligation to complete it without grumbling or causing problems. I told him I would not sign off on his Scout Spirit requirement. He needs to show me he can treat others according to the Scout Law. Summer camp will be his big opportunity to do that as Troop Guide. I expect him to spend time with the new Scouts. If one is homesick, doesn't feel well or can't find a merit badge class, he needs to know it and help that Scout. If that means he has to take time away from hanging with his friends or miss a pickup soccer game, well, that's the job description. In other words, he needs to be a servant leader putting the needs of others above his own.

                        Fast forward to Sunday morning. The patrols are breaking camp and beginning to bring their gear to the troop trailer. The SPL finds me and tells me he's done dealing with this Scout. The Scout had spent the morning riding a new Scout and bullying him. The two were supposed to be washing dishes together. The new Scout couldn't keep up so this kid would wash the dishes and throw them at the other boy. The SPL said when he walked up, he could hear the younger Scout yelling at him to stop. When the younger guy saw the SPL, he went to him and asked him to make the other guy stop.

                        (Heavy sigh)

                        So we had a quick do-over on the Scoutmasters Conference. This one was most decidedly one sided, without any ambiguity and somewhat higher volume. Upon returning to the CO, I also met with his parents. His mother's comment was, "So he's showing the same disrespect to other people he shows me" which should tell you something. My CC is out of town, so we have not yet finalized a formal response. I'm leaning toward long-term suspension with a significant probation. I would not object to expulsion, but I don't see the CC going along with that.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Twocubdad View Post
                          ... (Heavy sigh) ...
                          Ditto.

                          But stay positive. Just because things don't come up roses immediately doesn't mean you did the wrong thing. The kid is getting a light shined on a dark spot of his life. It ain't gonna be pretty.

                          And I would suspend him until his mom tells me that he has been showing her the utmost respect for a few weeks. The family has issues that you (and your committee) can't fix.

                          In all this, you need to emphasize that for him to move forward, he needs to act like a 1st class scout. We have a boy like this, but the family worked very hard to give him a set of coping strategies (e.g., leave the room, walk it off, avoid fisticuffs), and the kid has the stones to apologize.

                          Also, in these situations, an SPL may feel guilty for bearing the bad news that got the kid suspended. Keep an ear open about that.

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                          • #28
                            Two quick comments....

                            --- Our troop really isn't into suspensions. Either you are a welcome member of the troop or you are not. If things change in the future, we'll welcome a scout back. But our troop doesn't really do time-outs, suspensions or the like. It's more like if you can work within the bounds of scouting, we are glad to have you. If you can't, then you need to look elsewhere. if things change, we'll be glad to have you back though.

                            --- Troop guide ... should be for your best scouts, ... your quality OA scouts. I would not put a problem scout into that role. In fact, I would remove him from that role. All that situation can do is teach younger scouts bad habits, bad attitudes and give them bad experiences. Save it for your scouts who are friends to all and glad to pitch in when needed. IMHO, never have a problem scout as troop guide. First see if they can do EDGE with younger scouts in a positive way or a scoutmaster project. But troop guide is only asking for trouble

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                            • #29
                              I would not object to expulsion, but I don't see the CC going along with that.

                              I don't see where CC should be overriding the SM on decision as to whether a scout with long term bad behavior should be able to continue to participate in scout meetings and activities.

                              I think it would be interesting to listen in on that conversation:

                              SM: CC, you are aware of all of the issues with scout X, from all of our previous discussions, correct?
                              CC: Yes, why do you ask?
                              SM: We have lost scouts and despite repeated conferences with him, he is still bullying younger scouts. I expect that it will not be long before we lose more scouts.I am going to meet with him and his parents and tell them that he will no longer be allowed to participate in the troops activities. I will give them contact info for other troops that they could approach to join. I am requesting your support.
                              CC: Sorry, you dont have it. You cant give up on this boy.
                              SM: The ASM's and I have done as much as we can. It is a problem that we do not have the ability to resolve.
                              CC: You still have to keep the boy and try your best.
                              SM: Aren't you concerned that the other boys in the troop? About having some quit, and about the negative experiences that they are having?
                              CC: You dont know that any will quit, and it is a life experience in dealing with difficult people. You have to keep him.
                              SM: I can see that I and my ASM's do not have your support, and are unable to deliver an effective program as a result of this boy. You have my resignation. I am going to tell the boys that there comes a time when everyone must stand up for what they believe in. That this is my time, I believe in them, but that the CC does not believe in what I am doing. So let me know who will be replacing me. I will be glad to work on a transition plan with them.

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                              • #30
                                Vinney -- that's not how we operate. We're going to come to a consensus. If my attitude were no way, no how, no time will he ever darken our door again, I'm sure the CC would back me up. I said I wouldn't object to expulsion, but neither am I demanding it.

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