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  • Scout continually delays group by not obeying or following through

    After over two years of dealing with a recalcitrant scout that refuses to get up much of the time, and finds way not help with activities that he feels are boring or not centered on him, I appear to have reached the limit. He went to summer camp for the first time, and before we left, his family and he assured me that he would cooperate. Since he has "improved a little", we took him, hoping the longer period would help get him into the flow. It backfired, and he got worse. He missed flags three mornings, his stewarding job twice in the AM, and on Saturday, while all the rest were 90% ready to load and leave before breakfast, he refused to get up and dress. I finally lost it and dragged his sleeping bag off of him and out of the tent, which finally got him moving, but of course with attitude. (yes, I had another adult with me). His actions made us late home by over an hour, but during the week they also made other scouts have to do some of his group work.

    He has a lot of home issues, and came into the troop at 11 via the help of a "Big Brother". We have tried to give him leeway, and he shows flashes of possibility, then reverts again. He is now 14, and the rest of the scouts also have started avoiding him, even when he is not acting out.

    While I need to deal with it, I just hate giving a boy an ultimatum; but it is unfair to the rest of the scouts and to the other leaders, who lost patience long ago.

    Thoughts on how to handle please.

  • #2
    SM conference with parents present (since they were convinced little Johnny would shape up), laying out how scout's conduct at camp affected the rest of the troop, and that any further disrespect towards adults or refusing to pull his weight will result in a suspension. Doesnt sound like anything other than an ultimatum is going to get thru that noggin.

    Or, you could institue a wake up policy of 2 polite knocks on the tent, and the third will be a bucket of ice water

    Comment


    • #3
      Have you tried natural consequences like no flags no breakfast ? Don't participate in cleanup no next meal? Are the parents supportive of consequences? (Probably not and that is your biggest problem). Find out how much sleep he normally gets. My troop has a real problem with respecting lights out time and frequently are up past midnight. This is hell on my son as he needs 10 hours or he is a mess in the morning. It is starting to click with him and he starting to crash after cracker barrel instead of staying up chatting with the rest of our delinquents.

      Comment


      • #4
        You're a really meany for depriving the SPL of an opportunity to transplant a cot into the latrine.

        If you an the boys are willing to continue putting up with his recalcitrance, you need to figure out how to make him as minimum a nuisance as possible. In addition to some of the above suggestions:
        • He may only come to camp with minimum gear.
        • No walled tent (or any tent if the weather's nice).
        • Every morning, he rolls and packs his sleeping bag.
        • His campsite undergoes full inspection before he goes to bed. He presents in PJ's with his change of clothes, etc ...
        • If he's an owl, fine, he must take responsibility for nighttime duties. (E.g., checking food storage, garbage to the dumpsters, polishing mirrors on the latrine, dousing the fire, preparing the tinder-stash, checking tarp lines, recording the rate of cricket chirps, etc ...)
        In other words, to sleep in, a boy needs to make it worth his fellow scouts' while to do without him in the morning.

        Oh, and make sure you issue treats to every scout who snaps to in the morning.

        Comment


        • #5
          A graph of cricket chirps by hour is key to any successful campout.

          Mid-week, we sent all the boys who had not straightened up their adirondack's prior to leaving for flag back to camp with no breakfast to get the job finished. It didn't take long for the second effort to meet the approval of the ASM and it was back to the Dining Hall. Choices and consequences.

          Comment


          • #6
            Any of you guys have some vacation time to come knock some heads at my troop? I will have you start with the parents.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by skeptic View Post
              After over two years of dealing ...
              ​Two years ??? These situations need to be dealt with early and quick. An oppositional, defiant scout or even a scout who doesn't want to follow the program can poison a troop. Gives the troop a bad name. Ruins experiences. Drives away existing scouts. Hurts future recruitment.

              We as scouters have kind hearts and we want to work with the scouts. So these situations drag on and on. Until we are all too worn out to handle it anymore.

              IMHO, we need to handle these early in the scouting experience. The pattern was probably seen in the first few meetings or first camp out. Right away the scout needs to have a scoutmaster conference to see what the scout is thinking .. AND ... to clearly communicate expectations. I've tried to practice that conversation so I'm ready in advance. Pretty much it includes:

              ------- what scouts is about
              ------- what scouts value
              ------- what is expected
              ------- if you can work within those boundaries, we're excited to have you
              ------- if not, you should look elsewhere to spend your time
              ------- if you decide in the future you want to function as a scout, we'll be glad to have you back.

              ................

              IMHO, for this scout, he needs to move on. You are a volunteer and your not paid to deal with this. Nor do you have the training or authority (dragging sleeping bag) to handle these types of issues.

              You need to talk with his parents to let them know. Then, you should let him know too.
              Last edited by fred johnson; 07-23-2014, 03:02 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by skeptic View Post
                After over two years of dealing with a recalcitrant scout that refuses to get up much of the time, and finds way not help with activities that he feels are boring or not centered on him, I appear to have reached the limit. He went to summer camp for the first time, and before we left, his family and he assured me that he would cooperate. Since he has "improved a little", we took him, hoping the longer period would help get him into the flow. It backfired, and he got worse. He missed flags three mornings, his stewarding job twice in the AM, and on Saturday, while all the rest were 90% ready to load and leave before breakfast, he refused to get up and dress. I finally lost it and dragged his sleeping bag off of him and out of the tent, which finally got him moving, but of course with attitude. (yes, I had another adult with me). His actions made us late home by over an hour, but during the week they also made other scouts have to do some of his group work.

                He has a lot of home issues, and came into the troop at 11 via the help of a "Big Brother". We have tried to give him leeway, and he shows flashes of possibility, then reverts again. He is now 14, and the rest of the scouts also have started avoiding him, even when he is not acting out.

                While I need to deal with it, I just hate giving a boy an ultimatum; but it is unfair to the rest of the scouts and to the other leaders, who lost patience long ago.

                Thoughts on how to handle please.

                So YOU Got him!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by scoutergipper View Post
                  A graph of cricket chirps by hour is key to any successful campout.
                  OH-OHH. I think that is hazing! The next step to doing the little teapot song for lost gear...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by King Ding Dong View Post
                    Have you tried natural consequences like no flags no breakfast ? Don't participate in cleanup no next meal? Are the parents supportive of consequences?
                    As a dad I have to teach my children about rights, privileges, responsibilities, and consequences. The need for and the difference between them as well as what each looks like. It is not the Boy scouts job to parent my kids. By design the Boy scouts are values-based youth development organization that ADDS to my teachings as well as what school, church, and personal experiences provide but not replace. Expecting SM's to replace all parenting, regardless of training or personal experience, is just wrong. It so often starts out in Cubs when Den moms are used as free babysitters. The assumption that Scouting will fix a "bad seed" is ridiculousness and lazy.

                    If you have to struggle this much with a scout then he needs to be removed from troop activities until he and his parents have figured things out. Now the parents or council may not go for that so natural consequences may need to be allowed to occur. This can be done without bullying or hazing. No food until morning duties are accomplished while at camp is a very good suggestion, hunger is a rather primal motivator, and no one died by being sent to bed without any dinner (so to speak). Putting less effort in to trying to get him to do anything, and more time into the other boys will leave him bored, lacking attention, and alone. His own sloth will become too much and he will seek you out. At that time you need to uphold the consequences that have been established for this boys behavior. An Amish shunning so to speak. More than likely he has already experienced some of this from the other boys. Peer pressure at that age is also a very strong motivator.

                    Don't give up, but don't give in either. If you just can't figure it out then utilize your leadership structure and get help from others above.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree with Fred on this. By this time the patterns are set fairly strongly and will be difficult to break. Time for him to move on if he can't shape up immediately.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Scouting is a GAME.... if you don't want to play, then find happiness elsewhere. Do not let a bad apple cost you the barrel.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          only way this would be tolerated by my scouts and by me would be if it's a one time deal due to illness. Otherwise all are expected to do chores assigned to them by PL/SPL. They are given a pullout time and that is the time we leave for summer camp the times for departing for flags/meals is posted and expected to be followed as well. When preparing to depart the boys who get done pitch in to help boys not done yet. It boys are do not follow through then they spend their part of their free time doing chores or cleaning up their tent.

                          and as others have said this is done within the first couple campouts. If it continues after the second then a sit down, and if it still continues then they don't come until they show within our other activities that they are improving and deserve a shot

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            New troop, new Webelos boys, and summer camp. Had one of the 4 boys exactly as described. I ignored the whole thing. We had the two adults and had YPT covered and the boys could leave him behind if they chose to. They never did. They all saw to it he was fed, clothed at flags and off to MB classes ever morning. I have no idea how they did it, but whatever it was did not evoke any loud yelling, screams from the boy and no one left any marks. I don't plan on ever asking either. By the way the boy earned 3 of the 5 MB's and had two partials that shouldn't be to difficult to follow up on. Out of the 4 he was the only one to complete Wilderness Survival MB.

                            The 11 year old PL, however, did have some experience prior to coming into Boy Scout as having worked with disabled youth in special day camps set up by other programs. That might have been part of the solution, I don't know.

                            Stosh

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Jblake -

                              Your kid sounds like my son. He earned the MB's because he was interested in the topics, not so with the other things on which he had to be pushed.

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