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About Timm

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  1. I'd first like to thank everyone for their contributions. I especially like the perspective captnkirk shared, this is really the root of my issue: "I would trust the safety of another person to A 15-year-old Scout. I would not neccisarily have the same trust in a GROUP of 15-year-old Scouts. It was not so long ago that I myself was a 15-year-old boy (6 years now) and I remember quite well the mischief we used to get into. I suspect even some of the older former Scouts out there can remember doing things in Scouting that did not reflect well on the Scouting movement." This is a 15-year-old boy problem. We can argue endlessly on wether this is a training problem or a scoutmaster problem or a BSA program problem. Not everyone matures at the same rate, some never do so maybe I'm answering my own question but the adults need for being present should depend on the maturity demonstrated by all the scouts participating in the outing. In some instances an adult needs to be present on a constant basis, in others they can be left to work and play as a patrol. And the dangers faced out in the wilderness may be different but not necessarily worse than those in an urban environment. Given my above conclusion, here is another thread I should start. What do you do when a patrol has one or two scouts who seem to be more interested in causing mischief and setting (leading) a bad example? It hurts the whole patrol.
  2. An ongoing argument I am having deals with adult supervision of patrols on overnight outings. One position argues that, on outings, the adults camp seperately up to half a mile from the patrols and interact with the patrols on an as required basis (i.e. approve activities which may include a short hike). Interaction should be kept to an absolute minimum to allow the patrols to succeed and fail, and learn from that failure. The other position is that the adults are there to watch the scouts, superverise their activities, at all times, to make sure nothing inappropriate is occuring. i.e. Bullying, playing with fire, unsafe activities etc. To create a safe and productive environment for the scouts to work on their scouting skills and avoid the screwing around and getting into trouble that occurs as a result of idle time. It seems to me there is a fine line between coddling the scouts and creating a 'lord fo the flies' environment but quite frankly, I don't know where it should be drawn. My own boys have been hit, intentionally, with rocks, threatend with a knife, and, at times, bullied by older scouts. And my own thought at the time was 'where were the adults when this behavior was going on?' What is the role of the adults on an overnight outing.
  3. Twocubdad got it right. The scout in my post used a deadly weapon (a knife)to threaten and itimidate another scout. Without trying to overreact, I believe that this incident warrants more than just getting your knife confiscated and extra cleaning duty. Sure we all see the sometimes ridiculousness of the zero tolerance policy. But society has gone to this extreme because people have been incapable of exercising 'good judgement' when faced with situations such as we have here. The knife was not a GI joe Two inch plastice knife. I think you really need to put yourself, or your own child at the receiving end of the threat, and you would quickly conclude that disciplenary action taken was not sufficient. And when deciding what should be done I think you should not just consider what should be done to the scout who pulled the knife but what is also best for the troop. A 'no harm, no foul' attitude is just burying your head in the sand to the seriousness of the incident. I probably should have started a second post because the incidents, jerryzs' and mine, are somewhat different.(This message has been edited by Timm)
  4. I had a similar incident occur at summer camp this year but rather than start a new thread, I'll just add it in here. First, I'd like to comment on what has been posted here. I see a lot of minimization of the seriousness of threatening a person with a knife occurring in the posts being made. Some posts describe the scouts act as just 'stupid and immature' which is a description that fits most criminal acts. Our judicial system is overwhelmed with those that have acted 'stupid and immature'. It was a crime nonetheless. Of course the act was 'just a bad joke', after he'd been reported. In general I see a lot of posts about what should be done to correct the criminal behavior. Very few discuss what should be done in the best interests of the troop. In my case, at summer camp three weeks ago, a group of older scouts was going to a camp activity while a group of younger scouts attempted to tag along, much to the dismay of the older scouts. The groups got stretched out such that the younger scouts where behind two older scouts when one of the younger scouts tried to race in front of them. When he did one of the older scouts pulled out his knife and said, "If you take one more step I'll knife you." At this the other older scout instructed the scout with the knife to put it away, this wasn't safe... The younger scouts retreated to camp and reported it to the senior patrol leader who conducted an investigation, which resulted in the offending scouts knife being confiscated and some latrine duty. At some point the troop adult leader was notified, as was the camp staff. The child was not removed from camp, and neither the parent of the child who was assaulted or the child with the knife were notified of the incident and may have never found out had a conversation not been overheard during a committee meeting. Clearly the adult leaders failed to take appropriate action at camp. The kid should have been sent home immediately. The adult leaders also failed in communicating to the parents of those kids involved. Now what is to be done with the kid making threats with the knife? Would any of the other troops represented here be willing to accept, as a member, a scout who pulled his knife on another scout? Would anyone allow their child to continue to interact in a group where flashing knifes and making threats to 'knife them' are tolerated? I don't know of any responsible parent that would. Maybe you'll call me an 'overprotective parent' but a parents job is to make sure that their children are safe, part of this means making sure that you approve of the company they keep. If this had been any other youth organization the child committing the offense would be removed. No questions asked. If this was to occur in your home, I'm sure the child would not be allowed to return, and, you probably would report it to the authorities. Finally, we have to consider what we are teaching our children and what is best for the troop. Does anybody really think that latrine duty and taking his knife away will really teach him a lesson? What message did the other scouts receive?
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