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Posts posted by chaoman45

  1. I will try and keep this short. If you aren't familiar with dealing with autism or other disabilities, it can be a pain. Especially when having something like autism is a magnet for ridicule and bullying.


    Bullying of one particular Scout, who has mild autism, is not a problem any more after the adult leadership cracked down hard. Scouts know they are walking in a mine field if they intentionally throw acorns at him or take his hat and play keep away. But even so, we have two problems: victim-precipitation and overreaction on the autistic kid's part.


    One time, the troop was doing a rough outdoor game during a meeting requiring them to take off uniforms. The autistic Scout (I'm just gonna call him Smith for short) decided it would be a funny joke if he threw some uniforms onto the church parking lot in a wrinkled up mess. Of course, the Scouts whose uniforms were on the ground chased Smith. No, they weren't going to beat him up, but they chased Smith pretending to "teach him a lesson." So they were playing around basically, but Smith thought he was going to get hurt. He cried, of course. I told him he started it and I couldn't do anything about it. A week later in a meeting, the SM made a friendly reminder about an upcoming event and asked a follow-up question: "Okay, so what time do we meet here for the campout?" Curtly, Smith literally yells impatiently: "FIVE THIRTY! YOU SAID IT ALREADY SO CAN WE JUST GET THE MEETING OVER WITH NOW?" Absolute silence and shock. His patrol members ages 12-14 ragged on him for being disrespectful. His mom after the meeting also reprimanded him for the disrespect, which is always nice to have parents do! He is beginning to cause problems rather than problems coming to him. Leaders are not sure how to deal with the fact that he's inviting criticism AND overreacting to nothing.


    We have arrived at the conclusion that he is intentionally self-destructing as a way to be kicked out of Scouts since he does not want to be there. He is also very dependent on parents and begins to cry if they are gone for more than a day. His parents want him to stay in Scouts so that he can learn to become more independent. With that basis, we don't want to remove the Scout. Smith is smart, but his irregularities still attract negative attention from his peers, especially patrol members. If you have ever dealt with an autistic Scout, I would like to hear how you handled any and all problems associated with it.

  2. The ideal patrol is no less than 6 and no more than 8. We've used that reasoning for over 100 years, so it's not like the people at national thought of it arbitrarily. My question is if it's terrible to have patrols of... say 12.


    When I was a youngun, my patrol was at 11 when I first started and dwindled down to 4 at one point. I don't think it was ever at a solid 8, and if it was, it wasn't for long. Our Scoutmaster of several years was under the assumption that patrols are sustainable for up to 12. It had its advantages, too. You never have to worry about 4 or less of your patrol members going on campouts. I could list disadvantages, but those are obvious (harder to maintain, rowdiness, etc).


    How do you handle your patrol sizes? Is more than 8 a recipe for fail?

  3. The date of the successfully completed Board of Review for a rank is the date the tenure for his next rank begins.




    Ranks/MBs should be obtained and awarded ASAP. Court of Honours are not official presentations and endowments of awards - they are for recognition.

  4. @Papadaddy - Some people might like anonymity, sure. But I wouldn't think at least listing a council would be too excessively intrusive.


    @Gary - I've always wanted to visit OR sometime. Seems like a nice area.


    @dg - That was my issue also.

  5. If I felt it was more about friends than utilitarian motives, I would sit down and question him on his choices.


    "Billy for Instructor? Why?"


    Also, some positions shouldn't be seen as "do you have experience?" The whole point of the PORs and LPs is to develop experience. The SM is the final word, contrary to the idea of a boy-run programme.

  6. I'm not exactly new, but I never really said hi either. Moreover, I see a lot of frequent posters but can't say I know much about y'all. I'm more interested in which council you serve with, and maybe your experience in Scouting.


    I'm from Mid-America Council. Rose from Wolf Scout (97) to Doofer (01) to ASM. How 'bout you?


    ...Also hi.

  7. Late reply is late.


    @Beavah - Yeah, I agree that it's not a coincidence to have all of these things happen at once. I think the biggest reason for those incidences at that particular camp was because there was no programme. Ever since then, the PLC took things a lot more seriously and began planning things.


    @Eamonn - The adults did not invent that terminology. Not surprisingly, the troublemakers used it as an expressive way to justify their behaviour. Kinda like labeling laziness as being "energetically handicapped."


    @Kudu - We actually tried that with a couple of them. One was assigned a service project at summer camp because he kept complaining the SPL didn't know how to lead (this happened on Monday). It was a minor camp renovation. Since the boy isn't too well-liked in the first place, you can imagine his roster of volunteers ended up being 0. This dragged on and on Thursday the SM asked him about his progress. He muttered an unintelligible statement we think was "I'm working on it." On Friday (the deadline), he was the only Scout working until his dad picked up a tool and started helping. The SM didn't like the idea of an adult helping, but let it go to see what would happen. Turns out, other Scouts saw the dad had to work and they eventually pitched in so the dad didn't have to do anything. In all, the Scout isn't as disruptive or disrespectful toward leaders. We need to do this with four or five others and see where it goes.


    @All - Thanks again for the insight!

  8. What do you think? There's a squabble between two adults in our troop - one is the OA master (has a long history with OA and such) and has not taken Wood Badge. The other is Wood Badge trained (both 20th and 21st Century Wood badge, iirc) and attained the Vigil honour. Both can't agree on the value of Wood Badge. #1 says it's of no use for him since he's been in Scouting for so long and says OA teaches more leadership skills than Wood Badge could. #2 says he's never seen OA do anything, let alone demonstrate leadership skills and promotes Wood Badge.


    I am currently Wood Badge trained (C-23-10) and am a Brotherhood. I only saw WB as another training course, not a rite of passage. It did teach me some useful things and let me interact with other council Scouters. Don't really do much in OA, honestly. Whilst I don't view either one to be "worse" than the other, I feel that different people will get more/less out of each. Just depends on who they are I guess.

  9. The leader you described I would refer to as a "user." They want things to go their way, but if you deviate even the slightest bit they whine and complain.


    You may not agree or even like what I say, but here goes. If this leader still has a few weeks or whatever until she quits, FIRE HER NOW. I'd rather have a lack of leaders than a bad one that poisons the programme. Also, the last time we had a leader who kept spreading rumours and slander around, the Scout Executive got involved. This may be your best option if it's negatively impacting your pack. I guess I'm not entirely sure what question you have, though.

  10. Don't do it. There is a reason the BSA will not allow wearing uniforms for commercial solicitation and lack of advertising in handbooks. In the earlier days, Boy Scouts were shown advertising Coke and Daisy BB guns but along the lines they stopped. I don't know why. But allowing endorsement of a business isn't the greatest idea. Allow me to copy a scenario from Ask Andy:


    Tom, Dick, and Harry, all business owners, donate equally to your troop's new trailer. Tom wants "Tom's Children's Books" painted on the side. OK, no big deal. Dick owns a different sort of business, and wants "Dick's Liquor & Tobacco" on the side of the trailer. Hmmm, now what? Well, maybe it's not too bad, because Dick's been a local business for a half-century and everybody knows him anyway. Now Harry wants his business's name on your trailer, too. It's "Harry's Adult Books and XXX Videos." Now what? You've already said yes to the others, so how can you refuse? This situation exaggerates, of course, but the point remains: When you put a commercial business's name and/or advertising on Boy Scout stuff, you suggest endorsement by the Boy Scouts in general and your troop in particular, and maybe this isn't such a great idea in the long run, because you can wind up in a compromising situation. This is called "The Law of Unintended Consequences" and it never gets better or goes away by itself.

  11. Oh, and I'd like to add we try to avoid sending kids home. It was our belief that we want them involved in the programme, not to send them home when they acted up. Of course, this hasn't stopped us. In fact, one campout this year, we sent three home on the same night. One dry-humped a new Scout (for whatever reason), one accidentally burned another because he ignored fire safety rules, and the one subtly advocating willful disobedience apparently kept calling the PLC leadership names like faggot. Again, this was the first time in 35 years that happened. I hope I don't have to kick them out, let alone a situation escalating to the point where I'd need to consider that.

  12. A lot of good responses - thank you all. I'd just like to expand upon what we have been doing.


    I guess I should have mentioned one of our famed troublemakers does it under a very simple pretense - he lost the SPL election. So because of his disdain for authority and the current SPL specifically, he continues to be a problem. Doubled with the fact that his personality is VERY sarcastic and smart-alec, hyperactivity and immaturity isn't a good combination. One time, he actually cussed out the SPL in troop formation and was sent to the SM. We didn't send him home, although his mom was briefed on the incident with the advice that "he needs to get over the fact he lost." So far, he is less of a problem but other Scouts have fallen under the influence of this individual.


    Making them run laps around the church isn't helping, especially since some of them are track stars. Push ups are seen as wrongful punishment, so we don't use them. Doing extra dishes doesn't do any good since it doesn't really teach them a lesson. We were hoping that we could match the punishment more closely to the crime. Whilst making them wait to do something fun (or postponing it altogether) are excellent ideas, this can be a problem at meetings still. We seldom have an adult leader lecture them on why their willful disobedience is wrong. Sometimes we had "special" SM conferences to ask the Scouts why they were doing what they did and how they would react if THEY were the SPL. This was a suggestion from Andy McCommish and mileage varies with each Scout. Sometimes they stopped, sometimes it went out through the other ear. Maybe the SPL talking about communications isn't the best thing, though. Hopefully (since our troop is relatively young) the Scouts will grow up to the point where they "stomp" on the troublemakers so the adults don't feel compelled to say something.


    Again, thanks for all the suggestions. Keep em coming!

  13. Pretty much what the title says. A Scout is obedient, I know. Well, we have a few problems with that point apparently. A few of the Scouts found that intentionally disobeying a leader will not only result in the leader getting mad (which is funny to them) but also give up trying to get them to do work. For example, an SPL is discussing the importance of communication during a PLC. The troublemakers then pull out their cell phones and start texting. When the SPL reminds them cell phone use is prohibited during meeting times, they argue they're simply "improving their communications." Basically, a few smart-alecs are purposely causing problems and personal SM Conferences don't work.


    I'll level with you - I am a Gen Y and know why they do it. Primarily for laughs, but also to avoid doing something a leader wants done. How do you combat this effectively?

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