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MikeO

Need advice on discipline

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We recently had an incident at camp involving a young cub scout a Webelos scout and a pocket knife. We are taking this very seriously. No one was injured, and the older scout was talked to and apologized. What course should we as a pack take now? Do we let it die? Do we pursue it further? Do we punish him in some manner? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Tired Cub Master

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Hard to say. Perhaps you could have that Webelos Scout teach knife safety under the supervision of adult leaders. Or remove his Whittling Chip and require him to re-earn it. Make sure his parents back you up on the decision that this boy should not be in possession of a knife at any time until it is re-earned. It can be difficult to enforce if the parents undermine the situation and allow the boy to handle a knife outside of scouting functions. Other than that, I don't think there is much else you can do.

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I think that if you handled the situation at the time all should be well and good. I do want to share something that we do which pertains to your subject. I'm involved in a Boy Scout Troop & every April we run a recruitment weekend camp for the Webelos-2 & their parents. One of the features of that weekend is to instruct the Webelos-2 in 'Totin'-Chip'.Now, Webelos-1 Scouts attend as well and they see the 2nd. yr. group receive the cards & training. It does 2 things: One, it makes them understand knife & ax safety at an early age & it makes them look forward to next year when they come back to the campout and get the same training. You can't emphasize training enough. Recently, we have placed more of an emphasis on the bow-saw as opposed to the hand ax. We seldomly use the hand-ax anymore unless we're just trimming small branches off a larger dead branch...but we use it sparingly and more exclusively.

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Tired Cubmaster, if the situation was handled properly at camp, let it go. Knife safety is dealt with in the Webelos book and perhaps should be gone over in the den. Don't make the boy feel like he has committed a "crime" twice. Don't punish the boy but make it a positive thing in some way. Boy scouting and cub scouting build character, not tear it down. Next time there is a camp, be sure the boys know that no knives go to camp.

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