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I am not in a troop, but instead, in a pack.


But since I am a human, and since I was - at one time_ a youth, I can say I am just as qualified as anyb odyt else to speak on this subject.


1) First, I'd ask every adult scouter who never ever did even the slightest stupid thing, or say something inappropriate or, even make a bad joke to please leave. Why? Because there is something wrong with you as humans in general. :)


2) Now the rest of you look back and think about a time as a youth when you said something, followed along ( in agreement) with everybody else in the crowd just for the sake of being cool or accepted.


Think of all and any of the jokes you ever told about a certain race, mionority, culture or sex . You laughed. You hee hawed andf did whatever it took to look cool in front of your friends.


Think about all the times you did not think something was funny or cool...or even when you did not understand what it was, but acted like you did just so you wouldn't be the odd man out or - God forbid - look uncool.


Now, look at yourselves now.


Turned out okay didn't you? Matter of fact, you turned out better than okay. Yo are now volunteerin g untold and uncounted hours and ( if like most of us) money in order to help youth become better men.


My point?


Boys ( girls too) will say, do and agree with alot of stupid stuff in order to be accepted and be part of the crowd. They do not always believe in it, but that's not important at the time.


Acceptance amongst your peers is.


3) Some of us suffer from a serious problem, It's called puntuationally deficiency. It's amazing how leaving a single letter ot punctiation mark off, or in the wrong place will totally and completely change the meaning of what is written from what is meant.


Facebook and myspace are not exactly what you'd call entirely credible either. I have to go and shut down and block apps on a weekly basis. Apps I never logged into or signed up for or even knew about.


"is "X" place in bouncing balls and going to wion a million bucks." "Is hanging out at the poolside of wonderful "skankyLady Inn" hotels in Creapy Beach , USA"


How about the auto ads that attached to BSA facebook pages. Single sexy ladies , and women looking for men? Really? Bet you last buck that BSA does not endorse those.


And you can not be responcible for what your friends can and do say - without warning or out of character - on your page.



Now, I'd definantly have a tal with the boy about realizing a bigger picture in life and how something trivial can follow him around , but not something I'd bring into a BOR or EBOR until after I volunteered the info on every single stupid thing I did as a youth for a RALBOR Responcible Adult Leader Board Of Review) that everybody else had a chance to go over and scrutinize.


My pint being - again - that looking back at all the completely stupid, arrogant, and just sometimes hateful stuff I did as a ki9d, I somehow managed to still become a good leaders in BSA and have the respect of many people..most importantly the boys.


Yeah, I was a dumbas* as a kid sometimes, but I managed to grow out of it.


Talk with the boy, Give him some guidance and advice, but do not end his scouting.


DISCLAIMER The above does not take into account any capital offenses.

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Interesting some points here.


Of course I am interested in how a scout behaves at home, school and church. I believe that it should be brought up in a SMC and BOR. Most scouts take BOR seriously and may take a correction to heart, maybe more so than just a SMC. Their good or bad behavior reflects on us like it or not.


Picture facebook pics, first pic scout in uniform flag ceremony, next pic obviously drunk and holding up a beer can. just something to think about.


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Now, I am not saying that a unit should ignore any "undesireable" behavirs, postings or comments.


And I definantly believe a scout is a scout 24 hours a day.


I am just saying that nobody is perfect and the moment we start knocking down a scout beased on imprefections or less than desired behavior...then we have to do the same for us.


I actually trhink these kinds of things are great teaching moments.


And truth be told, I may be misunderstanding the intent of what the post is stating.


I mean, my understanding is that scouting teaches and mentors youth to reach the right attitudes and behaviors. But sometimes it sounds like posters are advocating that scout either is a moralistic person or not - without allowing the journey from non to being.


That make sense?


Not saying your post is stating that, but sometimes people see everything as either you are a full scout or not worthy to be a scout. Nobody seems interested in actually mentoring and guiding boys to BECOME scouts.


Again, not saying that you have this view Basement,. I think you actually see more diamonds in the rough than any other scouter on this site.


So again, not saying that we should turn a blind eye to the stupid stuff boys do, but just saying that we all did something stupid as boys outrselves ....and yet, we think we "urned out all right"


I just support giving the boys the same chance ofturned out allright" that we had.

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Good post Scoutfish, which is why I advocate handling this in a SM conference rather than a board of review. Scoutmaster conferences can and are held at any time, not just for rank advancement but rather they are those teaching moments that help boys and young men become good scouts. After all isn't that why were here and not just some patch of cloth?



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All great points, Scoutfish.


But also note that back in the day, we got away with many more things than kids can today. Those days are over. Nobody wants to be that person that looked the other way and couldve stopped or corrected in some way an unacceptable behavior. It was posted earlier on this thread.


We all have seen young people raked over the coals for mistakes that back in the day wouldve been written off as boys will be boys. Nobody is looking the other way anymore. In fact, they look very closely. They recall when reading a newspaper article about a new Eagle they once knew and unapologetically post on an internet forum how much they still despise him.


*Thats* what the kids need to understand today, that there are people out there that are going to nail them not because its the right thing to do, but because they feel its their duty. Kids today arent going to get the chance we did to learn from our mistakes and turn out just fine.


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Yeah, we have become a society of being the one to dish out the most secret dirt on others. We want to be the first to point fingers by way of internet, tv and reality shows.


Thing is, we have to rememebr that we are not the media, or the latest Perez Hilton wanna be.


We are not Nancy Grace - whos show centers on taking polls of what people think instead of actually digging up the truth and those pesky things called facts.


We are just scouters trying to guide scouts.


" we got away with many more things than kids can today "


And yet, we deem outselves fit to teach, guide and mentor, right?


WE did all that stuff, and we still turned out being good upstanding fine citizen...for the most part.


So remember what our moms used to say:


"If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?


So just because others pass judgement over things we used to do ourselves...it doesn't mean we have to also.


We are scouters...we should lead the way, not follow what others are doing!





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Remember that all the scouts in the troop will be aware of how this is handled. The other scouts will know if there was real concern, vengence, or a simple wink and a nod, without a real expectation of change. How the situation is handled impacts far more than the individual scout.


Did the scouters come down unreasonably hard on the scout? Did they say or imply the scout can't eligible for another advancement?


Did the scouters ignore it and look the other way? Did they hand the scout an award and say don't do it again?


Did an adult leader that has a relationship with the scout have a sit down, heart to heart chat about character, the pressure the scout has to fit in with other peers that drink, have romantic encounters, be unkind, etc.? Perhaps have a conversation about the expectations that the troop has of scouts for (whatever his next rank is), and if he thinks that he is living up to that expectation? Depending on the situation, perhaps even telling the scout might otherwise be eligible for a rank advancement in the near future that a change is needed before he can be recommended to a BOR for the next rank.


There is no "one size fits all" for this situation. It depends on what you see after the conversation. Do you see real remorse, or the scout saying what he thinks the adult wants to hear. That is only revealed through time.


Keep in mind that advancement is often more important to adults than it is to the scouts. A rank advancement may not be meaningful to a particular scout, despite all the beliefs that adults have that advancement is important.


Situations like this reveal the character of the adults. They can veer too far in either direction, avoiding that heart to heart conversation and holding the scout to meaningful expectations that a true mentor would have.

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jtswestark writes, "But also note that back in the day, we got away with many more things than kids can today."


Probably true. Which is why I beat my students (and the scouts in this unit) over the head with my advice, "If you think you can get away with something, you probably shouldn't try it."

It is sad for me to know for a fact, watching the arrest reports, that some of my former students don't take advantage of this advice even after hearing it drummed into their heads for an entire semester, sometimes longer. They're almost always male.

Testosterone poisoning? Defective 'Y' chromosome? 'Arrested' development? I wish I understood why some people have to learn from harsh experience and yet others never seem to learn at all. Sigh.

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I always go back to how "Mac", my Scoutmaster during the 1970's would handle these issues. Modern technology aside, it's about being aware of a Scout using inappropriate language or un-Scoutlike actions. From my own experience as a boy, I know Mac would sit the Scout down and have a chat. He'd confront the boy with what he had heard and ask him if it was true. No Scout dared lie to Mac because Mac was the most honest and honorable man we knew. After a few minutes discussion about why it was wrong, the issue was done. Mac and the boy would get up and walk away, often with Mac's arm around the boys shoulder. The boy knew Mac's love for his Scouts was greater than any offense they might commit. The boy also was very unlikely to make the same mistake again, for fear of ever disappointing his Scoutmaster.


No need for an inquisition, no need for discussion at BOR. If your Scoutmaster is living up to his responisibilty, he already knows the heart of each and every boy. If the Scoutmaster signs off on Scout Spirit, it should be a done deal.

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Ya know scoutfish, I did some really bone head things as a young man.


But in that light, I never ever took pictures of it or would I have discussed it in the presence of an adult or any one I had the least amount of respect for like one of our troop leaders.


Could you imagine using the media of the day, bragging around the campfire, to tell your SM what you had been up to, "Wow can't wait to get home, sunday night partying with my girlfriend, her parents are out of town and they have a great liquor cabinet. "


Ahhhh no.


I am sure the SM would have grabbed me by the back of the neck and straightened me right out and my parents would have made sure I had something else to do sunday night.


I am not going to make excuses for unscoutlike behavior, I am not going to make excuses for being dumb enough to brag to your adult scout leadership.


As a youth I made more than my fair share of mistakes, I paid the price in discipline and lectures. I will just treat this the same way.





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Agree with the SM conf on the side. Yes we all do stupid stuff.


However I have seen these things, due to the persistent and viral nature of the internet, positively destroy some of out high school kids. Reputations, if not ruined, severely damaged. Bad, bad stuff. The old school rumor mill on steroids. I would caution them that it can serious consequences when they want to get a job, college, military etc. I used to hire people, I might hold it against them -- and I would check.


I like the "you live the scout oath and law 24-7" attitude correctly expressed here. I have used that with my son just last night -seemed to help.

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Could you imagine using the media of the day, bragging around the campfire, to tell your SM what you had been up to, "Wow can't wait to get home, sunday night partying with my girlfriend, her parents are out of town and they have a great liquor cabinet. "

I don't think the kids today posting this stuff on the web would do that either. But for some reason, despite their seeming broad knowledge of things technological, there is still a great naivety when it comes to the scope of who can see this stuff and how long is can hang around.

It's better to learn this in a helpful scouting context than later on when someone gets turned down on a college or job application because of it.

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I think Scoutfish has it right.


More and more potential employers are requiring applicants to provide access to their facebook pages. I don't know if this has been fully tested in the courts yet, but it would seem to me that if a potential employer is forbidden by law to ask certain questions on an application and an interview, then requiring facebook could give them access to information they aren't legally able to require during the interviewing process. I'm not neccessarily thinking about the 17 year old holding up a beer can, but of the 35 year old mother of 3 who can't be forced to disclose until after being hired, and an employer finding out on her facebook page and not hiring her base on information that would otherwise not be allowed to use in determining the eligibility for employment.


Bringing that back to Scouting - how long do you think it will be (if it isn't happening already) before Scouts are required to open their facebook pages to members of a BOR or EBOR - and not by the BSA. Yes, facebook can be a great tool for Troops to keep in touch with their Scouts and parents, and for recruitment - but it can also be used a a modern day equivalent of the Salem Witch Trials.

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I guess my attitude is a little simpler. If you don't want to have EVERYONE read what you want to announce that you are doing, the keep your page private. If you do want to tell EVERYONE what you are doing, then keep it open. If it is private, then it should not be on the table. If it is open, then anything's game.

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My eldest son grew up to be a respected restaurateur and manager of people. When potential employees would come in to fill out an application, he would interview them, then later, check their FB and MySpace pages. Quite a few never got a call back because they simply didn't reflect the values of the company. Sometimes their profile pic was enough. That's what kids need to understand...on the internet, nothing is "private", and it WILL be held against them, fair or not.

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