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Adult Leader discipline problems

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Is there a BSA policy on how to discipline Adult Leaders? We have a couple leaders (married) that don't listen to the Cub Master or Assistant Cub Master. They have been Leaders for about five months and we have warned them about smoking in front of the kids. They think that, because they went to the leader's training at the council bldg, and somehow decided to go to CM training one of them wears a cubmaster patch. We've told them about other infractions but they selectively break the rules and criticize others for breaking other rules.

Is there a BSA progressive discipline policy? Counseling forms? I have suggested to the CM that she start documenting verbal counseling and move up from there but where do we move up to? According to BSA policy? (sorry for rambling)

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Leaders for five months, have uniforms, with patches, gone to training...sounds like they are planting roots.


I would not waste any time in addressing it to the leaders in question, going to the CC to discuss the issue, bringing in the Unit Commissioner, and talking to the COR.


This will get worse before it gets better, and time is not on your side.


Leaders serve at the whim of the Committee, and the CO.

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The problem is that our DE seems like he wants to avoid the problems.

is there a policy in place that addresses how to discipline adult leaders?


We would rather not run these folks off because they CAN be good leaders if they ever realize it is about the kids not them. She in-particular seems to be trying to live vicariously through her boy.


They just need to understand that the CM has 7 years experience and knowledge.

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Your DE has nothing to do with this.


As a Den Leader it is really not your call either.


There is no written BSA policy on the discipline of adult leaders. However, as Chai stated, leaders serve at the behest of the Charter Organization.


The Cubmaster, Committee Chair, and Charter Organization Representative, need to sit these two down and go over the rules and regulations. I would suggest that if they do not want to release them as leaders, they give them a set time frame to shape up, or they will be released. I would suggest the CM, CC, and COR keep a sharp lookout at their behavior and how they run the program.


As for the smoking, is there an area outside, away from the youth, that can be designated as the smoking area? The next time they light up in front of the youth, the COR, or CC, should take them aside immediately, let them know that BSA policy does not allow the use of tobacco products at any BSA activity involving youth participants, and instruct them to either go to the designated smoking area, put it out, or go home.


If their behavior does not improve by the end of the time frame given them by the COR, the COR is within his/her rights to terminate their leader positions with the Pack.


Personally, If I was the CC, I would also purchase a Den Leader position patch, hand it to the person wearing the CM position patch, and request they switch patches.



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I agree with what ScoutNut said. There is only room for one CM in the pack and you already have one. Cut and dry. If they are interested in an ACM position then have them do it the right way, but I would have the CC or someone from the Charter tel them that they need to change patches.


Training is training. Just because one is trained as a CM or an SM does not make them one. The policies state that the CC, COR and the CO are responsible for choosing leadership. Some just have ways of doing it. Ours lets me recruit the leaders and they sign off. If something comes back bad from the council then they may want to look a second time, but other than that, they let us do our thing.


NO SMOKING AROUND YOUTH. I am a smoker and I take time to walk away to where the youth cannot see me or at the very least I make a valid effort to seperate myself from the youth, trying to avoid them frmo seeing me smoke.


Not all efforts are always successful. Kids wil follow their parents. Myself and two other leaders were commended by camp staff last year because we would walk out to the road on the outside of the campsite and go to the other side of the trees to smoke. We made an effort.


But like everyone else said, if these leaders/parents are not able to play nice, then refer it to the CO, CC, IH, COR. I think I got them all

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Regarding smoking - if your two leaders contend they are fully trained, then they should be very familiar with the Guide to Safe Scouting, Section IV, Drug, Alcohol, and Tobacco Use and Abuse:






The Boy Scouts of America prohibits the use of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances at encampments or activities on property owned and/or operated by the Boy Scouts of America, or at any activity involving participation of youth members.


Adult leaders should support the attitude that young adults are better off without tobacco and MAY NOT ALLOW THE USE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS AT ANY BSA ACTIVITY INVOLVING YOUTH PARTICIPANTS (emphasis in the original).


All Scouting functions, meetings, and activities should be conducted on a smoke-free basis, with smoking areas located away from all participants.


References: Scoutmaster Handbook, No.33009

Health and Safety Guide, No. 34415




Why not ask your two leaders to explain what this language means and how they plan to support this important BSA policy in the future?

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Thanks for all the input. The CM and I (I am the Assistant CM) will take all of your posts to heart.

Unfortunately we don't have an active leadership structure so we may have to lay down the law on behalf of the CO.


Good input "guys"

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The Chartered partner is responsible via the CR (and the CC if empowered by the CR) for adult membership standards for good order and discipline .


Your council may intervene in matters of policy and leadership standards aka Standards of Membership.


In matters of personal conduct (smoking etc) a savvy commissioner may advise to have a competent spokesman from the unit committee counsel (friendly chat) with the parent or errant volunteer and test the waters for a satisfactory remedy.

It the target is a unit leader ( CM, DL, WL) then the cubmaster would be directed to attend this duty.

After a reasonable time if the matter is not resolved the committee can start a process for the CC and /or the CR to remove the volunteer from venue of unit meetings and outings,

Generally a dismissal from the CR ends the matter but if an appeal is launched toward the Council there is a procedure on Maintaining Membership Standards generally used to remove more serious deviators and offenders but can be used to officially dis-enroll volunteers from serving in any registered positions who just wont change....


make friends with a savvy commissioner (choose wisely) in your council/district and tread carefully -there be dragons....


Read some of BP's outlooks on Patience (I'm Out Of Patience with you) and "teapot tempests,and "the other fellows point of view)

available at usssp.org


all scouting is local


campfire chatter





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Sound like a couple of bad eggs, sent them packing, it will save a lot of heart ache and hassle.


Wearing a patch for a position you currently do not hold is ridiculous. I imagine that political games are being played behind scenes and the current Cub Master is probably in trouble.


This is a job for your COR and CC to deal with.

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"Is there a BSA policy on how to discipline Adult Leaders?

No there isn't.

The BSA has however written a fair amount about the selection of leaders.

While I don't know how it came to be that these adults were selected?

I do know that very often when we allow positions to be filled with a warm body the end result is problems.

Here in the forum, we can go on about Chartering Organizations and COR's. I'm not entirely sold on how active or involved these are?

Back when I was the CM for a Pack chartered by the R/C Church I attend. I was left with filling and finding the people who would serve on the Committee, I hand picked the COR and we went through 3 Committee Chairs in that many years. The PP would sign just about anything I placed in front of him or left with his secretary to be signed.

So I'm not sold on he idea that when we have problems we can just pass the buck. - No matter what the books might say.


It is worth always remembering that we deal with adults, we need to remember that they are adults and need to be treated as adults.

When someone is messing up and there are problems these need to be dealt with as soon and as quickly as is possible. Not doing so only allows the problem to grow and fester.

It helps if one person is given the task of sorting these problems out. It needs to be understood from the get go that this person is doing this and that he or she needs all the support they can get, even if the outcome isn't what some people want or expect.

This person needs to find the right time and place to explain to the wrong doers what they are not doing right and why it's not right.

This person needs to be able to deal with the problem at hand, not dive back into ancient history or go over things that have no bearing on what the real problem is.

In most cases when done right this will solve the problem.

Sometimes the wrong doer will get so upset that they will get mad and quit. While this is sad, sometimes it is for the best.

Sometimes they will continue to hang around and be un-willing to change. When this happens steps have to be taken to remove them.

This will, no matter how uninvolved the CO is mean that someone from the CO will have to step up to the plate.

Having the CO remove them will save the CO from any embarrassments and save the Pack leadership from having to defend what happened. It was the CO who removed them not "The Pack".

None of us are perfect, just because we put on a Scout uniform doesn't make us so.

Everyone deserves our respect, especially people who are willing to volunteer their time to work for the kids in our communities. It can be all to easy to dwell on the thing that some people do wrong and become blind to the things that they do well and right.

Sometimes a person with a ax to grind can become a bigger problem than anyone else.


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