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sctmom

How do you handle?

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Ooohhh, I like FScouter, how sneaky! The unexpected, calm punishment seems to really work the best.

 

I know people who lower the volume of their voice to get kid's attention. When you have that "insane" type of calm, they perk up. Also, they have to get quiet to here what you are saying.

 

I went on a school overnight field trip a few weeks ago. Of course some kids weren't real happy about waking up, but we had a cheerful morning mom who walked in the dorm, flipped on the lights and yelled "GOOD MORNING". She then kept talking, singing, etc. Annoy them so they get up and out of there! LOL

 

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Something I used at JLTC when I worked on staff there was the paper towel test. I'd take a paper towel wipe it through the pots during inspection. If grease came off on the towel, I'd ask the patrol members "Do you want to eat this?" Of course, they would wrinkle their noses (except for maybe one smart aleck). I would then respond, "If you don't get these dishes clean, you will be eating it. That usually got the point across, although the kids I was dealing with were of higher caliber than most Scouts. By the way, by the end of JLTC, every single one of the patrol was passing the paper towel test 100% (I pinned the clean towels to their bulletin boards as "trophies").

 

As far as a Scout not getting up, they miss breakfast and possibly activities. Also, the ones that go to bed early we are easier on. However, the ones that were up late goofing off we make get up and they end up dragging through most of Saturday before bunking down early on Saturday night. Ed's comment about going to bed earlier is great. That way, the kids that need 9 or so hours of sleep can get it.

 

However, I am a strong believer that people in general need to learn how to follow a schedule and can't always do everything "as they feel like". Of course, with babies and little kids, they need to sleep until they wake up. However, as they get older the kids need to learn how to push themselves through a day on less sleep than they are used to and follow a schedule they may not exactly fit their sleeping patterns. The parents of the challenge Scout in my troop (who is a night owl and needs 9-10 hours sleep a night) will sometimes let him sleep in and take him into school late if he "isn't ready" to get up in the morning. Or, he has no problem sleeping in class (his parents have said his teachers have contacted them about that several times) if he is "forced" to get up and go to school on time when he didn't get 9-10 hours of sleep. At what point in someone's life is having the world schedule themselves around you no longer appropriate? Yes, you do need to be flexible, but we can't revolve things around one kid. Other times, the kid needs to learn how to "gut it up" and take responsibility to stay awake in class or get to school on time even if they didn't get as much sleep as they wanted. There were times we didn't get much sleep with Scouts because we were out screwing around (after the adults went to bed), but we paid for it the next day and were extra tired as we fulfilled our responsibilities. However, we knew that if we played extra, then we needed to pay for it. It was a price we gladly paid at times.

 

By the way, in the past, we've dumped water on kids who didn't get up (basically 15, 16 year olds who stayed up half the night and whose parents thought we were being too nice) and it worked most of the time.

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Mom, how could you? You know very well we in Boy Scouts never, never punish anyone, we may employ behavior modification techniques and once in a while a little corrective action is applied, but we never punish

 

;)

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I agree that a reasonable bedtime and learning to get up even though you are tired should help. I need 8 to 10 hours of sleep myself. So many adults don't and seem to think everybody can live off 6 hours. My sister thinks sleeping over 8 hours is a sign of a problem...lol.

 

On a recent school overnight field trip, the teachers told the kids to get in bed, they could talk for the next 30 minutes. Then the lights went off in the dorm. They could then whisper up until 11:00. It didn't take but about 10 minutes for at least one kid to tell the noisy ones to be quiet and go to sleep. Peer pressure at it's best! The kids were dragging in the morning, but then wondered why the adults laid down every chance we got -- we told them they could too. LOL. By the second night some of the boys were asking to go to bed before 9:00! The girls were going strong.

 

It's only 2 days, they can live through it. I feel part of things like scouting is to teach kids how to live with other people, how to make those sacrifices like going to bed and getting up at the same time. I heard one mom saying her son didn't want to eat with the patrol because his parents always cooked such good food on cookouts, even some of the parents are concerned about the adult patrol cooking together. It's ONE weekend, get over it. Chippewa is right, at some point you have to go with the rest of the world. I know a mother like the one you are describing with your challenge scout. The kid now is living with father and step-mother, not on medication, has a regular bedtime, eats regular meals, he has put on healthy weight, passing grades in school and no temper tantrums. When I see him I can just tell he is calmer and happier. It continues to amaze me to see the parents who don't want their children to be independent.

 

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the first two are given's.... the waking of a person up who doesn't want to wake up was taken care of about three years ago during summer camp.

 

The boy in question has now gone on to become an Eagle Scout and is in college. At the time of this event he wasn't expected to even stay in scouts let alone school.

 

Anyway we woke one morning and tried to wake him but he didn't want to get up. We went on to breakfast and he was still sleeping. When the troop returned we found that he still didn't want to get up so I made it a whole lot simpler. I had a couple of the boys take the rainflap off of his tent and then I yelled to get up and he 5 minutes or I would dump a bucket of water on him. He said I wouldn't dare and went back to sleep. Let''s just finish this with it took him most of the day to dry his things. The rest of the troop now warns scouts that when it's time to get up in the morning to just get up.

 

and yes I will do it again. Water never hurt anyone and once is enough for most people.

 

By the way this scout is not with the troop because of college but we are one of the first visits he makes when he comes home. He will also be the first one to put friendly pressure on a scout who isn't trying.

 

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I appreciate that all of the posters believe their methods are valid, but I can't help thinking as I read and reread some of the methods that the adult would never do this to someone who was of a higher social or authority standing, or of physical dimensions exceeding their own. The only thing that makes the use of these methods possible is the leaders physical size and threat of authority.

 

If a junior leader tells a scout that it's time for breakfast (or time to fix breakfast if he is cooking) and that if he is not up and going in 5 minutes he will not eat breakfast, and then you follow through on what you say, the scout will get up. If he doesn't get up then that is his choice, and he will soon learn that it's a bad choice.

 

If a patrol leader after seeing the example set of throwing eqipment in mud or tosssing water on a scout took it upon himself to follow your example, and equipment was damaged, would it be his fault, or yours?

 

I just feel that there is nothing you can teach a scout through punishment or anger that can't be taught through respect and real life cause and effect. I would never intentionally model a behavior for a scout that he could not actually use as he matures into an adult.

Bob

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I survived a weekend of camping with the Troop!

I watched carefully and tried to be objective. I tried to tread carefully also. After awhile, the Scoutmaster made it clear to me and a few other new parents that we were welcome to go help lead where we say it. We could go inspect kitchen areas and ice chests for safety (we had seen a ice chest with no ice for the raw hamburgers). Only once did the Scoutmaster ask me to step away from the boys. Once he saw I was not doing for them, I think he started trusting me more.

 

I saw the dish tossing and the pushups. When the right time presented itself, I said "I don't like this method." He explained how the committe and scoutmasters had discussed this and why and to what severity. Boys are NOT allowed to meter out punishment. A few plastic plates were dropped on the ground or tossed away from the boys to make a point. I still don't like it. It is not as violent as I thought, but I still don't like it.

 

This campout had 2 new scout patrols and 1 older scout patrol. One new scout patrol leader has been in scouting for 1 year. He has serious problems about getting distracted. Imagine if you were trying to cook with 9 kids running around you, asking questions and arguing! He was struggling. The Scoutmasters would periodically pull him aside and remind him that he was IN CHARGE! By the end of the weekend he understood he had to be firmer. I kept asking him the same question until he could REALLY answer it "What would help keep things organized about who does what?". By Sunday afternoon he knew that next time draw up the duty roster, post it and DO NOT change it because someone asks him to. They were running this kid ragged just arguing over the duty roster!

 

A couple of new parents wanted to go and do things for the boys to "show them how." I did do some directing at times and explaining. I kept trying to explain to the new parents the things I have learned on this board about how the patrol and boy-led program works. They felt the boy should not be patrol leader and an adult should be there constantly. They thought "the boy should be trained" or something like that. Yes, it was frustrating to stand to the side and watch these boys not share their food, argue over cleaning, etc. But I kept telling myself, this is how they learn.

 

It did open up some lines of communication with the Scoutmasters. Gave me the chance to say some things about what I thought. I think they also saw that I do understand the BSA methods and can actually help the boys without doing it for them.

 

 

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Usually I employ the "Socratic" method of scouting. When I see something going awry, or scouts who need help, I always start with, "what seems to be the problem". Once they agree on that I ask who is in charge and then help that scout through the problem.

 

The most recent use of this method was trying to get the scouts to light a propane stoveat a new scout campout. As soon as the scouts had the stove opened, one guy had the match out of the box and was posied ready to light. After he struck the match and the stove failed to light, After getting the patrol leader I asked them why they thought that was so. I started asking him and the scouts what might be wrong. They eventually got around to the fact there was no gas hooked up to the stove. Then we went through what was needed to connect the propane tank to stove and one until the pyrotechnically enthused scout (which I realize is redundant) was able to light the stove sucessfully.

 

While it took 15 minutes to accomplish and I could have done it myself in less than five, hopefully the scouts will remember much better having done than shown. I kept asking questions until I got the right one and never had to give an answer once, but I did have to pull it out of them. The SPL was busy doing the same thing with another patrol.

 

Socratic Scouting, it works!!!

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"Socratic Scouting, it works!!! "

 

I like it too. I kept hearing "but I cleaned last time, I didn't do it." Finally I asked "who will be in trouble if the dishes aren't clean." A slight pause then someone said "all of us". RIGHT! So what do you think you should do? A few said "do it ourselves". I pointed them to the patrol members who had wandered off.

 

Also, looking back I realize I should have also taken away the chairs that were in the area and everything else that was distracting them. I caught two of them playing with the first aid kit!

 

 

 

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I've found I have more hygene problems on non-backpacking trips...something about a long hike seems to make the scouts more tired and less messy. The last time I had a problem was on a trip when we took chuck boxes. We had been mountain biking most of the day and had made dinner late. At about around 10pm (dark obviously) I decided to check on the scouts campsite as some were starting to head in for the night. I found the chuckboxes were left in terrible shape...dirty dishes, trash (both in and around) silverware half buried in the dirt around them. (these were mostly 14 and 15 year olds who definitely know better. I went and got the SPL and took him on a tour of the site pointing out everything I found that was wrong. Then I told him to get everyone...even those who had already headed for bed (one of my own sons included) and that no one was to do anything else until the site was right. It took about 30 minutes and they grumbled a little but it obviously didn't hurt them as I have heard since that it was one of the best campouts we've been on and everyone wants to go again. I've never once heard the "cleaning incident" mentioned. I think boys should always be treated with respect, I also think they should always be held to reasonable standards. We do them a dis-service if we let them shirk their responsibilities. And in the case of hygene, you don't want to have to deal with the results of poor workmanship. BTW...I really like the idea of the ASPL being in charge of inspecting chuck boxes...I think I'll talk to the SPL about instituting that as one of his (ASPL) official duties.

 

Our troop has instituted a quiet hour. Noise, other than quiet conversation, stops at 10pm. Everyone is to be in their tents by 11pm. We set the reveille time based on activity and everyone is to get up unless they are ill. I have dropped a tent or two in my time but not lately as all the boys seem to get up well nowadays. We picked up 7 new cross-overs this year so we'll see if that changes. I found that what works best is to have the boys set the standard with adult input and then simply expect them to live up to them. When they have a stake in the standards they seem to work toward them better.

 

One other incident that might be of interest. About 5 years ago I had a boy in another troop I was working with who was notorious for being messy. On one trip I watched as he walked by the adult site, unwrapped a piece of sliced cheese, and threw the wrapper on the ground about 4 feet from a trash can. He and I had a "little talk" about my feelings toward "trace leavers." Afterward, he got the opportunity to police the entire troop campsite. Unfortunately, our talk seemed to have little effect. Before the day was over I watched him repeat the offense. He and his patrol leader and I all had a little talk about cleanliness and the lengths I was willing to go to ensure it. Then this young man and his patrol policed the entire troop campsite. I also spoke with the other patrol leader and the SPL about their future role in policing duties if this scout's behavior did not change. By chance, we ended up going further with the young man that weekend than we intended. The vehicles for the ride home ended up being too small for the whole troop to ride together. One scout and two adults had to ride in a second vehicle. I'll bet you can guess who the troop exiled to the 2 hour ride home with the scoutmasters. Oh, the inhumanity!!!!

 

Now I'm sure some of you will say we went too far...but...this scout has done a complete 180. He saw that we were serious about his upholding standards and through our talks that we also cared about his development and character. He stayed with the troop and became one of the cleanest campers they had. Given the same situation again I don't think I would change a thing.

 

If you are going to grow a good tree you have to prune it once in a while. No one likes discipline when it is happening...but there is benefit over time.

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This troop also does the "you will ride with adults only" trick. It seems to work and seems very reasonable to me. I even threatened my son with it. I told him I had no problem handing him over to the Scoutmaster who would find him a seat home. Then I found out the scouts wanted to ride with me because of the a/c in my van that was lacking from the other van. AH HA -- I have bribery material!

 

 

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Weekender-

 

I believe when you made the comment about liking the idea of the ASPL inspecting the patrol sites, you were referring to my comment earlier in the thread. I was the ASPL for my Jamboree troop in 1989 and our JLTC course in 1990 (under the same SPL both times). We were a great team (today, he is still one of my best friends). As he had a myriad of responsibilities, I was responsible for making sure the staff was doing their jobs and for being the "butt-kicker" when needed. The ASPL is very often just an honorary position with no responsibilities other than to fill in if the SPL is absent. If the ASPL handles a lot of the "dirty work", then the SPL can focus on running the program rather than trying to put out the various fires that come up from time to time.

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Yes I was refering to your post. Until now our ASPL has fit the mold that you have described but I do think it is time for him to take on some real responsibility. Thanks for the great idea.

 

 

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There have been a lot of good ideas posted here. While we don't all agree with all of them I think we need to remember what works for our unit. I like the "wash the dishes myself & hide them". I might give that a try.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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The sleepy scout reminds me of my son. I arrived at summer camp about 3 days into the week and with one glance it was obvious my then-12 year old was on the edge of collapse. He had a physical and emotional meltdown that very evening.

 

Figured it out when the Scoutmaster, with a totally straight face, said "Gee, I don't get it. I've been trying to get them in bed by at least midnight or 1 am every night...." He is one of those energizer bunnies that only needs 4 or 5 hours of sleep. MY son takes after ME, and a solid 8 or 9 is the minimum. With all the physical activity of camp and the allergens out there, he was plain tuckered.

 

Ooops. I explained it and he was genuinely contrite, he just didn't understand!

 

Julia

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