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"Kapers" :::


I married a Girl Scout, so I know this one. A "Kaper Chart" is what we call a "Duty Roster". A list of jobs, and who is assigned to do them. I get in trouble every weekend over my "kapers" because I spend too much time on my "situpon". Can't tell you the word's etymology, though.

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You're outside policy on this one. I don't mean that you can't do what you propose . . . quite the contrary. I think the steps you're recommending are what should be done, but that's only one man's opinion.


You have received some excellent advice on this thread, all in line with what you're thinking. I'm inclined to agree. I just can't come up with a manual that says "this is how it should be handled."


Common sense DOES have a place in Scouting. This thread and it's replies demonstrates that fact.


Keep at it. And good luck.





Punishment, BTW, is an out-of-politic term. Try "learning opportunity" or "Education moment." :)



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Great Thread! dsteel hit the solution on the head though with his last words: Punishment, BTW, is an out-of-politic term. Try "learning opportunity" or "Education moment."


Well said. I would follow this advice.... Best wishes...



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troopmom, this probably won't help in this instance, but when I was committee chairman with our local troop we had a few problems on campouts. Out solution was to have the PLC formulate a written desciplinary policy for such behavior that everyone associated with the troop knew about. The scouts and parents knew that it was not flexable. While it did not end the problems all together it did reduce them substancialy. As I recall it was a three strikes policy. I belive the first infraction resulted in missing two weeks of scout meetings, the second a longer time away and the third being kicked out of the troop. This particular policy may not work for other units, but I think the concept of having a published policy should work every where. During my tenure there we asked two scouts to leave the troop at different times, and as you probably have guessed they were brothers.

Good luck, Bob

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Just so everyone knows, at the Troop we are calling it a "training opportunity". Would y'all have responded better to "proper training opportunity" or "proper punishment"? I was just marketing. However, the dad does say this is not the proper punisment to which we reply, it is a training op. But thank you for the thought.

I have advocated having a written discipline policy for a long time although most of our problems were no more than being obnoxious at Troop meetings. This was the proverbial straw for our camel and we are currently writting a policy.(This message has been edited by troopmom)

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I'm with you 100% about the PC stuff.


Punishment is a consequence for a negetive action that is intended to teach the offender not to act the same way again. Sometimes it teaches others not to act the same way. This will teach the the entire group this leasson. Although it certainly is a learning oppurtunity, the learning oppurtunity is being used as punishment. I see nothing wrong with calling it punishment.


I may be the one wet blanket here concerning the tactic. I've thought about it for a day, and wonder whether we are supposed to use the advancement program as a weapon. As has been talked about several times in other threads, the choice of what MBs a boy attempts to earn his his alone. We can't even make him earn the "required" ones. He has to choose to.


I love the idea of presenting fire safety. It will do this boy a world of good, and probably help others in the Troop as well. In our Troop, this boy would be required to TEACH the class, as we subscribe to the theory that you learn nothing as well as when you teach it to others. But the choice to attempt to earn the MB should be his, and could be the positive reinforcement at the end of the punishment.


I don't know if everyone will see what I mean by this, but I don't think what you want to do is wrong, but I'm not so sure it's right.


Either way, good luck working this through.





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"involved will learn how stupid they were and get a MB, too"


I'm not sure that I'd want to let them earn this merit badge. I just have strong feelings about physical harm. 'Boys will be boys' is shoving and calling names, this borders on a much more serious crime.


I love the idea of the MB being used for a training tool, guideline, whatever you choose to call it...but, I'm having trouble with the awarding of a merit badge when someone could have ended up in a burn unit, in a castrophic (sp?) forest/camp ground fire, or worse. It boggles my mind.


The parent that is objecting was there? (I've read this two days in a row and I'm still confused on this point.) I wonder what he would have to say if it was his child that were seriously burned or lost all his uniforms and gear to playing with fire? At least we know definitely why that child is the obnoxious uncaring child he is, right?


Troopmom, I feel for you! Mr. Steele is so very right that in this 'sue' happy world, we must watch our lingo/verbage with everyone, but I'm like Ed, I'd like to have the freedom to say "how stupid can you be, your punishment is to stay home from troop meetings and campouts until you do 50 hours of community service at the local hospital burn unit" But I know that we can't do that. We have to allow the consequences be dictated by the infraction, but I wonder what we are teaching by being so polically correct?


Thanks for caring enough to make a good difference in the troop, Troopmom!


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I think this has been covered in other threads, but not using the word "punishment" is for other than PC reasons. The Scoutmaster, the committee, et al do not have the right to punish or discipline a scout, that is left to the parent or guardian of the scout.


What the troop may do is require behavior before allowing further participation in the troop. Such things may be any number of the items suggested here.


Why such a hangup on the word "punish" ?because it means so many different things to so many different people and this disctinction makes it clear the troop dosent punish.


Now, as far as throwing flaming paper balls and lighting arms on fire, they are lucky they arent in the troop I am associated with, a quick call home and about three month away from the troop would be my call and after that punishm... ah required behavior was over, each invovled scout would be doing an individial Board of Review laying out proper scout behavior. As a former hospital worker who has extensive experience in a tertiary care burn unit, I cant emphasize proper fire care enough.


As for the "father" stirring things up, a visit to the local Burn Unit should be required for any of the COmmittee who wants to discuss this further.(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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Good morning all. I don't think we should be afraid of the word punishment. It has it's place in scouting. But Im one that got hammered on this forum when discipline was taken out of context of the discussion.


Ignoring that, it's entirely appropriate to use a MB as a guideline for teaching. Some MBs are very good and they are an easy resource for scouts to obtain. We have a first-aid theme every year and we use the First-aid MB book because it is very good. That doesnt mean our scouts have to signup for the MB. The reason the idea of making the entire troop attend a class like this is to assure everyone, parents, scouts and adult leaders that we all understand proper handling and safety. Those are not additional requirements because this in not about advancement. I wish more units would do this. I saw one adult nearly burn down a camp at an AO event because he was very stupid and had no clue about fire safety. I still cringe when I think about him.


As for punishment, I don't think we should be afraid of the word. It has its place in scouting. But Im one that got hammered on this forum when it was taken out of context of the discussion. Part of growing for all of us is being accountable and learning from our actions. Our job as adults in scouting is working with the scouts to be accountable so they learn from their actions and struggles, including situations of bad behavior. Where we adults seem to have trouble is our lack of imagination and our tendency to react with emotion, which can make us want the scout feel our pain. We have to watch giving some kind of punishment just to make us feel better.


What we should do is get creative and help the scout grow from HIS action of accountability. We adults should not let emotion drive our guidance toward a scouts actions. We dont defend his action as boys are just boys or that the other guy forced him into it. We dont take it personally. If we do feel that way, we ask everyone take a break until we can deal with the situation without emotions directing the action. Sometimes that means sending a scout home. Not as a punishment, but a time out for everyone. Then we adults find a way that all parties grow from this situation and be accountable. I had a scout once who misbehaved so badly on at outing at an Air Force Base that we were asked to never come back. Our PLC handled that by planning and running a two-week program to all the scouts on proper behavior. Only one scout caused the problem but I wanted the PLC to work with the whole troop because none of the scouts stopped that scout from his behavior. I felt there needed to be an alignment of understanding. It was done well and the scouts had fun. The scout who caused the problem was asked by the PLC to send a letter to the Base Commander and apologize for his behavior. He was also asked to help the PLC learn what we could do to get in good favor again. Was that letter a an act of accountability? Did the scout learn something positive from the exercise that he would take with him forever? Was that a reaction of emotions or a logical method of helping the scout grow?


So how do we handle accountablility (punishment?). I believe the person who needs the accountability has to voluntarily take the action. The adults need to present the idea of accoutitblity as a positive lesson for life, but even more important, they need to get creative and come up with ways to do that. The adults should not get emotional and not act until they can rationally look at the whole situation. Once you start running your troop like this you will find a lot of respect for your program.


Got to go. Scouting Cheers.




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I don't see this decision as punishment. The PLC's decision recognizes a need within the troop and establishes a process to meet that need within the scouting context. It's no different than the PLC deciding that a scout must have the canoeing merit badge before going on the three day canoe camping trip. It doesn't violate GSS (quite the contrary!) or BSA advancement policy in any way. I say troopmom's troop has some very savvy scouts in its PLC. Bravo!(This message has been edited by CubsRgr8)

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Please notice that I didn't say that punishment has no place in Scouting. I only meant to suggest that what's happening here is an education (I meant educational) moment or a training opportunity.


I happen to think that when you're dealing with a fire-happy kid it's a pretty good idea to teach him fire safety -- including how to put one out and treat the burns. :)


As for punishing by not allowing him to attend troop meetings and activities, that's up to the troop's discretion and there's very little on it in BSA literature. I believe it's mentioned in the Cub Scout Leader's Guide and Scoutmaster Handbooks, but I haven't kept up much with the latest editions of those.


As to those who think punishment has no place in Scouting, I know a few Scout Executives I'd like you to talk to My current Scout Executive isn't one of them.



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