Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
NeverAnEagle

Troop Trouble Maker . . .

Recommended Posts

~~What do you do with the boy causing problems isn’t the obvious suspect?

 

Our last group of Weblo’s included Lars, a high strung lad with ADHD. He managed to earn absolutely nothing at Summer Camp. When they were settled into Patrols in August it was suggested that he be in a Patrol with James, a small, mild mannered boy, because their teachers keeps them together at school because James is a good influence on Lars. Anyway it became immediately obvious that Lars was disrupting his patrol (Owls) and that neither the PL nor SPL could manage him. I was sent to watch and make suggestions that could be given at the next PLC.

 

What I saw was as follows: James would say something like, “Hey Lars, bet you can’t huck a loogie over to where Alex is sitting.†Or something similar, then Lars would oblige. I decided that James wasn’t exactly a calming influence and suggested that Lars try another patrol, but that we keep James where he was. When Lars was accepted into the Ravens patrol, I was told to keep watching and see if he would continue to cause problems; he didn’t.

 

One night Lars was selected to dig some cooking equipment out of the closet, when Alex followed him in and started shoving him around and saying that Lars ruined the Owl patrol because now they only had 7 boys and both of the other Patrols have 9 boys. I separated them and sent both boys back to their Patrols. There was another scuffle over at the Owls area that night when Alex started sniping at the PL for not being able to keep the patrol together and demanding new elections. Since Lars seemed to be doing well in his patrol, I was sent back to watch the Owls.

 

James had buddied up to Alex in the time I was away watching Lars, and kept telling Alex that he would be a far better PL than the current boy. Then James started telling the other boys that Alex would make a better PL. After a couple of weeks the boys mutinied and Alex got into a shoving match with the PL over the removal of Lars from the patrol. The boys were separated and told that LARS was the reason LARS was moved, it was not a result of poor leadership by the PL. Alex refused to be in the Owls patrol if he couldn’t be the PL, so he was sent to the Eagles patrol. I was told to keep watch over the Owls to ensure that the rebellion had died down.

 

Our entire Troop does the tenderfoot fitness test every 30 days all year long. The thinking is that if a boy misses the fitness test meeting, joined at a different time, didn’t make any improvements, etc. he can always catch it on the next go-round and it’s good for the boys to run a mile every 30 days anyway. Dylan (another of our new scouts) broke his leg playing baseball this summer and is still on crutches. Consequently he hasn’t done any of the 30 day fitness tests since. He helps count, measure, or time, and when he’s off the crutches he’ll have to run the mile like all the other boys, but for now, he’s the timer.

 

James started telling the other boys that it wasn’t fair that Dylan didn’t have to run with everyone else and pretty soon the other boys started picking on James claiming that he shouldn’t get special treatment and that he wasn’t really hurt. Jacob stabbed Dylan with a pencil one night and drew blood. Another night Jacob tripped Dylan and took his crutches away. Last night Jacob punched Dylan and knocked him flat. He was pulled from the room and the SM said that James had paid Jacob $10 to punch Dylan.

 

Now the Committee wants to remove the rank of the current PL because there hasn’t been any order in that patrol since elections in September. I’ve told the committee that the PL has been doing his best but that James keeps manipulating the other boys to get them to act out. James manipulated Lars, but Lars hasn’t had any issues in his new patrol. It wasn’t until after James started telling Alex how wonderful he was that Alex acted out. Alex isn’t having any trouble in his new patrol either. James was the one who started complaining about Dylan, and he’s the one who paid Jacob to punch a kid on crutches. The committee doesn’t see it that way and says James couldn’t possibly be the problem because he is the smallest boy in the troop and always quiet and mild mannered.

 

What do I do now?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's your position in the troop? Regardless, the Committee doesn't have the authority to remove the current PL, that is simply beyond them. Regardless, they should trust and respect your imput on the matter, as you have been observing the patrols for some time now.

 

 

 

I'm actually not sure what the process is for removing a Patrol Leader. I'd assume that would come from the Scoutmaster, but it might just be that the Patrol needs to hold new elections.

 

 

 

I believe your version of events, and James's parent need to be called in and have a chat with the Scoutmaster, as does James himself.

 

 

 

Gotta Love this Scouting stuff,

 

Sentinel947

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sentinel:

I am a parent. Boys change their behavior if the SM or ASM is standing near by, so we use parents to watch patrols so that we know how they are really preforming. Since my oldest is an Raven and my youngest is an Eagle, I was the obvious parent to watch the Owls. (Another troop rule is one brother per patrol--the parents of this troop have a tendency to beget boys.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sentinel:

I am a parent. Boys change their behavior if the SM or ASM is standing near by, so we use parents to watch patrols so that we know how they are really preforming. Since my oldest is an Raven and my youngest is an Eagle, I was the obvious parent to watch the Owls. (Another troop rule is one brother per patrol--the parents of this troop have a tendency to beget boys.)

If that is your troops practice, to have parents watch the patrols, then the Troop Committee should trust your observations.

 

 

 

I trust your observation because I have the same function in my Troop (except I'm an ASM), where I advise the Troop Guides. I've seen a Scout with a behavior disorder be egged on by other Scouts to harass another Scout. Size is no indicator of social strength or manipulative/persuasive ability. Adults should realize this.

 

 

 

Have you brought your observation to the Scoutmaster? It really is his role to deal with, long before it reaches the Troop Committee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quite the master manipulator you have there. As others have said, this is an SM issue, and the Committee needs to focus on supporting the program, not micromanaging boys.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Sometimes the smallest can be the biggest manipulator, and it sometimes is simply a way to compensate for their size. Aren't you happy your sons are not in the Owls patrol. I feel for the PL who is getting the blame for this.

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed its SM/Parent time, but as ASM for stabbing with a pencil and drawing blood I would have confiscated the Totin Chit and not worried about corners.

Taking someones crutches is quite un-scout-behaviour. Special class on 1st Aid maybe? No hazzing I know, I have old school ideas ...

 

In 2.5 years as a leader we/I only ever had 1 scout that was removed from the troop (Leaders decided, told the Committee who told the parents).

But that is and should only be the very last resort.

 

So how to manipulate a lil manipilator to stop manipulating? ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Agreed its SM/Parent time, but as ASM for stabbing with a pencil and drawing blood I would have confiscated the Totin Chit and not worried about corners.

Taking someones crutches is quite un-scout-behaviour. Special class on 1st Aid maybe? No hazzing I know, I have old school ideas ...

 

In 2.5 years as a leader we/I only ever had 1 scout that was removed from the troop (Leaders decided, told the Committee who told the parents).

But that is and should only be the very last resort.

 

So how to manipulate a lil manipilator to stop manipulating? ...

SM"s call. But here's how I would advise him.

 

 

Shoving match with PL, one week suspension.

Abusive behavior, one month suspension.

Inciting to riot, six month suspension. To be shortened if the writes an essay on Absolam's rebellion (and considers getting a haircut).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
~Now the Committee wants to remove the rank of the current PL ---- What do I do now?

 

I hope by "rank" you really mean his title/position of PL, and not his BSA rank (2nd Class, 1st Class, Star, etc). Once a BSA rank has been awarded - no one - except the BSA National office, has the ability to remove it.

 

Certainly not your Troop's committee.

 

Talk to your Scoutmaster - NOW.

 

BTW - what was done with Alex for his multiple incidents of shoving, and (especially) Jacob for shoving, stabbing, tripping, stealing, and punching?

 

James might have incited the incidents, but these boys were the ones to actually demonstrate, CLEARLY, what it means to NOT live by the Scout Oath and Law. The excuse of someone else "making" them act like aggressive bullies does not fly in my book. It was THEIR choice to act the way they did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
~Now the Committee wants to remove the rank of the current PL ---- What do I do now?

 

I hope by "rank" you really mean his title/position of PL, and not his BSA rank (2nd Class, 1st Class, Star, etc). Once a BSA rank has been awarded - no one - except the BSA National office, has the ability to remove it.

 

Certainly not your Troop's committee.

 

Talk to your Scoutmaster - NOW.

 

BTW - what was done with Alex for his multiple incidents of shoving, and (especially) Jacob for shoving, stabbing, tripping, stealing, and punching?

 

James might have incited the incidents, but these boys were the ones to actually demonstrate, CLEARLY, what it means to NOT live by the Scout Oath and Law. The excuse of someone else "making" them act like aggressive bullies does not fly in my book. It was THEIR choice to act the way they did.

SN, I agree with you that the common thugs need to have a light shined on their behaviors.

 

I also agree that the committee shouldn't be bothered with who's in what patrol. I think the one point NAE learned (and tried to discuss with the committee) is that shuffling players does not increase discipline. That kind of thing might work if you have a low performing patrol and a high performing patrol (low and high in terms of skills, not discipline) and a couple of boys in the high-performing patrol are up for the challenge of helping those boys up their program. But as a corrective tool, it rarely succeeds.

 

But, if a kid is trying to undermine leadership at every turn, they need to be rewarded with some time out from under that leadership. Being disloyal, unfriendly, and unclean (it doesn't have to be cussing to be foul speech) also demonstrate a disregard of the scout law.

 

My co-advisor had a GS in her troop who was equally divisive. Made things miserable for all the girls (especially her "best friend"), until about age 16 they all realized life was so much better when everybody united and ignored her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

James and the boys need to have a consequence. I have seen the same thing--we have one boy who is a master manipulator (I have written of him before) and maybe an A+, All American, future Eagle Scout Sociopath. Only boy out of 80+ I have personally dealt with that makes the alarms go off.

 

We have had a few others that were instigators as well.

 

I have a son like Lars and he was always being tricked into doing stuff, so the move was a good call.

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sentinel:

I am a parent. Boys change their behavior if the SM or ASM is standing near by, so we use parents to watch patrols so that we know how they are really preforming. Since my oldest is an Raven and my youngest is an Eagle, I was the obvious parent to watch the Owls. (Another troop rule is one brother per patrol--the parents of this troop have a tendency to beget boys.)

I took your advice and sent out an email asking for another adult volunteer to watch the patrol in order to verify what I saw. So far only Dylan's mom has volunteered and I don't think she'd be a good choice because the boys will know that they are being watched. Then again, maybe then NEED to know they are being watched.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Agreed its SM/Parent time, but as ASM for stabbing with a pencil and drawing blood I would have confiscated the Totin Chit and not worried about corners.

Taking someones crutches is quite un-scout-behaviour. Special class on 1st Aid maybe? No hazzing I know, I have old school ideas ...

 

In 2.5 years as a leader we/I only ever had 1 scout that was removed from the troop (Leaders decided, told the Committee who told the parents).

But that is and should only be the very last resort.

 

So how to manipulate a lil manipilator to stop manipulating? ...

Unfortunately, our SM is in name only; he doesn't even show up 1/2 the time.

Council removed our most active leaders and they have been replaced with parents from this new crop of weblo's. We keep hoping that they will give up and go away, but so far only one boy/family has left.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
~Now the Committee wants to remove the rank of the current PL ---- What do I do now?

 

I hope by "rank" you really mean his title/position of PL, and not his BSA rank (2nd Class, 1st Class, Star, etc). Once a BSA rank has been awarded - no one - except the BSA National office, has the ability to remove it.

 

Certainly not your Troop's committee.

 

Talk to your Scoutmaster - NOW.

 

BTW - what was done with Alex for his multiple incidents of shoving, and (especially) Jacob for shoving, stabbing, tripping, stealing, and punching?

 

James might have incited the incidents, but these boys were the ones to actually demonstrate, CLEARLY, what it means to NOT live by the Scout Oath and Law. The excuse of someone else "making" them act like aggressive bullies does not fly in my book. It was THEIR choice to act the way they did.

Yes, I meant his title as PL.

 

Unfortunately, Alex's parents think Alex would make a great PL and a lot of the new parents from this crop of Weblo's have decided they don't like our troop rules/traditions so they are supporting the removal of the PL and want to hold new elections, not just for that patrol, but for the whole troop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Agreed its SM/Parent time, but as ASM for stabbing with a pencil and drawing blood I would have confiscated the Totin Chit and not worried about corners.

Taking someones crutches is quite un-scout-behaviour. Special class on 1st Aid maybe? No hazzing I know, I have old school ideas ...

 

In 2.5 years as a leader we/I only ever had 1 scout that was removed from the troop (Leaders decided, told the Committee who told the parents).

But that is and should only be the very last resort.

 

So how to manipulate a lil manipilator to stop manipulating? ...

The council removed the active leaders? I know that the COR can remove leaders, but what did those leaders do to deserve being removed by the Council?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×