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JoeBob

Poor Example from an Eagle

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Mr. Eagle Scout is due for a one-way conversation...

 

Point blank: observed behavior...the effect...why it is wrong...what I except from you in the future...consequences if you cross the line again.

 

Anything less will not be effective.

 

Given he is an eagle, I'd recommend skipping the PLC or more oblique alternatives. He'll laugh those off. The fact he's played most everyone previously, he'll only understand one thing: a direct call out, I'm hip to your game, and it won't fly in this troop.

 

He'll get the point. It may be a life changing event for him. Guys like this are rarely confronted, and they continue their negative behavior in college, marriage, career. Too late then. He has the opportunity to change now, while he is young.

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Change of heart? How about oak? :)

 

There are several actors here. There's you, Bad Eagle, Tenderfoot, and the Troop. The troop can be broken into those that see Bad Eagle's behavior as a problem and those that don't care. Bad Eagle has no incentive to change. He's worked the system. Tenderfoot has the most incentive to change after being embarrassed by Bad Eagle. A little effort from an adult, or especially some scouts, would turn his scouting career around. The scouts that see Bad Eagle's behavior for what it is probably want something to change, they just aren't sure what. They listen to your SM minutes and see an Eagle scout that's an ass. That's conflict.

 

Start with the Troop. How about at your SM minute you also say that knowing right from wrong isn't good enough, that standing up for it is also important, and BTW come talk to me if you see it in the troop. You may need to pull aside a couple of scouts and ask them if they saw it. If you get a few scouts that saw something and explicitly said it was wrong then you have something. Pick the 3 most mature. Talk to them. Ask them why they didn't stand up for Tenderfoot. Tell them your concerns that Tenderfoot doesn't want to be a rat. Ask what should be done to both Bad Eagle and Tenderfoot. Likely they will bring forth a much bigger 2x4 than you. Ignore the temptation. Your asking them how to deal with this will give them confidence, It will also reinforce that the Scout Law means something.

 

Then talk to Tenderfoot. Assuming there are scouts that didn't like what they saw, let him know. Ask him if he'd like to advance but is struggling with something you can help him with. If he just doesn't want to advance, that's fine too. Maybe you can encourage the Three to work with Tenderfoot. If you could get that to happen then it doesn't much matter what happens with Bad Eagle, you'll have made a big improvement with those 4 scouts.

 

That leaves Bad Eagle. There are 2 parts to the 2x4. First, in no uncertain terms, he's done wrong, there are consequences, getting thrown out of the troop is one of them. It's his choice. Second, it will take a lot of time and praise to change his behavior. Ask him what he's going to do to make up for what he's done. He could start by apologizing to Tenderfoot. If it's honest then praise him. Then ask him to work with Tenderfoot so he can get First Class by August. If he bites then great, everyone wins. If not, you're teaching the rest of the troop to stand up to his behavior.

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JoeBob, this is indeed a tough one. Without being 'in your shoes' I can't offer much more than a suggestion as to how I would try to identify the details of the problem. One thing I've considered is that I might think of a scouting (camping, pioneering) problem to address and ask the Tenderfoot if he'd like to help me to work on it. Once I had a good idea of how motivated the Tenderfoot was I might then ask the Eagle to assist as well. There are few better ways to get to know each other than to work together to solve problems and the three of us might see each other in a very different 'light' as a result. At the very least, I think this would give me the opportunity to understand the interaction in maximum detail. At most, it might even solve the problem.

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I don't think I read a single reply the mentions Scout Oath and Law. I would not call this bullying, but it is certianly very rude and un scout like behavior. My conferences in similar situations pointed out that Eagles are held to a higher standard because they are viewed by the community as role models. Then I ask him what model he just represented? How does his behavior fit with the Oath and Law? Then I dismiss him giving him time to think out it so we can talk again. Part of the problem is that while this kid appears to be smart, he is also inmature. He is physically still on the child side of his life. He may see the harm of his behavior, but not the wrong and is not going to change anytime soon. But get him to acknowledge the wrong of his behavior and he will at least he know that he will be left accountibile for both knowing the scouting values and for being an Eagle. Barry

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Perd's mentions "unkind, uncourteous, unfriendly" pretty sure that counts as an indirect reference to the law, I think!

 

It's actually a subtle thing that Joe Bob is asking. He thinks the boy should be less haughty and judgmental. Teen-age type A personalities don't always see the connection between pejorative speech and discourtesy. They think they are clever ant witty along the lines of their favorite sit-com, belligerent internet blogger, or obnoxious relative. They could be looking themselves in the mirror and rattle those 12 points and not have a clue on how they are falling short. Sometimes the more you say a thing, the less you believe it. It's up to SM's to "polish the mirror" every now and then.

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Just arrived here.

 

2 Samuel 12 comes to mind. "You are the man". Perhaps if you can come up with an example for the B/E to chew on .... "Hey, Pete. I have a problem, maybe you can help me with. " And here you explain to him about a young Scout that has a problem in making rank. Could an Eagle like him help? What might he sugggest? Maybe looking at the SLaw and SOath might help. Duty to others? Friendly? Courteous? Helpful? Is an Eagle obligated to return his good fortune to others? How could we / he help in this?

I would not point out his hypocracy (would he know the word?), being an Eagle Scout but behaving in this way. ,,, but sort of lead him into a corner he has to find his way out of. Does this help?

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Here's a classic example of management vs. leadership. While the "eagle" has managed himself to the rank of eagle, he has taken on no understanding of what leadership means. A common fault in today's program.

 

Stosh

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He thinks the boy should be less haughty and judgmental. Teen-age type A personalities don't always see the connection between pejorative speech and discourtesy. They think they are clever ant witty along the lines of their favorite sit-com' date=' belligerent internet blogger, or obnoxious relative. They could be looking themselves in the mirror and rattle those 12 points and not have a clue on how they are falling short.[/quote']

 

Qwaze has a handle on it. The boy is so self centered that he is unaware of and uncaring of how his actions affect others. Incapable of seeing that he may be in error.

 

We have a bold plan afoot to have the PLC deal with this. Adult efforts in the past have not reached his heart.

I initially resisted involving the boys, because I feared that his word-twisting skills would enable him to weasel out. Now I'm hoping that enough of the boys who want to lynch this individual will add strength to their deliberations. Maybe the condemnation of his peers and knowing that the whole troop will be monitoring his words in the future will have a desirable result.

 

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**At a recent troop meeting a 14 year-old Eagle said to a 13 year-old Tenderfoot: "You've never advanced, and you're never going to advance for the rest of your life." Not very Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, or Kind. As SM, how would you respond**

 

Im still not sure why the PLC is involved at this point of your troop maturity. Do you expect them to deal with every discourteous comment made by preteen and teen boys in the troop? Discussing how to deal with bad behavior is challenging enough, now they need to deal with rudness?

 

It's not like I haven't been in the same situations, but I am just not seeing how you are trying to get this kid to focus. It almost appears that you are very angry with this scout and trying to figure out how to punish him for what he did to the other scout. I would rather assemble a board of Eagles (both adults and youth) so he can listen face to face from his peers. And while I fully agree that this scout doesn't see himself in conflict with the Oath and Law, his Eagle peers certainly do. He is not getting the big picture that hopefully they can paint for him. The thing is that even though he may not see the light come on as far as his behavior, he will learn that others do and watching. They will hold him accountible everytime he steps out of line.

 

Our scouts are told that they are held at a higher level (adult) as soon as they hit the rank of star or age 14, whichever comes first. This is a tough age, I seen 14 year old scouts like this make a complete change by age 16.

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Qwaze has a handle on it. The boy is so self centered that he is unaware of and uncaring of how his actions affect others. Incapable of seeing that he may be in error.

 

 

There's two words there that have to be evaluated closely ... unaware = oblivious ... he has no clue what he is doing is affecting others? I kinda doubt that. I'll put a big vote in for uncaring.

 

My two sons are opposites...my oldest is fully aware ... so much so that because of his ADHD, he chooses not to interact with very many people because he does not want to insult anyone, especially the opposite sex. My younger son (the Scout) is truly oblivious about what he says or how he says it 99% of the time. We have to put the brakes on him quite frequently.

 

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Regardless, the strategy is the same:

  • Unaware? Inform the boy that his actions are damaging the morale of the people he cares about, and his behavior must change to reflect care and compassion. Otherwise, he won't be welcome here.
  • Uncaring? Inform the boy that the pathway to becoming a responsible, participating citizen starts with attending to the well-being of his peers, and his behavior must change to reflect care and compassion. Otherwise, he won't be welcome here.

Who actually does the informing depends on the cohesiveness and maturity of the boys in your troop, supportive parents and other leaders, and what other inputs the boy is choosing to heed. Joe Bob, it sounds like you're stepping out on faith that the PLC is up to it. Not a bad choice, given that it seems like the other boys have brought this up to you. I look forward to hearing how it works.

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Update:

PLC did just fine.

2 youngest members were opposed to any punishment, because "Eagle Scout really holds a grudge."

 

He's not owning it, yet. "You're doing this to me just because I'm an Eagle, right?"

 

 

 

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Contrition is a learned behavior. A snarky reply wouldn't help him, but if it would make you feel better, you could tell him, "Well, you are a marked man. Can't say we didn't warn you." ;)

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Update:

PLC did just fine.

2 youngest members were opposed to any punishment, because "Eagle Scout really holds a grudge."

 

He's not owning it, yet. "You're doing this to me just because I'm an Eagle, right?"

 

 

 

Well you guys have a better feel for this than I. Joe, nothing about your post makes me comfortable. The PLC did fine, but the two youngest scouts are too afraid to Punish the Scout? Punish? Is that what you are trying to get? And Afraid? How was this all fine? What punishment do you think this scout deserves?

 

It's time to call in mom and dad and have discussion without the PLC. The adults need to do something with this Eagle so that young scouts aren't "afraid" of making decisions and his parents need to be an active part of the situation. I’m not sure how I see a punishment situation here, but certainly there needs to be an alignment of expectations and attitudes.

 

I admit, not observing all this puts us at big disadvantage, but troop adults need to maintain a balance of maturity with the general maturity of the scouts so that they are not forced into making decisions from the emotion of fear or intimidation.

 

I am all for scouts taking responsibility of holding other scouts accountable, but there is big gray area between accountability and punishment. That scouts are afraid tells me that your program is not yet at a maturity where scouts can be making these kinds of decisions.

 

As I said I am not there, but from what you have posted, it looks like you might be a little too aggressive with the boy run.

Barry

 

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Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Not gonna put that much detail online.

What the PLC decided works for me.

They are aware.

Big kids intimidate smaller kids. In the real world, you and I are not going to change that.

 

I see no 'big gray area between accountability and punishment'. If it makes you feel more comfortable, call it 'consequences'; I'm not that politically correct.

 

**********

 

To all that made suggestions: THANK YOU. Whether I agreed with or used your ideas, they all made me think and gave me avenues to explore.

 

JoeBob

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