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SpEdScouter

Criteria For Sending A Scout Home?

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I'd like to ask about the decision made to send a scout home from summer camp for discipline reasons.

 

1. What reasons has your troop sent a Scout home?

2. Is there a procedure that must be followed? Ex. forms to be filled out, persons to be notified, number of Scout leaders to be involved in the decision?

3. Other than sending a Scout home, where are the other discipline methods you have used?

4. Are parents allowed to contest sending a scout home?

5. Does the Scout camp have to be informed?

6. Is there some standards so discipline is uniform meaning what gets a Scout a lecture and KP in one troop get the same Scout sent home in another?

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@@SpEdScouter in our unit it would have to be something REALLY severe AND have the support, if not the insistence, of the camp director. In all my years we've never had that happen.

 

As to your questions:

  1. I'd suspect violation of the "penal" rules of the camp (smoking, drinking, dangerous behaviour, etc.).
  2. The procedure would likely be dictated by the camp. Again, if it was a unit decision we'd solicit the input of the camp director.
  3. Time outs, with holding privileges. Two-deep counseling with the adults to correct the behaviour and to set expectations.
  4. They can try to protest, but if camp rules were violated they don't have much standing. Most reasons a unit would/should send someone home would/should coincide with the camp policies.
  5. Always inform the scout camp. Most camps require scouts to be signed in and out. Some are more strict than others about the process.
  6. Units differ. Camps differ. Adults (and their tempers) differ. Nothing is uniform. You have to know and trust the people in charge of your scout. If there are possible issues parents should talk to the leaders. In our unit we have SEVERAL pre-camp meetings where we meet one-on-one with parents about how their kid ticks. Helps us at camp to deal with them.

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In my expereince:

 

 

1) destruction of property, theft, and assault, or the threat of assalut have been reasons to send someone home.

 

2) Every unit and camp is different. But usually the camp does need to be notified someone is leaving.

 

3) Some things I've seen prior sending home are warning, cleaning up something, i.e. bath house, latrines etc.On a few occasions no warning, straight to being sent home.

 

4) see below about protesting parents.

 

5) YES!

 

6) Again units and camps differ.

 

Some of the stories I've witnesses or heard about.

 

One time a troop decided to send home a Scout because he would not listen to anyone, and causing major problems. Parents would not pick up. Leadership tried to deal with it until he tried to assault the ASM. That is when the camp director got involved. I had to pick him up and bring him to the CD while trying to recontact parents for him to be sent home. I do not know what was said to the parents, but he was out of HQ within 3 hours.

 

One of the Sea Scouts in my ship was sent home from Jambo for destruction of property and threatening people. Mom had to fly into DC, get ground transpo to and from jambo, and fly back. This was the 2nd day of jambo.

 

One camp staff was sent home for theft.

 

One camp sent home the entire troop when they caused approx. $30000 worth of damage to the camp.

 

Finally one Scout was causing major problems and troop leadership called parents to pick him up. They said "NO." since they went on a second honeymoon to Disney World while the troop was at camp. That's when the troop's leaders got the camp director involved. He called them, and discussed the situation with them. When they still said no, he informed them that if the Scout was not off the camp by a certain time ( time from Disney to the camp plus an hour to check out, get gas, food, etc) he would call CPS about an abandoned child on the camp's property.

 

They made it with a few minutes to spare.

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After 40+ years of working with youth, I have never had to send a kid home early.

 

One year the camp director sent one of the boys from the troop home.

 

Parents have come and gotten their homesick scout home early after they got hold of a telephone/cell phone.

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We never sent a scout home, we gave the parent who was asked to come to camp for their misbehaving son, the choice to stay and escort their son to all the activities. Parents always chose to take their son home.

 

But, after the first three years of running our troop, we never had any scouts misbehave that badly. Not sure how but the peer pressure among the scouts matured to a point where that kind of behavior wasn't tolerated. I can't say for sure, but maybe it was because we pushed camp more for fun and adventure and not so much advancement. We also had 90% of our 14 and older scouts go to summer camp up until they aged out. That may account for our lack of bad behavior, I don't know.

 

Barry

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1. What reasons has your troop sent a Scout home?

Bringing marijuana to camp.

 

In my troop if a scout doesn't obey his PL, it goes to the SPL. If still no result it goes to the SM. The SM decides if the PL and SPL honestly tried. If so, the boy goes home. I've never actually had to take a scout home but I did go looking for my keys one time before everyone decided this was really about to happen. Once the problem scout understands the process he starts listening to the scouts a lot like he listens to the adults. That's the real issue here: Do the scouts respect the scout leadership.

 

2. Is there a procedure that must be followed? Ex. forms to be filled out, persons to be notified, number of Scout leaders to be involved in the decision?

Inform the parent.

 

3. Other than sending a Scout home, where are the other discipline methods you have used?

Give everyone a chance to cool down. Talk to the scout about what the Scout Oath and Law are about. Tell him you're disappointed. Ask him what it will take for him to live up to who he is.

 

4. Are parents allowed to contest sending a scout home?

Not in my troop.

 

5. Does the Scout camp have to be informed?

If it's summer camp, yes. They need to know who is around in case there's an evacuation. In the case of something illegal, absolutely.

 

6. Is there some standards so discipline is uniform meaning what gets a Scout a lecture and KP in one troop get the same Scout sent home in another?

Doubt it.

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To address your last question, no standards.

But when things get that bad, we have committee members help us evaluate the situation. They may talk to the boy.

We use the camp director as a resource. Once the director helped me figure out to evaluate and handle the situation.

 

Never had to send a boy home. But I have had a boy go home because he felt he would not handle things well after the situation.

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But, after the first three years of running our troop, we never had any scouts misbehave that badly. Not sure how but the peer pressure among the scouts matured to a point where that kind of behavior wasn't tolerated. I can't say for sure, but maybe it was because we pushed camp more for fun and adventure and not so much advancement. We also had 90% of our 14 and older scouts go to summer camp up until they aged out. That may account for our lack of bad behavior, I don't know.

 

Barry

 

I think the older boys are a big key. Many problems are with the 11-13 year olds and having older boys around helps alot.

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5. Does the Scout camp have to be informed?

If it's summer camp, yes. They need to know who is around in case there's an evacuation. In the case of something illegal, absolutely.

 

When you tell the camp a scout is leaving, do you have to tell why?

 

Edited by SpEdScouter

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When you tell the camp a scout is leaving, do you have to tell why?

i'd say, in general no, but ....

 

The camp director is a friend, so I wouldn't imagine not telling him. But, even with directors who I've met that week, I've found it helpful to go over any problem I've had with them. He might even put you in contact with another SM in camp who has a similar kind of scout.

 

At the least, a camp would like to know it not was something about the program.

 

Now, if it involved sexual assault, that's a whole different animal. Lots of folks should be informed.

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i'd say, in general no, but ....

The camp director is a friend, so I wouldn't imagine not telling him. But, even with directors who I've met that week, I've found it helpful to go over any problem I've had with them. He might even put you in contact with another SM in camp who has a similar kind of scout.

At the least, a camp would like to know it not was something about the program.

Now, if it involved sexual assault, that's a whole different animal. Lots of folks should be informed.

If there's an incident that requires a BSA Incident Report I'd think you'd have to tell the camp why, no?

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An ancillary question - who decides?

 

I was under the impression either the camp director ( for the good of the scout and camp) or the scoutmaster (for the good of the scout and troop) could decide.  One or the other, no override.

 

At one camp this was not the case, as the camp director maintained he had sole authority to decide. His camp, scout's parents paid for a week, he would decide. Eventually the camp director came around. I don't know if it was the call to the SE or the passing of the no-refund mark. Parents wanted a whole week vacation for their son. Scout should have been sent home Monday night but departed Wed night, so troop at least had a two-day week at camp.  :mad: 

 

By Monday night, if a scout does not want to be there, will not do his part ("And you can't make me"), will not follow Scout Oath and Law, na na na, hey hey, goodbye

 

My $0.02

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I've only sent one kid home from summer camp in 12 years (extreme behavioral melt down and assaulting another scouts).  But if I were in a situation where a camp director over ruled my decision to send a kid home, the CD would suddenly find himself with a new roommate.  Boys don't go to summer camp, troops do.  The Scouts in our troop are there under our supervision. 

 

Frankly, of all the CD's I've worked with, I can't imagine any of them not deferring to the SMs.  However, if a CD and SM disagree on sending a kid home, I think the kid goes.  If the troop doesn't like it, the whole troop can start packing.  Just because you paid a camp fee doesn't mean you aren't still a guest.

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When I was a scoutmaster, I sent one scout home early.   We were camping at a state park, and scout verbally and physically assaulted a little girl at the public swimming area.  The scout was 13.   His conduct was bad enough for the girl's parents to contact a state trooper who happened to be on patrol in the park.   After the trooper conducted his business, I told the scout to gather his stuff, he was going home.   An ASM and I drove him back to his house, about an hour from where we were camping.   I explained the situation to his parents.   His dad nodded and said nothing, same with the scout.  Scout's mother accused me of being unfair.

 

I had briefed the scouts at the meeting before that they needed to conduct themselves in a scout-like manner, and that if they did anything that brought discredit on themselves and the troop, it would result in an early departure.  

 

This particular scout had a long history of anti-social and unscoutlike behavior.    His dad knew the score, but mom refused to acknowledge her son's bad behavior, and always lashed back at the troop leadership (her Johnny was an angel, and we leaders were all uneducated, inefficient,, etc.).

 

The scout decided not to come back to the troop.   I can't recall how the legal situation was resolved, it's been a few years ago.

 

Long story short, there are occasions when an early departure is warranted.   It sends the right message to the scout who crossed the line, and the other scouts as well.   They are watching the leaders' actions.   Too lenient a decision, and they will lose respect for the leaders.   After all, the vast majority of the scouts behave themselves.   They'll wonder why leadership isn't putting their foot down with a scout who is always causing hate and discontent.

 

Sure, the troublemaker needs scouting, comes from a troubled home, etc.   I agree to a point.   But it is not right when the scout's continually bad behavior detracts from his peer's scouting experience.

Edited by desertrat77

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