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Dishonest scout

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Good afternoon,

As a new Scoutmaster, many of  my scoutmaster minutes have revolved around the Scout law.  For a Scout is honest, I asked the Troop to provide their own working definitions, so as to delve a little beyond "a scout tells the truth," and then told a story of personal experience about how a dishonest individual lost trust, credibility and had a hard time keeping all of the false statements consistent.  This allowed for a personal lesson to be offered, without casting aspersions at any Troop member, or for other members in the Troop to start thinking that one among them had engaged in that conduct.  

Best of luck!

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I'm speaking from the school of hard knocks:

  • Discuss with your committee chair ... possibly even the committee if other scouts have been harmed or put at risk as a result of the scout's deception. Determine if a suspension is in order, and for how long. (It could be a week, it could be 20 weeks.)
  • Meet with the scout and his parent, and make clear that the troop cannot function if any scout cannot be trusted. Let the scout know that he is suspended for whatever time was recommended by the committee.
  • Have the SPL give his position of responsibility (if he holds one) to another scout.
  • Tell the scout to use that time to determine if he is willing to be trustworthy. If so, he may give you a call and ask to rejoin the troop after he's "done his time." Welcome him back and let him know that when he thinks he's demonstrated scout-like behavior for a few weeks he may ask the SPL for a new PoR.

Act quickly and courteously to keep the troop rolling along.

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