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GabeTheRockStar

"Boy Run" and scout mischief

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I have questions about how a troop can be prepared to deal with authority problems. The troop is supposed to be boy run, but often when scouts get out of hand they do it together. This can make things difficult on an SM and ASMs. Its also hard for parents, who are trying to figure out where their "committee member" role ends and the parenting begins.

 

So what do you do when scouts get out of hand, or when one scout decides to test the boundaries of the troop authority structure? Do the scouts have any role in determining what to do when there is a problem? If so, what is it? Does the committee ever come into it? I don't think it should, but that doesn't mean I've never seen it done.

 

Suggestions?

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Ooo, ooo, ooo (waving hand wildly) Can I answer? I just took SM/ASM training this weekend.

 

This may be an over simplifications, but think chain of command. I would go to the SPL ask him a question prompting him to think about the Scouts' behavior, like, "Is everyone doing what they're supposed to be?" or "How are we doing versus the program plan? Are we on track to get out on time?" It's a bit of a game, but the point is to prompt the SPL to focus on the particular behavior. Less effective is "Do you think Charlie should be swinging from the rafters?" In turn the SPL will do the same thing with the patrol leaders who will then have the same conversation with the particular Charlie.

 

If the problem isn't solved, it's handed back up the chain of command. But even still, don't let the SPL pass the problem along to you too quickly. Coach the SPL on how to handle the problem and pass it back down the chain. If the problem behavior continues and you need to get involved, do so without making it seem like you are the final authority. Out of that immediate loop, sit down with the boy causing the problem and talk to him about his behavior.

 

That is the idea. Obviously there are situations where other concerns, like safety issues, don't allow the luxury of going through all that. Also, how you deal with the SPL and how he deals with the PL will depend on where they are in their leadership abilities.

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Kudos to Twocubdad.

 

The role of the trained adult leaders is to train junior leaders, not just in outdoorskills but in how to lead. That would include teaching patrol leaders and senior patrol leaders how to problem solve and to resolve conflicts.

 

The goal is to help the scout think through his own behavior and make the personal choice to change. ethical decision making based on the values of the Oath and Law.

 

Not doing push-ups, cleaning latrines, singing songs, etc..

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(From Narita Airport in Tokyo)

 

Bob's spot-on as usual. Training them and using the tools they were taught is the best recipe, in the long run. And, that's what we're supposed to be in this for. -- the long run, not the quick fix. It's also your best fallback when you're discussing Scout Spirit at SM Conference time. How can the lads be accountable if the adults really run things?

 

KS

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This is sort of on the same line. New SPL last night running the first truly run boy led meeting. He's the Troop's only first class (one year old Troop)he planned to show the one Second Class who is a PL and the Tenderfoots working on Second round and square lashinigs. He asked per his plan that the SM instruct the new recruit attending his first meeting. New SPL had his first test from the Second class PL in that this SC who thinks he knows everything but usually doesn't when tested. Shouted out "now stupid your doing it wrong." and the new SPL told him "no It's right just sit down and let me do it." As their voices rose the SM came by to ascertain the problem. The PL said to the SPL who said you were boss. Of course the new SPL wasn't quick on the draw and missed a golden opportunity and shrunk in intimidation. The SM looked at the starting clove hitch the boys were discussing and it was indeed correct especially for a left handed SPL. To which the SM informed the PL that the knot was indeed correct for someone left handed. Took the PL aside and asked him to control himself that the SPL is in charge and that the Troop elected him. To which this lad said "well I didn't." To which the SM responed "did all of your patrol members put you in charge of the patrol?" The boy was dumbfounded.

 

At post meeting debriefing the new SPL was asked about the incident. He stated "he just wouldn't listen to me. Kept saying I didn't know what I was doing and I did." SM told him that initially some of the older boys will pull similar tactics with him as their leader and shared the respons to make when asked "who made you boss?" To answer simply "the members of the Troop at the last election." That boys will attempt to get his goat to make him look bad especially since he is the SM's son!

He still felt his plan went well despite the outburst. The SM asked if he now understood how difficult teachers, and the SM has had when the boys were rowdy etc.

 

But then again I was surprised my son was elected as SPL. He won because one of the older boys came over to the camp of the younger boys but at least he planned the meeting an ran it according to his plan. Much better than the last SPL.

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Just a couple of nuances to add to the already good posts.

 

1) If health and safety are an issue (i.e. swinging from the rafters), stop it immediately. Don't go up or down the chain of command.

 

2) For most Scouts, the chain of command starts with the PL, not the SPL. Individual Scouts should not be going to the SPL with frequency.

 

 

3) As a left handed Scoutmaster, be careful about such comments as correct, if you're left handed, etc.

 

4) Discipline falls under the jurisdiction of the Committee, not the SM/SAs.

 

5) Leadership training is a L O N G S L O W process but well worth it!

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This is probaly one of the most useful and scouting accurate threads I have ever read on this board. I hope EVERYONE takes the time to read and understand this information. An "Awesome job" goes out to all contributors!(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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This is another one that hits close to home. We had a great boy-run meeting last night. Things fell pretty close to plan. The ASPL had put together a gathering game. The SPL took care of getting the meeting going while I was dealing with another issue. He handled opening announcements and getting them where they were supposed to go. Instruction was handled by the SPL, w/help from Troop Guide & ASPL. PLs then took patrols for a patrol meeting. Wrapped things up with some awards and a SM Minute. I was pretty pumped.

 

There was an issue with one little trouble maker. He mouthed off a few times in the meeting. I saw the SPL and the ASPL each take turns at trying to quiet him down. At one point, I walked over and asked him to hold it down. I found out later that he said some ugly things to the SPL & ASPL. He also smarted off to me right at the end of the meeting. I believe the SPL went about as far as he could go, given my understanding of the events. It's now time for me to have a talk with this boy. We'll have a fireside SM Conference this weekend on our campout.

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Bob,

 

This thread is much better than the one we've been in that old Yaworski started on the subject over at www.scoutingforums.org. The folks here seem to get it and discuss it in a mature manner. ;)

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I also agree that all answers are on the mark. However, there was one small question that no one has addressed. "Does the committee ever come into it?" Gabe does ask a valid question. All of the answers given are valuable. However, they become much more difficult to follow through with if there is influence from those outside the program, which is really what committee members are ~ outside the program.

 

This problem is minimized in Troops lucky enough to have committee members who truly understand the program and its design. But when those who are untrained attempt to insert themselves as Gabe may be suggesting, it will be necesary for the SM or ASMs to run some interference.

 

I agree - Great thread!

 

Mark

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Heck there is so much love in this thread I don't even see the need to add :

Train them Trust them, let them lead.

I don't see the need.

Eamonn

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Good question Mark. IMHO, the committee only comes in when a serious issue has arisen and it is to the point of potentially asking a boy to leave the troop. The committee should have a good understanding of discipline rules and/or a policy to keep them straight. I do not believe this is a decision a SM makes on his own. In fact, I believe any such issue should go to the CO. But it should flow through the committee first.

 

Committee members who may be attending a meeting or activity as an adult leader, however, may intervene as any adult may, if situations warrant it.

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EagleinKY is very close to bringing inthe committee.

 

Here is his next step. Now that the Junior leadership has tried to counsel the scout it is the Scoutmaster's turn. If coaching and counseling from the SM does not reduce or mitigate the problem here is what the BSA program says to do.

 

When a scouts behavior interferes with the delivery of the program OR if he endangers his own safety or the safety of others, he should be sent home.

 

The problem is then given to the committee, who with input from the parents, determine what the scout will have to do to retain his memebrship in the unit.

 

It is not the role of the Program Leaders to punish other peoples children.

 

I hope this answers the questions regarding the committee's role.

 

BW

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