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should you fire an SPL

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We had our home troop SPL attend the recent National Jamboree as member of another Troop. While there he got caught up in patch trading. After several days of successful trading he made a bad choice and decided to steal patch(es) from another Scout who was out on the side of the road trying to trade (we know of this incident for sure - and his fellow Scouts told of us of several others over three days - though we did not have proof).


When the Jamboree Scoutmaster found out about this he immediately confiscated all of the Scouts patches, grounded him from leaving the camp site for the next day so he could perform cheerful service to the camp, and restricted him from further patch trading. After a call to this Scouts parents, the parents agreed with the Scoutmaster's punishments and agreed to donate all of this Scouts patches to the Alaskan troop.


At this point we thought the issue closed.


The home troop committee, however, heard of the incident and now wants the Scout removed from his SPL position (he was just elected in May). They feel he is unqualified and unsuited for this position. I am looking for feedback. Should he be removed, or has he paid for his misdeed already?


thank you,

a tired scouter


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The Scout showed remorse upon getting the grounding and losing the patches. His dad was steadfast to give away the patches, but the next dat after speaking with the Scouts mom, she wanted them held onto and returned to her son - until she found out she got a different story from the Scout about the circimstances. This made the situation even more tense.

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I think you have an excellent opportunity to teach a life's lesson. I suggest the scoutmaster and committee chair sit down with the scout, with or without parents, your call. Go over the incident and have the scout explain what he did wrong, and what he should have done. Then, have a "contract" drawn up outlining his duties and responsibilites and the penalties for not fulfilling them. Obviously another incident of stealing, cheating, lying, ect would mean expulsion from the Troop. Have him sign it and he keeps a copy and the scoutmaster gets on. Ih he redeems himself, you have a victory,if there is a repeat, then you know you tried to help

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We kinda, sorta had the same problem, only different!!

Last year at Summer Camp,two Staff members were caught stealing stuff from campers tents. Both Lads were signed up for the Jamboree.

I admit if I'd had to make the call they would not have been allowed to attend the Jamboree. But it wasn't my call. The Scout Exec and their CO were OK with them going.

Of course my good luck got really good and one was elected SPL for the Jambo Troop.

I had several choices. I could pretend that I didn't know or that nothing had happened or I could talk with them.

I opted to talk with them. I had them one at a time with their parents and I explained that they had made a big mistake and made bad choices. We talked about STAR





I asked them to reflect on what they had done and made it very clear if they did anything like this at the Jamboree they would be going home early.

The Lad who wasn't SPL did manage to mess up again at Summer Camp and his parents took him out of the troop.

The Lad who was SPL, did a wonderful job. I was so very proud of him and let him know that I was proud and grateful for the job he did.

Now I'm really happy that I wasn't the one making the call, because I would have been wrong.

I have to admit that seeing the term "Chuck Him" is really ever so sad.

Surely we are here to help Lads make ethical and good choices, just wearing a Boy Scout uniform doesn't make a Lad into an Angel. Looking back to when I was a young Lad and the times I violated the Scout Oath and Law, if someone had chucked me, I would have been chucked around a lot.


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If this same scout had willfully violated "Clean" (being homosexual) or "Reverent" (being an athiest) he would be chucked instantly. Why would willfull violations to "Trustworthy, Friendly, Courteous, Kind" be treated with less severity? This kid stole items from another scout.

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Gern, you are using false logic here. Just because BSA has some hard and fast rules on relegion and sexual orientation, that does not translate into the way we deal with wayward boys. I think your definition of "Clean" (rerfence to sexual orientation) is incorrect.


I think we all need a chance to redeem ourselves every now and then. As Eamonn noted, one boy in his Jambo troop was gvien this opportunity and was able to rise to the challange. We must not show the boys that one mistake condemns you for life. You have to live with the consequences, yes, but you should be given a chance to redeem yourself in most cases.

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I would put the kid on probation following a discussion and agreement between him and the Scoutmaster. If he can't uphold his end, he should be fired.


Kick a kid out of Scouting for violation Scout Laws? You wouldn't have any left. Do you kick people out of your church for violating the Ten Commandments? Scouting is a learning organization. This is an opportunity to make a valid point with a kid when you have his undivided attention. Kicking out is for when conduct becomes so egregious that he is a hazard to others or himself. Stealing certainly qualifies, but one incident doesn't constitute that kind of behavior. I certainly feel stealing from fellow Scouts is reprehensible, but all kids make mistakes they later regret.



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I would use what OGE posted. That makes the most sense. It sounds like this Scout got caught up in trading patches & his brain fell out. Ounce he picked it up & put it back in his head he realized what he had done and was remorseful.



Give it a rest! Your posts have done nothing to further this discussion.


Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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FIRE AN SPL?!?!?!?!?!?!?!


This has to be one of the most rediculous things I have ever heard/read!


I am on the side of the people who said to sit him down and talk with him. Yes, as SPL (or any other member of JLC for that matter), they are expected to be an example to follow. Unfortunately, we are all human and make mistakes.


Personally, the first incident is a sit-down with the Scout (w/ or w/o parents, but at least with the SM and an ASM) then an apology to the troop. The second incident is suspension from Scouting activites other than meetings for a period of time. The third incident results in the Scout being removed from his leadership position (whatever that may be) and ineligible to serve in a leadership position for 6 months.


If I sound too hard or harsh, I apologize in advance ...

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There is another problem which has to do with the number and kind of patches that were stolen. It would be easy to run up a bill to a few hundred dollars for the stolen patches. It doesn't appear that the owners were contacted or restitution attempted. Most people know their patches and readily know what is missing. The young man may remember which tents he stole the patches from and those Scouts will know.


The theft is probably not small and it involves his fellow Scouts. It also sounded like he gave Mom a different story to add deceit to the list. Giving him a time out is a way to bring insult and injury to a difficult situation. Dad wants to sweep it all away by sending it all to Alaska; a two step solution that appears to make it all good.


No, there is a problem because the defense wants a quick settlement. None of it sounds right. One part of the solution could be to have the Scouts that bestowed the SPL position on him have a new election. They all will know what he did by now and they will vote accordingly. As a SM, I wanted the Committee do their job and preside over the hearing and decide the punishment. I trusted a fair hearing and a just punishment without my presence. I would just want a SM conference with the young offender. He is a Scout for as long as he wants to remain a Scout and I want him to know that I stand with him this day and the next but it is the Scout Oath and the Law that makes it so. "Now carefully repeat with me because I want to know that you understand each part


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