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Appropriate discipline for disrespect

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So sorry to hear about how this is unraveling.


Over the summer my son decided to leave his former troop after a long time of us both trying to make it work for him. Personally, I was so fed up by that point that I would have been fine with him quitting scouts if he had really wanted to, and that's saying quite a lot.


Since then, he joined a different troop and things are great. His present troop operates quite differently and would never tolerate the kinds of negative attitudes & misbehaviors that were commonplace in his former troop. The whole atmosphere is different and suddenly, scouting is fun and even "cool" again for my son. How refreshing! Looking back, I wish we had helped him find this troop years ago, rather than trying to fit square pegs into round holes for so long.


So make the move. I think you'll be glad you did, for all your boys' sakes.



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I suggest that you have one last duty to this Troop - and by Troop, I mean the boys that are still in the Troop. Someone needs to make the Institutional Head and the COR (not just the COR) aware of what is going on in this Troop. Not the conflicts your family has had and are having with this CC & ASM but about the incident at the recent camping trip where the 17 year old son of the ASM attacked another lad on the trip - and that it has happened, with a weapon, before. And you need to bring the attacked boy and his parents along to the meeting.


At this point, it's not about anger at the ASM or the CC - it's about ensuring the safety of the rest of the boys in the Troop. The easy thing to do is get angry then sit on the sidelines and do nothing because your sons are no longer in the Troop - but it isn't the right thing to do.


Don't wait - contact that other boy and his parents and then contact the IH - get a meeting set up now - before the other lad hurts someone.

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Scoutdad sent a letter to the minister who runs the church which is our charter org to let him know about the latest incident. We had met with him the day after we resigned but this letter was to let him know about the fighting incident.


The attacked boy told my First Class son (not the one that was expelled) that the SM and CC did not seem to believe ASM's version when they discussed it at the last meeting (ASM is father of the attacker) but that nothing else has been done. I do not know what the attacked boy's parents have chosen to do. My expelled son was at his house tonight with the two witnesses (one of whom is CC's son) but he said the topic did not come up because other boys who aren't scouts weren't there.


I can't compel anyone else to do anything but I feel that by telling the minister about it (we identified the attacker but not the other boy by name) we have pu it out there.


This second incident made me decide that as long as CC and ASM are still there, I will not send my sons back.


We have checked out two other troops so far. One is very faith based but not our faith and I did not feel comfortable there as a parent. The other was very sports oriented and my boys have zero interest in lacrosse, basketball or football; they did not have a good time at the meeting we attended. We have two others we plan to check out. One is a predominantly Jewish, non-sports oriented troop about a 25 minute drive away (former troop was 5) and the other is former troop's traditional rival, a very rah-rah troop. I am just not sure if it is sports oriented or not.


Now that I have had a week to think about it, the thing I am angriest about is ASM taking my two youngest sons aside and telling them that they couldn't go camping because of how their older brother behaved unless Scoutdad went with them. SD and I had not told the younger boys about this and I am furious with ASM for bringing this issue up with my sons when he had no place to discuss troop discipline with boys. He overstepped his bounds. It makes me even angrier when I think of how physically aggressive his son is and he's never punished.


Anyway, just had to vent.

On a positive note, our crew ran an event this past week that was very well thought of. Two or three boys (including the attacked boy) are thinking of joining. If it wasn't for my 6th grader, I would just dump scouts altogether and focus only on the crew.

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I would only add one thing to CalicoPenn's good suggestions. If one Scout attacked another, particularly a 17year old almost adult Scout, that isn't just a matter for the institution and the unit, it is also a matter for Scouting. It is a youth protection issue.


This matter should be brought to the attention of the Scout Executive of your local council. I would suggest contacting the Scout Executive and stating that you would like to talk about a youth protection matter. Then give the full facts as best you know them. The Scout Executive will make a full and fair investigation and take appropriate action.


We read about and at times on these message boards honk about Scouting failing to take appropriate action to protect youth. But Scouting and the Scout Executive can't take action if the don't know that something has happened. And if the investigation shows that something did happen and the unit leaders swept it under the rug, that's not at all a good thing.


Give the Scouting system a chance to do its job.

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Scoutdad made the COR aware of the assault incident. I can't compel the parents to do anything. I did hear from one of my sons that SM and CC are questioning ASM's version of the incident (ASM's son is the attacker).


Scoutdad and I are turning our back on this troop. Even SM, who we defended to Council when CC and ASM tried to get him removed, has not called us since (though I've seen him on Facebook playing games so I know he's not too busy). I am really hurt about that, I considered him a friend, but my kids come first.

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Here's another update on our ongoing situation:


Scoutdad wants to be back in the troop because my youngest son wants to be. The pastor who runs the church where the troop meets has called a meeting between Scoutdad and I, SM, CC, ASM, the COR and the man I referred to in my earliest posts, who is a dad in the troop and a high-level volunteer at Council. We have asked for someone from Council to be in attendance as well. The meeting will take place in a couple of weeks.


I am still outraged about how ASM spoke to my two boys, telling them they couldn't go camping because of how my other son had behaved and implying that their dad didn't care enough about them to go camping with them (sooutdad has a fairly serious heart condition). When I heard that he is planning to make his brutish, thug son an ASM when the kid turns 18 this year, I flipped until SM said he would never allow it.


CC told SM that he would pull "HIS" charter and go someplace else with all the equipment. SM told him the charter belongs to the CO and not to him and the equipment belongs to the troop and not any individual. CC was not amused...


Frankly, the only reason we're even entertaining going back is because the other troops we're considering are too far away for a school night.


Hope everyone had a nice New Year and that your scouting years are going better than mine.



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You know, being as I am outside the situation, and do not have any personal connection or experience with it, I cannot see it exactly the way you are..................................




It seems to me that...well......it's like watching a kid try to pet a dog only to get bit and then repaeting it over and over because he wants to pet the dog.


So your youngest wants to join.


Why? Does he have a friend in that troop? Is all that is wrong( and I mean wrong in such a huge way) worth just hanging witha friend?


I mean, If I went to an establishment and got robbed,beat, and generally mistreated up every night...I don't care if all my freinds were there...I would go there myself.


Again, I am looking in fromthe outside, and do not have the connection to the troop you have/had....but it seems to me trhat no matter how much you want to pet that dog, no matter how much you envision it or practically taste it, and even if you are soi sure it will be different this time...... the dog is gonna bite you again!


Why? Because that is the nature of that dog.

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I understand your analogy about the dog, but it is not totally apt to this situation.


My youngest has been with his age cohort in the troop since Tigers. It's not just one friend, but closer to a dozen, that he has in the troop, along with some of the older boys (7th and 8th graders) that he's bonded with over the years in the pack and then the troop. My son does not do sports so Scouts is where he has his friends, his activities and his self-esteem (due to having 3 older brothers with the troop, he has a certain ability level and is respected by his age cohort).


In addition, my family has been with this troop longer than either CC or ASM, whose sons moved up with my second son (the expelled one). We were there with our oldest first.


Frankly, if ASM and CC would just accept that my second son will not apologize to them because he doesn't feel he owes them an apology and he is not of a nature to just say it and get it over with, even if he doesn't mean it (believe me, we tried and he told us we were trying to make him into a hypocrite!) and that my second son will not return to the troop, if they would just accept my two younger ones and keep them separate from their brother, things would be okay. It's their insistence on lumping my sons together and punishing the two younger boys because their brother refuses to apologize to them that's the current problem. Scoutdad and I have accepted that second son will no longer be in the troop as long as CC and ASM are there.


It's because we feel our two younger boys, and the youngest in particular, are being punished because ASM and CC could not "break" second son, that we are continuing to fight.


I do appreciate everyone's thoughts because they help me to crystallize what I really want and need in this situation and what is best for my sons. I care about the other boys in the troop but not more than my own sons.

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Your last post was a really nice,short, clean summary.


I get what you are saying. Sometimes I will fight something on the principle of it alone.


While I do not push bad behavior to fight bad behavior...maybe it's time to call the ASM out in front of everybody at a meeting and ask him why he..with his much older maturity level and extra years of wisdom and experience - feels like he has to act like a child ?


Maybe tell him the troop should copy his "guilty by association" practice and ban not only his son, but him and his wife too. Why not since the ASM follows this practice.


Basically, make him out to be the jackass he is being. Even if he doesn't change, enough members of the troop may tired of it and ready to leave to the point the CO has to tell him to pack his stuff.


I guess it comes down to this: If you don't want this guy to kill then troop....your gonna have to fight it out. And you're gonna have to fight it hard!


(This message has been edited by scoutfish)

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I can't do that though it might make me feel better.


First of all, ASM's son would be delighted if he was thrown out of scouts. I've never met a boy who hates the program as much as this kid does. ASM loves it and he wants his son to, as well.


I've known ASM for years. In many areas, I respect him. He has amazing scouting skills, which he willingly shares with the boys in the troop. He is an asset to the troop in many ways and has been an asset to my boys in the past. I just hate that he is allowing his pigue over a 15 year old boy's comment (that wasn't even directed to him, my son still maintains that he does respect ASM, just not CC) to color his reactions to my other boys.


ASM and Scoutdad were great friends until this came up. They'd take the boys to the movies, iceskating, bike riding, etc. all the time. Scoutdad is hurt and misses his friend. ASM says he misses his friend and I don't doubt his sincerity. They were great friends. ASM's marriage is not a happy one. He uses scout trips to escape his wife, who is a nice person but they are very mismatched. If he didn't have scouting, I don't know what he'd do. I know, it's not my problem, but overall, he is an asset to the troop and I can't bring myself to humiliate him in public. However, ask me again after the upcoming meeting and I might have a different answer! LOL!


OTOH, the humiliation factor would be fun against CC but he has been smart enough not to talk to my other boys.

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Holy smokes! Still more adult drama.


So what we seem to have is a mouthy kid who, like many teens, made a mountain out of a molehill and got into one of these "I refuse to respect this adult" snits and then stalked off and quit. He made a big stink, didn't grow up, couldn't acknowledge his own poor behavior and apologize, and left da troop adults with a bad taste in their mouth.


Yah, sure, the adults aren't perfect, eh? Not every adult is good at dealin' with mouthy, spoiled teens. But I can see them not wanting a lad who has quit under such circumstances hangin' around at other troop-related events like projects. And while it's not entirely fair to da other siblings, I can see after a big hulabaloo a troop wantin' a parent to come along on trips for a bit to take responsibility for their kids after they didn't feel fully supported by the parents when they had an issue with the oldest. That's the nature of a volunteer organization, eh? People spend time with other people's kids out of the kindness of their hearts. Yeh can't "make" them if they decide it's too much of a hassle. And besides, scoutdad had already agreed to come on outings with the oldest if he had continued, eh?


Bringin' up some nasty hearsay things about the ASMs son (and the ASM is supposedly a "friend"??), plus gossip about the man's wife, just ain't appropriate. And that's all we have here, a bunch of hearsay from upset teens. Who among us hasn't had a teenager who we "grounded" for somethin' go on and on about all our other faults and failings ;). But it is telling, eh? If it's 5scoutmom's approach to gossip and make accusations, I can see why da volunteer leaders of the troop may just want to wash their hands of da family, especially after da experience with all the drama with oldest son. It might be Kamelian's criticism above should be taken to heart and reflected on by 5scoutmom as much as by the troop volunteers.


5scoutmom, I think yeh have to make a decision, eh? I think yeh either decide that you want your sons in this troop or you don't. If you do, then you apologize for your oldest son's behavior and for your accusations based on hearsay and hurt feelings, and then yeh follow whatever expectations the troop sets up and agree to support da troop leaders even when they make judgment calls yeh disagree with from afar. They were there, eh? And you were not. That's also how yeh keep adult leaders as "friends".


If yeh can't do that, because yeh don't trust the judgment of these volunteers or yeh can't bring yourself not to engage in gossip or yeh feel yeh must defend your mouthy lad who can't bring himself to apologize, then that's a decision to leave the troop with your whole family. Which yeh should do with quiet dignity.


There's no middle ground, eh?


Same with da ASM. He can't be someone yeh want back as a friend and someone who can't be trusted who yeh don't want around your kid.


So make a decision. But enough with da drama. Teens get into da drama thing, but they need us to be adults.



(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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I agree with Beavah - enough with the drama. Get over it and move on for everyone's sakes involved. It sounds as if there will never be a solution to any of your family's problems with this troop. Sometimes it may be better to agree to disagree and go separate ways. And sometimes there are just no solutions to the problem that can be agreed upon by all parties that are involved.

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