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scout cursing about a leader

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This is Mrs. Flying Fish. Even though this is for Girl Scouts, I'd love any input.


At a camporee, the troop rule was NO CELL PHONES. A mother (also a leader) told her 11 year old daughter it was okay. When another leader discovered the phone, she took it. The scout called her a " **** " as the leader left the cabin. There were 5 other scouts in the cabin to confirm the story.


The next morning, the scout came out without the proper shoes. The same leader addressed the issue. The scout continues showing disrepect and didn't want to change shoes. The mother, who was not camping with us because she was one of the event directors, came into our camp and confronted the leader. She did this in front of all the scouts. She did not confront her daughter.


I later learned of the insult from Friday night. I strongly recommended the scout be sent home because the mother was not supportive of the other leaders. However, she was allowed to stay and then caused more problems later that day.


This scout is also a physical and verbal bully. This is an ongoing battle. We have girls that have said they don't want to move up to cadets because she is there.



1. Does anyone have a "punishment" for inappropriate language in scouts?


2. Has anyone expelled a scout at the risk of losing a leader?


3. How have you dealt with a co-leader that overrules the stated rules and policies?


BTW - we have no committee. The area director is aware of what is going on. She just wants smooth waters.



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Do you have a school coordinator? If you have no one between your Troop and the Service Area Director, then contact the director and have a talk about the issue. Even if the director is already aware there is a problem, she might not be aware of the fact the waters are anything but "smooth", and getting less so all the time. You need the director to back up any action you take.


Get the director to attend a friendly talk between the Troop Leader, and this parent/leader. The mom needs to see that there is a problem, and to be given the opportunity to assist in correcting it, before the mom and her daughter are asked to find a different Troop.

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I know nothing about how Girl Scouts are set up or ran.

Seems to me that you have two problems.

The Mother and the Scout.

I'd deal with the Mother first.

Set up a meeting with the Mother and present the things that she did. Explaining what was unacceptable behavior from an adult leader.

I kinda think that I might push for her to see what she did wrong and apologize to the leader she confronted.

I don't know enough about the Scout to say if what she has done warrants expelling her from the Troop or not?

Bullying is grounds for expulsion in Boy Scouts. This is something which isn't done lightly and should be done by the Troop Committee.

From what you have posted the bullying and verbal abuse has happened in the past and been allowed to continue. It seems to me that this Scout was disrespectful to an adult and did call an adult names. The bullying is an add on and has nothing to do with the situation at hand.

I also wonder why if the Scouts mother was attending the event? Why the adult found it necessary to take the phone from the Scout?

When she found out that it was the Scout's mother who had said it was OK? Surely the thing to have done would have been to have a quite word with the mother? Maybe having the mother remove the phone?

Also when it was noticed that this Scout had the wrong shoes on, having the same adult address the issue, might not have been the wisest thing to do. In fact it might be said that this leader was trying to find fault.

Clearly having 11 years olds disrespecting adult leaders is unacceptable.

Cursing? While some words don't allow any wiggle room, some words and terms while being not very nice? Might by many not be seen as cursing.

What did the adult do when it happened?

I know if a kid was rude to me and I was upset? I sure as heck would deal with the situation then and there and would have involved the parent at that time, either by having the parent come to me or by bringing the child and myself to where the parent was.

By not dealing with it when it happened the situation has been allowed to fester and grow.

I think that the Scouts owes the leader an apology and needs to understand what is unacceptable behavior and why it is unacceptable.

I'm unsure if the leader owes the Scout an apology or not?

Once it became known that the Scout's mother had told her too keep the phone a lot would depend on how the leader went about taking the phone from the Scout?

It might be said that the kid was only doing what she had been told by her parent.

What started as a mole hill has been allowed to become a mountain.


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Here's the reality and what I would tell a leader in our area:

1. It's May. Have a meeting about behaviour and what consequences will be if lines are crossed. Put it in writing. Follow through.

2. Gut it out through the end of June. I'll be at every event if that is what it takes.

3. Document, document, document.


For next year:

Tell the Service Unit Manager (SUM) or paid staff Director of Membership (DMM) in no uncertain terms you will not lead a troop with this mother-daughter combo in the membership any longer and that most of your 5th graders won't commit to Cadettes due to this one girl's behaviour. You've all reached the point of no return.



Lastly, this is not a phase, it is bad, vicious bahaviour on both mother and daughter's parts. It will not get better without long-term, firm commitment from all parties, to include backup from the SUM and the DMM. If the SUM and DMM won't help you, you should do what's best for you and your daughter.


Nike, the Overseas Committee Chair

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We have a large troop with 9 leaders. Two of them were the event directors. Since the mother was on staff, she was excluded from being a camporee leader with our troop. She was not involved in the planning and was not camping with us. She had agreed that we would be the ones in charge. She knew the rules. Can't hold two jobs at an event with that many kids.


The bullying has not been happening at scout events. We all know about the behavior. Two leaders' girls have been victims. They are currently Juniors.


Post filtering put stars in the quote. It was the "B" word.


Most of the other leaders agreed. If this had been our daughter, she would have apologized, gotten a spanking, sat down beside the area director and waited for someone to come get her. The ant hill would not have grown to this.


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I don't know anything about GS and who is the the one who really is in control of the unit.


But in Boy Scouts it is always the good of the many trumps the few. If you hsve one boy or one family (even if there is an adult leader in the family) If the rest of the unit is leaving due to their actions, you show the scout the door, and be prepared for the adult Leader/Family to follow.. Or if it is the adult acting up and the scout is good, you show the adult the door, and expect the scout to follow..


We lost a good committee chair, because he was upset that we held firm to holding his son to the standards we believe all scouts should behave at. We hadn't gotten to showing the scout the door, just a either-or final ultimatum.. Surprisingly the scout stayed and did a wonderful turn around.. The Father (our then Committee Chair) had a huge melt-down, and was so nasty and negative that the committee (with the COR's approval) voted him out of his postition.. He became a drop-off dad after that..


On this forum though there have been times we have advised the scout has used up his second & third chance.. Your scout whether it is at the point of final ultimatum, or showing the door, depends on the feeling you get of the other girls in your unit. If they simply have gone past the point of willing to stay, even if she turns herself around, then it is time to ask her to leave. If there is a chance that if she changes the others will be willing to tolerate her (maybe never be best of friends).. Then she can be give a final ulimatum..


Main thing is you should not loose the whole unit, because you will not (or afraid to) confront the problem..


Good luck..

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Another issue, was the girl using the cell phone?


Anyway, like ea says, there's a lot that's gotta be "water under the dam" because time has passed.


You may need to consider the following ...

An apology to the mom for not bringing the daughter to her on the first infarction. And a sincere apology for not insisting that she and her daughter be sent home to cool down without the eyes of the other moms and girls on them.


An explaination to the daughter that being frustrated about not getting her way wasn't the problem ... cussing and being obstinate was.


Making it clear that her fussing made took time away from the other girls' fun, and she needs to figure out how to make it up to them.


Finally make it known that to the powers that be (moms included) that you will not operate a troop that is forced to retain a girl who is not enjoying the program to its fullest (rules included). So either this young lady improves her outlook, or leaves, or you pack it in.


For what it's worth, we routinly have this with young boys. We haven't had to toss any out, but we have had to accept "modest" gains in improvement. (E.g., boy being willing to apologize to the whole troop for how his behavior caused us to cut short an evening activity. A year earlier he would have been permenantly indignant.)

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In both Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, adults make rules that look like total hypocrisy to the youth. (I'd equate an 11 year old girl with similar maturity to a 13 year old boy.) Are adults allowed cell phones? When I was Scoutmaster for Jamboree, the council made a "no iPod rule." Why I asked? Because a Scout may just stay in camp listening to his iPod and getting out. The boys were encouraged to bring reading material. Couldn't they do the same thing with a book I asked? That's different was the explanation I got.


Another issue is unfortunately we (i.e. society) are teaching our youth to disrespect adults by this nonsensical "stranger danger", "don't talk to adults you don't know" and other such garbage as if we've delegated the responsibility to protect our youth from ourselves (adults) to the youth themselves. This breeds disrespect toward all adults - strangers, teachers, Scout leaders, etc. When a parent encourages this behavior by making themselves the gatekeeper for what is and what is not allowed - it exacerbates the problem again. I had brothers in our troop that when I, as Scoutmaster, ever asked them to do anything the first thing they would do was glance over at dad and get his approval before they responded. They were respectful kids but I found that behavior troubling.


Now, think of this in the young ladies eyes. You have a cell phone - a prized possession. Your mother, who happens to be a Scout leader too, gave you the stamp of approval. Then, capriciously, another adult took your phone! What behavior would you expect?


My plan would be the following.

1) Don't have said "cell phone taker" & "proper shoe enforcer" leader interact with that Scout - too much baggage.


2) In a calm manner, have an adult leader the youth trusts explain the issues with language and the cell phone. Personally, I would not ban cell phones but I would teach the girls and others etiquette on usage.


3) In a not so calm manner, I would have a discussion with this youth's mother and explain the predicament that they place her daughter in when she gets conflicting instructions.


4) Don't make the issue a power play. You will either loose the battle or the war.

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To answer a question, the scout was on the phone when she was caught. The phone violation wasn't as bad as the downhill spiral that followed with mom's help.


There is no hypocrisy. Adults have cell phones. It is for safety and communications. If we were at a camporee without cell service, we would have walkie-talkies. Leaders are adults, scouts are kids. This is where I see a problem in society. Too many parents accept their children as their equal.


When the mother learned we had the phone and there was a problem with shoes, she threw out excuses that I would have expected from a drop-off parent. If you choose to purchase your child $80 tennis shoes, that is great. I also expect you would be smart enough to purchase a cheap pair for camping as well. NEVER argue with a leader in front of scout about why your child is not in proper footwear, or not following the rules.


I am very proud of the leader that addressed the shoes and the phone for enforcing the rules and standing her ground in front of the mother. The girls learned a lot about each leader.


This is why I am wondering how to handle the mother/leader. She is not the example I want my daughter learning from.



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There is no hypocrisy. Adults have cell phones. And the youth cannot?


So tell my why a teenager or in this case an 11 year old would feel that this was not hypocritical?


I was a Scoutmaster from 2001 to 2009. In my first few years, I did not have a cellular phone but my SPL did! Did I want him texting or talking to friends all the time? No.


What I was unsuccessful in implementing was banning BlackBerries and other smart phones from adults! :)(This message has been edited by acco40)

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I'm not seeing how adult rules/kid rules equals hypocrisy. I can drive a vehicle, my son cannot. I currently own a cell phone, my son, by our family rules, is not old enough too. Some privileges come with age, but too many adults fail to teach that to their children so the children think of privileges as rights. Adults get cell phones because it is the adults leading and coordinating events, and they are responsible for the safety of the girls. Something tells me this girl wasn't on the phone with the paramedics calling in an emergency.


Personally, I don't see the girl as the main problem, the mother is the problem. Arguing and undermining a leader in front of the youth is enough reason to reprimand the mother. She either follows and upholds the rules equally and respectively from here on out, or her volunteer service is no longer necessary, IMHO.


Swearing would have had the youth sent home immediately. If there was no one else to pick her up since her mother was working it, then she'd be sent to spend the rest of Camporee with her mom. This is how I see it, at least, and would have handled it. I have handled similar issues in the pack twice. One time we lost the boy and his mom, the other time the parent and child really stepped up to the plate and things improved.

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I have a problem taking things that don't belong to me from others.

Of course I'm OK with things that are illegal, I can take them without a second thought.

Lord knows that as a forum we have traveled down the cell phone path a lot! I hope we don't end up there again.

This confiscation thing /idea is one that I have found to be very unsettling.

I can and do see that there are times when asking a Scout to hand over something is necessary. The list of reasons for this is more than lightly very long.

However in this case a Scout has something which a parent has given to the child.

While there are maybe ways to have the kid give up the phone or whatever without causing a conflict.

In most cases a conflict is going to happen.

Try looking at it thru the kids eyes.

He or she has something that a parent and in this case a leader has given to them and along comes another adult who takes it away.

I kinda think if I was the kid, I'd be upset.

Maybe really upset depending on the way it was taken?

In the post there is no mention of what was said to the Scout.

All too often what happens next? Depends on how things are presented. In this case the phone was taken against the wishes of the child and the parent.

There are some youth leaders who to me seem to be on some sort of a power trip and lording over Scouts seems to give them some sort of a fix.

I of course don't know if this is true in this case.

Clearly there was a conflict and the Scout was unhappy. While there are better ways of managing the situation than resorting to name calling, in this case the Scout either didn't know how too or was too upset.


It's way to easy to be a Monday morning quarterback and look back at ways that might have avoided this situation.

I can and do see the reasons why the Scout was upset.





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