Jump to content

Policy Pronouncements in Scout Literature

Recommended Posts

>IF you believe that a PL cannot, under current policy, assign KP as punishment, I believe you have a very unique perspective, and I use "unique" deliberately and in its literal meaning., not in any sarcastic sense.


What I asked was for someone to show me in the current handbooks where it says a PL can disciplin a Scout. I am honestly courious. What you quoted didn't say that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What I asked was for someone to show me in the current handbooks where it says a PL can disciplin (sic) a Scout.


Yah, hmmmm.... I wonder if anyone can show us in da current handbooks where it says a PL is allowed to use (or clean) a latrine? :)


If yeh expect explicit permission for every ordinary task of camping or leadership those handbooks are goin' to get mighty long, eh?


One problem with da BSA's more recent approach to materials and such is this bad habit of making policy-like statements that confuse folks, rather than followin' the former practice of putting out program materials that offer advice as to best practices. I reckon we all agree that matters of serious behavioral problems are properly the realm of adults, and that we don't want boys spanking other boys or washin' their mouths out with soap the way ol' Momma Beavah used to do to me when I forgot that a Scout is Clean. ;)


Problem is, that's somethin' very different than all discipline is to be handled by adults. I think almost all of us would agree that a Patrol Leader has to be able to stop a lad in his patrol from doin' something foolish with the stove, and has to respond to a boy who blows off his cleanup duty in order to sneak off to da fishin' hole. The boy who is serving as a lifeguard has to be a part of keepin' discipline at the waterfront, and the lad workin' an Eagle Project has to be able to send a misbehaving worker home. Figurin' out these things is part and parcel with leadership, eh? It's one of the best things scoutin' does for growing boys.


To imagine that a sentence of expansive wording in a training module is meant to be interpreted so broadly as to fundamentally change da Scouting Methods and Program is unlikely, eh?




Link to post
Share on other sites


If I understand it correctly, and I have been known to misunderstand at times, TAHAWK is saying the BSA handbooks contradict what YPT says in that YPT says disciplining should only be in the hands of the adults. What I am asking him is were in the Handbooks it says otherwise? If true, it isn't really a little thing that should be assumed one way or another.


By the way stopping some action for safety reasons isn't disciplining. At least not as I understand the BSA to define it. Assigning a patrol to latrene duty because they came late to troop assembly would be. In such an instance, I would expect the BSA approach would be for the SPL to consult with the SM and together decide on an appropriate punishment, which the SM allows the SPL to issue. However I don't remember reading in any current handbook this or any other similar process spelled out. Thus the question.

(This message has been edited by bnelon44)

Link to post
Share on other sites



"Patrols are part of a troop. The troop has adult leaders, but their job is to give guidance and advice to the Boy Scouts. The Scouts run their own program."


"[Patrol Leader, [w]hen you see that a patrol member is overstepping the boundaries of the code of conduct spelled out in the Scout Oath and Law, it is your responsibility to step aside with that Scout and discuss with him why his behavior is not acceptable."


"Discipline issues" in the commonly accepted meaning of those words, issues include issues of staying in order, keeping order, and insuring compliance with proper procedures, such as wearing PDF's when boating or insuring proper hydration when exercising.


"Meetings where the boy leaders are in charge can be very chaotic. And it can be very tempting for adults to jump in and sort things out, because that is what adults do. But we have to remember that that is the process of Scouting. That is how they learneven from disorganization and failure."


If a Scout leader sees Scouts "goofing off" when they are supposed to be learning knots and reminds them to get back to knots, that leader is dealing with a discipline issue.


If a Scout leader sees that a Scout within his responsibility is not acting according to the Scout law and he discusses or with the defaulter how his behavior departs from the Law, that leader is dealing with a discipline issue.


If a Scout leader sees a Scout about to enter a canoe without a PFD and reminds that Scout about BSA's rules, that leader is dealing with a discipline issue.


Is a Scout leader sees two Scouts getting into a confrontation and uses "Resolving Conflicts" from 2011 NYLT to restore order, he is dealing with a discipline issue.


Under your reading of BSA policy, the Scout leader is reduced, at best, to a snitch. That is not "youth leadership," the "Patrol Method," or anything else I recognize as a very active 35-year unit Scouter or as a pretty active trainer of youth and adults in Scouting for 39 years.


This is not a "little thing" at all. It goes to the whole idea of youths as leaders, as opposed to gofers or spies for the adults. Things will NOT always go smoothly, discipline-wise, and they need to learn how to deal with it by good council, good training, and experience. Running off to adults every time there is a discipline issue is not leadership.


Now if BSA has some special meaning for 'discipline" that does not reduce the Scout leader to a cypher, they might share that with us, even those of us not initiated into the inner, inner circle.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...