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Pushups

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Although I don't agree with corporal punishment or hazing, ( was a Former military) I do give out push-ups. I do it when I catch a boy with his hands in his pockets for example. But it's to help him remember to not put his hands in his pockets. also I give out push-ups and usually do them with the scout for fitness. Boys remember better why to or not to do something with some physical. Just asking them not to do it, and then every min, again asking them not to do it.doesn't work. I lead by example. I can do more then any of the scouts. and I prove it. I can also get the point across better this way. example hands in pockets. I don't allow it. And often I do have small talks with scouts reminding them not to do or to do something. ANd sure there are a few Scout Lawyers in my troop, and like I said I don't use push-ups as discipline, but to help boys remember, and stay in good physical condition.

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Don't ever ask a boy to do something you would not.

 

Don't ask him to do a pull up for you when you are fat and can't even hang by your hands.

 

Don't ask him to run a quarter mile unless you are going to run it with him.

 

Don't give him 10 push ups unless you can do 10 good clean military push ups.

 

And don't ask him to be willing to do pushups as a consequence of behavior if you would not be willing to do so at work if you came to the office late.

 

I am very, very dubious that anyone here amongst the personalities that post would be the kind of guy to just happily drop and give some pushups at the feet of their manager at work as a reminder that behavior has consequences and because fitness is good. I have a feeling just about everyone would either quit or try some HR shenanigans to get out of it.(This message has been edited by BSA24)

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And don't ask him to be willing to do pushups as a consequence of behavior if you would not be willing to do so at work if you came to the office late.

 

Yah, hmmm...

 

I sort of get da sentiment here.

 

Well, no, not really.

 

Kids are not adults, campouts are not offices, and scouting is not employment.

 

I think it's OK to send boys to bed, but I would never tolerate a work colleague in most offices who told a fellow adult to go to bed. Tellin' a lad to pick up the trash would be de rigeur, tellin' an office worker to take out da trash might be a violation of contract work rules.

 

Let's not turn scouting into adult office work, eh?

 

While I'm sure that I can still do more pullups or pushups than most scouts, I'm not sure that's really an issue either, eh? I'd think a lad who could do more pushups than his SM would be a source of pride for the boy. Almost part of the fun.

 

This all comes down to Adult Association and our relationships with boys, eh? If yeh don't have da relationship with boys to even imagine being able to pull off the pushups thing in an appropriate way then I agree with yeh completely. It's something that you should never do. The error is in believing that because you can't pull it off it's something that nobody should do.

 

Just because I can't run a marathon is no reason to prohibit others from running a marathon who can do so successfully. Same with folks who have a relationship with kids or a unit culture where occasional exercise is a positive thing.

 

Beavah

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The Scoutmaster's handbook says don't do it - that should be good enough for all of us.

 

In the military, having a drill sargeant do the old "drop and give me 20" routine is as much about instilling a specific form of discipline (boot camp is about breaking you down and building you back up) to get you on "the team" then it is about "punishment". Some athletic coaches think much the same way - summer football practice is similar - break you down as an individual to build you up as part of the team. But that isn't what Scouting is all about, is it?

 

In Scouting, there are better ways to instill discipline than the whole push-up thing, and a lot of times, it can be geared towards the specific "offense". I've said this before but it bears repeating - in my Troop, if there was a totin-chip violation, we didn't lose corners of the cards. Instead, we were given a task to do - it might be sharpen all the axes, or if it was a particularly eggregrious violation, sharpen all of the bow saws. I admit to having had to sharpen the axes once (when I laid an axe down unsheathed in the axeyard for 20 seconds that turned into 15 minutes when I was called away from the axeyard and forgot to bury the axe or re-sheath it - oops - and I never did that again).

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In Scouting, there are better ways to instill discipline than the whole push-up thing

 

Yah, I'd generally agree with CalicoPenn on this, eh? Still, I'd probably append the qualifier "for most boys and circumstances."

 

Like the example I mentioned, sometimes a bit of exercise might be the right choice for a particular boy, and it might even be geared toward the particular offense.

 

Still, we all seem to be agreeing that despite the language in the latest SMHB printing, we all would be willing to give out an "enforced physical action" like making 'em sharpen all of the bow saws!

 

Beavah

 

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I dont' like this sort of stuff. Don't care for the message it sends.

 

Push ups strike me as way too variable. Some kids will do push ups all afternoon and just grin at you. Others will lay there in the dirt, frustrated and humiliated at being unable to do any and for being called out in front of the troop. Praise in public, criticize in private, huh?

 

Making perps do extra clean up duty or picking up trash causes other problems, too. The PL has an equitable duty roster prepared for the weekend. So when Billy is assigned KP duty for some misdeed, what does that say to the kid who got out of the work? And what about the poor schmuck who did his duty be cause it was his turn? What is he being punished for?

 

We don't have tic-tack punishments like this. Truth be told, I'm not sure what sort of infractions I would assign KP or pushups for. My theory is we dont' punish Scouts, we teach them to behave themselves so punishment becomes unnecessary. If someone's behavior is so far out of line that punishment is necessary, they go home.

 

I don't care for singing for lost stuff, either. Doesnt' seem Scoutlike to me. Courtesy dictates that I cheerfully return the things I find to their owners. Last year we had a rash of stuff "stolen" from the troop. Really dumb thieves, too, 'cause everything they stole they put in the lost and found or on the picnic tables. So I asked the SPL to assemble the troop earlier than usual. I then asked the guys who had stuff stolen to please describe the item and it's last known location -- which they very eagerly did. One by one, I reached into the lost and found tub and tossed the "stolen" item to them. That led to a short discussion of A Scout is Thrifty and the need to take care of your stuff. Following that was a longer session of general house cleaning and organizing.

 

Funny thing was this year one of the new Scouts (who who wasn't in the troop for that lesson) came to me very upset that someone had "stolen" something from his tent. One of the older guys stepped between us, as if to protect the kid from me, put his hand on the kid shoulder and said, "Dude, trust me, it ain't stolen. I bet if we clean up your tent we'll find it. C'mon I'll help you."

 

Learning had occurred.

 

 

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twocubdad. I like this story. I have the same thing every summer camp. Boys having gear "Stolen". when all along it was in their messy tents. I had a mother give me all kinds of crap for months now that her son's Handbook was stolen or lost by the scout. I got an SMS from her an hour ago telling me she found it. and that she was ready to return the new one with his name in it.. I told her no..

 

Like I said above, I don't believe in corporal punishment. I do believe in instilling in tot eh Scouts pride in themselves, discipline through hard work, and leadership in leading by example. Push-ups I don't use as discipline, I use as a reminder. They start to remember, I even tell them to remind other scouts not to do or to do certain things. They get the message very soon after getting caught out a couple of times, intact at our last tot, I used push-ups often, and I also did them myself. But after the first time, most boys got it, those who didn't were being called out by their fellow scouts, and doing push-ups. but usually going down, and not doing too many, just the point to remember the point..

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Like all things, there is a little in-person perspective you get by observing and living a situation as opposed to the picture your mind's eye can create from conversations such as these. I have a good idea that no matter your opinion on this matter, just about all of us would disagree with an adult leader that enforced push-ups "as a drill sergeant would".

 

If one does use tactics such as these, I appreciate the method ScoutBox employs, doing the exercise along with the boy. It is much less ostracizing and more inclusive. Basically a better teaching tool. I personally do not use push-ups or singing, but that's me. The biggest thing is does the parent and scout know and understand going in. It might be a good thing to discuss when they visit and allow them to make a choice rather than something being sprung on them.

 

But I do have a question for those who do use push-ups to reinforce a lesson or even the dreaded word "discipline". If you are an adult performing the infraction and a scout calls you out, do you drop and give him 10? Or will you hem and haw about those being "rules for the boys, not grown men". Those who would actually use that as an excuse might just lose a little respect in the eyes of the youth they lead.

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We use push-ups for consequences. An example of when this may be a punishment is when a boy does not bring pen and paper to the meeting so that he cannot remember important information to relay to parents (yes, we email parents info, but we want the boys to be responsible for relaying it). The scoutmaster has told the scouts that they may have to do push-ups or sing teapot or something else if they do not bring these supplies. Usually they receive a warning, but repeat offenders get a punishment. The scouts now bring pen and paper extremely consistently.

 

I know some of you will be offended because I called it "punishment" but that is what it is. It is a consequence to a lack of meeting expectations. You knew the expectations. You chose to not meet them and now there is a consequence - punishment.

 

That is the way things work in the real world (or the way they should work). If I show up late to work, when I walk in the door I expect my supervisor to call me into his office and have a talk that will result in a letter in my file. If I come in late again, I expect that my supervisor will write me up. I do the same for the people I supervise.

 

Also, push-ups are not pain. Maybe some discomfort if you have to struggle, but pain? Come on. Arent we being just a little too easy on kids these days? To ask a 10-18 year old boy to do 10 push-ups should not be a huge deal. If the kid were really out of shape, I would lessen the amount or give him extra work or the teapot song, etc. Also, this is not Parris Island. I am not screaming at him or standing over him in a threatening manner. I am not mad at him and my actions do not show that. There is no emotion involved.

 

Given that the Scoutmaster Handbook specifically says to not do them, I will now find another method of punishment.(This message has been edited by SpencerCheatham)(This message has been edited by SpencerCheatham)

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Glad to hear so many scouters have moved away from the punitive approach. It's teaching bad leadership. One article I read described such leadership as the "weenie" way out because you want to jump to the quick fix proclaiming your great solution without addressing the problem. I'll let others decide what the legal or professional oppinions are. IMHO, it's abusive and a power trip. There's ways to correct behavior without being punitive.

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Fred,

 

I am interested in what you do instead of punitive methods. The underlying cause to the example I gave is that the scouts are forgetting. Punishment helps them remember because it associates a difficult time with forgetting. If there are other, effective methods, I would be glad to hear and try them.

 

Thanks,

Spencer

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G2SS says to use constructive discipline. Constructive discipline leaves a positive at the end. Push-ups leaves a sore muscles but doesn't address fixing the behavior or teaching about the behavior. All your doing is hoping the scout learns to avoid pain. Watch out the next time he won't be caught though.

 

I think you have to do this on a situation by situation basis. #1 I'd look for an educational component so that both the WHY and HOW to avoid his behavior in the future. #2 I'd look for something to restore the damage done. That might mean paying for a broken tent. It might mean helping the patrol leader with his dishes. It really depends on who was affected by the behavior? What the behavior was? What opportunities do we have to make it a learning opportunity? Can we restore the situation? How can we make it a positive.

 

An example we use in our own home is when one of my kids misbehaves or is not thoughtful toward his mother, he'll get to help his mother with the dishes. He won't be doing them by himself. Instead, he'll be in the kitchen right with her helping to get them done. ... ummm ... Same thing I do when I piss off my wife. I'll be right in there helping with the house chores hoping to fix the situation.

 

I'd also make it clear to the scout that the task is not punishment as much as restoring his relationship with the person that his behavior affected. He him see the fairness in the task.

 

I'd also mention that for many things we just deal with the educational component. A friendly smile. A reminder. A suggestion how to avoid it in the future. Scouts will pick up on that.(This message has been edited by fred8033)

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When I was a Scout, (all of 9 months ago) My Scout troop did not use Push ups or similiar physical punishment. It still does not.

 

My theory against Push ups and Physical punishment is simple. Most Boys will Resent the person making them do the punishment, and their resentment will cause them to miss the point of doing the push ups. The idea of any sort of discipline is to get their behavior to change.

 

Most 11-17 year old teenagers ARE NOT going to go: "Man! Mr. ABC is right! I shouldn't forget to wear Scout socks, be late to the meeting, call people bad names, *insert situation here*" It will simply breed resentment, they might actually do it again out of spite, and it hurts the trust dynamic between the boys and their leaders, adult or Scout.

 

 

In my experience, a polite, firm conversation, with a heavy dose of, "This is your warning" is generally enough for any behavior infraction. Sometimes it's better to have a deep conversation and find out what the underlying CAUSE of the action is. Treat the disease, not just the symptoms.

(This message has been edited by Sentinel947)

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