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I am looking for short (2-3 paragraphs) stories/situation where a character has to make an ethical decision. I want to pose them to the troop to see what they would do in that situation. I have some articles from Scouting magazine, but was wondering if anyone had a good website. Tried some, but most deal with drinking/drug abuse or telling the truth or cheating on a test and I've beaten the dead horse with those.

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Sure, here is a very common one that is tough. The Scout Handbook describes how and when a scout is suppose to wear the uniform. What if he chooses not to follow the handbook? What if the troop leadership decided to not follow the handbook policy?


This is not a uniform discussion, its an ethical discussion. So don't be distracted by those who want to turn the discussion into uniform debate. I presented this to my scouts and they found it very challenging.


By the way, I never gave them an answer. I only asked more questions and left it up to them to ponder ethics.



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There's an ethics column in the magazine section of the Sunday NY Times. Some of the situations are a bit grown up, but often, they're pretty good. (I liked the previous ethics advice guy better than the one they have right now, though)

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May be an old chestnut, but what about "Rikki-tikki-tavi"? It's longer than what you asked for but could be broken down a bit -- e.g., family takes Rikki in, he is confronted with a couple of situations where he must protect them, etc.


Or you might start with B-P's "Wolf Cub's Handbook" - he retells a few stories from the Jungle Book; I'm sure there are a number of them in which the characters have such dilemmas.


Maybe your boys are too old for that sort of thing, though.

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"I am looking for short (2-3 paragraphs) stories/situation where a character has to make an ethical decision."


Actually, the Venturing program has a whole bunch of those, called "Ethical Controversies". The Venturing Leader Handbook contains them, as the youth should be running some during the year. Leading them is a requirement for some of the Venturing advancement.


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List of topics: http://www.crventuring.org/Ethics_In_Action/Listing_of_Ethical_Controversies/

Instructions on using: http://www.crventuring.org/Ethics_In_Action/Ethical_Controversy_Instructions/


You may also want to look at the old DELTA materials - this was a Ethics development program that led to the "Ethics in Action" materials that were common about 10 years ago. These are more hands on, experential activities, but I like the materials on reflecting that are part of this program.


http://www.pinetreeweb.com/delta-hb.htm Follow the links at the bottom of each page to move on to the next chapter.

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Real Life Story.

Sunny spring morning. I'm driving along and see a black rat snake on the highway. I want to prevent it from being run over and it wants to stay there to warm up in the sun. So I stop my vehicle and catch it. Then I realize that I have nothing to carry it in while I take it to a remote place...so I just lay it in the floor of the passenger side. The road vibrations cause it to remain coiled and still for the remainder of the trip. I keep looking occasionally just to make sure.

I get to my lab out in the boondocks and as I turn into the driveway, it's still there on the floor. But when I stop the car - it's gone. Vanished.


Now I have borrowed this vehicle from someone who is deathly afraid of lizards and snakes. I have to return it that evening. If I can't find the snake...do I tell them what happened?


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Review the Watergate scandal. Lots of ethical deciding there.


Man wants a newspaper. It is early in the morning. He passes the local drugstore, which has not yet opened, and there is a stack of newspapers beside the door. If he takes one, it is stealing. If he resolves to come back later and pay for it then, is it a "loan" or "borrowing"? If he leaves the right amount of money (tax at 6%) on the top of the stack, it might get lost or stolen by someone else. Is there anyone else looking? Does that matter? No, he does NOT have a wireless capable tablet.



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Here is one with a "Citizenship in the Nation" theme:


Early in the last century, six (6) outdoor organizations aspire to forming national Boy Scout organizations in the American free market. One of these corporations gets Congress to grant it an absolute monopoly on Scouting.


The condition of this lucrative monopoly is that the corporation must maintain as its mission the training of boys in outdoor camping skills called "Scoutcraft," as the word "Scoutcraft" was defined on June 15, 1916.


In 1972, a group of corporate management experts removes all camping requirements for Eagle Scout, replacing them with office management theory called "Leadership Development." One million (1,000,000) Boy Scouts leave the BSA.


Corporate leadership experts explain that by definition, playing word games with the letter of the law is a Trustworthy, Loyal, and Obedient "Ethical Choice," unless proven otherwise in court.


The corporation changes its "mission" from outdoor camping skills to "Making Ethical Choices." Your Scoutmaster comes to you with an "Ethical Dilemma" exercise, but you decide you would rather take the "First Class Journey" that you read about in these supplemental materials:










Your Scoutmaster explains that the corporation has used its monopoly on Scouting to make the First Class Journey (the world-wide test of First Class outdoor camping skills) against its rules.


1. Using Leadership Development's theme of "Leadership & Character" as a model, make up an "Ethical Choices Word Game" to prove that the First Class Journey is not really against the rules as described in the Guide to Safe Scouting.


I hope that helps! :)


Yours at 300 feet,




(This message has been edited by Kudu)

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I'm unsure what age group your working with?

Everyday stuff that kids face are:

Saying that you are going to do something or be somewhere, then at the last minute you get a better offer.

I'm thinking about weekend camp outs where an older Scout who has others depending on him decides at the last minute that he is not going because his non-scout friends are doing something else.


The group thinks that it's funny to pick on someone who is in someway different.

Do you join in? Or do the right thing?

Saying no.

Saying no to alcohol, drugs. Even though your friends are trying these things out.


Right now at work, it seems that the gangs are having a recruiting drive!

The younger more impressionable guys are having a hard time saying no.

There are advantages that come with being a gang member, but there are also disadvantages.

What do you do?


One that came very close to home was with my son.

He knows that I strongly disapprove of body piercing. Despite that he went behind my back and had his nipples pierced.

For almost a year he hid the fact that he'd had it done.

He thought and still thinks that this was and is something that's really truly great!

I was hurt that he did this behind my back and hid the fact.

My thinking being that if you really believe in something you ought to be able to stand up for it and face the music like a man.


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I'm guessing a pierced nipple will heal up pretty rapidly, while tattooing is a lot more difficult to get rid of.


People do foolish things and devise and follow foolish fads.


I'd say you did your best to offer him wise rules and counsel. He has to live with the consequences.




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Real life Ethical Situation.

Scout goes to camp. Get sick and spends more than a day puking, missing mb class where they do Environmental Science experiments.

He asks mb counselor if he can make them up, but there just isn't time.

He comes home and in the packet turned in to advancement chair for the troop is a completed advancement form for Environmental Science.


He needs it, as it's the only thing holding him up from Star is one more Eagle required MB.


What would you do, how would you handle it as a scout if it happened to you. How would you handle it if you were the scout who heard about it about your friend scout and he hadn't admitted the mistake yet. How would you handle it as a mb counselor if you find out about it from the scout, or from someone else in his unit? Would you have a different answer if he fessed up himself?

and how would you handle it as a troop adult?

how bout as parent?

how differently would you react?


I'm still waiting to see what happens. He hasn't signed up for his Star scoutmaster conference. He has completed the experiments separately, but hasn't contacted the MB counselor to talk about the situation either.

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