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DeanRx

addressing PDA by scouters in uniform ?

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Ea.

 

I would tend to agree with you. However,

 

When the behavoir is in direct violation of BSA policy (i.e. coed sleeping in a tent and they are not married) - to NOT act is to ENDORSE the action.

 

When two adults in the unit have the majority of everyone else (other adults and scouts alike) concerned with thier behavoir instead of concentrating on program, then its an issue.

 

Finally, I don't give two bits for WHY they are acting the way they do. Its an interesting mental exercise, but I'm not involved in scouts to try and help THEM figure out why they do what they do. Not my fault if mommy and daddy didn't love them enough as a child, or they didn't have the same opportunities as a kid that our scouts are given. My job as a scouter is to provide good program to the youth we serve, so hopefully in one more generation - none of these youth will be carrying on in a scout unit as these two are today.

 

Dean

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>>But when it comes down to Eamonn's standards I wonder if it's fair that I have the same expectations from them as I do from my son?

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This bit about not being married is a little hard for me to swallow.

HWMBO and I have been married for 30 years.

Just before we tied the knot she suggested that we live together for a while.

I wasn't having any of it.

Looking back, I now think that maybe I was more worried about what others would think and that people might maybe gossip, than I was worried about anything else.

My younger sister who is eleven years younger than me lived with the guy she is now married to for over ten years. They had two kids who were both born before the ceremony.

Both kids are fine and as far as I can tell they have a good strong marriage.

If we believe what we hear in the media, it seems more and more people are opting not to get married.

So while this is something that I wouldn't do I think placing any kind of a barrier or in the way of people who want to volunteer on the basis of them not having a marriage certificate is wrong.

Maybe because I've been married for a while, I don't feel the need to smooch with HWMBO as much as maybe I once did?

I wonder if this pair were married, would the way they are conducting themselves be OK?

Ea.

 

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The certificate doesn't mean anything. Arguably, the marriage itself doesn't mean much either. Rather it is the commitment behind the marriage and the certificate that means everything. Too often today we see folks running off and frolicking around and having sex and doing whatever feels good at the moment. And after awhile dumping the momentary object of their affections and moving on to some other exiting creature that happens along. There is incredible pain and hurt and damage that occurs from this. Witness the jilted wife who stormed into the committee meeting with accusations of adultery.

 

Who's to say what's going on in the heads of these two? Are they committed to the well-being of each other, or just playing around for the time being? In 5 or 10 years you will know, married or not. Right now, today, what evidence is there of a loving and caring, and healthy relationship, beyond the cutesy stuff?

 

Marriage isn't everything, but it does show that there is some sort of commitment to each other beyond a little romp.

 

So, whatever it is, our boys are observing and learning how it is that adults behave. Make it a good lesson.

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Barry,

As I posted this has got me thinking.

In the real world and in real time, I tend to plow ahead with my own expectations, my own values and never give it a second thought.

I tend to think that I'm right enough, normal enough and maybe even good enough to act as a role model for others.

At work I sit on our mentoring committee and am a mentor for several new staff members. Most of these people are happy to have been hired and really seem to want to do their best to do a good job. There are a couple who just don't seem to get it. The most common flaw seems to be not being where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there. While there are good reasons why someone is late and things that can't be avoided (One good worker was late due to a flat and called in.) and sometimes people end up in the wrong place due to poor communication. For the most part I just expect people to come to work to do the job that they were hired to do. I for the most part even when I know that they have problems at home expect them to deal with their home problems and not allow them to get in the way with their work.

In Scouts, I don't allow the fact that a Lad might come from a family that uses bad language be an excuse for him using it around me or around others.

Still there are times when if I'm aware of something I'm willing to cut the person a break.

In this Forum, I've posted the story about the photo of a Scout from the Troop I was Scout Leader of being on the cover of the UK Scouting magazine with a patch on the wrong pocket. The Lad's mother was blind. He was 11 years old.

Many of us have had to deal with a Lad who is acting up when his parents are going through a nasty divorce. Most of us are willing to cut the Lad a little slack and ensure that we are there for him.

So even with my own standards there are times when I'm flexible.

Most of the time things are black or white.

Clearly in the case of this pair, what they are doing is not right.

It's not right just because it's not right.

Again, in the real world and in real time, I think that I'm a big enough person that I'd confront this pair and tell them that what they are doing is not right.

I don't need to try and find a policy or hide behind some book of rules. -But that's just my way of doing things. It might not be for everyone.

When dealing with others I know that I can't help but fall back on my values and my standards. Both at work at home and in Scouting (Dealing with adults and youth members.) I like to think and do try to be fair, firm and consistent.

Still, maybe because of the time I grew up in? I do at times look at the reasons why I think and act the way I do.

Sometimes I'm willing to accept that even if something isn't maybe the way I'd do things and is something that I'd never do. It might be OK for others.

HWMBO tells a great story how I took her to Paris, the city of love and to Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love before we were married and I insisted that we have separate bedrooms!

I'm to lazy to look up what the numbers are but I seem to remember hearing that more young people today are opting to live together than get married. If this is the case, it time we are going to see a lot more Scouts join our ranks from families where the parents are not married. I'm unwilling to hold this against them. Even if I know this was something that I was unwilling to do.

Ea.

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Eamonn I agree with you. I think it sets a bad example for Leaders. I have had this come up with parents but I think leaders need a little higher standard. We dont let folks smoke in front of the boys and that is a sacrifice also.

 

We had inappropriate behavior in Cub Scout camping with a married couple. We all were wall to wall tents and they were noisily "going at it" much of the day and night.

 

Eamonn I am coming up on 28 years and we were engaged 4 years before that. We didn't shack up either--just didn't seem right. I have known some marvelous couples who were living together for many (10+) years and one partner just up and left one weekend. I think in my case the times my wife and I have hit a rough patch and had a big blow up that little piece of paper and the embarrassment after making the public commitment was enough of a "speed bump" to give pause and struggle through a bit more. That is at least my experience.

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Paper half of the equation. And sometimes PDA may be the other half.

 

When a friend was going through a rough patch, I could recall that just a month ago on an outing I saw the two give each other a morning kiss. That little bit of "data" helped to remind them that there was something worth working for.

 

I suppose we all need positive accountability of that sort. Just like we need negative accountability when we're out of line.

 

As for spouses "getting busy" behind thin walls. I try to warn them that if my Mrs. isn't around to stop me, I will applaud after a good audio play! Not sure if that's negative or positive accountability. I haven't had to give an ovation at a troop or crew event yet!

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When I was SM of a troop, I was first engaged and eventually married during that tenure. My wife is an avid outdoors person and would accompany the troop on certain outings. She started out as a second guide/expert on kayaking on an outing because I needed an experienced person to help out. We were engaged at the time and so she had her own tent for the weekend. Jokingly, she plied her womanly wiles on me when we set up camp to get me to set her tent up, but I played along and told her she's on her own. We kept up the game for about a half hour when the SPL came over and offered to set it up for her. Of course she thanked him and politely turned down his offer. She told him she was only trying to push my buttons.

 

As the weekend went on we kept the game going and the boys seemed to be quite amused by it. When it came time to pack up on Sunday morning, the boys were readily siding along with her in the game and the most fun was when the SPL was needing some help carrying the dining fly, he asked me for some assistance and I gave him the "stare" because he was always siding with my fiancee, until he announced in a loud voice for all to hear, "Well, if you really loved me, you'd help me!!!" It took about 10 minutes before everyone (including me) stopped laughing! Once the smoke cleared, my fiancee walked over, hefted up the dining fly all by herself, said, "Well, I love you." and walked it over to the car.

 

That SPL has now aged out, I'm no longer the SM, and he contacted me this past week that he would be in town and wanted to stop by to visit, but wanted to find a time that both my wife and I were available. As a "tag-along" she sure was popular with the boys. Of course her stories of her working the lumber industry in Alaska was a popular attention-getter at campfires.

 

There is a lot to be said about relationships and how they play out in front of the boys. PDA is not necessarily the correct way to go about it. However, leading by example in how to interact with females, treat them with respect and yet enjoy each other's company are important for the boys to see. Many of the boys come from broken homes and single parent households. Where are they to learn healthy relationships?

 

Stosh

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Rather than derailing the TG topic again with tangents about with couples from the 99%-ers of life-long biological complements, I'm reviving this thread for the sake of @EagleonFire and others who brought up those "frisky" married couples who may chaperon our youth from time to time.

 

Besides item #6 on this year's newly-introduced code of conduct, are any new experiences, suggestions, or resolutions?

 

Also some related topics with a youth focus:

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I miss Oak Tree, he is a fine Scoutmaster with a lot of good advice.

 

One of his comments when this, or any kind of situation of adult drama occurs is: "Someone has to step up.". Strangely I find that most adult behavior situations can be nipped in the bud if someone would just step up. But most folks do not want to be a bad cop or deal with confrontation. Our district was asked to deal with a SM and ASM relationship in a troop because the committee refused to step up. Much the same as the OPs, the ASM (mother) was still married and not hiding her affection for the just divorced SM even with her son around. The DE had to step up, but not after the troop lost a 3rd of it's scouts. The SM was later kicked out of the program for offering a beer to a scout after lights out.

 

Barry

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I think Scouters should leave their PDAs in their pockets, and focus more on the Scouts than their social/work life.

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Wow, a necrothread. I'll chime in anyway since it seems to be going around.

 

The behavior is inappropriate and sharing the tent is against policy. The SM and the CC ask for a meeting with the two of them. There's no easy way to say it, so the CC just says, "The two of you have been sharing PDA at scout functions in front of the scouts and you even shared a tent on a campout contrary to BSA policy. The tenting arrangement will not happen again or we go to the COR and the CO again and ask them to revoke their consent for your position. According to reports that we are getting from parents, the PDA is bothering some of the scouts. We ask that you discontinue that  or at least tone it down. Please remember we are here for the scouts and we should not intentionally engage in behavior that is socially questionable and makes the scouts uncomfortable. We don't care what you do in your personal life away from the troop, but when the scouts are around you must behave in a manner appropriate to your position."

 

Non-negotiable on the sleeping arrangements.

 

Now, some of this is that I am a lawyer and I am accustomed to conflict. Some of it is because I am a direct person.  But in this situation, they have to understand that their behavior is inappropriate and that changes will be made. Either they will change their behavior, or their relationship with the troop will change. There really is no "easy" way to say that, so say it directly so that expectations are clearly communicated and, if things get worse, they can't say they weren't warned.

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