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Ha Ha HA

Disobediant Scout

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I am a 15 year old ASPL of a BSA troop and we were on a camp out last weekend. We were getting ready to go on the day hike that we planed at the PLC. One of the scouts decided that he was not going to go. We (the boy leaders)told him that he had to go. When he refused, we went and got the adults. The scout still refused to the adults and the rest of the troop went on the hike.

The SPL and I are now trying to find a good punishment for our disobediant scout. Any ideas?

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Hi

Welcome to the forums.

It is sad when one Lad refuses to join in an activity that everyone else is doing.

The $64,000.00 Question is why?

Did this Lad know that a hike was going to be part of the program before he signed up for the camp?

How was he feeling?

Did something or somebody upset him?

There is a lot of stuff that the PLC might want to reflect upon.

As for you and the SPL trying to find a good punishment for this Lad. You guys are overstepping the mark. If this Lad was out of line? This needs to be handled by the Troop Committee.

Please be very careful any attempt by you and the SPL to punish this Lad might be seen as hazing and that is very serious. You have to leave this up to the Troop Committee.

Eamonn

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Welcome- it's your first time posting here. I hope you'll give us the opportunity to get to know you better and under happier circumstances.

 

My first reaction is not a positive one - I'll get it out of my system right off so hopefully then I can go on to saying something helpful...

 

"Punishment" is not one of the 8 methods of Scouting. There...got that off my chest...

 

As ASPL, you've got enough on your plate. This is an area best left to the adults to handle. Probably they need to have a scoutmaster's conference, likely also a sit-down with his folks.

 

Now, from your end of things, you may have some observations to give your SMs to assist them in knowing how to approach things. Was this a completely out of the blue one time only thing? Maybe there's some unusual personal issues being dealt with. Is this the "tip of the iceberg" - general all-around bad attitude? "Scout Spirit" and active participation are needed for advancement.

 

A good leader takes time to observe - try to see what's happening in context. What happened immediately before and immediately after this incident? Are there clues?

 

Your next concern is the good of the group: how did this affect the troop as a whole? Were you able to skillfully keep the rest of them on track with a minimum of chaos? Given that you had a Scout along who was being an incomprehensibly STUBBORN mule, were you continuing to demonstrate your best leadership skills?

 

You can't prevent or correct another scout's behavior, but by being your best, you exert an important influence.

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Dear Ha ha HA,

 

This is a great learning opportunity for you and the SPL. I would recommend you check out two resources. The Senior Patrol Leader Handbook and the Scoutmaster of your troop.

 

I know the Handbook covers the 4 styles of leadership and when to apply each. Your scoutmaster, I am hopeful is trained, and can help you to understand the role of leadership more clearly.

 

I know you "told" him to go hiking, and then you "told on him" for not hiking, but you never mentioned whether a friend "asked" him to go hiking, or what happened in his patrol before he decided not to go hiking, or what he responded when you sat down with him and "asked" why he didn't want to join in.

 

Forget about punishing other scouts. That is not what you are there for. What can you do to develop yourself as a leader to better handle, or better yet avoid, these kinds of hurdles in the future?

 

How do you balance "keeping the group together" and "getting the job done"? That is the challenge of leadership, not looking for ways to punish other scouts.

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You could punish him by making him wash all the dishes on the next campout. That might make him want to participate in the next hike. Or, it might make him want to stay home and not participate in the campouts at all.

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FScouter has a VERY valid point. I understand your desire to keep the troop together, that's good. You need to be VERY careful that what you are doing is including, not just pushing together EVERY member of your troop. Yes this is hard, yes this is time consuming. Yes it will make a difference. As a former Scoutmaster, I'm very proud of my Eagles (10 in 5 years), but I'm also reminded of the one young man that sits in a state prison, involved in a program reserved for murderers. Do I think I did a good job with my 10? You bet. Did the other kid fit in? No way, not even once. Do I wish I could have found a way to reach him? Nearly every time I think about my ten Eagles.

 

Just some food for thought for you. Good luck in working this through, spend a lot of time talking, and frankly no time punishing your scouts.

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Hey Ha

 

Welcome to the forum. I concur with the others here. I've had the "punishment" issue come up in our troop as well. And I encourage the junior leaders to not look at themselves as "punishers" but "encouragers". A better approach would be to take the boy aside and find out why he isn't going. Maybe he has a big soccer game that day, maybe his sister is in a ballet recital, or maybe he just doesn't like to hike. Whatever the case, until you understand the motives, it's not fair to talk about "punishment".

 

After you've spoken with him, if it's an issue with Scout Spirit, talk to your SM. He's the person that should talk to the boy about his attitude, and why he does or doesn't want to do something. Don't turn a boy off of scouting all because he doesn't want to do one activity.

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We can NOT make a scout do anything he does not want to do, except to send him home. Every new scout should be told this.

 

 

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Dan

Over the years I have taken a great number of Scouts to camp. We camped all over the world, so sending a Lad home was at times not an option. I like to think that we as leaders don't lead by threatening the Lads entrusted into our care.

As we progress through our Scouting careers and our "Real Life" careers and deal with all the challenges that come our way there will be things and activities that we are not over the moon about. For a young Scout who goes on the hike, when he wasn't thrilled about going in the first place there is a "Life Lesson". For those that are to the Leaders there is a real lesson in leadership. It doesn't take a lot of skill to lead people in something that everyone wants to do.

While it is true in almost all walks of life that there is the ultimate threat. My boss can fire me, I can go to jail,you will be sent home. Still the idea of leadership by threat in Scouting doesn't sit well with me.

The new Wood Badge course offers adults a lot of Leadership tools which when used allow the Leaders to set a good example of how to lead. Youth members should not be allowed to discipline other youth members in any way even if it is only Making the wash dishes.

If the Scoutmaster feels that there is a the need for some sort of disciplinary action he or she ought to pass the matter on to the Troop Committee. In most cases situations like the one described here can be resolved by the Scoutmaster conferencing with the Scout.

Eamonn

 

 

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Hello Ha Ha HA,

 

It isn't always good to be the king, is it? :)

 

You are facing an interesting problem and an interesting life experience. As a child (and all of us posting on this board have been children at one time or another), you are subjected to extremely one-sided leadership. Your parents have extremely powerful authority. They can tell you to do something and, ultimately, you have no real choice. Same thing with your teachers with very few limitations.

 

But that isn't the way that most leadership is in the adult world. The status of the leader and the followers is much closer to being equal. There is far more selling and inducing in leadership than there is telling and directing.

 

I am the President and CEO of my company. I can fire anyone who doesn't do exactly what I say. And I know that they know it. But I would essentially never use that authority to enforce a directive. I make requests. I ask. I explain what I want. I explain why. I "sell" what needs to be done. I do not punish. I do reward. If I ask for something and the person does not want to do it, I negotiate.

 

If you have the opportunity to participate in JLT, you will learn some other techniques to get people to do what you wish. That is, after all, the essence of leadership.

 

As far as how to punish the Scout, you report what happened to the Scoutmaster. That is your "punishment" of him. The SM takes it from there.

 

But you also need to work with the SM in helping you to have the necessary authority to get the Troop's business done. The SM needs to be sure that the Troop members know that when you or the SPL ask them to do something that is reasonable, they are expected to do it.

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Once again I did not get my thoughts across.

 

I do not think a scout not wanting to go on a hike is a sending home offense. Maybe this scout had something wrong with him, that he was not willing to share with anyone else. And he should not have to.

 

On a campout last year another ASM came up to me and said we have a problem, we have a scout that does not want to do a skit, with his patrol, what are we going to do about this? The scout was a first year scout.

The ASM and I also a ASM, and the scouts PL meet with the scout, I told him we cannot make him do anything he does not want to do. It would be nice if he would do a skit with his patrol, but we cannot make a scout do anything he does not wants to do.

But, if he refuses to help his patrol with cooking, cleanup, etc., the only thing I could do would be to send him home. After a very long talk.

 

The point that I was trying to make, is that I think that we need to inform all scouts, that they are in control of themselves at all times, as leaders we are not the bosses, nor are the scouts leaders.

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I want to mention that some of what has been said is from books. The good thing about Scouting books is that most of it is based on years of experience and was found to be true by many leaders. Their advice is based on what works.

 

Let us know how it turns out for you.

 

FB

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Ha Ha Ha,

Welcome! Ain't leadership fun!

 

Here's what I got from your original post. The PLC planned a hike on this camping trip. Correct? I will assume the entire Patrol knew about the planned hike. Correct? What was this Scout's reaction regarding the planned hike before the camping trip? Did something happen to this Scout that might have prevented him from completing the hike?

 

Bob White's bringing up the four styles of leadership was good but really serves no purpose here. This was a planned event and it seems this Scout knew about this event and decided at the last minute he wouldn't participate. Actually, from the post, defiant! It seems by trying one of the other styles of leadership would only be futile.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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I of course can't talk for Bob White.

I do think that he brought up the different styles of leadership in order to show young MrHa Ha HA that maybe, just maybe he could have used a different style of leadership in order to get the job done.

Look at how Ha Ha HA describes it " We told him him that he had to go."

Ed how would you respond to being told that you have to do something?

While of course the question wasn't "What could we have done in order to get this Scout to join us?" I think that Bob made a very valid point. If only to show that there is more then one way of skinning a cat. Not that I have ever skinned a cat!!

Eamonn

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Eamonn,

From what I gathered from Ha Ha Ha's original post was this was a planned activity during the camping trip and all Scouts presents were expected to participate. The Scout in question was being downright disrespectful and disobedient to all authority figures. Regardless of the style of leadership used, this Scout would not respond positively.

 

How do I respond to being told to do something? Unless it is illegal, immoral or will do me harm, I would do what I was told to do. That doesn't mean I won't ask question about what I am told to do.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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