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Violations of Scout Oath/Law by Scouts outside of Scouting

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"I doubt yeh could find an adult in da country that's actually read all of 'em. And let me tell yeh, I don't think a single one of 'em is enforceable as written."



Not until a certain 12 yo racks up 350.00 worth of charges for a "free" game. And then when you have to call Germany to try to get the charges reversed, because according to their TOS, he had to be 13 to setup an account. When you try and argue that point, their response in a nutshell. "Too Bad, So sad, we got our money, and you won't get it back." Needless to say, there was definitely a long conversation about the Scout Oath and Law that day. But on the bright side, I won't be paying for a lawn service this summer. :o

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How many folks have fully read the terms of service for this forum? How many have fully read the terms of service for any online forum/social media site/newspaper comment board, etc.


Heck, how many people have fully read the terms of service for any software they have purchased and loaded onto their computer?


If you can honestly say yes to all of these, I'd like to recommend you to the Vatican for sainthood.


The vast majority of people might read a portion of it, or will just click the yes box when the do you accept question comes up.


Not paying attention to the terms of service isn't a crime, it's not illegal, and any violations of the terms of service are between the individual and the company that has a terms of service to cover their butts in case of a civil action. Unless the Scout is doing something illegal with a social media page (and reminder - ignoring the terms of service is not illegal) then I'm not going to make it a "scouting offense". What I will do is make sure that the unit gets a refresher session on how to safely work with the internet.


If McDonalds had a rule that you couldn't order a shamrock shake unless you were wearing something green, and a Scout ordered a shamrock shake dressed in blue, by this definition of violating the Scout Law and Oath, the Scout would be violating the Scout Law and Oath - yet every single one of us would roll our eyes, shake our heads, and wonder who came up with that stupid rule.


Just let it go - not following the terms of service some lawyer for a social media site came up with to cover their company's butts in case they are sued just doesn't rise to the level of violating the Scout Oath and Law. Heck, I'd argue that not following the stupid TOS rule is a form of civil disobedience that is expected under A Scout is Obedient.

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I'm not sure why, but somehow my co-workers have made me the go to guy when they need a clarification in our contract or when they don't understand some of the side agreements we have.

Most times, not all they already know what is being said and their hope is that I will somehow interpret the language with the same meaning they would like.

I often tease them about having to learn English.

The oath and law set the bar so high that no one can ever really live up to them.

Much as we might strive to always do our best, there will be times when we just don't. Much as to help other people at all times is a worth while goal, the truth is that it just isn't going to happen.

There is a line in a song which goes "To reach the unreachable.."

I don't see my job as a adult leader in Scouting as being any sort of a policeman.

I think of myself as being more of a guide.

My hope is that maybe I will or might be able, to help the young people who come into contact with me become good citizens who are able to make ethical choices.

Lord knows that none of us are perfect, we all fail in some areas.

The young people who get to know me get to know my strong points along with my weaknesses.

In many ways these strong and weak points are influenced by my values.

The oath and law do a fairly good job of covering all the value bases.

Each of us while hopefully trying to live up to these fine points and values find some that we either consciously or unconsciously rank as being more important to us as an individual than others. Add to this we might because of the education that we have received and the way we were brought up have interpreted what the words mean in a way that is different.

We have just seen a thread go on for nine or more pages about the meaning of God.

Maybe the way I see Mentally awake is miles from the way someone else might see it.

When it comes to dealing with youth, sometimes what others see as being a hanging offense, I see as being a prank.

While still a wrong and something that ought not to have been done, just not worthy of some dire consequence.

This doesn't make the person or people who think that it is a hanging offense wrong. It just means that we see things differently.

This seeing things differently is a good thing for the youth we serve.

They get to see that there are choices.

They get to decide where they stand.

There are times when because what has been done is of such a serious nature that choice is taken away from us and the consequences for the deed are laid down by others.

It then becomes a matter of guilt or innocence which is a different subject.


"How do you respond to a violation of the Scout Oath/Law by a Scout, that takes place outside of Scouting? And DO you respond? And do you believe that as a leader you have an obligation to talk to a parent about such violations that you become aware of to be sure they are aware?"


I don't think we ought to shy away from things that we see as being wrong.

I believe that if we can find a way to talk to the Scout, without being judgmental. We open the door for him to take a look at his choices and his ethics.

Isn't this what we are supposed to be doing anyway?






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>>don't think we ought to shy away from things that we see as being wrong.

I believe that if we can find a way to talk to the Scout, without being judgmental. We open the door for him to take a look at his choices and his ethics.

Isn't this what we are supposed to be doing anyway?

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Thanks Barry.

As you might know I work with some very not so nice people.

I found the best way for me to survive and get to where we are supposed to be (Which isn't always where I choose.) It to be: Fair, Firm and Consistent.

Much like I hope or try to be with the young people we serve.

While there are times when I whole heartedly wish I was younger, I think in many ways that along with all this white hair, I have also been blessed with knowing who I am.

While maybe some of my priorities in the value might have changed with my aging? I have for the most part got my ducks in a row.

I don't see being a guide as a weakness.

There are times when it takes a lot more effort to question than it does to preach.

It sure as heck can be a lot harder to forgive than just to condemn.

By remaining fair, firm and consistent people tend to respond better, even when they hear what they might not want to.

As Leaders we at times need people to make that right choice even if they might not like it.


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What Eamonn said is true. We are not policeman rather guides. We also have kids in our troop that makes mistakes and generally talking to them about it fixes many issues.


As long as they do their best is all we can truly ask for. Doing their best to follow the scout law (as it says in the Scout Oath) means they will make mistakes... some not as serious as others.





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Well this discussion has really gone in a totally different direction than I expected it to go.


While the example I posted at the beginning is a true to life example, my questions were really intended to be more general in nature and certainly in reference to more serious behavior.


I would also say that my fellow Scouters responses have once again made me rethink my position on the issue. In terms of the actual example I gave I certainly did not mean to imply that the issue would necessarily affect a Scouts advancement. Just that a general discussion of honesty and the long term effects of being untruthful in all aspects of our lives might be a topic of discussion.


My questions were more about generally bringing up behavior outside of Scouting in a Scoutmaster conference.


>>I don't think we ought to shy away from things that we see as being wrong.

I believe that if we can find a way to talk to the Scout, without being judgmental. We open the door for him to take a look at his choices and his ethics.

Isn't this what we are supposed to be doing anyway? >I assume what you mean by not being judgmental is that we confront the behavior and the decision making process behind it, not the scout.>The size of the ethical choice isnt as important as a consistent guidance because consistency is the foundation of integrity.

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Explain to me how your son gets billed for a free game????? Not judging just trying to learn so I can pass it on. did you need to put your Credit card info in? I know a parent that down loaded a smurfs game to their Iphone, keep their kid out of their hair, and their 4 year old spent nearly 100 bucks in the smurf store. I understand how that happened....

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While the game was free to setup and play. The game offered "upgrades" to their players for extra energy, weapons, etc.for a price. Yes, a Debit Card was "borrowed" from my wife's purse to procur these upgrades, without my wife's knowledge. How many points of the scout law have been violated at this point? Unfortunately, this is one of those "lesson learned" moments. We tried disputing the charges with the bank, but they wanted us to sign an affidavit against our son for using the card without our permission. Sorry, I'm not prosecuting my son for 350.00.The explanation I got from the company, was that the billing info is done on a seperate server, and when these upgrades are purchased, a seperate window opens to complete the transaction. So there are a lot of hoops to jump through to validate the purchase. My advice is be very careful and watch what sites your kids get on like a hawk.

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