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BOTD 06-28-13 Bang! A Dimitri - 1strappedboy Production

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A Dimitri-1strappedboy Production

Every year you do your annual good turn to the Cub Scout program in your District by serving as the Range Officer for their Day Camp program.  You regularly work with Boy Scout age kids 10 1/2 to 18, finding the younger guys too 'hyper' for your taste.  

The Range program offers slingshot, archery and BB guns.  Your district runs a 3 day program this year instead of a week long adventure.  As a practical issue this means that you lose time that you normally put to teaching the safety aspects of the range.
Adding to your headache this year, you have one Pack that is known to be difficult to control.  It is larger than most, the boys aren't the best behaved, and the parents are known to let them get away with far too much.  They only clamp down on their boys when something has happened.

Knowing this ahead of time, you assign your youngest stepson as Scout Guide to the group.  Jeff enjoys their mischievousness as a rule, thinking it funny and kind of cute.  By day 2, Jeff complains about them on the way home from camp; they have proved too much even for him!

Fortunately you only have this group for a 2 hour block each day and you are once again questioning the wisdom of BSA policy that forbids a swift swat, which these guys desperately need.  Despite the relative chaos that rules when this bunch is at the range you finally are at the point where they are going to fire the BB guns at targets for score.  Round one has gone fairly well and you tell Austin, your Boy Scout assistant to watch the Cubs as you go downrange to collect targets.

You hear a parent shouting, "put that down!"  As you turn to look at what's going on, you hear the 'pop' of a BB rifle going off, immediately followed by a sharp sting in the lower leg as a BB grazes you from back to front.  Biting your tongue to keep the un-scoutlike language that is about to burst forth in, you see 7 year old Travis with weapon still in hand.

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Before clearing the range and going for first aid, have you any suggestions to Travis' parents as to how this should be handled?

Can you dig it?

David M. Katz

I am going to be careful and keep my un-scoutlike language under control and keep my comments of off the fact my leg hurts.

Since Travis' parent(s) is/are present I will take the opportunity to share some wisdom from my experiences as a parent as to how I would handle such things.  This is disobedience that resulted in someone getting injured.  Fortunately, the injury is minor. (The definition of a minor injury is an injury that happens to you  and not me.)

Travis is in need of a consequence and the best kind can be done swiftly and in private and since his parent is here and I will suggest Travis get a spanking.

Now off to treat my leg.  @#$%&@!!

Luckily I wasn't hit in the eye. I still love the voices heard by poor Ralphie. "You'll put your eye out."

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


Certainly 30 years ago, no one would have bitten his or her tongue regarding an appropriate consequence.

Today, at least in this part of the world, even a comment that "I wouldn't have sat down for a week" would be viewed as an endorsement of child abuse, and would likely result in someone being removed from his/her "official position" and "inconsistent with the beliefs of our organization" (see the Paula Deen witch hunt if you don't understand what I'm talking about).

I'm going to bite my tongue, make sure my tetanus prophylaxis is current, and go complain to my spouse and sympathetic online friends. I agree with DMK about what SHOULD happen, but if it were going to, it already would have, along with profuse parental apologies and an offer to pay for medical expenses. I'm guessing NONE of those things was forthcoming.

John Boy

Yes get him off my range until a point where he learns how to follow the rules. EVIL SPANKO ME. You need to wear that boy out.


Editor Extraordinaire
I can't see that offering suggestions to other parents is likely to do anything but antagonize them. I hope they react appropriately, but I'm just going to say a quick prayer of thanks that the little devil goes home with someone else instead of me.



I don't think a child of that age should be allowed to be in possession of such a weapon, but that's not the question.

I doubt there would be any point in commenting to his father so I guess the only option you really have is to consider whether to volunteer for said job in the future.


Yeah, I have a few suggestions, but none of them would be listened to. Further, knowing the type of parent this sounds like, they'd only get the parents back up, and cause them to get in a fight with me (probably accusing me of being draconian) and probably also watering down or eliminating any consequence Travis might have received in the first place.

All I can do in this case is refuse to progress to actually shooting with any group that doesn't show proper discipline.

Well, that and imagine running a class for this group of parents and cubs that ends with all the cubs over parental laps.


"I will NOT in future countenance your son attending any of the courses I supervise"

The parents may negotiate with me if they wish, but if they appeal to higher authority and I am overruled a volunteer has been lost.


I agree with all the others that either the father will take firm action without my prompting, or he will get offended by me suggesting consequences. So the only thing that I can do is ban Travis from the range. Since the entire group has been acting up, I am tempted to ban all of them from the range.
This is a place where the proverb that I can't quite remember comes into play. Let me fix the the things that I can, endure the things I can't change, and have the wisdom to know the difference. I can't change much about Travis's upbringing, I can only prevent him from endangering others in the places I have some control.


I agree suggesting a kid needs a swat or several is hard in this day and age. So I am going to ask Travises parents to remove him from the program as he clearly cannot be trusted around guns and did not listen to guidance/orders. I have myself my assistants, including Jeff, other kids and anyone else within BB gun range to think about here. Thats what I will tell them. Of course if the parents do the right thing by Travis to bring him to heel I might be persuaded...!


Trav's mom was among the adult walkers of this group of hellions.  I told her that had we had further days her son would be banned from the range.  She took this rather poorly but I further frosted her with my suggestion that he would have, had rules allowed, gotten a thorough spanking by me in front of the group.

My youngest (Jeffy) said that "had I done something like that I wouldn't sit down for a week!" to Travis, who got big eyes at that.  Jeff (and all the kids) still uses their father's last name, so this was when Travis discovered that Jeff was my boy; you should have seen his face at that as it was quite the picture!  Jeff has had a huge growth spurt this spring and, I think, really impressed little Travis with that statement.  That was the one laugh worthy thing to come of this mess!

No doc, there was never an offer tabled nor really an apology on the part of the mother of this little brat.  I was firmly of the mind not to do this next year but as time has passed and the wound healed I'm rethinking my stance; I may do it next year if they can't find another qualified instructor as I'd feel bad leaving the Council high and dry as it were!  One has to have certain certifications to run the range and there aren't that many of us that have the requisite certs.

I wish I were granted the ability to restrict certain groups from the range as it would certainly make my life a LOT easier!!  When I was a boy Rolling Eyes  Cub Scouts started at age 7 (second grade),  now with the Tiger Cub program, we have kids as young as 5 and I really think that's too young to be playing with a BB gun or a bow for that matter but I have no say in that!

I must confess that Jack's "class" ran through my imagination rather prominently! Razz 

Stone Man

I shall have to be content with the silent treatment of the boy and his parent for I dare not open my mouth for fear of what I know dang well I would say.

I miss the old days of scouting (now that I'd be the parent grandparent) where there were always enough men in attendance so that each boy either had a Dad in residence (always my situation but for one time) or another Dad in residence who had permission to treat the boy as his own, and no one was at all horrified if a boy was spanked.


Editor Extraordinaire
Stone Man wrote:...And no one was at all horrified if a boy was spanked.

Except the boy getting spanked. Razz



All boys (and girls too) desperately need training in the safe handling of firearms!!

It would be very desirable if you could expand your efforts in this area.


Stone Man

Kat wrote:
Stone Man wrote:...And no one was at all horrified if a boy was spanked.

Except the boy getting spanked. Razz


You got me there, Kat. How soon one forgets... after forty or fifty years anyway.

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