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BOTD 7/24/13 "How Many Violations Of The Scout Law?" A Dimitri-1 Strappedboy Production

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David M. Katz


Marshall
Just How Many Violations of the Scout Law?
A Dimitri-1strappedboy Production

Because you are self employed and don't have to take vacation time unlike the rest of the Troop leadership, you serve as Scoutmaster for the week of Summer Camp that your Troop spends there.  The regular Scoutmaster and the other assistants all spend just a day or two each as they are able and so you are there for the full week with the boys.  You have been an Assistant Scoutmaster for many years with your troop and have groomed them to be rather 'spit and polish', with a high degree of scout spirit; your guys are very enthusiastic!

When you get to the campsite you take a look at the group encamped next to you.  The boys over there are kind of disheveled looking and quite opposite in flavor from your troop.  In the spirit of brotherhood, a few of your scouts go over to offer them some help in setting up their site and are, at this point quietly rebuffed.

As the week progresses, the troop next door has started to show itself as rather a bunch of bums; there are food wrappers near tents and they do not observe proper campsite etiquette such as requesting permission to enter your site.  They just stroll on through.  Your scouts are beginning to resent this just a bit and some commentary gets made by your own boys.  You should have quelled the riot before it got started, but you did not.

By Tuesday the other troop has started making remarks about 'that bunch of stuck ups next door' which does not go down well at all with the entire troop and tempers are starting to grow.

Wednesday is family night.  In your unit, the kids' parents bring a covered dish and they eat in the campsite and the boys share what they've learned and what they are doing with their folks.  Since your own boys are here with you they see this as free time.  As soon as your s/o arrives with the huge batch of fried chicken and the boys have had their fill, they decide to use the time as an opportunity to "teach the other troop some manners".  

The brilliant idea actually comes from your youngest, 14 year old Jeff.  His older brother Darren (who is ALWAYS ready for mischief) readily agrees to the plan.  Fellow scout Ryan, who you currently have custody of from last year, joins right in and the 3 musketeers go off the 'attack' the other campsite.  You are made aware of the situation by the sound of yelling from the next door and as you begin to walk across to the other site you hear the sound of breaking glass and see the sight of a portable shelter being toppled over.  By the time you reach the disaster zone the roof of the shelter has been torn and you see that two propane lanterns have been dropped with their globes broken.



Ryan, Jeff, Darren, and Friend
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Accusations are leveled and fingers are pointed and by the time everything is sorted out it is determined that while the other troop's boys were responsible for the tear in the shelter top, yours are responsible for the lanterns.  Actually, as you explain to them, they are really responsible for the entire matter as they were the ones starting the encounter!

Since you can't spank them at Camp, are there going to be sore rears when we return from camp on Saturday?


_________________
Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.
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Kittykat


Deputy
Now why can't you spank them at camp? If they are your children, you can take a walk and deal with the matter then. However, I'd say yes, when home they are getting spanked.

Stone Man


Marshall
Am I terrible and mean if I think "YES!" They are old enough to be able to put it out of their minds for the most part until it is time to head for home.

Reality says something will be happening to them right now, some restriction or loss of privileges most likely, along with baring the expense of replacing the lantern globes or in their entirety if necessary.

I still like spanking them, as you do and it works for them. I understand the Organization taking the politically correct stance against it being done at camp... they sort of have to. But it has removed a "quick and dirty" but effective tool that Dads and Scout Leaders were able to use "when I was a boy' and at camp or on overnights.

AFinch


Sherrif
Teaching the other troop some manners? I thought that was supposed to be done with words, or positive examples.

It doesn't matter who actually tore the shelter top, or who actually broke the lantern glasses. Jeff, Darren, and Ryan started the ruckus, escalating what should have been just words to physical confrontation. Their behavior is contrary to everything I've taught them about scouting (and living), and they must know that I'm going to take a very dim view of it, and at least from the scenario, I haven't heard a single mitigating factor.

I grew up with "If someone starts a fight, you finish it. But you better not start it." Trouble here is THEY started it.

I'm inclined to agree with Kitty. But the world is, alas, a very PC and stupid place now. Consequently, the boys will have a visit to my study to dread when we return home. At 13, 14, and 16, waiting can be part of the punishment.

John Boy


Sherrif
Knowing where this is coming from, I say yes there will be sore butts come Saturday. Putting myself in the situations I feel I will need that long to get my thoughts together on how to deal with them.

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Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
The boys have no excuse and will have to take their punishment when they return home. In the meantime, they will apologize and do what they can to make amends. I wish I had been more aware of the anger building up in the boys. I certainly hope I didn't encourage it inadvertently. Perhaps I could have done more in the beginning to diffuse the tension between the troops. Reaching out to other people is generally more effective when it doesn't seem condescending. Now perhaps the efforts to help the other troop weren't meant that way, but being called "stuck up" by them indicates they at least perceived it that way. At the very least, they felt inferior and tried to hide that with hostility. I remember reading an anecdote from Benjamin Franklin that I think shows remarkable insight into human nature. Franklin explained how he asked someone that was unfriendly towards him for a small favor -- I think he asked to borrow a book. The person was delighted, and his attitude towards Franklin changed. Rather than offering help another time, it might work to request some help. People are flattered to feel needed, and cognitive dissonance will kick in to make them rationalize their help by changing how they feel about you.

Kat

ivor


Marshall
From what is said in the scenario it sounds as if home and the camp site aren't that far apart. Sufficiently close to take the home now, deal with them and then return?

If not then I reckon they know what is coming and it shouldn't weigh too heavily on their minds to spoil the rest f the week.

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Jack


Admin
I am the Scoutmaster, and this sounds like a Scout matter, so that's how I should handle it.  I can make the responsible boys responsible for all the dirty, no fun chores the rest of the week.

I'm trying to be honest with myself here, but I'm not even sure I see this as a whipping offense.  The other kids actions were incredibly provocative in context, and I'm afraid a whipping would make my boys just more resentful and less tolerant.  Depending on their actions and attitude, I might consider a follow up when we get home, but I think a long discussion about how to deal with these things and taking the higher road might be the best way to handle it this time.

Correction - I do see this as a whipping offense, I'm just not sure it's the best option in this context. Then again, if the boys acted this way with bad neighbors at home, I'm sure they'd be getting worn out. Maybe I'm just too put off by the way the other troop has been acting.

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1strappedboy


Sherrif
When I sent this to Katz, I appended a tongue in cheek note saying that I wanted the community to chew on this one and tell me I was, once again, a big meanie with my kids.

I'm glad at least that's not the case!Razz   

On Saturday, after we got unpacked and showered the 3 musketeers reported to the den for 6 firecrackers with the strop for this little escapade.  They knew it was coming/why and they accepted it.  

The troop in question was from Pittsburgh proper, and I don't think these kids had ever seen a tree in its natural habitat.   Moreover, they weren't well put together from the adult leadership position and it really showed.  We saw them struggling to set up chuck boxes and so forth and it was initially Darren  and Tyler who offered to help.  The P-burgh scoutmaster said no, they were ok and so they came back over to our site.

At flag, they were sloppy in line and wouldn't participate in chow hall singing (or a lot of the traditional cornball features of camp), and by late Monday their litter was beginning to blow into our site.  The lack of traditional courtesy when crossing through another's site really rankled the troop membership as a whole.  By Tuesday AM, the other troop was making snarky commentary about us being "stuck up" because we DO look good and (generally) act like scouts while in camp.  I tell you this in explanation, not as excuse, for my kids' behavior.  I knew tempers were getting short but didn't realize how short; as I said, I should have quelled the riot!

Jeff had gone to Dare and Ry and decided they were going to verbally "have it out" with the other troop and 'teach them some manners' on Wednesday while I was busy playing host.  Unfortunately, the P-burgh kids took mucho offense to the idea that they should BE scouts and of course, boys being boys, you know what went from there!

Once damage occurred and I got over there I had quite the 'peacekeeping' job for the rest of the week as now the relationship was really frosted between us.  I went out and replaced their equipment for them (that was part of what came from the boys' hides) and the other scoutmaster and I actually did end up getting on fairly well.  Of course in my rather loud discussion with my boys and the rest of the Troop, I laid on a very heavy discussion of the Scout Law and the various points thereof and reminder of how many of those were broken.

"Trustworthy?  You gotta be kidding me!  Loyal?  How about, um, Helpful here? Lets see..friendly?!? No, how about courteous?"  And so on, until all 12 points were brought out and examined in the light of how WE were behaving; never mind the other troop. "You are responsible for YOU!"  

My 3 were then treated to a lovely "service project" for the camp that effectively sucked up every spare minute of their time for the rest of the week! Shocked

Kitty asked why not do it there since I'm their dad.  The short answer is two fold-I couldn't spank them at camp without others knowing, and didn't have the right 'tools' for the job on hand!  This was a stropping offense and they knew it.  Sad 

Ivor, while Bucoco is within easy driving distance, it would take me the better part of 3 hours to get home, do the deed and return.  Too much time away from the camp to give it 'justice'.  Evil or Very Mad

Kat, I'm afraid I may have stoked the fire inadvertently.  I too made some "can you believe these clowns" type comments here and there.  Perhaps directly, by saying to my troop at large "I'm glad I don't have that bunch as my scouts.  Thanks guys, keep up the good work"

squarecutter


Sherrif
Yep the "3 musketeers" are getting paddled when they get home. They can also spend as long as it takes clearing up the mess they they made of the other camp when they launched their attack. They should have left it alone and enjoyed their feeling of superiority. Instead they showed their worst side and I am more than a bit disaappointed in them

Stone Man


Marshall
1strappedboy wrote:When I sent this to Katz, I appended a tongue in cheek note saying that I wanted the community to chew on this one and tell me I was, once again, a big meanie with my kids.

I'm glad at least that's not the case!Razz   

I'm pleased so many of us were able to stand with you on this one. Good leadership is so important for a good troop, but sometimes it is impossible to come by. I fully expected your boys to accept what they were due.

Now I must lament the loss of the "good old days" when the spanking part of the boys' punishment would have taken place after taps at the Adult Leaders' Adirondack and that would have been that. (Plus the free-time service work the boys did.)

1strappedboy


Sherrif
Ah Stoney you're right. There certainly is something more effective with an 'instantaneous correction'. Alack and alas, that feature was forbidden by the time I was a scout in the mid late 70's. (Greg dragged me to that first meeting in November of '76)

Stone Man


Marshall
1strappedboy wrote:Ah Stoney you're right.  There certainly is something more effective with an 'instantaneous correction'.  Alack and alas, that feature was forbidden by the time I was a scout in the mid late 70's.  (Greg dragged me to that first meeting in November of '76)

Scouting thanks Greg for dragging you to that first meeting. cheers 

Having started Scouting in 1959 as a Cubbie (I dragged my parents to that one... MAN! did they ever get active!) "Instantaneous correction" was the expected action throughout my "boy" level Scouting career.

Instantaneous correction - I like that term. Do that again, young man, and you're in for an Instantaneous correction! affraid 

ivor


Marshall
Stone Man wrote:

Instantaneous correction - I like that term.

Do that again, young man,  and you're in for an Instantaneous correction! affraid 

Its a bit like you did in the old days when you wrote in pencil in your school exercise books and then used your eraser to rub out (correct) any mistakes. Only here the rubbing out would come after the correction....Smile 

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squarecutter


Sherrif
ivor wrote:
Stone Man wrote:

Instantaneous correction - I like that term.

Do that again, young man,  and you're in for an Instantaneous correction! affraid 

Its a bit like you did in the old days when you wrote in pencil in your school exercise books and then used your eraser to rub out (correct) any mistakes. Only here the rubbing out would come after the correction....Smile 

Both no doubt left traces

1strappedboy


Sherrif
Yes Square, that it did!! Razz 

Stone Man


Marshall
1strappedboy wrote:Yes Square, that it did!! Razz 

No doubt there!

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