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1 August 2016 - Boy Scouts: Leading or Parenting?

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This past week has actually been pretty good, but it's also been a huge problem for you.

A lot of the Boy Scouts were going to a local camp this week.  Everything was set up where you were going to be staying home.  The problem is that one of the men who was supposed to go was called out of town on a family emergency, and there was no one else who was able to cover for more than a day.  That meant you did both a lot of driving for a couple of days, then spent the rest of the week at the camp.  

While things mostly went all right, there were some problems on the last day.

Boy Scouts should normally lead themselves, with their troop leader usually being first among equals.  The purpose of the adults/Scout Masters is to supervise and help where needed.  On the morning of the last day, you met with the troop leaders and made sure they knew everything that needed to be done before you all could leave, and you gave a few hints and a bit of guidance until they had a plan that was both fair and made sure everything was covered.

While most of the Scouts were good sports about getting the work done, you did have a bit of trouble.

From left to right - Evan (13), Colt (12), Mike (12), Ethan (14), and Devon (13).
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These five boys would not do the work they were assigned.  It's not that they refused, they were just very distractable, and it seemed like if you or the troop leaders turned your backs, they were off doing something else.  

Normally in that situation, the boys would not be allowed to participate in other activities until their assigned chores were done.  The problem is, the only remaining activities are the closing ceremonies, saying good bye to their new friends, and going home.  In order to get things done, you have to literally assign a constant supervisor to them, and the other Scouts still have to pitch in.

Boy Scouts do not punish.  If a situation goes beyond what can be handled by having a boy sit out, it should be addressed to their parents.

Which brings us to the problem.  Colt is your son, and Evan and Ethan are both practically family.  You spank your own sons, and Ethan and Evan have both made many trips across your lap.  Evan is staying with you, but Ethan's father will be picking him up two to three hours after you expect to arrive home.  Mike is also staying with you, and you've been giving permission to spank him and his older brother before, and you know his father does spank them, but you've never used the permission.  However, his father is the one who had to go out of town, so Mike is going to be spending the night and part of the next day at your house, until his father gets home.  Finally there is Devon.  He's not staying at your house, and you've never had permission to spank him.  His parents aren't going to be picking him up until about the same time Ethan's parents will.

With that all in mind, what do you plan to do to who, and what's your timing?

"In the end, it's just a story. But if you ask me, it's all true."


Evan, Colt, and Mike can worry about a "wait til I get you home" event. Ethan and Devon can wait for their parents. Perhaps this final notice will serve notice for them to do what they're supposed to do for the remaining time--if not "my" three will be getting their just desserts when we return home, and Ethan and Devon's parents will be made aware of recent events and left to deal with it however they normally do.


Editor Extraordinaire
I'm pretty much with Kier, but I think I'd probably deal with Ethan also. I don't have permission to deal with Devon, so what happens with him is up to his parents.


David M. Katz

United K club.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


What about the timing?

If Devon's going to be turned over to his parents, are you going to wait and handle your boys after that, or as soon as they get home? If you wait until Devon's gone, will you still handle Ethan, or turn him over to his Dad?

"In the end, it's just a story. But if you ask me, it's all true."


I think a couple of words earlier might have done the trick.

"Remember the motto"

and when they looked blankly at you, just add

"Be prepared.......... for a spanking when you get home."

I reckon that could well have concentrated minds.


I think Kier has the only workable solution All 5 will be made aware of my displeasure in a private discussion when I will be sure to have their full attention

Pi Beta

I'll ditto Ivor

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