2009/01/14

Uncomfortable decisions

Sometimes you have to make uncomfortable decisions. Just so often there is a child that you just can't help fit into the group. Most often, these children leave of their own accord, because they don't enjoy scouting, and sometimes things work better after having spoken with the parents of the child. Sometimes they don't.

But what do you do, when "the problem" doesn't go away by itself, and communication with the parents only end in conflict, and both child and parents are adament that the child stay in the group?

Scouting should be inclusive. Scouting is for all. The general rule of thumb (at least in Sweden) is that you can be a child or an adolecent in the scouts, but not respect the Scout Law, but you can't be a leader. Exclusion is not an easy step to take, and should be considered only after every other option have been tried.

But when a young person has been through Cubs and Scouts, have been asked to take time out from scouts, for the safety and wellbeing of others, and because other children leave because of this person, and the leaders are at the end of their tether, is given a second chance to prove change after a year, only to come back non changed?

Do you have a choice?

It would be very interesting to hear your views on the subject, what rules you have, and what kind of behaviour you find unacceptable, how you cope and what procedures you take.
Kindly
Akela L

3 comments:

Shawn Cleary said...

In the states, we have no policy on boys staying or leaving. That is left up to the individual units to decide "punishment".

I agree that scouting is all inclusive, but in my opinion, boys should have to fit in the program, not mold the program around one boy to make sure that he is included. If this boy truly wants to stay in the scouts, then it is up to him the make the commitment to follow the rules of the unit, or move onto something else. In summary, the unit has done it's part, now it's time for the family to do theirs.

It can be as simple as this "We have rules, they must be followed, your son isn't following them. Either follow the rules or leave."

Sounds harsh, but why put the rest of the other scouts in a bad situation? It only sounds like it's unfair to the scout and parents who don't want to follow the rules...

Great Blog, found it recently...

Nick Wood said...

The Scouts in our Troop came up with their own code of conduct, based on the UK Scout Law, which we expect them to adhere to.
If they don't, then they get up to three verbal warnings from the Leaders.
If they still cannot follow their own code of conduct they are asked to stay at home for a week and a letter is sent to their parents explaining why.
After that, if behaviour was still unacceptable the Scout would be asked to leave.

We give the Scouts enough opportunities to amend their behaviour and if they cannot then leaving is the only option. One young person behaving badly can ruin an evening or an activity for the rest of the Troop etc.

As Shawn say, it does sound harsh, but I think we have set up things so at least the young person has a fair chance at modifying their behaviour.

LoveCat said...

Thank you, guys, for your support and advise!

In hindsight it is very clear that we've been too kind.

Welcome back!