Adult leaders and parents are NOT exempt from the Scout Law. Have you ever really thought about it. Also the number one question we should ask all Scouts.
Definition as to there meaning:
Friendly – A Scout is friends to all. Scouts are a brother to other Scouts. Scouts offer their friendship to people of all races, religions, and nations and respect them even if their beliefs and customs are different from their own. B-P wrote about similar wording however he diverted into a social class. “No matter what Social Class the Other Belongs.” B-P was from the late 1800s and must think of his times and his revolutionary thinking. Today we would say he was “woke”.
Courteous – A Scout is polite to people of all ages and positions. Scouts understand that using good manners makes it easier for people to get along. B-P had similar meanings in his writings however, he added the line “And he (the Scout) must not take any reward for being helpful or courteous.”
Kind – A Scout treats others as they want to be treated. Scouts know there is strength in being gentle. Scouts do not harm or kill any living thing without good reason. Originally, “Kind” was oriented only towards the treatment of animals. This has changed shortly after World War II to reflect kindness to all creatures including humans.
History – The original writings of Baden Powell in the first Handbook are conveyed Similarly. Historically there were only 9 scout laws outlined originally. However Later the British scouts added Reverent making it 10 scout laws. Do you know which ones were added to the 12 American Scout laws?
The scout law is an amazing principle for real Action in one’s life. Putting each one of the scout law into a daily meaning can literally change the outlook of a young person. As scout leaders, we need to be the example, not the exception. Never forget that we are all obligated to abide by the scout law.
The number one question that every Scout leader and parents should ask of their Scouts. “What do you think I most want you to be?” A. Successful, B. Good, C. Smart, or D. Happy. The correct answer is “B” Good. You cannot achieve any of the others without being good. This question also helps calibrate how we are doing as leaders and parents.
Thair is an actual complaint form for parents. That national has a 100% guaranty on. More info later, let’s jump into this. We are talking about disagreements and not actual safety or YPT issues.
Parents get mad or upset for many reasons. • Personality or cultural differences • A preserved unfairness • Confronted with something that they don’t want • It’s just your turn…
Self-resolving conflict – this is a solution that is handled by the upset person over time. Cooperative Resolutions – First off, everyone in scouting and families of the scouts is bound by the scout oath and law. These are the ground rules which we live by. This is a foundation of trust and familiarity. • The most important skill as a leader is “Active Listening”. (Courteous) • A conscious effort to listen must be made to learn all the facts of an issue. • Filter out fealing statements or derogatory assumptions as these are the emotions and not the issue. • Don’t shut down or walk away. (Not Friendly, & Kind) • Determine if they want a response from you. They will ask when they’re ready, but they may not be ready to hear what you say. • Restating the issue may be needed to start a solution with understanding. • The most important question is “What do you want?” • The answer to this question is the solution to the conflict.
The Wood Badge “Managing Conflict” training is a good resource for leaders to handle conflicts. You should go to Wood Badge!
The complaint form with the 100% warranty is… The Adult Application! “Thiers no problem, if you’re part of the solution.”
In a Pack, the sign-off responsibilities are delegated to the adult Den leadership and parents. In a Troop, this may be delegated to senior (First Class rank or higher) youth with adult leadership oversight. This position of the Instructor in a troop is part of the youth leadership corps. Each unit has its own protocol. The following recommendations of what ScouterStan has seen that works.
The Troop Youth Instructor Recommendations:
Star Rank or higher
Maturity as determined by the Scoutmaster team
Scoutmaster Approval & Appointment to Troop Instructor
The Troop Instructor teaches Scout Skills using the EDGE method. The youth can also sign-off on non-adult leader requirements up to First Clase rank. The Scoutmaster should make it clear to youth instructors that they only sign-off on skills they have taught or witnessed. No backdating.
Whether you like it or not, Scoutbook is here to stay. In April 2015 the BSA acquired Scoutbook. Scoutbook is the official Scouts BSA online unit management tool. This helps Scouts, parents, and adult leaders track advancement. Records milestone and achievements all on Scoutbook. Nights camped, notes and other communication features. As of January 1, 2019, Scoutbook subscriptions are free to all scouting units. BSA owns the software and servers. Internet advancement, ScoutNET, ScoutingU, and My.Scouting.org are going to eventually integrate over time. Today Scoutbook can be attached to online advancement but requires unit authorizations.
Teen suicide is the 2nd cause of death to American youth today. I know this subject is dark and cringy and most leaders avoid it if they can. As adults working with youth, we need to recognize the symptoms and know what to do about it. Your active role in safeguarding our Scouts is part of your responsibilities.
RED-LIGHT Statements & Behavior include:
🛑 Threatening their own well-being or others through physical violence; Statements like “Shoot myself…” or “…jump off a cliff…” and “…kill you all before myself.”
🛑 Planning to run away from home or saying they won’t need things soon.
🛑 Damaging or throwing away their own property for no reason.
🛑 Give away personal belongings or final goodbyes.
🛑 Reference suicide or suicidal thoughts on social media.
🛑 Increase their use of drugs, alcohol or hurting themselves.
🛑 Sudden change in health or sleep habits (too little or too much).
🛑 Display extreme mood swings or is having trouble focusing.
🛑 Saying they wish they hadn’t been born at all.
I know of leaders who have expressed remorse of not acting on a “gut feeling”. The adult leader should have an indication of where issues are with their scouts. The Scoutmaster conference is not just for rank advancement. Den leaders can also have meetings with the cub scout and parents. Everything within YPT should always be observed. If you notice red-light behavior call a meeting ASAP. This meeting should determine whether red light behavior was a real concern. If any red-light behavior is observed the leader should immediately notify the parents. Parents should seek immediate mental health evaluation for their scout. If one of your scouts suddenly caught on fire, you would immediately get them help. This is no different. This aspect is instinctive too good leadership like yours. The tragic loss of America’s youth is incredibly sad. We must do what we can to stop this plague.
⚠ Adult Leaders: Please enter the following in your mobile for referencing with parents. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 (English) and 1-888-628-9454 (Español). The new national Lifeline 988 number is NOT CURRENTLY ACTIVE.
🌎 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
🌎 AAFP Teen Suicide Prevention: https://www.aafp.org/patient-care/public-health/teen-suicide.html
Everyone should be encouraged to use the Scout Sign and recite the Scout Oath and Law. Often I see parents at meetings that just stand there, while their scouts are reciting the oath & law. Leaders should encourage parents and guests to join in. Parents should use the Scout Sign at home or anywhere. Scouting values are not exclusive to registered members at meetings and outings.