Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Trouble Maker Do's and Don'ts

One of the biggest headaches and heartaches in scouting does not come from failed activities or meetings it comes from figuring out how to deal with those pesky scouts that are determined to be troublemakers. I dislike using that term because it has such a negative connotation attached to it. I agree that the behavior exhibited by these so called troublemakers is definitely problematic but the truth of the matter is that for the majority of troublemakers it isn't that they have evil or bad intentions in is usually because of age, maturity level, personal or family issues, or even problems at school. Most kids are not bad but are just misguided. Learning how to deal and not deal with these scouts is one of the most important skills you can learn while being a scout leader. I have complied a list of some of the do's and don'ts of troublemakers that I though are the most important. Of course this list is just a start, in order to work with troublemakers you must understand what is causing the behavior, how the scout works, and what would be a appropriate solution for that particular individual. Their is no set rule or solution for every scout but here is what I consider the basics to be.

Lets Start on the Don'ts:
  • Don't Yell and scream at the scout it will just fuel the scouts fire and he will continue acting the way he is acting
  • Don't reprimand him in front of his peers, he will despise you if you do reprimand him their.
  • Don't be rude when telling the scout what he did wrong
  • Don't just criticize the person.
  • Don't focus on just bad.
Now here are so of the Do's of troublemakers:
  • Do be patient calm and understanding. Kids will always be kids not matter what you do.
  • Do make the scout aware of his bad behavior but do so privately and in a manner that conveys the issue but is non threatening and concise.
  • Do point out the postive things the scout does. Keeping positive will make the scout see that you are there to be a part of the solution
  • Do allow the scout to share his side of the story. Just talking to the scout about the issue will do miracles.
The reason why I post this is because I lost focus during a recent scout meeting and overreacted to a situation with a particular scout. I should have not overreacted but as humans no one is perfect and everyone must learn how to work with others even if you do not see eye to eye on a issue. I will definitely refocus my energy for this scout to work with him to solve the issue and will not allow myself to loose control of the situation again. The situation did not turn out horrible but it was exactly what you would call ideal.

Yours in Scouting Service
Mark W
Junior Assistant Scoutmaster
Troop 1616
Great Alaska COuncil
Eagle Scout OA Brotherhood Member
NSJ '05 WSJ '07 Philmont AA '08

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