Magic words for a hard situation

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Magic words for a hard situation

Postby Fred Johnson » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:16 pm

Tonight I need to talk with a scout's mother and suggest that perhaps scouts isn't a good fit for him. Essentially, I need to ask her to deal with it before the troop is forced by an incident.

It is a clinical situation, very visible and we've been dealing with it for a year. We are just not trained or structured to handle it. Scouts need to be able to trust each other and work independently. This has been affecting the whole the troop and has been scaring and driving other scouts away. I am sad because the mother is a wonderful, hard working and very giving person. We all like her very much and this will hurt her.

Years ago, when I started traveling for work, my wife would help me run thru presentations, agendas and help thru the people issues. Well, for this, my wife has been helping me practice with what to say, what not to say, what to keep short, what to be precise on and what doesn't need to be said.

For those who have been thru this before, does anyone have any magical words of wisdom or guidance?
Fred Johnson
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Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 5:45 pm

Re: Magic words for a hard situation

Postby kwildman » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:49 pm

Your wife will give you the best perspective from a "mothers" point of view. This is never easy. I had to to do something similar in the past and really wrestled with it because the kid that was affecting the troop probably needed the scouting program more than any of the other kids. Severe behavioral issues, heavily medicated, single parent household, etc. However, the troop (myself included) couldn't meet this kids needs and retain our other members.

I would just be honest and you could leave the door open in the event that the scout manages to get back on track. I would also recommend that you have another leader or committee chair present so there is a witness for all the discussions. Good luck.
No one can pass through life, any more than he can pass through a bit of country, without leaving tracks behind, and those tracks may often be helpful to those coming after him in finding their way. - Lord Baden-Powell
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Re: Magic words for a hard situation

Postby FrankJ » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:09 pm

Be polite. Be firm. Be clear. Do not offer a possibility of staying if their really is not one. Have another non relative adult in the meeting. Since you can choose your members you do not need to justify your actions. Which also means you do not need to put the scout on "trial" or "convict' him of anything. Another troop might be a better fit. Perhaps the DE or commissioner would know.

Their are times that a troop can take on a challenge & a time to recognize that some challenges are beyond our skill set.
Frank J.
Venturing Crew Adviser, Assistant Scout Master, Renegade Merit Badge Counselor
Owl-2 WB 92-49
Foothills District Atlanta Area Council
I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.--Albert Einstein
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