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WHAT WOULD YOU DO? Crying Foul


Ideas from the field: Dealing with bad language from Scouts.


Some boys in Scouter W.W.W.’s troop use crude or inappropriate language. He asked for help in redirecting these Scouts’ behavior.


COUGH IT UP We took a two-pronged approach. Prong 1 was an immediate discussion with the offending Scout regard- ing appropriate language. Repeated infractions would lead to further discussions, including the parents, and finally exclusion from activities. Prong 2 was the institution of a “swear jar,” requiring a donation per infraction. The contents were used to offset the cost of


NEXT QUESTION SUPPORTING A SCOUT WITH ASPERGER’S SYNDROME


One of our Boy Scouts has Asperger’s syndrome. He does well learning Scouting concepts by reading, but he has struggled with camp-outs and activities that are not highly structured. What can we do as a troop to help him succeed? Also, it is taking him a long time to complete advancement requirements. How do we encourage him to keep putting in the effort to complete his requirements, even though they are


more challenging for him than for other Scouts? L.R. YOKOSUKA, JAPAN


WE WANT YOUR SOLUTIONS! Send your answer to What Would You Do?, Scouting magazine, P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079. Responses will appear in Scouting’s next issue. We also solicit new questions and pay $50 for each one used in this column. Submit responses or a new question electronically, or view selected responses from past columns, at scoutingmagazine.org.


an end-of-year party. These methods were so effective we don’t need them anymore.


Chartered Org. Representative S.T. MATAWAN, N.J.


A SCOUT IS CLEAN Take the boys aside and have a Scoutmaster confer- ence. Let them know this is not acceptable. Remind them that “A Scout is Clean” means more than just physically clean. You could also have a Scoutmaster’s Minute with the same theme.


Troop Committee Member S.S. KIRKLAND, ILL.


SAY WHAT? I usually let my guys know their language is offensive by saying, “Excuse me. What did you say?” The annoyed,


eyebrow-raised look seems to work well, too. It may not stop them totally, but they don’t use such language in front of me again.


Troop Committee Chair P.K. LEONARDTOWN, MD.


A HIGHER STANDARD I would stress that, while I cannot affect what they say and do at home or in other locations, I can affect what they say and do at a Scouting function. We, as Scouters, cannot allow Scouts to behave in a way contrary to the aims of Scouting without expecting the Scouts around the offenders to quickly adopt their behaviors.


Assistant Scoutmaster D.S. HINESVILLE, GA.


SHOW AND TELL Consistency through example and explanation has been helpful in our unit. Over the years, our adult Scouters


18 SCOUT ING ¿ JANUARY•FEBRUARY 2011


have worked hard to set the example in both language and action. This has filtered into the actions of our junior leaders and the troop as a whole. When a young Scout uses inappropriate language, we’ll quickly remind him that “with more than 250,000 words in the English lan- guage” he can find a more appropriate way to express himself.


Scoutmaster B.G. WILLOUGHBY, OHIO


ATTACK THE WHY Youths use vulgar language for the same varied reasons that some adults do. It may be for the shock effect, or it may come from the environment at home or at school or even from adult role models. You need to address the


problem at different levels. Don’t respond with shock; talk privately with the Scout


DARREN THOMPSON


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