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Ideas from the field: What to do when the fists start flying.

On a recent camp- out, two Scouts in Scoutmaster D.S.’s troop got into a fight over a prank gone wrong. He wondered how other troops handle fights or prevent them from occurring in the first place.

TWO SIMPLE RULES I know that Webelos Scouts are a little easier to direct, but over the past 15 years of Cub Scouting I have devel- oped two simple rules of conduct in my den. No. 1: No one is rude (this includes rude words, jokes, actions, “bathroom noises,” and inter- rupting). No. 2: No one is hurt (no hurt feelings, no physical hurting).


Our troop has many boys who have just crossed over from Webelos Scouts. Some of their parents have their eye on the Eagle Scout Award from day one; others give no thought to advancement. How do we help parents find a healthy balance between the two extremes, so they can encourage their boys on the

trail to Eagle without pushing them off the trail? J.T.


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

I have had almost 200 boys go through my den, and I only occasionally have to use a gentle reminder. If I have a major infraction, I leave my assistant in charge and talk to the boys away from the group.

Webelos Leader B.A. MANTI, UTAH

JUST SAY NO Physical fighting has zero tolerance in my book. I don’t care what the circumstances are; the initiating Scout will be sent home. Depending on how involved the Scout that was defending himself got, he may go home as well.

Assistant Scoutmaster J.K. LOVELAND, COLO.

WORK IT OUT A dose of good old hard work goes a long way. Make them both scrub the fire pots or build the large campfire and/ or do another appropriate

task—together. By the time they’re done, neither they nor their comrades will be picking fights soon. Typically, their parents will support this action, and the time working together can actually bond them.

Cubmaster R.S. CARLISLE, MASS.

TALK IT OUT If the situation were to appear, I would likely send both boys to cool off for a short period. I would then bring them both together, have them explain what happened, and ask how they might have prevented it and what they should do about it. I want the boys to solve their own problems.

Scoutmaster M.P. MATTHEWS, N.C.

PUT ’EM ON KP If the boys have too much time on their hands, they can have KP duty for the weekend to keep them occupied and give them something to think about the next time they feel


like fighting. Beyond that, let it go; the slate is clean the minute you leave camp.

Troop Committee Member J.H. GARDEN CITY, MICH.

LAY DOWN THE LAW Our troop has a written policy that physical fighting will result in the Scouts being removed from the activity. If we’re on a camp-out or at summer camp, the parents are called to come and pick them up. The Scouts are informed of this policy when they join, and it is repeated regularly. B.M.


OBEY THE LAW Ask the Scouts which parts of the Scout Law they are demonstrating. The other Scouts will chime in with which parts they are not dem- onstrating. Putting them on the spot in public this way is usually enough to diffuse the situation.



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