Troop 69 Standard of Conduct
As adopted 11/08/2004 by the Troop Committee
Boy Scouts of America Troop 69 strives to teach scouts to live by the principles outlined in the BSA’s Scout Oath and Scout Law. Scouting should be fun and challenging. Scouts deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to have fun and grow without unnecessary roughness, physical and verbal intimidation, foul and offensive language or disrespectful behavior. All scouts should help build troop unity and an effective, enjoyable scouting program.
Scout Oath, Law, Motto and Slogan
The ideals of Boy Scouting are spelled out in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Scout motto and the Scout slogan.The Boy Scout measures himself against these ideals and continually tries to improve. The goals are high, and as he reaches for them, he has some control over what and who he becomes.
Scout Oath (or Promise)
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.
Do a Good Turn Daily.
A Scout tells the truth. He keeps his promises. Honesty is part of his code of conduct. People can depend on him.
A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.
A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.
A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
A Scout looks for the bright side of things. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for unforeseen needs. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.
A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals. He helps keep his home and community clean.
A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.
BSA Scouting Methods
Scouting is a fun activity leading to personal growth.
Scouts work in patrols requiring cooperation, teamwork and organization.
Patrols and the Troop are led by scouts (youth leadership).
The Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters provide positive adult examples and support.
Outdoor activities are fun and give scouts the opportunity to develop and test new skills, to learn about nature, and to work in patrols.
The advancement program challenges scouts to learn new skills and information, and to gain self confidence and recognition for their achievements.
The scout uniform allows the scout to identify with the scouting movement and encourages a positive self image. It reflects his commitment to the aims of scouting.
The ideals of scouting are expressed in the Scout Oath, Law, Slogan and Motto.
Leadership is a Partnership
Troop 69 leadership is a partnership between scouts and adults. The Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Patrol Leaders and other members of the Patrol Leaders’ Council (PLC), with the assistance of the Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters, work with the other members of the troop to develop and execute a safe, enjoyable and effective scouting program (see BSA Junior Leader Handbook, for information on shared-leadership principles). Participating in this partnership, the Troop Committee and the Charter Organization representative work with the Scouts and Scoutmasters on program planning, record keeping, recruiting, finances and health and safety issues.
Scouts Become Responsible Leaders
Responsibility for the functioning of the Troop and its programs rests first with the Troop Committee and the Scoutmaster. The Committee provides overall supervision of the Troop program and critical support to the scoutmasters and junior leaders. The Scoutmaster and his assistants have responsibility for the program but strive to transfer leadership and planning of program activities and troop meetings to the Senior Patrol Leader and other junior leaders. They, in turn, delegate leadership and planning to Patrol leaders as appropriate or necessary. The adult leadership looks to the scouts and their elected junior leaders to address problems of discipline and order according to Troop policy as outlined below. Adults should encourage junior leadership by referring questions and decisions to the appropriate scouts for resolution.
Scouts share responsibility for keeping order at Troop functions. Disrupting Troop or Patrol activities not only undermines Troop and Patrol unity, it deprives serious scouts from enjoying the program fully and runs counter to the spirit of scouting. When conflicts or disorder arise, scouts should seek assistance in resolving them from other scouts, junior leaders and adults.
While junior leaders are charged with developing and implementing the scouting program, keeping order, and encouraging unity, the Troop Committee and Scoutmaster are ultimately responsible for the conduct of the Troop. Leaders are not to use physical force to implement decisions, enforce rules of conduct or punish unacceptable behavior. Junior leaders are NOT permitted to expel scouts from Troop meetings or events. Force applied as far as possible to avoid injury may be used only to restrain a scout from hurting himself or others.
Troop 69 Norms of Personal Behavior:
“Scout is Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful…”
Scouting events should occur in a friendly, safe, and affirming environment in which scouts have fun and can grow as persons. Scouts come in different sizes and shapes at different levels of emotional and cognitive maturity with different physical capabilities. Scouting activities should be planned with this in mind. Scouts in the normal process of growing up often do not appreciate their own strength and therefore may hurt one another when they play in a ‘rough-and-tumble’ fashion as they did when they were smaller. Some scouts may think that tough talk and rough behavior improve their status in the eyes of their peers, but among scouts this should not be so. Foul or threatening language demeans the character of the speaker and violates the spirit of scouting.
The BSA discourages troops from playing games that involve rough physical contact. Troop 69 will strive to offer games that every scout can play, encourage cooperation or teamwork, involve practice in scouting skills, or embody other values that do not result in bad feelings or unreasonable risk of injury. Junior leaders enjoy scout games, but as participants can find it awkward to resolve conflicts. Therefore, an adult leader should always supervise Troop games and be ready to intercede when norms of behavior are violated.
Here are some examples of inappropriate behavior that should not be tolerated at scouting events (and indeed, if the principles of scouting are to be taken seriously, not ever):
Failure to follow reasonable directives of an adult or junior leader
Unnecessary or inappropriate physical roughness
Threatening or intimidating another person by word or action
Foul language that offends or degrades common decency, as well as negative and derogatory banter
Actions or language offensive or discriminatory with respect to race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation
Behavior that displays disrespect for other persons, personal property or the environment
Smoking or use of tobacco products by minors, or by adults in the presence of scouts
Possession or use of fireworks Unauthorized use or possession of firearms or other weapons
Use or possession of sheath knives (or any knife with a blade longer than the standard scout knife blade), axes or hatchets without permission of the Scoutmaster or other responsible adult leader
Use or possession of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances (except medication of which the adult leadership has been made aware)
This list is not exhaustive. Both junior and adult leaders must judge cases as they arise, and those under their leadership must respect their authority to make judgments. A scout should obey any direct order from an appropriate junior or adult leader. Disagreements with such judgments and the corresponding orders should be pursued only after the directive has been obeyed. Deliberation of the case should occur apart from the original event(s) that led to the disagreement. See below for the procedure to follow when conflicts or disruptive behaviors persist.
Enforcement of Norms of Personal Behavior
The Scoutmaster and his assistants monitor the behavior of scouts in the Troop to ensure that reasonable standards of scout behavior are observed at all scouting events. If an unacceptable situation arises, and junior leaders are unable to restore order to the group, the Scoutmaster or his assistants or a designated adult should intervene. (See BSA Scoutmasters Handbook.)
The Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmasters, and other designated adult leaders should follow the procedure outlined below when disciplinary problems arise:
The first step is to ask the offending scout respectfully to stop the inappropriate behavior, to describe acceptable alternatives and to suggest that continuation of the behavior will warrant an official warning. The scout should understand that his behavior disrupts a scout activity or interferes with another person’s participation in such an activity. He should acknowledge his responsibility for the actions and try to compensate for their effects. Some examples: A scout might apologize to the affected parties (possibly the entire troop), explain to the Troop the importance of some relevant portion of the Scout Law, replace or repair broken or lost equipment, or make some other reparative effort such as skill or advancement instruction with a younger scout he had mistreated.
The second step in the event that the scout continues the unacceptable behavior or defies an order to stop is to issue an official warning to the offending scout that his behavior is inappropriate: he is told not to repeat the behavior on pain of disciplinary action. The “warner” should report the event to the Scoutmaster at the earliest possible time. Leaders must judge for themselves when a scout’s behavior merits an official warning. Moving too swiftly into the disciplinary process may aggravate rather than alleviate a problem. A leader may also, however, judge that an infraction is severe enough to warrant immediate recourse to a later stage in the process.
Troop 69 recognizes that parents are partners in maintaining discipline within the troop. For this reason, at this stage and all subsequent stages, documentation of the specifics of the incident and parental notification and involvement is required.
If the unacceptable behavior persists, or an official warning is ignored, the scout should compensate for any material or psychological damage he has caused. In the third stage the Scoutmaster or appropriate adult leader will contact the scout’s parent(s) or guardian(s) about the problem. The Scoutmaster, at least one Assistant Scoutmaster, and the scout’s parent/guardian(s) will devise a plan the scout should undertake to compensate for his inappropriate behavior. The Scoutmaster should inform the Chair of the Troop Committee of any such actions.
If the scout continues the unacceptable behavior after the application of stage three discipline or refuses to accept such discipline, the Scoutmaster will call for a conference attended by the Scoutmaster and at least one Assistant Scoutmaster, the Troop Committee Chair, the offending scout and the scout’s parent(s) or guardian(s). The Scoutmaster and at least one Assistant Scoutmaster may suspend the scout temporarily until such a meeting occurs. Here the adult Troop leaders review the Troop’s discipline policy, discuss the problems that have occurred, and obtain from the scout and his parent(s) or guardian(s) a commitment to correcting the unacceptable behavior. At the same time, the scout and his parent(s) or guardian(s) can attempt to defend the scout’s behavior or criticize any elements of the scouting program that they believe to justify the scout’s behavior. Participants at such a meeting should then formulate positive goals and devise a plan to resolve the situation. The Committee Chair will only observe and record the proceedings, or offer material and moral support, without interceding on any party’s behalf. If the adult leaders applying the policy disagree strongly on the proper action, they may refer their disagreement to the Troop Committee.
If steps 1-4 above do not result in acceptable behavior by the offending scout, or any party to the agreement reached in the Stage 4 meeting refuses to cooperate, the other parties may ask for a hearing before the Troop Committee. Here the scout’s continued membership in Troop 69 will be reconsidered in light of reports given by the Scoutmaster, his assistants and other adult leaders who have observed any of the foregoing events. Some possible resolutions at this stage of discipline include, but are not restricted to, renegotiating a contract with the scout and his parent(s) or guardian(s), requiring that a parent or guardian attend all scouting activities in which the scout participates, or expelling the scout from the Troop. The scout, his parent/guardian(s) and other interested parties may represent the scout’s point of view and interests before the committee.
In such a Troop Committee Hearing, the Committee will listen to all interested parties, ask such questions of those parties as it deems appropriate, and either ask for a continuation of the information gathering process, or decide the matter immediately. All interested parties, including Committee members with a direct conflict of interest, will leave the hearing as the remaining members of the Committee commence deliberation of its decision.
It is hoped that no disciplinary situation will reach Stage 5. Such problems should be resolved by agreement between scouts and their leadership, in particular with the cooperation and intervention of the Scoutmaster and his assistants. Failing this, it is hoped that appealing to the scout’s parents will resolve any such matter. The Troop Committee should address such matters only when a serious disagreement arises between the Scoutmaster/Assistant Scoutmasters and a scout’s parent(s) or guardian(s).
Two-Deep Adult Leadership and Transportation
BSA requires that there be at least two adult leaders accompanying scouts, especially single scouts, at all scouting events. Scouts should not be left alone with a single adult leader at the end of Troop meetings, and should not be alone in a car with an unrelated adult. We ask parents or guardians to do everything possible to retrieve scouts from scouting events on schedule. Every minute that a particular scout is the last to be picked up is a minute that two adult leaders must remain at the event site. Transportation to and from campouts should be arranged so that an adult leader does not drive alone in a vehicle with just one unrelated scout. Therefore an adult leader whose son is not among the scouts being transported generally should either not transport any scouts or must drop off the last two scouts in his car at the same time and place.
Scouting is an Opportunity
Scouting activities should provide a safe and friendly environment for boys. It is an opportunity for scouts to grow physically, mentally, and morally. Scouts must treat other scouts and adults with the respect described in the BSA Scout Law. BSA is a voluntary organization and decisions should be made democratically or, whenever possible, by consensus. Planning and decision making activities are opportunities for scouts to develop leadership skills within an inclusive shared-responsibility framework that responds to minority concerns and sensibilities. And, of course, scouting should always be fun, for scouts and adults!