Saturday, June 23, 2012

What to do when Scouts Curse?

One thing that Scout leaders may need to deal with is scouts using inappropriate language. What are some good ways to deal with that?

Bryan on Scouting has some great tips, including the following.

  • “I simply say ‘Different Word.’ I can’t remember a time when the Scout didn’t stop and correct himself. It must be working because I was having an issue backing up the Scout trailer one trip and slipped with a ‘Da**.’ I heard three Scouts, in unision, from the back of the truck say ‘Different Word.‘”
  • “There is a code of ethics that the Scout reads and signs before they join the troop. Foul language is in the code of ethics. There is a three-strikes-you’re-out rule. So far this really hasn’t been an issue.”
Scouting Magazine also recommended some other techniques.
  •  Consistency through example and explanation has been helpful in our unit. Over the years, our adult Scouters 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 language” he can find a more appropriate way to express himself. 
  •  I have sat down with a child, one on one, and handed him a notebook. I explain that neither of us will get up from the table until he writes a three-paragraph essay in which he defines the offensive word he used, explains what he believes others hearing his language think and feel about what he said, and describes how he believes his parent or guardian would react to hearing the offensive language from him. I don’t usually have to do this with a child more than once.
 What techniques have you run across that work well for you?

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