Homepage Forums Boy Scouts (Scouts BSA) When Scouts don’t follow their Scout Law

This topic contains 2 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Q 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #204023 Reply

    Jay the Antelope

    So, here’s a quick and simple question:

    What are the options for a unit, SM, ASM when a Scout repeatedly violates a point of the Scout Law?

    I’ve been dealing with this matter a bit more than ever this year. You can rest assured that I’m not making false claims, or misunderstanding any of the information. I’ve had two Scouts this year who need a fair reminder of the point 1: (A Scout is… Trustworthy).
    With one specifically, the Scout seemingly cannot tell a truth.
    It’s been ignored by the Scout’s parents. Our SM is reluctant to “go here again”. And, the SPL is idling on it at this point.


    I’ve removed myself from all possible interactions with the Scout

  • #204643 Reply


    Every rank has the requirement to “Demonstrate Scout Spirit by living the oath and law” so you are right to bring this issue up.

    Here are a few action items –

    1. First and foremost, there can be NO rank advancement! Note: this is not a “punishment”, it is simply an observation that a boy is NOT completing the clearly stated & defined REQUIREMENTS. No scout has “earned” rank advancement if this part of his character (and Scouting’s core values) are in question.

    2. Teach… teach… and teach some more. This is a program of INCULCATION. Week after week the boys are immersed in a program with specific expectations and standards for living. Repeat our beliefs with him as often as necessary so he understands what is expected of him.

    3. Talk with him and with his parents. If need be, hold a “Board of Review” and have the Committee repeat the same words. Not only is lying not desirable, it’s NOT ALLOWED.

    4. Make sure he’s not degrading the program for the other boys around him. Lying is no different that fighting. He can’t be allowed to keep “injuring” and being a bad example to the other boys. If he is negatively impacting others, I’m not ashamed to say he would be facing a “shape up, or ship out” situation in my troop (obviously as a last resort).

    5. Medical? Mental? Maybe he is pathological and needs professional help. As a parent, I would want to know my son “CANNOT tell the truth”. Document his lies, detail all you’ve done to try to address it, advise his parents it’s still happening, and POLITELY suggest they consider discussing it with their family doctor and/or work on the issue with him at home. We only see them “an hour a week” and we’re not miracle workers. There may be a condition where the boy needs help that Scouting doesn’t offer and volunteer leaders simply aren’t trained to deliver.

  • #206320 Reply


    I’d say suspension is the best policy. If a compulsive liar doesn’t want to change, he doesn’t want to be a scout. Suspend for a month, let the scout decide if he wants to come back. If he returns, and tells another lie, suspend him for another month.

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