‘What Would You Do?’ AKA ‘Front Line Stuff’ question for the next issue of Scouting Magazine;
During free time on a recent troop camp-out, a Scout from the Fox
patrol thought it would be fun to steal the Rattlesnake patrol’s flag.
One boy punched the other, and the fisticuffs
continued for several minutes. In the aftermath, I want to know how
other troops handle physical fights. How do they prevent them, and what
actions do they take if one occurs?
Scouts who have engaged in a physical fight need plenty of time to calm down and think things out.
They must accept that they acted inappropriately, renew their commitment to using words rather than fists to resolve problems and set things to rights by apologizing to all involved. This could take minutes or days but it has to happen before they can return.
Since a fight is a public spectacle so are the apologies.
I’ll bet there were words flying before the punches were. When Troop leadership, youth and adult, are committed to an atmosphere of mutual respect and effective conflict resolution arguments will rarely escalate to physical fighting.
Larry Geiger says
“When Troop leadership, youth and adult, are committed to an atmosphere of mutual respect and effective conflict resolution arguments will rarely escalate to physical fighting.” This is true.
However, a group of hormonal boys will eventually escalate the slap and tickle into real contact. Hopefully it’s rare, but it will happen. Even in the best of units.
Rarely, one or two very mature, older scouts, can influence this. Usually, the adults must intervene. Stories abound about how the two guys in the fight are best friends or become best friends after it’s over. Maybe. Still, it needs to be handled expediently, openly (especially if it was public) and thoroughly. The younger Scouts should have no question in their minds about how this kind of thing is handled.