I recently posted my 38th Podcast. I was joined by Shawn from Wisconsin, we spent about 50 minutes talking about Unit discipline. The point of the show was to discuss how we maintain discipline in our units and what constitutes a disciplined unit.
Now, many people think that discipline is all about punishment. I have a different view all together. Yes, punishment can be a consequence of a lack of discipline, but disciplined units are those that know what right looks like.
Those are units that are consistent in their teaching, application, and practice of the Scout Oath and Law.
I recently re certified, or took the training for Safety Afloat and Safe Swim. It is no surprise that when we talk about safety when swimming and boating the first thing that is discussed is the safety sandwich. The “Bread” of the sandwich is Supervision and Discipline.
When we talk about disciplined units we see units that have good leadership. Leadership at both the youth and adult levels. Units that have a consistent message of living the Scout Oath and Law. The only real rules a Scout troop needs.
Junior Leaders that are taught what right looks like and how they can be examples of right make the building of a disciplined unit an easy task. But the message has got to be right. Adult leaders can not waiver or bend the Scout Law and Oath to meet their needs. They need to understand and implement the Scouting program as promised in the mission statement of the BSA.
Discipline and Supervision are the brackets of not only a safe program, but a program that offers fun and adventure. The goals of each unit should include having fun. Fun never comes when Scouts are getting hurt or there is a lack of discipline in the unit. Punishment aside, when Scouts understand that their actions will drive the path of discipline and the unit and the results will determine weather or not they are having fun, the unit is better for it.
Disciplined units don’t march around and do push ups.. they have fun, they are allowed to explore and be adventurous, they not overly supervised and have Youth leaders that really run the Troop. Supervision and Discipline are critical. Get trained and learn more, but don’t confuse discipline for punishment.
Have a Great Scouting Day!