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Breaking in the new guy

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Breaking in the new guy

Post by joecool on November 7th 2013, 7:06 pm

So, the new Family Life Pastor had dinner with my wife and I this week. After the meal and small talk, it got down to Wednesday nights. By the way, my wife runs Missionettes at our church. He laid out his discipline policy to us, and in fact, had mailed it out to all the parents the day before. Being a sports-minded guy, he has a "3 strikes and you're out" mentality. You get two warnings a night, with the third one leading to a one-week suspension. We went back and forth for a bit, with him not budging. Since he never sought our input beforehand, I made a prediction for him. "I guarantee you'll never get notification of a third strike." He pondered that for a moment..."Why?" My response? "We take care of things in-house. We don't bring problems to a pastor. And if we ever let a situation get to the point of a third strike, that would be an adult's problem, not the kid's. No kid misses Rangers or Missionettes because WE made a mistake."

He accepted that, but I felt his underlying disappointment that he wouldn't be able to bench a kid. It's something that "worked so well" at his last church. He's forgetting that his previous ministry emphasis was on sports, not something like Rangers.


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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by RRCmdrBennett on November 7th 2013, 7:43 pm

We do 3 strikes. Only a handful of times have we used the third strike.

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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by joecool on November 7th 2013, 8:41 pm

Did that include having the kid miss a meeting, Dan?

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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by RRCmdrBennett on November 7th 2013, 10:51 pm

Usually, sit out for the night but welcomed back next meeting. Its been effective when leaders enforce it in extreme situations. I have also had two extreme cases where it was decided that two boys would remain out of Royal Rangers indefinitely.

First incident was a member of the Elder board's son. His father made excuses for his sons outburst saying it was the result of Turrets Syndrome.  He would never discpline him in the least bit. I did my research and Turrets doesn't have behavioral problems like that its a muscle and vocal tick which he never not once displayed an odd tick.  His mother told a cmdr he was ADHD which is more likely the cause than turrets. He had man extreme issues in other areas of the church. I did take him to a lock-in for the section with a friend of his and he acted as normal and compliant as any boy I have ever had. Imho, his issues were a choice and situational. I escalated that to my Sr Pastor who told he would deal with the situation since his dad is a elder board member. His father also called me before the lock-in and flat-out said, "I'm prejudice against blacks" (referring to himself, he's a Swiss native) and to keep an eye on his son's friend who is black. That blew me away. The final straw was him spray painting a boy's khaki shirt. I was lucky he didn't spray him directly.

Second, was a boy with extreme behavioral issues resulting in bullying and anger management. During a practice for parade using pvc pipe in place of a flag post a cmdr was drilling the boys in prep for Memorial day march. The cmdr walked away for a split second and he was swinging the pipe at another boy. The other boy ended up with 3 obvious bruises on front, top, and back of his head. He remains in youth group. Yet, he was angry at the other boy who had done him no obvious harm to his person. His dad is divorced from his mom.

In my view both boys have major issues from lack of good dads providing love and discipline.

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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by Claymore on November 8th 2013, 12:32 am

Bruce,

We have a 3 strikes rule, but it is much softer, & was initiated by my former Assistant Commander (a former Marine).

I have told this story before, but the others will have to bear with it.........

At Roll Call, we issue each of the boys a white Poker Chip with a number made with a Sharpie.  The number is also recorded next to the boy's name.

If the boy acts up (moderately severely & disruptively, or after being given guidance) his name is written on the white-board, and he is given a "strike", and he is informed why: Violation of a Point of the Ranger Code, FFI (Fail to Follow Instructions), etc.

I also tell the boys that I do not WANT to give out strikes, but those are the rules, and they are all informed of the rules.  By their behavior, they are MAKING me give them a "strike", which I do not wish to do.  (I never give a "strike" to prove a point.)

If he continues to act up (severely; not just too much sugar in his system), a second "strike is placed behind his name, and he is informed why.

If he still acts up (as above), he is informed that he has used his third "strike", and I take away his poker chip.

At the end of the meeting, all of the poker chips are put into a Cool Whip Bowl, I draw one, and the boy with the winning number gets to take a door prize from a box.  Most of the door prizes are toys, magnifying glasses, calculators, etc from the Dollar Store, but occasionally, I will get a buy of TSA Confiscated Knives from Ebay, or inexpensive Silva-Type Compasses, credit card survival knives, etc.

Of course, the boy with no chip in the drawing gets to watch with a long face.

In four years, I have confiscated only 1 chip (and that was for Fail to Follow Instructions, then "Swear-to-God" lieing about it during a campout).  

When that boy gets his first "strike", he gets really serious, really fast.

The kids love it, they police themselves, and sending a boy home with a Gag Hand-Buzzer or a set of Austin Powers Teeth is a good way for me to get Mom & Dad back for sending me a kid who has had 2 Snickers Bars & a Mountain Dew for Supper.

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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by ccm2361 on November 8th 2013, 1:41 pm

 We use a 3 strikes rule as well.
If we need to talk to a Ranger about their behavior, their name is written on the white board.
the third time we have to talk to a ranger about their behavior, they go upstairs to sit with parents for the rest of the night. They can come back the next week with a clean slate.
But we also hit em where it hurts. If a Rangers name appears on the board 2 weeks in a row, they sit out on games on their next meeting. Of course I pick that rangers favorite game that week wasnt me Having to sit & watch others play your favorite game is a very effective motivator

I have not sent anyone upstairs yet in 2013
No one has had to sit out on games yet this year either.

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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by sreidelberger on November 9th 2013, 1:47 am

We used to have a three strikes policy. But I have not used it in years. It went something like: strike 1 verbal warning. strike 2 sit out during the activity or game. strike 3 you were suspended for the next meeting, come back the week after and try again.

I've been blessed in that a verbal is usually all it takes. But I have a feeling that's about to change. I've got an 11 year old that is going to be a real handful in another year or two. He's got "ADHD" and thinks its an excuse to act up. My DR cmdr got on to him for acting up during bible study, the boy looked him right in the face and said: "Its not my fault. I have ADD." Gee, I wonder where he came up with that one... maybe from mommy when she was talking to the teacher about him not behaving in school????? It's important we remember where these kids are coming from and what they are going home to.

Since this outpost was re-activated in 1992, there have been 3 boys sent away and told not to come back (2 by the original Sr Cmdr and 1 by me). All three were a constant behavior problem that was manageable until they attempted to physically harm another boy. I don't think that's too bad of an average considering the number (ALOT) of boys that have come through here over the years.

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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by RRCmdrBennett on November 9th 2013, 8:27 am

As a ministry with generally unpaid and formally untrained volunteers we're not equipped to handle the extreme cases. Some boys need specialized care that beyond Royal Rangers can offer. I can't allow physical altercations to take the whole ship down.

I think what you mentioned about the ADD label being a get out of behaviour card is true. Attach a psychological label and kids will play that card forever. Whats worse is some parents fail to inform leaders of issues like this beforehand. I do believe ADD is real for a smaller number but I think our teachers are ready to slap labels on kids especially boys in order to medicate them into compliant sheep they can handle. Not every hyperactive kid or issue is some kind of wacked brain chemistry. One of my teachers wanted me on ritalin and I'm pretty mellow and easy going even from childhood. No one else agreed with her and I heard she was upset. Come now we find evidence that Ritalin can cause neurological damage. Imagine that giving a mind altering drug to a kid whose brain is still developing and seei damage occur.

The one elder's son Peter was definitely a case of a dad who thought a label was an excuse for bad behaviour. I was very much worrying about Peter during that lock-in but he was better than ever there than in a classroom. It proved he had a choice to do otherwise or he could fight it.

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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by strods on November 9th 2013, 10:00 pm

We've been on all sides of that issue. In my early days we actually issued pushups. Rangers develops, spiritual, socially, mentally, and physically right? Well when we could it worked fine and the elder boys who went through that sure have bonded.

But a few years ago they had an across the board Preschool thru Grad policy adjustment on everything from proper diaper changing policy to disaster planning to sleeping arrangements in a hotel room for youth trips.
In in was a line about "no physical discipline shall be used". Pastor actually said, "Tom, I know what you've been doing, I know why you've been doing it, and I personally don't have a problem. But we should probably steer away from that now." And we went to a 3 strikes that means strike 1 goes to the group commander, strike 2 goes to Sr Cmdr (me), and strike 3, they go sit with the parent.
But that is hard to do when there is no parent in the church. The problem kids we had, would be dropped off, mom/dad go somewhere, and pick up. Now, those parent's would get a report of Billy's behavior, but that still doesn't help in class.

So this fall I finally stumbled upon something when I was remembering my first night in the Air Force, formation. Standing at attention. When the boys get out of line, we fall in. Attention for 1 minute, then that increases for violations. It is a lesson to the boys in self control. Do they control their bodies, or does their body control them. If self control isn't biblical trait to teach, I don't know what is.

But what is the parental complaint going to me. "Pastor, that Commander made my son stand straight, tall, and quiet for 5 minutes."
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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by joecool on November 10th 2013, 6:14 pm

Before I got involved in RR, I was a leader for something called US Naval Sea Cadet Corps. At one 2-week "boot camp", there were a couple of clowns who craved being punished. Anything for attention. Sometimes that's what's going on. For some boys, they've learned at home that negative attention is better than no attention. It takes awhile for them to come around.

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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by Claymore on November 10th 2013, 9:26 pm

strods wrote:We've been on all sides of that issue. In my early days we actually issued pushups. ..............

So this fall I finally stumbled upon something when I was remembering my first night in the Air Force, formation. Standing at attention. When the boys get out of line, we fall in. Attention for 1 minute, then that increases for violations. It is a lesson to the boys in self control. Do they control their bodies, or does their body control them. If self control isn't biblical trait to teach, I don't know what is.

But what is the parental complaint going to me. "Pastor, that Commander made my son stand straight, tall, and quiet for 5 minutes."
When I first got my Rangers in Milwaukee, the Senior Guide had them doing Push-Ups for discipline (I think that it came from one of the Junior Leadership Training Courses).

Having known the reputation that Push-Ups have for being cruel punishment, I directed that there would be "No More Push-Ups as a Motivator or Punishment".

Instead.....

We did "Flutter-Kicks". (Doesn't that sound nice? What mother could have a problem with "Flutter-Kicks"?).

4-Count "Flutter-Kicks", Fifteen Repetitions. I'm sure that JoeCool can fill you in on the details.

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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by joecool on November 10th 2013, 9:45 pm

Flutter-kicks with or without the hands under the small of the back? (the difference between pain or agony)

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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by Claymore on November 10th 2013, 10:18 pm

Modified Position of Attention:

Hands at your side, feet 4 to 6 inches above the ground.


"IN-CADENCE............EXCERCISE"

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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by RRCmdrBennett on November 11th 2013, 8:15 am

I'm imagining something like the Russians who dance while kicking their legs out back and forth. I do like the idea of standing at attn for a min for each violation.

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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by Claymore on November 11th 2013, 2:18 pm

"Flutter Kicks"

Lay flat on your back.  Hands at your side (or in the small of your back).  Both feet raised, so that your heels are 4 to 6 inches above the ground.  

Upon each count "ONE", raise the right foot up so that the heel is approximately 10 inches higher than the toe of the left foot.  

Upon count "TWO", reverse positions of the feet, so that the heel of the left foot is aproximately 10 inches higher than the toe of the right foot.

Upon count "THREE", reverse positions of the feet (as in the position of count "One").

Upon count "FOUR, reverse positions of the feet (as in the position of count "Two").

That is one "Repetition" of the exercise.

It is a Four-Count Exercise, performed at a "Moderate" Cadence (80 counts per minute).

It is supposed to mimic the leg actions of a diver wearing fins.

"Flutter Kicks" is a present that our guys brought back from SCUBA School.

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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by joecool on November 22nd 2013, 4:50 pm

Guys, pray for my wife and I not to publicly react in a negative way . The new Family Life pastor has scheduled a children's ministry worker dinner tonight. He's going to tell everyone what changes on Jan 1st. The senior pastor had an impromptu meeting with me earlier this week. He didn't tip his hand, but his hypothetical questions and the overall conversation didn't leave me with a warm and fuzzy feeling. In fact, at one point I had to say, "A person who is appointed to be the new senior commander can't be the same guy who is canceling Rangers 5 months later." He also wanted to discuss Missionettes, but I told him to talk to my wife. He never did.

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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by Claymore on November 22nd 2013, 8:55 pm

Please keep us updated.

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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by Phillip Gross on November 22nd 2013, 10:25 pm

Will be praying for you guys.
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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by joecool on November 22nd 2013, 11:07 pm

Okay, we're back from the dinner. Before sitting down to eat, I saw the Family Life pastor's wife and my wife hugging. She had apologized for taking over as Missionette coordinator. But it's still happening.

Senior pastor started off with a variety of comments, none of which put my mind at ease. Then the FL pastor talked for a very long time, saying little about Jan 1st. He ended with a public apology for not communicating well with us, then took questions. He was very non-committal on existing programs, claiming ignorance with some of them. Not encouraging.

The possible nail in the coffin? Being on the committee for developing next year's budget, I saw his request. Zero dollars on the Ranger and M'nette line items. All the money in a generic children's line item. He'd better share his decisions soon. If it all goes away, we'll gracefully bow out. But we're too old to learn new tricks/work in the replacement program. A combined 70 year's experience isn't down the drain, though. Lots to look back on. The Lord was good to our boys and girls.

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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by Phillip Gross on November 22nd 2013, 11:24 pm

Hmmmm. Well I'll keep you guys in prayer on all of this that His will be done
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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by RRCmdrBennett on November 23rd 2013, 9:56 am

We have individual budgets for each program. Sounds like it will be easier to "steal" $ from individual programs when its all lumped into one budget.

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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by ccm2361 on November 23rd 2013, 11:57 am

We will be praying for you & your outpost.

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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by Mark Jones on November 23rd 2013, 12:59 pm


Joe. I left a church that did exactly as you have described. It was a good move for me. They have been struggling over there for 8 years now. With out a Pastor with a heart for RR that is Key to the program you will experience a lot of heart ache and frustration.

One mega church dropped RR. Our national commander attended there. He changed churches. More unsaved folks attend the mega church but it's as the Bible says it will happen. Not many in todays society will stand for light and truth. They bust hell wide open with people pleaser pastors. I am glad I won't be witnessing God judging these pastors with there worldly flings. It's a hard to loose a footing in a church YET move on and let God work on them and bless you where you go.

I tried pushing from the bottom up. That is very very very frustrating. God is a great God and HE blesses us even in the shake ups.

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joecool wrote:Okay, we're back from the dinner. Before sitting down to eat, I saw the Family Life pastor's wife and my wife hugging. She had apologized for taking over as Missionette coordinator. But it's still happening.

Senior pastor started off with a variety of comments, none of which put my mind at ease. Then the FL pastor talked for a very long time, saying little about Jan 1st. He ended with a public apology for not communicating well with us, then took questions. He was very non-committal on existing programs, claiming ignorance with some of them. Not encouraging.

The possible nail in the coffin? Being on the committee for developing next year's budget, I saw his request. Zero dollars on the Ranger and M'nette line items. All the money in a generic children's line item. He'd better share his decisions soon. If it all goes away, we'll gracefully bow out. But we're too old to learn new tricks/work in the replacement program. A combined 70 year's experience isn't down the drain, though. Lots to look back on. The Lord was good to our boys and girls.
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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by Claymore on November 23rd 2013, 1:41 pm

Since I am not in total Lockstep with the Dogma of my Church, the thing keeping me (and my money) in this church is the Ranger Program.  It's really not that I am so great at running Rangers, nor that I couldn't live without it, but if I'm not there to do it, it would not get done.

So if the Pastor shut down the program, there would be nothing to keep me here.

I think that, before I left, I would point out to our Pastor that, if my wife & I left, it would cost the Church about $7,000.00 per year.  That kind of money could finance a lot of kids' programs.  That would not be a threat, just a consequence for him to consider.  He is the one with the ability to fix it, before it is broken.

Some pastors can be "Penny Wise & Pound Foolish".

Consequently, the Ranger Leader's Manual states that the most important thing for success of an Outpost is the Support of the Pastor.

Now, if you are in total Love and Accordance with your church, that may be another matter..........

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Re: Breaking in the new guy

Post by joecool on November 23rd 2013, 6:03 pm

Even if RR goes away, I won't be leaving. Besides, the next nearest outpost is 60 miles away. I'm a deacon at my church, and have a covenant relationship, not a contract one. Heard that explained in a sermon once. Kind of similar to a couple needing to avoid divorce just because there was one bad argument. That's not to say we've never left a church. But it was never easy and always a heart-breaker.

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Re: Breaking in the new guy

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