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By:    On: 2012-12-08

Submitted by Raymond Gray

Way back in January, I offered a suggestion for breaking adult leaders of the habit of undermining youth leaders. The idea was to create a variation of a cuss jar, charging a fine of 25� (or whatever the market will bear) for each infraction. Proceeds would go toward a pizza party for the patrol leaders’ council.

Raymond Gray from Austin suggested an alternative, which a troop in his area uses. The troop keeps a supply of ordinary clothespins on hand, and each time an adult interferes with a Scout’s job, someone attaches a clothespin to the adult’s uniform. (I’m assuming another adult does this, and I’m assuming it’s done in a spirit of good fun.)

As Raymond said, “It only takes an occurrence or two to slow even the most vocal adults in the group down a bit.”

This idea wouldn’t work in every troop, and a few people would doubtless get their feelings hurt. But if you’re in a troop where everyone’s trying to do the right thing, it might be worth a try. For $5 or $6, you can buy 100 clothespins, which I hope would be more than enough!


Republished with permission of Mark Ray at

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