STPA

Ignoring a Negative Stimulus

The adolescent shows no observable negative response to any verbal or nonverbal behavior, from 

another adolescent or child, that would typically elicit annoyance or distress from the recipient. 

This includes, but is not limited to, any behavior directed toward the adolescent that meets the 

criteria for Intentional Aggression, Unintentional Aggression, Intentional Destruction of 

Property, Unintentional Destruction of Property, Stealing, Lying, Teasing, Interruption, or 

Complaining. 

 

Notes: (1) Ignoring contact that occurs as a function of appropriate game play does not meet 

criteria for Ignoring a Negative Stimulus. (2) If an adolescent directs a behavior toward multiple 

adolescents, counselors should evaluate Ignoring a Negative Stimulus for each intended 

Compliance

 

The adolescent exhibits within ten seconds or within a time specified by the staff member a 

behavior that has been specified in a command issued by a staff member, or ceases to exhibit for 

at least ten seconds a behavior the cessation of which has been specified in a command issued by 

a staff member. 

 

Notes: (1) Counselors should evaluate Compliance for commands directed toward an individual 

adolescent and commands directed toward a group of adolescents. (2) If the adolescent makes a 

reasonable and appropriate effort to comply with a command but does not finish within ten 

seconds, counselors should award points for Compliance when the child completes the task. 

 

Helping a Peer

The adolescent voluntarily provides to a peer assistance or aid that (1) is relevant to the ongoing 

activity; (2) is offered in a manner that does not disrupt the ongoing activity or meet the criteria 

for any negative behavior category; and (3) is accepted. 

 

Note: Counselors should not award points for Helping when an adolescent exhibits a behavior 

that is a necessary component of a game (e.g., passing to a team member). 

 

Sharing with a Peer

The adolescent voluntarily provides to a peer possessions, privileges, or materials that are 

personal or temporarily assigned to the adolescent, that (1) are relevant to the ongoing activity; 

(2) are offered in a manner that does not disrupt the ongoing activity or meet the criteria for any 

negative behavior category, and (3) are accepted. 

 

Note: Counselors should not award points for Sharing when an adolescent exhibits a behavior 

that is a necessary component of a game.

 

Contributing to a Group Discussion

The adolescent verbally provides a task-related, nonredundant statement to a group discussion. 

Contributions may be prompted by a staff member but may not meet the criteria for any 

negative verbal category. A nonredundant statement is one that has not been provided 

previously in the same discussion. A task-related statement must be relevant to the group 

discussion and be substantive in nature. 

 

Notes: (1) Contributing to a Group Discussion takes precedence over Helping. (2) Counselors 

should award points for Contributing to a Group Discussion one time for each statement, 

regardless of the number of sentences used or the number of ideas expressed. (3) Counselors 

must announce that group discussion rules are in effect before giving credit for Contributing. 

 

Violating Activity Rules 

 

Verbal Feedback 

 

 

The adolescent violates rules specific to a particular activity. There are five activities that have 

specific rules (1) Group Discussions, (2) Transitions, (3) Lunch, (4) Swimming, and (5) Free Time. 

 

Poor Sportsmanship

Verbal Feedback 

 

 

The adolescent, during a game or skill drill period, (1) does not actively participate in the game 

or skill drill; (2) inappropriately plays another person’s position or hogs the ball; (3) speaks with 

excessive pride (brags or boasts) about individual, peer, or team performance; (4) complains 

about the game situation or about individual, peer, or team performance; (5) cheats or attempts 

to cheat; (6) refuses to share equipment; or (7) uses equipment inappropriately; (8) is called for 

Intentional Aggression, Lying, Verbal Abuse to Staff, Teasing, or Cursing. 

 

Notes: (1) Poor Sportsmanship is evaluated only during recreation periods. Counselors should 

not evaluate Poor Sportsmanship when adolescents play games at other times during the day 

(e.g., Swimming). (2) Behaviors exhibited while an adolescent is serving a sit out do not meet 

criteria for Poor Sportsmanship. 

 

Intentional Aggression

Verbal Feedback 

Drop to Level 3

 

The adolescent apparently intentionally performs a physical behavior that (1) would typically 

produce pain or injury to another, or (2) intrudes on another by inappropriately restricting 

freedom of movement. Intent to perform the behavior is determined by the staff member who 

observed the behavior. 

 

Notes: (1) Counselors must inform the adolescent of their immediate demotion to Level 3 

following Intentional Aggression. (2) Many behaviors that occur during sports activities meet the 

definition of Intentional Aggression; however, when these behaviors occur as a function of 

appropriate game play, counselors should not penalize the adolescent for Intentional Aggression 

unless the counselor who observes the behavior determines that the adolescent’s intent was to 

produce pain or injury and not to perform a behavior that is a necessary component of the game. 

 

Unintentional Aggression


 

Verbal Feedback 

Solicit an Apology

 

The adolescent apparently unintentionally performs a physical behavior that (1) would typically 

produce pain or injury to another, or (2) intrudes on another by inappropriately restricting 

freedom of movement. Unintentional behaviors are those that appear to be the result of such 

things as clumsiness, lack of skill, or inattention. Intent to perform the behavior is determined 

by the staff member who observed the behavior. 

 

Notes: Many behaviors that occur during sports activities meet the definition of Unintentional 

Aggression; however, when these behaviors occur as a function of appropriate game play, 

counselors should not classify the behavior as Unintentional Aggression. 

 

Intentional Destruction Of Property

 Verbal Feedback 

Drop to Level 3 

Group Reparation Discussiond

 

The adolescent apparently intentionally performs a physical behavior that (1) destroys an object, 

(2) damages an object, defaces an objects surface, or otherwise alters the object such that its 

value or usefulness is substantially impaired or substantially reduced at least temporarily, or (3) 

would typically meet criterion 1 or 2. Intent to perform the behavior is determined by the staff 

member who observed the behavior. 

 

Notes: (1) Counselors must inform the adolescent of their immediate demotion to Level 3 

following Intentional Destruction of Property. (2) Intentionally using materials inappropriately 

meets criteria for Intentional Destruction of Property if the materials would typically be or are 

destroyed or damaged in the process. (3) Appropriately disposing of trash, throwing or dropping 

an object that would not typically break if thrown or dropped, or throwing an object to a place 

where it is easily retrievable do not meet criteria for Intentional Destruction of Property unless 

the object is destroyed or damaged in the process. (4) Damage resulting from natural 

deterioration of an object that is being used appropriately does not meet criteria for Intentional 

Destruction of Property. (5) Behavior should be classified as Intentional Destruction of Property 

regardless of the ownership of the object. (6) Reparation for Intentional Destruction of Property 

is determined by a group reparation discussion. 

 

Unintentional Destruction Of Property

 Verbal Feedback 

Individual Reparation Discussion

 

The adolescent apparently unintentionally performs a physical behavior that (1) destroys an 

object, (2) damages an object, defaces an object’s surface, or otherwise alters the object such that 

its value or usefulness is substantially impaired or substantially reduced at least temporarily, or 

(3) would typically meet criterion 1 or 2. Unintentional behaviors are those that appear to be the 

result of such things as clumsiness, lack of skill, or inattention. Intent to perform the behavior is 

determined by the staff member who observed the behavior. 

 

Notes: (1) Unintentionally using materials inappropriately does not meet criteria for 

Unintentional Destruction of Property unless the materials would typically be or are destroyed 

or damaged in the process. (2) Unintentionally throwing or dropping an object that would not 

typically break if thrown or dropped or throwing an object to a place where it is easily retrievable 

does not meet criteria for Unintentional Destruction of Property unless the object is destroyed or 

damaged in the process. (3) Damage resulting from natural deterioration of an object that is 

being used appropriately does not meet criteria for Unintentional Destruction of Property. (4) 

Behavior should be classified as Unintentional Destruction of Property regardless of the 

ownership of the object.

Noncompliance

Verbal Feedback 

Repeat Command

 

The adolescent does not emit within ten seconds or within a time specified by the staff member a 

behavior that has been specified in a command issued by a staff member, or does not cease to 

emit for at least ten seconds a behavior the cessation of which has been specified in a command 

issued by a staff member. 

 

Notes: (1) Counselors should evaluate noncompliance for commands directed toward an 

individual adolescents and commands directed toward a group of adolescents. (2) If the 

adolescent makes a reasonable and appropriate effort to comply with a command but does not 

finish within ten seconds, counselors should consider this behavior to be compliance. (3) After 

each occurrence of Noncompliance, the staff member who issued the original command should 

repeat the command and should reevaluate compliance. 

Repeated Noncompliance 

 

Verbal Feedback 

Drop to Level 3

 

The adolescent, when a command is repeated, does not meet the criteria for compliance. 

 

Notes: (1) Counselors must inform the adolescent of their immediate demotion to Level 3 

following Repeated Noncompliance. 

 

Leaving the Activity Area Without Permission

Verbal Feedback
Drop to Level 3
 
The adolescent apparently intentionally and without permission from a staff member travels 10 
or more feet beyond the designated activity area or enters an area specifically designated as off-limits. Intent to perform the behavior is determined by the staff member who observed the 
behavior.
 
Notes: (1) Counselors should review the standard activity area at the start of each activity. (2) 
Minor infractions are recorded as a rule violation (e.g., Stay with the Group, Remain in your 
Seat), when applicable. When reviewing activity areas, counselors should specify which 
behaviors will result in a rule violation (Stay in the Activity Area) and which will result in 
Leaving the Activity Area Without Permission. (3) Game boundaries are independent of activity 
areas. The rules of each sport define the game boundaries. (4) Counselors must inform the 
adolescent of their immediate demotion to Level 3 following Leaving the Activity Area Without 
Permission. 
 

Stealing

Verbal Feedback 

Group Reparation Discussion

 

The adolescent has possession of an object that belongs to another person without prior 

permission from the owner of the object or from a staff member. 

 

Notes: (1) The behavior does not meet criteria for Stealing if an adolescent temporarily 

possesses an object for an appropriate reason. (2) Counselors should penalize the adolescent for 

stealing when the behavior occurs or when the theft is discovered and responsibility is 

determined. (3) Reparation for Stealing is determined by a group reparation discussion. 

 

Lying

Verbal Feedback

 

The adolescent reports an event occurring in the program setting that is contradictory to what a 

staff member knows or suspects to be true. 

 

Notes: (1) Statements involving exaggeration, fantasy, imaginary games, jokes (good or bad), and 

misconceptions do not result in a penalty for Lying. (2) Lying takes precedence over Verbal 

Abuse, Name Calling/Teasing, Swearing, Interruption, and Complaining/Whining. 

 

Verbal Abuse to Staff

Verbal Feedback

 

The adolescent directs a negative communication toward one or more staff members who are 

identifiable as intended recipients and who can see or hear the negative communication. A 

negative communication consists of either (1) a derogatory name, or (2) any other behavior, 

verbal or nonverbal, that would typically elicit a clear behavioral indication of annoyance or 

distress from the intended recipient. 

 

Notes: (1) Societal norms regarding adult-adolescent interactions should be used to determine if 

a behavior would typically elicit annoyance or distress and should therefore be classified as 

Verbal Abuse, or if a behavior is only mildly annoying and should therefore be classified as 

Complaining/Whining. (2) Verbal Abuse takes precedence over Teasing, Cursing, Interruption, 

and Complaining/Whining. 

 

Teasing

Verbal Feedback

 

The adolescent directs a negative communication toward one or more peers who are identifiable 

as intended recipients and who can see or hear the negative communication. A negative 

communication consists of either (1) a derogatory name, or (2) any other behavior, verbal or 

nonverbal, that would typically elicit a clear behavioral indication of annoyance or distress from 

the intended recipient. 

 

Notes: (1) Societal norms regarding peer interactions should be used to determine if a behavior 

would typically elicit annoyance or distress and should therefore be classified as Teasing, or if a 

behavior is only mildly annoying and should therefore be classified as Complaining. (2) Name 

Calling/Teasing takes precedence over Cursing, Interruption, and Complaining. 

 

Cursing

Verbal Feedback

 

The adolescent exhibits any verbal or nonverbal behavior, regardless of tone or intensity, that 

would typically be regarded as profane, obscene, or offensive and that is not directed toward an 

individual who can see or hear it. 

 

Notes: (1) Societal norms should be used to determine if a behavior is profane, obscene, or 

offensive. (2) Cursing takes precedence over Interruption and Complaining. 

Interruption

Verbal Feedback

 

The adolescent exhibits any verbal or nonverbal behavior, with or without meaning, that 

intrudes into the activity or conversation of others. In a group setting (three or more people), 

behaviors are intrusive if they result in two or more people other than the adolescent engaging in 

behaviors for at least two seconds that are incompatible with the ongoing activity. In dyadic 

interactions, behaviors are intrusive if they occur at the same time another person is talking. 

 

Notes: (1) Counselors should not penalize adolescents for Interruption when behaviors occur as a 

result of physical injury (e.g., bee sting), warning the group of impending danger (e.g., rapidly 

approaching car), or any other true emergency (e.g., fire, earthquake, tornado). (2) Counselors 

should not penalize adolescents for Interruption when behaviors occur during a pause in the 

action of the ongoing activity (e.g., game, feedback sessions, or group discussion) unless the 

behaviors meet the above criteria. (3) Counselors should provide feedback for Interruption for 

behaviors that disrupt the group by causing the activity leader to stop or pause the activity. (4) 

Interruption takes precedence over Complaining. 

 

Complaining

Verbal Feedback

 

The adolescent exhibits any verbal or nonverbal behavior that inappropriately expresses 

discomfort, dissatisfaction, or resentment, through content, gesture, or tone of voice. 

 

Notes: (1) An appropriate expression of discomfort or dissatisfaction is one that would not 

typically be considered antagonistic in content, is not accompanied by unnecessary or negative 

gestures, and is made in a neutral tone of voice of normal pitch and intensity. (2) Behaviors that 

are mildly annoying (e.g., rolling eyes, shrugging in response to feedback) should result in a point 

loss for Complaining, not Verbal Abuse or Teasing 

 

Rule #1

Each action or sentence is evaluated separately as a 

single behavior. 

 

Rule #2

The context in which an adolescent exhibits a behavior is 

used to determine which, if any, category should be used to classify a behavior. 

 

Rule #3

Negative categories take presence over positive 

categories. 

 

Rule #4

When a single behavior is directed toward both peers and 

adults, adult-directed behavior categories takes precedence over peer-directed behavior 

categories. 

 

Rule #5

When a single behavior meets the criteria for more than one negative verbal category, only 

one negative verbal category should be used to classify the behavior, according to the 

Hierarchy of Negative Verbal Categories. 

 

Lying 

Verbal Abuse 

Teasing 

Cursing/Swearing 

Interruption 

Complaining 

 

Rule #6

When a single behavior meets the criteria for more than one negative physical category, the 

behavior should be classified using all applicable negative physical categories. 

 

Rule #7

When a single behavior meets the criteria for both a negative physical category and a 

negative verbal category, the behavior should be classified using both the negative physical 

category and the negative verbal category. 

 

Rule #8

When a single behavior meets the criteria for both Noncompliance or Repeated 

Noncompliance and any other negative behavior category, the behavior should be classified 

as both Noncompliance and the other negative behavior category. 

 

Rule #9

When a single behavior violates more than one activity rule, the behavior should be 

classified using all applicable rule violations. When a single behavior meets the criteria for both Violating Activity Rules and any other negative behavior category, the behavior should 

be classified as both Violating Activity Rules and the other negative category. 

 

Rule #10

When a single behavior violates more than one criterion for Poor Sportsmanship, the 

behavior should be classified as Poor Sportsmanship only one time. When a single behavior 

meets the criteria for both Poor Sportsmanship and any other negative behavior category, 

the behavior should be classified as both Poor Sportsmanship and the other negative 

behavior category. 

 

Rule #11

Ignoring a Negative Stimulus should be evaluated for every negative behavior category used 

to classify a behavior that is directed toward an adolescent. 

 

Group Discussions

1. Raise your hand before speaking. 

 2. Remain in your chosen seat.c

 3. Participate in the group discussion. 

 

Transitions

1. Be responsible for your belongings. 

2. Walk unless directed otherwise by a staff member. 

3. Use materials and possessions appropriately. 

4. Stay with the groupa 

5. Arrive on time and prepared for the next activity.

 

 

Lunch

1. Use good table manners. 

2. Throw away all trash appropriately and leave your area clean. 

3. Use materials and possessions appropriately. 

4. Wait for permission before beginning another activity. 

 

Free Time

1. Receive permission before beginning free time activities.. 

2. Be ready when called by counselor to receive feedbackb. 

3. Use materials and possessions appropriately. 

 

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