Behavior Away from Home
Milt Forsberg (miltf@UX1.CSO.UIUC.EDU)
Tue, 31 Jan 1995 10:32:57 -0600
I am really concerned about behavior of some Scout units while they
travel. I have encountered several indications of poor behavior and
vandalism by Scouts while they are guests. Comments on prevention and
any other ideas are appreciated. What can we do to stop it?
Some of my experiences... Wright-Patterson Air Force Base sent a note to
all Scout Offices nearby (200-300 mile radius) a couple of years ago
indicating vandalism will not be tolerated. They caught 2 Scouts
attempting to remove parts from planes in the museum. One had a
screwdriver and was trying to take a part from a plane while the other
had a knife and was going to cut out part of a fabric plane. The letter
was quite strong, stating further acts would ban all Scouts from museum
visits. At present, groups must check in with the museum upon arrival
and are informed to keep the group together and under control.
The Army National Guard Armory in Murray, KY has banned Scouts from
staying there. I spoke with the person in charge a couple of years ago,
and he told me that he had too much trouble. One group was so rowdy that
he was called by neighbors to quiet the group at 3 a.m. Another group
ripped the shower heads from the walls.
I understand that Isle Royale National Park has banned Scouts. My troop
used to go there every Summer, but several years ago, we stopped because
of the poor attitude toward Scouts. I even got up and quieted a troop at
midnight when the boys were throwing firecrackers at each other. There
were many, many comments in the guest logs at the park "get rid of the
Scouts", "Too many Scouts", etc.
My latest is at Ft. McCoy, WI. They take groups overnight at no charge
and very little charge for eating in the dining facility. We have
received a note in the past indicating that some units have not kept
their boys under control with a warning that future problems will result
in being banned from that location. Just a week ago, we received another
note as we checked in, indicating that there has been considerable
vandalism in the rest room of the new dining facility (spraying soap on
the walls, throwing paper towels all over, removing soap dispenser knobs,
etc.). This also had a strong warning with it.
I am concerned because, not only are these places becoming unavailable to
us, but it is giving people outside the Scouting Prgram a bad picture of
what we should be. My troop has travelled the Midwest for over 25
years. We always instruct our members on behavior and we supervise them
to be sure the behavior is maintained. What is happening to control of
some of the other units out there? Where are the leaders when this is
happening? What can we do collectively to curb these problems? I wonder
if there is anything which can be put into the training process on
etiquette, behavior, and supervision. This should be more of a common
sense item, but we appear to lack something in this area.
(Please don't copy this entire posting when commenting - save space)
Scoutmaster, Troop 7
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City