Re: Utilizing a resource/drugs and drinking
Ted Burton (tedbrtn@CYBERHIGHWAY.NET)
Sat, 3 Feb 1996 18:04:50 -0700
At 13:11 2.01.1996, Vince Scanio wrote:
>Let's say someone with children about the age of your teenagers just
>told you that a number of boys in your troop have been using
>marijuana or drinking beer at non-Scouting "social events."
There is no simple answer, and all advice is wrong, including this advice.
You have just discovered a possibility, even probability, but not
certainty, that some of your Scouts have violated the Scout Oath they took
to obey the Scout Law which contains the word Obedient which is defined to
include obeying even the laws we disagree with, while working peacfully to
change them; and have violated the Mentally Awake and Morally Straight.
This is a matter which should be brought to the attention of the Council
office at the executive level (CE, SDE), that they may know, and for
whatever guidance they may have for you.
>Let's suppose you were also told that the father of one of the boys
>knew his sophomore son was having a keg party in the country, didn't
>stop it, but was good enough to warn the kids not to drive drunk.
>Let's suppose that same dad is a registered adult with the troop.
We have a father who condones the breaking of the law by his own son who as
a sophomore is at most 16, and 5 years short of the legal age for drinking.
It is a difficult thing for a father, of course, who must be flattered his
son trusts him enough to tell him; putting Dad on the horns of a dilemma.
You will want to check Council policy. You will need to visit with Dad,
with company, to make sure he understands that that cannot be tolerated
within the Troop, and that if he is going to condone illegal activities by
youth he is not going to be a good role model. This is extraordinarily
>Some possibilities: do nothing and hope
>no "pollution" of the other Scouts takes place;
Not an option. If the stuff is around the school, and unless you are on
Mars, it is around the school, every student has access to it and is aware
of that fact; some combination of the code of silence or fear of the
sources assures silence. If you do nothing, the boys who are aware you are
aware and did nothing will have it in their tents at your campouts one of
these days, thinking that you will continue to look the other way.
>confront the Scouts at a Scoutmaster's conference;
See below about starting with your PLC. After that, I am afraid conferences
are in order, and not alone. The guilty must be brought up short to
consider the Oath and the Law and how much, when temptation is at hand, the
Oath and the Law mean to them.Your PLC may have given you moral support in
these conferences by approving a quiver full of remedies.
>have a talk with the parents;
Be careful. You are dealing with hearsay. Be forwarned that they may be
unaware or in denial. You may also have parents who themselves abuse
alcohol or controlled substances.
>have a discussion at a troop meeting;
Start with your PLC; they may surprise you with their wisdom and good sense
on this topic. If the membership of the PLC includes anyone accused, or who
should have been, forwarn them and see if they feel they can participate or
not. If it concerns your SPL, see if he wishes to resign. Some of these
kids are looking for a way to say no to peer pressure. Some will lie
through their teeth about the topic, and some will regard this as their
>promulgate troop committee policy
>statements on use and possession of drugs and alcohol at Scout
>functions (and elsewhere?) and the consequences.
Start with your PLC again. If they are the source of rules they will be
taken more seriously than adult rules.o Committee rules would be redundant,
as National policy is clear. Kid rules would be useful. Kid sanctions would
be very effective.
who is netAddressed as: firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City