Re: BSA Chief Executive busted
Doug Roach (djroach@IX.NETCOM.COM)
Tue, 29 Apr 1997 10:01:01 -0400
The following may help shed light on the circumstances of the incident.
On Saturday morning last, our brand new South Florida Council Executive,
Jeff Herrmann, stopped by our District camporee to introduce himself to
the Scouts and Scouters there. (THANKS Quapaw Council in Little Rock, he
seems to be a gem!) Jeff excused himself from a conversation with a few
of us saying he had to go to the airport to pick up Jere Ratcliffe. He
said Jere was coming to Miami to attend the retirement dinner that night
for our former Executive, Ross McGill.
Jere was subsequently busted at MIA on Sunday morning at 10:30.
Statement from BSA said Jere states he had been on vacation to his cabin
and forgot the piece was in his carry-on bag.
I am presuming this to mean that Jere was at his cabin on an earlier
trip and didn't completely unpack his bag (I do this too) before loading
it up again for the flight to Miami, OR that he was at his cabin on an
earlier leg of the same trip. (Regardless, it begs the question, how did
he get the gun through the airport that he left from to get to Miami?
Are we the only place in the U.S. with competent airport security?)
Second question. Does attendance at a retirement party count as an
official Scout function or was the trip taken at personal expense to
honor an old friend? If the former, Jere seems clearly in violation of
Scout policy on travelling with firearms.
This whole incident will surely be a big topic of discussion at tonights
Troop meeting... at least among the adults. The boys may not know about
it since it did NOT appear to make any of the local TV news shows and
the newspaper article on Monday was on the front page of the local
section and NOT the sports page.
If the subject is raised among the boys, I think it will be a good
opportunity to discuss the occasional foibles and failings of adults
whom we expect the boys to look to for examples of leadership. The
lesson here is that a Scout must still exercise his best judgement
before choosing to emulate ANY action of an otherwise responsible adult.
I have a feeling they will just see it as a stupid mistake by an
otherwise good individual.
I am sure nobody is any sorrier than Jere Ratcliffe that this incident
happened. While this does not excuse his action, it will certainly cause
him to be more circumspect in his judgement in the future. A lesson
I think Jere needs to not consider himself above the law in Texas and
thus get the required permit to carry his weapon. (There is NOT, by the
way, reciprocity between Texas and Florida on concealed weapons
I also think Jere owes all Scouts and Scouters an apology.
SA Troop 10
South Florida Council
"Got to keep the loonies on the Path..."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City