Drinking, Drugs and Girls, Part 2
LINDA K CLOSSEN (ZXRA59A@PRODIGY.COM)
Wed, 14 May 1997 20:58:47 -0500
First off, thanks to all of you who took the time to give me advice
in regard to this problem of mine. To refresh your memory, I have a
Scout who is drinking, smoking, drugging and indulging in women at 13.
I needed advice about how to handle the situation. After weighing
all of your suggestions, and words of wisdom this is what I did.
I spoke with the leadership of the Troop, both adults and Scouts to
see what they knew. After collecting the information, I wrote a
letter to the Scout and his parents requesting a formal Scoutmaster
Conference and Board of Review. His mom called after receiving the
letter and told me she had spoken to her son and that he admitted to
doing everything, but showed no remorse for his actions.
Last night was the night. The Scout and his mom showed up 20 minutes
late and he had an attitude when he walked in the door. I asked all
of my Assistant Scoutmasters to be in attendance. Two of the four
were able to be there. (One sick, one death in the family)
I started the meeting by explaining that this was an official
Scoutmasters Conference. I assured him that we were not there to
roast him, but to get to the bottom of a severe problem. Then I asked
the following questions.
Why did you want to be a Scout?
Do you want to continue as a Scout?
Why or why not?
Do you want to continue as a Scout in this Troop?
Why or why not?
What is the Scout Law?
What does it mean to you?
What is the Scout Oath?
What does it mean to you?
Do you understand the meaning of "Living the Scout Oath and Law in
your every day life?"
Explain it to me. What does it mean?
Do you feel that you personally live the Scout Oath and Law in your
Did you understand the Troop 135 Code of Conduct when you read it?
Did you understand the Troop 135 Code of Conduct when you signed it?
Did anyone force you to sign it?
Did you sign it of your own free will?
I would like to read you the 6th point of the Code of Conduct.
(No alcohol, chewing tobacco, smoking tobacco, smoking of any
substance, inhalants or illegal drugs allowed at anytime. Possession
of any of these items will constitute immediate discharge from Troop.
Do you understand the meaning of the 6th point of the Code of Conduct?
Explain what you think it means.
Do you understand the part that says "No alcohol, chewing tobacco,
smoking tobacco, smoking of any substance, inhalants or illegal drugs
allowed at anytime"?
What do you think that anytime means?
Do you understand the part that says, "Possession of any of these
items will constitute immediate discharge from Troop."
What does that mean?
Do you understand the part that says, "....No exceptions"?
What does it mean?
Do you believe that you have lived up to this point of the Scout Law?
What do you think should happen now?
95% of the time, the answer was "I don't know" or "Yes, I
As a committee, we had decided before hand that we would give this
boy the opportunity to change his life and remain a member of the
Troop if that was his choice. We all agreed that everyone deserves a
When he was asked why he felt the need to indulge in these past-times,
he said that when someone asked him to do it, he just did.
When given the opportunity to comment, one Assistant Scoutmaster made
it clear that as the Scouts neighbor, he had some serious conflicts
with having his own son hang around with the Scout in question and
The second Scoutmaster commented that if the Scout in question
decided to return to the Troop, and if she found out that the habits
continued, she would have no second thoughts about immediately
calling the police.
As the Scoutmaster, I commented that I as a responsible adult, would
like to help him in any way I could, but had no second thoughts about
calling in the authorities if a second occurance was evident in or
out of Scouting.
Mom said very little throughout the whole meeting. She turned pale,
and rocked back and forth.
In conclusion of the meeting, I spoke to the Scout about his Scouting
record and that I felt he had been a good Scout up until the time he
made these bad decisions.
I told him that he was the only one who could make the choice of how
his life would go on from this moment on. I asked him to contact me
before the next meeting on the 20th and give me his answer.
I shook his hand and he left.
About three seconds later, my Venture Crew Chief came in and was
quite upset. He wanted to know what happened in the meeting because
the Scout flew through the outside doors ripping off his Scout
uniform as though he was the "Incredible Hulk". Holy Moley!!
So, I make no apologies or excuses for my actions. I worked from our
Troop Code of Conduct, the Scoutmaster Handbook, and the Ethics in
Action training booklet. I take full responsibility for the meeting
and every word I said.
Let the review of my actions begin......
Yours in Scouting,
Scoutmaster, Linda K. Clossen
Gerald R. Ford Council
Grand Rapids, Michigan
...I used to be sane...
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City