Re: Drinking, Drugs and Girls, Part 2
Ron Raab-Long (raablong@VOICENET.COM)
Thu, 15 May 1997 15:54:01 -0400
At 08:58 PM 5/14/97 -0500, you wrote:
<Well written verbiage deleted>
Our troop went through a very similar experience a few years ago. We had a
Scout that bragged about cheating on merit badge tests at the Naval Academy
Jamboree. Soon after he was arrested for B&E. It seemed that three
quarters of our time was spend dealing eith this one scout. Neither he, nor
his father, a registered SA, seemed to want to deal with the problem.
The kicker came when a contingent of other scouts asked permission to
address the committee. They complained that this scout was telling everyone
that we wouldn't do anything about his behaviour. We clearly needed to act.
The Scoutmaster arranged a meeeting with the parents, they said to do
whatever we thought best. Opun consulting with the DE, our commissioner,
and our Chartering Org. Rep, the CC drafted a letter to the Scout informing
him that he would not be allowed to participate in the troop for six months.
He was told that after the six month period he was welcome to come back and
explain what he had done to improve his behaviour.
Immediately his father blew up. Threatened to sue the Elks Lodge, the
Council, the CC and all leaders on on committee. A real nasty scene, but we
held our ground.
A few months later I got a call from the parent of a scout whom had dropped
out of the program just after the summer camp the year before. We had never
gotten a real answer why he dropped. This kid had been in scouts with me
since he was a Bobcat. Well, it turns out he had been in therapy for a
year. He had been sexually assaulted at Summer camp by the scout we had
just suspended. They had heard the bad seed was gone from the troop and he
now wanted to come back. So much for doing your homework and checking
references of adult volunteers.
We went through the proper procedures of informing the DE, much to the
victim's family discontent, but he couldn't do anything without their
Then, incredibly, a week before the six months was up, a Scoutmaster from
another troop approached me a a roundtable. He asked if I would look a few
Merit badge blue cards that were turned into him. All were Eagle badges.
There were two cards with my name as the counselor and one with the name of
one of our former SA's, who had been out of Scouting for several months.
The problem scout had given him the cards the week before. I hadn't seen
him since he was asked to leave the troop.
The following week his father showed up at our Committee Meeting, ready to
fight us. He claimed we discriminated against his Son, and the reason he
had to cheat on the exams was that he couldn't read. I calmly laid the
bogus blue cards in front of him and asked if he knew who forged my name on
them. He looked them over, announced that it was his son's writing, thanked
us for our time, then left. We haven't seen his son since. The last I
heard, rumor only, was that he was in prison in Oklahoma.
So, did you do right? Did we? You were at least able to confront the scout
face-to-face. We were never given that opportunity. It seems to me that
there comes a time that the good of the troop has to take presidence over
the individual scout. Sure, we want to hold on to all of them, but not at
the expense of the others.
I guess this is why the pay is so good for Scouters.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City