speaking of homesickness...............
Greg Stewart (Greg33@AOL.COM)
Wed, 25 Jun 1997 13:26:33 -0400
All this homesickness talk brings to my memory an unfortunate incident that
took place many years ago.......early in my SM career.
On the third day of a 50-miler, one of the older (17-year-old....almost eagle
scout) boys asked to go home. He said he had a bad feeling about the trip
and felt he was in some sort of danger. He had expressed these similar
concerns the day before we had left and I had talked him into going anyway.
He demanded to be taken home immediately. At the time, we were at the sight
of some cliffs, waiting for the local volunteer police/fire department to
take us rapelling. We had close to 20 boys in the group. I was real nervous
about the boys and the cliffs and did not want to deal with this older boy
right then. I told him we would talk about it later. He became quite upset.
I ignored him.
After 30 minutes or so, still no rapelling crew had shown up, so I went to
find a phone. Upon returning, just down the road from the cliffs, we run
into this boy, pack on his back, hiking down the road. I stop the van and
ask him to get in. He lets loose with a ton of expletives, says he is hiking
out, and threatens to do me physical harm if I get out of the van. He is
angry and larger than me. What would you do????
Everyone has their opinion. I drove back to the troop. A deputy had arrived
at that time to tell us the rapelling crew would not show due to an
emergency. I told him about the AWOL scout. He asked how old he was, if he
had food, water, camping experience, then told me "he will be alright". A
Junior ASM volunteered to go find a phone again and advise the boy's parents.
All he got was the good old answering machine. He left a message to the
effect that their son had left the group on his own and was between point x
and x on the highway.
The boy did hitch a ride to a nearby town and was subsequently picked up by
his parents. Over the next few months he switched to a new troop, his folks
threatened to sue me, the troop, the chartering church, etc. When I
approached his dad, he threatened to punch me. The chartering church and
council conducted an in-depth investigation (separately) and basically let
the thing drop. No suits were filed. The boy became an eagle.
Knowing what I know now, I would have done things differently. How would YOU
have handled this situation??
greg SM troop 207 Chattaroy, WA
..........used to be a beaver...............
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City