Re: Troop money
David Grima (dgrima@COURIERPUB.COM)
Tue, 9 Dec 1997 12:27:55 -0400
In the postings about the SM who took money there have been remarks about
this story reaching the local press and causing bad publicity. I am
Cubmaster in Rockland, Maine, and also a reporter for the local newspaper,
so here are a few observations.
Reporters usually pick up a story if it is reported to the local police, or
if the district attorney files charges in court. They might also hear
something on the grapevine, but will not print anything unless they can get
official confirmation. Nevertheless, a good reporter will seek official
confirmation, and local Scouters might be called and asked to talk. If you
talk, knoiwing you are talking to a reporter, you can be quoted. Do not
imagine you can end a conversation by saying "Of course, this is not for
print." That does not work. In all fairness, a reporter who identifies him
or herself as such is entitled to print what you say if you are belived to
That is why such things really ought to be handed immediately to Scout
professionals, and not handled by volunteers. It is indeed exactly the same
procedure as for suspicion of child abuse, for god reasons.
On the other hand, not to take action means a time bomb is waiting for you,
and might blow up at any time. Remember, you do not own or control this
situation. You cannot decide if it will or will not be made public. Things
are often made public even though you might want them kept secret. When
this happens, and it is shown that you were part of a cover up, then you
might also become legitimate news fodder. You are equally guilty. You have
also cast disrepute on the name of the BSA and your local unit, because you
also acted wrongly in covering up that which should have been taken care
So take care of it. Report it to a professional in writing, and keep a copy
of the correspondence. Then nobody can point a finger at the local unit.
Think about it; why do anything less than abide by the code we teach the
Scouts? A Scout is trustworthy. If he is not, the answer is obvious. A
Scout is to be morally straight. It is not morally straight to steal funds,
nor is it morally straight to hide the fact it has happened.
So many times questions are posted on this list that can easily answered of
we think of the Scout oath and promise. You know, these are not just cute
little things we make the boys learn like parrots.
I wish upon those who are dealing with this problem good judgement, and
hope they get the support from their DE they deserve.
Pine Tree Council
>Don White wrote:
>>> A friend confided in
>me that they have caught their Scoutmaster "borrowing" money from
>bank account. He said that the Troop committee is real hesitant to
>remove Scoutmaster as they feel it will be almost impossible to
>IMHO, the scoutmaster should be removed.
>The SM should be a role model for the youth in the troop. What
>message will we send to the boys if it seems that we "condone"
>theft (in my experience, it is impossible to keep something
>like this from the boys - they will find out, and it will spread
>through the troop like a wildfire)?
>I'm not so sure that I would push for prosecution. This would
>depend on the facts of the case. How much was taken? Has it
>been returned? Was this a one time weakness or a long-standing
>Also, I would make sure to discuss this with the council no
>matter what. They do not need to be blindsided by a reporter
>asking for comments about "That SM who stole from the scouts".
>Joseph A. Alessi in Ozwin 2.14
>District Advancement Chair, Lafayette District
>ASM Troop 313
>Advisor to the Treasurer, Unami Lodge
>I used to be an Owl
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City