WA Howland (WAHowland@AOL.COM)
Tue, 28 Apr 1998 09:40:20 EDT
<<major snip... kid who calls Mom who calls the police to a meeting after
another Scout offers him ersatz marijuana)....
My delimma is what to do about the Scout who called Mom. Should I thank
mom and go on or point out that the Troop Adult leadership should in my
opinion be notified before Police are called to a Troop meeting? I feel I
should make an announcement at the Troop meeting that "No Drugs were at
this meeting last week". The two patrol cars were still on the parking lot
when the meeting ended with the Police out of site of the Troop. Proably
half the adults there knew what the Police were doing. What do you folks
think? We have a DARE officer coming this week to do a program just to
reinforce anti drug awareness.
As you know every kid in the troop, and probably every kid in town, now knows
what happened (OR THINKS HE DOES). Don't look like a fool by dodging the
issues here. Get up in front of the meeting and explain exactly what happened.
State that a better way to have handled it was to have the Scout speak to his
PL and for the PL to speak to the SPL and the SPL to speak to you, because it
is your responsibility as a trained Scouter to deal with safety issues within
the troop, and the chain of command is the way things are properly dealt with.
You can state that if a Scout is uncomfortable going thru this chain, then he
should speak directly to YOU, but that any problem within a Scouting context
has to go thru you, and you will take it elsewhere as needed. Obtain general
agreement with this principle, then stop this thread of discussion. BTW, how
did the kid make that phone call, anyway? Isn't he in a meeting room?
However, you should also discuss the incident in light of the Oath and Law.
How were these ignored/abused by the persons involved, ie, the Scout who
wished to pass off a common household seasoning as an illegal drug
(trustworthy), to people, presumably friends, who would get in trouble if it
were real (friendly), not to mention the more obvious like "obedient" and
"physically strong." Take each point one by one.
I think you have to deal with the Mom separately. If the Mom is really WB
trained, perhaps you could ask her what was friendly-courteous-kind in her
intentions, or review with her the chain of command thing.. She might surprise
you. If not, she might be surprised to look at it that way. It could be
alearning experience for her too. My kid is often told (tho' with decreasing
frequency, I'm pleased to say) "Don't ask me, call your SPL," and she should
do the same.
Don't get me started on DARE. It is not the panacea everybody thinks it is,
and you are foolish if you think that a visit from your friendly DARE officer
will patch this all up and make it nice.... or even change anyone's ideas.
Research does not support this program in terms of outcomes.
I think that as SM your obligation is to focus on the parts of this issue that
are related to Scouting and Scoutlike behavior. be straight with the kids and
the parents, then move on.
ASM T44 Pocasset MA
Cape Cod & Islands Council
Abake MiSaNaKi Lodge #393
NSJ 1997 Nat'l Health & Safety
I useta be an Eagle...
'...We're our counselor's greatest fans,
But we're getting out of Gilwell while we can!'
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City