Re: Who draws the line?
Tue, 28 Apr 1998 19:03:23 EDT
In a message dated 98-04-28 12:15:46 EDT, you write:
<< Question 1: Is any of these three adult behaviors (smoking in front of
the Scouts, drinking in front of the Scouts and giving cigars to a
Scout) considered unacceptable by the BSA National Leadership (whoever
they may be)? Or are they all acceptable?
It is patently clear that the last two adult behaviors are totally
unacceptable in the BSA. that is: drinking in front of Scouts, ad giving
cigars to a Scout. Alcohol is expressly prohibited around Scouts. Guide to
Safe Scouting specifically states (in bold black letters): "The Boy Scouts of
America prohibits the use of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances at
encampments or activities on property owned and/or operated by the Boy Scouts
of America, or at any activity involving participation of youth members."
Further the Guide goes on to say: "Adult leaders should support the attitude
that young adults are better off without tobacco and should not allow the use
of tobacco products at any BSA activity involving youth participation."
This latter condemnation does not specifically prevent a Scouter from smoking
in front of a Scout, merely that a Scouter should encourage a Scout not to
smoke, and certainly to portray the adults use as an unacceptable habit or
Question 2: If the behavior is unacceptable how is my buddy supposed to
do anything about it if the Scoutmaster and a majority of the Committee
approve of the behavior (without endangering the future of his son's
Scouting adventures)? >>
Well, now we have the real problem. As to the tobacco, it is arguable that
true evil is not accomplished. As to the alcohol, there are too many
scenarios involving alcohol use in almost any context to permit its
repitition, even if it hurts your son's scouting career. Frankly, in the
wrong circumstances the alcohol use could end your son's life, let alone his
What would I do? I guess I would bite the bullet and confront the SM in
private and state quite simply this behavior cannot be permitted to continue.
If it does continue, you will bring the matter to the attention of the
Institutional Reprentative and the District Executive. For the safety of all
Scouts, booze cannot be permitted.
As to the Cigar, I would throw that in as an extra, like: "Oh, and by the
way, don't give my kid any cigars either."
You are not on weak ground here. You have the right answers. Your son does
need the protection you can offer by going to the SM. I don't know what other
troops are in the area, but if your SM condones or participates in alcohol use
around the boys, that troop is unsafe for your boy. Better not a Scout than a
dead one. This may be way too extreme a position, but your story is way too
scary for me.
Yours in Scouting,
G. John Marmet ASM
T156 Glenview, Illinois
and Yes, I do indulge in alcoholic beverages, but not in Scouting.
and Yes, I did smoke anything legal in this country, but haven't had anything
for 12 years (but still enjoy the smell).
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City