Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Smoking, Drinking and Chewing on Campout
Smoking, Drinking and Chewing on Campout
Sun, 21 Feb 1999 17:03:17 -0500
>> Question for the group: How do you handle this so the other scouts do >> not know that one of them told on the others?
Don't worry about that. They'll know that ONE of them did. The
leader's job is to avoid identifying WHICH one. If it was a younger
scout who turned in an older scout, his identify should remain
confidential. But if it was an older scout who turned in a peer or
younger scout, WITH THE SCOUT'S PERMISSION AND THAT OF HIS PARENTS,
there could be some advantages to letting his identity "leak".
>> Do you talk to each one alone or as a group or do you talk to the >> entire troop of 30 scouts with all parents present?
Yes, yes, and yes. Talk to the 5 non-instigating participants, then
talk to the 2 instigators. Either the PLC or the troop committee should
impose appropriate punishments. Discuss it with the entire troop and
parents what was done in this case (avoid naming names ... those who
don't already know don't need to know), and how any future incidents
will be handled.
>> My suggestion was to talk with the scout that brought the items and >> his parents. And then talk with the other scouts as a group and then >> send a letter to the parents explaining that we had a problem and
>> future checks of packs and personnel items will may take place before >> all campouts. And tell what will happen if items like this are found.
"A scout is trustworthy". IMO, instituting a search of ALL packs before
a campout sends the wrong message - a mistake by one or two boys means
that all the scouts loose their leader's trust. I would limit the
inspections to the offenders; probably a 1 time check of the 5
experimenters, a 3 time check on the other 2, followed by a spot check
of those 2 after about 6 months (if they are allowed to remain in the
>> Now what about punishment. Everything that the SM was told was
>> second hand information, no adults every saw or found anything.
Who saw or didn't see the incident is irrelevant. If the incident took
place, the offenders can be punished. If the troop has an experienced
PLC, I'd let them address the situation and impose the punishment. If
the PLC isn't up to it, then the adult leaders or the committee should
address the punishment. Don't sell the PLC short. You may be surprised
what they are capable of, with the proper advise and guidance of the
SM. This could be turned into a very positive experience if the PLC
imposes a relatively harsh punishment, which can then be appealed to the
committee for mitigation if appropriate.
(a) My advise to the PLC: Suspension of the supplier from all troop
meetings and activities for 3 months, a year of pack inspections (PI)
thereafter, plus "loss of time in grade" for advancement (LOTIGFA), plus
removal from troop/patrol office (RFO); suspension of the remaining
"party boy" from camputs for 2 months, plus 6 months of PI, plus
LOTIGFA, plus RFO; suspension of the 5 experimenters from camputs for 1
month, plus 3 months of PI, plus LOTIGFA, plus removal from troop office
(leave it up to the patrol whether or not to remove them from patrol
office). Temper this with a bit of understanding ... harsher punishment
is justified for an older, more experienced, higher ranking, office
holding scout than it is for a younger, less experienced, relatively new
(b) My advice to the TC: Again with variations as appropraite for the
age/experience of the offender: 2 months suspension from camputs but not
meetings for the supplier, plus 3-6 months of PI, plus LOTIGFA, plus
RFO; 1 month suspension from campouts for the other "party boy", plus 3
months of PI, plus LOTIGFA, plus RFO; no suspension for the other 5, but
1-3 months PI, plus LOTIGFA, RFO if appropriate for each individual.
(c) What is LOTIGFA (loss of time in grade for advancment)? Regardless
of the date of his previous BOR, an offender is not eligible for his
next BOR, for at least: 1 month for TF/2ndClass/1stClass, 1-4 months for
Star, 1-6 months for Life/Eagle; following the date the suspension is
lifted or following the date of the offense if there is no suspension.
And regardless of what rank they are going for, the next SM conference
should include a discussion of TF requirement 7, 2ndCl requirement 8,
and 2ndCl-Req9, 1stCl-Req10, Star/Life/Eagle-Req2; 2 or 3 times, once
now, once when the suspension is lifted if applicable, and again before
their next BOR.
>> This past week he (the SM) was contacted by a couple of parents who >> said that their sons had told them ...
>> Everything that the SM was told was second hand information, no
>> adults every saw or found anything.
The (adult) leaders neither saw, nor heard, nor smelled anything??? Why
not??? The boys told their parents when they got home, but didn't tell
the SM or other adult leaders at the time??? Why not??? As a committee
member (or parent), this would concern me GREATLY!!!
With the SMs permission, BSA policy allows a patrol to go camping
without any adult leaders present. Yet neither the SPL nor any of the
PLs saw, or heard, or smelled anything? Or if they did they didn't do
anything about it? Not even tell the SM? Or, heaven forbid, they were
involved in it? The boys told their parents when they got home, but
didn't tell their PL or the SPL? Or told their PL or the SPL who did
nothing about it? As a committee member, this would also concern me
Boys will be boys, and from time to time one or more of them will bring
contraband on a campout and attempt to use it. Dealing with this
if/when/as it happens should not be a particularly difficult problem.
(Hopefully never routine, but not difficult to deal with.) Having use
of such contraband escape detection and/or action by the youth and adult
leaders present is beyond my experience. In this case, it seems that
the committee needs to deal with that as well.
Mark Ritter - RitterME@stny.lrun.com - Committee Member
Sea Scout Ship 90 - The S.S.S. North Star - New Milford PA