scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: Re: 20/20 program
Calvin H. Gray (405geezer@IGG-TX.NET
Tue Nov 09 1999 - 11:11:29 CST
Jim Miller Sr. wrote:
The question that
> arose in my mind was why did the parents allow their sons to continue
> with this man if there was even the slightest doubt about the safety of
> their sons, or why didn't they at least get involved and go on the
> camping trips with the group? I personally can't come up with any
> answers to this.
Remember that this took place in a small town in the deep south. The
man had been named Citizen of the Year and he was a very respected
member of the community. His father was an esteemed judge. He was a
trusted businessman and community volunteer. Even his next door
neighbors, who were close personal friends, did not know the man was
abusing their son as they trusted him without reservation.
I grew up in a similar small town in the south. People are much more
trusting than in the other places I've lived. I can remember a time
when my grandparents' home did not have a lock on the doors. I still
remember being shocked when I went to college and was told I needed to
lock my dorm door when I departed for class each morning.
Even the BSA's requirement for 2-deep leadership (which went into effect
in 1987), did not result in the man being reported to the authorities.
In many small towns, Scouting is still a one, two or three person
operation. Troop Committees exist "on paper" only and there is not a
great deal of parental involvement. In my opinion, this is one reason
why it is so important for each troop, especially the smaller ones, to
have an active Unit Commissioner who makes periodic visits.
Calvin H. Gray
Scoutmaster, Troop 405
I used to be an Owl (WM-62-2-98 @ Philmont)