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Unfair Demands On Boy Scouts

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  • Unfair Demands On Boy Scouts

    Unfair Demands On Boy Scouts

    By The Day
    Published on 7/29/2008

    We are at a loss to understand why the state Department of Transportation wants to give East Lyme Boy Scout troops such a hard time over doing a good deed.

    For 25 years on Labor Day weekend the Scouts have served coffee and doughnuts around the clock to weary drivers at the weigh stations on Interstate 95 in Waterford.

    Drivers get a needed break. The Scouts take pride in providing a service. Donations collected help the Boy Scouts and other local groups.

    Who could object?

    Unfortunately, the bureaucrats at the DOT, that's who.

    After a quarter century without incident, the DOT now decides it is too dangerous for the Boy Scouts to stay at the weigh station overnight - even though the Scouts are well off the road, the area is well lighted and at least two adult leaders are always present.

    The DOT demands that the Scouts break camp by 9 p.m. and not return until 6 a.m. In other words, the department does not want them there when drivers are tired and could use a coffee.

    The Boy Scouts say the requirement to take everything down each night is unreasonable and undermines the intended service. Scout leaders have announced that unless the DOT lifts the overnight ban, the tradition will sadly end.

    This is ridiculous. Someone at the DOT needs to act reasonably and allow the 24-hour service.

  • #2
    I have two theories:

    1) There really is some kind of threat that warrants this kind of concern and direction given by the DoT.

    2) Some self-appointed idiot in government has nothing better to do but to exercise his powers and hinder a private organization from doing a public good.

    Either is very plausible. Here's my problem. I rarely see enough facts behind these stories to get worked up either way.


    • #3
      There is a third possibility. We had an extremely corrupt governor who owned a trucking firm. He nearly closed the DOT scales. They operate only very limited hours still. The boys could be at some danger being at a weigh station where there are no officers.


      • #4
        Road side rests aren't manned at night either. I don't see the great danger. The likelyhood that some loon will drive 20 miles to rob some Scouts of free donuts is very low.

        It could be that someone at DOT knows someone who is complaining that their vending machines are losing money on Labor day.


        • #5
          These kinds of decisions, and changes to policy, aren't generally made in a vacuum or on a whim. What has happened in the state since the last Labor Day donut fest? Did someone stop at an unmanned weigh station one night to catch a few z's and were robbed, carjacked, raped, or killed somewhere in the state this past year? Did the state get sued because something like this happened (and lost)? Did a driver that stopped for a cup of coffee and donut decide he could drive another 150 miles when he should have pulled off for some sleep get into an accident down the road? Is the State Police redeploying resources on a busy holiday weekend to be more efficient in these times of high gas prices and don't have the time to drive through the weigh station every 20 minutes?

          Maybe its just no longer a risk the State is willing to take in these litigious times. Imagine how the press would crucify both the State and the BSA if something were to happen to the Scouts. And don't give me the "but nothings happened in 25 years" argument - that just means that so far, they've dodged an incident.

          I think we need to get a fuller understanding of all the issues before we can make any kind of judgement ourselves.



          • #6
            Nah, it's more fun to pillory the state government without any data.


            • #7
              Didn't you all watch "Something about Mary?"
              Those highway rest stops are notorious for all sorts of immoral behavior.
              Better to keep the scouts safe than sorry.


              • #8
                Way more fun GW, way more.

                There have been however, incidents at rest areas where travellers have been attacked. But, since the two deep would be in place, there shouldn't be a problem. Perhaps suggesting a third adult or fourth.

                Good luck.


                • #9
                  "There have been however, incidents at rest areas where travellers have been attacked. "

                  People have also been attacked and killed at the grocery store, while camping and even while walking down the street. Perhaps instead of just having an extra adult, a company of Rangers would make evey one feel safe. Of course, you might not be able to trust the Rangers so to watch the Rangers you'd need a platoon of Marines.


                  • #10
                    Recommend the scouts set up a shotgun and rifle range next to the donut and coffee van. This should alleviate concerns about scout safety.


                    • #11
                      Could be worse, could have been New Jersey back when the previous Governor was in ...


                      • #12
                        On a snidefree side of things, perhaps the unit could hire an off duty police office. Then, perhaps the DOT will be happy - if it's really about "safety".


                        • #13
                          I'd bet the DOT got heat from the vending machine owners like someone else posted.


                          • #14
                            Not to dump cold water on cheerful service, but the safest thing for tired and weary drivers is to pull over and get some sleep - not load up on coffee. Might be a good teachable moment for young drivers.


                            • #15
                              To me, this smells of PC influence in the background. Not that that could happen.