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Hiya Rayburn, nice to see yeh back in da forums! Sorry about the nature of the incident, eh? This is the stuff where Scoutmasters really earn their pay!
I think your plan is a decent one. Talk to the witnesses, then to the boy, then to the parents. Let the responses guide you.
Now Beavah's rule is that no lad ever gets caught smoking the first time he does it, eh? The point when boys get caught is the point when they've been doing it long enough that they start getting brazen and sloppy. Like choosing to bring weed on a scout campout instead of doing it with friends in the woods after school, where no adults are around.
Beavah's second rule is that most or all of the boys know what really went on, and know that the lad(s) involved have been smoking in other places for a while.
Which leads to Beavah's third rule: What you choose to do now is going to be a measure of your character in the boys eyes for the next 3 years. Are yeh going to be wishy-washy, or do yeh stand for something? The kids who are watching yeh the closest are those boys who have believed you up to this point when you told them that a Scout keeps himself physically strong and morally clean. They want to know if you really meant it, or if you were lying. Your words don't count, eh? Your actions will speak so loudly that they will drown out whatever you say.
I think if the boy comes clean right away, admits what went on, apologizes and asks for help, then with some contrition and restitution he can restore his reputation and have a shot at stayin' in the troop. Maybe. To be honest, though, I wouldn't hold my breath. Eagle is off the table completely, until perhaps right before his 18th birthday if he really shows remarkable improvement and mercy is called for.
I think da most likely scenario is that what this boy needs now more than anything is the tough love lesson. I reckon he's apt to deny and equivocate and not take responsibility until boxed in, and then not want to admit that anything so serious should cause him to withdraw his Eagle application on his own. In that case, I think yeh have to be the folks that care enough to teach him the hard lesson. That's also likely to be the right lesson for all the other boys in the troop, and the lesson that will make all of your troop parents most comfortable with trusting you in the future.
Yeh know your families better than I do, but I'd caution you that a 17-year-old smokin' on a campout really destroys any sense of trust your parent community has in youth leadership, eh? The boy getting Eagle will completely destroy advancement in the eyes of the boys and their families. So in most cases, without a very strong, clear, public response from you you'll be doing enormous damage to da program for all the boys. Don't kid yourself that it will remain confidential. The boys all know by now, and the parents aren't going to be too far behind.
I think Beavah hit the nail on the head. I remember when I was a young woman in an LDS branch. No one in my group had ever earned their medallion. A new girl moved in. She had earned her medallion. Our leader tried to tell us what it was all about and get us interested in earning it too, but we knew that she was sleeping with her boyfriend, so we weren't interested. I couldn't believe it was worth doing if she had done it. Not sleeping with your boyfrined is THE most important rule of being a young (12-18) LDS woman.
So, unless you find reason to beleive that he WASN'T smoking on the campout, I think he should definitly be put on probabtion. This may or may not teach him a lesson, but hopefully it will help maintain the trust you have established with your other scouts.
Do be prepared for Scout and his family to throw a fit and quit the troop, then quietly transfer elsewhere. You'll have done your best and stood your ground in the eyes of your boys and thier families, though.
Smoking pot is hard to hide. That smell sticks around on people and clothes. If the kid has been around a long time in the troop it is hard to believe he is just now getting caught. We had kids in my troop growing up who smoked in the woods and the smelled like an ashtray. Why the adults never cuaght on (on did anything about it) still amazes me. There was no way to miss it and ALL the guys in the troop knew. *If* this has been going on a while the boys all know....though how it was missed by the adults would baffle me. Agree Eagle is out if the evidence points to drug use. If you have eye witnesses then that's it. If not, you have to assume he's telling the truth.
Either way, he will likely leave your troop after the accusation is made and go elsewhere. You can put it in his record for your troop what you found. If other troops elect to talk to you that's up to them.
A year or so ago there was a discussion going on that Drug use was not a disqualifying factor for eagle. I would post the link but the Search function is not working correctly.
Far as it being a felony, depends on where ya live, in Colorado and Washington your ok.
Well behaved young men are just to smart or just smarter than their adults to get caught.....They are young men after all. I remember thinking how great my guys were till I saw the ipod with video.....hmmmm, watching dirty movies on the Ipod..... At least they didn't share it with the new scouts.
If true, I believe it is a disqualifying mark in my book. Especially since he does not have any time to show improvement. Follow your heart......A Mary Jane enjoying Eagle isn't any worse than an Eagle with no skills.
It's funny how this kid has already been convicted by a bunch of people who don't know any of the players. Has he fulfilled all of his requirements for Eagle? Proceed.
Do we make a list of drop-dead offenses that prevent Eagle? One of them (in some places) used to be being openly gay. I'm sure we've got some potheads out there who see nothing wrong with this. Is tobacco and alcohol in the same league? Sexual activity? Cheating? Shoplifting? Skipping school? Where's the line, and who makes it up?
BDPT00, let's not confuse illegal activity (pot smoking, shoplifting) with things like sexual activity or cheating which are more moral or ethical issues. For my money if ANY scout does anything illegal he cannot make Eagle right away because he has failed this requirement inherent in every rank:
"Demonstrate that you live by the principles of the Scout Oath and Law in your daily life."
Also, any Scout I know to be dishonest would have to work a while to earn back that trust.
No one has convicted the kid. People are engaging in conjecture if he is OR isn't guilty of the offense.
However, unlicensed distribution of Pot is still a Federal crime and a state crime, even in pot-use legal states. And I don't think there is any place in the US where recreational pot use by minors is legal.
Eh, it's just drugs ... give'em the Eagle ... puts a new definition on "flying high".
Seems to me like we should be trying to help these boys instead of figuring out how to 'come down' on them. BDPT00 has a point that there is a LOT we don't know about this and yet those boys are already convicted. Wow.
I guess we've been lucky not to have had to confront something like this as an occurrence during a unit event. But even if arrested outside of the scouting realm, this community has been supportive of turning them around rather than dealing harsh punishment. I do understand that we seem to be unique in this but in this community, PTI has worked quite well. Of course that's only available under limited conditions.
Wow - some are quick to condemn with so little information. On the one hand we have an eagle scout candidate who has for the last ~7 years (presumably) demonstrated that he is a good kid and is trustworthy, loyal, etc. Presumably if this were not the case he would not be within inches of earning Eagle. On the other hand we have one scout who we don't know anything about (but presumably has less credibility than the first) who thinks he saw something that may or may not have been marijuana.
I think you need more facts before drawing any conclusions. I've learned many times that things are not always as they appear when dealing with teenage boys. When I think of the Eagle and near-Eagle scouts I know I have a high degree of confidence in them. It would take a lot more than this to make me think otherwise.
I think some of you need to read a bit slower. I see many people talking about IF it is true. This is speculation. I don't see too many here hanging people for no evidence. They are talking about how they would handle the situation IF it were true. Don't see anything wrong with that.