Thanks to all of you who have offered input. Here are a couple of clarifications.
First, I said the other two witnesses didn't want to get involved. I didn't say they refused. I've since spoken with both of them and they shared what they witnessed without hesitation or reservation. I spoke with them individually and their reports were consistent.
Second, I wrote that the scout in question was seen with "what appeared to be marijuana." We don't yet know for certain what the substance was. None of the three witnesses could identify beyond doubt that the material was marijuana. They left the scene as the material was being lit and were not close enought to smell the smoke. It's still possible that the scout in question was faking marijauna use.
The next step will be for the CC and me to meet with the scout in question. We'll tell him an incident was reported involving him and ask him to tell us what happened. We'll meet with the second scout immediately after meeting with the first scout and do the same. We don't expect to be able to meet with them before our next troop meeting next week. We'll then determine next steps based on what we learn next, how the scouts react, and how the parents react.
I plan to update this thread as I have more information.
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Ironic you would ask today. His BOR is tonight.
The scout admitted to having the marijuana on the trip, although it took some coaxing to get him to do so. There was no evidence this was part of any pattern. In the end everything I could learn has me likening it to him finding a girlie mag in his dad's chest of drawers and bringing it on the trip, not knowing quite what to do with it.
The CC decided on one month suspension and one month "probation." He turned 18 on the last day of the second month, April 30.
I spoke with the DAC and the CAC early on, both of whom I knew reasonably well before. They advised that because his Eagle app had been submitted PRIOR to the incident he would get his BOR. I briefed the district rep and plan to address the board before it convenes tonight, sharing all the details.
- Feb 2013
Let us know how many more of your Scouts start smoking pot on your trips after you hand this boy his reward for doing the same.
Sigh ... I don't know all the facts here, but if what Rayburn has written is correct, and this scout has no other history and none of his friends believe he's a doper, then I think it would be unduly harsh for the board to say no. Again though, a lot should depend on how the scout handles it. If he stands up and owns up to the board, telling them exactly what happened, shows he's truly sorry and that he's learned a lesson, taking full responsibility for his actions, he should have a chance.
The punch line is that the board advanced the young man to Eagle. The board included an Annapolis grad and Eagle Scout who's been with the troop over 20 years and who's sat on more EBORs than anyone else, the committee chair whose three sons are all Eagle Scouts here, and an Eagle Scout dad whose son is no longer in the troop but is the same age as the young man in question. Plus the district rep, of course. I was very pleased with the make up of the board; lots of perspective and context, and, especially in the case of the Annapolis grad, a pretty hard-core understanding of and respect for what the rank means to others and should mean for the young man, and for what the decision, whichever decision was made, would say about the troop.
Many of you have offered thoughtful, I think wise counsel and I thank you for that. That is why I use scouter.com and what I hope I contribute when I comment on others' posts. Some of you have written some pretty harsh statements and have made some pretty harsh judgments without knowing all the facts, or, apparently in some cases, ignoring the facts I have reported.
The board members told me afterward that this was the most difficult decision they'd ever had to make in an EBOR. They took the matter very seriously, I think, but in the end came to the same conclusion I had; that the young man's actions, although impulsive and stupid, did not warrant denying him the rank. They reached their decision in part after listening to a seven minute statement I took two and a half hours to hand write earlier in the day setting out all the facts I could muster about both the incident and about the young man's actions afterward, both good and bad, plus the widely divergent opinions of the other eight in our scoutmaster corps. I told the young man and his father I was going to do this. I also spoke about the young man's history, in the troop, developmentally, and his emergence as a strong leader in his patrol and in the troop.
Now I know that many of you will say that any of the young man's positive attributes were negated when he brought marijuana on the trip, and that for many of you that fact trumps everything else. I understand your point of view but I do not agree with it, and neither did the board. I'll recount a few key points to close out this report: (1) the young man brought the marijuana on the trip but DID NOT use it, (2) there is no evidence this was anything, but an isolated, impulsive, stupid act on his part, (3) there is no evidence he has ever used marijuana in any setting, (4) he admitted his act, apologized for his mistake, and appears truly repentant. And perhaps most importantly he appears to have learned important lessons from this incident. He learned how uncomfortable it was for him to have the marijuana on the trip. He was nervous about it all weekend. He learned to trust that admitting mistakes is better than covering them up. He learned the cleansing power of confessing and apologizing for what he did and asking for forgiveness. And he learned to trust in the judgment and fairness of others. I think, in the end, that these lessons and this outcome will serve the young man better over his lifetime than denial of the Eagle Scout rank would have.