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  • Eagle and weed

    My troop is at summer camp and I'm not. Got a phone call this morning about a scout with marijuana. It was found. He offered some to a younger scout and lied about the whole thing when the adults confronted him. Some of the adults wanted to handle it internally and some wanted to call the sheriff directly. I said go to the camp director and follow whatever process they have. My only rule is he's going home today. The scout is going home, sometime after the sheriff talks to him (camp policy). He's a life scout that has completed everything but, you guessed it, the scoutmaster conference.

    The question is what to do with him after this. Should he be thrown out of the troop? Should I sign off on Eagle? Right now I won't. I believe in giving a kid a chance to repent for his mistake but just saying sorry won't cut it. I don't want to give him an explicit list of things to do as I want him to figure it out, but at the same time, he needs some guidance. Humility, understanding what he did and why it was wrong, confessing, and making up for it are things I'd look for. I'm not sure he'd figure it out but I would like to give him a chance. Thoughts?

  • #2
    This is a tuff one really. He does need to admin it openly to you. I would start with tell me what happened at camp ? and how do you think you can make it better ?

    Comment


    • #3
      What's tough, this young man committed multiple criminal acts, and did so at a BSA event, on BSA property. To add the icing to the cake, the scout was acting as the worst possible role model.

      Your young man no longer meets rank requirement #2:

      Demonstrate that you live by the principles of the Scout Oath and Scout Law in your daily life. List on your Eagle Scout Rank Application the names of individuals who know you personally and would be willing to provide a recommendation on your behalf, including parents/guardians, religious, educational, and employer references.

      I'd be shocked if BSA, or the Charter Org, doesn't pull this young mans registration. This young man is not, and should not, be an Eagle Scout.

      Comment


      • #4
        This will be an incredibly hard life lesson for this scout.

        QUESTION - How old is the scout? If 17, how many months until he turns 18?

        --------------------------

        Eagle ... Would not be my biggest concern. ... But I would hate to see him not get Eagle because he's already done everything for it but a conversation (SMC) and a board of review. He's done the work and has tripped and fallen at the finish line. So if he got Eagle, I'd be fine with it. But I fully understand your not willing to sign off on the SMC.

        --- If he was a month or two before turning 18, I'd be tempted to send him to the district advancement chair so he can get his Eagle without a SMC. But he will have to explain to the BOR why there is no signature.

        --- If he had more than two or three months before turning 18, I'd tell him to come back to me in a few months after he gets everything resolved and evidence that everything is resolved. Then, I'd sign.

        --------------------------

        But the real issue to me is his membership and protecting your troop. If he offered it to a similar age "friend", that is bad and unacceptable. Offering it to a younger scout, that's worse. How many other scouts do you want to lose over this? What example do you want to set? Will other parents hold back their kids because they don't want their sons going on weekend camp outs with another kid who has brought pot in the past.

        I would be kind and understanding ... but I'd immediately have a hard conversation with this kid right now and let him know his behavior is not compatible with scouting and he will probably need to look elsewhere for places to spend his time.

        --------------------------

        I do have compassion for this but also a hard line. Pot is everywhere and easily available in our local high school. Plus, society is beginning to accept it. Youth is for learning and experimenting ... and making mistakes. So this one mistake does not make the kid a bad kid and it's a mistake many kids are making.

        But it was a very poor judgement call and reflects that his current mindset and interests may not be compatible with scouts right now.
        Last edited by fred johnson; 06-25-2014, 11:24 AM.

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        • #5
          Fred - he hasn't done everything, he missed the whole point in scouting ... character development, becoming a good citizen ... values, ethics ...

          This young man has when through the motions, but nothing more.

          When sitting on District Eagle Boards I've often said "we're not here to make Eagle Scouts, but to recognize the Eagle Scouts that come in this room. Your young man is no Eagle Scout, in fact he's no scout at all.
          Last edited by Old_OX_Eagle83; 06-25-2014, 11:25 AM.

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          • #6
            I would be more concerned if he had alcohol. It's not OK, but to what standard are we holding these boys to? Is Eagle supposed to signify sainthood? Have absolutely no failings?

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            • #7
              And what if it had been cigarettes? Or what if it had been alcohol? or what if it had been prescription drugs? or what if.....

              TIme for some fuzzy logic thinking here. Sounds like the camp has had this issue before. Sounds like the Sheriff's going to bend his ear a bit and then he gets a ride home. Looks like everyone is going a "pass the buck" to the point where it's going to be someone else's problem. So then the question becomes, what are you going to do with the buck? Depending on the severity of the issue one has to play the fuzzy theory card. How bad is "over the line"? Do you know where the line is? What if it's only an itsy bit over the line? Is this situation salvageable? Does the boy get a second chance? Do we blackball him from all scouting? etc.

              I guess it kinda comes down to the character of the SM as much as it does on the character of the scout.

              Stosh

              Comment


              • #8
                Marijuana is close to being legal in many areas, for many reasons. But beer and liguor and tobacco and some OTC drug products ARE legal. How about he offers some bourbon to a 13 year old Scout? How about he sneaks out to the waterfront for a chew? His hypocracy is my main issue and his "Trustworthiness " is his SMC issue here, to my mind.
                "Oh, a little weed won't hurt you, makes you feel good...." Yeah, a Scout is Cheerful, but how does that come about? One's feelings are largely choices. If you feel the NEED to create the feeling, there's another problem...
                " Everyone does it" No, everyone doesn't. And mere statistical popularity doesn't make something healthy or RIGHT.
                " It's my life, I 'm not hurting anyone else..." Don't think so. Somebody raised, harvested, smuggled, cut, sold that stuff. All illegally. The Mob (pick a name) syphoned off a large amount of money from that . Some Mexican gang is probably using his money. Just like alcohol affects drunk driving, Weed impairs your abilities, it does NOT improve them. Who are you going to hurt, really?

                Get those Scouts high on white water canoeing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by King Ding Dong View Post
                  I would be more concerned if he had alcohol. It's not OK, but to what standard are we holding these boys to? Is Eagle supposed to signify sainthood? Have absolutely no failings?
                  More concerned with alcohol than pot? I disagree. Alcohol is legal in the U.S. per the federal government for those over 21. Pot isn't.

                  We aren't demanding sainthood, but a senior scout ought to not be offering illegal substances to younger scout. I think the boy should be given a chance to make amends, so if he's not a 17 3/4 year old Eagle, I'd say give him a chance to repent and prove himself better. That said, if it were my troop, gear inspection before campouts would be in order for a while.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Old_OX_Eagle83 ... I understand where you are coming from, but I have a different view. Scouting and being a scout is about character development. Eagle Scout is about completing requirements.

                    If the kid did the work and met the requirements, I'd be fine with him getting Eagle ... after everything is resolved from the incident. I'm not so sure I'd want him to stand in front of the troop for an Eagle ceremony. But that's always a family choice.

                    Membership ... I'd have him move on after receiving the rank.

                    IMHO, the kid tripped at the finish line. Help him cross it and have him move on. It gives him a reason to be proud of himself and a value set to live up to. We all need that and especially those of us who have screwed up in the past.

                    ------------------------------------------------

                    perdidochas - I've heard people suggest gear inspections in the past. I'm not a fan. They are never consistently or comprehensively done. You search gear. How about the clothes he's wearing? Pat downs and body searches? His friends? They might carry it for him? How about vehicles he's riding in or the troop trailer?

                    Plus it means the incident is not in the past and basic trust is broken. I'd have a real hard time having him continue in the troop.

                    ------------------------------------------------

                    AND ... I'd also try to be a friend in that I'd let him know it will be difficult for the next few days or weeks, but time will pass. We've all screwed up. But those screw ups are in the past and don't define who we are now. None of us are perfect. And ... I'd let him know that I will always be glad to greet him with a smile, shake his hand, hear how he's doing and talk fondly of our time in scouting together.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It's either legal or it isn't for recreational use. If it's medically needed and legal in your state it would need to be turned in at the health lodge. In my state the sherif or police would be escorting the scout from camp, just like they do at school. The fact it was offered to another scout isn't very trustworthy. I would be curious what the council take on it is.
                      Last edited by Momleader; 06-25-2014, 01:33 PM.

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                      • #12
                        You're distressed enough to talk to other scouters about it. That's reason enough to hold off on the SMC. Without yelling at the boy, you need to be very clear that you are upset and need to figure out if he really does have scout spirit, or if he's been playing you for a fool all this time. Tell him you don't need an answer now, but in a couple of weeks, you will need to know what's more important to him: scouting or his drug of choice.

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                        • #13
                          It's always fun in threads like this to have the dope smokers come on with the "it's no big deal" line.

                          In my Troop, he's gone. I'd never trust him again and most importantly neither would any Parent in the Troop.

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                          • #14
                            He committed a crime. Perhaps a felony with the offer to a minor. He must confront this unavoidable fact in the legal arena. If this was in our area he'd be arrested and released to the custody of parents until a pre-trial intervention hearing can be convened...IF he's never been involved before in another crime. PTI works well in our area. I've seen a good scout stumble like this and then turn things around when the community showed they are pulling for him during the PTI process. But if the boy blows the PTI second chance, things go from bad to worse quickly. If he's smart he'll realize that he really messed up and be thankful for an unusual chance to get his head straight without ruining his life.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by perdidochas View Post
                              More concerned with alcohol than pot? I disagree. Alcohol is legal in the U.S. per the federal government for those over 21. Pot isn't. We aren't demanding sainthood, but a senior scout ought to not be offering illegal substances to younger scout. I think the boy should be given a chance to make amends, so if he's not a 17 3/4 year old Eagle, I'd say give him a chance to repent and prove himself better. That said, if it were my troop, gear inspection before campouts would be in order for a while.
                              Let me clarify, from a health and safety viewpoint I would be more concerned if it were alcohol, not legal. If one still subscribes to the "Reefer Madness" hysteria no one is going to change your mind but in reality one is much more likely to be a danger to themselves or others under the influence of alcohol than marijuana. This kid screwed up and it is ultimately up to the CO and Council how they want to deal with it. More importantly how this Scout deals with this setback will be the true test of how Scouting has influenced his character.

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