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Scouts with porn on campouts

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  • #31
    On a pack campout I was a Wolf DL and along with a Tiger DL we led a 30 minute nature hike along the edge of the campground. 11 kids. 2 adults. Kept counting 1,2,3,..11. Check. Over and over...how many. 11-great. Started with 11 and ended with 11. Problem was 2 of the 11 were different than we started with! We were the worst Den Leaders ever--we lost kids!

    Apparently one boy saw his mom coming out of a bathroom and ran over, his buddy went too. A couple other kids saw the nature hike and joined in.

    Now I know better, but it is easy to screw up.

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    • #32
      >


      Heh, heh! I never even thought of that one before!

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      • #33
        One of the best skills I ever learned in leading walks, hikes and ski-trips was learning to lead from behind. I worked Cub Scout Day Camps (paid staff - camps were organized and run by council) for 5 years as the director of the Nature Center - I was the one most likely to lead the Cubs on a nature walk through the woods - Since the trails weren't that difficult to follow, I could send the Den Chief (each group had a "Den Chief - it was out CIT position - paid as well) to be the point person, and I led the hikes from the rear - drove the parents who came along nuts sometimes (it usually took them a while to see how this can work) where I always had full view of everyone in front of me - though we still used the Buddy System, I always knew exactly where everyone was, even the adults and never lost a single person. When I worked OKPIK at MNHA (before it was a Council program), I set the SPL up front to lead and I skied behind everyone else - I knew where everyone was, I could tell if someone was struggling, I could see how the sleds were handling, and I never lost a single person). Of course, nowadays, when I'm not leading, I still manage to finagle my way as the last person in the group - habit I guess.

        As to the original question, I suggest this is one of those areas where the gray and the black-and-white can't be reconciled. These videos were on th Scout's own phone so you would have to report the Scout to the authorities for victimizing himself. Let's not even go into having Scout volunteers try to determine what is "obscene" - I know people who think photos of the park district swim team in the local paper is obscene and others who don't consider porn to be obscene unless it deals with children or some of the more extreme practices out there. It sounds like you handled this correctly with no need to second guess yourself.

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        • #34
          Hmmm...back to a thought on the OP.

          By giving the boy a pass....maybe you just enabled the next Jerry Sandusky, eh?

          Yah never know.(This message has been edited by Engineer61)

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          • #35
            A follow up
            To be clear, on the campout the offender had the electronic device confiscated, was moved to a different tent, was spoken to by adult leaders.
            The parents were contacted, meeting set up that week with parents, scout, leaders.
            Parents shown the offending material, scout was disciplined & put on probation.
            Per council, report filed with them & the police. (this is the protocol we were told to follow)

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            • #36
              Hello cubdad,


              No doubt the smart thing to do and very likely the necessary thing to do.

              But also a good example of how we overreact to such things because of news media hysteria, which creates government hysteria and lack of proportion in dealing with a natural impulse by boys.

              I'm inclined to feel sorry for the kid.

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              • #37
                A young boy with porn is now something we report to the police.

                Really sad. This is yet another example of how our society is going downhill.

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                • #38
                  My wife was an assistant scout leader for our 10 year old daughters Girl Scout Troop. On the last day of a three day camp the leader approached and showed her a notebook filled with several pages of some of the most creative sexually explicit stories she had ever read. Two of her 10 year old girls confessed they had written the stories during camp at night.

                  The leader chose to just show the notebook to parents and let them take it from there. She also asked my wife to report this to what is the Girl Scout equivalent of the SE. My wife expected a simple thank you from the SE and let it go at that. The SE instead asked her to report the two 10 year old girls to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the Police Department. My wife called the SE an over reactionary fool and left. She took my daughter out of the program that year for many reasons, but I remember her rather loudly asking why the Girls Scouts couldnt act reasonable like the BSA. Oh well.

                  Barry

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                  • #39
                    Yeah, this is just a step away from the boy being labeled as a sex offender, and that goes public and will follow him forever, even as a minor it's public info.

                    This isn't protecting the boys -- it's making sure that all the bases are covered for the Council and for the adults.

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                    • #40
                      Keep in mind that this isn't anything like a Playboy magazine of decades ago. Porn on these electronic devices are highly explicit videos. Any kid with a smart phone can click and access this stuff.

                      Its not uncommon that boys this age are getting nude & semi nude pics from their "girlfriends" on their phones. This is seriously dangerous stuff that could get them in much trouble.

                      I think its not up to the BSA or troops to do anti-porn education, IMO,that's something for parents to handle. Troops need to be clear to scouts, parents, leaders that this stuff has no place in scouting. But never has this vile stuff been so available so easily. And no doubt we're going to have more instances of boys with this stuff on their phones showing it to other kids.

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                      • #41
                        OK, a couple observations after I read the entire 3 pages of posts just now...

                        After I got past the part of thinking the lad was in trouble for not sharing with the adult leaders.... (just kidding)...

                        #1 - the quoted "Mandatory Report of Child Abuse" from cubdadinnj states,
                        " exposed to any form of sexual exploitation including the possession, manufacture, or distribution of child pornography, online solicitation, enticement, or showing of obscene material."

                        Now, unless it was possession of CHILD porn (I'm assuming the lad wasn't producing and distributing his own porn via his phone and internet... however it would be a good start on the salesman merit badge...) how is this a reportable offense? Was the material "obscene". Hell, the Supreme Court hasn't been able to define "obscene" other than to state they know it when they see it!

                        #2 - No, a phone and internet is really no different than the Playboys and Hustlers smuggled into scout camp when I was a kid, other than the pictures now move and have sound with them - and might be easier to get / hide. Porn is still tab A inserted into slot B. Now, folks have gotten REAL creative with which slot B they use and how many tab A's might be involved, but depictions of sex are depictions of sex. Yes, a tasteful female nude with just top and bottom showing and nothing OB/Gyn related showing is much different than hard core video, but its still just titilation really. I doubt that if the law got involved, they would care if its single nude female or a full length group scene. They would probably be interested in if any of the subjects appeared or were presented to be under age, but thats it. So porn is porn.

                        #3 - I find it odd that in an organization that is so opposed to same sex relationships, we over-react to young men's interest in the goings on of sex with females? Which way do we want it? Honestly, I don't want my son looking at porn, but I'd be relieved and somewhat happy if he got caught so long as it was looking at females. Gay porn, not so much. Probably a bigger issue at hand than just a couple scouts curiosity at play. Then be concerned about "grooming" from one youth towards another.

                        #4 - What came of the report to council and local cops? I'm surprised the cops even took the report. I could see council wanting a record on file to CYA and show that if they were made aware of the incident, they DID something about it.

                        Cubdad - you did what you thought was right at the time, and it was right. This is NOT sandusky and Penn State. If someone was being outright abused, you would have handled it differently.

                        Beavah has posted often regarding the use of legal terms on these boards and one of my favorites from him (paraphrasing) is: When we make a legal case of abuse / neglect / molestation out of issues that are clearly NOT those things, we do a grave diservice to youths who have actually been victims of REAL abuse. It waters down the horror of true child abuse.

                        Its kind of like calling everyone a warrior. That football player is a warrior. That baseball great is a warrior. No, they are great atheletes. Warriors are people who voluntarily put themselves in harms way and sometimes pay with their life so people like us can sit around drinking coffee and having these types of debate via cyberspace without fear that the government or some warlord is going to come kill us in our sleep because of our views.

                        Don't make a mountain out of a mole-hill just so you can climb the mountain and die on it. You made a real time decision, followed up on it and documented it as was recommended by your council (even if you do or do not agree with the instruction to report to police). You did your job, don't spend extra energy second guessing yourself.

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                        • #42
                          CDinNJ,

                          I don't want to minimize the grave state of our oversexed culture. But ...
                          The most recent research indicates that sexting is pretty rare. That means vids are not likely to be home grown casually. That also means if they are from someone the boy knows, you've just stumbled across a big problem - abberrant behavior, and will need all the help you can to deal with it. We're not really talking about the boy being in trouble for trafficking. We're talking about a group of kids engaging in high risk behaviors that could result in injury or even death.

                          If you are talking about the boy having mass market stuff (even if it is very vile), this is a situation you can manage. The way you did was fine. Those police reports won't implicate the boy, but sometimes a detective may pick up on a pattern of distribution that has a predator as its source. Down the line it may spare another youth great harm.

                          Electronic devices sure make this stuff easier than ever to access, but we all found plenty enough to rot our minds when we were kids. And SPLs and SMs had The same challenge.
                          It stinks that camp is where this stuff gets dealt with. But if not for you, it may never have been brought up.

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                          • #43
                            Hello Dean,


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                            • #44
                              I get where some of you are coming from about erring on the side of youth safety. And I am a former attorney myself, so I even sympathize somewhat with the CYA aspect.

                              But seriously, anyone who thinks that two 14 year olds looking at porn should be reported to the authorities and potentially subject to being labeled sex offenders by an overly zealous prosecutor needs to quit working with scouts now before you screw up some kids life for doing what all of us were doing at his age.

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                              • #45
                                >


                                Hello SM_Travis,


                                The trouble is with the very broad language of BSA's rules. It seems to me that the plain language of those rules requires such incidents to be taken seriously and reported.

                                And we are TRAINED to follow those rules, and BSA has the receipt we signed for that training.

                                It sounds like we can agree that such rules are over zealous. But are we entitled to ignore them and substitute our own opinions and judgment?

                                BSA appears to be CYA with hair trigger rules. Perhaps (I hope) there are good reasons for those rules. I'm not an Xpert in the subject and that they SOUND over the top doesn't mean that there aren't good reasons for them.

                                I just think we are trapped by the rules BSA has adopted and which we have been trained in and agreed to follow. I don't see it as my job to substitute my judgment for BSAs rules.

                                Scoutmasters are supposed to train youth in Youth Protection rules annually. Perhaps the smart thing to do is to point out to boys the hair trigger nature of these rules and why doing stupid stuff that violates the rules may be a very bad idea.



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