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About CharityAK

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    small town Alaska
  1. I thought I'd provide an update on this issue. I received a call last week from a national scouter in charge of creating and maintaining the "do not register" list (forgot what he called it exactly). A very nice person who sensitively handled a difficult issue. For some reason he had only just received the case that I had reported almost 2 years ago! Since the scout in question had been flagged as extremely dangerous he was following up with further research. He was able to assure me that his young man would NEVER again be involved in scouting in any way, shape or form. I feel very relieved and am so grateful that BSA takes these precautions. I'm sure this national scouter's job must be very unpleasant at times but I am so glad that he is there doing it. Charity
  2. You go, rooster. And I thought chivalry was dead right along with acknowledging the value of feminine contribution in the home.... Charity
  3. Forgot to say... I also really liked the advice to have son put his plans in writing. This would go a long way towards reassuring leadership that the boys have indeed thought things through and made plans. And it's just a good skill for the boys to develop as well. SM must have felt some confidence in son's planning because he asked him to consider running for SPL - which son has decided to do. Charity
  4. Thanks for your great insight and helpful comments! The boys had a blast with their biking weekend. Everything went well for them. No evidence of any hard feelings on anybody's part. You are right...we have a good SM, lots of experience, very committed and selfless. That's why I was concerned about my son needing to be open to hearing his input. He has years and years of experience in scouting and I know he sees things the boys don't. Since SM can be a bit gruff on occasion, sometimes the boys think he's just being a pain and miss the point he's trying to help them see. The fact that the weekend went so well should build confidence on both sides - both in themselves and in each other. Charity
  5. FOG - ROFL! You're right! That's probably an even more likely scenario in today's culture. Charity
  6. >A friend's wife suffers from asthma and asked a >man smoking near her to not smoke because it was >aggrevating her condition. He blew smoke in her >face. She kicked him in the crotch And the scenario ends like this in today's litigious climate...He sued her and won a ridiculous claim which put her family in bankruptcy court. Charity
  7. Just to throw a clinker in the discussion...*BWG* how far does the expectations of being a good role-model go? Do we throw out a scoutmaster who has been unfaithful to his wife? Is a screamer? Uses minor profanity? Has a twinkie addiction? Do we throw out a scoutmaster whose son is on drugs and daughter is pregnant out of wedlock (if he can't manage his own household, how is he fit to lead my kids?)? Makes remarks like "Whoa! Now there's a hot babe!" Makes derogatory remarks about minorities? Buys the occasional pull-tabs? Our SMs are good men. We're not dealing with these issues. But on the smoking issue, I am more concerned about the poor example of non-adherence to policy than the issue of a poor health habit. I do think that a scoutmaster should be a good role model to a certain degree. I also expect this to some degree of our family's karate instructor. BUT...at the end of the day, it is OUR obligation as parents to instill values in OUR sons. I don't appreciate a scoutmaster who blatantly disregards the rules, but if my son makes poor choices it's not the SM who failed but his father and I. We should be raising a son strong enough to withstand the failure of others to be all they should be. And even after we've done our job to the very best of our ability, our son's poor choices, in the end, will be no one's fault but his own. Charity
  8. According to the clip from p. 19 of the Guide to Safe Scouting (assuming the individual providing the clip in the earlier post did so correctly) "Adult leaders should support the attitude that young adults are better off without tobacco and may not allow the use of tobacco products at any BSA activity involving youth participants." To me, "may not allow" means that even if a leader didn't have a problem with smoking and didn't care whether or not smoking was present, he does not have the liberty to allow it at a BSA event with scouts present. It would be okay to allow smoking at an adults only event. I agree that the anti-smoking movement has reached Nazi proportions. I agree that character and integrity are internal issues that cannot be deemed missing in someone's life because they smoke. BUT...disregard of the rules is a character issue. Once policy is understood (doesn't sound like it was made clear at the event you attended), then there should be compliance or it does become an issue of poor role-modeling. Charity
  9. Adults smoking in front of my son would be sufficient reason for me to leave the troop for a couple of reasons. One, I do not wish my son to be exposed to secondhand smoke. He has asthma and chronic bronchitis. He doesn't need to be breathing that crap. I do not see this as being the same as having an overweight SM. Our SM being overweight does not pose a health risk for others. Secondly, the real point, however, is not my opinion or the opinion of others, but what is policy? All adults should follow policy whether they agree with it or not. The Guide of Safe Scouting disallows the use of tobacco at scouting events. Disrespect and disobedience of the rules shown by adults IS a far more serious role-modeling issue than smoking. Doesn't a scout promise to be "obedient"? How can we justify adult flaunting the rules in a scout's face and then expect them to play by the rules? Charity
  10. My son, a patrol leader, came home from scouts a bit frustrated (I'm the Advancement Chair, but was at karate class). They have Fall Jamboree this weekend. His patrol had planned to do some "extreme biking". They had discussed this for several weeks, planned it, etc. I wasn't there so I'm assuming, based on what he told me, that they did an adequate job planning. There was some resistance from the scout leaders who seemed to prefer that the boys go hiking instead. Not sure what their concerns were as I wasn't there, but I'm assuming the leaders concerns were valid as these are reasonable men who I trust. The boys, citing the leaders oft-quoted philosophy that the boys should show initiative, leadership..the whole boy-ran-troop thing, held their ground on the biking and thought the issue was settled. Last night going over the last minute checking for the weekend, the leaders again resisted the biking and tried to axe it. Son said he and the SM had a bit of a "battle of the wills" regarding the issue with him pointing out that they had already planned, discussed it and thought it was settled. The boys prevailed, but I guess the leaders aren't happy about it. The boys also mentioned their concerns about the "boy ran troop" thing being mouthed but not feeling supported in it with the Committee Chair. My concern: *Was my son respectful in holding his ground? He says he was. Should he have just done what the SM wanted? Should I follow up with SM to see if there was a problem? Or should I just butt out and let the SM and son work this out between the two of them? The SM and I are on good terms. I trust him and consider him a friend of the family. I would hope he would tell me if son copped an attitude as I'd want to address it as a point of character instruction at home. Son is usually a person of integrity, but can be tactless at times. And for general discussion... The scout leader has the benefit of experience and wisdom in foreseeing problems boys may not when they are selecting and planning events. When it comes down to a disagreement regarding preferences for an event whose desires win out? The leadership? The boys? What if the leadership really dislikes a patrol's decision? How far do boys go in holding their ground in order to be a boy-ran troop? Or should they recognize the experience of their elders and go with their guidance? Charity - Trying to help son be balanced. Be a leader and be strong when he thinks he's right but meeting resistance WHILE also be willing to consider that he might be wrong and others know better.....
  11. DSteele - Forgive my ignorance...only been in scouting for about 2 years. By "Scout Executive" you mean the guy at the very top? Are you advising that I send a copy of this young man's conviction to national headquarters? I have already given a copy to our district executive. Charity
  12. I don't want to get into all the details on a public forum. Let me just say that our family has complete legal right to those records. They were given to me by legal counsel. As far as the nature of the assault, again, a sensitive issue. I don't want to describe the nasty details. But the young man was guilty of first degree sexual assault against preschool children. This was way beyond kissing. He is a serious threat to the community despite his young age. Charity
  13. This abuse happened BY a scout, but not TO a scout. The abuse occurred in the context of private homes with the scout acting as a friend or babysitter. Since he is a juvenile, many of the child protection laws do not apply to him. It was very unusual for him to have served anytime at all. Usually a juvenile offender just gets "counseling". The sentencing only happened through the very hard work of one set of parents. The other parents didn't want to get involved. As far as defamation...I thought that could only be charged if the statements made are untrue. I am in possession of all of the police records and the court transcripts so I'm not sure how we could be accused of making false statements as long as we stick to the facts?? I wouldn't act publicly unless I felt it was necessary to protect children and we would consult a lawyer first. My biggest concern is that he will appear "clean" if he ever tries to become a SM or ASM once he becomes an adult. He is 17 now and getting out of detention this month - which is why it's on my mind now after 2 years. I'm concerned that he will apply for a scouting position or in a day care or something and his juvenile record won't follow him. Charity
  14. The scout who recruited my older son to our troop lived in our neighborhood, was a close friend of our family (we had no idea of his predilections and made the erroneous assumption that he was a great kid - after all he was a high-ranking scout!) but was convicted and sentenced to two years for sexual assault of four children in our neighborhood. There were other victims starting back when he was as young as 11. Our family had to be witnesses in the trial and were the only ones in the troop who knew of the conviction. The mom spun a web of lies as to her son's absence and continues to lie about his whereabouts. We did not "out" him to the troop as we were protecting a victim who wanted his identity protected. I did, however, report him to the district council. I am concerned, however, that because he is a minor, no criminal record of this will follow him into adulthood. He could register as a scout leader when he becomes an adult and his background check would be clean. The child advocates we worked with said he was one of the worst offenders they had ever seen. They said his methods of seduction were as advanced and sophisticated as a lifetime offender and that he would be an extreme threat to the community upon his release. Even more so because his juvenile record will not be available to the public. Have we done everything we can to protect scouts from this boy? Should we send out a letter to all the troops in our area? To national headquarters? Charity
  15. FOG - I agree with you. True scout spirit means being resourceful, showing initiative and a can-do spirit. I also think that a kid needs the support of his parents. And I think it is the obligation of a parent to help their kid be successful - not do it for them, but make sure the child is enabled and supported in their own efforts. I see parents as enablers (I mean that in the healthy sense of the word). Hate to invoke Bette Midler tripe...but that whole "wind beneath my wings" thing. Now, as your post implies, that doesn't excuse a kid who really wants to advance and doesn't have parental support. He can and should still find a way to secure the tools, resources, etc. he needs. But there aren't that many kids that motivated to fight against the odds and find ways around the many obstacles. The kid who succeeds despite parental indifference is an exceptional person and has my admiration and respect. The kids I know who are not advancing in our troop (or being successful elsewhere for that matter) are kids whose parents aren't involved in the troop, involved at school, or have their heads in their kids lives in general. They are self-centeredly doing their own thing and the kids are left to fend for themselves. At the other extreme, pushy parents feeding their own egos at the expense of their children are just as selfish. It should be about the kids. At the extremes it's all about the parent. Charity
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