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Son new to cub scouting

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ok -- so within my son's pack there was recently drinking at a pack event by the adults, including leaders at various levels.


i'm pretty disturbed by this -- but clearly don't want to yank my son out of the pack -- where his friends are.


seems like the majority of the parents (and leaders) are ok with this, since they are bringing their own alchol.


but its not ok by me. need some advice here. (I have considered printing out the policy on this -- if someone can direct me to it on the web -- and having a stack at the next pack meeting)











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Guide to Safe Scouting

Section IV.

Drug, Alcohol, and Tobacco Use and Abuse


The Boy Scouts of America prohibits the use of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances at encampments or activities on property owned and/or operated by the Boy Scouts of America, or at any activity involving participation of youth members.




to see and print it


Were youth present at the pack activity(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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cubdadinnj, WELCOME!!!


I don't think there's a better answer than OGE's, listen to him.


The only time I've ever heard of alcohol being a part of anything scouting is when there's a fundraiser for FOS sponsored by non-scouts and attended only by adults (WITHOUT uniforms). I even had to think long and hard about that one - pretty strong bending of a very HARD rule!


BTW, what part of Jersey? For 3 years we lived west of Clinton.



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I can picture sporting events where beer might be served to the public in the presence of scouts, BUT I think I would ask the scouts' parents to refrain from drinking these beverages in front of the boys.


A few weeks ago someone has suggested that leaders (and interested parents) have the Guide to Safe Scouting (GTSS) with them at all events, if nothing else just to be able to point to the rules. That was excellent advice.


The GTSS can be purchased at scout stores and on-line at http://www.scoutstuff.org . Of course, it is also available on-line at http://www.scouting.org/pubs/gss/index.html .

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This issue does need to be addressed within the unit, but I would suggest you start at the committee meeting.


Bring up your concerns along with the rules from the Guide to Safe Scouting. Mention that you don't feel this is setting a good example for the boys, and you feel it should be stopped. Volunteer to be the one to make the copies. You may even want to call a parents meeting, without the boys present.


If you don't get any response from the leadership at the committee meeting, I would take it above theirs heads. Try the unit commissioner or the Unit Serving Executive. They should be willing to address the committee with you.


This is a serious matter, but it could tear the unit apart. Use tact in your approach or it could blow up.


Good Luck, and I hope they are willing to listen.

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Thank you all for your thoughtful responses.


I was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout all the way to Life. I was in a BS Troop -- where the Scoutmaster moved away. No one in the Troop would take over -- my own love of scouting -- I got my neighbor (who had no kids himself!) to become Scoutmaster!


In my family, there is a history of alcoholism/addiction issues -- so I am very sensitive to this.


What makes it harder is that it was not just 1 or 2 adults drinking - it was probably 15 or more. WHile I do drink occasionally, I did not at this event -- I may have been the only non-drinking adult.


If these kids were not the ones my son is friends with, goes to school with, etc. -- this would be an easy choice -- I'd find another Pack.


I'm going to talk with my son's Den Leader on Saturday about my concerns -- if he is aligned with me then it makes the task a bit easier.


Alcohol and drugs are so pervasive -- regardless of BSA policy -- I wouldn't want drinking around my son and his friends! Of course, since its policy, its wrong, period.





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I am also new to a pack, and the CM told us new leaders that at campouts, after the boys are in their tents, they usually go to their coolers and bring out a few beers.


I have decided to go to the first campout (in November) and when the beers come out, retire for the evening. I am not sure what to do after that. I'll deal with it if/when the time comes.


I drink beer like the next guy, but I hold Scouting first and foremost, and do not believe that the BSA rules should be broken.

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Be very very careful about being there when you know that alcohol is present. If something were to happen and BSA found out about the alcohol they might just refuse to cover you and a lawyer for the injured party would go after everybody if he found out.


Alcohol on Scout Events is a major no no!

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  • 2 months later...

Just one caution here...guys...was it a true PACK BSA event???


I ask that simply because I remember way back when...several of my 'Pack' friends and I used to get together on NON BSA river trips...Family adventures I guess you would call them..you know BSA and moving water concerns with cub scouts.


Anyway after the day was done there were 'spirits' of various sorts visiting our river side camp as we fished or chatted the evening away...over the years this tended to grow...last time I did it there were 22 canoes on the float...all scout families some from different units but it was not a SCOUTING event....some like minded families doing things together but it may not in this case be 'scouting'... sometimes new comers hear about these things and join in without knowing the situation...just speaking up cause we do tend to jump on the 'wagon' with out all the facts... sometimes...'course maybe he is right and it was a scheduled event (bad)...'nuff said.

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  • 9 months later...

Egads, drinking and Cubs. I served on a pack committee for several years where we had to address this issue a couple of times. Generally it was a matter of new parents not realizing what the rules were, and once they were (politely) informed, it wasn't a problem again. To try to avoid this, our pack came up with a 1-page handout we distributed to all new leaders and parents, outlining the basic do's and don'ts for pack outings (esp. campouts). Most of it was directed toward the boys and things like "please leave electronic games at home so they don't get lost or broken" but one or two things applied specifically to adults.


However, if the LEADERS are doing it, here are a couple of thoughts:


1. Make sure ALL of the leaders are trained. This includes New Leader Essentials and Cub Leader Specific Training, as well as Youth Protection Training. These trainings usually mention the BSA policy on alcohol/drugs and cigarettes too several times.


If the leaders aren't trained, here's an opportunity to encourage them to get trained. Call your council to find out when training will be offered in your area. (Probably not a good idea to tell council exactly WHY you're asking, just yet, unless all else fails.)


2. If the problem persists or the leadership doesn't see it as a problem, you can point out that the pack's unit insurance will not cover any kind of accident that might occur (and stuff does happen in even the best-run units), if the leadership failed to abide by BSA rules. If that happens, each and every member of the pack leadership could be held PERSONALLY liable for the accident, because it is the leadership's job to make sure the rules are followed. This counts especially for the committee members. Additionally, if you hold an event at someone's house, that person may be liable too (even if not part of the pack leadership), and again, your unit insurance won't cover it if the pack wasn't following BSA rules. Ouch.


As someone else said, this is a situation that requires tact. However, I know that in our pack, when I pointed out the potential legal ramifications for individual leaders, people were suddenly much more willing to follow the rules without argument.



A good old bobwhite too!

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Alcohol on a Cub event or even a wink-wink non-Cub event is wrong. Don't get this confused with going to Scouts day at a ballpark. There will obviously be alcohol there. But even in those cases, parents and leaders must refrain, since they are part of the activity.


Committee Chairman needs to take the lead here. First, if it's widespread, make a general announcement or letter to the entire pack stating that it has to stop (without pointing fingers). If it's more on an individual basis, take the individuals aside and explain the policy.


According to our DE, if someone refuses to comply to this rule, the council will take legal action to prevent them from coming to activities.

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