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trainerlady

When is enough enough

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I was not at this camp due to family needs at home. I have talked to several scouts on the trip and they all confirm what follows from my son.

 

My son came home from a weekend campout at a local scout camp with cabins and told us some very worrisome things that went on at camp. It seems one of our 17 year old (Eagle project away from Eagle) scouts was having "a bad weekend" to say the least. Even taking my son's flare for story telling into account, the events at camp are still worrisome.

 

Event 1 - 17 starts the camp by bringing 20+ pocketknives to camp and sat in his bunk throwing them into the finished drywall wall at the foot of his bed and then moved to throwing them across the room into the walls. Leaders took away the knives. 17 repairs the walls with toothpaste.

 

Event 2 - 17 stays up most of the night. Bedtime/lights out/stay in your bunk except to go to the bathroom time was 11:00 PM. About 1:00 AM 17 starts duct taping mouths of sleeping scouts. Some wake up and scream others just take the tape off in their sleep. 17 also duct tapes a couple of boys into their bunks (one is a first time camper, first time overnight without a parent, new scout). He then ties my son to his bunk with ropes. My son sleeps VERY soundly, and wears earplugs to help him fall asleep in a noisy cabin. 17 knows he sleeps through just about anything (son has been in the troop for just over a year now). Screaming boys = a leader coming to the towards boys bunk room and telling them to shut up and go to sleep. No lights are turned on leader didn't go into room to find out what the commotion was all about. Just yells from kitchen area of cabin.

 

Event 3 - 17 leads a bunch of new crossovers out onto very thin ice to fetch a football he kicked out there.

 

Event 4- 17 pours water down a scout's back while in the mess line for dinner on night 2. When the scout asked him why he did that 17 pops the scout in the chin in front of everyone in the cabin. (my son)

 

Event 5 - 17 throws lemondae into the face of the SM's son outside after dinner. He deliberately took a full cup of lemonade outside and doused the other boy.

 

17's Mom was called at some point during the day and told to come get him. It took her until after dinner to get the hour or so from home to pick him up. Don't know when she was called, but it was reported by several scouts at the campout that she was called multiple time.

 

So at what point would have sent 17 home? Would you have confined 17 to his bunk or somewhere else while waiting for Mom? What would you have done with 17?

 

My husband and I are having a meeting with the SM and CC tonight about the events of the weekend. I emailed them on the afternoon the boys came home about my concerns. The SM and CC met with the ASMs and fathers in attendence at camp the night of the email to discuss the situation. It will be interesting to see what comes of these events.

 

Not sure if I want son going camping again with the troop if 17 is going to be there. My son doesn't HATE anyone, but he has said several times over the last year that he HATES 17. They are in the same patrol too.

 

Any other advice? Changing troops isn't really an option.

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Sounds to me like the situation is identified, recorded, and being addressed directly. I hope an appropriate solution is found.

I wouldn't want my son around a person with those behaviors either.

 

Scout On

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It's hard to say exactly when the line is crossed - but clearly everyone involved here agrees that the line was crossed. At what point would I have sent him home? That's hard to say. It depends on how well I knew the boy and how much I felt like I could talk to him. I think that event #1 would have been a big issue for me.

 

Event #2 would also have been a big issue, but it can be hard to figure out exactly what's going on.

 

Both of these two events are examples of why I hate cabin camping - we would normally have an adult sleeping in an adjoining room or something to try to keep the nighttime mischief down.

 

Event #3 sounds like typical stupid teenage boy behavior that we deal with. The water and lemonade of events 4 and 5 are annoying but on their own would not be sufficient - it would have to be coupled with warnings from the adults and repeated behaviors outside the stricter guidelines that were handed down. Popping the Scout on the chin would be a bigger deal.

 

What to do with him while waiting for mom... It depends on what your facilities look like. I don't think I'd confine him to the cabin unless I was prepared for the cabin to get wrecked. More likely we'd assign him to one of the adults and say that he had to stick with them at all times. If I had a "bad cop" adult in the troop, that would be the one.

 

It sounds like it's being handled reasonably well - they called the parents, had them come get the boy, and are meeting to assess the situation and decide what should be done. If you've provided your input, that's about all you can do for the moment. You want to make sure that they understand they need to take the situation seriously, but it sounds like they are.

 

If I were you, I'd also tell my son that no matter what happens, he doesn't have to go camping with 17 again if he doesn't want to.

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17 should have gone home after Event 2. Mom should have been called at 2 am, and told to pick 17 up ASAP. IMHO, ducktaping boys to beds is unacceptable. I can figure out no part of the Scout Law that would think that is anything but unacceptable.

 

#3 no big deal.

 

#4 would also result in being sent home. The popping on the chin, not the water down the back.

 

I'm wondering what's going on with 17? Sounds like something major is wrong with him (are parents getting divorced, is there a new step-parent in picture, did he flunk out of high school/not get accepted to college, break up with a girlfrined) if this is a new set of behaviors, or he's been allowed to get away with unscoutlike behavior for a long time.

 

 

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Exactly! Parents called and 17 gets a ride home! I didn't even have to get through reading #2 to figure this out!

Putting duct tape on the mouths of people while they're sleeping is dangerous and could be considered battery if a parent wanted to push it.

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So upon further reading I see you son was struck by 17. So when will you be pressing charges? I would seriously consider it especially if son is a few years younger.

Also I would also be visiting the Charter Organization Rep.

 

 

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Event two would have been it for me.

 

I know in the instance I had to deal with a youth being sent home from summer camp, the CD and I had the young man stay in the administrative office with us while we did work/read.

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Uh....at Event #1, that kid should have been gone.

 

"...throwing them across the room..."

 

You have some very brain dead adult leaders.

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Event #1, #2 and #3 and hitting in #4 hitting are all very bad. Tooth paste does not fix sheet rock.

 

#3 is what scares the #### out of me. Several of our camps have river ice and others have lakes with flowages. It can be very dangerous.

 

...

 

If he's a life scout and 17 years old, there must have been earlier behavior problems. Things rarely get this bad during just one camp out.

 

SO ... what's been done to correct him in the past? Sometimes it's little feedback moments are critical.

 

Sometimes a "come to Jesus" moment is needed. In another words, has the scout ever been explicitly to his face been told the expected behavior. That his behavior is not within those limits. (Specific incidents). If he can work within scouting boundaries, you are glad to have him in the troop. If not, he should look elsewhere to find a place to spend his time.

 

We had a youth who really needed scouting because of the ugliness in his family life. But, he could not work within the scouting boundaries. We tried for too long to make it work and longer than he was willing to invest. It drove scouts away and damaged the troop. We waited too long to make the final "come to Jesus" moment. And then he left the troop. I've seen him for a few years after, I think he learned from being asked to step away until his behavior changed.

 

...............

 

I would 100% separate his age and Eagle rank progress from the decision. That's his issue and a result of his behavior.

 

...............

 

IMHO, those scouts affected by his behavior need to know they will be safe and all the scouts need to know the behavior is not acceptable.

 

...............

 

I hate cabin camping for this reason too.

 

...............

 

Flip side of all this is that we had an older scout hit a younger scout around seven years ago. Just wacked him. Heard later from the adult leaders that the older scout was just trying to sit quietly by the fire by himself. The younger scout would just not leave him alone. The adults were watching most of the afternoon and the feedback was ... yes it was 100% unacceptable, but they could not blame the older scout. The younger scout later became SPL and an eagle scout. Funny how things can sometimes work out.

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Event one would have merited a ride home. I would have also found the most expensive drywall repair contractor in the area to complete the repairs and sent the kid a bill. (And I've got a drywall guy who shows up for work driving a BMW.)

 

Event two would have resulted in a significant suspension from the troop with a hard look at explusion, depending on prior record. This is pretty aggregious hazing/bullying with which we take an extremely hard line. This sort of crap was fairly common when I took over the troop and I can tell you from experience it is a difficult part of a troop culture to change once it is engrained. A 17-year-old doing this to a new kid? I believe in criminal justice circles that's what they would call an aggravating circumstance and would be a big brick in the wall toward expulsion.

 

On it's own, I agree that the water down the back is just a stupid adolescent prank, but could rise to the level of hazing, depending on the victim. It's funny at summer camp, but pretty mean-spirited in February. The lemonade was premeditated and would get a little higher level of attention. The punch to the face gets your butt on a paved road pretty quick.

 

What's the history here? It's hard to imagine this is the first suggestion of this sort of behavior. The couple kids I've had like this exhibited this behavior from day one. Not usually something that happens at the flip of a switch.

 

I don't think I'd play the police card yet, but I would sure let the leadership AND the other parents know it's in the deck.

 

By the way, our rule is if we call a parent to come get their kid over a discipline issue, they have standard driving time plus about 15 minutes to pick their boy up. When that time's up we turn him over to the local sheriff or child protective services. Of course that's tounge-in-cheek, but our parents know that if the leaders on the ground get to the point of sending a Scout home, it's to the point that he needs to go home NOW.

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Event 1 would have prompted a call to parents to come get him. I would have also explained they would be getting a bill to repair the drywall. Toothpaste doesn't cut it. Event 2 would result in being removed from the troop, Eagle or not. His EBOR should be interesting...if he makes it that far.

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We've known 17 for jujst over a year. Only seen Mom once and never met Dad. A broken home is a good guess. 17 rides his bike to most in town activities and gets rides home if it is dark or bad weather. His parents have never driven for an event. He has been Life since we started with the unit. Was SPL when we joined, then PL for son's patrol for the next term or office.

 

17 is one of those kids that can snow an adult into thinking he is the greatest scout in the world. Knows what to say, when to say it and how to say it. When adults aren't around he is a BRAT to say the least. I have had short conversations with him about his behavior and is representing his rank appropriately to the younger scouts. I have even gone as far a telling him to be glad I can't sit on his Eagle BOR, because I'd fail him over his lack of Scout Spirit and for not living Scout Oath and Law. Very manipulative, very devious and very deceptive. A great ring leader, can sucker kids that know something is wrong into following him. Did that with the duct tape thing at camp. That is probably why no adults were summoned to the boys bunk room.

 

17 had a first year camper in tears at summer camp because of his bullying and taunting. SM, CC and other leaders did nothing. The SM actually held the scout being bullied back from advancing because he wasn't mature enough at summer camp to be a Star scout in their opinion, he cried. Bullied scout Mom was in camp as an ASM but had no luck with 17 (then 16) or the other leaders. I backed her as 17 was doing the same thing to my son and 2 more friends that were also first year campers.

 

IMHO 17 is a kid that could have benefited from scouting if the adult leadership had gotten their heads out of their collective butts before we arrived. But things seemed to have gone for a long time without being corrected and now we have a 17 year handful that likes picking on 10.5 to 12 kids. This isn't a good thing.

 

BTW, we're hoping not to have to press charges against 17.

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Yep event 1 boy would have been sent home, ranger called in to evaluate damage and to hand bill to mom when scout was picked up.

 

 

17 needs to pay for repairs to the cabin.....

 

The duct taping boys is dicey, I would hope the CC and SM would address it.

 

 

Just because he is an Eagle doesn't mean a thing.......

 

 

Curious here, Is he the son of someone important to the CO or the Pack or troop????

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Basement,

 

Not an Eagle yet, still needs to do a project. Not the kid of anyone important that I know of. Not even from the community where the troop meets.

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