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suzdvm

Conduct on camp out

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Our troop and pack just finished a Family camp out weekend. we hike, fished, cooked, napped, and did crafts at a state park. All the boys had a great time. Most were cubs, two boy scouts; one had a brother that is a cub and one came just to get camping nights in bringing his mother, baby brother, and 19 year old brother.

 

My request for proper "official" conduct/information regards the older brother and company. The company complained about my conduct, so I want to be sure that I did not go overboard.

 

The situation is as follows. A car pulls up in our camp area Saturday late afternoon, the cubs were working on nature crafts and knots, one boy scout was helping them. The other boy scout was sitting off by himself. The 19 yr old was in his tent. The car contained a woman and her 19yr old son from our home town. They were attending a family reunion nearby (40 miles +/-) They go to one tent and talk to those people for 30 minutes, the woman leaves, leaving the son. No problem, we 're from a small town, everyone knows everyone. (This was irritation #1, she dumps son without checking with SM or CM if ok. Scouts let her withour checking with SM or CM. I am the ASM, but am female, so the boys around here to not respect me very well, It is a taught behavior in this area that is really ingrained in the natives. Also we do not have "money" so some do not believe they have to listen the "white trash".)

 

The two 19 yrs old and the "lazy" scout sit at a table and are talking, laughing etc. The next table over the cubs continue to work. one of the cubs comes up a little while later saying the big boys have a lizard and are hurting it. Summary ; they have pulled the tail off of a lizard already and then had a Texas Horned Lizared (protected in our state) and are messing with it. The horny toad is taken away and I tell them in no uncertain terms: That they are not to torture the wildlife, they are not to mess with horney toads, that if the ranger saw them, they could go to prison or get fined. (they take the horney toad seriously here) And they had better not do anything like that again.

I did have another leader there with me. It was out in the open. THe parent of the 19 yr old and "lazy" scout was sitting there ignoring the whole thing.

I went to the CM , as the SM was not available, and asked him to seak with the boys. (CM is also my husband.) he thought I was overreacting, that all people would pick up a lizard to look at it and show it to others. I said that was not the problem , the problem was the pulling tails off and harassing the protected lizards, besides being on state property and being scouts or "guests" at a scout function. AND then proceding to laugh in my face about being >>>>>>>>>> fill this in with language, uncomplimentary words , etc. CM talked to them. He said they listened to him, but he is very easy going on everyone except his own family.

The big boys continued to sit there until after supper (letting the mother fix it and clean up after) then left to go fishing. But in the mean time, the continued to talk badly about everyone, especially me as one cub reported to me.

I told the cubs to ignore the big boys and to continue to be good scouts as they had been and let's do the next project.

 

OK: questions:

1. How do we get parents and scouts to act like scouts?

2. What is the proper way to discipline/talk to/ etc scouts that break the law on a scouting event?

(One said take care of it internally, I said on a blatent deliberate act like lizard mutilation, if it happened again, tell the ranger)

3. What to do about "guests" that show up uninvited? Normally no problem, we take them in and include them. But when they "cause trouble" and disrupt things?

 

4. How else could this have been handled?

 

5. any other input.?

6. Only the CM has any training. I have asked for two years for council to offer training in the area (150 mile radius) but they only offer it 250 + miles away. They are thinking about offering one 200 miles away. But I have read everything i can get my hands one,, and read this forum.

 

THANKS

suzdvm

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I'm not sure if this event was a Troop or Pack event - sounds like a Pack event in which case, each kid must have had a parent present.

 

As far as the 19 year old that was dropped off by his mom, I would have asked him to either be responsible or to leave - 19=legal adult and shouldn't be in a tent with a scout unless they're family members.

 

As for the Horned Toad incident, I would have reported it to the ranger - a protected species is just that - protected. (I'm from Texas as well and appreciate their status - used to be all over the place, but with the infusion of the fire ant, their numbers have declined because the red ant (their primary food) is getting scarce - welcome to the environmental science merit badge section of the thread:))

 

Good luck on the training - short of bugging your council, the only other thing i can think of is go to an adjacent council and check their availability.

 

HTH

Quixote

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This is a problem that occurs all too often. You're stuck between a rock and a hard place. If you press the issue, you are perceived as a hard case. If you don't press the issue, bad conduct is rewarded. Many will say, don't press the issue because the involved parties will drop out of scouting. So what?

 

 

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It was Suppose to be a Troop camp out, but most of the Boy Scouts had little brothers in Cub Scouts, so they wanted to go too. I did not want to go on a camp out with two or three leaders and the rest of the adults drop their boys off and leave (last time they did not send tents, sleeping bags, tp, food or anything). So I suggested making it a Troop/Pack Family camp out. To go you had to have your family go with you. (so you would be responsible to your own parent).

 

The other leaders really liked this idea, so that is what it turned into.

The cubs had a great time and learned a lot... including how to let an adult go down the trails first to step on the rattlesnakes. (happened twice.

 

I wanted to contact the ranger in the horny toad incident because all the boys knew the toads/lizards were protected, we covered that at the morning hike up the mesa (Black Mesa, Oklahoma, highest point in Oklahoma, dinosaur tracks and dig.) So I was really upset when the older boys were doing this.

 

As to the dropped off boy, I WAS WRONG, he is only 17 yrs old (his brother is 19) So a youth was left by his parent without permission.? I made a remark this AM/noon to a Scout parent that couldnot go this weekend about the child, and she said that family considers it self priviledge and does what they want.

 

 

Thanks so far.

Suz

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It sounds like you did the best that you could at the time. The question remains as to follow up. Someone in authority in the units involved needs to write the parents of the non member drop off informing them that this is not acceptable. I suggest that the committee take up the question of the Horned Toad incident. Maybe all these guys need a wake up call and a brush with the law. As far as boys quitting scouting is concerned, it doesn't sound like these are the kinds of youth members you want. Big loss.

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Hi suzdvm,

As far as the "official" rules, most are found in the the BALOO training course. BALOO is required training for any cub family camp event. Someone in your pack organization should have been BALOO trained and in a supervisory capacity at the event. The SM and the SPL as always are responsible for the troop.

 

Without proper documentation the visiting 17-year-old should not have been allowed to stay. That rule should have been clearly shared with everyone attending.

 

The lizard incident is a violation of the local laws and of the BSA's Outdoor Code. It should have been dealt with by the SM.

 

Your problem is less the behavior of the scouts and more the lack of supervision by the adults responsible for the event.

 

Bob White

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