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-KJ-

Inappropriate CubMaster Actions?

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This is probably why my DH (also a former Scout) suggested that I ask you folks about this situation.

 

If the other DLs were on board with me, that'd probably be enough peer pressure to turn the guy around. The thing is, most of us on the trip are all on the Pack Committee, and most are the CM's buddy. There were seven A/DLs there, and I can envision only two of us really agreeing to complain in any way. One simply wants to get along to get along, and the others are the CM's buddies and comrades-in-arms. At least one is kind of a big deal in the community (business owner kind of thing). Lodging a complaint with their backing is like asking them to sign a sworn confession from someone else implicating them in a crime. I can't see it happening willingly. There were two other parents there who might agree with me, but they're not holding any kind of Scouting position.

 

In lodging a formal complaint, I not only turn most of the Pack Leaders against me, but also risk a pretty good relationship with a friend, neighbor, and my son's best friend's mom.

 

I guess if it were easy to do the right thing, then EVERYONE would do it and it would be no big deal.

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OK, then don't lodge a formal complaint, but leave anyway. There are a lot of cub packs "out there" in most places, and probably others within driving distance of your home. Come up with whatever justification you feel you need to give your son's friends' parents (or whoever) - maybe the meeting nights don't work for you, or you just think you have different ideas about what behavior is acceptable (that's pretty generic).

 

I really think you SHOULD let the charter org and district executive (professional scouter) know what is happening, but if you are too uncomfortable doing that, then at least do your family a big favor and get yourselves out of there. I can't see how anyone will be helped by staying, and sooner or later this is all going to blow up anyway, probably rupturing those friendships you hope to preserve at the moment, if you do stay.

 

(A side question: We all have different thresholds, but what will it take for you to be thoroughly fed up? If this CM guy attempted to sit on MY lap in the context you described, he'd be missing some parts right about now.)

 

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Three choices:

 

1) Stay and do nothing but go along to get along. Things may be ok, but based on your description of events, things will most likely continue to escalate until someone gets seriously hurt or a serious YP event occurs. At the rate these Cubs are going, I'd hate to have to deal with these kids when they crossed over our Troop - they'd get a rude awakening when they discovered their behavior actually needs to be within the Scout Law.

 

2) Stay and challenge the CM behavior constructively and persistently. This will likely meet with significant resistance by the CM and his fans, and will be uncomfortable. But if you stick to your guns and implement in a friendly way and do not back down, you will likely prevail. But it will not be easy. Rather than tattling on him to the higher ups, work with them to help shape a clearly enthusiastic leader in the ways of Scouting.

 

3) Walk. If you are in a small community with few Cub alternatives, this may be very difficult. On the other hand, if other Cub Packs exist, this may be the best alternative. If you do have options, you might at least pay a visit and see how things feel with other Packs.

 

Which ever option you choose, here is a nice gift for the CM - either toss it to him as you walk out the door, or give it (anonymously?) if you choose to stay.

http://www.snorgtees.com/beawarning-p-1094.html?osCsid=b0374e2108d85c2b0fcd265aef05c360

 

Good Luck!!

 

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SMT outlined some pretty good options. In terms of friends, I wouldn't worry. If a person is really a friend, they will side with you, not with the crowd. If they don't side with you, are they really worth having as a friend?

 

What most bothers me about his alleged actions are the peeing, and the innuendos/lap sitting, etc.? I'm not opposed to boys peeing in the woods, but it's totally inappropriate within 10 yards of a latrine, as well as within close sight of the rest of the camping area. That's a health hazard and a YP issue. The lap sitting/innuendos are against the Scout Law, and even though you are Cub Scouts, I believe Scout Law is still applicable.

 

Also, not sure about your marital situation, but if a man did what that CM did to my wife, I'd be having a talk with him.

 

Now, what the CM's son did is just being an elementary school boy. Admittedly, the CM should stop it from being sung in the future, but I wouldn't hold the fact that he taught that to the other scouts against the CM.

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Really, wizzing in the woods is now a YP issue? Seeing someone's fully-clothed back while they pee in the other direction is a violation of privacy? Used a urinal lately?

 

Okay, pretty clearly this guy has some wrong ideas of what is appropriate with 7 and 8 year olds. My biggest concern would be with the unwanted flirting with ladies in the pack. The Barbie song is over the line, too.

 

But could it be that you got miffed with the CM over his lack of attention regarding the schedule, then saw the rest of the campout through that filter? I'm not certainly not saying what this guy did was okay, but your laundry list of issues seems a bit over the top.

 

I also consider five of seven leaders on the trip were apparently okay with the guy's behavior. You attribute this to them being buddies with CM. Could it be that they didn't see the problems as being as serious as you?

 

Still, as a parent of a boy in the pack, your perception of the pack leadership is valid. If you have an issue with it, you should address your concerns with the pack leadership, be that the Cubmaster, committee chairman or chartered organization. Perhaps that will result in a change in direction or even a change in leadership. But if the rest of the pack is okay with the behavior, you and your son need to find a unit which better fits your family's values. Of course, if you believe violations of youth protection standards have occured, you're obligated to report them to the Scout Executive.

 

But I think problems like this are best handled on the ground in real time by the people there. The moms in the group needed to let the lout know that his flirtations were making them uncomfortable -- or at least talk to someone who could intercede on their behalf if a direct conversation would have been uncomfortable. A similar conversation about the Barbie song was in order. The wizzing in the woods was handled properly, up to a point. When the CM grinned and blew off the den leader who asked the boys to go to the latrine, they needed to have a conversation about the leaders supporting one another and the example the adult were setting for the boy. If someone wanted to press the point, they could have taught the boys proper back country sanitation of going 200 feet off-trail and digging a cat hole. That much work sorta takes the fun out of peeing in the bushes.

 

One of the things that struck me about your posts is that this guy is an Eagle Scout. Eagles can be the best or worst adult leaders. Sometimes old Eagles want to relive their days as Scouts. Maybe this guy's best memories of Scouting were building too-big bonfires and peeing in the woods. What he doesn't remember is that he was a Scout prior to the era of Leave No Trace, youth protection and and female adult leaders. Some old Eagles have a hard time making the transition from Scout to Scout Leader, no matter how old they are.

 

Based on your post, sounds to me like this guy lacks the maturity I, personally, would want to see in a Cubmaster. But he sure has the enthusiasm. If a couple thoughtful, sincere conversations with some sage Scouters could get this fellow to see his proper role, he could be a great leader for your boys. I would give him the chance.

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Whizzing in the woods in close proximity to the campsite is a YP issue. YP requires separate latrines for adults/scouts and male/female. Also, to some degree it is a matter of simple politeness, that I think we need to relay to Scouts. You don't pee on a tree 10 yards from the latrine in the presence of females.

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Well, if you check out the replies in the "hazzing issue" thread, you'll probably get advice that says to wait until someone is injured, then hold back the offending Scout's next rank advancement, and take the parents to court.

I appreciate the comments here much more than there.

The activity by the kids can be expected if the adult leadership doesn't set the example and if there are no guidelines stated. The CM sounds like he just doesn't get it. He's a loose cannon, and needs some major adjustments. This kind of guy is unlikely to change, and either he leaves or you do. He's way out of line.

BDPT00

 

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The closest Youth Protection rule that could apply to this is "Respect of privacy.

Adult leaders must respect the privacy of youth members in situations such as changing clothes and taking showers at camp, and intrude only to the extent that health and safety require. Adults must protect their own privacy in similar situations." Also "Separate accommodations. When camping, no youth is permitted to sleep in the tent of an adult other than his own parent or guardian. Councils are strongly encouraged to have separate shower and latrine facilities for females. When separate facilities are not available, separate times for male and female use should be scheduled and posted for showers." There are no YP rules in reguards to "peeing" in the woods outside of this. If you have one, then please post the reference.

 

That said, this is at a camp and latrines are available, so for everyone's sanitation, impact on the environment and comfort level, and indeed for their protection, the boys should be told that it is inappropriate and it be enforced.

 

That said, there are alot of issues going on here that are of concern.

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KJ,

 

 

 

You are correct..based on a technicallity. But then you have the spirit of YP and what it is meant to stop.

 

"By the end of the first day the boys in CM's Den were feeling perfectly free to urinate all over the campground, despite the latrine sitting there 10 yards away. "Seriously, you guys, there's a latrine RIGHT THERE, you can't use it?" I asked one boy who was busy watering a tree on the way to breakfast. CM looks over his shoulder and grins, and keeps hiking. The boy takes his as his cue, grins at me happily and runs off the join the rest of his Den."

 

So, without specifically saying it, the Cm told the boys that it was okay to pee anywhere. So, how many boys actually pay attention to make sure nobody happens to come upon them amd see them? The CM basically said that the boys do not have to create any kind of privacy when pulling ouit their privates. The CM, by his actions has created an environment that could in fact increase the likely hood of visual exposure.

THIS IS A VIOLATION OF YP

 

Instead of doing stuff to stengthen YP, the CM is actually encouraging behavior that goes against YP!

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If the cubs are learning to tie people to trees, slap the CM's booty, and pee on trees; how long before they tie the CM to a tree and pee on him?

 

This could take care of itself...

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This is defiantly a YP issue. While boys do pee in the woods its inappropriate at a camp with latrines to do so.

 

"The boys got freer with their language by the end of Day 2. They'd begun to sing made-up songs about "the CubMaster's booty," and take an occasional swing at his rear." This is also a YP issue. Its in appropriate for boys and adults to touch each other in this way. If it covered by a swim suit its off limits.

 

The songs and skits crosses the gray area of whats appropriate for songs and skits.

 

This should be reported to the COR, COIH, and the SE. Even if it only one person who saw it and even if everyone around you will be mad at you.

 

As for leaving the unit, one could do that and it would be better for them. However, the problem will still be their and boys will continue to be effected by the inappropriate behavior. Its better to stay and go to work solve the problem. Get the CM removed even if it means you stepping up to the plate and taking the position of CM.

 

Running won't help the boys in the unit.

 

Not saying anything is the same as you condoning the activity.

 

NOW GO DO THE RIGHT THING AND GO DO IT TODAY.

 

(This message has been edited by Gary_Miller)

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::sigh:: It is not a YP issue...and saying it makes you uncomfortable does not make it one. It is a sanitary issue and a conduct issue. It is an issue that could "potentially" lead to a YP issue, but it is not in and of itself a YP issue. It is simply not appropriate at this point. I am a firm believer in saying what something is and not making up new rule descriptions which don't exist. This does not mean that I condone it. It simply means that I call it what it is, a sanitation and behavior issue.

 

For example, just because someone is drinking next to a car, that doesn't make it a DUI issue. It is a POTENTIAL DUI issue.

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It is not a YP Violation, or an act that requires reporting to authorities.

 

However when a child exposes himself in public at the encouragement of the primary leader in charge, that does fall under the guidelines of Youth Protection.

 

The problem isn't the scouts peeing in the woods, it's the actions taken (or not taken) by the leadership that is. If the Cubmaster did everything he could to redirect them and stop them from peeing in the woods, it would simply be a behavior issue.

 

YP is NOT JUST sexual predators. It is creating a safe environment for the scouts in our care. That can be sexual abuse, but also physical or mental harm. This includes respect for themselves and others.

 

Encouraging peeing in the woods, tying kids to a tree, and the crude song lyrics all fall under Youth Protection. Much of it is boys being boys, but it's our responsibility as leaders to correct and redirect that behavior and let them know those things are not ok to do.

 

It's the Leader's actions that make it a YP issue, not the boys' actions.(This message has been edited by kmorgan221)

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It looks to me like you have been given a lot of good (albeit sometimes contradictory)advice on this thread. To sum it up

- you should definitely not take this lying down.

- whizzing in the woods is one thing, whizzing i side of camp but wiht whizing in ful view of others and but grabbing songs, this guy MAY have crossed the line into a YP issue.

- if he won't change, then either have him removed or leave.

 

 

But one thing seems to be missing from all the above discussion.

Namely, you should talk to the CM. Tell him what's on your mind. If it helps print out your original post and hand it to him. Even if you leave the pack don't keep it a secret why you are leaving.

 

If the guy is some kind of criminal go directly to the authorities, other than that no good has EVER been accomplished by hiding someone's faults from him. You MUST talk to him. As I said, even if you leave the pack let him know WHY, otherwise he will do the same thing again and again, victimizing dozens of kids and causing the troop to slowly die in the process.

 

 

 

 

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