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Yaworski, you wrote:


" All of you expect everyone to be nothing but goodness and light. Don't fight, don't fight back, never be angry, don't play rough. But you folks are the same ones who are afraid to go out at night, expect the police to protect you and are willing to send our young men to die in silly places like Somalia and Bosnia. "


I'm not afraid to go out at night, because a) I think most people are pretty nice, and b) I don't mind taking reasonable precautions to assure my own safety, which generally involves avoiding unsafe people and unsafe situations. Where unsafe situations can't be avoided, my precautions involve prayer for a hedge of angels, which I have found to be particularly effective. And pepper spray in my pocket (legal in my state).


I will also fight like a tiger to protect children from abusive situations, with dismaying results I grant you. I guess you would suggest that I was wrong to turn in the Mom who split her 10-year old daughter's lip and put dark purple bruises all over her torso with a hockey stick because the kid hadn't done her homework. After all, kids should be toughened up, right? They need to know the world isn't all goodness and light.


But the most important point that I wish to cover is:


YES. I EXPECT SCOUTS TO BE GOOD. EVERY BLESSED ONE OF THEM. The scout in the example blew it on so many points of the law, I don't think I could list them all.




There is a difference between "boys will be boys" and "boys will be insufferable beasts." Boys being boys includes behavior like heaving a football through the window because you thought you could throw it all the way over the house; swiping Dad's tools to make something and forgetting to put them back; eating the entire contents of the pantry and then asking "what's for dinner?"; forgetting to bathe for three days because you're busy with other important stuff like building model airplanes. It doesn't involve this kid's exercise of bullying, obnoxious, harrassing behavior in any way, shape or form.




Should he be thrown out of the troop? I think that is best left to the TC involved, just because they are the only ones who truly can get the whole story. But should he have been sent home in disgrace? ABSOLUTELY, and the entire troop should have been convened and informed of WHY he was going home. Failure to respect other's property might have been overlooked or punished lightly, but the bullying and making sorta-sexual advances on another's person are not minor matters. The whole troop should know that all elements of this incident were NOT ok, and if the offender has to explain to 20 probably grossed-out boys that he didn't really want to get it on with another scout, that's a-ok with me.



Just because many youth of today appear to be going to H*** in a handbasket doesn't mean SCOUTS gotta go with them.



And I have to say, I personally have been offended by your comments to Bob White and others on this otherwise pleasant board.

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Ed says:


The Scouts in my Troop don't dance with each other. I was refering to the type of dancing these guys might do at school dances. Is that sexual harassment? I think not.


Ed, the term you used in the post I was responding to was "sexual meaning," not "sexual harrassment." The type of dancing you were referring to has sexual meaning, that is the whole point of it. Just as the words and actions of the boy in question had sexual meaning. Forget sexual harrassment. It was a sexually-oriented action. Does an action with sexual meaning have a place at a school dance? Well, we could debate the morality and everything, but I think we'd have to agree that to some extent it does. People will be people. But the key is that the conduct at a school dance is consensual -- in fact, if it is not, then it does start to become sexual harrassment, or worse. But at a Scout camp, an action with sexual meaning has no place even if it is consensual.

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Thanks, NJCubScouter, I appreciate your comments. I did refer to sexual meaning not harrassment. And just for the record, I do not condone "humping", even while dancing, as the correct conduct for a child. And I think that is my biggest concern. We are talking about children. At least that is the impression I got.

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A final message from the person who opened this thread. As some of you may have concluded, I am not a Scouting leader, but instead am a parent attempting to understand the situation as other Scouting leaders may see it. Your responses ranged all the way from boys-will-be-boys to report-to-the-authorities. Now I understand why the leadership in my troop took the course they did.


I will say this . . . I wish my son was in Bob White's troop.


The situation now is that we held a troop meeting last night. The new scoutmaster, who at camp was the senior leader, started the discussion by characterizing the incident as 'roughhousing'. Even after my description of the incident and remarks from an attending police officer, who said that legally the interaction could be construed as a reportable offense, the scoutmaster concluded the discussion by once again referring to it as 'roughhousing'.


One of Bob's messages quoted from the manual, 'Physical violence, hazing, bullying, theft, verbal insults . . . have no place in the Scouting program'. This incident violated each of those. My wife and I have no confidence that future incidents of bullying will be observed or acted upon. If bullying is not noticed it cannot be disciplined. We reluctantly conclude that must withdraw our son from the troop. Bob, I will be quoting from your posts as I explain to this scoutmaster why we are leaving. Once again, thank you everybody for your participation.

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I still don't feel this is a "kick the kid" out offense. It sounds like he has used up chances, though & should be suspended from the Troop. I still don't see the sexual part of it. Bullying yes. Sexual no.


Kids like this need the program. They need the structure.


The only other thing I would like to know is did the younger Scout provoke this behavior from the older Scout?


Ed Mori


Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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"The unit should inform the Scout executive about all incidents that result in a physical injury or involve allegations of sexual misconduct by a youth member with another youth member." -- 2001 Guide to Safe Scouting, page 6.


A basic element of Youth Protection training is that we, as adult leaders, are not trained or qualified to judge whether or not sexual abuse has occurred. Our obligation is to report the incident to the local SE and let him decide the appropriate response.


But since we have the luxury here of debating these issues in hindsite -- and if you still don't think this is sexual misconduct -- let's try an experiment. Tomorrow at lunch, randomly select a woman. Grab her purse and refuse to give it back to her. When she trys to take it back, stroke her hand and tell her "I know you want to get it on with me. Come here and do it with me." Now start making humping movements on her.


My recommendation is to have the names of a good criminal defense attorney and bail bondsman with you first.

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the scout is quoted as saying: "I know you want to get it on with me. Come here and do it with me,"


How do you see this as not a sexual reference?


What does "get it on" and "do it" mean to you?


Even without the perceived sexual references, the older scout denied the younger scouts access to the younger scouts property. That alone should earn him some type of corrective action.

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I cannot take the time to elaborate as much as I would like to right now (as i am getting ready for a Labor Day vacation), but I do not believe that the situation you describe is even remotely parallel to the situation between these two boys. First, it was obvious teasing between two boys who are part of a generation that almost constantly uses sexual references as a form of taunting, not as an invitation sexual conduct as adults would. Another example of this phenomenon is a T----Twister. Boys do this to each other all the time, but try this with an adult woman and it would definitely be considered sexual. Second, these two boys knew each other and almost certainly understood that this was a joke (though one that went too far). This wasn't some random act done to a random person.



My point (and i think Ed's too) is that this was a sexual REFERENCE, but it was not done with a sexual PURPOSE or INTENT (there is a difference). The main meaning behind the statements and actions was not to make a sexual advance (as is the case with sexual misconduct), but simply to be a bully.

You also said "Even without the perceived sexual references, the older scout denied the younger scouts access to the younger scouts property. That alone should earn him some type of corrective action" This I agree with. The sexual stuff needs to be addressed and punished also, but not to the extent that some in this forum would have. In my opinion, he was just being a bully. Granted he went way over the line, but he was not making actual sexual advances with the intent of something actually happening, so I don't see this as something that deserves being kicked out of the troop for.(This message has been edited by Eagle_SM)

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Gotta agreee with eagle_sm and Ed Movi on this one. I don't see this as a kicking out offense. Needing some counseling diffinitely, probably by a professional, the other sessions with troop leaders doesn't seem to work.


Time warp to the 70s - 80s: Most of us grew up in a time when you could carry a pocketknife in school and not be expelled. We did the gym-antics and did some unscout-like behavior. Most of us have done something really dumb as a teenager and were glad we were never caught.


Time warp back: Today the teenagers have a harder time than we did. Teen murders in school. Cussing not only in public but in front of their parents and smoking too. Any comment like: kill, bomb, gun, or such can get them expelled. How many of us have used those words in school growing up. Sex is open and its not unusual for teenagers to have the opposite sex in their bedroom and this is ok with parents. Condom commercials on TV. They have more negative peer pressure and options than us old-timers.


Bottom Line: Scouting does not have need to have a "Zero Tolerance" on everything. Somethings yes, but not all. Scouts are boys first. We can't take that out of them. They will do some dumb things they will regret. How we help them through the mistakes and encourage with patience is what builds character. Aren't you that say kick the scout out expecting scouts to have their character built or is one of our goals to "build character". Its not always a "norman rockwell" scouting atmosphere.



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Yep that's what I was getting at. Thanks.


We still don't know if the younger Scout provoked the older Scout's responses. I'm not saying that what the older Scout did was correct. It wasn't and must be dealt with. The adult leaders of the Troop did deal with it. Maybe they didn't do as much as they should have since it seems this Scout has exhibited this type of behavior in the past. But kicking the kid out is not the appropriate action. Suspend him & give him a chance to realize the error of his ways.


Ed Mori


Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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There are several different elements to this "case" which taken alone could have resulted in several different responses:


Taking the boy's chair and refusing to return it should have resulted in a gruff, one-minute reminder about respecting others' belongings.


Teasing the younger boy about being a homosexual and telling the boy "I know you want me," ect. is bullying -- a fairly egregious case of bullying -- and should have been dealt with through the normal dicipline procedures -- calling his parents, sending him home, suspension, or however the PLC and troop handles it.


Where this kid stepped off the cliff is when he humped the other guy. Please re-read Bob White quote regarding member responsiblities the G2SS. Touching another Scout in a sexual manner violates the Scout Oath and Law and Youth Protection guidelines. At that point the appropriate and required response of the leaders should have been to follow the Youth Protection policies and notify the Scout Executive.



Eagle_SM -- You're right about the intent. Obviously the older boy was not trying to have sex with the younger Scout. Just the opposite, he was taunting that the younger boy was homosexual and wanted have sex with him. It dosn't matter that what he said was just a sexual reference or if it had sexual intent. My point is that the combination of bullying, physical contact and especially sexual content (however you want to describe it)crossed a huge the line.


Double Eagle -- I know adolescent boys probably alway have and probably always will participate in this kind of behavior. I, too, grew up in the 70's and for a while during junior high the fashionable put down was to call someone a fag. Our local variation was to call them a "Bill White" supposedly named after local gay guy (I don't know if he was a real person or not)who, according to legend, flew through the bedroom windows of young boys and performed oral sex on them.


Sometime in the sixth grade a teacher overheard one of these taunts. Everyone in ear-shot, about six of us, were hauled to the principal. We got a week of detention, had to write a ten-page report and had our parents called. My punishment at home was even worse.


Compare that to maai's situation where the adult leaders' initial response was to do nothing, and were the Scoutmaster is now treating this a case of "roughhousing."


Is it possible that the diffrence between then and now is not the boys' actions but the response of the adults? Is it not our purpose to teach and hold Scouts to a higher standard?

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I don't know if we'd have gotten the week of detention, probably just the phone call home which was worse.


Back in junior high, a friend and I were sent to the principal's office for cutting up in class. We were still laughing over what we had done which infuriated the principal. He started yelling at me, "I know your father and I'm going to call him about this." Well, I knew that he didn't know my father but he did golf occasionally with my uncle. Thirty years after the fact, I still wonder if my cousin, who was in my grade, went home that day to be clobbered because the principal had called about him misbehaving.


Anyway, look at the range of reactions evoked by this incident. Some want the police called and child abuse charges filed. Others say, "boys will be boys" which, to my mind is the reality of the situation. Boys are boys and they do stupid things which require some explanation.


As Scouters, we cannot punish the boy for his actions or can we. Could we say, "you now get to clean the latrine for the entire week?" or "you have to sleep in a tree tonight." Maybe I missed something in training but I don't think that we're allowed to punish boys.


Okay, let's report it to the Council Exec who is then compelled, under our zany system of laws, to report it to the authorities. Those folks see monsters under every bed and love to blow things out of proportion.


What happens now that the authorities are called. Well, at the very least, the kid winds up in "counseling" which can bankrupt his family. He might even wind up with criminal charges filed which will bankrupt his family and then he'll still need the "counseling."


Now the media gets ahold the thing. Names will be withheld because the boys are minors but the CO's name will be published, as will the SMs, and all the ASMs that were there.


"Boy Scout Sexually Molests Another Scout at Camp"


"Despite the BSA prohibition on gay members, one Scout made advances toward another at summer camp. When he was refuffed, the Scout sexually assaulted his victim and began to hump him."


"Troop 333 of Frostbite Falls, MN is sponsored by the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. Scoutmaster Bob Smith, an engineer with Frostbite Electronics, cannot be reached for comment but is reported to have initially said, "Boys will be boys."


Who wants to get involved in that morass? I don't.

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Ignore it Sager,

There have been tens of thousands of excellent adult leaders in the BSA who were never boys. One of my parents was never a boy and she helped raise 5 sons, two are police officers, two are scout leaders and the youngest is an educator. She she also helped teach us that "boys will be boys" is a catch phrase adults use to avoid responsibility, and that the excuse "he made me do it" is no excuse at all.


I am encouraged that most of the adults responding to this string did not try to make excuses or create imaginary "what if" scenarios. As maai wrote in the original post, the older boy admitted to his actions and to the language he used. After reading the rules of the G2SS it is inconceivable that anyone can conclude that this action is appropriate in any way to the activities of a scout program or determine that this offender is not a risk to the other scouts.


Bob White

(Not my real name but a partial profile has been posted since the day I joined this board)


Ozemu and OGE have my real name and have my permission to share it with anyone who makes a $10,000 donation to either of their council's Friends of Scouting Campaign, in the form of a certified check or money order. :)

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