Jump to content
chief027

Cell Phones at Summer Camp

Recommended Posts

Can't follow your post TAHAWK.  Codes of military justice aren't really applicable to anything here, and the bit about appropriate isn't in the section you cited.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ParkMan said:

I'd be kind of amused to confiscate a Scout's cell phone and then have him call the police on me.  I can only imagine how this goes...

operattor: "911. How can I help you?"

scout: "I'd like to report a theft"

operator: "Please tell me what what was stolen and your location."

scout: "I'm at the Scout Camp.  My Scoutmaster just stole my cell phone."

operator: "OK, please tell me what happened"

scout: "My Scoutmaster told me to stop using my phone.  He then told me I had to give him my phone. I did that. I'd like you to send police to the camp."

operator: "Understood, I've got SWAT in route to your location now."

As i agreed repeatedly, the likely result is that you get away with the theft.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

Can't follow your post TAHAWK.  Codes of military justice aren't really applicable to anything here, and the bit about appropriate isn't in the section you cited.

"Appropriate" is the the section of the Theft statute that you omitted: 2913.01(C) (3) - quoted verbatim in my quotation of the law review article - written when I was there. So. once more with feeling:

"C) 'Deprive' means to do any of the following:

...(3) Accept, use, or appropriate money, property, or services, with purpose not to give proper consideration in return for the money, property, or services, and without reasonable justification or excuse for not giving proper consideration."

I cited the antique definition of "Larceny" to show the antique nature of the narrow definition of "Deprive" that went away in 1968 with that exception.  Stuff changes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, TAHAWK said:

As i agreed repeatedly, the likely result is that you get away with the theft.

And you and I agreed on the best path here to just let the Scout keep the phone in the first place.  I know it's a popular approach to conflscate things, but I really think A Scouter serves the bigger purpose of Scouting better by working towards responsible use of the phone. 

But - as I was reading it again, this image kept poping in my head.  That's all :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/27/2019 at 8:20 PM, David CO said:

Summer camp isn't supposed to be prison camp. I would never keep a scout at camp against his will. Even if he didn't bring a cell phone to camp, I would let him borrow a leader's phone to call home and ask to be picked up. 

 

It's not a matter of keeping the kid against their will.  It's that when you have a nervous kid that is away from home for the first time, if you can keep them busy and having fun, they don't WANT to go home.  But if you let them start talking to mom and dad and thinking about how much they miss them, the kid that was doing just fine and having a great time the first 3 days is suddenly sobbing about how they hate everything and want to be picked up early.

It's the same reason that the camp doesn't allow parents to go back to the campsites on "parent night" after the fire-bowl.  The kids have a great time showing mom and dad everything, but if you give them a "goodbye" you get kids insisting they need to go home with them, whereas if the parents just don't see the kids again after fire-bowl, the issue never comes up.

BUT, if none of that works, and the kid is freaking out or melting down, they can call home from the main office or health lodge.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 5/30/2019 at 4:32 PM, TAHAWK said:

The State of Ohio can take possession of the motor vehicle they catch you driving without liability insurance  and/or without  a license only because the Legislature passed an act expressly authorizing such otherwise criminal seizures of private property. What is your authority in your state to seize a "device" because a kid broke YOUR rule (your "wrongly")  by texting a buddy?  Likely, zero, zip.,nada. No authorizing statute for you.  (And, no, you are not "in loco parentis."  You have no parental rights.)

And no one can agree to the seizure  by contract without official approval of the state court with jurisdiction over minors .  Not the minor who is conclusively incompetent to enter into a contract without court approval in, IIRC, all states.  And no, not even the parents  who have no authority to contract on behalf of their children without court approval,  in all states IIRC.  Sure, in  99/100, one hopes, no criminal charge will be filed.  When  hope fails (hope being a questionable basis for assuming risk)  and 100 rolls up, the cops will reluctantly take you to jail. NOT a nice place, jail.  Unpleasant people; bad odors; loss of liberty. The sentence will probably be insignificant, unless it's not.   You will probably get out with out posting cash or surety bond.  The attorney's fees probably will be noticeable. The criminal record?  Your future in Scouting?  Media coverage (They are desperate, love bad stuff about Scout leaders, and "If it bleeds, it leads.")?

Ohio Revised Code § 2913.02. [fairly typical]

"No person, with purposes to deprive the owner of property or services, shall knowingly obtain or otherwise exert control over property or services in any of the following ways:

  • Without the consent of the owner, or the person authorized to give consent [by the court if the owner is a minor]..
  • Beyond the scope of consent authorized by the owner or person authorized to give consent.
  • By deception.
  • By threat.
  • By intimidation.

Notice that wholesome motives or ignorance of the law is not a defense.  "But" I'm a Scoutmaster and he broke my rule" is not worth the breath.

 

Quote

 

The Scoutmaster's authority to take a phone (this is not a seizure as seizures are permanent) can come from a couple of sources.

1. If you've done due diligence correctly, you've gotten parental approval in advance to temporarily collect devices or other possessions that aren't being used appropriately.  Even in states where children's ownership can't be taken without court authority, parental discipline extends to withholding a device owned by the minor and they can authorize a secondary party to enforce said discipline.  (though if it's owned by another parent it's different)

2. When you are sticking out your hand and saying "give me your phone please" and they give you the phone, you haven't taken it without consent.  They've given you the phone in exchange for continued participation in the event.  Now, if they tell you NO, and you take the phone, I'd agree that it's a different issue.

Edited by elitts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 5/31/2019 at 8:36 PM, TAHAWK said:

"Confiscating an item is typically an act where the Scout is told to hand it over to the adult. "  Yes, arguably, as I pointed out, believe it or not, you have arguably described theft by intimidation. (Remember to say, "Please" in front of witnesses [half a dozen nuns would be good])

 

 

Anything can be argued.  That doesn't mean every argument is a worthwhile argument.  I could argue that you are defending your point so forcefully, that you are effectively bullying everyone here who doesn't agree with you by making us feel bad.  (I'm not arguing that)

But in the legal world, intimidation and threat under the criminal code have fairly specific meanings that are much more restrictive than the words and, "or you'll have to leave" doesn't count. 

In general, a "Threat" is a communicated intention to either harm or injure someone or damage their property.

and "Intimidation" is behavior that would cause a normal person to be afraid of injury or harm.

Neither of those would include a simple statement of non-injurious consequences for a failure to comply.

Edited by elitts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, elitts said:

BUT, if none of that works, and the kid is freaking out or melting down, they can call home from the main office or health lodge.

I don't know why a boy should need to "freak out" or "melt down" in order to get adults to do something that should be routinely done whenever the boy makes a calm, polite request in a respectful tone of voice. 

 

 

Edited by David CO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, David CO said:

I don't know why a boy should need to "freak out" or "melt down" in order to get adults to do something that should be done when the boy makes a polite request in a respectful tone of voice. 

 

 

Because if they aren't melting down or freaking out we can usually talk them into doing some activity instead of making a call home that is likely to result in them wanting to GO home.

"Well, the office is a 10 minute hike away and we are about to go fishing.  Why don't you just come fishing with us and then we can talk about it again later and if you still want to call home you can".

Almost always they forget by the time fishing is done.

But if they are losing their mind, there's usually not much point in trying to persuade, so they walk to the office with a buddy or a buddy and an adult and make the call.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, elitts said:

Because if they aren't melting down or freaking out we can usually talk them into doing some activity instead of making a call home that is likely to result in them wanting to GO home.

"Well, the office is a 10 minute hike away and we are about to go fishing.  Why don't you just come fishing with us and then we can talk about it again later and if you still want to call home you can".

Almost always they forget by the time fishing is done.

But if they are losing their mind, there's usually not much point in trying to persuade, so they walk to the office with a buddy or a buddy and an adult and make the call.

It seems to me that this approach is just teaching children to misbehave. The badly behaved kid gets what he wants. The well mannered kid gets ignored.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, David CO said:

It seems to me that this approach is just teaching children to misbehave. The badly behaved kid gets what he wants. The well mannered kid gets ignored.

I'm not talking about a kid having a temper tantrum and "behaving badly", I'm talking about a kid that has worked themselves into a hysteria.  It doesn't happen often.  I think in 5 years I've only seen 2 boys out of a contingent of 45/year get to this point.  But we have at least 1 or 2 per year that end up needing to be coaxed and cajoled into staying through the week and avoiding that phone call home is a big part of keeping them. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The well mannered kid wants to be ignored and the badly behaving one wants the attention. It is a learned behavior.  Too late for the parents to re-learn how to direct the child...

As a sub teacher, I learned early on to call the kid's bluff. (he 's just a sub, he won't do anything..." yes he will and has).  7th grade science class.  Average suburban school, overcrowded class, tho.  Class was about volcanoes !  Neat video about Hawaii and Kileuaua, which I had happened to have been to.  Girl in back of class on cellphone, talking LOUD.  I continue my lecture, walk back and take the phone out of her hand, saying "you may pick this up after school", walk back to front of class and continue.... you never saw such a surprised look on a girl's face.  She later apologized, and I had no problems with any other class that day.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, elitts said:

I'm not talking about a kid having a temper tantrum and "behaving badly", I'm talking about a kid that has worked themselves into a hysteria.  It doesn't happen often.  I think in 5 years I've only seen 2 boys out of a contingent of 45/year get to this point.  But we have at least 1 or 2 per year that end up needing to be coaxed and cajoled into staying through the week and avoiding that phone call home is a big part of keeping them. 

 

So you're telling me that a boy has to be worked up into a hysteria before you will let him leave?   

Edited by David CO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there is a very simple solution. Call home. If the parent says to take away the cell phone, take it away. No theft involved.

Similarly, if a boy wants to leave camp, call home. Tell the parent and let the parent make the decision. If the parent wants to talk to the boy, let them talk. 

I think it would be unforgivable for a camp leader to not inform a parent that the child is asking to call home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, David CO said:

So you're telling me that a boy has to be worked up into a hysteria before you will let him leave?   

I'm not sure if you are being deliberately stubborn in refusing to understand what I'm saying or if you are just completely unfamiliar with how summer camps and kids work.  Homesickness is a well understood phenomenon with kids and sleep away camps of all types.

This all assumes you start with the premise that everyone thinks the ideal situation is for the child to stay at camp. 

Most young kids get homesick occasionally when at camp, even when they are having a great time overall; usually during slow periods and down time and before bed.  In general, phone calls home are to be avoided at camp. (barring some specific urgent issue like "I broke my medical equipment and need a replacement")  The reason phone calls home are avoided is that even with kids having a great time overall, talking to mom or dad can either cause or worsen feelings of homesickness, resulting in crying and a request to leave based upon the immediate homesickness and not the overall of enjoyment they had been feeling 10 minutes earlier.  (even at camps where phone calls home are allowed, they are usually scheduled early in the day while the kid still has a host of fun stuff to get to later on, as opposed to in the evening when the only thing left is bed)

The generally accepted method for dealing with homesickness is to distract the kids with some activity or even just conversation because most of the time, if you can distract them, the homesickness passes without incident and they go on to enjoy the camp.  But sometimes a homesick child will work themselves into a frenzy or hysteria over their feelings and if you can't get them calmed down, there may not be any other option than having them call home and hoping a parent can reassure them enough to stay.

In an even smaller percentage of cases, you can end up with a kid that is just truly miserable all around at camp.  This is a different kind of situation than the mostly happy kid suffering from homesickness.  If a kid is suffering from significant and ongoing distress at camp, it's typically handled differently than the normal homesick kid and a call to parents will definitely be made to discuss the idea that maybe the child just isn't ready for camp.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

And here you go, just so you don't think this is a moronic idea from an internet stranger, the BSA's instructions on how to avoid homesickness.

Scouting Magazine 2008

Set up a no-call policy

The cell phone is a great invention — except when homesick Scouts use it to stay in contact with their parents.

“Calling home is not a treatment for homesickness,” says Thurber. “Five percent of the phone calls have no effect, and the rest have a deleterious effect.”

Assure parents during the pre-camp meeting that their son may experience some anxiety or sadness, but that he’ll have the support of trusted adults and older Scouts at camp.

“Tell parents you won’t allow their sons to call home,” says Lanning. “Remind them that camp is filled with fun activities, the food isn’t bad, and the boys are not being made to do hard labor.” Reassuring the parents helps them understand and comply with the no-calls rule.

 

10 hours ago, David CO said:

I think it would be unforgivable for a camp leader to not inform a parent that the child is asking to call home.

That's nice.  Most camps disagree with you.  Hopefully you won't need to send a child to one of them.

11 hours ago, David CO said:

I think there is a very simple solution. Call home. If the parent says to take away the cell phone, take it away. No theft involved. 

Making a phone call to parents every time disciplinary measures or corrective action needs to be taken is just impractical, which is why you address potentialities like confiscation of a device with parents and scouts before the trip and get approval ahead of time.  If parents or scouts disagree with having to turn over a device, they have the option to elect not to have the scout attend.

 

  • Thanks 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×