Jump to content

Recommended Posts

6 hours ago, David CO said:

I am less concerned about how these "trust" issues are changing the relationships between the Scoutmaster and the Scouts than I am with how they are changing the relationships between Scouts and other Scouts. This new tenting policy has me bewildered. A Scout is Trustworthy, but you can't sleep in the same tent together

The topics and arguments are very different.  The tent policy exists because there is a power difference between a 17 year old scout and an 11 year old scout.  It is the perfect setup for abuse.  The two year difference in age is a perfectly reasonable precaution and something many troops already had in place.  

Share this post


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

I think everyone (well just about everyone) agrees that a search is fine.  The issue is whether a Scoutmaster should go through a Scouts belongings without telling the Scout first and having him/her present.  

I disagree.  Scout leaders may have the right to search, but actually doing it is something reserved for the rare occasion and with the scout present.  Searching all the scout's stuff without them there because of what the leader saw with one or two scouts is just wrong.  If I heard that before my sons joined the troop, I'd look to another troop.  It's a flag that the scout leaders and the scouts have an adversarial relationship and don't trust each other.  It's just not the scout model we want.  

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why would a scout need to be present? More important that two adults are present so that nothing can be "planted" on a kid. Frankly, it's only scouts where kids' luggage, backpacks, etc., is not routinely subject to adult search. BSA needs to get with the times. Class trips, sports team travel, band trips, it all gets searched no bones, no big deal about it. I applaud that scoutmaster. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

I disagree.  Scout leaders may have the right to search, but actually doing it is something reserved for the rare occasion and with the scout present.  Searching all the scout's stuff without them there because of what the leader saw with one or two scouts is just wrong.  If I heard that before my sons joined the troop, I'd look to another troop.  It's a flag that the scout leaders and the scouts have an adversarial relationship and don't trust each other.  It's just not the scout model we want.  

I'm not so sure we disagree.  

  • I, like you, would argue that the Scout needs to be present for that search.  Further, I don't have much use for these kind of searches, but if a leader thinks it needs to happen, then they can have a search.
  • Others here think a search of the Scout's belongings without the Scout present is fine.  I, again like you, disagree with that position.
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, yknot said:

Why would a scout need to be present? More important that two adults are present so that nothing can be "planted" on a kid. Frankly, it's only scouts where kids' luggage, backpacks, etc., is not routinely subject to adult search. BSA needs to get with the times. Class trips, sports team travel, band trips, it all gets searched no bones, no big deal about it. I applaud that scoutmaster. 

 

Because Scouting is a youth development organization.  The often repeated phrase is "Scouting is a game with a purpose."  The game is outdoor adventure.  The purpose is youth development.  Four of the eight methods of Scouting are:

  • Ideals
  • Adult Association
  • Personal Growth
  • Leadership Development

Ideals - A scout is trustworthy.  if a Scout is trustworthy, then why the do we need searches?  Is a leader is courteous - shouldn't he respect the personal belongings of another and not search them without notice? 

Adult Association - Adult leaders, how they conduct themselves, and how they relate to Scouts become examples that the Scouts learn from.  What kind of example does it set for a leader to start going through a Scout's belongings?

Personal Growth - Creating an atmosphere of high expectations where searches are not needed seems like the right starting point.  Then, if something happens which destroys that trust, then a serach is conducted.  If a search is needed, and the Scout is present, it presents an opportuntiy for the Scout to learn from the process.  It's uncomortale being accused of some mis-deed and then having an adult conduct a search with you there.  This presents an opportunity for the Scout to learn why a search is needed, how he broke the trust of the Scoutmaster, and what mistakes he has made.

Leadership Development - Youth learn leadership skills from adults.  What kind of example does it set for a leader to say "I decided to go through your things without you there because I wanted to check up on you"?

Finally - what contraband in Scouting is so awful that we, as adults, need to run around searching Scout's belongings without them there?  A cell phone?  medicine?  Some food?  Is this really so awful?

 

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what its worth in this declining age:

 “Trust should be the basis for all our moral training.” BP

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

For what its worth in this declining age:

 “Trust should be the basis for all our moral training.” BP

"Trust, but verify." RR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

A 'scout is trustworthy' will not be an adequate legal defense when a scout arrives at a camp site with an inappropriate item and something unfortunate happens because a leader didn't check the bags. We're involved in a youth organization and as adults it's our job to keep them safe. No other youth organization would allow kids on an outing without checking bags. On school, church and sports outings I've been involved with, it's been done by adults as part of the routine while loading buses and cars and no kids are present. 

Edited by yknot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, fred8033 said:

The topics and arguments are very different.  The tent policy exists because there is a power difference between a 17 year old scout and an 11 year old scout.  It is the perfect setup for abuse.  The two year difference in age is a perfectly reasonable precaution and something many troops already had in place.  

A perfectly reasonable precaution. I think many people would feel that searching the bags is a perfectly reasonable precaution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, yknot said:

A 'scout is trustworthy' will not be an adequate legal defense when a scout arrives at a camp site with an inappropriate item and something unfortunate happens because a leader didn't check the bags. We're involved in a youth organization and as adults it's our job to keep them safe. No other youth organization would allow kids on an outing without checking bags. On school, church and sports outings I've been involved with, it's been done by adults as part of the routine while loading buses and cars and no kids are present. 

I'm simply blown away that our purported mission is to develop leadership skills and we're teaching these kids that they should have no expectation of privacy and our base position is one of guilt, demanding searches of personal gear and pat-downs "in the name of safety".

I've never experienced being searched (or even heard of anyone being searched) as a youth on an outing (school, sports, church, or scouts). Granted that was 25ish years ago, but even today, the thought that all bags are being searched on a class trip, is beyond belief. Private/Catholic schools may be able to get away with it, but in their quasi-governmental capacity, public schools would be seem to edging into some Constitutionally-questionable areas. I vaguely remember something about not losing your rights at the schoolhoiuse gate (in this case 4th amendment). 

Besides, kids are smart. They know you're searching bags, if they wanted to sneak things in, they won't be putting it in their bags. As mentioned above, we can't keep contraband out of prisons, but somehow we're going to be able to stop Little Johny from smuggling that extra snickers bar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the real issue is two fold:

  1. The SM doesn't care what parents think. He could be a pompous windbag, or he could see a threat that others don't. Likely there's a little of both.
  2. Parents who are concerned along with @Scoutmomonly want a national policy to use against an SM. There isn't one. And personally, I find that asking for one violates my rule #1: Don't ask for a rule, you'll live to regret it.
  • Thanks 2
  • Haha 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Bringing contraband  to camp happens,  recall fIve years ago, a 12yr old scout brought his father's handgun to Camp Fiesta Island . Would a bag search have prevented this?

 

Edited by RememberSchiff
typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, fred8033 said:

The topics and arguments are very different.  The tent policy exists because there is a power difference between a 17 year old scout and an 11 year old scout.  It is the perfect setup for abuse.  The two year difference in age is a perfectly reasonable precaution and something many troops already had in place.  

I don't know.  Im hearin the argument on the bag search is we should build trust with scouts.  But, the argument in the tent rule is we can't trust the 17 year old scout weve known for 6 years not to abuse a younger scout.

The tent rule eliminates the possibility of an older scout acting as mentor and big brother to a younger scout.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


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

Finally - what contraband in Scouting is so awful that we, as adults, need to run around searching Scout's belongings without them there?  A cell phone?  medicine?  Some food?  Is this really so awful?

As @RememberSchiff stated, there was the pistol a Scout brought to camp. I've personally dealt with cigarettes/cigars, alcohol, and pornography. And yes the Scouts can get creative hiding it. The one with alcohol had it in a Scope bottle. Got the idea off a movie he saw. And one of the incidents with porn had had the Scout taping it to his leg and covered with his knee sock. We didn't catch the "Scope" until he was tipsy one nite. We caught the leg guy during a shake down of the gear. The sock was coming down, and he was making sure it stayed up,but the other leg he was not concerned about.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, yknot said:

, it's only scouts where kids' luggage, backpacks, etc., is not routinely subject to adult search. BSA needs to get with the times. Class trips, sports team travel, band trips, it all gets searched no bones, no big deal about it. I applaud that scoutmaster. 

 

You are correct in that adults search bags when leaving on school trips without the student present. However, this is made explicitly clear to the student and parents when going over the trip expectations. The expectations are clear, in writing, shared via meeting, email and strong consistency over the years. That’s why it is a well accepted policy.

However, when there is a change the expectations AND you don’t adequately teach it, it is not right to then play “gotcha” and make it the kids problem. It is your fault for not making the change clear. You model stronger leadership and build a better relationship by admitting your mistake and explaining to the scout that you will need to inspect gear to fix your mistake. 

This leader first made a mistake by not making the expectations clear and his second mistake was then treating the scouts as if it was their fault by going through their belongings when he realized his own mistake. 

  • 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

×