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T216

should alcohol use affect advancement

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Hunt,

 

I'm happy we are not in opposite corners, but I have to disagree about dad's input being mere hearsay. He, and presumably the kid's mother are the boy's guardians. They should know better than anyone else how he behaves when he's not around the troop. Still, I do agree that if the boy is going to confronted with this issue that mom and dad should be present. However, unlike a criminal court, I would place more credence in what the parents have to say. In third party arbitration, the arbitrator is allowed to make his own judgment based upon the preponderance of the evidence including hearsay. If were not going to trust the parents, I think we should have a good reason not to other than whats acceptable protocol in a criminal court of law. They are adults, not children, who should have their son's best interests at heart.

 

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After reading through the thread, I find Hunt's post at the end of page 3 persuasive.

 

He suggests that there really is no evidence that this drinking is substantial or harmful. There is nothing to suggest that the parents are irresponsible by finding that they choose to tolerate this conduct, rather than use power to suppress it.

 

So we find 1) no demonstrated actual harm being done 2) responsible parents who are aware of this potential problem but don't see a need to take action on it now. 3) a violation of the law.

 

How to resolve the conflicts?

 

I'd be inclined to look for a way to sidestep the issue, rather than confronting it forcefully. Perhaps ask the Scout to investigate the hazards of drinking, and drinking and driving.

 

At that point you have taken steps to educate the Scout about the potential hazards of alcohol use. At that point, we have met our obligation.

 

I don't see that we need to extract promises of reform from the Scout or put him on probation of some kind. We judge the Eagle Scout applicant for what he is now. It recognizes what Scouting can do and what it cannot do. And it is a response that (I suggest) is proportionate to the facts as presented.

 

I'm throwing this position out for discussion.

 

 

 

Seattle Pioneer

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What I am reading is a 15 year is drinking beer & his parents seem to think it's OK. What's going to happen when he turns 16 and gets his drivers license & drives after he has been drinking? Will it be OK until he has an accident?

 

What we have here is irresponsible parents raising an irresponsible child. Not a good situation.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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I agree Ed, and with the others who feel this is a significant legal, if not moral, issue. If his attitude is how I understand it to be, he is truly not living by the Scout Oath & Law in his everyday life. That is a clear requirement for every rank, and can be used to hold up his advancement.

 

If you don't do something about it, and other scouts know of this (I assume they do from your posts), then you are making a mockery of advancement. I've heard scouts say things like "if he got approved, anyone can...".

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Hello Evmori,

 

You are making a lot of assumptions about the future that have nothing to do with the facts as they exist today.

 

And just what WOULD you do, anyway? Require that the boy get professional treatment as an alcoholic? Require him to "take the pledge"?

 

When I see violations of the Scout oath like this, it's not up to me to take responsibility to require that a boy change his behavior. The most effective means of influencing such behavior is to recall the boy to his obligations as a young man and Scout.

 

That's what I's suggest here. If an Eable BOR wants to take some action, adjourn the BOR and ask the Scout to come back next month with a brief report on the legalities of underage drinking and the legal and physical hazards of doing so. If he does that, then approve him.

 

You haven't ignored the problem ---you've taken suitable action to educate the Scout and cause him to reconsider his behavior. I see no reason why any more should be expected with the facts that we have at hand..

 

 

Seattle Pioneer

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When my now 33 year old son was 16 he was working for us during the summer. I knew he was drinking thought not a lot. A good friend of ours owned a body shop. There was a car came in in which 4 teens were killed. All had been drinking. It was a really messy car with lots of blood and tissue.

Our friend needed some help tearing the car down.

We sent Steven up there to help him. It took about three hours and he got so sick at his stomach he had to leave. Guess what he does not drink at all. Of course he probably helped that two years later one of his best friend was killed when he was hit head on by a drunk driver and killed.

I know some think shock value does not work on kids. But it did then. At one point the Ft. Worth Medical Examiners office had a program that kids caught drinking and driving were taken to the morgue and shown the results of DWI deaths.

 

I would not advance this boy. I would meet with him and his parents and explain exactly why.

His parents need to understand what can happen.

And don't be to sure that they aren't the ones buying the alcohol for their son,and probably for other kids. If caught they can be sent to jail and their kids wind up in foster care. He happen here last year.

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Seattle,

My assumptions are valid based on his current behavior & lack of parental concern.

 

What would I do? I would tell this Scout that if he plans on earning his Eagle he will need to uphold the Scout Law & Oath by stopping his illegal drinking. If his illegal drinking continues, we will never have his SM conference & will never have his Eagle BOR.

 

That's what I would do.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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I still think most of us are missing the point(s) here. We are assuming a lot of things that may not be true. The drinking may or may not be legal. The parents may or may not have witnessed it. It may or may not be something he has done more than once.

 

However, according to T216 he has signed a copy of the troop rules which contains a pledge not to drink or use drugs. If he was drinking (I would say religious ceremonies in Jewish or Catholic settings aside), then he violated this oath and his troop rules. Is he then qualified to get the Scoutmaster's signature on his Eagle app, which precedes the BOR? I don't think so and wouldn't sign it.

 

I would investigate enough to get the answers to the first questions, but would then interview the boy. I think the chances are, he will agree he has violated his pledge and is not presently qualified to be an Eagle. The only issue then is how he plans to ensure it doesn't happen again and how he can satisfy the Scoutmaster that it hasn't. After some period of time has passed, maintaining weekly or bi-weekly discussions, the Scoutmaster can reevaluate.

 

The whole thing will be a learning experience to the boy, not just about the dangers of alcohol, but of his responsibilities under the Oath, the Law and the pledge he signed.

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My 16 year old daughter was reading this thread over my shoulder and she felt that the parents needed to worry about this because if they don't if will probably lead to him drinking more. She has witnessed similiar behabior with at least one of her classmates.

 

If the kid is drinking at this age, what is he going to be trying in another cuople of years?

 

 

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Kahuna, Please re-read all of T216's posts. It's clear that (1) the drinking is illegal, (2) it's happened on multiple occasions (and likely to continue), and (3) the parents - even if they haven't seen it - acknowledge that it's going on.

 

I guess I'm more sensitive to this because of two things I'm dealing with. One is an adult leader who is an alcoholic, and it's beginning to effect his performance in Scouting. We're about to have a very painful, frank, discussion. Second, a friend of our's son (who just turned 18) snuck out of the house a few weeks ago. He wrecked his car and a 15 year old friend of his is in critical condition and may not live. Alcohol was involved. If the boy dies, he'll likely be charged with vehicular manslaughter. Teenage drinking is a problem and scouting is a great place to address it head on.

 

Again, I would not approve this scout for Eagle until I see a change in his attitude.

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I was under the impression that the BSA had a Zero Tolrence Policy. He agrees to live by the Scout Oath and Law. As a good citizen he agrees to obey the laws of the land.

 

As a past Scoutmaster, I had this problem with a upcoming Eagle Scout. I told him straight out as long as your a Member of this troop and as long as your below the State acceptable drinking age, you don't drink here, at campouts, or at home. I don't care if his parents agreed with it or not. What do you say to them if they smoke marijuana, doing drugs, smoking, as long as the parents don't care I don't care. Why should I put myself at there level!

 

I told him to contact Students against drinking. I also gave him some booklets from the Health Department, Teens and Drugs, Teens and Alcohol.

 

I told him when he was Alcohol and Drug free to come back and see me about proceeding to Eagle.

Eagle Rank is the cream of the crop and I told him that I would only recommend young men who acted to the highest standards of scouting, including living by the Scout Oath and the Scout Law, and living by the standards set by the Scouting Organization.

 

Three months later he approached me with drug test results, and a note from his parents that he has not consumed alcohol as far as they are aware. He gave his Honor that he has not used any alcohol or drugs, and that he would submit to a drug test weekly. This was his agreement, not mine. I recommended him for his Eagle Project and then to the Eagle Board of Review.

 

I asked him after he obtain his Eagle if it was worth it, he said yes sir, more they you know!

 

 

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There really is no reason or excuse for a 15 year old to be having a social drink.

 

Both the parents and the boy (and any other children they have at home), should be referred to MADD & SADD.

 

As I read through this thread I could not help but think about what a horrible contagion these parents are.

 

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I brought this question to the scouts at our troop meeting last night. It was the older scouts that spoke up first, two who just recently attained Eagle, and some others who are getting close. It was the unanimous opinion that such behavior was illegal, unethical, and so contrary to the scout oath. The younger scouts did not say much, just some comments or head nodding to support what the older scouts said.

I then tried to make the point that this could be on a slippery slope since there could be a question of first hand knowledge, parental consent and other factors, but the guys were adamant, especially the Eagles, that it was a matter of honor to uphold the scout oath. Any behavior that does not reflect the spirit of scouting, even if not witnessed, would not set a good example for others, and would be an embarrassment to other Eagle scouts.

It is interesting to note that these scouts have not always been perfect examples of perfect behavior themselves, but they have apparently developed some strong opinions of the character values that are expected of them.

 

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Dizzy ona cliff, and troop members, I would like to congratulate the comments of the senior scouts in your troop. Surely, these young men have a sincere knowledge of what scouting is all about, and as young men have a handle on what life is all about. I wish them the best, as well as all the members in your troop. Thanks for being there for these young men and for setting a good example for them to follow.

 

Also congratulations to all those who have obtain the Rand of Eagle, job well done!

 

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Dizzy ona cliff, and troop members, I would like to congratulate the comments of the senior scouts in your troop. Surely, these young men have a sincere knowledge of what scouting is all about, and as young men have a handle on what life is all about. I wish them the best, as well as all the members in your troop. Thanks for being there for these young men and for setting a good example for them to follow.

 

Also congratulations to all those who have obtain the Rand of Eagle, job well done!

 

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