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Albert_H

What to do?

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On at least 3-4 occasions in my 50+ years in Scouting, I have felt that I had to "ring the bell."

 

In one case, it cost me a good Scouting friend. Another case probably cost me 5-10 years delay in being selected for the Silver Beaver. I believe that my actions were proper in each case; however, I'm not sure that I couldn't have handled things better.

 

I believe that Beavah has good counsel in this case, but it needs to be tempered with iron.

Don't expect any rewards for doing this. Expect that you may lose friends and if these people are powerful in your community, it may be to your personal disadvantage.

 

What to do?

 

1) Consider talking with the people. Be friendly, courteous and kind. Decide if you want to talk separately or together. Be sure that you make is clear that what they are doing is contrary to the Guide to Safe Scouting and, frankly, to good adult/youth behavior. Ask if they are willing to stop this drinking.

 

Possible results:

 

1) You will be disinvited from further participation in campouts

2) You will be told that if you feel so strongly, you can be the new leader and they will no longer participate

3) You will be told that it is none of your business

4) You will be told that you're being a goody-goody and naive.

5) Something else

 

Depending upon what happens next and how you feel, you might have to go to another unit or might go the Scout Executive or both. I would suggest that you NOT talk with anyone other than the individuals involved and the Scout Executive. This is not an area to start rumors. The proper action within Scouting is to talk to the Scout Exec. If you wish, you can tell the individuals that you plan to talk to the SE or not as you see fit.

 

Action by the SE is not automatic and can result in graded discipline. But ultimately, if the SE is involved and matters go to their ultimate, their membership in the BSA can be permanently revoked. If the SE is good and reasonable, he will negotiate with them and obtain an agreement not to drink in future campouts This may, or may not be honored. But this is a matter for the SE. NOt for you, particularly if the COR is involved.

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"So, you are using some posts on a message board as an excuse for not following one of BSA's very EXPLICIT rules??? Really?? Grow up Good Grief!

 

Wow, so sorry to disappoint you! If you read my original thread, I was already admitting to the fact that I realize that I did the wrong thing, and basically admit that I was stupid & lazy for not having done the right thing, because of the cost.

 

I came here for advice, not insult. Its easy to hide behind your anonymity; most of us here do that, and Im sure that face to face your comments would be friendlier. Everyone else has given some thoughtful and kind advice, thanks to all of you.

 

The responses seem to be firmly on the side of the fact that I should have taken action at the time or I should take action now. Action being anything from a friendly chat with these fellows, to going to the SE to have them removed from the program.

 

I too feel like I should have said something at the time, but yes the comments from some on these forums (in threads like the previous one) made me think that to call someone else on a rules violation was actually being too harsh, too judgmental, Holier than thou or whatever. That was the clear statement of some; indeed some who seem to have now changed their minds in this thread.

 

I have decided what I will do in this case. I have already contacted one of the adults involved on this outing. He has apologized to me and agrees that this should not have happened on an outing, and that he knew at the time that they were violating the rules. I will make sure to be at the next committee meeting where he and I will bring it all up for discussion. Discussion that will lead down the road of admitting that what was done was against the rules and in such a way that it is recorded in the minutes of the meeting that we as a Troop take a stand that this rule will be obeyed in the future. Further, I will want the discussion to cover the other adults role in policing the other adults adherence to the G2SS on future outings, thus admitting my mistake in not stopping the action before it happened.

 

thanks,

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Sounds quite reasonable, Albert. You would appear to be fortunate that the adults involved are basically people of good will and only need to be reminded of what proper action should be.

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Yah, sounds reasonable Albert_H. One caution, though. I think if this is goin' to come up at a committee meeting, yeh need to be very careful about how that's done. It should be done in a generic and non threatening way, that doesn't leave a residue of adult hurt feelings or animosity.

 

So "there were several of us adults who imbibed last campout, and we just want to address that for the future" is OK, but "Joe, you were impaired" is not. If you're goin' to bring things up in public, then don't put anyone in the position where they feel they have to defend themselves and it becomes a me-vs-you thing.

 

I've seen it lots of times where folks who don't have the fortitude to confront someone privately will be apt to become very harsh in their criticism when it's in public and they feel they have "backup" or at least an audience. Don't be that guy. Make this just a "hey, we all know we shouldn't have, and we'll make sure we don't in the future."

 

Beavah

 

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I should point out that by this time; we (the adult I contacted earlier and I) have contacted the other two adults to discuss the situation. They also agree that it shouldn't have happened.

 

Beavah, I would never act as you indicated. This is why I have made sure to contact these men personally. They will be the people at the meeting to bring this whole thing up. They will lead the discussion toward making sure that the committee and other adult leaders understand that this should never happen again; zero tolerance. I on the other hand, will bring up my own transgression which was to sit by and let it happen without saying anything and will lead the discussion toward making sure that the committee make a strong statement that it is our responsibility to call others on these types of infractions.

 

We will clear the air, we will move on, we are committed to staying friends and working together, and no more adult beverages at Scout functions!(This message has been edited by Albert_H)

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That is a very cool outcome. Sometimes we read enough tough love situations that it's good to hear that the friendly cup of coffee really worked!

 

I wish all of you Godspeed and good Scouting. :)

 

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Albert it sounds like you handled the "post incident" well. Better than I did when it happened to me.

 

On our second tiger camp out my son and I hooked up with another pack. Theirs camped our pack did not. The booze flowed like water and the loud campfire talk lasted well past 1:00 AM. I was shocked but said nothing nor did we join or participate with that pack again.

 

 

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