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Alleged hazing incident at summer camp

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We will never know the true story simply reading newpaper articles and sound bite news clips. We are not in a position to have all the evidence and make a judgement. And don't necessarily believe that, "Deputies usually don't arrest people and lay charges without good cause."


We had four scouts from the unit I serve arrested and charged with a felony. I'm not going into details on the specifics but when it got in front of a prosecutor(not even a Judge) he dropped all charges. (We're they doing something they shouldn't do? Yes. Was it criminal? No Were they punished? Yes, by their parents) Needless to say this event has somewhat adjusted my opinion of at least some of our local law enforcement individuals as well as local media.


Just pointing out don't believe everything you read in a local paper, especially from a reporter that can't even spell.


Having said that, Anyone guilty of duct taping a 12 year old, taking him someplace against his will and forcing him to drink urine is guilty of a crime. Juveniles involved would likely have their record sealed or expunged once at some point, depending on any previous encounters with the Justice System. A 21 year old could be in big trouble if found guilty of such a crime.


BTW, at least in Massachusetts, anyone 17 or older is considered an adult in the Justice system, hence names can be published. Don't know what the age of adult prosecution is in other states but it is not the same as voting, drinking etc. Something if you may want to make any 16 yo or 17 you know aware of.




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My only comment is this is on video, courtesy of one of the accused. It's hard to refute eyewitness evidence.


I agree with B. There's a right way to talk about race. It's called a Scoutmaster's Conference. Now, this one can be a true heart to heart, but it might even has Mr SM acting a little excited to get his point across.


Duct Tape? Being made to drink urine? That's over the line.


I'll wait to see the results of the trial, but I'm not going to be surprised at what the jury brings back ... or what they plead to.

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Beavah brings up a interesting point. What are the ramifications to the CO and the unit? It certainly warrants an investigation on the unit culture and leadership selection judgement of the CO. I guess the council could revoke the charter as a way for damage control and put other units on notice to take leadership selection seriously.

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The event is reportedly on video. Anyone see the video?


Now it does sound like the boys involved certainly did something. I just don't think we will have all the information that a Judge or jury will have if this ever goes to trial.


Regardless, it sounds like the 21 year old is facing some serious charges for sure.


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The district attorney is responsible for these Young men now. Whether or not it "ruins their life" is up to the DA and a jury. I'm sure it has changed the life of a TWELVE YEAR OLD BOY!

Horseplay, pranks, Boys being boys ect. this behavior left unchecked always leads to trouble period. It is not in keeping with the scout oath and law and has no place in scouting.


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What an appaling story.


I talk to the scouts individually, by patrol and by group about this sort of thing in my most serious "I'm not kidding" voice. And I'm not kidding when I tell them I have no tolerance for hazing. And this goes way beyond hazing.


I also have no tolerance for making fun of people with handicaps and/or disabilities in skits or just telling jokes - but that's another thread.


I hope this never happens in my troop or to my troop. I'd be po'd on either side of the fence.


Duct tape? What in hades were these guys thinking?

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Just try to imagine being in a unit that shares the same resources with the unit these guys came from. The victim was from another troop. Would you want them banned from council events and camps? Or at least closely scrutinized or supervised for a period?

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What happened here is very sad.

Clearly the people both youth and adult need to be held accountable for what they did.

From what I've read it does seem that the Scout Camp and the Council have done and are doing the right thing.

For that I admire them.

My big hope is that everyone involved in this gets the help that they need.


Reading what has been posted has got me thinking.

One one hand we have:

"One prank gone wrong".

On the other we have:

"Horseplay, pranks, Boys being boys ect. this behavior left unchecked always leads to trouble period".


This has me wondering, what my feelings are?



When I first joined Boy Scouts the Troop I joined had a Camp Initiation Ceremony, which the adults seemed happy to turn a blind eye toward.

Young Scouts were "Staked Out". (Four tent stakes were in the ground and the Scout was forced to lie down with his harms and legs tied to each peg). Most times this was followed by the the other Scouts pouring cold water over the poor guy on the ground. Sometimes it did get out of hand and the poor Lad would have his underwear removed and food items like jam and butter would be smeared over him.

The end result of this was that many young Scouts wouldn't go to camp.

The folk lore that surrounded these ceremonies took on a life of there own! Stories about red ants, spiders an the like made this even more frightening for the young Scouts.

I once was a victim of this.

I didn't like it.

I do not, have not and never will allow this sort of thing.

I'm 101% against hazing.

I believe that it does nothing but harm.

Having said that.

I can imagine how a report in the paper could make this sound and how bad it might sound.

The truth is that most times the Scout who was being initiated would struggle for a little while, then just lie down and get a little wet.

Sad thing is that at times it did get out of hand.

So as far as :

"One prank gone wrong".

I don't agree.

That should leave me with:

""Horseplay, pranks, Boys being boys ect. this behavior left unchecked always leads to trouble period".


I suppose how you interpret "Unchecked" is the big thing?

I have been around Scouts and Scouting for a very long time.

Never once have I had, seen, witnessed yet alone allowed this sort of thing.

I have never felt the need to have a rule about this sort of thing. It was just kinda accepted that we didn't participate or allow this sort of thing.


I'm not sure why.

I think because the Scouts knew it was just wrong.

We have never had a rule about not taking stuff that isn't your's. - Again because it was taken for granted that doing so was just wrong.

I've seen Scouts pull off some really wonderful and very funny pranks, heck I've pulled off a few myself.

I don't think I really know or have ever read a clear definition of horseplay? I think that some horseplay is a very natural thing and is a part of growing up.

Someone used the term "Troop Culture".

If the culture of the Troop we are involved with and if we set the right example and tone? - Maybe that's all the checks we need?





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Thanks, Eamonn.

I'm interested now to hear more comments on "boys will be boys" and "It's OK if it's a troop tradition, and nobody really gets hurt." "It's a rite of passage, and helps one feel like they belong."

There is no place for hazing in Scouting. I guess what one considers "hazing" is debatable, and from reading many previous posts, there's a lot of stuff that happens out there that would never be allowed on my watch. I guess it's all fun and games until somebody has to drink urine.



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1ust to try to clarify what I meant by boys will be boys. Boys will be boys was a term used by the parents of a scout whenever they were informed on a behavior issue. Like disappearing from the campsite at summer camp after hours and having the whole scout reservation put on alert. when he was found with some staff he claimed to be gathering firewood for the Saturday night show (except there has never been a Saturday night campfire).Swearing at the Scoutmaster (because he couldn't set up a private campsite in the woods away from the rest of the troop at summer camp(against camp rules). carrying a blackjack, stealing from first year scouts Smoking cigarettes. the other boys said that wasn't the only thing being smoked (had no proof) you get the idea. he transferred to another troop because his parents said we were picking on him.


and our idea of checking horseplay normally is "Knock it off"

that almost always keep things from escalating to the point someone got hurt.



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"Boys will be boys"

I suppose just like "Wait till your Father gets home!"

This can take on different meanings in different settings.


While I'm very much for coed units.

I do think that there are times when we all need time away from members of the opposite sex.

Boys of Scout age (And girls of the same age) have a lot of things going on. A lot of things are changing.

Some people manage change better than others.

Some changes just can't be controlled or managed.

Many of us who have been around boys of Scout age for a while develop a sense of when we need to step in and when the best thing to do is to take plenty of No Notice.

We kinda get a feeling when something happens? Who will be in on it and we very often get a feeling of who the ringleader will be.

All too often the Lad who is always in hot water is a nice Lad who is easily led and is willing to own up for things that he has done.

With some help, in time he can make a good leader.

Ringleaders have leadership qualities oozing out of them and with some guidance make great leaders.

I have more times than I want to count posted:

"Train Them, Trust Them, Let Them Lead"

There is of course some risk involved in trusting anyone, let alone young boys who already seem to have overloaded plates. We have to hope that the training's they have received, at home, at school, in Scouts and from life will come into play and the trust we place in them is rewarded.


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