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We have had a problem with adult volunteers bringing alcohol on camping trips. The SM/ASM/TC Chairman spoke with these men,and seemed to resolve the problem. On a recent trip, however, two men left the campsite to pick up supplies and returned with stories about the great bar they had found.

I am fairly certain that I know what has to be done here, but I am looking for a little guidance at the Troop level.

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Welcome to the forums! I am sorry you are joining us with a situation like this. Hope you stick around for stuff that is actually FUN at time.


I agree with evmori. (Ed you can pick yourself off the floor now)


The "no alcohol" policy is clear. The only question is whether or not there is a technicality they can 'get by' on by leaving to go to the bar. Of course this is a rather lame deception on their part and it definitely violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the regulations.

In this unit there is no second chance. They would have been dismissed by the CO at the very first infraction with no further discussion. The fact that after they had a chat, they decided they could 'get away' with it in this manner indicates they can't be trusted...probably for anything.


Edited to add welcome(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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Not a good situation to be in, and to be honest your results may vary. I know in some places their membership would be revoked, and in others it would not since they left the campground and were not in the presence of youth,although the effects of the alcohol would still linger once they got back.

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Our former SM started out being very against this sort of thing, but at some point some leaders started bringing alcohol which they would discreetly break out late at night after the boys were asleep. He allowed them to get away with it in consideration of all they did for the troop, and probably because he didn't want to have a confrontation.


There is no doubt this was wrong. To me it is just one example of people thinking it's okay to ignore rules they disagree with. I'm sure the rationalization would be something like "no harm, no foul". But once you start rationalizing reasons to break rules it is a slippery slope.

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Hi and Welcome.

I do enjoy the odd adult beverage.

I don't need the odd adult beverage!

I don't drink alcohol when I'm in uniform, around youth members or on BSA premises.

When I'm away at camp, I like to stay at camp and have never wanted to go out for a night.

I'm more than happy to let others run to the store or do whatever.

As a rule the guys who do the running to the store and whatever, do so wearing Scout uniform, so them stopping for a "Quick one" Just doesn't happen.

Before I'm willing to join the chorus of "Show them the door".

I think we need to fill in some of the blanks.

Not far from our Council Summer camp site there is a great bar, which serves a fantastic Prime Rib.

Very often when I'd pick up my son from camp we'd stop there.


While stopping for a "Quick one" is not something that I'd do.

If these guys did? (You haven't said that they did.)

As long as they weren't in uniform, didn't have any youth members with them and didn't arrive back at camp under the weather or didn't drive over the limit.

They have not broken any of the BSA rules.

What rules the CO might have in place? That's a different matter.

I would hope that all adult leaders would not talk about things like the great bars they have found with our youth members. For me this isn't setting the example.


Back in 2005, my son served as a youth staff member at the National Jamboree the adult staff members he worked with wanted him to join them going out on their night off.

These guys did follow all the rules. He didn't join them and spent his night off with the Troop from his Council and his "Old Man"!

But the next day some of the younger guys who had gone out spent the entire day retelling stories about one guy who had drunk too much and had made a real fool of himself.

Not what I'd expect from adult leaders.


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If one can't leave their vices alone for a weekend of camping or other activities with boys then they have no business being involved in any shape, form or fashion with scouting. If one can't control their habits then stay at home. The offenders would:

1) Told to leave the premises - no alcohol means no alcohol whether on you or in you.


2) Be brought before the troop committee or SE, if need be, and have their membership revoked

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sgk8102 seems to be asking "what has to be done here"?

While I can and do respect where you stand on this I do find statements like:

"Told to leave the premises - no alcohol means no alcohol whether on you or in you."

A little over the top.

I'm not in any way in favor of relaxing the BSA rules. In fact I complained when we had youth color guards at Council fund raising events where alcohol was being served. (I lost that one!)

From what has been posted the problem with bringing alcohol to camp, which is against the rules was in the past and was dealt with.

The problem sgk8102 has asked about could or might mean that no rules were in fact broken.







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Interesting perspectives here.


Most if not all of my parents drink, They just forget about the no alcohol rule. No biggy. Just make sure it is a none issue.


When you say adult volunteers.....Do you mean they are registered with the BSA and hold a membership and position with the troop OR are they simply Dad's helping out.



If it is merely a dad volunteering, no big deal just add that to your list of "Please don't do this". See if they comply.

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What you do at home is your business, what you do on an outing with my Troop is mine and the BSA's.


One of the primary reasons adults camp with/near Scouts in the first place is to provide a safety framework for those boys in addition to providing the adult association method. How much safety framework is someone providing if they are inebriated to any degree - if something is happening that requires adult intervention then being addled by ANY substance is reckless.


Ensure your COR and IH know the rules and that they will back you, either give the adults another chance letting them know it's the last one; OR, give them the boot.

This isn't just about the rules, it's about the boys safety. For the adults involved it's about choices and responsibility. If they blow off the rules, what kind of adult association are they providing?


My brothers had a SM who thought having a cold one(or several) on the way home was no big deal, even though he had a load of kids riding in his packed full station wagon, pre-mandatory seatbelt laws,... after his interview with the state trooper and parental notification my parents decided Scouting wasn't for our family - I never got to be a Scout. I sincerely hope that SM truly enjoyed his refreshment...


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Thank you for welcoming me to the forums, and for your input. To answer your several questions, the men are registered with the BSA, and members of the Troop Committee. The men seemed to have gone to the bar for a few "quick ones'; there was no mention of any food served other than the homemade salsa provided to them by the bartender, and they left camp after lunch and before dinner. They were not in uniform. When they returned, they were not overtly intoxicated or impaired. Those of us who remained at camp would have no reason to suspect that they had gone drinking, but for the fact that they felt the need to tell us.

To OldGreyEagle: thanks for the laugh. You and I share the same brand of sarcasm.

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I'm with Gunny here. For me, it doesn't matter if the men going for supplies were not in uniform or even registered. Even if they are only there for transportation, they have a job and they are setting an example. What if they had one too many? What if they had a traffic accident? How do the boys who rode with them get back home? These guys have a responsibility and they are acting immaturely.


Honestly, I've never understood the folks who seem to need to drink for relaxation and fun. My disclaimer, I was raised in a Southern Baptist home where anyone who drank was an alcoholic and they were all going to hell! ;) There has never been a drop of alcohol in my parent's home, so it was just never a factor in my life. My brother's wife on the other hand comes from a Catholic family who can't get together without it looking like a Shriner's convention. All of her brothers bring at least a 12 pack to any family function and will consume it all before the function is over. Her brothers drink at least a 6 pack per night. It is just the way they were raised. I know plenty of people who drink 4 times in one night what I drink in a years time. So, I recognize that alcohol consumption and attitudes about alcohol vary widely.


If a person can't go from Friday night to Sunday afternoon without having to have a cold one, they need to stay home. I don't have a problem with adult beverages, but they have their time and place and a scout outing is not one of them.

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Yah, hmmmm....


Hiya sgk8102, welcome to da forums, eh!


I think different communities have different norms about this stuff, and we Americans tend to be an abstemious and puritanical lot when it comes to alcohol. Or at least some segment of our population does.


This one is a unit issue. Yeh have to go with the rules of the Chartered Organization since they're on the hook. The fellows didn't break the law, nor did they violate any camp policy or BSA rule. It's similar to the cigarette rule, eh? They didn't do it around kids, but different folks have different sensibilities about such stuff.


Me personally, I prefer that all the folks who are workin' with or responsible for youth are "dry" when they are doing so. I'm also a private pilot, and that community has some pretty clear rules about avoiding alcohol any time you're goin' to be flying a plane. To me, workin' with kids in the outdoors is like flying a plane. Eight hours must pass between bottle and throttle, and da same time must pass between a shot and a scout. ;) My personal standard is da military one of 12 hours.


That having been said, on longer trips or camps and on many an international trip with scouters from less puritanical cultures, there are times when I think it can be OK for an "off duty" adult volunteer to go out. As long as you have enough "on duty" adults with the kids who are "dry", giving the others a break for the evening can be a good thing for everyone. Nights off, whether for that prime rib or for a beer or just for some kid-free adult company, help recharge batteries.


So I think yeh just have to find da right balance for your troop and community, sgk8102. Talk to your COR/IH and have a rational discussion among yourselves and decide what's reasonable. I could see anything in a range from "Hey, when we're out with the boys, we stay "dry" even when off-duty because we never know when something will happen where we need people to be fully alert" to "Yah, it's OK if yeh want to grab a beer when you're in town, but then you're 'off duty' with the kids for the rest of the day" to lettin' it slide unless it becomes a problem. I doubt yeh need to do any more than that unless they really get defiant or deliberately break whatever expectations you've set up in the future.


Biggest thing is if these fellows are dedicated volunteers and yeh want to keep their kids in the program, yeh do this sort of thing as a friendly adult conversation about what's best for the boys.







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