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When I read stuff like this, I'm so grateful that my son who is now just 23 (I thought he was only 22, but he must have gained a year along the way.) Didn't get into this type of activity.

I do really feel for the parents.

Having a son who is somehow out of reach, must be a constant worry for them.

I do agree that there comes a time or an age when it seems that as parents we lose control of our kids.

Kinda strange that we spend so many years trying to get them to become independent and then make a fuss when they do.

I'm not sure how strict a parent I was?

My big threat was that if he did something that I'd said was a no, no, the Bank Of Dad would close permanently.

It worked up until he stared earning his own money.


Drugs at Scouting events is not something new.

I remember before I was married my now Brother In Law had a problem with a group of Lads smoking pot at summer camp and that was almost 30 years back. (Come to think of it if I was forced to spend a week with him maybe being stoned might be a good option?)

If I was faced with a problem like this one.

I think I'd lay down the law and make it very clear to this Lad that drugs and Scouting just don't mix.

He needs to give me his word that his days of bringing pot and any other illegal drug are a thing of the past and that he is going to come to Scout meetings and functions as clean as clean can be.

I'd promise him that if he gave me any reason what so ever to even suspect that he had drugs on him or was even slightly under the weather he would face what ever the consequences might be and that could include me calling his parents, or even the police.

We'd have a nice long chat about how he was letting himself down and all those close to him down. (I'm good at nice long chats!) I'd make him aware of the guys I know who are serving hard time for being caught with pot and that it isn't a joke.

I would of course also let him know that I do care about him and his family. Also I'd let him know that I would be there for him especially if the going at home got a little too heavy.

Then I tell his parents everything that I spoke to him about.

My next move would be to go out of my way to keep him busy doing something and anything where he wouldn't be around the guys who are doing this with him or selling him the stuff.

I might recommend to his parents that they restrict his cash flow. But that would be their call.

To cover my tail if the CO was the type that I seen as being understanding, I fill them in and make a plea that we do what we can to look after this Lad, with the proviso should he mess up that he'd be out on his ear.



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We had a Scout bring pot to Summer Camp and offer it to a couple of other Scouts. When they both reported it to the SM, the wrong-doer's Mom was told to come get him and bring him back in the Fall clean or not at all. It was reported to the CC when we got back. A little checking around confirmed this was not his first use of pot. There had been "problems" at school.

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I can assure anyone reading these threads that should that happen in the troop or district in which I am associated with that the parties involved will be dealt with swiftly and surely including dismissal from the function being attended. I take a zero tolerance stand on illicit drug use and am an equal opportunity employer of that stand. You use, you deal, you condone, you leave - the function and the troop. Scouting has no place for this kind of activity.

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I agree, zero tolerance. Bringing a joint is one thing, but trying to "share" with other boys is another. I'm not an attorney, so I won't comment on what liability there is for a parent or leader who has knowledge but does nothing.

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While I'm not for trying to have summer camps and jamborees turn into anything like a Woodstock festival.

I'm not in any way condoning drugs or drug use.

I do think we need to do all we can to work with Scouts who have made a bad /poor choice.

There are kids who do fall victim to addiction and who need help in ways that we just can't provide.

A lot of the kids we have in Scouts and Scouting are experimenting, they have heard so much and seen so much about about all of this that they feel they should give it a try.

There are some kids that fall somewhere in the middle of all this. Not addicts, but more than just someone experimenting. Kids who use drugs on something that might be seen as a regular basis.

I only ever tried pot one time.

It was at a party after a school play. The cast and production guys had a party. We were all underage to even be drinking alcohol. I remember that hard cider seemed to be a big thing, mainly because to this day I hate hard cider! Someone made a enormous hand rolled pot cigarette and us budding thespians sad around in a circle waiting our turn to take a puff.

I took a big long drag, coughed my lungs up and never tried it again. That night I got sick on hard cider.

I'm not in contact with very many people who were in that play. I do send and receive cards at Christmas to five or six of them and we exchange the odd email.

I can't say how long some of them used pot and other drugs or how much they might have used. I do know for a fact that two of them have had big problems with alcohol.

I wish that I was able to sit here with a pure heart and go on about the wrong and the evil of drugs, but that isn't my case. The truth is that I didn't get involved with all of this stuff because I was scared and worried that I might like it.

I think a big reason why my son never got into it all was that he was always broke and never had the money. Even with me paying half his Scouting was a big drain on his finances, then came his car and the expense that involved.

While maybe here isn't the place and I'm sure that some will be upset. I'm not 100% sure that experimenting is always a bad thing.

In my case I'm glad I tried it and happy that I was lucky enough not to like it. Once I'd tried it I was able to move on and any mystic or glamor it all might have held was gone.


As a parent I was aware and knew that there was a time when I had to let go, I had to be willing to trust my son. Me standing over him and watching and seeing what he was doing wasn't going to be an option.

Many of the dumb things he did do, didn't get back to me till long after they'd happened. (Like the night him and a car load of summer camp staff members drove to Washington D.C on their staff night off.)

I have never been the type of parent to say that I'd rather have "Them" do bad stuff at home, just because I can keep an eye on "Them". I have never bought him a beer and wouldn't know where to go to buy drugs. While maybe someplace deep in my heart I maybe knew that he might try things that I'd not like. I most certainly wasn't going to help him do it.

I can't and don't want to be a parent for every Scout. Still the Scouts I really get to know and see on a regular basis, know and are aware that I care about them.

I never ever want to see them hurt or harmed in any way.

A Scout would really need to do something horrendously bad for me to feel the need to call the police or involve the courts. I'm not saying that I never would, but I feel the harm that might cause would last a life time.

Kids even older teenagers are still kids, they are not little adults. They make bad /poor choices, that's part of being a kid. It doesn't make what they might do right, but my hope is that maybe I just might be able to make them see that the choice was a bad one and prevent them from making it again.

Helping or trying to help one Lad not get hooked on drugs, not end up in jail and me doing what I can to support him and his family for me is a lot more important than teaching a Troop full of Scouts how to tie a clove hitch.



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My eldest worked scout summer camp last year. I didn't realize until the end of the year that he took up smoking cigarettes that he got from another youth staffer. Based on stories I've heard, I'm betting he also got alcohol and pot from some of the older staffers who wanted to seem cool to the younger ones, mainly the kitchen staff.


I asked the camp ranger about it. I was a bit upset when he let me know that he knew about the cigarette smoking by under-age staffers and the trouble that he had with the kitchen help. I may be a bit naive, but I don't want my 16 year old son working an all summer camp, away from home job with co-workers who everyone knows smokes. The older staff problems I can sort of understand because you don't know immediately who's going to cause trouble. You can only correct things so fast amd that did happen. BUT ... if you know a 16 or 17 year old staffer smokes ... my apologies for sounding harse ... they should lose their job.


Same for being in a troop, if a scout smokes (anything), that disqualifies him for scouting. They are welcome back when they stop, but until then they can't participate.

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Best thing that happened to a relative of mine was that his folks called the State Police to bring drug dogs into the house. Having the knowledge I would gladly do the favor of making that phone call. (As humiliating as it would be, I would expect my real to do me the same service.)


The first problem is the USING. That needed to be addressed right away. All of the other problems (possession, distribution, etc ...) stem from that.


If the boy thinks that using is right, he may leave the troop on the basis of the seventh point of the scout law. When he decides that he will obey the state and federal statutes regarding this, we'll welcome him back.


And just because he was around a bunch of scouts who said "no", that bunch of scouts should have said "no, you're wrong, you need to stop now!" This is what I wish I would have said to a friend in Jr. High. When I met him 25 years later and he was just starting to live his life "for real" after decades of regret, I apologized for not stepping up and being a real friend.

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Having read through this, and looking at what Lisa said in both her posts...


Shortridge pretty well said it for me, though that conversation would happen the first time the young man had drugs with him at a campout.


The only things I'd recommend additionally are Mr SM have a private conversation with the CC (CC/SM need to have each others back) as well as the IH and COR (they are the franchisee of record for the unit, their reputation and values are on the line too).




I'm not a believer in "Scouts" and "Not Scouts." Our role is to instill an ethic in these young people, and hopefully it sticks lifelong. How do we define Scout Spirit? Live the Oath and Law in the young persons' daily life. If it happens away from the unit, sooner or later it will come inside the unit :(

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Back in the day, there was a local small troop that a buddy was in. A number of the boys smuggled some beer and pot on a campout and apparently the adult leaders didn't stop it. Council yanked the troop's charter after a couple parents reported it. No second chances. I don't know if any of the boys tried to transfer to another troop, I think they all just let it go.


I personally have been made aware of things I wish I hadn't at summer camp. Things that shouldn't have been tolerated but selective enforcement was applied, sadly. I'm sure most of us can say the same that have been around Scouting for more than a few years. Good kids, as most of us were, make some choices that have ramifications. My son learned that himself the hard way last summer.


The beautiful part about Scouting is when guys do get in trouble for 'boys will be boys' kinds of antics, they are always welcome back the following year with a clean slate. They are given the chance to redeem themselves.


I've found when it comes to these kind of indiscretions, my presentation as SM was vastly different than that of anyone else in his sphere of influence. A long term SM has a very unique relationship with most boys. Ive had kids exhibit different behaviors that I deemed unacceptable in a Scouting environment and I called them on it. that may be fine at home/school, but it isnt here and this is why were not going to tolerate it Would this behavior be acceptable at home/school? Then why would you think you can get away with it here? What do you think would happen if a police officer were called when you got caught? "what kind of safety problems could've occured after you did that?"...


This particular kid and adult(s?) need an appropriate punishment for what happened. You have to hope when its handed down its the wake-up he needs. But a two strike rule has to apply and has to be very clear to both the boy, parents, and leaders.


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Zero tolerance for drugs at scout events does not automatically translate into immediate expulsion. In this I agree with the majority of the posts. Clearly the boy needs a conversation, and then there needs to be a conversation with the parents, with or without the boy present. I agree with the suggestion that the parents should pull back from scouting to focus on their own son. I agree that the boy likely deserves a chance to get his act together. So far no one else seems to have been hurt by his conduct, but the conduct has to stop.


I also agree that there seems to be a larger problem with the adult leadership of this unit. There is much at stake. There needs to be a separate meeting with the adult leadership to make sure everyone is on the same page. Then everybody should move forward with a clearer understanding of what will and what will not be tolerated and how the troop will deal with such matters in the future.

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Ok...so I had some time to kill today ...


In my state (AZ)from the Arizona Revised Statues :


13-3401 (37) "Transfer" means furnish, deliver or give away.


13-3409 (2). Sell, transfer or offer to sell or transfer to a minor any substance if its possession is prohibited by sections 13-3404, 13-3404.01, 13-3405, 13-3407 and 13-3408.


B. A person who violates this section is guilty of a class 2 felony and is not eligible for suspension of sentence, probation, pardon or release from confinement on any basis until the sentence imposed by the court has been served or commuted, and if the minor is under fifteen years of age it is punishable pursuant to section 13-705, subsection C.


13-3405 pertains to the illegality of Marijuana.


So, before you all go start arguing semantics (give vs. sell, for example), first offense and "boys will be boys" ... you should understand what the laws are in your locale. 'Cause it's pretty clear here in ole AZ. I suspect most other states are similar.


Now if you a Scout Leader decide to put yourself between such activity and the law, and you get found out ... I would expect that there is going to be some serious crap rain down on a lot of people and organizations.





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  • 2 years later...
what are the consequences of a boy on a scouting event caught smoking weed
Our boys gather all kinds of weeds and attempt to smoke them. We yell at them and insist they stop. If they persist. We tell their parents.


In terms of transporting non-native controlled substances that are illegal for any youth to have or use. We may call the boys parents and tell them to take him home (at their expense). If it is a controlled substance that is illegal for anybody (adult or youth), I would not hesitate to call the authorities.


Regarding marijuana, I effectively lost a jr. high friend for a decade because he bought the lie that it was a "clean" tobacco with no ill effects. Once he came to himself and told me of the years he'd never got back, I vowed never to treat that foul robber-of-lives lightly ever again.

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