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how would your troop handle a rumor of a bisexual scout?

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I believe I would have to report these adults to the Scout Executive as a matter of Youth Protection. If this actually happened, they were way out of line. And as a parent, they, and the CO would be hearing from my attorney.


YOu need to alert the SE before he's blindsided with a lawsuit...or worse hears about it on the 6 o'clock news.

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So the sexual harassment language from the camp staff guide that I quoted above is actually more relevant than originally thought. It speaks precisely to the new part of the story presented. The scout or his parents need to go to the camp director and SE with that part of the story.


I would see that this is reported, and then run, not walk, away from these folks as soon as possible.(This message has been edited by the blancmange)

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"The more private this is kept the better off the boy will be."


No. Keeping it private or "in the family" says to the boy and to the world (when the coverup is discovered) that boys in Scouting are not safe from the persecution of the a few zealots with uniforms.


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I think the verdict on the adult behavior is clear so I won't add to that.

I would like for your son to understand that his friendship and support for this boy is part of living the scout law, especially that 'brave' point. He should be proud of his loyal friendship and his honesty about his feelings and what he has seen and heard.


This is a very powerful lesson that he and (unfortunately) the boy are learning about the power of hatred and how groups can take hate and make it an institutional element. A powerful lesson indeed.

As a young man, I learned similar lessons from similar events, except with regard to civil rights. Sadly, the kind of malevolence that hurt so many persons on the basis of racial hatred and prejudice back then continue to hurt people today, just based on additional forms of hatred and prejudice.


Leave that unit. If you think this characterizes scouting, leave scouting. But remember the lesson.

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Sorry but you don't know what you are talking about. The adults in this situation should be dealt with quickly and decisively and not broadcast throughout the troop, the town and the local news as the result will be devastating both psychologically and socially for the boy. The boy will be made into a poster boy for abused kids and the whole thing will be blown up way out of proportion which could likely lead the teen to considering suicide, I have seen it happen in a similiar case years ago. You want to villianize these adults responsible fine, but the boys identity needs to be protected at all costs which is part of child protection. Your soapbox stance in this situation does absolutely NOTHING to protect the boy and put this nightmare behind him, in fact it does the complete opposite. Knee jerk reactions are not what is needed at this time.(This message has been edited by BadenP)

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In my 31 years as an adult leader, I find this totally appalling; way beyond belief.


As COR, I would have never allowed this meeting to take place. Had it taken place without my knowledge, the SM and ASMs involved would have been dismissed. Immediately. That very evening. Clean house. In the morning, I would be showing up at the council office demanding to see the SE, and requesting the adults' names be removed immediately from our charter, and of course tell him why.


Quick. Done. Move on. Take the SM role myself for however long I have to.


Since the COR is aware and apparently condoned this "meeting," the IH should be made aware immediately and take the proper steps. The CO is opening itself up for MAJOR problems here.




(This message has been edited by FrankScout)

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WOW! All I can say is ...in all honesty...I probably would act in a very very unscoutlike manner myself. I have no doubt I would make a total ass of myself before removing my son from that troop immediately, and I would not hesitate to let any and all other parents in that troop know about the extreme behavior of this leadership...because you just don't know who it will happen to or when it will happen again.


I can't say my reaction is any better or more justified than the supposed "adult" leadership in this post, but I would be beyond caring about that at that point!


Not saying my reaction would be right, But I am being honest in saying what it would be!


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It's Papa Bear time. I'd have a hard time not going medieval on these guys.


But BP makes a good point. At the very least, the Scout and his parents need to be making the phone calls.


Frankly, the only person in this situation behaving like a mature adult is your son. Follow his example. Give the mom a call just be supportive. Let her know you are concerned for her son and want to help. Most parents don't know a COR from an ASM to a SE. Let her know how you believe things should be handled with the troop and offer your help to navigate the BSA bureaucracy and protocol.


But I think it's important to consider that dealing with the troop leader -- jerks that they are -- is probably a lesser priority than helping his son with any issues he may have.

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I have to point out that all those condemning the actions of the troop leadership are operating on the basis of gossip themselves.


Also, no one knows if the Scout in question did something that merited his being questioned about it.


We do know that five adults went behind closed doors to interview a Scout. That seems excessive.


A Scoutmaster conference with the boy might have been appropriate. You probably need a second adult within hailing distance to meet Youth Protection rules.

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Ok..maybe I am missing something here...A group of Scout leaders take a young man aside to discuss an issue.. From my understanding, you could not hear what was being said by anyone in the room and you are only going on what you were told as to what happened??I did not see where they asked him to leave the troop, only try to get to the bottom of a rumor that, if true, directly conflicts with Scouting...


So from my point of view, as a mom in Scouting and as a CM...First of all, scouting does NOT condone homosexuality and does not want that promoted...The rumor should be dealt with and the boy confronted...At the point where he is, while maybe his parents should have been invoved or not depends on where they have been through his scouting career...Other than that, the adults were acting on an issue that must be taken care of.


My issues would be:


The boys choosing to talk about sexuality at all...That should have been stopped!


The "victim" making the statement he was bisexual...So, how long has he been living dishonestly?? By that I mean, sleeping with guys and not telling that was who he was...Honesty is a foundation of scouting...If that is who he is or wants to be, then why not leave the organization that is against it? Don't ruin it for everyone else just because you want it your way..


When does he take responsiblity for his choices? Note, I am NOT judging his sexuality, only telling him to take responsibility and be honest about it.


Unless, I missed something I think the situation is getting more attention than those leaders caused due to the talking among all the others in the Troop. Let the leaders and the Scout family work together..If the rumors are true, he is not living to Scout ideals so the right thing would be for him to leave..If not true, then all will work out...


We are living in a society that likes to do whatever and even when it goes against the rules, we make excuses...I want my son to know that he can make his choices, BUT sometimes there are repurcussions that he may not like...So, he has to weigh it all out and see which one HE can live with and sometimes that means making hard decisions...


I think the issue of the bullying should be dealt with and if it was truly brough tto the camps attention, then that is where I would direct my discipline for ay leaders.


As far as blindsiding, I really don't see how it could have been blindsiding if all went on at the camp like was reported...To me, it is no different that a Scout saying that there is not a GOD, or self proclaiming he was an atheist..It was something that had to be addressed and I am glad that there are still some scout leaders that don't wimp out when confronting REAL issues facing the cornerstones of scouting.

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The stuff at camp happened in June when working at camp staff on the other side of the state. This is August. Blindsided = stuff was handled at camp, and now is brought up like it's an emergency situation.


The scout did not ADMIT he was bisexual. The scout threw words back at a group of bullies to get them to shut up. Not the most mature thing but certainly not worthy of an inquisition.


taking a scout aside to discuss appropriate or inappropriate conduct is a quiet scoutmaster's conference. Not 5 adults in a room with a scout with the door closed while everyone else in the troop is on the other side of the door wondering what the heck was going on.


Youth protection is to protect the scouts.

Bullying doesn't just happen scout to scout, the adults in my opinion were bullying and intimidating and threatening the scout.


But hey, the scoutmaster's son was chosen SPL and the married co-ASM's son was chosen ASPL so all is right with the world? While the female ASM was the one leading the inquisition and then turned around and told her teenaged daughter enough to know what was going on. you know, so the whole high school could also find out what was rumored, in case it wasn't going around high school too.


The scout in question's mom will be having a meeting with the 5 adults next week. seems nobody will meet with her except on scout meeting night.(This message has been edited by 5yearscouter)

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I haven't made any weird calls or freaked out on anyone in person or yelled or called the scout executive. yet. I think I'm being quite rational in my exploration of this subject. supporting my son as he supports his friend, and worrying.


the troop has way too much drama recently. we did not need this to be an adult overreaction.


I go back and forth between thinking the adults are meany heads that wanted to scare and run off this scout or that they must have been thinking it was such an important topic that the more people who knew what was going on the better.


however it really looked like an inquisition when the scout was called into the room. the whole troop was waiting a half hour for this confernece to be over and you knew it was not good from the looks on their faces when they came out. The boys in the troop know that the scoutmaster told the Scout he couldn't be SPL, they may not know why.


the scout's side of the story to my son and his mom are the same. If you knew him you'd know he doesn't tell tales to adults. That's just not who he is. He will tell you straight up why he said what he said, that it worked to shut up the bullies but that it was a poor choice of words.


If they are looking for inappropriate discussions over the last year in a group of 50+ teenaged boys with about 20 of them older scouts, they will find inappropriate discussion if they look hard enough. it's the nature of older boys who camp 30 or more nights together. yeah they might talk about the birds they saw today while hiking but just as likely to be teenaged things all teenaged boys talk about--sex, drugs and rock and roll, farts and athletes foot.

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If the issue is a rumor the boy sexually abused another boy while in scouts, the leaders have the right to notify the Council and step back and let them handle the issue. They do not have the training to approach a possibly sexual abuse case in an way that makes sure the rights of the accused are not violated.


If the issue is a rumor the boy may be homosexual, they are way out of line to even approach the subject. Even if the boy walks & talks femine-like and when out of uniform wears pink silk..


I disagree with this statement by the OP (although not looking at it as his opinion, just that he is mis-informed.)

I understand that BSA is against homosexuals and bisexuals, so this boy's continuing BSA membership and chance at finishing his Eagle are in jeopardy.


The BSA's policy is for Adult leaders, not youth.. It is supposably their way of establishing moral role models, although their take on morality is another issue, since you can spend your days in a whore house and be considered morally up-right enough to be a BSA leader. (now if in a police raid that is another issue)..


Their policy on gays has nothing, I repeat nothing to do with scouts, only scouters.. This boy could still earn his Eagle even if he was homosexual..


This inquesition was also done at a boy scout meeting, during the scout meeting hours, not even held at the end of the meeting after other people left. A definate attempt to make sure it was public knowledge. Highlighted by the points made that the other boys were not kept engaged, but stood outside waiting for the inquesition to be over, and the comment one of the adults in the room filled her daughter in on the goings on..


(This message has been edited by moosetracker)

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Fellow Scouters and 5yearscouter,




I concur with some of the questions Eagle92 and SP have brought up.


In today's environment everyone is afraid of liable and innuendos. While the Scouts orientation is in question; I am glad there were five adult leaders interviewing the Scout, rather than just one or two. If it was a one on one session Scoutmaster to youth, I would be extremely alarmed. If this were a Board of Review with five adults and one scout, would we even be concerned.


I would hope five adult leaders, which should be trained, selected by their committee, Troop Committee Chair, Chartering Organization and approved by the District Executive, would be capable to discuss topics with a youth in a normal and calm manner. I personally would be upset with leaders that would bring a youth up in front of the entire troop as an open door policy and asked a Scout if he yelled at one of the bullies one day after hearing them talking about him in the laundry room, "I'm not gay, I'm bisexual" [insert other colorful language here] was true.


In this post we use the terms "grilling" and "inquisition", those are hostile words. Do we know the meeting was handled in a hostile manner? No, we don't.


SeattlePioneer even said "I have to point out that all those condemning the actions of the troop leadership are operating on the basis of gossip themselves."


I also don't know of any 17 y/o that refers to their parents (mother or father) as mommy and daddy. I think in communication definitions and the news media that is called "Spinning".


I personally have never been told that BSA is against homosexuals and bisexuals. Though, I have been told that alternative sexual orientation is an exclusion to the membership policy.


One of the biggest things I do concur with most everyone's advice here in the forum, is to seek out the guidance from a professional Scouter. The District Executive, then the Council Scout Executive. The professionals qualifications is to be non-biased, but provide guidance and sometimes execute national policy (removal of anyone, youth or adult, that violates safety and youth protection). The professional Scouters duty is to protect the rights and integrity of all of the scouts and all of the leaders in your troop.


Beyond 5yearscouters disappointment of how the proceedings were conducted. 5yearscouter asked the following questions.

Youth protection boundaries anyone? If the Scout was bullied, his youth protection boundaries were disregarded. If the Scout calmly discussed his Summer Camp statement that he made, with the troop adult leaders; no, I dont see violation.


How can an adult investigate a minor's sexuality? After a boy makes a statement, a board of review is a good start. Shouldnt the leadership adults be responsible for the safety of all the boys in the troop.


How would your troop handle a rumor of a bisexual scout? It wouldnt be ignored. First seek guidance from Commissioners or Professional staff. Second, determine the cause of the rumor, is it a true statement or is the false rumor. Lies and false rumors have no place in Scouting, Scouts and parents not abiding by the Twelve Points of the Scout Law will be reminded. True statements though, should be investigated further, which is needed to provide a safe environment for all the Scouts.


Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

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