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How do I find a troop for my son to go to Jamboree?

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The scoutmaster chosen by our council for the jamboree is currently listed on the child abuse registry. The child he injured was his 10 year old son who was bleeding as a result of the injury. Criminal charges were filed, but not pursued. He had his scouting background check in 2003 and was placed on the registry in 2004. No other background check has been done since that time. The county attorney's office is also holding open charges for assaults on his son at this time and he has been investigated by several different law enforcement agencies in two states and child welfare for child abuse in the last six months. The council is aware of the registry issues and the other child abuse concerns, but they have done nothing about them and have said that he is a "good scout leader". They are also aware that his wife is divorcing him b/c his most recent extra-marital relationship is a married commissioner whom he has chosen to be his ass't scout master for jamboree.


Please do not accuse me of listening to idle gossip b/c I have seen the paperwork regarding the abuse charges. The scoutmaster of the troop has admitted to me that this leader (a district commissioner) has a lot of problems with his temper and that other parents have been complaining to him for months about his relationship with this commissioner, but he can do nothing about their behavior b/c they are both commissioners. They have made no secret about their relationship and have gone on dates to non-scouting public events.


I would appreciate any help on finding a way for my son to go to jamboree. I don't want him to miss out on this exciting opportunity. But I live to far away to just hop in the car and get him if something were to happen that would cause him to not feel safe. Given the lack of family values being demonstrated in my troop and the obvious safety concerns, I am trying to find another troop for my son - not easy in a rural area. The only reason I am even agreeing to keep him in scouts at this time is b/c he wants to get his Eagle b/c he is thinking of joining the military after graduation and their would be some benefit to his having earned that honor.

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"How do I find a troop for my son to go to Jamboree?"


As you know Jamboree Troops are in fact Provisional Troops set up by the Council.

If you are un-happy with the leadership selected by your Council?

You might want to see how many Troops the Council is sending and if there is an opening for your son in one with leaders that you approve of.

You might want to think about moving your son to another Troop in another Council.

Have to admit that at this late date when Troops have been filled for sometime, finding a spot might prove to be very hard.

Of course with the way things are with people losing jobs there is a chance that there will be some Scouts who may have to cancel.


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Thank you for your suggestions. Everything I have seen about jamboree looks like such a great opportunity for my son and I really want him to go, but safety is an issue.


I am still trying to find another troop for him. We have a visit with another one scheduled for next Tuesday. I want him to have a say about where he goes. But the problem is that in the rural midwest, there aren't a lot of choices. I can't take him several hours away to go to meetings and such on school nights. I wish the council would take some steps to resolve this matter b/c I'm not the only family in my troop that's looking for someplace else to go.

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Yah, hmmm....


I think yeh want to tread awfully carefully here, NancyB. Without solid proof, a lot of what you're writin' here may well be defamation. And if you're an employee of the county or know one (which is da only way I can imagine yeh being aware of confidential investigations) and are releasin' that information, I can't imagine you or your friend keepin' their job.


There's so much innuendo and accusation here (the jambo SM is beatin' his son and havin' extramarital homosexual relations with your scoutmaster?) and other low-probability stuff that I suspect not all of your information is accurate. Sometimes two guys go to non-scouting public events because they're friends, eh? The fact that your council seems to have been informed and yet hasn't made any changes seems to support the notion that all this might not be what you're suspectin' it is.


But, your role in this is clear.


1) You share your concern in writing with the council SE, carbon copy to the council president, if yeh feel that a council-level volunteer poses a risk to kids. They have procedures for investigating such allegations. But again I'd caution you to be careful not to libel the leaders.


2) If you personally feel that a leader is unsafe or doesn't support your family's values, yeh don't send your child on trips with that leader, period. And honestly, no leader in his right mind would take your son on any trip given your allegations. Just too dangerous for da leader.


So no jamboree.




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Beavah - As a point of clarification, I don't believe NancyB specified whether the other commissioner she wrote about was male or female.


The fact that someone is on a child abuse or child protection registry would be enough of a red flag for me to say "Woah." The other stuff wouldn't even come into play.


As Eamonn said, you could always try another neighboring council. I know mine is having issues filling its Jambo contingents (though we're on the East Coast, a ways away from y'all).

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Please forgive me I got the idea that you were more deeply involved in the workings of how things are than maybe you are.

I really don't want to get into what seems to be an on going situation between you and the SM.

Only to say that if I was as unhappy with the SM as you seem to be, I'd have got my kid out of that Troop PDQ.


The National Scout Jamboree is held normally every four years. The last one was back in 2005. The extra year was added so as the Jamboree would be held in the same year as the 100 year celebration.

The planning for the event starts almost as soon as the current event ends.

Councils can apply for as many Troops as they think they can fill.

As a rule they don't get as many as they might like.

The Council I serve isn't very big. We have four Districts and about 95 Troops. In the past we have sent two Troops. (We are sending 3 in 2010)

Each Troop has a SM and 3 ASM's.

As you can imagine, as a rule there are far more adults applying to attend adult leaders then there are openings.

The Council I serve has a Jamboree Committee, who selects the people who will serve.

This Committee takes this very seriously.

They understand that being responsible for 40 Scouts at the Jamboree can be very stressful.

Just traveling with a bus full of Scouts and not losing a couple can be a big stress.

They understand that the Scouts are going to be very hot, very tired and that before the trip home some of the boys and leaders will be "Scouted Out"

With this in mind when the committee goes about selecting a SM they look for someone who really is able to get along well with the Scouts, is a good communicate well with the parents of the Scouts and put them at ease before the event and as a rule is very experienced. (Having been a Jamboree SM twice I know!!)


Are you sure that the SM that you are having issues with is the Council Jamboree Scoutmaster?

Remember that from the entire Council only maybe two or three adults will be selected.

To be very honest. I'd be very surprised that any Council would select an adult who would have a big dark cloud like the one you describe hanging over him.

I'm not saying it can't happen or couldn't happen, but in a small rural Council??? I'd be very surprised.


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Just for board clarification; this is pretty much a continuation of an earlier interchange from January by this same individual about a "leader" whose "wife says", and so on.


While there is always a chance for veracity in these things, the more innuendo and vague information, the less likely. Add this to the earlier posts, and I would not find much credence here.


Certainly, in our council, this almost certainly would not be swept under the carpet, no matter how high up or how much popularity the scouter had. We have lost at least 3 of these types over the years; and it cost the council major contribution dollars in one case.


Sign me "skeptical".

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It's also not clear to me if NancyB is talking about her son's Scout Troop (the one he goes to meetings at every week), or the Council Jamboree Troop. THey are not the same troops, although they could be led by the same person.


I was going to suggest Beavah's tactic. Write a firm but polite letter to the Council President (he/she is the Chair of the Council Executive Board), with cc to the Scout Executive and COR of your son's unit. Request a response IN WRITING that the Jamboree Leadership consists of adults in good standing who have passed a recent background check and are NOT CURRENTLY listed on any type of "offender" listing. As Beavah advises, do NOT name names or make accusations. There's always a chance you don't have all the facts and stuff like that can come back to bite ya. They may think you are some kinda whack job, but when it comes to the safety of your kids, who cares?


The other point made in this thread is that if your son has not already applied and paid a deposit to be in the Council's Jamboree contingent, it may be a moot point (i.e., too late).

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Supposing that half (really, any) of what you assert is accurate, and supposing that you really do not have other options to get your son into a different Jambo troop, then my best advice would be not to send your son.


Yes Jambo is probably a wonderful activity. No it is not worth sending your kid halfway across the country at considerable cost and for a fairly long time period with someone who you clearly do not trust or respect.


There are many other wonderful opportunities in scouting. No boy is likely to experience them all. You indicate that you live in the Midwest, which is a big place of course, but how about a high adventure trip to Northern Tier (wilderness canoeing), to Philmont (real serious backpacking), or other such activities? Many councils send annual contingents to those and other national BSA high adventure bases. Maybe there are other activities like these that could offer your son an amazing scouting experience without causing you to worry about the suitability of the leaders chosen.


However, I too would be surprised to find that your council accepted someone to be a jambo SM, with the problems you have described. It certainly is not the norm in terms of how carefully councils consider adult leadership choices for jambo troops. Are you sure you have everything right there?


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