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Adult Supervision on Outings

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One weekend, we had planned a camping trip about 5 miles from town on a large farm. It was an interesting area because there was a medium sized hill that had been reputed as being the hideout/lookout for a bandit during the cowboy days. The bandit and his gang had hidden the stolen gold somewhere on the hill, was captured and later died in prison. Of course, the money was never found. This left quite an adventure for our guys. Everyone climbed all over the area, looking for caves or other suspected places for the loot.


The decision was made that each patrol would camp at a place of their choosing. There was to be allot of searching for the lost gold and nobody knew where the best place to look would be. Some of the older guys decided to camp on the far side of the hill away from the adults.


We set up camp and later had our supper. We then had a general campfire with songs and skits. Everyone then returned to their camp areas. Afterwards, one Scout that was camping with a patrol nearby began acting strange. He was upset and angry about something but none of us could figure out the reason. He finally went into his tent and said he did not want to talk about it. "It" was the thing that we later found out was not so good.


The next day we broke camp after lunch. One of the older Scouts came up to me and wanted to report something. He said that he did not want to tell me exactly what it was but he was feeling bad about it. After we arrived home and everyone was leaving the same Scout told me that the older guys had left the camp and hitchhiked into town and bought beer. To make it back, they rented a cab and returned. I inquired about the beer and who was involved and he told me most of it.


Well, the phone calls started. Parents, leaders, and Scouts were contacted. The committee was informed and a meeting was called for the next week. The story was told and retold by each of the Scouts during their time "on the stand". It was discovered that two of the boys had drank part of one beer each and the others had buried the rest somewhere near their camp. I suppose making for another adventure for another time.


There were actions taken by the committee in line with what they felt was proper punishment for each offending party. I never fully recovered from that incident, knowing that the trust that I had given was disregarded. I was shocked to think that the boy leaders would lead our Scouts, by example, to such a destination.


There were several connected events that followed and problems created by me, kind of stumbling along dealing with the issue of trust. I wish I could rewrite my own failures in this incident and in the following days and months afterwards for sake of embarrassment but then my own personal learning would not have been as clear to me.


We all survived that campout and our failures and went on to others. I grew closer to those Scouts and our program took a boost because of the assistance it generated. Most likely, the parents probably saw that I needed all the help I could get and joined in.


Looking back from the hilltop of experience, it showed me that we really did uncover the lost treasure that weekend. It was not easily found and I still have the scars to prove it. I am sure the guys wont forget it either. FB


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