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Twenty Lashes With A Wet Wood Badge.

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Some weeks past I asked for your help planning events for a District Camporee.

Many Thanks for the ideas, the ball in a tube went well as did the one with the two 2X4s.

Sad to say it turned out to be a wet,cold weekend.

One Leader had two scouts whose tent had leaked and everything was soaked, so he left on Sat. Night. This left the troop short of transport for the trip home, and one lad needing a ride.

Yes, but yes I know that I ought not have given the lad a ride. In fact I thought it strange that no one came to pick him up. But faced with leaving him at the camp site or breaking the rules, I made a choice.

He was not very big, in fact I knew that this troop had picked up a lot of Webelos Scouts, in Feb. So I asked if he was going to the junior high next year, it was then that with great indignation he informed me that he was 15.

Now I feel a bit silly.

I ask why his parents have not come to pick him up. He tells me that he is in foster care. Now I feel more then silly. The drive was about 25 mins. During which time I found out that he had spent this past Christmas at the local YMCA, and that he hadn't seen his brothers or sisters in over a year. He then started talking about the camp fire and how great it was.

When he got out of the car, he thanked me for the ride, and said "I know why your the boss, you listen to everyone, no one ever listens to me"

The Good Lord knows, that I'm a big softy, but this almost brought tears to my eyes.

As I drove home, I couldn't help thinking about all the stuff that I had bought my son over the holidays. How OJ, just have to have the new disc player with G - Force ($130.00) And here was a kid that had really enjoyed a camp fire and just wanted someone to listen to him.

While I'm very much aware that everything about this was wrong and I ought not have left my self so wide open. I think it was worth it.

Hey it's not everyday someone tells me that I'm the boss - I must remember to tell Her That Must Be Obeyed.

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The Lord does work in mysterious ways.

I would imagine Eamonn that this experience will only reinforce your commitment to mankind and scouting. You are blessed to bear witness to a boy who examplified the Oath and Law and while he might not realize it now, has a solid grasp of what is important. Thank you for sharing this with us and putting the focus where it should be!

Thrifty, Brave and Reverent

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I'm betting that although we all know you broke the letter of the law for YP, you won't get one person criticizing you. Even without the great result, if the intent of Youth Protection is to protect youth, comparatively, which is worse: Have a Scout in your car alone, or leave a Scout on his own at a camp with no way to get home? You did fine.


The way you treated the boy I think is the way we all would like to believe we would. Congratulations!



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The Camporee was held at Camp Conestoga, Somerset Pa.

As you may know not far from your home ground. We do have a few of our units from Westmoreland Fayette, that every now and then do "Summer Camp" at Heritage Reservation.I have spent a fair amount of time in the "Ryan Homes" attending and presenting Camp School stuff, mainly Cub Scout.

Camp Twin Echo, is a super place in the winter, what with the hills and the snow, the Scouts and at least one old fogie (Me !!) have a grand old time. Have to admit that so far we have always booked a cabin.

A little time back,I attended an Eagle Scout presentation, when it came time for the Scout to say a few words, he recalled his first winter camp at Twin Echo, how the toilet seat was metal. He said how he was scared to sit on it for fear it would freeze to his backside. Man oh man, that was a great presentation. Sad to say the family moved to Maine. From what I hear of the Maine winters, he had better Be Prepared.

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Many Thanks for all your kind words.

I would however like to stress, that this was a really situation that I allowed myself to get caught in.

I broke the rules.

While at this time everything is "Warm and Fuzzy" who is to say that in ten years time this young man isn't going to say that I did something untoward to him. I know that I didn't, but how could I ever prove it.

Please, Please do not allow yourself to make the mistake that I did.

Our Youth Protection Policy is there to protect the youth and the adult. I was dumb, don't let it happen to you.

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You took a risk to do the right thing. You broke a rule to do the right thing. The point is, you did the right thing.


I don't believe you need to punish yourself any further.


However, if it will make you feel better, I'll put in a little good natured ribbing (you would call it poking) by saying that most Americans feel that the Boston Tea Party was a risk. Most Americans feel that we broke a rule or two in doing it. Most Americans feel that it was the right thing to do.


The only difference is that you agree with the rule and we didn't.


I think that makes you the better man.



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The really sad thing is that you guys have yet to learn the fine art of making a cup of Tea.

Come to think of it the cheese over here isn't that great.

Still we have to thank you for MTV,Driving on the wrong side of the road,eating with the fork upside down,Beavis and Butthead,Bill Clinton,trunks that are boots, Hoods that are bonnets,suspenders that are braces.

Still it's the best place in the world to live and raise a son.

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Eamonn: I love your sense of humor. Or is it humour? Either way, in American, you is a funny dude!


We keep the good cheese in Wisconsin. I'm afraid that American cheese is American, but it isn't really cheese. I'll also admit, sheepishly, that cheese in a spray can isn't really cheese either, but I've been known to eat it with cheer from time to time.


If you come visit, I'll make sure the cheese is good in exchange for a properly made cup of tea. Earl Grey is my preference.



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  • 1 month later...

It brings back memories. Eight years ago I was on camp staff. Every week we would say good bye at the final flags and the troops would move off to the parking lot to load up and leave.

Then we would hold a weekly debrief and get the atta boys and oh darns. After the commisioneers told the campsite rangers the results of their inspections, those failing had to go clean up. The Program Director oversaw the cleaning of the staff area. Then we could head out on our 'day' off.

This week it must a been at least two hour maybe three before I headed down the road. To my suprise I found on 11 year old Scout seated on his gear all alone by the camp gate. His mom hadn't come yet and his troop had left him to wait.

I don't remember all what happened after that. I think his mother thought the troop was bringing him and the troop thought she was coming, but I knew the camp director had a new topic for his last of the week scoutmasters' meeting.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow, only my second post here and I'm about to make my self unpopular...



You sound like a great leader and I sure am glad your not with my troop. I'd be very disapointed to have to say goodbye to you.


I know you did it for all the right reasons and you know the risk you put yourself at and were willing to take the risk. For that, a pat on the back!


Now for the kick in the pants. You have done more harm than you think. The only defense the Scouts have to protect them self is the knowledge that there are no exceptions to the rules. A boy can not be expected know which exceptions are valid and which are scams. Every boy in my unit has been told that any exceptions are to be reported to the Scoutmaster and the committee chairman.

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