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Mentor or Destroyer

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Yah, NeilLup's right, eh? This is some of da local folks who have strong feelings about having staffers usin' drugs at their camp pushing the limits of their authority as an independent corporation.


Again, da Regional office can accept the lad's BSA membership application and the troop can accept him as a member. The council can still prohibit him from attending events on council property. Beyond that, it's up to either Region or your Chartered Org Rep. whether the issue merits bringing additional pressure on the the council executive board.


I think your COR should send a letter to the Region, cc'ing the Regional Director and President, simply asking that Region accept the boy's re-application on behalf of da BSA since the council won't. Your son can then pick up where he left off in his troop, with the exception of attending council events. I think he should consider the latter a lasting lesson in the long-term consequences of betraying people's trust in him. After the boy's application is approved by Region, your troop should send a note to the SE, cc'ing the Council President noting that fact, and acknowledging that you'll respect the prohibition from council events for the year.


I think everyone would be satisfied with that outcome and simmer down, eh?


And who knows, maybe it's time for your son's troop to try out a camp in a neighboring council this summer. ;)




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Beavah has given good advice. I would only say that I prefer not to put anything in writing over matters like this until I have a pretty good idea of what the result of the letter will be. In other words, don't write the Region until you have talked with the Region and ensured that they will indeed act as we all believe they should. Letters of that sort can have a way of bouncing around long after their planned result has passed.

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I too sympathize with what your son has been thru. Let me address a single item that I don't believe anyone else has specifically touched on. While your son is/was a Boy Scout with membership thru the council, he was also an "employee" of the council. Perhaps one shouldn't be tied to the other, but that may be the difference in this situation. While your son may have apologized to everyone all around and the troop and SM forgave him and kept him in the fold, the council evidently sees things different. Obviosuly one solution might simply be to never let him work for the council again, but continue on in his Scouting career. For whatever reason, they have extended their "punsihment" all the way thru to his scouting.


My son served this past summer on camp staff. The rules were laid down in no uncertain terms and they knew upfront what was and was not a firing offense and the camp director is fair but tough. She has hundreds of scouts being sent to camp by parents who believe thier child is in a safe environment. If a staffer pulls some kind of stunt, it puts the whole camp safety and experience into question.


While I might not agree with how the council is handling things, your son has learned a valuable experience. Actions have consequences. I preach this to my son everyday. So far so good. I've been fortunate in that he has never once gotten in trouble at school or any other activity he has participated in. He is a rules follower. He is almost 16, our SPL and only needs his project to make Eagle. He will be driving soon and has a girlfriend who is cute as a button and as sweet as can be. Having been a 16 year old boy a million years ago, I have redoubled my "actions have consequences" speeches to him since cars and girls have come on the scene. These are important life lessons as they enter adulthood and the workforce. In "real" life, they won't get the second chances and mulligans.


Good luck.

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After reading all that is here, I have to be honest and say I have zero sympathy here. Your son broke the law, in some states it would constitute a felony. No one called the police as they should have.


An my take, based on my experiance in court with parents and teenagers, is that you are enabling him. He messed up, now he has to suffer the consequences. Tell him to suck it up, support him, but its time to move on.

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How old was the scout that offered up the joint? As stated by one of the posters, Council may feel that if they allow your son to re-register within the Council, that they would also have to let the other scout re-register. Maybe their stonewalling, wanting your son to wait a year to re-register, is a delay tactic to age out the other scout. It doesn't make it right for your son.


Do you know who the instigating scout is? Was he from this Council? Who is his daddy? Is it someone from the EC, and Council is trying to keep it quite, as not to embarrass one of theirs, and themselves?


These would be the only two reasons that I could possibly see for a Council snubbing Regionals directive to reinstate.

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I agree that actions have consequences and I agree wholeheartedly on the decision to fire him. Believe me, we have had long discussions about this, both before and after the incident and several times since.


The police were called, but no report or charges were filed and I don't know why. Part of me had wished he had gone before a judge to really scare the daylights out of him. That didn't happen, but I do believe he got the message loud and clear.


As for the other boy that brought the joint, I know he was older and an Eagle Scout. He lives in another town, so I really don't know much more about him. He and my son had only shared a tent for a week or so when this had happened.


Beveah, you mentioned the COR and IH talking to the local council. What is the "IH"?


Good news. The troop in another district has decided to allow him to join their troop. It is 114 miles round trip, but my son feels it is worth the effort. Thank goodness gas prices have dropped. :^)


My son is working hard to walk the straight and narrow and I know he has a better chance of success if he is with others that share positive traits and values. His goal is to become a backcountry ranger. He loves the outdoors, the hiking, rock climbing, backpacking, canoeing, protecting the environment, etc. so the Boy Scouts is right up his alley.


Thanks to all for the support and advice. None of us is without sin, but with support most people can move past their mistakes and become a better person for it.


I hope everyone has a great holiday.

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There's not much more to offer in the way of advice. Beavah, I think, has given you the best package to think about so far. I just add a personal note from your last message. If I had done what I did as a youth, in today's society, I'd probably be a long way from where I am now and possibly not alive. I strongly sympathize with your son. I was lucky on so many levels.

The thing that really caught my eye was his wish to become a backcountry ranger. That was exactly what I had wanted to be back at that age. Circumstances took me in a different path but I still sometimes wish that could have happened. I wish him luck in his ambition and if he attains his goal, I'll be sooooo envious.

As a matter of fact, it's time to strap on the backpack and head out for a few days.....


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Hello Keoki,


I want to clear up something that you wrote so that you and your son won't be disappointed.


You said that a troop in another DISTRICT will let your son register. If so, that may not help you as another DISTRICT would still be in the BG council and if someone notices, they may play the same game.


The only thing that would help would be if not only were the Troop in another DISTRICT but also in another COUNCIL. If that were the case, then there should be no problem. Is that Troop in another COUNCIL?

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"An my take, based on my experiance in court with parents and teenagers, is that you are enabling him. He messed up, now he has to suffer the consequences. Tell him to suck it up, support him, but its time to move on"


I don't really think anyone is saying this situation should not have long term consequences for the scout. What I find troubling is the Council's stance of we don't really care what the region says, we are doing what we want. Why have a regional office if Council can ignore it without any consequences?


There was a process to determine if the scout should be let back in and it was followed and then appealed to Regional and a determination was made to let the scout back in. Why can this council ignore that determination and still keep the scout out? Would this be the case if this was an Eagle Scout who was had been turned down by council, appealed up a level and been accepted. Would the Council still be able to deny him his Eagle?





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Rythos, Eagle is given by National, once given, the Council could not deny it, heck they don't have anything to do with it. Well, they would have had to have had a Board of Review and all that. But if the Council gave an EBOR and denied a scout Eagle and the scout appeals "all the way to National" its National's award to give out, the Council could not stop it

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I of course don't know keoki12 or the Lad.

However, I do work in an environment where it seems that many if not most of the inmate population have found reasons or excuses for them being where they are -In a State Correctional facility.

It very well could be that I have heard so many stories, reasons and excuses that I have become a little hard hearted?

I did read the first posting in this thread and have to admit that it seemed to me that it wasn't unlike the hard luck stories I hear everyday from the inmates at work.

While I do know that ADD is real and can cause problems. I also know that some young people want to wear it as some sort of badge. A reason to do or not do things.

Scouts and Scouting goes out of its' way to work with and accommodate young people and adults who have challenges. We have Scouts who are blind, deaf along with a long list of other physical and emotional challenges.

We most certainly do not ever try and put anyone down because of whatever challenge they might be facing.

But on the same hand we do not allow anyone to use a special challenge as some sort of "Get out of jail free card".

As I see it this Lad did break the rules.

The Council made a decision.

The decision was based on the rule that was broken.

Yes the standard is the same for Scouts with challenges as it is for Scouts without them.

If I were the parent of a young Scout would I want to allow my child to attend a Camp, with Staff members who have a history of using illegal drugs?

If this is the kind of Staff member that a Council is going to choose to take care of my son while I have entrusted him to the care of the Council, I think I'd much sooner my son remain at home.

Mentor or Destroyer?

With a history of drug use what do we think the parents are going to see the camp staff as?

Sure we can have feeling for the lad with the problems.

But I know if I were the SE I would ensure that this Lad, never worked on the Camp Staff of any camp I was involved with.

Councils do not have the luxury of being able to grant "Partial Membership" A Scout is either a Scout or he isn't a Scout.

The council has made its' choice. If I were on the Council Executive Board(Which of course I'm not.) I would be willing to stand steadfastly behind the decision of the Council.





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To me the question remains is the Council bound by the Region's determination that the scout should be let back in?


If they are bound by the Regional office's determination that the scout's membership be reinstated why are they able to do otherwise without it being a problem?


It would appear that one of a few things are happening here:

-Regional does not have the power to compel a Council to let the scout back in


-Regional does have the power to compel the Council but in an attempt to avoid bad blood they are unwilling to use that power as long as the issue is not pressed further by the scout and his family


-Council knows they are required to follow the determination of the Regional Office, however they are currently doing nothing and hoping that the issue will go away if they wait long enough


-Council knows that they are not required to follow the wishes of the Regional Office and will continue to handle the situation however they please without regards to the Regional Office


For me since the scout has decided to go to another council the issue of lifting the punishment is no longer interesting. I'm more curious about the dynamic between the Council and the Regional Offices.


Does anyone here have professional Scouting experience, or knowledge of Council/Regional Relations, that would allow them to tell us if the Council is required to adhere to the Regional position?



(Who finds the dynamics of large organizations fascinating) :)

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