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What is / is not tolerable behavoir in a leader ?

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I never said, "No Drinking", I said follow the rules you agreed to abide by. That means no drinking at Scout events or on Scout property. I personally (just my feelings) extend that to (to me) No Drinking in Uniform.


I still have a drink every once in a while, but these days it is rare and minimal due to diabetes. But, in my 50 years of Scouting, it has never been at a Scouting event or on Scout property (in or out of uniform).


I have never stopped at the store on the way home from a Scouting event in uniform and purchased alcohol. That is a personal guideline that is self-imposed. My personal belief and interpretation is it is a logical extension of "Setting The Example".


In 1979 at the age of thirty something a few weeks prior to summer camp, the troop was having the younger Scouts, including my son, working on skill awards. The one where smoking is taught to be bad for your body. I already was very un-obvious in my smoking around the Scouts as Scouting guidelines stated, but the boys asked me why I smoked. My son also stated that since smoking could kill me, he wanted me to stop so I could be part of the life of a grandson someday! That really rocked my mind and I really had no good reason to give them, so I told them that when we got to summer camp whatever cigarettes I had in my pocket at the time would be my last. I wanted them to see my discomfort at going cold-turkey for the educational value. On July 6, 1979 at 12:45 pm was my last smoke to date.


My Scouts have also never heard me curse, be derogatory regarding any religion or etnic group, be sexist or tell inappropriate jokes. That is a choice, because I signed a pledge to BSA to follow the rules.


My personal motto, which I feel has a lot of truth, is from Mark Twain:

"Always do right. This will impress some folks, and astonish the rest."

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Well, I'll relate a time when my scoutmaster saved our troop from an ugly incident BECAUSE he brought a 6-pack of beer on a campout. He was a great Scoutmaster, very reliable and responsible, and NOT an alchoholic.


We were camping by the shores of a lake, in a forest, with no other people around for miles. Late in the night, we were gathered around the campfire, when a DRUNK redneck came driving fast through the woods and skreeched to a stop right in front of the fire. He exited the truck and shouted for us to "Get out of the road - stop blocking the road". He threatened to run us over if we didn't move. Our quick-thinking Scoutmaster calmed him down, pulled him aside, and offered him a beer by the fire! We were all astonished, because we had no idea the SM even HAD beer with him!


The lunatic calmed down, had a snort, and told some great stories about the lake and growing up in the woods there. Ultimately, he slept it off by the fire, and left the next morning without a hitch.


I was mighty glad the SM had that 6-pack!

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What bearing does one isolated event that was entirely the wrong thing to do, that just happened to work out, have to do with what is not tolerable behavior? What your Scoutmaster did could have turned into any number of ugly felonies. The posibilities are staggering and horrifying. The least of which would have been after getting drunker, the guy drove off and ran over a Scout or had a collision on the road to wherever he was going. Your SM could be contributory in that situation or any other law breaking the drunk guy did. Scouting says no alcohol! It does not say bring a six pack, pistol and machete just in case.

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Scouting says no alcohol! It does not say bring a six pack, pistol and machete just in case.


It also says be Kind and Mentally awake.


I enjoyed codger's story, maybe just because I'm a fellow codger. :)


Showed a SM's wisdom in handlin' a tough situation.


BTW, codger, welcome to da forums! Nice to have yeh. Hope you sit for a spell.




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I too am an old Codger (prefer Old Geezer) and I realize if a codger told the story in question about his youth, it was probably many years ago very soon after guns were invented; and I too, enjoyed the story.


The fact remains, the Scoutmaster was lucky. Given the same circumstances, there were many more bad results possible than good. Had I been in that position, it would have been sans the beer and I too, would have otherwise done what Codger's Scoutmaster had done: be personable, hospitable and try to defuse the situation and get the drunk to leave peaceably. But, there is no way I would have even considered throwing another log (beer) on the fire (drunk) and posssibly have the fire get out of control (things get worse) even if I had more logs (beer) available. It has been my experience that more alcohol does not soothe the savage breast, to butcher & paraphrase and old saying! Also, realistically, in this day and litiginous time, No Way would I serve a drunk more alcohol even if I was going to violate Scouting policy by having it with me on a Scout outing in the first place!

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I too enjoyed Mr. Codger's story.


I didn't see anything in his tale that suggested that bringing beer on a campout should serve as a standard for others to follow (Kant's Categorical Imperative is rumbling about somewhere).


Rather, it's a great story of SM resourcefulness in defusing a very dangerous situation...well done Mr. SM, where ever you are!


Plus, Codger brought some much needed humor to the proceedings.


Thunderfox, I agree that more booze never helps. But I respectfully submit there are certain phrases in life that punch thru emotional turmoil:


"Would you like a warm blanket?"




"Would you like a beer?"


The SM clearly knew the score...the distraught stranger needed what went along with the beer: companionship. Someone to hear him out. And treat him like a regular human being.


Thanks again Mr. Codger.

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Codger's story


---- Sniff -----


That SM was prepared.


In light of this; things we should carry just in case:

Instructions on how to disarm a soviet Nuclear war head.

Guide book on how to jump start an aircraft carrier from a nine volt battery.

Complete translation of the Aztec writings into English

A football tee

A large Conch shell

Cat nip

Do it your self base jumping kit.

five feathers from birds whose names has only one vowel.


These or those ten essential thingies.


I'll slip these types of items into a camping list. Occasionally I'll get a call "Mr Makaing why do we need half a bowling ball to go camping in the State Park?" My answer, "Because a whole bowling ball is too heavy for one scout to carry."


Hey this thread is what five pages now? I figured you guys have covered most of the serious stuff by now. :)









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