Boy Scouts Face Widespread Accusations of Child Molestation…

boy scout giving sign th anniversary scouts serie circa moscow russia february stamp printed united states shows 144560910
November 15, 2020
by dal

 

I am terribly disheartened and even confused by the mountain of abuse claims filed against the BSA in recent months.

The Scout organization that I became intimate with was an organization whose adult management I witnessed at the very basic troop level… The Scoutmasters and adult assistants who coached and guided neighborhood kids through our troublesome adolescent years and propelled us toward adulthood. They were the adults that I connected with on a weekly basis at Scout meetings and through merit badge quests, camporees and fund raising events.

I was in Scouting from age 12 through 18. From Boy Scouts to Explorers to Order of the Arrow to camp counselor. I was surrounded by male adults who taught me basic skills from camp craft to first aid, and introduced me to concepts like social responsibility, fellowship and leadership. Scouts allowed me to grow socially and glow in the rewards of personal achievement. In hind site I suspect I was involved in Scouting during its final period of widespread acceptance and popularity in Detroit…from 1960 through 1966. By the time the 70s rolled into view “Scouting” and it’s quasi-military structure was facing widespread popular disinterest.

For me though, Scouting was a way of life that I adored and that I flourished within. My deep appreciation for Scouting now rests firmly on the broad shoulders of the men who guided me through some precarious adolescent times. Let me recite the names that I can still remember…all prefaced by the title, Mr..
Davis
Moger
Shippling
Ketchman
Rusczyk
Sleath
Near

Unfortunately…and to my own shortcomings…I cannot remember the names of others. But their faces, laughter, encouragement and most important, fellowship, linger in my dysfunctional memory and conjure up a warm sense of gratitude. There was never a hint of sexual innuendo, nefarious behavior or questionable conduct by any of them or any other Scouting adults that I came in contact with…never!

These men were all WWII veterans. Every one…Born in the 1920’s, they were circling 40 when I came under their influence. Their knowledge, experience and interests were vast compared to my own. They could certainly be task masters when required but always accompanied by empathy and flexibility. They were also role models, influencers, instructors and most important…leaders. There were no “bad seeds” among them. That I am aware of, none were drunks or criminals. Their code of conduct was guided by their own moral compass and encouraged by the Scouting organization. They were exemplary.

I think you can see from my experience why all of the recent allegations against Scouting’s adult leaders is so disheartening to me. My own experience was far from loathsome. My Scouting years were lively, safe and adventurous and what I am today, some 60 years after my first Scouting adventure is certainly owed to the leadership and integrity of those terrific scoutmasters who I hold in the highest regard. Bless them all…and thank you Scouting for six years of fun and guidance that opened hidden doors into a life of adventure and exploration.

-dal

 

 

 

 

70 thoughts on “Boy Scouts Face Widespread Accusations of Child Molestation…

  1. Agreed. As a scout through the mid to late 90s, I never experienced any mistrearment myself, nor saw any evidence of mistreatment of others… it was a great learning experience.

    • All 4 boys in my family were in the scouts. I don’t remember not having fun and learning. The Pinewood derby was my favorite…Scout’s honor!

      • Hello ByGeorge. In my china cabinet, rather than displaying china, I display my children’s arts and crafts, gifts, etc. they’ve made over their childhood years. One of them is my oldest son’s pinewood derby car he made. He had a blast in Boy Scouts for the time he was in it and never a complaint.

  2. Dal, My scouting life mirrors yours in many ways including Order Of The Arrow and camp counselor (pioneering merit badge instructor). 1966-1971.

    I was caught off guard by the quick dissolution of scouting in the US. I think we’re a lesser culture because of a few sexual predators who saw scouting as a sick opportunity.

  3. Hi Dal — I was never a scout, but my younger brother was, so I got to engage in many of the fun and educational scouting experiences through him: soap box derbies come to mind, knot-tying, gimp lanyards, rocketry, archery and others. But I was never a fan of uniforms of any sort, nor following the orders of a superior, nor the strong religious undertones of scouting — these were big turnoffs.

    As I grew older, I saw scouting as de facto recruitment for the military (not that that’s necessarily bad), and if I’m not mistaken over 40% of Boy Scouts ultimately do end up in one of the armed forces, which is a pretty telling statistic. (My brother was no exception, and ended up serving on a mine-sweeping FFG in the first Persian Gulf War.)

    But like the Catholic Church scandals that continue to this day, I suspected a day of reckoning was coming for the BSA as well. As you point out, it’s a damned shame; I think both institutions are a net good for a great many people, but a small minority in each has had an outsized negative impact.

    • Zap—
      Well, I was also a Catholic and attended Catholic School for about ten years. I was also an altar boy and spent time alone with priests preparing for various ceremonies. But once again…I never witnessed any form of sexual impropriety. No one I know ever mentioned any kind of sexual impropriety. The Pastor and his assistants were highly regarded and respected by all the “boys” who attended to them during Mass. Maybe I lived under a cone of moral isolation…but I doubt it. I think the ethics of the vast majority of all these leaders were simply beyond suspicion. There were many times more exemplar men than criminals…

  4. Dal,
    I totally agree. I too went all the way though just a decade after you. All was still well. My dad was an asst Scoutmaster and our Scoutmaster was a former Naval Captain who was a veteran of WWII and Korea.

    Like the Catholic church, the abuse came when we started taking dads out of the equation and allowed them to be replaced with single, maybe former scouts, who had no directly link to the boys in their charge because dads lost interest, did not have the skill set, or were too busy getting ahead. There was also upper age teen boys still involved in scouts, with limited supervision, took a “big brother” role way too far. I have three nephews who all reached rank of Eagle and beyond. They have spoken many times about creepers at state and national jamborees. They avoided them by staying in packs, having their dad on trips, and spreading the word in secret among other scouts. Sad really.
    Dennis

  5. I agree with all these messages, and have fond memories of my time as a Boy Scout . . . wonderful people, no signs or hints of abuse or weirdness of any kind (decades ago) .

    I’m curious about why Dal posted specifically about this, on this blog.

    Has the Forrest Fenn treasure hunt run out of interesting related topics? I’m still quite interested in it, but don’t see many available threads for discussion.

    Dal, thank you for all your work in creating and “running” this blog. I really appreciate it.

    • Tall-
      In my opinion the chest has been found, Forrest is gone. the finder doesn’t want to reveal anything…what’s left?
      I don’t know where this blog is heading…but right now we are experiencing about a tenth of the volume of readers that we were at a year ago. Interest in Forrest’s chest is waining…and why not?

      • Interesting the stamp If the Finder is silent, then there is a reason. As the Finder comes forward there will be many new topics for discussion on this site. IMHO

      • Hey Dal –
        Intersting topic. All of my boys have been in the scouts and have similar positive experiences. The history of the scout emblem is equally interesting from Fenn’s often worn color purple, to WWWH and the HOB (Brownsea Island), arrowheads, and on and on.. Also did you know that there were 9 original scout laws? One could create a whole solve based on scouting alone.

        In response to Tall Andrew’s post, I have a romantic notion that Forrest’s chase is a paper chase. If that’s the case, it gives credence so much -Forrest “taking it with him”, the “chase”, the rainbow which has no end, etc. 🙂

  6. I was in the Scouts in the 60’s, along with both my brothers. My dad was among about a dozen adults who were involved, and the Scout Master was a great example to us all.
    We had a great time with the camping. Some very memorable stuff, like the Klondike Derby in -0 degree weather, with our hand made Klondike sleds and all. No one could start the fire, one of the stations where you had to complete something before moving on, in that weather. But memorable it was. And overcoming the challenges was very rewarding.

    It’s been a very unfortunate thing, this lawsuit stuff and what caused it. It’s affected more organizations than just the Scouts or the Church (the “newsworthy” organizations). I could name two others that I know of and you all would recognize, but I won’t.

    I’ll leave this with simply saying that I loved my time in the Boy Scouts.

  7. Hi Dal
    My experience also mirrors yours even going to Catholic school and being an altar boy. All three of my sons were in scouts as well and there was never any hint of any inappropriate behavior from any of these leaders. I suspect that there is some truth to some allegations but also there may be a lot of people that have jumped in and made allegations in the hope of getting some financial rewards. I cherish all of the memories from my scouting days. My sons do as well.

    Dan

  8. I don’t want to discuss all the bad stuff anymore
    nor do I want to see it on tv. We have lost our joy. I believe there is still good in the world. Not everyone is bad, but in all societies and walks of life there will be the bad apples. It is up to the rest of us to shine a little brighter especially in these dark days. FF with all his faults just wanted to bring a little joy wrapped up in the spirit of adventure. At 59 I cannot do what I used too but I do but I can bake . I enjoy bringing people little goodies just to see them smile. We can all do something no matter how small. Maybe that is ur next blog dal. “Small things” so wishing all a calm beautiful Thanksgiving spent with the one u love. And joy and love to u all. Amanda

  9. Dal all of my association with scouting was positive. These accusations are disheartening in deed. My son and grandson were deeply involved in scouting. My grandson became an eagle scout. It was a very proud moment for all of our family.
    I will hold on to those positive memories for ever!

    Tom

    • Tom-
      The first time I visited your home State was to participate in the 1964 National Jamboree held at Valley Forge…Rode the train to get there with a contingent of scouts from all around Detroit and two from South America that we “adopted”.

      What an adventure!!!!

  10. Jeeze Dal, I know you won’t allow this to be posted, but we’re never going to see anything like the Boy Scouts of our day again.
    The world has changed, and the old ways have slipped away from us.

  11. Hey Dal –
    My dad was a scout, became an Eagle Scout in high school just before shipping out with the US Navy for “parts unknown” to the Pacific. He loved scouting, and passed it on to his grand kids.

    At some point along his scouting experience (I have no idea when, but probably in order to earn a badge), he made a super cool neckerchief bolo….hand worked seed beads over a bison’s vertebrae bone that he found in Yellowstone. I wear it to this day. I keep it next to my Will Rogers whittle. I’d post a pic, but don’t know how.

    Stay well.

  12. Dal, just thinking on this a bit more…..
    Thanks for generating a new post in the post-Fenn era. It’s a topic he might’ve broached. These kinds of subjects are always worth talking about. Maybe this forum allows us to pass the talking stick around the circle and reconnect. Fenn would’ve liked that, I think.
    M

  13. A few years ago a nephew of mine went through the ranks of Scouting to become an Eagle Scout and it was a great experience for him! His group was mostly run by ex and current members of Special Forces so they liked to sleep in the snow which sounds kooky but it really teaches kids what they can be capable of if things are done right! He, by the way, did not go on to a military career.

    However on a more somber note, I can attest as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse that the trauma doesn’t go away. It eats away at a person for their entire life creating mental and physical chaos. While with proper counseling, a person can find ways to better function in life; there is no real cure. For me it’s been 50 plus years of PTSD and disassociation.

    For women survivors, there is the sisterhood of women supporting each other and the MeToo movement. For the military trauma victims, there are the DV license plates and the romanticized movies depicting the solders struggle to fit back in to the real world; society’s acknowledgment of their red badges of courage and sacrifice. These things help survivors of trauma and abuse speak up in society and be able to tell their stories. For a young man who has been abused there is just stigma, secrets, and loneliness.

    The blame rests on the abusers but also those who choose to rationalize an adult’s strange behavior or believe the abuser’s promises to always be good from now on. It makes a real difference for a kid if someone intervenes to try an correct the situation. But if adults just clam up and pretend nothing is wrong, it’s hell for the kid. And if an organization learns of abuse and smooths it over to protect it’s image then there should be big consequences. The money helps kids/people who are no longer able to function in school and struggle to hold together employment, but it doesn’t fix anything.

    Scouting is a good idea and adults who make time for kids is the best idea. Unfortunately we live in world of monsters and it’s up to us good adults to vanquish those monsters by simply keeping people accountable. The problem is not just with some organization but with all of us that look the other way.

    • This is the first time I’ve written about this on the interweb. I’ve been going to a Psychologist who specializes in trauma and abuse for about a year now and it’s made a huge difference! If you’re a survivor of abuse and haven’t gotten counseling I would really encourage you to go. Although with counseling it gets worse before it gets better ultimately it’s the only way to get your life back. Make the appointment and go!

      • Thanks for sharing so openly, Chris, and I’m glad you’re making progress. It is a fraught subject.

        In my family, one member accused another, posthumously, of sexual abuse. This was following therapy which revealed “hidden memories.” I have to admit that I was skeptical, and that may have served to further isolate this person who had suffered mental issues over many years. On the one hand I was aware of “false memory syndrome” and on the other of the potential of the brain to suppress traumatic memories. Now that person is also dead I feel very conflicted and wish that I had been more supportive without trying to judge whether the accusations were true or false.

        Any kind of childhood abuse can leave a lifetime of deep scarring and associated issues. Whether or not it has happened within one’s own experience, it nevertheless happens. We owe it to those with difficult stories to tell to listen openly.

        • Thank you Vox! I think you’ve brought up what makes so much of this so difficult. For a survivor to finally be able the turn loose those demon secrets can be a distinct step in healing, but the backlash can be horrendous. The abuse damages not only the victim but also the family, friends, beloved organizations and churches. There is a reason this offense is counted as a felony!

          And yes, repressed memories of abuse is a very real thing. For a child to have to endure something so unbearable the mind will simply shut itself off. Even though the mind doesn’t allow these memories to be brought up they do surface as all kinds of terrible issues.

          • You’re very brave. Thank you
            Maybe someday soon we can rid our world of these monsters 🙂
            Take care

  14. This topic has brought back memories. As a scout in the 1960s I was part of a troop in the outer London suburbs, so our leaders often had to be inventive when it came to helping us practice things like woodcraft. Like Zap, I didn’t respond well to authority, and also had difficulties with formal learning, and so was something of a rebel. However, one of the things I loved was the playing of “wide games” which had us moving with stealth through whatever patch of woodland (often at the edge of a golf course) we could find locally, in order to sneak up on the “enemy” and capture their flag or fort. Yup, pretty militaristic, but great fun (and after all, Baden-Powell was a Lieutenant General). It was when I was walking back from one of these adventures with a couple of scouting friends that I chose to keep walking when they stopped. I remember the sensation of spinning both as the car struck and later, every time the ambulance went round a corner. Fun times indeed!

    Our scoutmasters were very dedicated. One of them was ex-army and could speak a dozen languages fluently. He was a remarkable man and was instrumental in arranging for us to be one of the minority of troops who would have an annual trip abroad. I remember my first international experience was traveling down through France and into Portugal with our troop. That was before the “Carnation Revolution” when Portugal was still a dictatorship, and we were introduced for the first time to a culture that was different in every way. It was a trip that lives on in my memory, not least because, tasting freedom for the first time at the age of about 12, we bought a large bottle of vin ordinaire from a station vendor somewhere in France. Most of the rest of my journey was spent in tryng to run away from what was running away from me . . .

    As for impropriety, I don’t recall any from our scoutmasters. There was one teacher at school who “went too far,” but all the boys knew to keep their wits about them. It was elsewhere that you had to be careful. In those days before “helicopter parenting” I would take off on my own whenever possible, often riding cheaply on public transport. On one day out I took a train to the south of London and was accosted twice, once on the outward journey and once on the way back. I had to use what little psychology I understood, as well as physical resistance, and consider myself very lucky that I escaped serious harm. So it was out there, but this was before these things were discussed openly – and I told no one.

    My views on scouting and similar youth groups has shifted in recent years. For a while, if I thought about it at all, I was dismissive. Now I think that organizations of this nature perform a valuable service in teaching important skills and values. If the generations that follow us can learn to understand and respect both the natural world and each other then there is hope.

  15. Thank you for a great note on the BSA. My experience, like yours was a great experience and I observed no bad seeds. It inspired me such that as my own boys started growing up I have been proud to be a cub scout den leader and then Scoutmaster for their Boy Scout troop. We have been very fortunate not to experience any bad seeds here as we have been surrounded by many parent leaders who have their whole families involved in scouting.

    While I have not doubt that just as bad seeds have been found in churches, school teachers, camp counselors, and many other roles in society, I also recognize that one bad seed in 1,000 doesn’t define a bad program. Bad people should be judged for who they are and should be held accountable; but I am concerned that it creates a dark cloud over an entire well intentioned organization.

    While I don’t know what the requirements were for leaders when I was a boy scout, I don’t ever recall doing anything alone with any of the leaders, we were always part of a group. Fast forward to my time as a Scout Leader and the BSA organization does a great job of mandating behaviors (2 deep leadership at all times), safety training for scouts and leaders to ensure awareness of risk and responsible reporting, and more. If nothing else, the BSA of today requires so much candid discussion with scouts, leaders, and families that risk awareness is at an all time high and everyone is conditioned to avoid even the perspective of risk.

    For any person who has been taken advantage of anywhere, I hope that they are able to have their abusers brought to justice. For the BSA, I hope that the organization can get past the mistakes of the past to regain respect as an organization who is very successful at shaping the moral compass of young men and helping them to develop real life skills!

  16. Well said Dal.
    I had a similar experience with scouting as you did and owe much of my accomplishments in life to the lessons learned out of the scouting books and Scout Leaders.

    I then became a scout leader myself and grew to a different level of appreciation.

    Like many, I will never forget what I saw at my first Order of The Arrow ceremony. It’s was during a giant Camporee on property belonging to the BSA. Scouts from all over the state of Washington were there. We competed at games of skill during the day including fire building and tent raising. Then gathered around a very large fire at night for the Ceremony’s. I’m not sure how it all went sideways and I’m disappointed in what I’ve read in media.

    Maybe that’s why I loved searching the chest. It took me back to outdoor discovery. My wife was surprised by my comfort in the wilds of Montana these past few years. And with Forests books had a reason to stay the night in a tent again.

    Thank you Dal for helping us connect together and the outdoors.

  17. Great experience Dal. I too was a Scout. Squad leader in Troop 363 in Conyers Georgia back in the 80’s. We were all poor so couldn’t afford the uniforms and other nice things others scouts had. But we were a tight band of boys that were saved from running the streets looking for trouble. Like you, I feel sad at hearing so many horrible things through the years about the scouts. I cherish the memories I have of a better time becoming a man who still searches for adventures. I hope you will keep your website going and feature other adventurers, like maybe Forrest nephew who scuba dives and was recovering those sunken ships in South America. And other adventurers, explorers, and treasure hunters, in the spirit of our beloved Forrest Fenn. I’ve always loved your posts Dal, and used to think how cool it would be to meet you and Forrest after I find the treasure. LOL. Well, I still hope to meet you someday, after another adventure. Thank you for all you’ve done to keep the “Thrill of the Chase”!

  18. As an old scout master and father of an Eagle Scout, it saddens my heart to see these changes in our society. Unfortunately we have become a society of victims and I don’t see it changing soon. The media seems to promote this mentality by focusing and supporting advertising by ambulance chasers and Hollywood shills. I can remember when no media idol would lower themselves to promoting a product. I think these people would sell tickets to their Grandmother’s funeral if they could make money at it.

    • I don’t like the numbers game, but this has to be pointed out.

      “the Boy Scouts claims it faces 275 abuse lawsuits in state and federal courts around the country, plus another 1400 potential claims, and”
      https://blogs.lawyers.com/attorney/class-actions/boy-scout-abuse-settlement-amounts-64377/
      1,675 possible claims total, over many years. Lets say 40, for the sake of getting a deeper look at this.
      That’s just short of 42 cases per year. Tragedies all.
      But in a country as big as this one, is this wildly out of control? Completely unexpected?
      Is the entire Boy Scout organization responsible?
      There’s a flaw in our justice system when an entire organization is destroyed because of a very small percentage (even though one is too many).
      Shouldn’t the blame be on only those who were actually responsible? (Including those who covered it up.)
      If this is the way it is handled, then every and all institutions of any kind can be taken down and destroyed.
      There’s something wrong in this.

      • I agree.

        Unfortunately, acceptance of perversion will continue to encourage perverted behavior (i.e., sexual abuse of children).

        In the early days, justice was relatively swift and effective, compared to
        these days, when people wring their hands and whine, saying “we should hold him accountable”. To me, this seems kinda like having a long psychological evaluation/counseling program for a rogue elephant in India who has gone on a rampage and killed some local people. In the early days, the elephant would be swiftly, economically, simply, and
        absolutely prevented from ever being able to repeat the unwanted
        behavior.

        • Unfortunately, any organization has a tendency to close ranks when things are revealed that no one wants to address. That’s why the organization has to be held accountable. And if they act swiftly and decisively as you suggest, then the harm – and the fallout – can be limited. Putting the interests of the person who has suffered harm first is probably the way to go.

  19. Thank you for the post Dal and though I was only in the Boy Scouts for 3-4 years, I enjoyed scouting immensely.

    I honestly don’t believe our nation would be where it is today without Scouting. The follow is a list of astronauts, Eagle Scout astronauts.

    ADAMSON, James C.**
    ARMSTRONG, Neil A.* First man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969
    BAGIAN, James P.**
    BLUFORD, Guion S. Jr.**
    BOWERSOX, Kenneth D.
    BRADY, Charles E.**
    CARR, Gerald P.**
    CARTER, Manley Lanier “Sonny” Jr.*
    CHAFFEE, Roger B.* Died in the Apollo 1 fire on Jan 27, 1967
    CHAMITOFF, Gregory Errol
    COVEY, Richard O.**
    CREIGHTON, John O.**
    DUKE, Charles M., Jr.** Walked on the Moon during the Apollo 16 mission
    EISELE, Donn F.*
    FORRESTER, Patrick G.
    FOSSUM, Michael E.
    FULLERTON, Charles G.**
    GREGORY, William G.**
    GRIGGS, S. David*
    HOFFMAN, Jeffrey A.**
    JOHNSON, Gregory H.
    JONES, Thomas D.**
    LEE, Mark C.**
    LIND, Don L.**
    LINDSEY, Steven W.
    LOVELL, James A. Jr.** Flew to the moon on the Apollo 8 and Apollo 13 missions
    McCOOL, William C.* Died during the re-entry of Columbia on Feb 1, 2003
    McCULLEY, Michael J.**
    O’LEARY, Brian T.**
    ONIZUKA, Ellison S.* Died when Challenger exploded on Jan 28, 1986
    OSWALD, Stephen S.**
    PARAZYNSKI, Scott E.
    PETTIT, Donald R.
    REIGHTLER, Kenneth S. Jr.**
    SEARFOSS, Richard A.**
    SEE, Elliot M. Jr.*
    TANNER, Joseph R.
    TRULY, Richard H.**
    WALKER, David M*

    And this is one small sliver of men who made their mark on greatness.

    Pinatubocharlie

      • You’re welcome SWWOT.

        Here’s a link to other notable Eagle Scouts if you’re interested.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Eagle_Scouts

        You’ll find there are some fairly common household names listed. People like;

        Mike Rowe – Dirty Jobs
        Sam Walton – Walmart founder
        William Gates Sr. – Bill Gates’ father
        Clive Cussler – adventure novelist & underwater treasure hunter – my wife and I have read most, if not all of the Dirk Pitt adventure novels
        Marion Barry – Mayor of Washington DC
        Michael Bloomberg – Founder of Bloomberg L.P. & Mayor NYC
        James Brady – President Reagan’s press secretary shot during the assassination attempt
        John Ehrlichman* – White House council to Nixon
        Gerald Ford* – 38th President
        H. R. Haldeman – Nixon’s Chief of Staff
        Steven Spielberg*
        George Meyer – writer/producer of The Simpson’s
        note – Simpson was Forrest’s mom’s maiden name & Meyer is a type of lemon – SB 49 Forrest loved lemon pepper
        Michael Moore – film director
        Ozzie Nelson – band leader and TV star – Ozzie & Harriet
        Gov. Rick Perry & H. Ross Perot
        Donald Rumsfeld
        John Tesh – musician and 6 Emmy awards
        Paul Theroux – novelist

        *named in Forrest’s scrapbooks 104 & 214

        Tuskegee Airmen – suggest reading the squadron story. Remarkable.
        Eugene Calvin Cheatham Jr.
        Charles McGee – SB 235 “Me and Bobby McGee”. Hmmm.
        Percy Sutton

        And last, but certainly not least. I salute the following 12 Medal of Honor recipients
        Aquilla J. Dyess
        Robert Edward Femoyer
        Eugene B. Fluckey
        Loren D. Hagen
        Walter Joseph Marm Jr.
        Thomas R. Norris
        Arlo L. Olson
        Mitchell Paige
        Ben L. Salomon
        Britt K. Slabinski
        Leo K. Thorsness
        Jay Zeamer Jr.

        Pinatubocharlie

  20. Ditto Dal! My experience all the way to Life Scout was wholesome, healthy and educational. Many of my wilderness skills are rooted in lessons and knowledge learned during my scouting years. Leaders were pillars of the community. Is truly heartbreaking to see so many bad apples in the organization. An Eagle Scout award was given in my troop by then U.S. Congressman Gerald Ford who later became President. He was an Eagle Scout and golfing partner of my father’s. I’m sure Pres. Ford is currently rolling over in his grave. 🙁 My only barrier to reaching the elite Eagle level was puberty which came with my newfound sense of smell – beer, perfume and gasoline.

  21. I so agree with you. In the early ’70’s in Dayton, OH, I went to First Class, and Order of the Arrow. Never once did I see anything like the accusations flying around. It’s sad.

  22. Greetings to all.
    My hope is that everyone is doing well all things considered.

    Sadly I see the current situation as another means to subvert our great nation.
    I was not blessed with the opportunity to be a scout, perhaps if I had been a scout I may not have a sorted past. I hope that the scout’s reform under stricter guidelines and continue their mission to guide our young people. As we watch the turmoil our great nation is faced with I can only hope God all mighty intervenes.

    I am glad you are doing good Dal. If there is anything I can do to support BSA post it up here on the blog and I will do my best to help.

  23. Yes sad indeed! My Dad was a Scoutmaster of my brother’s troop for a bit and being the tomboy that I was and living in a very small town they took me on some of the camping trips. I certainly didn’t insist on it like girls do today but I had some great times.

  24. Dal,

    Thank you very much for Standing Tall on these topics!

    Both organizations provided me with wonderful and character strengthening experiences.

    Never encountered any sexual misconduct from my dedicated troop leaders.

    Unfortunately, my last year at camp one could notice the rot setting in. But this was coming from the youngsters. We had one waterfront counselor who wanted to confront the “establishment”. He had a tape player which he would want to blast at night, I recall “PROUD MARY” as being one of his favorites.

    After he received an early ride home, I was invited to take his spot , free camp for the rest of the summer! Oh yeah, Big Wheels Keep On Turning…….

  25. Dal,
    Thank you for expressing what most of us, like you, experienced as Cub and Boy Scouts. Thanks for the ff info and relationship you kept with him. I hope we can one day meet.

    VB

  26. I was in the Cub Scouts and had a Den Mother.
    She was very nice and never attempted to molest anyone.
    (Where do I file My complaint??)
    😉

    I’m glad they will stop running those commercials soon. While even one case is too
    many, they make all of the BSA sound like criminals.

  27. Our family was very involved in Scouts as well, Dal. Cubs Pack leader, Troop Master, and everything in between while our son moved up through the ranks. IT was fun for hte whole family and we too did not encounter any types of issues with misbehavior from the leadership. Great experiences for years!

  28. Most of my good memories growing up involved the Boy Scouts. I never made it to Eagle Scout, but I would have to say that I would not be who I am today, without it. It not only opened hidden doors for me, but also guided me on a personal life path. As a teenager I thought about Scouting near every day…and probably even now.

    I always suspected that Forrest was involved in the Boy Scouts. He grew up in a time when it was embraced by all young men. His father probably encouraged both Skippy (William) and Forrest (Bubba) to participate, and he himself was probably involved.

    When my boys grew up, I went on all the campouts, became the Assistant Scout Master, then Scout Master and Merit Badge Counselor.

    The Boy Scouts of America, is/was a wonderful organization that helped many boys and men.

    Dal, thanks for your comments and for keeping this forum going.

    ~nm

  29. There was an interesting post that is no longer here that pointed to an article about a Baden-Powell statue in Poole, England, which was perceived to be under threat and scheduled to be removed temporarily from its site on a busy road until the threat level subsided.

    Statues, like flags, are often perceived to be symbols. They celebrate something special. But to some they might represent something less benign or even repressive. Two instances spring to mind from experiences years ago.

    When my father was still alive, he accompanied my brother and me to the former concentration camp at Dachau. It was not a comfortable or uplifting trip. The infamous phrase, “ARBEIT MACHT FREI” was still there above the gate – by itself a little homily with a positive message, but in context representing something horrific, as the American troops were to discover when they entered the camp for the first time.

    The second memory is from work. I was on a contract with the University of Liverpool. Part of that job involved working with the International Museum of Slavery – a fascinating but grim reminder of Liverpool’s strong links with the slave trade. One of the lecturers I worked with (a black guy, and in this case it’s relevant) would take students on trips around the city pointing out the symbols of slavery embedded in the very fabric of the old buildings. He was able to use those symbols of repression to tell an important story.

    I’m not in favor of airbrushing the past, but I am in favor of understanding the past and what it might mean for us today. The history of the Scouting movement is as much part of that as anything else, IMO.

    • voxpops – i grew up minus a dad from age two, and the Cubs/Scouts were a hugely positive influence in my youth for a long while then & there-after

      am unsure why a few accusations should draw such popular headlines for one or two individual bad apples, to somehow blanket-tarnish the whole scout/guides movement, and the many honourable people that volunteered their time, wisdom and patience

      shame on the tabloid media, for their sensationalist flaming pitch-forks, just to sell a cheap over-hyped story

      and shame on us, for even bothering to listen

      • Good to see you around again, ch.

        I think you speak for a lot of people who found the whole Scouts/Guides movement very positive – and wore their woggles with pride!

        I suppose bad apples always get more publicity than they deserve, and unfortunately one person can do a lot of damage as well.

        However, if you take the problems that the Catholic Church in particular has faced in recent years, it was probably a good thing that a spotlight was shone on something deeply troubling and unsavory. Tabloids will always sensationalize, but I don’t think those on the receiving end of serious abuse were the ones doing the sensationalizing.

        When problems are covered up, that’s when the cancer has the opportunity to grow. Accountability, transparency, and honest reflection would help nip any nascent problems in the bud. And when it comes to children, that’s a thoiusand times more important, IMO.

      • ditto voxpops – and agreed, accountability and transparency are vital to the victims healing, and more faith to our wider society also

        certainly ‘acknowledgement and cooperation’ is a large part of the moral process too, which his where the Catholic church also fell short imho

        but the Scouts seem more like rabbits caught in the headlights here, which is a precarious ignitor for yet another modern media circus

        thank gosh that Q-Anon is now banned in MSM, or we’d probably ALL be accused of eating human-child brains by now ..like Oprah 🙂

        ..that’s all i’m sayin’

  30. Dal, that was an interesting choice of words that you started out with…”The Scout organization that I became intimate with …”

  31. Thank you for your post Dal. I too have been saddened by the recent news regarding the BSA. I was fortunate to be in a very active, outdoor-oriented troop in Nashville, TN in the mid-1960s and earned the rank of Eagle Scout at age 13 with Order of the Arrow. I gained my love of nature and the out of doors, along with many of my wilderness skills, through the experiences of monthly troop campouts, patrol campouts, annual state camporee and a week at BSA camp every summer. All of these activities were conducted by dedicated fathers and professional scouters who gave selflessly of their time to serve as leaders, chaperones, and merit badge counselors for all of the boys in our troop. I learned how to “survive” in the woods, how to handle and use sharp tools and firearms safely, how to get along with others of various ages in a respectful and enjoyable manner, and many character-building “life lessons”. Never was exposed to any improper treatment or actions by any of the fine adult scout leaders, nor was I aware of any misconduct of any kind.
    When my family moved cross country to Los Angeles, CA, I greatly missed my scouting activities so I joined a troop in West LA. Unfortunately, being located in a large city, it was quite a different scouting experience, with only one or two troop campouts each year. The comradeship was still there, but the meetings were more “game nights” and less about being in nature. There was one assistant adult leader in that troop that was “a bit strange”, and he seemed to hyperventilate if in a vehicle with a few boys (?). However, when I first joined that troop, I was quietly told by the Junior Assistant Scoutmaster, that although that leader was believed to by “harmless”, I should never be anywhere with him unless other scouts were present,.. so the potential problem was effectively addressed by the scouts themselves, and was actually (fortunately) kind of an ongoing “joke” about the “weird” leader.
    I only stayed with that troop a little over a year, but many years latter I returned to scouting to serve for a few years as a Scoutmaster for a small troop in central California, before moving to Alaska. I do not in any way condone the reported misconduct and abuses of any scout leaders and I sympathize with their victims. However, I do feel that it will be a great future loss for many boys on their journey to become young men if the BSA does not survive this unfortunate crisis. Walter H. Ward

  32. Dal, thanx for sharing your experience. I was “officially” in the Boy Scouts for one year, but did more camping and hunting in the woods growing up than most of them. I had a GREAT time while a part of the group, but other interests took me away.

  33. Cub scouts, boy scouts, explorers, from 50s through mid 60s, kids in cub scouts in 80’s, I have nothing but good memories. The camping and backpacking activities provided the foundation for my love of outdoor experiences. Can’t say I was much of an achiever, in a scouting sense, though.

  34. Hi Dal, I think what really happened is the left wing of this country can’t keep their hands off anything good. They destroyed the Boy Scouts by allowing girls and people who identify as boys in the name of diversity and inclusion. The last thing the left wants is strong boys which translates to strong men (especially if they are white). Remember when they made a big deal to allow homosexual scout leaders? That was before allowing girls and what not…. Unfortunately, we are losing “the greatest generation” pretty fast now. They left us a great situation, and in about a generation later we are about to destroy it.

    I have two girls and they were both in Girl Scouts, imagine that.
    Now that the organization is going under and are paying out claims I think there is a high probability of fraud going on. Of course I sympathize with the real victims, it’s a real shame.

    Hey on another note, what do you think about the article and video on Justin Posey, Cynthia,and Kpro? I’m pretty convinced.

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