I am back from the Wauna La’Montay Lodge Rendezvous of the Order, an annual event our lodge hosts to celebrate its accomplishments, recognize the fantastic arrowmen of the lodge, and of course..have a lot of fun.
Friday was an interesting day as most of you that are no longer living in caves knows.. Japan was hit by a massive Tsunami and the ripple effects were felt all the way here in Oregon. Camp Meriwether, where Rendezvous is held each year in on the Oregon Coast.. I mean.. right on the Beach.. so of course there was some concern about the Tsunami hitting it, but as luck would have it, and further proof that God loves Scouts, the wave went South, much to the dismay of the folks down in Brookings. Our prayers go out to them, fortunately it was just stuff that was damaged and no one lost their life.
We arrived at Camp Meriwether Friday night to a light drizzle and the party had already started. It is always a fun gathering and the patch traders and Native American enthusiasts where all there. I picked up a few missing patches for sets I have and called it a night after a cracker barrel of Chicken, cole slaw, and a cup of coffee.
Saturday was a fun day, the morning started off with fun games and fellowship. I had an opportunity to chat with our SE for about 20 minutes and then again during and after a Fire Side chat he hosted for the adult leaders that attended.
Being the Scout Executive of Council is a job I would not trade for mine. In the short time Matt has been here he has grown all too familiar with the court system in the Portland Metro area. Law suites have blasted us here in the Northwest.. and yes.. I do have an opinion about them.
While I never think it is right for anyone to abuse a child, I also do not think it the councils responsibility to police the actions of those that do. Here is how I see it. I am a registered member of the BSA through a Chartered Organization. The CO approves my application and I serve at their pleasure. If I mess up the accountability is on me and to some degree the CO.. but not the Council or the BSA. INDIVIDUALS need to be held accountable for their actions.. not the Organization.. unless the organization gave authorization, or directed the individual to commit the crime or abuse.
Now I know that is not how the money grabbing lawyers see it.. but that is how I see it.
In my opinion the last case was handled all wrong and the judge should not have awarded a penny to the so called “victim” from the council. They should have gone after the $$$ of the CO and that is that. The CO did nothing to keep this from happening again. The crime was reported to the CO, the CO “kicked the guy out of the church” but allowed him to remain a Scout leader… even after the sick bastard admitted to sexually abusing multiple kids. It was not reported to the council and now the council is on the hook.
They said it is all about the boys right? The “Victim” said his suite was all about the boys… well how much money did you take away from “the boys” Mr. Victim? And since I’m on this.. what is the statute of limitations.. how long can a guy take to starting feeling bad about the abuse, do not get me wrong.. it is terrible when a child gets abused.. I do not condone it at all and think that those that do abuse children should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. They are sick people that need to be dealt with.. but how long can he wait?
Anyway.. I digress..
The Fire Side chat was great, we talked about improving the image of the Council and building up the PR so we have better coverage and truly tell Scouting Story. We talked about camps and of course the Scouter Mountain never ending story. All in all it was nice to sit down with Matt and hear his side of the Council discussion. Again. you could not pay me enough to wear his hat.
Saturday night was the annual Lodge Awards Banquet and Vigil call out followed by a Brotherhood ceremony. A Scout from my Jamboree troop sealed his membership in the Order by completing his Brotherhood ceremony, so I took the time to watch and congratulate him.
It was yet another great Scouting weekend. Last night during the Banquet the Professional advisor to the Lodge spoke. He talked about a life lived to serve. He quoted Zig Zigler by saying “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” And that kind of sums up the dreams of a member of the Order of the Arrow.
In talking with a number of Scouts this weekend, it was made clear that by and large adult do not trust them and their abilities. Over and over again I was told that they wish adult leaders would let them lead.
You know Scouts put this whole weekend together, and where adults got their hands in it.. there were problems. My message.. let the Scouts lead! This is what Scouting is about and for. Trust them and give them a chance. They did a great job this weekend… and everytime we let them seek success.. they find it.
Have a Great Scouting Day!