Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lawsuit Speaks the Truth

"The transient nature of these adult leaders, who in this instance, were called by ministers in their local LDS church to act as Scout leaders — sometimes only for a very short time — assured that there would be little continuity or consistency in the hazardous weather training they received," the suit argues.
Full lightening article here which includes quote above.
Full drowning article here. (Some in the comments section have stated that because this boy in this article was 17, he was an adult and should have know better.  I find that highly offensive.  The adult should have known better.)

I feel bad for all of these parents.  I actually feel bad for the leaders too.  They have to live with this on their conscience for the rest of their life.  No matter, the Church still has a transient nature for leaders hence the lack of training.  Training will not remove all fatalities but it will limit them.  I have heard it a million times before:

  • I won't be here long so I don't need to get training.
  • How hard it is to teach a merit badge each week?
  • Roundtable is just another meeting to go too.
  • I will learn on the job.  No need to get trained.
  • We will call this a Priesthood gathering hence I don't need to use Scouting standards.
  • I was a scout as a kid, so I know what I'm doing. I don't need to get trained. (via Eric the Half-Bee)
  • I've been set apart; the Spirit will tell me everything I need, so I don't need training.  (via Eric the Half-Bee)
  • The Church is dropping Scouting in the near future anyway, so I don't need training.  (via Eric the Half-Bee) 

I refrain from most of my thoughts on the comment but I will say this - parents bear ultimately are responsible for their children which includes but isn't limited to going on all outings with their sons.  They should know the who, where, what and when of who their son's leaders are.  I am pro non-LDS troops especially if the LDS Troop has untrained leaders with a Bishopric that doesn't insist on require being trained.  I am very transparent with my parents as to my training so they know what I have done.  I wonder what kind of role the parents played in this troop.  Seriously, if they used the Troop as a "drop off and keep rolling" daycare for their kids I feel bad but they do hold some form of responsibility.

I don't mean to sound harsh towards these boys parents.  No matter what the circumstances, they don't deserve a dead son.  I hope soon parents and Scout leaders will come together so that they can work TOGETHER to give their son the best Scouting experience in the world which includes many great and wonderful trained leader.

I have started battling the "training issue" with this scripture:
Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence. DC:107:99
You can't learn your duty and act in your Scouting office in diligence if you are not trained PLAIN AND SIMPLE!

And because I was a criminal justice major, I would love to know how long each leader had been a leader and what their training was[n't].


Eric the Half-bee said...


I'll add a few more reasons:

• I was a scout as a kid, so I know what I'm doing. I don't need to get trained.
• I've been set apart; the Spirit will tell me everything I need, so I don't need training.
• The Church is dropping Scouting in the near future anyway, so I don't need training.

These very sad circumstances should serve as a wake-up call to all bishops, YMPs, etc all down the line to re-emphasize Elder Featherstone's 4-Ts.

This is what I've been trying to accomplish with all of my Ward Scouter Training discussions - to help each person understand the duties involved in Scouting callings (using Scouting as an umbrella term). These recent incidents serve to validate what I've been saying for nearly a year and a half. Having properly trained leaders will go a very long way toward mitigating risk. Especially on those "priesthood-not-Scouts" outings, including Treks. We owe it to our sons, and our neighbors sons, to take this deadly serious.

And, you have to keep in mind that the Tribune is Utah's "Gentile Paper or Record." You've probably noticed that most of the comments reflect an outright, open hostility to all things LDS, even on the most tenuous of connections. I only read it for the articles.

Fishgutts said...

Thanks for more excuses. I added them because I here those too.

I am extremely fearful that this won't be a wake up call. We, as members of the Church, continue to think because we are "the Lord's people" we should be free from trials and tribulations or just out right use the "it won't happen to us" excuse. This sickens me. I personally will not live with a boy's death on my conscience plain and simple. I know we are supposed to "tough it out" but there is a very clear line for me. Rain is one thing. Lightening and tornadoes (in Texas) are another. You don't mess with it.

The Scout leader in the lightening strike SHOULD have known to get them to shelter and not their camp sight on a hill if he had taken the bad weather training. And he should have always been the last one to camp making sure EVERY boy makes it to camp. I mean they were not in the middle of no where hiking and didn't have a structure to go to. They were at a Scout Camp. I don't know how he missed that in the bad weather training but I wasn't there. I don't know the circumstances.

My heart goes out to all involved.

Fishgutts said...

Eric, one last question.

Do leaders not get trained purposely so they can use that as an excuse?

"Well, I didn't know.........."

Eric the Half-bee said...

THAT is a frightening idea.

Fishgutts said...

I know!!! I wonder though if it is a possibility. I really wish the Church would come down with a "you HAVE to call a Scout leader in this fashion" check list. I know Packer's talk SHOULD be enough but maybe we need to spell it out in black and white for Bishoprics.

How can we create quality control on training?