Oct 4, 2010

This weekend at MD, boy scouts discover that the bogey man is real. (Possible sex predator tried to pick up scouts.)

My 10 year old son went to a canoeing event with his troop this past weekend.  Here is the report of an incident that happened then.

"All seven adults and fourteen scouts on the campout came back safely and I believe had a pretty good time even though our canoeing was more limited than we were hoping for. I am writing to let you know about a more serious incident that occurred on Saturday evening. At about 6PM two of our scouts ... notified their patrol leaders where they were going and then went to the store near the campsite. As they were walking away from the store together a black truck with a canoe on top blocked their path and the occupants, two mature adult males, suggested that the boys come ride in the truck. There was more conversation exchanged but in the end result was the boys said no and left but the truck followed them for some distance in a manner that alarmed the boys so they ran away from the road and back to the campsite. 911 was called and state police sent out the park police who took the boys statements and left to look for the truck. The SPL gathered the boys and the troop discussed the incident with the boys and re-stressed how important the buddy system is. After some time the Park Police came back to let us know that they spoke to the store keeper and had visited all the campsites that were nearby but that they believed the truck had left the area. The boys tents were moved into the middle of the campsite with the adult tents on the outside and all the boys who wanted more tentmates got them. In the morning, the leaders adopted a new safety rule and instructed the boys that in addition to the buddy system, when we are near more public areas the scouts will always insure both the scout leaders and the adult leaders know where they are going and when they will return. Also, the buddy system and any known cautions that would help the boys keep themselves safe will be discussed before every trip/campout as a reminder."

The good thing about scouts is that the boys themselves are taught to be careful and to recognize abusive behavior - sexual & otherwise.  I had to read a chapter about this from their manual and was required to explain it to my son.  This incident can confirm all those warnings and make sink deeper.  In a way, it has that salutary value i.e. the bogey man is real.

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