The Night Owl admires Scouts. That was covered in a recent post. (TNB) Ideally, they teach children how to be good citizens as well as instructing them about crafting and the wilderness.
But with very limited power comes very limited responsibility.
in 2013, two Scoutmasters decided to do their part for the community by removing a hazard which could easily harm a child: a large rock balanced precariously atop a smaller rock, beside a trail often used by children. They even filmed the occasion:
Of course, as noted in the crawl, the rock which looked precariously balanced had been there for a few million years.. although the initial assessment of 20 million was determined to be too low and representative of some of the simpler formations; this one was estimated to be more than eight times that old. The odds of it suddenly toppling and injuring a child were virtually nil.
The biggest clue to this situation is the name of the park, Goblin Valley State Park in Utah, which was named for the odd sandstone formations carved naturally through millennia.
The Boy Scouts of America did not appreciate the publicity, particularly as associated to destroying the very wilderness they’re famous for appreciating. The two men were stripped of their leadership roles.
They were also fined, but avoided jail time in favor of probation. From NBC News:
Glenn Taylor, 45, and David Hall, 42, pleaded guilty to lesser misdemeanor charges in Utah’s 7th District Court. Although an exact restitution figure has yet to be determined, they could fork over thousands in fines — money that would go toward putting warning signs in the state park, The Tribune reported. They also must pay $925 in court fees and split a $1,500 investigative cost after engineers had to assess damages to the 2,000-pound sandstone formation.
After all of the publicity generated locally and the signs, one can at least point to the fact that the Scouts provided an excellent example of what not to do.
Question of the night: what’s your favorite state park experience?