Handbook violations and a high dropout rate were given as the reasons for the sudden dismissal of leadership in Wading River Boy Scout Troop 94 at a parent meeting to elect new leaders Tuesday night.
But the Boy Scouts of America’s Suffolk County Council stopped short of detailing exactly what those violations were, saying they are so specific they would violate the privacy of the young scouts involved.
District executive Robert Rabbitt said scoutmaster Pat Clancy and committee chairperson Joel Bornstein were made aware of the handbook violations over the past two years, but failed to address any of those concerns.
Mr. Rabbitt said 19 scouts also left the troop before they “aged out,” during Mr. Clancy and Mr. Bornstein’s tenure.
“That doesn’t happen,” Mr. Rabbitt explained, “unless there’s a problem.”
When some of the nearly 40 parents in the audience pressed Mr. Rabbit for specifics during Tuesday’s meeting, he said the troop’s previous leaders often discouraged kids from scouting.
“This is for the boys,” Mr. Rabbitt said. “That’s what we have to keep in mind. This isn’t an ROTC unit. This isn’t a drill unit. This is Boy Scouts. And a term that was thrown around by one of these two gentlemen was ‘Well, he’s not scouting material.’ There’s no such thing as ‘scouting material.’ Every boy deserves a chance to be a scout.
“Making it hard for scouts that are not of your mind, or how you feel they should be, isn’t right.”
Mr. Clancy has said he was given no reason for the change when he spoke with Mike Hammer, president of Wading River Fire Department Inc., charter sponsors for the troop. Reached for comment Wednesday, Mr. Clancy said he met with parents before the meeting to say farewell and to explain his actions.
After the council answered questions from the nearly 40 parents in the audience, nominations were taken from the floor for a new scoutmaster and committee chair.
Assistant scoutmasters Philip Kenter and Frederick Stumm were unanimously elected unopposed. Scout parent Philip McIntosh was elected to the committee chair seat.
The crowd burst into applause following the election and many thanked the volunteers for stepping up.
“It’s one of the best troops I’ve ever been in,” Mr. Stumm said. “We’ll do our best to move forward in a positive way.”
Mr. Clancy said of the new scoutmasters, “they’ll make a fine duo. The troop’s in fine hands.”
Photo: From left: Newly elected Wading River Troop 94 committee chairman Michael McIntosh (center) with co-scout masters Philip Kenter (left) and Frederick Stumm. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)