Boy Scouts remove leaders involved in toppling Goblin Valley rock

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    Oct. 24, 2013 11:29 a.m.

    A Scientist: "The BSA should not take orders from the LDS Church."

    Should they continue to take orders from the LGBT?

  • Cedarite Cedar City, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 11:54 a.m.

    To those who think the rock tipping was justified, you would have to tip over every rock in Goblin Valley to make it safe were that the case. That rock was by no means even close to the most precariously balanced in the park. Rock tipping in state and national parks is not allowed because not only would nothing be left if it were, but rolling rocks can be dangerous to others, particularly to those who might be downhill.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 10:06 a.m.

    The idea that these men were doing this to protect the boys or make the park safer is ridiculous. The whole point of Goblin Valley is to look at these naturally occuring rock formations that look and might even be precarious.

    Should we destroy Rainbow Bridge because a piece of it or the whole thing might accidentally fall on top of someone?

    Their actions clearly do not follow the spirit of "Leave No Trace" and I'm glad the scouting organization decided to discipline them. I'm wondering why more serious charges have not been leveraged against them.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    Oct. 23, 2013 2:15 a.m.

    They'll never be allowed to register as Scouters again, which effectively means no callings with the young men, ever again.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Oct. 22, 2013 4:56 p.m.

    The BSA should not take orders from the LDS Church.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Oct. 22, 2013 4:07 p.m.

    I would like to hear a statement from the bishop of the ward these people are with about how such behaviors will be prevented in the future.

  • Brent S Sandy, UT
    Oct. 22, 2013 7:16 a.m.

    While I gasped at the site of the toppling rock, I also think we ought to consider that some of the blame ought to reside with the trainers of those leaders.

    As a youth, I was a scout, but most of my meetings involved playing basketball, so I didn't really "get" all the scouting principles. As an adult, I was CALLED as a scout leader, and I admittedly made some pretty dumb mistakes while learning on the job, trying to help the boys have a good time in something that was considered "uncool".

    I praise the willingness of these men to take on this responsibility to help the young men. I doubt they APPLIED to be a scout leader, yet they willingly give significant time and effort. It seemed to me, watching the video, that though unwise, these leaders were trying to help the boys have a good time.

    I wonder if their local leadership required them to submit a tour plan and helped them think through everything they would experience on this trip, helping them plan and act wisely?

    Let's train our leaders a little better. These leaders care about the boys. They deserve the help.

  • Tuffy Parker Salem, UT
    Oct. 22, 2013 12:30 a.m.

    @ jcobabe

    I totally agree! Let's make sure the touching of any naturally occurring object in the state of Utah is prevented with every possible law and resource.

    Oh, wait, SUWA is already working on that...

  • jcobabe Provo, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 10:59 p.m.

    Whether or not this was a thoughtless and irresponsible act, it is an obvious indication that the entire San Rafael Swell and other public lands in Utah must be locked up permanently to prevent any future malicious acts of felonious ancient rock tipping. Humans are harming the natural environment and should not be allowed. The state has effectively applied such preservation measures to the Range Creek area, no reason why such methods should not apply to ancient rocks in state lands throughout Utah.

  • hanfrina Buffalo, NY
    Oct. 21, 2013 10:00 p.m.

    ... Good!

  • My 2 Bits Orem, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 8:38 p.m.

    I am a firm believer that the punishment should fit the crime; to me it seems as though being kicked out of the BSA is la reward! That type of "punishment" will only encourage more of this behavior.

  • stnicoll mesa, AZ
    Oct. 21, 2013 8:25 p.m.

    Its amazing that we allow politicians to do so much wrong-criminally , civilly, or under their oath to service the people--and when they do we do not rise up against what they have done-sought justice-throw the book at them sort of speak-- as we seem to have at these scout leaders- It seems like our priority of morality, ethics-have been turned upside down--and why because its easier to deal with the scout leader, the neighbor, etc--than it is to deal with those inhigh places who have disgraced all laws and betrayed all those whom they have served. A rock--seriously what crime was committed so heinous that 'the book must be thrown at them', that 'they must be punished to the fullest extent of the law'. Certainly, the scout leaders are not the ones with the more 'serious problems and misjudgements'.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Oct. 21, 2013 8:15 p.m.

    The LDS Church uses Scouting as the activity arm of the Aaronic Priesthood. The adults are called by the Bishop, but they must register with BSA, get training with BSA and meet BSA requirements. The ward is the chartering partner, they do not trump BSA. When a volunteer is removed from BSA, the Church must find another adult who meets BSA standards, as these two did not. This is Boy Scouts of America, not LDS Scouts of America, which doesn't exist. The LDS Church has a small pamphlet available on the Church website that has the few things that the Church does in its program which differ slightly from non-LDS sponsored units. BSA is aware of those slight changes, but they do not mean that Scouting in the Church is totally different. They meet the intent of the program as agreed to in the Chartering Agreement.

  • DanO Mission Viejo, CA
    Oct. 21, 2013 7:28 p.m.

    MemoFromA Demo, sure, let's not prosecute people who seem nice. Let's just let everyone go into the park and push over the goblins as long as their nice. No problem, right?

    nsteph, They should have thought of their family before committing an act of vandalism.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Oct. 21, 2013 7:19 p.m.

    Let's see, BSA red's more human caused than policy caused. Someone at Council wants it just so. Whoever completed the form left off a critical piece of information. Following folk-policy instead of real policy. What to do, what to do?

    I know, get involved at the District and Council level. See what the issues are confronting the volunteers at that level, then work to fix it. It works when everyone gets together to solve the problem (hey, isn't there a message for Washington in this?) If something is particularly onerous, bring it up at a District Committee meeting or Council Committee Meeting. Get the ear of your District/Council Commissioner about it.

    Oh, and back to the topic......These two men got their moment of fun and the consequences follow. Good for BSA.

  • WiseOpinion Salt Lake, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 7:10 p.m.

    I agree with the previous comments. The YouTube video tells the real story. They were using their kindergarten behavior. I do not believe their stories.

  • nsteph Providence, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 6:08 p.m.

    The guy made a mistake. He should do community service, but should not be facing criminal charges. Why punish his family with his inability to provide for them. We all need to relax and realize that we've all had stupid moments.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 5:23 p.m.

    I am not sure they are Scout leaders, no uniform. This group in reality is an unorganized group of children and adults wandering around defacing public property.

    There is no excuse for this behavior. Scouting will work with adult leaders who are trained and believe in the scouting program. I have experienced courts of honor and Eagle boards when the applicant has no or only a partial scout uniform, and the motivator is a parent who drives the young man. In the background is an adult leader who also lacks a uniform and other than a passing interest or commitment to scouting.

    I suggest that the LDS Church get serious about having all men connected with scouting complete Basic Scout Leadership courses before they are allowed outside. Too many men approach Scouting as a lark, a recreational adventure using the BSA insurance as a cover. No one expects perfection but wanton vandalism must not be ignored or tolerated.

    Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.

    The public has a right to be outraged, IMO.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 5:16 p.m.

    Now if they had gone cow tipping, no one would have cared.

    Their claim of lose rock doesn't jive with the effort it took to knock the rock over.

    A couple of real dumb men. Maybe they need, as part of their repentance, hoist the rock back up to where it was. By hand. A good hernia would be just the right punishment for stupidity.

  • djk blue springs, MO
    Oct. 21, 2013 5:16 p.m.

    smart move. i do not agree with death threats but i agree with removing these 'leaders' whom show they don't have what it takes to lead with the boy scout motto 'not to change nor destroy nature'.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 5:11 p.m.

    mcdugall: I guess it is a matter of symantics, but I would consider it "easy" whenever a 4 ton rock can be pushed over without needing 5 guys with crowbars.

    Again, I wasn't trying to justify what they did. I was just indicating that this particular rock would probably fall over on its own very soon. After all, it was just sitting on a narrow piece of SAND which is constantly being blown away by the wind.

  • MemoFromA Demo SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 5:06 p.m.

    I'm not defending the men for what they did. It was stupid, stupid, stupid! But if we jailed every stupid person for doing stupid things, our jails would be clogged with stupid people. All those who have ever rolled a rock down a mountainside, (or did nothing to stop your kids from rolling rocks down a mountainside), you are ordered to report to jail by sunset tomorrow. And to all of us who have rolled rocks, even though those rocks may not have been perfectly balanced on a precipice, they most definitely were "ancient". And we disrupted the environment. I'm very much an environmentalist, more so than ever. But come on people! Throwing nice men who are stupid in jail is ludicrous. Do you really think they haven't learned their lesson? To all you who are quick to condemn, I hope you're honest enough to report with me at the jail tomorrow.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 5:04 p.m.

    Let's admit it... "No Trace left behind" has NOT been taught and modeled in Scouting in Utah for over a generation. I want to see some action on the part of BSA and our local councils to stop these horror stories from occurring. The boys deserve better. Public lands need to be respected.

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    Oct. 21, 2013 5:02 p.m.

    Presumably these men were called to be scoutmasters by their bishop(s), and the BSA shouldn't be allowed to undo a church action.

  • 1978 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 4:56 p.m.


    Even though I like being a scoutmaster - your post was very funny and accurate, especially the BSA red tape comment!

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 4:50 p.m.

    After listening to their explanation, in addition to their other short comings, they forgot that a Scout is always truthful.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 4:28 p.m.

    Wow. I have camped many times at Goblin Valley as a scout leader and visited it several times with my kids when they were younger. For us, it's an almost sacred place. These gentlemen obviously don't appreciate the wonder of the place. What they did makes me sad. I hope they are appropriately punished so others as disrespectful as they might be deterred from future acts of vandalism and disrespect.

  • grandmagreat Lake Havasu City, AZ
    Oct. 21, 2013 4:27 p.m.

    This seems to be much to do about nothing. I wonder what the story would be if the rock had fallen on its own and killed or maimed a child, would the world be chastising these two scout leaders for not having done what they did when they saw it was not really sturdy. My how things have changed in my 87 years of life.

  • Captain Green Heber City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 4:24 p.m.

    They need to be prosecuted for breaking the law. This despicable act was a violation of the trust placed in the public when visiting national treasures. Thousands of years of nature destroyed in one thoughtless act. There should be no forgiveness in this dastardly deed. I am totally disgusted by these low-lifes! And I hope they pay dearly for their stupidity.

  • Thinkin\' Man Rexburg, ID
    Oct. 21, 2013 4:05 p.m.

    Thoughtless, senseless, moronic behavior!

  • BYR West Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 4:02 p.m.

    Did he earn the Rock Tipping merit badge?

  • altahoops Provo, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 3:32 p.m.

    What? Is that all that's required to get released from being a scout master?? That's too easy. The appropriate punishment is to force him to remain a scout master for 10 more years with strict requirements that he attend every round table and deal with all the BSA red tape and ridiculous requirements on everything. That would teach him a lesson.

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 3:32 p.m.

    @JoeCapitalist2 - Easy? Take a second look at the video. The man first tried to push the rock while just standing on his two feet and was unable to nudge the rock. He then proceeds to wedge himself between two rocks and begin to push and only then is he able to move the rock. Also, take notice of the mans face, that is not a facial expression of ease, it appears that he is over exerting himself to move the rock.

    Since these two men have no exhibit any evidence to suggest that are truthful, I would question weather they have received any death threats.

  • 1978 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 3:28 p.m.

    As a scoutmaster who has camped at Goblin Valley with my scout troop I hope they throw the book at him. When I saw the video I wondered "Where is the adult leadership?"

  • sfbayutes Los Gatos, CA
    Oct. 21, 2013 3:14 p.m.

    Charges should certainly be made for the rock tipping. Otherwise, what's to stop the next person from doing the same and again getting away with it? Someone could make a similar determination that every rock in Goblin Valley is a safety hazard and knock them all down. What's to stop them? I would hope for common sense to negate the need for legal recourse, but it's obvious that common sense isn't universal.

  • JD Tractor Iowa City, IA
    Oct. 21, 2013 3:02 p.m.

    I hope we don't live in a society that punishes people for pushing rocks over. However, I am incredibly disappointed that someone can be so insensitive to natural wonders. But please spend more time investigating his false claims of disability than pursuing criminal charges for rock pushing.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 21, 2013 3:02 p.m.

    @ Joe Cap: the guy had to brace himself against the rick behind him and use his feet to knock it over - hardly "easy".

  • djinhighland Highland, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 2:47 p.m.

    Good. The Boy Scouts have taken the correct action, and now it's time for law enforcement and the courts to do the same. All three men deserve at least a few months or perhaps a year in the Utah State Penitentiary and very heavy fines. Such punishment will set an example for all vandals who desecrate public lands. As a sidenote, it's amazing that worldwide response to this video has labeled these men as everything that is wrong with the white American male in America. Glenn, Dylan and David have certainly been humiliated in the court of public opinion.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 2:17 p.m.

    Obnoxious? Immature? Disrespectful. For sure.

    Criminal? For stealing disability checks...YES!

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 2:11 p.m.

    Given how little effort it took to tip it over, it probably would have fallen on its own during the next big windstorm. Rocks in this area fall on their own all the time. They are lucky it didn't fall the other way and crush him. It was definitely a safety hazard but it was also very interesting to look at while it was balanced.

    The men showed incredibly poor taste in what they did and in their reaction during filming. I don't blame the Boy Scouts at all for revoking their leadership. Stuff like this is a PR nightmare for the BSA.

    While public reaction is rightfully negative, things like death threats and acting like they took a chainsaw to one of the giant redwood trees, are overkill in my opinion.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 2:11 p.m.

    Amazingly disrespectful for a "Scout Leader". He might first want to hand that job over to somebody who actually embodies Scout principles.

  • Bored to the point of THIS! Ogden, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 2:02 p.m.

    This 'destruction' violates basic Scouting ideals... "no trace left"... glad to see the enforcement of Scout policy.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2013 2:01 p.m.

    It will be a huge miscarriage of justice if Emery County DOESN'T file charges against these individuals.

    Hopefully, felony charges.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Oct. 21, 2013 1:51 p.m.

    I would not send death threats, and I at first was trying to be understanding about what they did, but to find out that he is on workman's comp for a bad back, ummmmm, sorry, you lost my vote.