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Upset and dont know how to handle it

(17 Posts)
IdontknowwhyIcare Thu 18-Nov-10 09:48:28

Ok I have changed my name for this as some peices of info will give clues to who I am.
Its a long story, not sure what help or advice I need, sorry.

DS should be at scout camp this week. He is 15 and in the Explorer section. Our troop is hosting a camp with 80 attendees. Ds has been in the scout movement for 9 years.

Our international visitors arrived on Saturday, we went out with a couple of other explorers with homestay visitors. all went well and I dropped Ds and all 3 visiotrs off to camp on Sunday. With a friend I went out to the opening cermony in the early evening about 5.45 when it was finished.

I woke at 3.15am to answer a call telling me Ds was blind drunk. Now he doesnt have a great deal of friends and doesnt go out lot at weekends, he seems happy enough but I worry he isnt social enough. I collected him and at that point I was made aware that another boy in the same tent was also blind drunk. Ds has only ever had maybe one or two beers ever. The next day more info came about, DS says he only had one beer, hte troop leader insists he was swining for someone trying to calm him down and that he had been drinking vodka straight from the bottle. I asked DS and he is admant he only had one beer. Aslo he offered and I am inclinced to agree, he couldnt hit his pillow if it was lying on his bed never mind take a swing at someone. Although I do know alcohol can send people off on a tangent that you wouldnt normally think off. The other boy was sick for the entire next day and part of the next day, Ds had no headache or feeling sick or anything, to be honest if he had been swigging from a bottle of vodak I would be mightliy surprised.
Now they will both be expelled from scouts. I havent punished DS as he is absolutly distraught and although he didnt know it, he had been chosen to represent the troop to meet the Queen in a few weeks time, I have now told him that. No need for further punishment in my opinion, as he has sworn he will never drink again, understands really what peer pressure means. I knew that one day he would get drunk but to be honest I didnt think it would on such an important occassion.
In his sleep he has been crying. We both know there is nothing to be done regarding scouts, there is a no alcohol policy and I fully agree. The problem is neither he or I can get over it. I dont know what to do. He is convincing himself that its not a bad thing as school work is increasing and meetings were on a bad day. This week he has slept and worked, revised etc, no computer games or tv, although we did go to see Harry Potter today ;-)
I'm just really not sure how to move on, its picking away at me all the time that the older boys who bought the alcohol to camp will get away with it. Surely egging someone on for a laugh and getting them blind drunk so they cant stand up are two different things.

Sorry for rambling, I just dont know what to do or how to move on.

Fromage Thu 18-Nov-10 09:57:50

I think you need to contact the scout leader and get to the bottom of it.

If you let it be known that ds is contrite and absolutely accepts his punishment, they are more likely to listen to you. Basically, your concern is that whoever egged on ds and the other boy will do it again, and you want to know who brought in the alcohol and how things can be better monitored for future scouts.

And don't underestimate how embarrassing this has been for the scouts either - they were meant to be looking after your child and somehow, in their care, he ended up blind drunk. Now I'm not excusing your ds, and nor are you, and it sounds like lessons have been learnt and he's moving on, hopefully he'll not make the same mistakes again.

But what if he'd been hurt? I'm not one to blame anyone else for a child's mistake, and I expect the alcohol was sneaked in very cleverly and well hidden - short of strip searching all the scouts, I can see it's hard to regulate what they do and don't bring with them, and they have to be trusted and learn to be responsible etc. But that someone had got away with it would smart with me too.

JennyHaniver Thu 18-Nov-10 10:01:54

I am shocked that there is no 'second chance' for him especially given his age and the circumstances. I would definitely take it up with them.

IdontknowwhyIcare Thu 18-Nov-10 10:30:57

Thanks,I am getting myself into such a tizz, whilst outwardly remaining calm and not allowing myself to show I am shellshocked.

DS and I both know he and the others were lucky not to get hurt. Unprompted, the first day he wrote letters of apology to all the leaders (he hates writing and finds it very difficult so that would have been a punishment in itself had I suggested it), saying he apologised, and that he deserved punishment and would totally understand if they expelled him.

Beleive me I for sure do not approve of him drinking alcohol without permission and the reason I havent punished him is I think he learnt his lesson very harshly and there is nothing really I could do to improve on it as punishments go.

It appears they sent other explorers home as well for drinking including those who supplied the alcohol. However 2 mothers of the boys who supplied it are both threatening to kick up a stink by writing to the papers on the basis their sons had nothing to do with it. We have one of them suggesting taking alcohol on fb and the other had it found in his bag when the tents were searched.

I guess I suppose I want justice in that nobody who was involved in anyway gets off scot free, although i dont think the older ones care so much as the same fb suggests they are fedup and will be leaving anyway.

Bluebell99 Thu 18-Nov-10 10:34:49

I think your ds sounds like a nice lad. Obviously he shouldn't be drinking at a scout camp, but alot of teenagers experiment with alcohol, and I guess if he isn't used to alcohol, it could effect him badly. He may not be aware of how much he had drunk. I think it would be a real shame for his scouting career to end in this way, and I would be inclined to ask for a second chance. I take it he has apologised? Who brought the alcohol? I suppose I would also be concerned about the younger cubs and scouts being affected by the behaviour of the older scouts.

Niceguy2 Thu 18-Nov-10 10:36:05

Sorry but I find it hard to believe that your son would be unable to stand and aggressive after only one beer.

I'm actually allergic to alcohol and even I would not be like that after one beer.

At the end of the day, your son was caught drinking. That much he isn't denying and so has to face up to the consequences.

As for the feelings of injustice that someone else has "gotten away with it", well i can understand that but what purpose does it serve trying to prolong the situation?

Let's say you manage to get the other's expelled too. Great....then what? Doesn't really help you does it?

At the end of the day, teenagers will drink. I'd use this as a life lesson. Ie. Teach your DS that sometimes life isn't fair and some people will get away with stuff but it doesn't mean you can shirk your responsibilities.

Tortington Thu 18-Nov-10 10:42:28

i think you have dealt with this perfectly. he sounds a nice lad and you sound a good mum. i don't think there is anything to do about this situation, although it hurts, you are dealing with it really well

IdontknowwhyIcare Thu 18-Nov-10 11:02:40

thank you for your positive comments, its helping me feel that I have handled things in the best way.

Niceguy2, you are right, I wouldnt think one beer would make him agressive and unable to stand. when I arrived he was neither but it was about 90 ins after he was found. To my mind and eyes he looked tired but he didnt smell of alcohol, hadnt been sick and was able to walk to the car, hence my confusion. At this moment I am not sure who said he was drinking vodka from the bottle but he certainly wasnt acting like it. I am unable to contact the leader because the camp is still running, although I have sent an sms requesting a meeting after the camp is over. Ds does understand thats it is all his own fault, just say no and all that. Yes I am concerned about the impression the whole group of explorers gave to the rest of the camp and no I am not asking for reinstatement (although I cannot deny that would be nice. Yes I accept in "real life" there is no justice so he does need to get used to that but....... I do still feel just a little bit hurt and upset that the two most sensible guys took the rap.

Fromage Thu 18-Nov-10 11:06:49

Disagree niceguy - sometimes you have to think about the people who come after you. Maybe if the beer suppliers had learnt a harsh lesson earlier this situation wouldn't have arisen.

having said that, unable to stand and aggressive after just one beer is surprising - but maybe he doesn't remember how much he drank, or soemone was pouring vodka into his beer when his back was turned, or swapping for a fuller bottle, or filling it up? ie he may well think he had one beer, but didn't

Agree you're dealign with this very well, OP.

Tortington Thu 18-Nov-10 11:17:20

injustice would eat me up and i would put it right.

my son got suspended from school once for beating up a boy

the boy had picked the fight with him

so i intervened and they both got suspended.grin

Niceguy2 Thu 18-Nov-10 11:24:04

OP, I can totally relate to how you feel and I agree that you are dealing with it very well.

Fromage, I can understand what you are saying but the fact is that this situation has happened and I'd be concerned that trying to get these "suppliers" expelled also sends out the totally wrong message.

I think the meeting is the next best step and in front of DS, nothing more needs to be said for now.

I remember when I was younger. I was caught shoplifting and cautioned by the police. Later in life I was busted along with a load of classmates drinking on a school trip. My mum never once tried to shift the blame elsewhere. I was told to take my punishment like a man and that's what I did. She also rightly didn't add to my punishment either. She let the police/school deal with it and that was the end of the matter.

Right now you are hearing only your DS's side of the story and forgive me if I am slightly skeptical of a 15yr old's version of events. I love my 14yr old DD and she's very trustworthy but it doesn't mean she doesn't erm....embellish the truth sometimes.

maryz Thu 18-Nov-10 11:25:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

abr1de Thu 18-Nov-10 11:31:56

I am a believer in karma in these situations. The ones who got away with it this time probably won't next time. And it might be more serious. Like being caught drunk at work. And losing a job. Not that I would wish that on anyone.

Sorry for your son, OP. A very harsh lesson for him.

potoftea Thu 18-Nov-10 11:45:39

I feel really sorry for you and your son. Obviously he was totally wrong to be drinking on scout camp, but expulsion from his one social activity and such a positive influence on his life, seems very harsh.

He was caught drinking; it doesn't really matter how much or how drunk he was. So hard as it is, I'd let that go.

But I would write to the unit leader, begging for him to be given another chance, stressing how important the scout unit is to him, and giving groveling apologies. Most teenagers do this kind of thing at least once, but permanent expulsion seems really harsh to me. The scouts do great work keeping teens active and involved in positive stuff and away from drinking, so surely throwing him out is not the ideal punishment.

maryz Thu 18-Nov-10 11:49:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

almostgrownup Fri 19-Nov-10 23:31:02

OP, you say "He is convincing himself that its not a bad thing as school work is increasing and meetings were on a bad day." He is being very mature and trying to move on. Are you sure that keeping the issue alive is the best thing for him?

IdontknowwhyIcare Sat 20-Nov-10 11:05:03

Thanks everyone for all your thouights and advice.

Well camp finished today. The international visitors go home tomorrow but not from our house. Apparantly someone else will come and collect their belongings from our house. Understandable, I agree that we should play no part in seeing off the visitors. DS is working hard at moving on and so am I, hence my muttering on here as I am "Mrs Sensible and have you done your homework" and not wanting to let out how I feel. I know its not about me but I am devestated for any number of reasons. I used to enjoy helping out, disapointed with Ds for being quite so stupid, sad for him that this part of his life is over, sad for him that he has been unfriended by others involved (I guess because they all dont want to be reminded of it). Just sad all over really.

But yes we are lucky, he screwed up but we will getover it and move on. Thanks for all your support :-)

MaryZ I read about your son and my heart breaks for you xxxx

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