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Recalling unpleasant week

Published: Monday, June 24, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Long before parents routinely told their children about inappropriate touching of others – at least my parents did not tell me – at age 11, I spent an unpleasant summer week at a Boy Scouts of America camp in Wisconsin.

For many years, I believed that I was just very homesick because I had never previously been away from home other than spending summer weeks at the homes of my cousins.

Upon reflection of that summer week in 1952, we were assigned to two-person tents. Now, I believe what made that week so negative of an experience for me occurred when my tentmate and I visited another tent, in which the tent’s occupants were happily engaging in the groping of other Scouts genitals.

After witnessing this activity, I immediately left that tent. I did not want to participate in this groping activity that just did not feel right to me. I just wanted to go home.

I never told my parents about the genital groping because I did not know at age 11 that it was inappropriate.

I quit the Boy Scouts before age 12.

Robert Gebhardt


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