By Utah National Parks Council
Oct 18, 2013

Boy Scouts of America Utah National Parks Council Statement on Goblin Valley Incident

Utah National Parks Council Press Release


The National Boy Scouts of America’s Update: Monday, October 21, 2013, 11:30 A.M.

After reviewing this matter with the local chartered organization, these men have been removed from their leadership positions and are no longer members of the BSA.

Utah National Parks Council Update: Monday, October 21, 2013, 11:00 A.M.

Based on the actions of the individuals involved with the Goblin Valley incident, the Utah National Parks Council has removed them from their leadership positions in the Boy Scouts of America.

“Leave No Trace” teaches the value of natural areas and the methods we can use to help protect and conserve these areas for future generations. We encourage all leaders and Scouts to review the “Leave No Trace” principles, as we are all a part of maintaining the integrity, character and the natural beauty of the outdoors for all living things.


Friday, October 18, 2013

In regards the recent incident in Goblin Valley, the Utah National Parks Council releases the following statement:

We are shocked and disappointed by this reprehensible behavior. For more than a century, the Boy Scouts of America has been a leader in conservation—from stewardship to sustainability. We teach our 2.6 million youth members and 1.1 million adult members, who collectively spend more than 5.5 million nights outdoors, the principles of “Leave No Trace.” These principles stress a commitment to maintaining the integrity and character of the outdoors and all living things.

The isolated actions of these individuals are absolutely counter to our beliefs and what we teach. We are reviewing this matter and will take appropriate action.

On background, for additional information about what Scouting teaches, please visit:


Contact: Dave Pack, Utah National Parks Scout Executive


Phone: 801-437-6213


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26 thoughts on “Boy Scouts of America Utah National Parks Council Statement on Goblin Valley Incident

  1. TR

    That is reprehensible. Thanks for taking a stand BSA! These men know better and in this instance are very poor example to the youth they serve.

  2. Joe James

    The actions of these individuals are nothing short of disgusting. There is only one appropriate response here. The three of them need to be banned from the organization. They should not be allowed to remain in the Scouts because that would give the kids the idea that what they did was a minor act.
    What is truly unbelievable is that these clowns showed their intent on the video and then lied and tried to cover it up as a safety issue. I hope they are charged!

  3. Robert Carr

    Many years ago, I was a Cub Scout and a Webelo and a Boy Scout. My mom was my den mother. What in the world has become of that organization?!

    The headline on my phone this morning was of scout leaders defacing a state park in Utah and chortling at their jokes as they applied their grossly out of shape bulks into toppling a formation that might have stood for eons into the future. Are these the values that Boyce and Baden-Powell sought to promote?

    In Michigan, the Scouts taught to respect and value nature. Our landscape was all woods and hills, so we would have been in heaven to explore a landscape like the Goblins. I suppose our scout leaders could have perceived every naturally leaning tree and slithering snake and drifting dune as a potential harbinger of imminent death, but somehow they saw things differently then. What has happened to the Boy Scouts in Utah that the standards for scout leaders are set no higher than vandal?

    1. John


      Please do not blame the organization for the actions of a few. These people (and I use that term loosely) committed actions completely contrary to the ideals of the BSA. They have been tossed out of Scouting and deservedly so. I hope that their actions did not influence the boys they were with.

      Every scout leader I know (myself included), is disgusted by their actions and hope that the feds charge them with the destruction of a priceless and irreplaceable object. Then I hope they spend a LONG time in prison and face a HUGE fine when (if) they are released.


      1. Matt D.

        As a BSA Scout Master, BSA District Executive, and BSA Council Board member, I would agree with John that these are not the actions of a scooter. They are actions of a common criminal. Plain and simple, these men broke the law. They vandalized A national park. They then lied about it. A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful,thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. The actions of these men do not reflect the attributes of the scout law.

      2. Dave

        Unfortunately, it is all to easy to blame these few and brush this under the rug as an “isolated incident.” However, it is not unlike other incidents I have seen with BSA. I have seen a BSA adult leader cut down a tree in a campground because he hit his head on it and felt showing his group of boys that cutting it down was doing a public service. I understand that the BSA have a tough job of educating their leaders, especially when this position is trascient and the leaders often are very young and inexperienced. However, it would be a much more responsible action for the BSA to take a long look in the mirror and take some actions to change their image and to acutally educate the adult leaders.

        1. Dave Ducat

          Dave – there is plenty of training available at many levels for Scouters to take, both online and in-person-led. Likewise, as I’m sure you’re aware, there are leadership role-specific training courses as well as Leave No Trace which many have already said and those course are offered in most councils on a very regular basis.

          The challenge is that volunteers are just that – volunteers, and while some training is required for leaders to actually hold their positions, retention and comprehension isn’t…meaning, there isn’t a true follow-up required after some period of time to ensure that leaders not only have been trained, but that they are actually using the training given to them and applying that training successfully to the units they serve. Likewise, you can lead people to training and demand they take it, but without enforcement and validating successful comprehension, gaps are left that may be insurmountable.

          Admittedly there are resources (like the Unit Commissioner) who can validate to some degree, provide guidance, etc. But again, those people are few and far between (for example, I am one and I have at the moment 12 units to try and manage!), and their role isn’t a policeman for training, it’s as a friend to the unit. Friendly guidance is not the same as ‘enforcement’, and enforcement of training is a difficult thing to achieve for a myriad of reasons.

          As a Unit Commissioner, my mantra is this – “Every unit deserves a trained leader” and I challenge and encourage my units to send people to as much training as possible. However, with numbers of interested (and clearly, appropriate) people dwindling, it is even more challenging to place the burden on leadership of fewer people and then expect them to stay with the program to build succession.

          In short, without broader, direct, National support for recruitment of leaders and a compelling, real, tangible drive to get support out for the program to a wider audience (from a National campaign), we will continue to have minimal adult leader recruitment which, in turn, will force us to accept ‘what we get’ instead of ‘what we could become’ because the talent pool is ever-increasingly shallow.

  4. Vanessa

    You really need to fire these disgusting vandals. They not only show their disrespect for nature and our parks but they are not good role models for living healthy, educated lifestyles either. Clearly they overindulge and treat their bodies poorly as well as their mind and our natural lands. They are truly poor examples for the kids they are supposed to lead.

    1. Nancy

      They were volunteers. It is rare for a professional Scouter, one who is paid, to be on these type of excursions. So, the only recourse was to remove them from membership.

      They have been, thankfully, kicked out of the BSA. It was a despicable act…and who knows what other parts of nature they have defiled. I’m a Scouter, and am in the process of earning my Leave No Trace award…these guys are a horrible example.

      1. scout2mom

        I’m sorry it shouldn’t matter if they are volunteers or paid BSA.
        They all get taught the same principles in Leave NO Trace.
        Regardless if they were there on a scout trip or a trip with the church, they should have still practiced LNT.
        They should have contacted the park rangers. Heres an idea, let them redirect people to hike a different route till NATURE takes care of the rock. safety or otherwise, let the park rangers do their job.

  5. Cathy Paulino

    These Scout “Leaders” are a disgrace. First they deface a National Park, then laugh and boast about it, then lie to try and save their sorry butts. What horrible role models they are to the kids that they “lead”. They need to be removed from scouting, and legal action should be taken against all of them.

  6. M Hermann

    All of the adults present in the Goblin Valley incident clearly thought this reprehensible act was funny and encouraging. They are all guilty, as much as the individual who did the destruction. A message needs to be sent to those kids under their charter. All of these scout masters/leaders have demonstrated they do not up hold scout values and are not able to be proper roll models for the scouts under them. Their bad judgment is compounded by trying to defend their actions instead of acknowledging poor judgment. These adults should be issued life time bans from scouting for demonstrating their inability to understand what they did wrong. Further investigation should be looked at in to this groups charter and how the children in this group are taught. If need be this charter should be pulled and disperse the kids to different/more responsible groups.

  7. Randall Cox

    The destructive behavior of these individuals is reprehensible. The attitude displayed after this event is even worse. I fear the damage these men have done will reverberate well past the boundaries of this park and their state. They should be ashamed of what they’ve done. To brag that “I would do it again, with a Ranger watching” indicates a stunning lack of education and environmental awareness. I’m sad for the BSA. Decades of hard work was destroyed along with that stone structure.

  8. Trevor C

    I commend you on taking this stance and think you can go even further by entangling more outdoors activities that encourage the Leave No Trace mentality into rank and badge requirements. Appeal to the NPS for guidelines on doing so and I’m sure they would happily oblige.

  9. Dale Hoffman

    These men should not only be dropped from any relationship with the BSA but face criminal charges as well. Mu family and our friends are from Colorado but have camped and hiked many times in Utah’s national and state parks, including Goblin. We hate to hear of such disgusting acts done to your beautiful landscape. These men did these acts , not for safety reason , but out of stupidity and indifference to the parks. Make them pay and maybe it will send a message to others.

    Dale Hoffman

    Dale Hoffman

  10. PaytonB

    I am glad to see that these men have been removed from the BSA and leadership roles.

    I am curious though, is there any way to actually ensure that these men do not take part in boy scout activities? I think it would be a tragedy to allow these men any influence within the boy scouts.

  11. Ken

    ALL of the members in this video need to be removed! as a former scout ALL of them are a disgrace. there were 3 there not just 2! The troop that these idiots were “leaders” of ALSO needs to be disbanded and reformed and the BSA needs to make SURE the NONE of these offenders are NOT able to in ANY WAY affiliate or involve themselves with ANY further BSA activities! As they have stated they hope to continue to be involved in media comments!

  12. Shawn

    While just as rehensible, it needs to be noted that this is a State Park, not a National Park. Interestingly that it became a park to protect the formations from Vandalism. In this instance, it probably attracted them.

  13. Ed

    From the news reports the park is still determining the value of the damage.

    Why don’t they look at the Utah License Plate.
    It’s a image of a rock formation.
    It means pride and tourist dollars to the state and the park.
    The park has to set an example to discourage copycats.
    This is a Felony.

  14. John

    This is what happens when you let anyone be a scout leader. One of these guys claims to be “disabled”, yet here he is out doing things like this. He is a fraud at best and who knows what at worst. This is not the kind of people that should be in charge of these young men.

  15. Evenspor

    Wow, lots of comments since the last time I was here. There must have been a link posted somewhere.

    I have a question for the UNPC, and you can answer me by e-mail if you prefer. I am curious whether these guys were up to date on their training? If not, this would be a good opportunity to make that point to unit leaders. One more reason that training is important.


  16. Kris Heslop

    I like others was severely disappointed in the actions of these two individuals. Yes, they failed to act in a responsible manner and lost sight of their role as a positive example of what BSA and their Religion stand for. I hope that we do not raise the spectacle of shame and blame (e.g. death threats) to the point that they lose the understanding they have gained.

    I hope this most embarrassing of events may lead to a greater positive. In the numbers game of life, at times leaders make bonehead decisions just like our youth do. I would love to hear that these men identify ways they can help others learn from this mistake, and save some of our youth the heartache they are feeling ever so publicly now.

    I do believe in redemption, and look forward to these men accepting responsibility, finding a way to make things better, and growing from it. This not what they should be remembered for: None of us should let our weakest moments of life define us. I will pray these men move up from here.

  17. Kathryn Simkins

    The delibertate damage was bad enough but you can add dishonesty to the list of things these two men were engaged in. They were both pretty poor examples for the youth that they were with. By making that video and posting it on the internet the State of Utah was able to see not only the crime committed that day but Workman’s Comp fraud. The man that has been drawing compensation from the state for a back injury was the fellow that pushed the rock over. They are poor examples of what the Scouting program stands for.

  18. Ed

    I wonder if this was the first time that they did this, or was it the first time that they were caught?
    It is possible that they have been vandalizing State Park property for many years.

    As for protecting the children, if they were concerned for anyone’s safety, then they shouldn’t be walking under precarious boulders.

    This is a national treasure that they destroyed.
    You can’t just walk away from that.


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