Local News

Thursday, Oct 02 2008 12:29 AM

Boy Scout camp staffers claim sexual harrassment at summer party

By The Bakersfield Californian

Local Boy Scout officials are investigating the claims of Eagle Scout camp staffers who say a top Bakersfield scout leader hosted a summer camp party where they were given X-rated items.

Five Eagle Scouts wrote letters that claim Program Director Jim McIlvaine oversaw a party in which Scout staff members, including one boy younger than 18, were given sex toys, women’s lingerie and a sexually-explicit book, according to KGET TV-17.

“While these allegations appear to include inappropriate behavior, at this time they appear to be isolated to camp staff and do not include illegal activity or the involvement of campers,” said Jay Rosenlieb, vice president of legal affairs for the Southern Sierra Council of Boy Scouts of America.

Rosenlieb declined to detail the contents of the letters.

The Eagle Scouts claim the party, which they allege occurred in July at Camp Kern near Huntington Lake, was part of a pattern of abuse by administrators, the television report said.

Neither McIlvaine nor any directors with the Bakersfield scout office could be reached for comment on Wednesday evening.

The party and other alleged misdeeds were outlined in a group of letters written to the Bakersfield scout office by three current and two former Camp Kern Eagle Scout staff members. Those letters claim that top Scout administrators altered certificates to allow staff members to teach classes and constantly violated camp rules in other ways, according to KGET TV-17.

An Eagle Scout who has been with the organization for 11 years wrote “I feel the chain of command and the Council have failed me and Scouting,” the television report said.

All the accusations in the five are currently being reviewed locally, Rosenlieb said.

Once the reviews are over, the council board will decide the next course of action, Rosenlieb said. He did not know when the review would be completed.

The local Boy Scouts office has had past trouble. Two years ago, former Bakersfield Boy Scout camp leader Michael Shawn Careatti was sentenced to seven years in prison for possessing and distributing child pornography.

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