Meet Glen Taylor, Great Menace to State Parks. News reports describe him as a Boy Scout leader who was on a church camp-out with a group that included his son. It’s hard to imagine a more wholesome back story, yet this Boy Scout went decidedly rogue.
If you didn’t see this piece on the evening news, fear not: there is an inverse relationship between IQ and the tendency to videotape oneself.
This story falls into the category of “you can’t make this stuff up.” As a blogger who’s been silenced by an idea drought for a couple of weeks, I felt like I was standing under a waterfall when I heard this one.
Glen Taylor purposely destroyed a Jurassic-era stone formation for fun, high-fiving his buddy when the ancient monument crumbled to the ground. What kind of Boy Scout is he? (Answer: the kind of Boy Scout who attracted the immediate attention of the PR Director for Boy Scouts of America, who was quick to condemn Mr. Taylor’s actions.)*
As a former Girl Scout who remembers that the Girl Scout Law includes the promise to do my best to “make the world a better place,” I’d like to turn this story into an educational opportunity and tease out some Lessons Learned from this now infamous Boy Scout.
Lesson 1: Boy Scout standards could use some shoring up.
Did the folks in charge over at Boy Scouts of America spend so much time worried about gay scout leaders that they forgot to be concerned about obese, disrespectful, law-breaking scout leaders? A quick read of the Boy Scout Oath reveals references to protecting national resources, making wise choices, taking care of your body, and obeying our country’s laws. Tsk, tsk, Glen Taylor.
Lesson 2: What took Mother Nature around 160 million years to create is apparently no match for one ignorant idiot.
Or seven billion idiots who insist on stripping the earth of every last drop of accessible fossil fuel – but that’s a subject for another day. Glen Taylor reminds me a bit of Homer in the classic Simpsons episode where he travels back in time and manages to squish the first fish to emerge from the sea on legs.
Lesson 3: Despite their physical vulnerability to destructive Boy Scouts, our country’s parks have really cool names.
If you’re feeling a bit depressed after watching the video, let me cheer you up with some awesome National Park Names: Badlands. Crater Lake. Death Valley. Gates of the Arctic. Mammoth Cave. Zion.
Utah has some pretty sweet State Park Names as well: Goblin Valley (the setting of this story), Antelope Island, Yuba, Gunlock, Kodachrome Basin, Dead Horse Point, and my personal favorite, This Is The Place.
Lesson 4: YouTube is not private.
This particular lesson may seem mind-bogglingly obvious, but apparently it bears repeating.
Lesson 5: God has a sense of humor (as if we needed further proof).
The saving grace of this story is an exclamation point on Lesson #4. One particular person was very interested to see Mr. Taylor’s proud athletic moment as he single-handedly toppled the boulder. That person is Alan Macdonald, who is being sued by Mr. Taylor for injuries he claims to have sustained during a car accident caused by Mr. Macdonald’s 16-yr old daughter.
The personal injury lawsuit (filed just last month) claimed that Mr. Taylor suffered “disability” and “impairment” as a result of that crash.
Imagine the delight of all concerned (save perhaps Mr. Taylor’s attorney) to discover, thanks to the YouTube video, that Mr. Taylor seems completely healed and strong enough to manhandle enormous stones! What a miracle. Praise God, indeed.
I do wonder what lesson Glen Taylor has learned from all this – he now claims he was just trying to make the park safer by preventing what was clearly a dangerous accident waiting to happen (although it was “waiting to happen” for 160 million years) and that in retrospect, he should have left the rock alone and alerted a ranger about his concerns. He is overflowing with too-late remorse and wisdom brought on by that damn viral video.
It’s probably safe to say he learned Lesson #4.
*The Boy Scouts leadership did their Good Turn Daily by booting these fools out of the organization.