Boy Scout Leaders Get Booted for Knocking Over Ancient Rock Formation (And Recording It, Obviously)

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 21 2013 7:05 PM

Boy Scout Leaders Get Booted for Knocking Over Ancient Rock Formation (And Recording It, Obviously)

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Sunrise at the North Window of the Turret Arch in Arches National Park near Moab, Utah, February 2002.

Photo by GERO BRELOER/AFP/Getty Images

Two Boy Scouts of America leaders were booted from their leadership positions in the organization on Monday. The two men, David Hall and Glenn Taylor, had been involved with the Boy Scouts until they did this. And took a video of it.

Not very scout-like indeed. The mushroom-like rock in the video is part of a formation at the Goblin Valley State Park in Utah that is thought to be 145 to 170 million years old. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the decision to remove Hall and Taylor “came from the council leadership, which referred to the men’s behavior as ‘reprehensible’ and a violation of the Scout principle of ‘leave no trace.’”

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During the video, the cameraman is heard saying: "Some little kid was about ready to walk down here and die and Glenn saved his life by getting the boulder out of the way. So it’s all about saving lives here at Goblin Valley." The cameraman was, by any objective sarcasm barometer, being facetious. But Hall and Taylor, perhaps sensing that pushing over the rock wasn’t as awesome as they first thought, have stuck to the safety-first story, telling the Salt Lake Tribune that “the rock was loose and a safety hazard, which they fixed by knocking over.”

Getting kicked out of the Boy Scouts, however, may be the least of Hall and Taylor’s concerns, the two men could also be facing felony charges for destroying the formation, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.