Two Boy Scout camp employees allege that they were fired for helping an injured bald eagle. Jeremy and Eliana Bookbinder, in an interview with the Washington Post, said that they were fired from Camp Marriott in the Goshen Scout Reservation, Virginia, for capturing the injured bald eagle and handing the bird over to the state's wildlife center so it could receive treatment when their boss Matt Anderson explicitly told them not to do so.
Eliana Bookbinder reportedly called Anderson when she found the injured bird and even texted a photo of it to him but she was ordered not to call the wildlife rehabilitation center. She added that she was also not allowed to transport the bird to a wildlife veterinarian.
“I could not in good conscience leave this eagle out here and have it get eaten by God knows what,” Eliana told the Post. “I pointed out that this was a massive violation of the Scout law. I have never been so angry that I cried. At that point I just thought okay, I’m just going to do it anyway.”
When the Bookbinders returned to the camp after handing the bird over, they were reportedly reprimanded for their “terrible” actions and Anderson told them that they had “endangered the reputation of the Boy Scouts.” He added that their actions had potentially exposed the Boy Scouts to a $200,000 fine although he didn’t specify how.
Unfortunately, the bird was put down the next day, the wildlife center informed the 20-year-old twins from Prince George’s County, Maryland. “It was too banged up to be surgically fixable or releasable,” Eliana told the Post.
Later, the twins were called again to Anderson’s office where Camp Superintendent Mike Jolly and Director of Goshen Scout Reservation Philip Barbash were also present. They were accused of breaking federal law for rescuing the eagle. Elaine reportedly said that the authorities didn’t specify which law they had broken and the siblings were fired.
Aaron Chusid, Barbash’s chief spokesman, said in an email to the Post, “We have no comment at this time as it is our policy not to comment on employment matters. At Goshen Scout Reservation, our first priority is always to promote the health and safety of our campers while adhering to Scouting’s values as stated in the Scout Oath and Law.”