KLook wrote: They should have contacted the rangers.
That's exactly what they should of done and they weren't making very good examples of themselves to those kids. Those parks belong to everyone and it's not their place to make those decisions.
I agree that they all will come down and I hate that people try to "freeze" mother nature in its current enjoyable state. The world changes daily.
True but there is reason they have these laws about defacement in places where large amounts of people congregate. Over decades many people can do an enormous amount of damage, if every boy scout excursion there knocks over one rock at some point in time there won't be any rocks left to knock over.
When I visited the Petrified National Forest there was giant signs as you were entering telling you to not take any rocks from the park, you can't take anything from those places. There was a family we noticed picking through stuff on the side of the road, the rangers showed up like a swat team at one of the turnouts we were both parked at. While a handful of rocks is trivial if everyone does it.... As another example when we were at one of the Sequoia groves in Yosemite there was tree about 8 foot at the base near one of the paths, it had a gouge in it about 2 foot deep and 3 foot around where people walking by had taken souvenirs. That's the things they are trying to prevent.
On the other hand this is a bit ridiculous: