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  • VIRTUS

    My Pack is chartered by a Catholic Church and School. As Committee Chair, I got an e-mail from the Archdiocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting, with a 2-page newsletter. Mostly reminders about the Religious Emblem Programs. But they included a notice/reminder that all Adult Scouters in Catholic Units must complete both BSA Youth Protection Training and the archdiocesan VIRTUS, Protecting God's Children training.

    I've got no problem with Youth Protection, its good, and the BSA makes it very convenient with on-line, DVD, and in-person options. But VIRTUS is a monster. It's a 3-hour, classroom only program, offered only at very limited times and locations. And frankly, its garbage. We watched two boring videos produced in the 80's (seriously, the hairstyles and fashions were so dated they were comical, thus distracting) and had half-hearted group discussions about "yeah, we need to watch out for that". The BSA YPT was better, faster, and had points that stick in your head (Two-Deep Leadership! No one-on-one contact!).

    I've taken VIRTUS because I was am a Sunday School teacher. But I don't want to require every Den Leader/Assistant to waste their time this. My COR has never mentioned this, and he's been pretty adamant about anything to do with the church to go through him first. I'm an Assistant Den Leader and Assistant Cubmaster away from filling all major leadership positions, I'm really hoping not to be pressed on this. Has any Catholic unit out there had to require VIRTUS?

  • #2
    In my diocese any adult that is to be around children on a regular basis (which is defined by the diocese as more than two times per year) must take the diocesan abuse prevention course. So it applies to all leaders.

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    • #3
      Didn't The Vatican offer indulgences recently for following the Pope's Twitter feed ? Maybe your Diocese could offer some similar for taking VIRTUS ? That is certainly more involved than following Twitter.

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      • #4
        We are seeing the same thing in our C.O. United Methodist Church. They have a new universal YPT course and screening and we have to do/pay that. I think it is the price of admission.

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        • #5
          Yes, our Troop and Pack require it (plus Youth Protection Training). I feel bad for the leaders, especially the ones that our not Catholic, but the diocese require it. And a lot of us, enjoy being sponsor by a Catholic Church / School. I just hope they do not decide that after 10 years of so, we all have to take it again!

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          • #6
            Our Troop is charted to a Catholic Church. All registered adults are required to take the Virtus training. I guess my experience with Virtus was better than yours. Scouting's Youth Protection Training seems to be mainly about placing barriers to abuse while Virtus seemed to go into detail on identifying grooming behaviors.

            Comment


            • #7
              Yep, required by the parish (CO)
              also yep, entertaining.... er distracting, na.... I'll say it..... BAD videos.
              also agree with Nealonwheels..... not a total waste of time as it discussed identification and some good detail.... but yes, could have been condensed for sure.... maybe 20minutes tops?

              The more valuable part of the Protecting God's Children volunteer application process, in my opinion, is the background check. At least here, we have to submit to fingerprinting and an independent background check. Can't really say I know if it's worth it, but it does give a level of piece of mind I think..... Regardless, it's gotta be much better than whatever the BSA is doing with just my signature...... Do they even do anything with that? handwriting analysis perhaps?

              Comment


              • #8
                Here's a side question.....
                There's a cost associated with the background check. Do you reimburse with pack funds or let the volunteer pay?

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                • #9
                  For the pay question we are assuming the CO will pay until they present a bill...if then the unit would pay.

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                  • #10
                    Ah the joys of VIRTUS! Firstly, yes they would be required to do it, if the dioceses gets wind that you are sidestepping this, they will not be pleased (or at least this should be their attitude if they found out). But the real question is do they have to do the monthly online bulletins as well?

                    All things considered though, while it may be a three hour class that is rather boring, and we might not think we can learn much from listening to Roller Rink Randy, It is a good thing to be aware of the warning signs of child abuse. While this may not be the optimal program to do that, its what they have to work with at the moment. And when it comes to preventing future child abuse from happening, I would hope that we wouldn't try and side-step anything that might help prevent it.

                    Though, the program does in all honesty need some update. However, the monthly updates online are actually sometimes rather informative.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, required of everyone. And you have to update it like YPT.
                      First time we had a take home video. The last time it was an online presentation that wasn't so long. If you let it run in the background with the speakers turned low, you're still trustworthy when you sign the statement saying you watched it...

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                      • #12
                        I must have a counter opinion. I found VIRTUS to be a much better training than BSA YPT.

                        I did not find the videos that dated and the discussion / training was very helpful. The warning signs. The statistics. Very eye opening.

                        A few years ago a local scoutmaster was arrested and I swear if any of the parents had seen VIRTUS I'd have hoped they would have recognized the signs.

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                        • #13
                          I'm also a fan of the virtus training. The monthly training bulletins are good and easy enough to review/complete. Good discussions on grooming, bullying, social media, etc.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Fehler View Post
                            My Pack is chartered by a Catholic Church and School. As Committee Chair, I got an e-mail from the Archdiocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting, with a 2-page newsletter. Mostly reminders about the Religious Emblem Programs. But they included a notice/reminder that all Adult Scouters in Catholic Units must complete both BSA Youth Protection Training and the archdiocesan VIRTUS, Protecting God's Children training.

                            I've got no problem with Youth Protection, its good, and the BSA makes it very convenient with on-line, DVD, and in-person options. But VIRTUS is a monster. It's a 3-hour, classroom only program, offered only at very limited times and locations. And frankly, its garbage. We watched two boring videos produced in the 80's (seriously, the hairstyles and fashions were so dated they were comical, thus distracting) and had half-hearted group discussions about "yeah, we need to watch out for that". The BSA YPT was better, faster, and had points that stick in your head (Two-Deep Leadership! No one-on-one contact!).

                            I've taken VIRTUS because I was am a Sunday School teacher. But I don't want to require every Den Leader/Assistant to waste their time this. My COR has never mentioned this, and he's been pretty adamant about anything to do with the church to go through him first. I'm an Assistant Den Leader and Assistant Cubmaster away from filling all major leadership positions, I'm really hoping not to be pressed on this. Has any Catholic unit out there had to require VIRTUS?
                            In our diocese, all adult Scout leaders (all adults who deal with youth on the church grounds) who have contact with children (we have an exemption for committee members) have to be fingerprinted/background check every 5 years, and go through the diocesan courses--Shield the vulnerable. Thankfully, those courses are now online, and are similar to YPT, but are a bit more detailed and also have parts on elder abuse as well.

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