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  • Adult leader qualifications

    I was asked to step in as Den leader of my son's Wolf Den unexpectedly recently and have loved it very much. I was just told I have to register with the BSA to continue in the role, which I completely understand and support. Unfortunately I was foolish recently and got a dwi. Will that disqualify me from being a leader in the BSA application process?

  • #2
    Probably not. Just fill out the application truthfully. Being registered is necessary for liability purposes, and to ensure that the chartered organization approves of the leaders who are serving their program. Also, get your Youth Protection training online completed ASAP.

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    • #3
      Go ahead and complete the application. Make a point of disclosing the DWI.

      Should that result in your being turned down, I assure you it would be handled in a tactful manner.

      Even if you are turned down, I'd apply again in another year, and with a year of experience with the pack you are more likely to be approved than when you are new to Scouting.

      It sounds like you are making a great start! Keep looking for opportunities to help with the pack.

      I hope you'll report back on your experience with the application --- and good luck!


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      • #4
        I hate to say it, but it depends.

        Have you been convicted of it or are you waiting for court?

        I don't know the full story, and to be honest I don't want to know. But I am relating is second hand, so take it with a grain of salt.

        What I do know; one very active dad filled out an application with a pack to be CM. There was some delay in it being process by the CO, between when he submitted the application, and when it had the criminal background check, he got a DWI and it was not listed on the application. He did not become CM.

        Now he told me that the application was kicked back to the CO to see if they still wanted him and they said no. Some folks said the DWI stopped him at the council level approval. But I do not know.

        Someone else on this site quoted some BSA documents stating that there are classifications of acceptance for those who have bent the law. Depending upon a variety of factors,you can be OK, you can need the approval of the CO, and then their is denied.

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        • #5
          I agree with the others, fill out the application, be honest.

          As a committee member in that same situation, I could see a restriction on you being able to drive other scouts, but in my experience in Cub Scouts, parents mostly drive their own kids. If there is some question of you having an alcohol problem as opposed to a temporary lapse in judgement, a wise committee chair may make surprise visits to your den meetings and/or occasionally ask other parents, "So, how is that new den leader working out?" But a single DWI with no history of them or further occurrences should disqualify you.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the candid postings. Turned in my papers today and was honest about the dwi. Whatever happens I plan on staying active with the pack. It's great to watch my son grow and get into such a great organization. Wish me luck! I really dig this site and will likely spend a lot more time on it. Thanks again everyone.

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            • #7
              Hello gordosdabom,


              Good luck. I'd like to hear how that turns out, if you would care to let us know.

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              • #8
                I ran into the same situation when as a CM I had a new dad apply to be a Tiger DL. The DE called me and asked me to discuss this with the COR and if it was OK with the CO than the application would be approved. Since the DWI was 15 years ago it was deemed to not be a problem. Another case I had involved a DL application where the background check showed the Social Services had removed the children from the applicants home due to poor living conditions. The CO decided it would be OK for this individual to be a DL but would only be allowed to have meetings at the CO's building, not in the individual's home. In cases like these it's a judgement call the CO makes.(This message has been edited by Eagle732)

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                • #9
                  gordosdabom,
                  Just a little different perspective: Years ago, someone like you nearly killed my entire family. One member will suffer an impairment for the rest of her life. You and I should probably never EVER meet in person.

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                  • #10
                    packsaddle, I understand your anger, but without knowing the situation, you shouldn't be so judgemental. Understand that a beer and a half can result in a DWI. I know I'm new here, but I have to speak out nonetheless. If the OP was wasted, that's a bit different.
                    Any who, gordosdabom, don't get discouraged. Honesty pays off. Everyone slips up at least once in their lives. If you didn't, you wouldn't be living. I hope all goes well in your endeavor. Good luck!

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                    • #11
                      There is no way that any of us can predict the outcome. It all depends on the people who run the checks and what they think. The district employees will probably be asked to talk to the chartering org rep for the group that sponsors your unit. That guy will be asked to endorse you by signing off on the application.

                      If he is like packsaddle and has a legitimate beef against a DUI person (my best friend was killed by a DUI driver still walking around free and healthy today), then you're toast. If he's a drinking man who sometimes weaves home from a bar, he'll probably sign it straight off with no worries.

                      I recommend you tell the COR about your arrest. Tell him the full story, your blood alcohol content, where you were driving from and to, and ask him if he wants to disqualify you. When he signs that application, it means he is signing off on you as a leader. He has a right to know and not be blindsided by BSA contacting him.

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                      • #12
                        As a unit leader, I gathered applications for the troop to turn in to council - as a courtesy to those who did not want to drive all the way to the council office.

                        One of the adults leader applications disclosed an arrest record and conviction. Not to get into details but the application was signed by the COR, the council performed a background check (not BSA mandated at the time) and that person became a den leader - and a good one at that.

                        Each case should be judged on their own merit. Sometimes a unit will approve a leader with an arrest record and conviction and disapprove someone due to the wrong religious "flavor." That is their right.

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                        • #13
                          In your situation, if your app gets signed by the Chartered Organization Rep and the Troop Committee, you'll be fine. Most Districts/Councils will defer to the judgement of those with a better understanding of the situation. Rarely have I seen an app get turned down because of a DUI, and when it did it was because of the community preception of the individuals unfitness (is that a word) to be a leader due to alcohol problems. It sounds like you just had a single incident of bad judgement, who hasn't, right? I hope it works out well for you, I'm interested in the outcome, as I've seen this play out locally.

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                          • #14
                            The first thing I would do is sit down with the Cubmaster and the Pack Committee Chair and explain the situation. If they still want you to become a Den Leader, I would see if the Committee Chair could schedule a meeting with the two of you and the Charted Organization Representative or the head of the chartering organization to explain the situation of the chartering organization.


                            The BSA has what is called the "Procedures for Maintaining Standards of Membership and Leadership"

                            This is from the 2008 revision, the newest one that I can find online. So take what I list below as just for reference, this could have changed in four years.


                            Handling Criminal Background Checks That Reflect Driving-Under-the- Influence/Driving-While-Intoxicated Incidents

                            The Scout executive, in communication with the chartered organization, may determine an applicant can be accepted as a member in the BSA after taking into account the following:

                            1. The age of the individual at the time of the incident and how long ago it occurred.
                            2. The nature and seriousness of the offense.
                            3. Has this type of incident been repeated, or is it a one-time occurrence?
                            4. Has the drivers license been revoked or suspended?
                            5. Did the applicant disclose all of the relevant information on the application?
                            6. Is this individual a high-risk driver? Mothers Against Drunk Driving defines the higher-risk driver as 1) Repeat offenders convicted of a second driving-under-the-influence offense within a five-year period. A conviction is defined as receiving a court-imposed sanction; 2)High-blood-alcohol-content offenders convicted of a driving-under-the influence offense with a blood-alcohol content of .15 percent or higher; and/or 3) Driving-while-suspended offenders whose suspension was the result of a conviction for driving under the influence.

                            The Scout executive may decide that the individual may not be a member but may be permitted to attend unit functions as a parent, although he or she may not be permitted to be a driver on any outing or tour.

                            The action taken must be communicated to the individual and the chartered organization.

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