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  • New Den leader

    My son has gone through Tiger, Wolf, and Bear - Just moved up to Webelos. Our current Den leader is resigning and I have been asked if I would like to take over. I would love to but the problem is I have a misdemeanor theft conviction from 14 years ago. I know you have to pass a background check to be an Adult leader. Will this prevent me from being a Den leader? Do they check that far back? I would love to take over the Den leader role but at the same time I don't want my dirty laundry to come out.

  • #2
    Good question to ask on this thread, but I don't know the answer. I would think that theft might be an offense that would keep you from being a den leader because den leaders are often entrusted with money.

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    • #3
      I suspect that you will not pass the background check.

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      • #4
        We had a discussion about this issue within the past year but I can't find it. BD had some good insight into the issue IIRC. Although a criminal record never completely disappears, in many states after 7 years misdemeanor violations are expunged from background checks. There are two key people you need to discuss the mater with. First the Institutional Head of your Chartered Organization as that person must approve all leaders. Second your District Executive at the Council. Better to be upfront now about it, than have it come up later and possibly embarrass your son.

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        • #5
          I would be upfront about my past and still volunteer. Let BSA sort it out. From my conversations with scout execs, they are looking for felons and sex offenders, not guys in your position. Heck, remind them there are Scouts who have stolen things and are still in Scouting.

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          • #6
            Volunteer, but be up front with the unit leaders on what it was. If they are willing to sign you up, they'll pass your application on to the council who will either approve/disapprove (but more likely you will never hear anything back from them about it). Be courteous, there may be a random parent who finds out about your history and raises a fuss, so be prepared for how you'll react (and how you will explain your mistakes to your son, if you haven't already).

            Your son is a Webelos Scout, so you've had this conversation, right?

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            • #7
              Do the details make a difference or is it mostly conviction=not approved? What happened was at my first retail job the assistant store manager had me and another guy load various display items in her van. She told us as it was display stuff once the item was no longer stocked the stuff went in the dumpster so she took it to goodwill. We didn't think anything of it until we get arrested for theft. The store didn't care what happened, the just wanted convictions for their insurance claim. Being a minimum wage guy I get the public defender which worked out awesome. it's a mistake that has followed me forever which Sucks - I've never stolen anything and I'm as honest as you can get but no one looks past the record It's just if I most likely won't get approved I would rather not anyone find out about my record for no reason.

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              • #8
                You will never escape public records, or news accounts, the internet, or any of that. If the council rejects your application, I don't think they will broadcast any information about the "why" to anyone except the CC/CM/COR. A parent may ask what happened if you start leading Den Meetings and then have to quit suddenly, but that can usually be waived away with "personal issues" and left at that. Only a truly vindictive parent would conduct their own public records hunt, but those parents are out there.

                At some point, your son will find out (if he hasn't already). Decide how you are going to handle that, whether you want to got through the explanation now, or after he jumps to his own conclusions. Be sure to back up your story with family/friends who knew you from before this happened, so if he has questions he doesn't want to ask you, he has someone he can ask.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by King Ding Dong View Post
                  We had a discussion about this issue within the past year but I can't find it. BD had some good insight into the issue IIRC. Although a criminal record never completely disappears, in many states after 7 years misdemeanor violations are expunged from background checks. There are two key people you need to discuss the mater with. First the Institutional Head of your Chartered Organization as that person must approve all leaders. Second your District Executive at the Council. Better to be upfront now about it, than have it come up later and possibly embarrass your son.
                  There have been many discussions regarding background checks. This one looks good:

                  http://www.scouter.com/forum/open-di...dult-volunteer

                  Also, copy and paste this into google to better search scouter.com: "background check" site:scouter.com

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                  • #10
                    (I tried to reply yesterday, hopefully it will stick today!)

                    The details make a difference, and in this case they work in favor of you being accepted as a leader.
                    Even before the background check, there's a (very small) space to disclose this on the application. Fill that out.
                    Find a quiet place to explain the situation to your Charter Org rep and Committee Chair when you turn in your application. (Be patient while they laugh at you. Then tell them it's not something you don't want bantered about You just want them to be prepared if the folks at headquarters find out from the check.)
                    If the record does turn up, a Council executive may call your CC/COR about it. If everyone agrees that that's all there is to this story, that's the end of it.

                    I think it's worth the effort. And, on the application, you'll read fine print about your rights regarding the background check.

                    Have fun leading.

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