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"I always thought Venturing borrowed the youth til' 21 thing from the OA... "
AFAIK, the OA doesn't enter into it. Frankly, I have no idea when the OA settled on that age (I've not researched that). For Venturing, this was a continuation of Exploring policy that dates back to sometime in the 60s. I think it might have ties to the final dropping of the Rover program (which was for those 18-21), afterwhich the upper age limit of Explorers was raised to 21 as well.
(I think this all occurred in 1965 when they made several changes to Exploring, but am uncertain.)
So this cut-off pre-dates the national drinking age, which was what I thought it was all about. Thanks for the history lesson.
Scenario: a couple get engaged, one turns 21, the other is between 18 and 20, and they decide to "fly under the radar" for several months until they are married or the youngest turns 21. The older one submits adult application, the younger recharters -- both to the same unit.
Nobody tents with anybody or fornicates even outside of crew activities.
Someone blabs to the SE.
Whose name get's added to the "special" list? The newly recruited fraternizing adult, the Advisor? the CC or COR?
The adult that is fraternizing is the one that is in violation of the youth protection policy. He should either break off the relationship or resign as a crew leader, assuming the youth wishes to remain a youth member. Old Grey Eagle pointed this out very early in this thread.
The CC is responsible for approving adult leaders and the COR is responsible that the charter holder follows the BSA policies. If the CC or COR is aware of the violation, they should take appropriate action, which may mean temporarily removing his membership until the situation changes such that the fraternization rule no longer applies (ie, married, relationship dissolved, or both 21+). In this case, where the adult is trying to follow the rules, it seems that can be handled amicably.
It's a tough situation based on the BSA policy- but IMO the entire YPT policy is a mess that needs to be rewritten.
It is obvious to me by your post that you, like OGE, are not a Venturing leader or have ever dealt with this matter directly so your sentiments while well intentioned are not really realistic, and your solution would result in the crew losing both members, and possibly others.
I agree with you that YPT in this matter concerning Venturing is poorly written and extremely outdated in both scope and practice.
Abrasive as BP's retort may be, my VLST concurrs with his. We are told that it is up to the couple as to which member suspends his/her registration. I'm sure that advisors may suggest their preference, as sometimes one vs. the other might make sense for a number of reasons.
But I'm equally sure that the average advisor would conspire to keep both parties in scouting, especially if employment is an issue. The young couple should be able to save up for their wedding, right?
Regardless of what happens on paper, most advisors will proceed with whatever configuration works on the ground. The SE or the Camping Director or whoever would be getting a call if indeed these young adults are contributing significantly to the program.
My post was a statement on the facts and possible solutions within the BSA policy. Certainly the couple can discuss what resolution they prefer, but the youth is not in violation of anything and doesn't need to take any action. Assuming the youth wants to stay in the crew, the adult must break off the relationship or step down as a crew leader.
Temporarily dropping the adult from the crew roster is a simple way to resolve this. It does not prevent him from participating in any crew activities while the couple continue their relationship. There should be very little, if any, impact on the crew.
Our crew has the potential for this situation occurring in another year or so. It's not that unusual.
Do I think any of these are ideal solutions given the background on the couple in question? NO. But you follow the policy or you don't. It is not a guideline that can be adjusted at one's whim to fit one's circumstances. Given the media's penchant for vilifying the BSA at every opportunity I would not want to be found knowingly in violation of the policy should something go horribly wrong. And things can go horribly wrong in more ways than you can imagine.
It's amazing what someone can deduce about a person from a short post. Actually, I've been an adult leader of a co-ed crew since 1999, taught VLST/YPT many times, and served many years on the Venturing Committee of a large council (500+ crews), among many other things. My wife is a Boy Scout resident camp director and has a couple dozen female Venturers on staff. My daughter, son and son-in-law have both been involved with co-ed crews as youth and adults, including staff and leadership at council, regional, national and international events (Philmont, National/World Jamborees). I've seen and heard enough horror stories to know not to take the risk. For those that believe they know better and want to assume the risk, that is their decision.
Do I think any of these are ideal solutions given the background on the couple in question? NO. But you follow the policy or you don't. It is not a guideline that can be adjusted at one's whim to fit one's circumstances
But we claim to be training folks for leadership.
When the rules don't produce a good result, shrugging your shoulders and saying "rules is rules, whatchagonnado?" isn't exactly leadership.
So, what does this have to do with the price of tea thrown in Boston harbor?
These kids, like colonists, want to have it all. They've experienced tremendous acceptance locally but there's this blanket sanction from afar that seems to go against what everyone has told them is proper behavior. Some of us agree, because nobody can tell us intelligently how a couple of adults with proper intent to marry puts our youth at any risk. Generally, we are not scofflaws, but when it feels like something is getting in the way of the greater good for no reason proper leadership tells us to work around "the rules."
Now maybe it is a good idea to suspend a membership and help them focus on preparing for marriage. We all know that there is life outside the BSA, so in the grand scheme of things following the letter of the law should be no big deal. I, myself, am not a fan of long engagement. But I don't know the OP's crew and in general most advisors wouldn't tell kids to hussle up and tie the knot just so they could have one more adult on the roster!
It sounds like he's seeing no harm supporting this couple through scouting and possible harm in letting either kid go. So, my advice remains talk to folks locally to see if there's wiggle room.(This message has been edited by qwazse)
So I'll admit upfront I have no experince, knowledge or training in Venturing.
But if we are trying to build a program for young people through age 21, it seems fairly reasonable that said program needs to accommodate the social realities of those young people. That some of them will develop normal, healthy relationships seems foreseeable. It is also unlikely to expect the couples will have 21st birthdays on the same day.
The policy changes necessary to fix it are easy and obvious.
This gives me a little more insight as to why the Venturing program isn't really working out as advertised.
I agree with you 100%, Venturing program does need to be tweaked even more, however in my council at least Venturing is growing, our crews are strong, well supported, and together we put on a great program for the teens on both a unit, district, and council level.