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Questions and answers for parents and leaders new to Scouting.


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  1. wolf without leader 1 2

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  2. Executive Officer?

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  4. BSA Scout Spirit Boards 1 2

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • Reading some of this, I was reminded of local experience.  Over my tenure with our unit, the past 40+, we have had likely a dozen adults try to join.  We have always made sure they were not interacting directly with kids while "visiting", and as soon as possible they were interviewed by other established leaders.  IF they balked in any way at the references, or now the required background checks and so on, they were politely told they were not welcome.  None of them reappeared, though one did make it into another unit but was almost immediately "dropped" and added to the local "not acceptable" list.  No absolute proof, just concerns.  We also had to deal with older youth issues once and told the parents the teen was not welcome anymore, and suggested they get him help.  These are real interactions, but not what we normally would discuss broadly.  Caution, and proper vetting.  And, we had one very respected, at the time, Scouter that was dropped after he was arrested for abuse of his own step child, a girl.  He never had bothered any of the males, and it appeared it was focused on that familial link.  He is either still in jail, or has since passed.  The question with him, of course, is would the male youth have eventually been targets, or was he focused on girls?  I do know that once or twice he made questionable comments about young girls in my own presence, and I mentioned it to another leader who shrugged.  We likely would react differently in today's climate, but it was hidden by the family, and his wife even supported him for a long time.  So, errors in judgment, and family fear or blindness, or simply not connecting the signs?  
    • So people should only report when it's obvious, and keep their mouths shut when they aren't sure?  That opinion would make abusers everywhere smile.  It's why we need systems where every concern is raised and if 99 are looked into, and cleared, but the one that is "real" is found then the system works.  I was abused and went on to be an adult volunteer when my children were in scouting.  I was hyper-vigilant never to be in a situation where my behavior could be questioned and I demanded the same of those around me including raising ANY concerns within the troop so they could be addressed immediately.  The issue of what "did or didn't happen" is too important to ever ignore.
    • I've commented previously on why the IVF were not widely known, and why information in those files were kept confidential. Not everyone in the files  were arrested and convicted. OldScout448 mentions how one abuser did not have charges pressed by the parents, but was placed in those files. One person I know who was placed in the IVF did have a criminal investigation done, and was essentially exonerated by the investigators. They found enough evidence to support her claim that the teenager was being a peeping Tom while she was showering after the Scout's  lights out in the assigned times for the adults. Even though she was cleared, her reputation was ruined, and she was never allowed back in the BSA. As for the latest incident, I like chocolate filled donuts thank you.. BSA volunteers have been mandatory reporters for quite some time now.  I can tell you first hand that reporting abusers does indeed happen. I hope I never have to do it again.
    • Most of the victims you've met were abused by people who were open about their preference for young children and would have been identified if anyone had asked around about them?  Or were abused by people who had prior public records of CSA?  Or were abused by people who just joined up as an adult leader and immediately began pulling kids off to the side to molest them? What you've called a "hypothetical" wasn't a hypothetical.  It was a description of the basic MO of pedophiles according to all the documentation on the subject I've ever seen, including YPT.  I mean if there genuinely are troops out there that had an unknown adult wander in asking to be a leader and cheerfully just handed them a badge and put them in charge of kids, I'd agree with you about there being negligence.  But I know in the two troops and the pack I've been involved with as an adult, the only people who got admitted without much investigation were parents or grandparents of scouts, or aged out scouts from within the troop.  Is this truly not the case in most places? So the victim and parents of victims are as guilty as the abusers if they don't go to law enforcement? No, having knowledge of a crime and not reporting it is not "aiding and abetting".  There is no general requirement to report crime in the US.  Failing to report as a mandatory reporter is a crime, but it's a different crime than child abuse (of whatever flavor) No, the way it usually went was: Did you hear about Joe abusing the Smith boy?  The parents aren't making a report to the police because they don't want the child to have to testify and relive the experience.  Oh, well I suppose they know what's best for their child, we should stay out of it. Except that the value of the program going forward and it's benefit to youth and the impact of the lawsuits and the bankruptcy upon the program is exactly why we are having a discussion about this at all instead of just liquidating everything and being done with it.  If we were in a victim support group, I'd agree that this would be impolite in the extreme to bring up, but we aren't, we're in a BSA forum. I don't think we'll ever come up with a perfect solution to the issues surrounding the reporting of child abuse.  Personally, the flaws in our legal system are always something of a concern to me when you start getting people talking about the idea of "people should report anything, even suspicions".  It's an easy call if someone witnesses abuse or if you have a group of kids all telling you something happened or a victim coming forward with a clear story of what happened.  But I start having issues with reporting when you aren't entirely sure what did or didn't happen.  I always tend to think back to situations in my own life that could have easily been misinterpreted into one hell of a problem for me in the current climate even if I did eventually vindicate myself.
    • Agreed.  Lots of details looming right now but I suspect down the road many will seem small compared to the details of how any Trust and Awards Process are actually being operated.
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