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Working with Kids

Counseling, inspiring and teaching kids.

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  3. Scouting & Poverty

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    • Maybe not ON the climbing wall, what about pulled off around behind it?  Or stopped for a break on a canoe trip when the other boats float up ahead for a few minutes or in the ammo room of the shooting range? The only way I can think of the actually make sure every child is safe from sexual abuse would be to make virtually certain that every child is being continuously monitored by at least two different people who don't know each other.
    • I suspect part of the reason Scouts isn't being condemned from the rooftops is because for almost everyone in the country "The BSA" is their friends and neighbors in the troop/pack down the road, NOT the folks over in Irving, TX.  It's harder to vilify an organization when it's made up of people you know. I suspect your notion that the BSA is sitting on mountains of "data" is incorrect.  They may well have decades of "information", but the amount of money and time it takes to digitize historical paper records into usable "data" is frequently mindboggling.  For a comparison, I work in the field of property tax.  Most County Registers in Michigan have been digitizing documents (as opposed to microfiche) for about 15-20 years.  And yet most counties have still only managed to digitize historical data back to about the 80s in the 20 years since that became an option. However, the BSA's information could certainly be turned over to a national organization for data conversion and research. See below If that could be handled in an impartial way and with an eye towards making productive changes, I wouldn't have any problem with it.  However, my experience with US society tells me that we probably won't be capable of examining one organization "first" without the public assumption being that the problems only exist there simply because other organizations haven't been studied yet.  Instead what often seems to happen is that whenever some new problem gets studied, the first few organizations to be examined get totally demonized as "the sole blemish staining our society" in public opinion as and only years down the road when we've finally discovered "holy crap, I guess this really DOES happen everywhere" do we get around to figuring out what kinds of societal changes need to be made to help fix a problem. 
    • Thanks.  I've put out so many requests that I'm beginning to lose track of who I've asked already.    But I don't think I've asked over there yet.  I do have an account with them I think.   Thank you, Kirk
    • You have made the point beautifully. Let’s find out. Where are the highest risks and where less so? What situations are the most dangerous and put kids at the most risk? Why not choose a scenario that is ripe and ready? Start with a thorough examination of BSA. See who, what, where, when, why and how in the world all of this happened. Based on what we learn, we’ll know more about what to do and what not to do. Then, we do it again with another context and play it forward...
    • Well, they are not at risk for that on the climbing wall. Not in the canoe. Not on the shooting range,  etc., etc. But back at camp they are. Scouting is presented as a physical and adventure activity by BSA. Parents are thinking of broken bones and cracked heads, not rape and molestation, but that's a risk you say they should accept.  If so, BSA should spell that out on the waivers. 
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