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  2. Thunderbird

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    An introduction to the Camping merit badge is one thing. Some of the requirements are "discuss" or "explain", so no problem there for partials. But how many of them had the requisite nights of camping? I'm guessing not many.
  3. Today
  4. qwazse

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    Then don't send your scouts there. Threaten to resign your position if anybody on the committee promotes that MBU. Put it in writing. Copy your district commissioners and executives, your scout executives, and the course director. If you have a scout who does not seem to have grasped the MB material that he should have, follow the procedure listed in the Guide to Advancement 7.0.4.7. The problem isn't bogus MBUs. The problem is not enough scouters pushing back against them.
  5. 5thGenTexan

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    Posted on my Council FB page today.... Today the National Council held a press conference call to address the inaccuracies and mischaracterizations that were made in yesterday’s press conferences held in New York and New Jersey. Below is the transcript for your review. Prepared Remarks of Michael Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive for the Boy Scouts of America I am here today to correct inaccuracies and mischaracterizations about our organization and the efforts we have taken to protect youth, which has been and continues to be our absolute top priority. First, I want to reiterate our steadfast support for victims of abuse. ▪ We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to abuse innocent children. ▪ We care deeply about all victims of child abuse and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. ▪ We believe victims, we support them, and we pay for unlimited counseling by a provider of their choice and we encourage them to come forward. In 2018, there were five known victims of sexual abuse in our Scouting programs at a time when there were 2.2 million youth in our programs. We steadfastly believe that one incident of abuse is one too many and we are continually improving all of our policies to prevent abuse. Experts note that among the general US population, one in six men have experienced sexual abuse or assault at some point in their lives. This is an unacceptable public health problem that must be addressed, and we seek to be part of the solution along with all other youth-serving organizations. Our volunteer screening database is a mechanism for keeping kids safe. Let me share with you the facts: ▪ ALL instances of suspected abuse are reported to law enforcement. We do not keep any reports of suspected abuse secret or hidden from the proper authorities. ▪ Long before there were smart phones, email, the internet, criminal databases, or other modern methods available to identify or track predators, the BSA took a vital step to help protect children from bad people by creating what is known as the Ineligible Volunteer Files, or the IV Files. Its purpose was to ensure that anyone seen as unfit to be a leader – even those not charged or convicted of any crime, would be removed and banned forever from our program. ▪ The creation of those files was just the first step in the BSA’s development of a comprehensive set of strategies designed to provide the best possible youth protection system. Today, record- keeping or databases such as ours are recommended by experts, including the CDC, as an important step in protecting children. ▪ While it has often been misunderstood and criticized, time and time again the IV Files, now called our Volunteer Screening Database, have successfully prevented potential predators from re- joining our organization and gaining access to youth. That is precisely why we have been maintaining these records since the 1920s. ▪ We have a very low threshold for removing someone from our scouting programs. Individuals are added to our Volunteer Screening Database based on suspected or known violations of our policies. They don’t need to have been arrested or convicted of a crime to be added to the database. This is because our priority is to protect kids, first and foremost, above all else. It is an ongoing tool the BSA uses to keep youth safe from potential perpetrators. I’d now like to introduce you to Dr. Janet Warren, a professor from the University of Virginia and a researcher and expert in sexual crimes against children. Dr. Warren has spent her career analyzing and profiling sexual offenders and serves as the University of Virginia liaison to the FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit. The BSA engaged Dr. Warren in 2011 to review the files maintained in our Volunteer Screening Database and analyze ways that the BSA could further improve its youth protection efforts. The BSA publicly released Dr. Warren’s first report in 2012. In our efforts to continually be on the forefront of youth protection, the BSA asked Dr. Warren to continue her work and evaluation of our database and barriers to abuse. She is in the final stages of that report. Dr. Warren has reached a number of conclusions as the work has progressed and we’ve asked her to be here today to speak to her work with us. Prepared Remarks of Dr. Janet Warren, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences (PNBS) at the University of Virginia • Good afternoon. I’d like to speak about the body of work I have done for the BSA since my initial report in 2012 and provide context to some of the figures presented in the media. I reviewed full, complete and unredacted files from the BSA that have been commonly referred to as the confidential files, perversion files or, as the BSA now refers to them, the Volunteer Screening Database. My team of researchers analyzed the data to see what attributes, patterns or profiles could be gleaned from the incidents. We made several key observations and we are in the process of finalizing our work. • I’d like to share with you some of the most salient findings today. I anticipate being able to present the work in a comprehensive manner sometime this summer. • First, one of the key observations we made is that the data demonstrated that the Scouting program is safe and the BSA’s use of a database to prevent unsuitable adults from accessing children was cutting edge and it worked. Even through the years when there were no computers, the BSA’s efforts were effective in keeping unsuitable volunteers from gaining access to youth in the Scouting program. • The rate of incidence of reported abuse in BSA programs was far less than the rate of incidence in society as a whole. And the data shows that the BSA’s youth protection efforts since the 1980’s have been highly effective in preventing abuse. • Second, there is no evidence of a coverup by the Boy Scouts of America. • 100% of all cases reported over the last 50 years were reported to law enforcement. • Additionally, as experts in this area agree, there is no profile of an offender that can be discerned from the data. The research underscores the importance of moving beyond simplistic and overly inclusive explanations of child sexual abuse. • Finally, the research underscores the need for a national database to track persons unsuitable to work with youth, similar to the one the BSA has used for almost 100 years. Criminal records checks and sexual offender registries based upon criminal convictions are inadequate to protect against offenders who have never been arrested or convicted. Prepared Remarks of Erin Eisner, Chief Strategy Officer for the Boy Scouts of America ▪ My name is Erin Eisner, and I’m the BSA’s Chief Strategy Officer for Culture and People. I am also a mom of two Scouts. My son joined as a Cub Scout, and my daughter and I are thrilled that she is now a member of Scouts BSA. ▪ I’d like to pick up where Dr. Warren left off to discuss what we are doing to help keep kids safe, both inside and outside of Scouting. While our database has served to keep millions of children safe in our Scouting programs, we have learned a lot over the years, and we want to share that with other youth servicing organizations. We know that our policies and barriers to abuse can help prevent child sex abuse throughout our communities and across all organizations. ▪ Experts agree that one of the most effective ways to prevent predators from having access to children is to track data on those individuals who have violated youth protection policies or have even been suspected of violating those policies. Specifically, the Center for Disease Control looked at the issue of keeping kids safe in youth serving organizations in 2007 and noted that databases such as the one BSA uses are a recognized method of protecting children from predators. As you’ve heard today, the BSA has employed this practice since virtually the inception of our organization. ▪ We are eager to share the information contained in our database with other youth serving organizations. That is why we’ve advocated for and will continue to push for the creation of a national database to serve as a clearing house for all youth serving organizations. Our vision, and one shared by others working hard in this space to protect youth, is that all youth serving organizations would be required to track and document those adults who have harmed children or have been suspected of harming children and report this information into a national registry. Similar to the National Sex Offender Public Website maintained by the Department of Justice, our goal is the creation of a registry for those who seek to work with children. This would reduce the risk that potential abusers could gain access to children by moving or going to another youth-serving organization after being removed. We are working with other groups and organizations such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the CDC to see how we can assist in this critical development. We’ve also called on Congress to partner in these efforts and to develop legislative mechanisms to facilitate this national database into a reality. ▪ We are optimistic about these efforts because we know they will make a difference – we have seen firsthand the impact they’ve had on our own organization’s steps to protect children. ▪ Children in our Scouting programs are safe today. Millions of children participate in and benefit from the character building and leadership activities in our programs – without incident. Parents can be confident in our program today and be proud of our efforts to protect children while they learn, have fun and experience Scouting as it was intended. I am confident in this. ▪ I am an Executive with the BSA but first and foremost, I am a mother. And my heart breaks for any child that has experienced the tragedy and trauma of abuse. If I felt, for a second, that Scouting was unsafe, I would not be associated with nor advocate for the BSA. To the contrary, I am confident in our program and confident in our efforts to protect children. My own daughter and son are both members of Scouts BSA and participate in Scouting locally in a dynamic and safe troop here in Dallas. I have no reservations about their participation and am excited to see more and more children, across the country, including record numbers of young women, be introduced to the Scouting program. +++
  6. TAHAWK

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    Can you spell "MILL"? It's the new BSA way.
  7. Yesterday
  8. DuctTape

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    I was asked to be the mB counselor at a MBU for Camping mB at a neighboring district. They wanted it to be an introduction to camping for the new scouts. A group of 20. They asked if two hours was enough. I said 2 hours is perfwct for me to do an intro, but I would not be signing any blue cards. She asked if 3 hours was enough. When I went through the reqs with the MBU director, and showed her it would not be possible, but I was happy to do an intro to camping class and give the scouts my contact info to do the mB. They found someone else to do the class and sign off. While I think it is possible for MBUs to be done well, I agree with the OP that for the majority it seems to be a show up and get the blue card signed.
  9. chief027

    Trailer Recommendation

    How is it that no matter how tightly the oil lid is, and even if the oil bottle is put into a ziplock(my Troop tried that) the oil always spills!!
  10. ScooterScouter

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    See that's part of the problem I have. Most of the MBU's I have seen offered in our area tend to be start to finish. As long as they did their prereq they come back with a completed blue card ready to receive their badge. I agree that there can be a benefit when you use an industry expert to provide a unique learning experience the Scouts would not normally get otherwise but unless there is a certified MB counselor there to A)test them individually and B) sign off on what they actually accomplished then it is nice but not productive. If you come away from a single day of an experience with a Nuclear Science MB then I have to wonder.... It also still misses some of the other, more esoteric purposes of the MB process.
  11. malraux

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    Reading through the requirements, I could easily see that being about what it takes. There's just not a lot to learn or do by the requirements. To me, a lot of this depends on the specific MB. Many of the MB are the most cursory of introductions to the subject, whereas others are about getting one up to the level of proficiency. The MBU is a good event for the MBs that are about the basics, not so much for the ones about proficiency.
  12. fred8033

    Trailer Recommendation

    Ours too. And it can sit in the rain without warping and keeps everything dry inside. Biggest benefit is the smallest scout can carry it.
  13. fred8033

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    The lawyer in that article is a well known ambulance chaser. He's chasing money. He stirs the pot looking for victims from decades ago causing people of today to be damaged. I've seen no good in what he does.
  14. fred8033

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    If that is what you need to make a meaningful MB experience, then I agree. Others might with help be able to do something else and make it meaningful.
  15. jjlash

    Orieneering Course 4a First Class

    I do that requirement for my Troop about once a year. The thing that I always make sure to cover is - an orienteering course is not the same as a compass course. Orienteering is a race against other competitors, or in the simple case against the clock. To do this well the Scouts need to learn how to navigate with map and compass well enough to do it on their own. Then they can do it as an orienteering course. As for layout out the course it is pretty straight forward. I pretty much do what qwazse suggested - use a mapping app to lay out a course around the park of the right distance. I'll print the map (both with and without the distances/angles) and go to the park. I'll walk the course to make sure the landmarks are valid, and measure the distances/angles in person. Once Ive got it all worked out and saved all I have to do is arrive a bit early to place the flags.
  16. HashTagScouts

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    My example of Scout to counselor ratio is more about the badge and what the structure of the MB college allows. I have taught at a few. If the event gives me only a three hours to work with Scouts on say Personal Management (with the disclaimer they have some homework to do on their own as well before or after the event before I can "sign off") , I can do it with a small group of enthusiastic youth where I can relay a concept, get their feedback and have a discussion. Trying to do that with a larger number, for me, would diminish my abilities to actually counsel them through the badge, so I won't put myself out there to be a counselor at an event structured like that.
  17. qwazse

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    Even more peculiar about Fingerprinting ... As a scout, our troop did a town hike and stopped at the state police barracks. Among other things, we got finger-printed. The officer who taught us how to do that lived four doors down from me. I played with his kids. I never earned the badge.
  18. qwazse

    Orieneering Course 4a First Class

    Absolutely you and a co-leader may set up a course at any sizeable local park. Walk your park, find some nice spots to hang a flag about a square foot large (those cheap litter pick-up vests are perfect) visible from 100 feet from at least three directions. Mark them on your GPS. Plot them on a map. Set up the course in the morning, take it down in the afternoon. An easy free solution to mapping is caltopo.com. I use it regularly. You could literally map it. Use it to set up your course. Save it as a .pdf. Send it to your boys and tell them "Go!" My scouts hate me. But you may also ... Call those clubs and see if they have someone who would volunteer to set up a course for your troop. (In exchange for your best dutch-oven meal, of course.) Or (better) schedule one of their events at a location near you. Contact the ranger at your favorite scout camp. They often have several courses built into the camp. Contact your nearest state park. An orienteering club might built one or more permanent courses there. If not, the ranger might know where the nearest one is. Ask at your district roundtable if anyone has a scout working on Orienteering MB who would like to set up a course for your troop.
  19. fred8033

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    If MBUs were the only way, then yes I'd be against. I'm okay with MBUs if there is a distribution of different MB opportunities. Some where the scout reached out to the counselor and drove it. Some where the troop ran a MB session Some where they are done at summer camp Some where it's a MB university. Some where the scout has a family member who's an expert or able to cover it. In my mind, every MB opportunity needs to bring something to the table. I've seen PhD Oceanographers and Navy submarine captains jointly teach Oceanography at a MBU. Cool. I've seen medical doctors teach at MBUs. Cool. I've seen PhD chemists with some "unique" experiences teach chemistry. It really depends on what is brought to the table. If it's death by power point or a generic person so scouts can complete a MB, then I want my scouts out of there. It's just worth a patch at the cost of their enthusiasm, trust and time. If we waste scouts time too often, then scouts will not see the program as valuable. But if MBCs do something cool, then scouts will be glad they were there. I remember at college years ago. One of my best ever classes had 1,000 people in it. The teacher was outstanding and there were 1,000 people in it because the teacher was outstanding. IMHO, numbers and ratios of scouts to MBCs do not define the issue at all.
  20. scotteg83

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    Funny you mentioned FingerPrinting MB. My Son earned it at summer camp in under an hour as well. MB colleges are different everywhere. Alot is on the what badge it is. But if its a badge that can be taking at Summercamp, then its not much different then a MB college IMO
  21. The Latin Scot

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    I think it's entirely dependant on how each course is presented and how invested the boys are in the programming. When I was young, our district would put on a few MB days a year as fundraisers. Seating was limited to 8 boys a course (effectively a MB 'patrol'), and course teachers were highly qualified in their fields. Courses were also taught on-site; for example, I earned the Atomic Energy MB at the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, and my MB Counsellor was an actual nuclear scientist who took us through the entire facility. It being an hour's drive away, we had to work out our own transportation, and we really needed to work closely with the counsellor to demonstrate that we understood the materials (which, being nuclear science, was NOT easy - it was one of the most difficult badges I ever earned). But WOW did we learn a lot that day! It opened my understanding to a whole world of science about which I had known precious little before, and I had a fantastic time. That day was a powerful argument in favor of the idea. Conversely, my first day as a Scout, the day after my 11th birthday, we went to a MB course nearby my home, where after 40 minutes I earned the Fingerprinting merit badge. Sure, I still remember everything I learned from the two requirements I passed off, but that isn't saying much. 40 minutes! It was a bit too easy perhaps ... So I don't think it's about the concept of MB universities itself, but how they are executed and how the boys interface with them that needs to be perpetually reviewed and assessed.
  22. HashTagScouts

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    IMO, it depends on the badges being offered, and the structure (ie how many Scouts per each MB class). If the MB event is a whole day or two half days dedicated to Rifle Shooting, Shotgun Shooting or Archery, and on the same limits of the number of Scouts that is used at summer camp, then I see it as no different than summer camp. If it is First Aid, and again uses the same # of hours & Scout ratio as your summer camp would use, then I see no issue. If it is Personal Management, with 20 Scouts in the class with one counselor giving it lecture style, then I would absolutely agree with you, it is not an appropriate way to present that MB.
  23. qwazse

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    Welcome to the forums! To the first question: it depends. To the second question: it depends. No MBU is identical to another. If the objective of self-reliance is undermined, you are correct. If the event helps scouts be more self-reliant you are on base. The justification for an MBU is simple: it introduces a scout to someone deemed most qualified to counsel that badge. Take, for example, motorboating. You might have a dad in your troop who takes his boat out once a month, or you might have a retired grandparent who built or tested racing hulls, or you might have the captain of the coast guard. When I attended our district's MB Pow-Wow as a scout, I got to meet the counselor of a badge I was interested in, do cool stuff, got his contact info, then follow-up with him at a later date to complete the badge. Partial completions on the day of the event were the norm. There are some things that are done much better in groups. For example an officer of the court might want to demonstrate a jury trial. Well, he/she could talk to the scouts and show video, or he/she can get twelve scouts to sit in the juror's box, listen to arguments, elect a foreman and deliberate. It's all in the details. And if your MBU is not attending to the details, then send your scouts elsewhere.
  24. HelpfulTracks

    Boys-only weeks at camp

    I am sure you camp would love to hand off that responsibility to you. My scouts want their showers. Maybe it is the 90-105 degree temps during the day, or being covered in sweat, dust, mud, blood and ticks. Maybe it is covered with the smell of horses or grease or insect repellent or fish. At night, there is a line for the showers so they can cool off from the 80+ degree temps and sleep. They adults usually can't get into the showers until well after midnight. I cant count how many times I have been to summer camp. I cannot remember a single week that we did not have 2-3 "scheduling" issues at minimum, double that number if there was a female leader along. Throw in a couple dozen female youth and I am sure the number of incident increases. As for portable toilets, a conservative estimate is about $2200 per unit for Summer camp duration, likely closer to $3000 given the amount of maintenance. Even if we only covered 1/4 of our camp sites and a hand full of program areas are talking $44-60K minimum for the Summer. And portables cannot be placed with the current bathhouses, because of terrain. They would need to be at or near the road, which makes them PUBLIC restrooms for all practical purposes. Scoutmasters round table at Summer Camp is usually full of trivial complaints, but often the biggest and most contentious issue is Scouts/Scouters using another units latrine facilities because it is closer and not taking care of them (i.e. the Troop has to clean other peoples mess). Oh, and who gets the portable toilets, the boys or the girls? That is a can of worms in and of itself. I am the first to step up when my daughter isn't being treated fairly. Well, maybe second, she is not bashful about sticking up for herself. But both she and I, as well as the vast majority or female Scouts and their leaders, understand there are practical concerns that need to be worked out, and most camps just are not there yet. And it will take time and money to resolve those issues. Is limiting weeks a perfect solution, far from it. The so called easy answers are just not that easy. But most understand we are working to get to a place where all Scouts have full access to our facilities.
  25. Good afternoon, I am trying to help our Second Class scouts complete First Class 4a , a one mile orienteering course. I have identified a few clubs that put on such programs, but there are some distance from us. Myself and another leader are discussing whether such a course could be laid out using a gps and compass, which the Scouts could then recreate. If anyone could point me to any resources on this subject, it would be much appreciated. Thank you.
  26. I saw a topic on this from 2002 but would like to re-open it as the issue seems to have gotten worse and not better. I am opposed to merit badge universities and one-day merit badge events. I think they focus entirely on the getting the badge and checking the box. I believe they violate the spirit and intent of merit badges in the following ways: A scout is to take personal responsibility for earning the badge The MB curriculum is designed to have the scout dive into the material and not just gloss over it. The MBU is less about accomplishment and more about just showing up. Logistically, it is almost impossible to actually test each scout individually. Part of the idea of earning the merit badge is learning to interact personally and directly with adults, both in taking the initiative to contact them and schedule appointments and demonstrate their skills. The scout is supposed to actually develop skill and knowledge, not just pass a test. Am I off-base? Is there really a justification for MBUs?
  27. fred8033

    Eliminate the Eagle application?

    I really meant this thread to be discussion on the assertion that we could eliminate the Eagle application. It's just not needed anymore. But ... you wrote "no text in the G2A showed hat it had to be completed and so we deemed it optional". I fear this is a stretch interpretation. The G2A flexibility is dealing with scouts that don't follow the required process and go off on a tangent. My interpretation is your district is using the BSA G2A remedy for a Eagle application defective situation as your district normal. (defective in that the scout does not submit a project workbook with signatures on the proposal and report). BSA does say ... BSA GTA 9.0.1.2 Prepare the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook ... "The most current workbook must be used. It can be found at www.scouting.org/advancement. The workbook shows the project proposal was approved ahead of time, and then properly accepted by all parties when finished." BSA 9.0.1.3 Complete the Application ... "Pay special attention to the following red-flag items. .... 6. Attachments: Service project workbook" BSA 9.0.2.0 The Eagle Scout Service Project ... "You must use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, BSA publication No. 512-927, in meeting this requirement." BSA GTA 9.0.2.8 Use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook ... "While the use of the workbook is required" BSA GTA 9.0.2.8 Use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook ... call out on page 70 ... "The requirement that Scouts use the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook means they must use the official document as produced by the Boy Scouts of America. Although it is acceptable to copy and distribute it, and even to transfer it to a different software platform or operating system, it must maintain the same appearance. No council, district, unit, or individual has the authority to require additional forms, or to add or change requirements, or to make any additions, deletions, or changes in the text, outlines, graphics, or other layout or informational elements of the workbook" I really don't think BSA could write it any more clear that the workbook is required. Not using it is a defective situation that BSA has provided remedies for supporting the scout. Now the scout can hand in a blank Eagle workbook except the signatures. The signatures are REQUIRED to prove the proposal was done before the project and the report signatures mean the project fulfilled commitments.
  28. carebear3895

    New Sex Abuse Charges

    See, that's where BSA confuses me. in the FAQ's of the barriers to abuse it says exactly that, but then a few questions down is says Lion/Tiger adult partners don't meet the two deep requirement at Den meetings. A straight up contradiction. What if a Den meeting is also a fundraising event? How do you know what events are and aren't OK to substitute a parent?! Sorry for Hijacking the thread.
  1. Load more activity
  • Posts

    • An introduction to the Camping merit badge is one thing.  Some of the requirements are "discuss" or "explain", so no problem there for partials.  But how many of them had the requisite nights of camping?  I'm guessing not many.    
    • Then don't send your scouts there. Threaten to resign your position if anybody on the committee promotes that MBU. Put it in writing. Copy your district commissioners and executives, your scout executives, and the course director. If you have a scout who does not seem to have grasped the MB material that he should have, follow the procedure listed in the Guide to Advancement 7.0.4.7. The problem isn't bogus MBUs. The problem is not enough scouters pushing back against them. 
    • Posted on my Council FB page today....   Today the National Council held a press conference call to address the inaccuracies and mischaracterizations that were made in yesterday’s press conferences held in New York and New Jersey. Below is the transcript for your review. Prepared Remarks of Michael Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive for the Boy Scouts of America I am here today to correct inaccuracies and mischaracterizations about our organization and the efforts we have taken to protect youth, which has been and continues to be our absolute top priority. First, I want to reiterate our steadfast support for victims of abuse.
      ▪ We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to abuse innocent children.
      ▪ We care deeply about all victims of child abuse and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting.
      ▪ We believe victims, we support them, and we pay for unlimited counseling by a provider of their choice and we encourage them to come forward. In 2018, there were five known victims of sexual abuse in our Scouting programs at a time when there were 2.2 million youth in our programs. We steadfastly believe that one incident of abuse is one too many and we are continually improving all of our policies to prevent abuse. Experts note that among the general US population, one in six men have experienced sexual abuse or assault at some point in their lives. This is an unacceptable public health problem that must be addressed, and we seek to be part of the solution along with all other youth-serving organizations.
      Our volunteer screening database is a mechanism for keeping kids safe. Let me share with you the facts:
      ▪ ALL instances of suspected abuse are reported to law enforcement. We do not keep any reports of suspected abuse secret or hidden from the proper authorities.
      ▪ Long before there were smart phones, email, the internet, criminal databases, or other modern methods available to identify or track predators, the BSA took a vital step to help protect children from bad people by creating what is known as the Ineligible Volunteer Files, or the IV Files. Its purpose was to ensure that anyone seen as unfit to be a leader – even those not charged or convicted of any crime, would be removed and banned forever from our program.
      ▪ The creation of those files was just the first step in the BSA’s development of a comprehensive set of strategies designed to provide the best possible youth protection system. Today, record- keeping or databases such as ours are recommended by experts, including the CDC, as an important step in protecting children.
      ▪ While it has often been misunderstood and criticized, time and time again the IV Files, now called our Volunteer Screening Database, have successfully prevented potential predators from re- joining our organization and gaining access to youth. That is precisely why we have been maintaining these records since the 1920s. 
      ▪ We have a very low threshold for removing someone from our scouting programs. Individuals are added to our Volunteer Screening Database based on suspected or known violations of our policies. They don’t need to have been arrested or convicted of a crime to be added to the database. This is because our priority is to protect kids, first and foremost, above all else. It is an ongoing tool the BSA uses to keep youth safe from potential perpetrators. I’d now like to introduce you to Dr. Janet Warren, a professor from the University of Virginia and a researcher and expert in sexual crimes against children. Dr. Warren has spent her career analyzing and profiling sexual offenders and serves as the University of Virginia liaison to the FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit. The BSA engaged Dr. Warren in 2011 to review the files maintained in our Volunteer Screening Database and analyze ways that the BSA could further improve its youth protection efforts. The BSA publicly released Dr. Warren’s first report in 2012. In our efforts to continually be on the forefront of youth protection, the BSA asked Dr. Warren to continue her work and evaluation of our database and barriers to abuse. She is in the final stages of that report. Dr. Warren has reached a number of conclusions as the work has progressed and we’ve asked her to be here today to speak to her work with us. Prepared Remarks of Dr. Janet Warren, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences (PNBS) at the University of Virginia • Good afternoon. I’d like to speak about the body of work I have done for the BSA since my initial report in 2012 and provide context to some of the figures presented in the media. I reviewed full, complete and unredacted files from the BSA that have been commonly referred to as the confidential files, perversion files or, as the BSA now refers to them, the Volunteer Screening Database. My team of researchers analyzed the data to see what attributes, patterns or profiles could be gleaned from the incidents. We made several key observations and we are in the process of finalizing our work.
      • I’d like to share with you some of the most salient findings today. I anticipate being able to present the work in a comprehensive manner sometime this summer.
      • First, one of the key observations we made is that the data demonstrated that the Scouting program is safe and the BSA’s use of a database to prevent unsuitable adults from accessing children was cutting edge and it worked. Even through the years when there were no computers, the BSA’s efforts were effective in keeping unsuitable volunteers from gaining access to youth in the Scouting program.
      • The rate of incidence of reported abuse in BSA programs was far less than the rate of incidence in society as a whole. And the data shows that the BSA’s youth protection efforts since the 1980’s have been highly effective in preventing abuse.
      • Second, there is no evidence of a coverup by the Boy Scouts of America.
      • 100% of all cases reported over the last 50 years were reported to law enforcement.
      • Additionally, as experts in this area agree, there is no profile of an offender that can be discerned from the data. The research underscores the importance of moving beyond simplistic and overly inclusive explanations of child sexual abuse.
      • Finally, the research underscores the need for a national database to track persons unsuitable to work with youth, similar to the one the BSA has used for almost 100 years. Criminal records checks and sexual offender registries based upon criminal convictions are inadequate to protect against offenders who have never been arrested or convicted. Prepared Remarks of Erin Eisner, Chief Strategy Officer for the Boy Scouts of America ▪ My name is Erin Eisner, and I’m the BSA’s Chief Strategy Officer for Culture and People. I am also a mom of two Scouts. My son joined as a Cub Scout, and my daughter and I are thrilled that she is now a member of Scouts BSA.
      ▪ I’d like to pick up where Dr. Warren left off to discuss what we are doing to help keep kids safe, both inside and outside of Scouting. While our database has served to keep millions of children safe in our Scouting programs, we have learned a lot over the years, and we want to share that with other youth servicing organizations. We know that our policies and barriers to abuse can help prevent child sex abuse throughout our communities and across all organizations.
      ▪ Experts agree that one of the most effective ways to prevent predators from having access to children is to track data on those individuals who have violated youth protection policies or have even been suspected of violating those policies. Specifically, the Center for Disease Control looked at the issue of keeping kids safe in youth serving organizations in 2007 and noted that databases such as the one BSA uses are a recognized method of protecting children from predators. As you’ve heard today, the BSA has employed this practice since virtually the inception of our organization.
      ▪ We are eager to share the information contained in our database with other youth serving organizations. That is why we’ve advocated for and will continue to push for the creation of a national database to serve as a clearing house for all youth serving organizations. Our vision, and one shared by others working hard in this space to protect youth, is that all youth serving organizations would be required to track and document those adults who have harmed children or have been suspected of harming children and report this information into a national registry. Similar to the National Sex Offender Public Website maintained by the Department of Justice, our goal is the creation of a registry for those who seek to work with children. This would reduce the risk that potential abusers could gain access to children by moving or going to another youth-serving organization after being removed. We are working with other groups and organizations such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the CDC to see how we can assist in this critical development. We’ve also called on Congress to partner in these efforts and to develop legislative mechanisms to facilitate this national database into a reality.
      ▪ We are optimistic about these efforts because we know they will make a difference – we have seen firsthand the impact they’ve had on our own organization’s steps to protect children.
      ▪ Children in our Scouting programs are safe today. Millions of children participate in and benefit from the character building and leadership activities in our programs – without incident. Parents can be confident in our program today and be proud of our efforts to protect children while they learn, have fun and experience Scouting as it was intended. I am confident in this.
      ▪ I am an Executive with the BSA but first and foremost, I am a mother. And my heart breaks for any child that has experienced the tragedy and trauma of abuse. If I felt, for a second, that Scouting was unsafe, I would not be associated with nor advocate for the BSA. To the contrary, I am confident in our program and confident in our efforts to protect children. My own daughter and son are both members of Scouts BSA and participate in Scouting locally in a dynamic and safe troop here in Dallas. I have no reservations about their participation and am excited to see more and more children, across the country, including record numbers of young women, be introduced to the Scouting program.
      +++
    • Can you spell "MILL"?  It's the new BSA way.  
    • I was asked to be the mB counselor at a MBU for Camping mB at a neighboring district. They wanted it to be an introduction to camping for the new scouts. A group of 20. They asked if two hours was enough. I said 2 hours is perfwct for me to do an intro, but I would not be signing any blue cards. She asked if 3 hours was enough. When I went through the reqs with the MBU director, and showed her it would not be possible, but I was happy to do an intro to camping class and give the scouts my contact info to do the mB. They found someone else to do the class and sign off.   While I think it is possible for MBUs to be done well, I agree with the OP that for the majority it seems to be a show up and get the blue card signed.
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