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  1. The bankruptcy discussion is depressing me. So I have need to focus of good news, like last night. While I have been involved in Scouting as a Scouter for almost 30 years now, and have worked with I don't know how many Scouts over the years, last night was special. I sat on an EBOR for a Scout who was in my first Tiger Cub den back in the day. He is the second one in my den to make Eagle (the first being my oldest), and having watched him grow up I am really proud of him. Especially with the challenges at home he faced. This is a young man who will go far in life.
    10 points
  2. The SCOUTER.com virtual campfire has been lighting our community now for more than 25 years. It's hard for me to imagine that so much time has passed, and the thousands of Scouts and Scouters around the world that have learned and shared together. These are obviously incredibly trying times for Scouting and enormous transition for the organization. But I have always believed that the very best of Scouting was at the grassroots, found in the mentoring relationship of a leader and young Scout, honed on cold winter campouts and sharpened by the lessons of leadership and service. And these fo
    9 points
  3. I'll do my best to explain what I have seen in this thread, so hopefully I don't misconstrue the message. The one thing I would say about @ThenNow is that it does seem that he cares about the BSA and sees the value of the program. He has mentioned how impressed he is by what he sees from many of the comments .... volunteers who spend much if not most of their free time working to provide children an experience that is unique and provides life long value. That said, he was sexually abused in the worst way by his Scoutmaster. No one within the BSA prevented it or took action (as far as he ca
    7 points
  4. Maybe because I asked him to stay. So blame me. I'm Spartacus. RS
    5 points
  5. You've nailed the attitude that I think is so counterproductive to ever resolving youth protection issues in scouting. There are too many who want to rationalize away the situation because they somehow believe scouting is somehow the victim or that the good that it does is worth the cost of the damage.
    5 points
  6. Wherever there are adults that can charm insecure youth, which includes all those places you mention above, there is abuse. That mindset is one ingredient to reduce abuse. Just like car safety, look at the FAA. If everyone dies on a plane the first thing they look for is the black box. Learning what exactly happened is another important ingredient. Rather than general, vague rules about safety, very specific rules based on known cases can address specific ways that failures occured. Next, there's an understanding of the paradox that zero failures is the goal and yet there are f
    5 points
  7. The IVF existed because law enforcement had no such mechanism. If all BSA did was notify the police, any number of things could have happened, but none of them would have included registering these perpetrators nationally. At the time, the most likely lawsuit would have been from those ineligible volunteers who would sue for libel, should the list be made public. The thought of the FBI tracking a hundred thousand citizens KGB-style would not sit well with anyone in the 70s. That BSA undertook this, with great difficulty, on its own is a credit to its tenacity. It is also betrays a bit of
    4 points
  8. Historically, the BSA added people to the IVF, at least some times, based on just a report that they were talking about starting a Scout unit, not only if they had already been registered. And it also added people to the IVF for conduct that had happened several years before. For example, I remember reading one file about a man who was the wintertime supervisor of the horse-tending program at D bar A Scout Ranch (Michigan) in the early '70s. In the early '80s, the local council got a letter from a now-man who accused him of drinking, drunk driving, giving alcohol to underage boys, and cer
    4 points
  9. I'm sure that's one of the core arguments for liability; the problem with conducting this analysis, as I see it, is threefold: It appears to be very difficult for most people to consider the issue in the context of the time in which it was occurring. I regularly read comments and posts (not necessarily on here) from people talking about how "The BSA should have always been doing background checks" or "There's no excuse for not letting other agencies know someone was a pedophile". This of course ignores the fact that until the 1990s, there wasn't really such a thing as a background chec
    3 points
  10. So I read through the new Plan, and the major differences from before are: An estimate of total abuse liability from $2.4 billion to $7.1 billion, prepared by Bates & White after analysis of a statistical sample of the abuse claims and comparison with "comparable" settlements and judgements The Trust Distribution Procedures, with a rough guide to how much different levels of abuse would relatively be worth, and a list of factors the Trustee might use of increase or decrease a particular claimant's payout The "Toggle Plan", under which neither COs nor LCs would pay in anyt
    3 points
  11. Until a decision is made about HA bases, legal status of LCs and an estimate of the abuse claims, the proposals and voting should stop. I'm surprised we are 14 months into this and we have yet to have a single court rule on these critical aspects of the bankruptcy.
    3 points
  12. Yes it is good to get away from politics and focus on what is important. (Ignorance is truly bliss.) While camping in the snow and cold last weekend, a group of my younger boys, who have been storming with each other for nearly 2 years, actually had a civil conversation with each other while warming up in the trailer. They were telling each other stories of an even colder campout they experienced 15 months ago. They went back to storming the next morning, but I see hope that the norming stage is coming soon.
    3 points
  13. Nobody associated with my troop will want to pay a dime towards any settlement, because none of us participated in the abuse. We're here to invest in scouts today, not to bail out scouters who were not held accountable decades ago. Making scouts sell popcorn, etc for such bailouts to keep the program running is just wrong.
    3 points
  14. Uh, no..... this is stealing the opportunity from the scouts to actually learn from doing the requirements for the merit badge. I am so tired of Merit badges that are just hand waved, Eagle projects that are just a bench, and positions of responsibilty where the scout doesn't actually do anything for six months. My scouts know that I am "a hard grader" but they also know that when I sign of on a requirement, they know it and are proud that they earned it. There are too many people that are awarded merit badges and ranks that they don't deserve.
    3 points
  15. This made me think of the ongoing case with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe: News Article "Levi Monagle, an Albuquerque-based attorney who represents dozens of the victims, said he couldn't comment on the total value of the archdiocese's assets. A settlement will be complicated, he said, "but I have every belief that we are in a position to achieve one if all the parties continue to put in the necessary blood, sweat, and tears." "The survivors in this bankruptcy have been tremendously patient thus far — they are warriors in every sense. If they can hold out a little longer, keep fight
    3 points
  16. Pardon the repetition but for anyone who needs a reminder and would like to discuss afterward issues that may be more connected to the "nuts and bolts" of this bankruptcy proceeding: TCC Town Hall Meeting reminder: Thursday 4/8 at 8PM EDT https://pszjlaw.zoom.us/j/84324072960 Given the TCC's objection to the BSA's attempt at submitting a reorganization plan this meeting may be of great interest to victims and local councils alike. The TCC also posts the video and transcripts afterwards.
    3 points
  17. It's not the same argument because you've changed the topic. We're not talking about boy scout fatalities vs. say, youth football fatalities, we are talking about sexual abuse, but it's interesting that you brought it up. Fatalities are also another matrix apart from abuse where scouting also does not fare well in comparison. Youth football incidents have also been tracked since 1931 in reporting similar to BSA's IV files. The difference? Football data has been comparatively transparent, and used to foster ongoing conversations and program modifications. We in BSA had no idea how
    3 points
  18. I think there is a big difference between identifying vulnerable kids and blaming them. I've never met a kid who consciously chose to be vulnerable. Schools identify at-risk kids all the time. We are trained to recognize them. We have meetings about them. We have counselors whose primary job is to work with them.
    3 points
  19. I think you've jumped in the deep end of victim blaming and then failed to tread water. Blaming a child victim of sexual molestation or rape and saying the antidote is to keep them out of the program instead of fixing the environment is a non-starter across the board, at least for me.
    3 points
  20. Anyone who completed the Boy Scout program from 11 to 17 has a valid right to express his opinions on scouting.
    3 points
  21. There’s always a variant ... most years we just aren’t bothered. My pandemic guy gets on a call with his buddies, and they pull a mix from their war chest that they think will match whatever’s spreading around. We tease him badly if he’s wrong. He tries harder the next year. It’s the highest-stakes gamble on the planet. Pediatric trials are starting. Meanwhile get your scouts out camping. We’ll know by autumn if a vaccine for the youngn’s does more good than harm.
    3 points
  22. I think we've got to stop focusing on one thing. The IV files are just one symptom of a dysfunctional organization. There are a dozen things going wrong.
    3 points
  23. TCC Town Hall Meeting reminder: Thursday 4/8 at 8PM EDT https://pszjlaw.zoom.us/j/84324072960 Given the TCC's objection to the BSA's attempt at submitting a reorganization plan this meeting may be of great interest to victims and local councils alike. The TCC also posts the video and transcripts afterwards.
    3 points
  24. To me, all of these should be reported. Reporting shouldn't be reserved for actual crimes, it should be any violation. In EHS, we are expected to report "near misses". Those are then used to improve training & processes. The written communications is a great one. So many times, I receive an email from a scout directly to me with no one on the CC. I immediately respond to that scout + parent + leader and remind them to never email me without an adult. We use Troop Track as it automatically includes parents on all emails (so this only happens when they email me from their personal
    3 points
  25. Just for some perspective, the TCC's professional fees were approximately 11% at the time of the Judge's comments. Whether any amount is seen as reasonable or not is up to opinion, the comparison of the TCC's fees to that of the BSA is important to understand.
    3 points
  26. As I understand it, the amount that the claimant could get if they took their case individually though settlement or a jury verdict, on the merits of that case alone, not limited by the amounts due all other claimants. So for example, consider the following pleading by a claimant lawyer who posted the exact same document twice to the docket (once for each of his two clients; although maybe he has others who weren't on board with this particular motion), and appears to be working from a template that was shared among multiple claimant lawyers: https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/c
    2 points
  27. One small change that might help would be to enlarge the prior-history section of the adult registration form. Not to add more questions, but to actually give more physical space for the answers. Right now the following questions are all crammed into a column 2 1/4" wide at the right-hand side of the form. Since the applicant almost has to "write on a grain of rice" to fit any reasonable amount of information in there, it gives the impression that the information is less important, or maybe no one even checks it: Now in my case I write "see attached" for at least one of those items and
    2 points
  28. The project isn't finished yet, he has one more "feature" at the end of the trail. Also a missing hand rail at the start. He hopes to have it completed by next month. It started as total woods, so the project started as making the trail. The rest was to make the downhill Slopestyle mountain bike course. He built this for a local mountain biking non-profit. The community responded to his fundraising efforts (raised almost $4000, wood prices went up exponentially this year) and calls for help on workdays Before: After (almost complete)
    2 points
  29. I have coached a lot of folks on their tickets. My first question is have you talked to CC and SM. I know that you said the CC step down, but he could still advised some direction for the troop needs. Talk to the SM as well. I am not one to suggest being very diversified, especially if you are new. Keep it simple. Don't take on big projects that require skills you've never used. How many camporee disasters were planned by a scouter working a ticket item. Too many. And, instead of being a planning leader for activities like fund raising or Scouting for Food, , write your ticket to
    2 points
  30. By now, scouts that have had school in-person a couple of days a week should have mastered mask management. They certainly should have been doing it at meetings. Hopefully the SM has taken them on some hikes and camp outs to observe their behaviors. Hopefully they've learned what materials survive a wet pack. Often times, when we say masks are mandatory, it means inside or working in close quarters. And we call our scouts on it "on the fly." Ours have not pushed back. I'm quite proud of them. This year will be different than last year and SM's will need to adjust accordingly. And they nee
    2 points
  31. It's a bankruptcy. A demarcation line. Liabilities before bankruptcy would be gone. There would be no compensation for victims of 2010-2020 abuse. For BSA to keep a fund, BSA would need to acknowledge a continued liability for debts previous to the bankruptcy. If funds need to be reserved, it would need to come from the current pending settlement reducing payments for the currently listed victims.
    2 points
  32. I would expect the TCC and the future claims rep are not willing to bet on future payments from BSA. It seems like it would be best from all parties to arrive at a final number, write the check and move on. For future claims, my understanding is that there would be a bucket of money that would pay out for those claims not submitted by the bankruptcy filing deadline. I tend to agree with @David CO that parents and donors (and I expect COs) will want to have a hard line in the sand that future dues, fees, fundraising are all going 100% to the current youth activities and not past
    2 points
  33. I was asked to be be a Camping mB counselor for a Merit Badge U. The director said it would be focused on first year scouts with little/no experience. She asked me if I wanted a 2hr or 4hr morning session for them to get the badge. After explaining that I would be happy to do an "intro to camping mB" session but that camping mB for new scouts could not be done in that time frame. She then asked if another session in the afternoon would suffice for them to get the blue card signed off. Grrrr.
    2 points
  34. I had a 40 year career in Occupational Safety and Health with extensive experience in designing, running and auditing industrial respiratory protection programs. I can say unequivocally that 90% of the mask wearing practices and materials I see in public are absolutely worthless. Masks with gaps, not covering mouth AND nose, ineffective filter materials, improper size of mask, facial hair, and other factors would all be OSHA violations. I would focus more on frequent handwashing, social distancing, and awareness training, which will be much more effective.
    2 points
  35. Covid has given kids more time to work on stuff. They need things to avoid the boredom! I know a kid who took his Covid downtime and applied it to working on Eagle.
    2 points
  36. I am pretty much in the “highly interested, but pretty much in the dark” camp, but I will hazard some thoughts. 1) They were completely taken off guard by the number of claims, throwing the entire strategy, whatever it was, into a swirling dive; 2) Pre-filling, they had a notion of what they would contribute to the trust and it was blown out of the water by the claims. Ditto for the Ad Hoc Committee of LCs, though less so as to the AHC other than the highly exposed Councils; 3) There is great consternation and disagreement within National about putting up High Adventure Bases an
    2 points
  37. Respectfully, though, isn't one of the main complaints about the Catholic Church fundamentally different than the main complaint about the BSA? The Church has the power to relocate clergy as it deems necessary, and it was using that power to quietly reassign molester priests from one parish to another. Priest molests kids at St. Anthony's church and school in Town A, bishop finds out, reassigns said priest to St. Bridget's church and school in Town B without telling St. Bridget's about the troubles at St. Anthony's. Unless I'm misunderstanding the charge, it's not like BSA national was r
    2 points
  38. There is a lot in this document. I tried to highlight a few key areas I thought were interesting. https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/885873_2566.pdf It appears that the mediation last week was almost worthless. The TCC's analysis is showing the LC contribution is substantially lower than what they believe they can pay Almost no agreement on payments from any insurance companies Two major religious institutions have been part of the mediations, but have not offered anything as part of the mediation. Major decisions (estimation of dama
    2 points
  39. COVID is here to stay. Read the research and listen to epidemiologists, and they all say the same thing: vaccines will be effective for 6 - 9 months, and then a booster will be needed to cover the variants. back in June/July there were over 30 variants. When I checked in March there were over 660 variants. This is one nasty bug.
    2 points
  40. I think hovering at 30,000 feet is fine to create distance and craft a theoretical, cultural narrative. There, it's reasonable to perceive this is a witch hunt because no other witches have kept a list of those on whom they've cast spells and BSA has crafted its own trap. It might be a worthy exercise for a separate moment. That macro level may be a good mental and emotional buffer, but this is about one boy being abused by an adult man who was/is a representative of the Boy Scouts of America. Get too much distance from that reality and this becomes a much easier matter to confront, couched in
    2 points
  41. It's not that any organization is special, it's that scouting creates specific and unique risks. I don't know if you noticed but one of those 4-H reports is from 2007 and the other is not about sexual abuse at all, it's about a bunch of teenage counselors running their own fight club. There are not a plethora of 4-H reports. BSA should be expected to have the gold standard YP program because it is the only youth organization that at least monthly has unrelated adults take unrelated kids off to remote locations without cameras or any other kind of public supervision for lengthy, overnight
    2 points
  42. But this is 100% about BSA. Volunteers under the BSA program took advantage of youth in horrible deviant ways. Those volunteers failed and the youth paid the price. There is do doubt there is sexual abuse in all of our society, but that doesnt excuse the BSA in this particular matter. For now this is about the claims against BSA.
    2 points
  43. I do not accept "we cannot judge the past norms of the day based on current norms" arguments. Just because many people accepted a behavior at a certain point in history did not make that behavior ok. Yes it is acceptable to judge folks for past behavior "under current norms". It was wrong back in the day even if many accepted it as a "norm". Heck, many (most? all?) who accepted it at the time knew it was wrong at the time.
    2 points
  44. I don't have any specific ideas at this point. I do think that similar to the various safety agencies there should be specific published reviews that show where things went wrong. We have a fair number of rules in place, and while none of them are unimportant surely some of them are much more critical than others. Looking at Faithful Scouters examples, all are good rules, but how critical are they? Eagle projects with no adults. Easy to argue that adults make the activity safer, but how directly would an Eagle project run by scouts lead to the abuse of a scout by an adult?
    2 points
  45. For starters, if our Leaders actually followed YPT we would be in a much better position. Youth protection requires two deep leadership. I've seen Eagle car washes and project days with NO adult leadership. Our District is aware but they don't say anything. No one on one contact with Scouts. I've seen leaders give Scouts rides home in their car ALONE. Leaders are not supposed to drink alcohol on trips. They do, and in fact I know a Leader with a DWI who still drinks on camping trips. All written communication from a Scout should have another adult copied. A lot of
    2 points
  46. Actually, that is a portion of my comment and not the whole comment. Regardless, my intent in positing was, and is, to share information so that people can make informed decisions. Here is the claim information by year as shared by the TCC at http://www.pszjlaw.com/assets/htmldocuments/BSA Summary of Sexual Abuse Claims 003.pdf People can view it, remember that most victims do not come forward until well into their 40's or later, remember that the court has appointed a "Future Claims Representative" to deal with such victims, and decide for themselves whether the BSA is a "Leader" in youth
    2 points
  47. BSA is different by nature of what we do with kids and when and where we do it. I think you have to recognize that and understand it as a risk specific to scouting before you can make any headway with understanding why YP is such an issue. There is no huge issue in 4-H. There are very few cases reported involving 4-H leaders. No one's hiding them, they just haven't been reported. I'm sure there are some random adults attached to some random clubs that abused kids, but it's not occurring in the 4-H setting to the degree it does in scouting.
    2 points
  48. I encourage you to become informed. Over 11,000 people have submitted claims for the years following 1990 when many of the Youth Protection Training protocols used today were enacted. If that alone isn't a "poor light" that has nothing to do with plaintiff attorneys then I don't know what is. Consider as well that it is wisely accepted that most victims do not come forward until after they are 40, and that the 11,000 claims are INDIVIDUAL claims that include MULTIPLE acts. Clearly, the days when the BSA could be considered a "leader" in youth protection have ended.
    2 points
  49. It would be a whole lot easier to solve this problem if those deciding the value of eagle understood that eagle is nothing but a tool to achieve a higher goal. "So, your resume says you're an eagle scout. Tell me some stories of how that has taught you something useful." A nice, open question. If they talk about specific skills they've been tested on that tells the value of eagle to that applicant. If they talk about taking younger scouts under their wing and helping them out, it tells a very different value. As my son told me, eagle will get you another look, but it's not worth anything if yo
    2 points
  50. I can see that. Professors promoting hate and bigotry by accusing other groups as hateful.
    2 points
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