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Posts posted by HelpfulTracks

  1. 17 minutes ago, skeptic said:

    While he should have been no allowed based on currently known information, and it suggests poor checking.  Background checks I believe had not yet been ut in place.  Do not know whether this would have shown in one anyway.  Still, poor judgment in seeming to not check things properly.  Always the likely hood that references could have also been less than open, even if they were contacted.  But, this does not seem to indicate, at least from what is shown, sexual abuse on record at the time.  These types of examples are fuzzy at best, and we may be reaching some.  Not sure they are really particulary pertinent, other than supporting poor follow and review.  

    Background checks started around 2003, but would include incidents prior to that. However, since it appears the charges were dropped it is unlikely that it would have shown up on a check at a later date. I'm not sure what BSA could have done in this instance (with the information that has been posted). 

    As for references, people are going to put their best references, and it is highly unlikely he would have included a reference that would give a negative review. Or given current laws, if someone would be willing to make a negative reference. 

    • Upvote 1
  2. I talked to a contractor friend who is a MBC for this merit badge. He let out a muted groan when I asked him about this thread. 

    He said there are literally 1000's of good projects that he would allow as a MBC. But he is also a bit cautious telling people to make substitutions as he has seen some less than adequate replacements requested or even approved by other MBCs. 


    • Replacing the toilet paper roller bar (just snapping it into place like you do every time you change a roll).
    • Putting rubber chair leg caps on a chair (literally, just pushing a rubber cap on the leg)
    • Polishing a door nob (and not even using polish, just a dry rag)
    • Putting a folded piece of paper under a table leg to balance a table (really??)

    As he stated, his concern is the spirit of the MB is to learn minimal skills to actually learn how to REPAIR something, not just do normal maintenance or cleaning, but is willing to give some allowances for skills and environment. But some folks just don't know what a repair is or how to do them, or they are simply trying to take short cuts. 

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 2
  3. If you don't have the silver tabs I would not buy them. Technically, you will be considered at large, and generally silver tabs are for assigned and or commissioned positions.

    If you already have them, no big deal to wear them either. 

  4. Wow, a lot to unpack there. I won't even try in a single post.

    I don't want to sound like I'm trying to talk you out of this, just the opposite. But the reality is starting units CAN be an uphill battle, better to know what you face so you can take proper steps. 

    First - Is there really an unmet need? It's great that the adults want the unit, but is there enough youth to support it. Are you in an area that there are enough youth but external obstacles to getting them to join? The former is a problem, the latter is an opportunity. 

    Second - adult support. Units need adults, and a minimum level of financing - not every location has family's able to pony up the funds to do all the outings get needed equipment (even minimal need). Transportation to events. etc. Suburban units usually have the easiest time. More often than not urban units struggle getting adult leaders. In many cases the finances are easier. Big donors like writing checks for under privileged units. Rural units can be tough on both. In farming communities the adults (and sometimes the kids) work if the sun is up. Often they are stretching's their dollar, and there just are not as many big donors. Also, youth sometimes have to travel farther to get to meetings. 

    3rd - active Charter Organization. It is easier to survive a passive CO if you are established. Its much harder for new units. Active CO's will usually bend over backwards to help: space, people, finances, equipment drives, camping locations etc. Sounds like you may be ahead of the game on that one. 

    4th - become good friends with your DE and Registrar. There is paperwork and problems with paperwork. They will be a God send if you have issues. 

    5th - prioritize needs. You likely will not come out of the gate with everything you need, uniforms, handbooks, equipment etc. If not, make a plan and prioritize. Make sure you have basic elements for a program, things that can be used to teach scout skills, share handbooks if funds are tight, use the same color t-shirt for your uniform if everyone can't afford one. Build a plan and fund raise and build up to having the "full kit"

    6th - Focus on fun and skills with the youth. From the get go, let them know this is their unit, and work to be youth led. Let them design the program with your guidance. Don't try to be over regimented. Things will go wrong and they will fail. let them, just don't let them crash and burn. 

    7th - learn old school scouting - by that I mean youth led, patrol method, skills oriented. Unfortunately all of that is foreign to too many units, but youth thtt join scouting at the troop age are looking for that. Learning to tie knots, build fires, properly use a knife and axe are thrilling things to a 13 year old. 

    I'm done for now. 

    • Like 1
  5. 3 hours ago, PeterHopkins said:

    That being said, no other youth-serving organization has yet been identified to have this problem to the level the BSA has. We may someday find that this issue is far more prevalent in other organizations.

    There are not many organizations the size of BSA to start with, so that is one thing. 4H, Boys & Girls Clubs, Girl Scouts come to mind. But they are organized and run differently that BSA (though I am not too familiar about how 4H works). 

    Though, I have seen reports that the abuse rate is higher in sports teams and schools in general, it is still difficult to compare them to BSA has there are 1000's of the and each is on a much much smaller scale. 

    I would guess, some do a fantastic job of youth protection and others do  miserable job. 

  6. 3 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    So I have a challenge for @HelpfulTracks. Here, now, today, this minute: can you answer and of these three using ONLY resources available to the general public? Not any insider knowledge you may have.

    • Who is the BSA board?
    • Who is in charge of YP for BSA? Either paid professional, volunteer committee members, or both. I'll take any.
    • How many occurrences/how prevalent is child sexual abuse in scouting today?

    Show me how transparent and open BSA really is about child sexual abuse TODAY. Not in the past. TODAY.

    Let's see if BSA learned any lessons other than "hide, hide, hide".

    Nope, don't think that list exist in one easy place. Which many of us have complained about in the past, myself included. But if I did think it exist, I would probably tell you to "just Google it."

    That said, the same is true for the vast majority of NFP's out there. So, I am not what that proves. 

  7. 4 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    Yep. And remember: the BSA plans including NOTHING about how to prevent future abuse. The BSA had to be forced by the TCC to include these provisions.

    That's why I am saying BSA still doesn't get it and still doesn't take YP seriously. They have convinced themselves they are perfect.

    They are in for a court-ordered rude awakening.

    Thanks again to the TCC.

    BSA's youth protection program long predates, this bankruptcy, case or the formation of the TCC. 

  8. 4 hours ago, johnsch322 said:

    No the legal case is not about punishing BSA...it is about the BSA looking to survive via bankruptcy by giving the least amount they can legally get away with to survivors.

    To be fair:

    The plaintiffs attorneys goal is to secure as much damages as possible for their clients (others would say as much as possible within a timeframe).

    BSA is trying to survive so it can continue to conduct programing for youth. 

    So yes, both sides are trying to push the $$ amount in a direction that benefits them. 

  9. 3 hours ago, PeterHopkins said:

    I don't want to speak on behalf of @CynicalScouter, but I've read many of his posts on multiple threads in this forum. I think the exchange you and he have had in this thread has resulted in a communication breakdown. You're not getting the message I think he's trying to send.

    I appreciate your effort to clarify the communication breakdown between CynicalScouter and myself, but my issue is less about the message you think he's trying to send and the message he is sending.

    CynicalScouter has posted, in this thread an others, inflammatory information, misinformation and misleading information as well as accused me an others of “turning a blind eye” and “looking the other way” in regards to child abuse. In fact the sub-thread you are replying in fred8033 made a comment that  “We have mandatory reporting.  IT's THE LAW !!!!!”, and CyncialScout replied “How often does BSA report the number of YP violations? Answer: 0”. To the casual reader who may be coming to this forum for information that says BSA is breaking the law by not reporting abuses as the law requires. If he is half as smart as he appears to be he knows that, and could have cleaned it up, but he didn’t.

    As I stated, I generally give people the benefit of doubt that they do not have ill intentions, but when it is a frequent and visceral as his post, it becomes less and less likely it is careless and more likely intentional.

    For whatever good intentions he may have, he seems intent on burying them beneath a layer of attacks on anyone who disagrees, questions or even offers a level of assistance that do not rise to a level of which he approves.  And in the long run I think that does more harm than it does good for our youth.

    There are hundreds of thousands of good scouters out here making every effort, spending a lot of time, energy, effort and money to deliver a good program that is safe for children, that roots out any abuses. IF he wants to drop his scorched earth tactics and join us in making Scouting better and safer for all youth, I’ll welcome him. But if insist on continuing to needlessly attack, and spew falsehoods, I’ll continue to call him out.

    As for the rest of your post, I agree wholeheartedly. 

    • Upvote 2
  10. 2 minutes ago, MikeS72 said:

    If I read the information at one of the Mic-O-Say links correctly, they and the KC Chiefs are not just in the same area, but owe their name and history to the same person.

    You are indeed correct, he was also the long time mayor of Kansas City and the scout camp that is home to Mic-O-Say is now named after him. 

  11. 3 hours ago, BAJ said:

    From my perspective @PeterHopkins proposed language addresses the key concern (though I would add “and other Scouts” after “respected by adults.”)

    It isn’t that scouts are sometimes shirtless while cutting trail on a hot day or sometimes wear swim shorts or a swimsuit when they aren’t swimming, it is a situation where the removal of clothing or some state of semi-undress is a requirement for participation in an “honor society” or access to privileges that they couldn’t get otherwise. Doing that models sets an example that such a requirement or transaction is acceptable, and that it is ok to exclude people who aren’t comfortable doing it.  “Oh, ok, if you don’t want to do the ceremony in the loincloth that’s fine, you just will be part of the out group…. Don’t worry about the fact that the rest of your patrol are doing it.”

    Take the analogy is to a professional environment where there isn’t even the more serious issue of youth involvement — if in a company, employees could join the “Acme Corporation Honor Society” (which meant they could get an extra day of vacation a year and access to a special coffee machine in the office lounge) and the requirement for induction was a ceremony where everyone had to be semi-clothed… I don’t think there would be much debate about whether it was appropriate or not, no matter what statements were made about the ceremony being “steeped in the traditions of the Company going back to its founding” or “effective in building Company esprit de corps and engagement.”


    55 minutes ago, elitts said:

    The problem with this idea is that it sets the bar of acceptable at "whatever no one is uncomfortable with" and that's a standard that isn't functional.  I wouldn't support a membership requirement for OA (or anything else) that was based upon a willingness to be shirtless in public but I draw the line at not allowing those who ARE willing to appear shirtless to perform or appear that way because we don't want some kid to feel excluded. 

    If Ryan doesn't want to participate in an activity with their patrol for whatever reason, that's their choice, as is any resulting feeling of exclusion.  I wouldn't allow a patrol to badger a scout into participating, or to tease them afterwards for sitting something out, but I'm also not going to tell any patrol they can't do something (that is otherwise acceptable) just because some patrol member is reluctant.

    Peer pressure (overt or not) and FOMO (fear of missing out) is often given a bad rap, it can also be an excellent force for getting kids to broaden their horizons and stretch their perceived limits by getting them to try things even when it might be a little intimidating or scary.

    I think, I hope, we can all agree that forcing/requiring/pressuring any youth to remove clothing for any reason is wrong, regardless if it falls under a YPT violation.( I'll go ahead and stipulate there are exceptions, like an examination by trained medical personnel in a private space - and requiring the substitution of clothing, like boots or baggy clothing, for safety purposes)

    And I do not like seeing ceremonies done shirtless period. 

    • Upvote 1
  12. 11 hours ago, fred8033 said:

    Indian lore ...  but the 2020 Super Bowl winners are still the KC Chiefs.  These changes will continue for decades.    

    I find it somewhat telling that KC Chiefs and Mic-O-Say are from the same area. 

    This is also the same general area that the OA has problems getting them to adhere to certain standards such as one lodge per council. 

  13. 9 hours ago, fred8033 said:

    It's just a snide mean incindeary post.  We have mandatory reporting.  IT's THE LAW !!!!! 


    6 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:
    • How often does BSA report the number of YP violations? Answer: 0.

    Once again, intentionally or not, it appears that you have conflated two separate things (filing a report with authorities and a summary report of violations report)  to make a untrue statement. 

    Fred said violations of YPT are required by law to be reported to the authorities. You quoted him and replied that BSA  has reported 0 times. Not only is that blatantly false,  it is accusing many good people of violating the law. 

    Generally I give people the benefit of the doubt, but I no longer feel that is a courtesy I can extend to you. 

    I urge to be more clear in your use of quoting people and in your verbiage. At a point, the continued "mistakes" begin to look less like mistakes and more intentional misinformation 

    • Upvote 2

    6 hours ago, yknot said:

    I, for one, have been specifically talking about Mic O Say in all my comments. You brought up OA....

    Actually, no. Cynical first brought up the OA. But to be fair to him, you did define the abusers as doing camp ceremonies and for greater than 99% of BSA camps, that is the OA, not Mic-O-Say

    But thank you for clarifying you were not accusing the OA of committing any violations "currently".

  15. 28 minutes ago, yknot said:

    It's the situationally inappropriate that is the subject of this discussion.  BSA regulations require appropriate attire. It's in black and white and pretty clear. 

     If the inappropriateness of that isn't clearly apparent then no wonder we have YPT issues. 

    Is it black and white?
    As someone who has had to deal with what is considered appropriate clothing, I can tell you not everyone one will agree with you? Some will be less restrictive on what is appropriate clothing, some will be more restrictive. Who decides?

    • Upvote 1
  16. 2 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    Oh, so BSA volunteers cannot legally get BSA in trouble? YP doesn't apply to them, only professional and legal staff?

    This conversation is useless. Pretend Mic-o-say is not doing what it is clearly doing under the direct auspices of BSA

    Hey, hey. It's ok. Just keeping looking the other way.

    There is no use trying to persuade you at this point.

    This is a complete and utter misrepresentation of what was said. 

    1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

    BSA has never been democratic. There's never been a vote of all registered leaders or scouts on anything.

    And the fact that you want to subject child sexual abuse rules to a vote says a lot.

    But if we are going to have a vote, I vote AGAINST children being sexually abused.

    What about you?

    If this thread represents how you approach national, or anyone else, regard filing an abuse complaint I can understand why you are not getting any responses. 

    I genuinely offered to assist when accusations were made about the OA, but I was meet with snarky "Google it" replies, then pointed toward Mic-O-Say practices, that while distasteful and objectionable, have not clearly violated any YPT policies. You have been insulting by accusing people of tuning a "blind eye" and "looking the other way".

    Your attitude is much more like to drive people away, than it is to draw people into solving the problems.

    • Upvote 2
  17. 5 hours ago, mrjohns2 said:

    It is funny since they are able to do a number of things that due to the national oversight of OA, the OA isn't allowed to do. Bare chests, face paint, AOL ceremonies, adults conducting ceremonies, etc. are not allowed in the OA. Mic-O-Say gets away with a lot. 


    2 hours ago, mrjohns2 said:

    The National BSA’s OA National Committee is making those rules. I don’t buy your “national isn’t making them” since it is a committee of the national council. Thus, national is making them. 

    Your argument is akin to the national advancement committee making a new rule “doesn’t come from national since the committee is mostly volunteers”. Yeah, so, that is how national works.



    1 hour ago, mrjohns2 said:

    BSA rules are made by BSA committees. They are just as enforceable. Each committee has at least one staff member that represents the professional staff. 

    I don’t understand your point. 

    My point is this. There is no BSA committee, professional or otherwise, that is forcing the OA to make changes it its organization regarding regalia, ceremonies etc. Any changes in that regard are being made by the OA National Committee (a volunteer committee made up of OA members). The issues you are calling out like, bare chests, face paint, AOL ceremonies, adults conducting ceremonies, etc. are not allowed in the OA because of the OA National Committee has made rules against them, not due to some oversight or rules being forced upon the OA. 

    Mic-O-Say is not a National organization or recognized by the BSA so they have no National Committee making rules regarding regalia, ceremonies and practices. Should they? Maybe, but that committee would still be made up of members of the organization. Not to mention there other local organization all over the place like Golden Eagle, Nani Ba Zhu, Lone Bear, Quivira, Silver Tomahawk and more (who are NOT doing the same things Mic-O-Say is doing), how do you manage them? DO they even need management? Shouldn't the YPT rules be sufficient?

    But in the end, none of this has anything to do with the issue at hand. The only reason OA is even in this discussion is because someone said the OA was doing these things. I mistakenly volunteered to help root that out via my contacts. But when asked for details I was given snarky "Google it" replies and pointed towards Mic-O-Say activities which are not governed by the OA. 

  18. 18 minutes ago, mrjohns2 said:

    The National BSA’s OA National Committee is making those rules. I don’t buy your “national isn’t making them” since it is a committee of the national council. Thus, national is making them. 

    Exactly, the OA National Committee is volunteers. By BSA, I mean professional and legal staff. 

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