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Posts posted by elitts

  1. On 9/21/2022 at 3:55 PM, yknot said:

    As far as I'm concerned, the hole is getting deeper. There's a difference between sadly wondering what could have happened vs. conjecturing that charges are overblown due to bias. It happened. It was about as bad as it can get because a child is dead. Let's leave it at that for now. Anything more seems inappropriate for a site and an organization that is about protecting kids. 

    You need to read more carefully,  Fred didn't say "charges may be overblown due to bias", he said that "charge stacking" can result in biasing the jury once a trial actually takes place; and it's not his idea it's a fairly well studied phenomenon.  https://harvardcrcl.org/use-the-rules-of-criminal-procedure-to-limit-prosecutors-power/

    And a civil discussion regarding a tragic situation at a Camp, including whether or not a particular response is overblown, seems entirely within the purview of a site like this; particularly since neither the site nor the BSA is "about protecting kids" they are both about serving a top-notch program to kids as safely as possible (given the inherent risks of the programming).

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  2. 4 hours ago, yknot said:

    If a child is dead -- no matter where -- when supposedly responsible adults were present I sure hope there would be a lot of charges.  I have to say I am not finding that the direction this conversation is taking to be worthy of scouting.

    If separate people committed distinct crimes, I don't have any problem with multiple charges.  However what commonly happens is you have DAs stacking up multiple charges for the same offense for (usually) sole purpose of essentially extorting the defendant into accepting a plea deal. (or sometimes so that they can advertise to the public their "tough on crime" stance for elections)

    In a hypothetical case like this, lets say the most serious possible charge is "Negligence with a firearm leading to death".

    The prosecutor then charges the defendant with:

    • Conspiracy to commit a crime (for planning the events that lead to the accidental death)
    • Negligent handling of a firearm;
    • Negligent handling of a firearm leading to serious injury;
    • Negligent handling of a firearm leading to death;
    • Use of a computer in the commission of a felony (for sending an email to a fellow scouter to discuss the plans for the event that lead to the accidental death)

    Now, US law says basically that you can only be charged with multiple crimes if the alleged criminal actions are distinct and separate.  So the DA will use a ridiculous argument like, the first charge covers the planning of the shooting event; the second charges covers the time the event began until that youth picked up the gun; the third charge covers from the picking up of the gun until the scout was injured and the fourth charge covers from when the scout was injured until he was actually dead.

    Of course, if this defendant goes to trial, the most likely result is their attorney will get at least 2 if not 3 or 4 of these thrown out after making arguments.  But what the DA is going to argue is:

    I'll dismiss everything but the most serious charge if you plead guilty and waive a trial.  But if you don't plead guilty, I'm going to pursue them all and even if the judge dismisses them in the end, it's going to cost you thousands of dollars for an attorney to argue the case."

    I don't have a problem with a fair punishment, though it's hard to know what's fair without knowing what kind of negligence we are talking about.  I just object to warping the system.

  3. 15 hours ago, Eagle1970 said:

    I'm sure this is too good to be true, but it says it applies retroactively.  Question for the legal eagles: Does this change anything or is state law what matters?  Does it apply to claims currently out of sol?

    From Congressional Budget office:  

    S. 3103 would eliminate the statute of limitations—currently set at 10 years—for a minor victim to file a civil action to recover damages for several federal crimes against minors, including sexual abuse, trafficking, exploitation, and pornography. The act would apply prospectively and retroactively, allowing civil suits to be brought against entities for actions committed more than 10 years ago. As a result of the changes, CBO expects that individuals would bring additional suits in federal courts.


    It's still only going to apply to cases that can be brought in Federal court, which is generally going to mean it needs to have either involved crossing state lines or happened on Federal property.  It's not impacting the individual SoL of States.

  4. On 9/18/2022 at 9:05 PM, qwazse said:

    I’m sorry that your unit and your camp has fallen prey to skating by without using the Merit Badge Application (a.k.a., blue cards). The easiest solution is for the scout to find a counselor ASAP and complete the MB using the traditional paperwork. If he has mastered the skills, he should be able to knock this out in a couple afternoons at a local pool.


    If the scout has really mastered the skills in the Swimming merit badge, it really shouldn't take longer than an hour.  Definitely less time than you are likely to put into tracking down someone to sign off on previous work from a Summer Camp.

  5. 2 hours ago, fred8033 said:

    23 charges?  Were there really 23 different issues or one or two issues and trying to find the right charge?  My gut says journalism written to be inflammatory.  Sounds like 5 or more against each of three men, somehow totaling 23.  Also prosecutors could be charging all even slightly possible crimes.  Then, let it resolve thru a trial or plea deals. 


    Yup.  Sounds like a clear case of charge stacking to me; which I personally find to be a reprehensible abuse of our criminal justice system. 

    • Upvote 1
  6. Our troop regularly does trips dedicated to Mountain Biking, Canoeing (there are some cheap canoes local), Shooting, and then just general camping.  We try pretty hard to keep the number of weekend trips over $40ish to no more than 2-3 per year and that's with $17-$18 per scout allocated to food.  ($15 per person budget, plus we don't charge adults).  One of the things that has been helpful with keeping the standard "just camping" weekends entertaining is the purchase (or donation) of some in-camp entertainment equipment.  We have a set of 12 tomahawks and 9 throwing knives that can keep most of the scouts busy all day long, plus a slackline and a collection of pioneering poles.

  7. On 8/8/2022 at 3:32 PM, curious_scouter said:

    Not to derail the main topic, but the new scout patrol comment jumped out at me.  We are about to rebalance our patrols to start the year.  We had the discussion about how to structure patrols too.  For now, we're sticking not with "new scout patrols" but "similar age patrols".  Two main reasons:   1) YPT says scouts must be within 2 years age to share accommodations, having like-aged patrols makes this less challenging when doing an outing under the patrol method 2) we were worried with older scouts in a patrol the younger scouts might defer leadership chances to the older boys too often - we want the younger aged patrols to have a PL and to have the PL and patrol have the challenge of sorting out campsite/duty roster/menu/etc.  We also want every age group to have representation at the PLC so like-aged patrols seemed to support that too.  Just some thoughts, but we're having similar debates here about Patrol age structure. 

    If you have traditional patrols with the freedom to move between patrols on at least a regular basis you'll end up a good cross section of ages at PLCs fairly naturally.  What will typically happen is scouts will self select into something that resembles age based patrols just because they'll choose to move in small friend groups.  A group of 5 twelve year olds might join the Fox Patrol because they like some aspect of it.  Then the last 2 fifteen year olds will get through 6 months with the 12 year olds and get annoyed so they'll join the Eagle Patrol because there are 3 other fifteen year olds in it etc..  Traditional patrols don't typically end up with a full mix of 10-17 year old kids.  Particularly if you add in at least one "Older scout patrol".

    As far as getting the younger kids experience as PL, the way that's accomplished is if a 13-14 year old wants to be PL but keeps losing to a scout 1 or two years younger, you suggest to them that they switch to a patrol with a higher number of 11-12 year olds that can't decide who to vote for.  And when it comes to getting newer scouts experience with making duty rosters and menus, you just remind the Patrol Leaders that their job is to make sure stuff happens, NOT to do everything themselves; so a good Patrol Leader should be assigning the tasks of creating a duty roster to a patrol member and then reviewing and amending the result, not doing it themselves every month.

    As far as the tenting goes, I think you just tell kids they are allowed to tent solo and if they don't like that idea they can decide to change to a patrol with people the correct age to have a partner.  While I know most kids like having a tent buddy, there always seems to be at least a few kids who'd rather be alone anyway.

  8. On 8/8/2022 at 3:19 PM, mrjohns2 said:

    Does anyone have recommended brands and brand lines within brands? Or brands / brand lines to avoid? 

    For trailers?  Haulmark is typically pretty good.  The biggest problem with trailers is that the quality can vary widely even within a particular brand.  Welder competence is typically a toughie industry wide and so if "Bob" did the frame welding on one trailer it could be great while the one "Mark" welded up may have ongoing issues.  The best advice I've seen is to stick with one of the premium brands and try and buy one a few years old to save money, or go with a manufacturer that will let you inspect the trailer before taking delivery.  And ideally, pick a manufacturer that's close enough you can bring the trailer back for repairs if something comes up.

  9. 42 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    You are over thinking this. Our QM was in charge insuring the patrols loaded the trailer correctly and that it was hitched properly to the vehicle (verified lights and turn signals working). They were trained to keep the CG forward of the trailer axil, as well as, the hitch connected and locked correctly. Troop trailers tend to be loaded with the same gear 90% of their use. If the QM didn't go with the Troop or High Adventure Crew to insure the trailer was loaded correctly, they he trained someone.

    We don't give the scouts enough credit. The vehicles didn't start driving for their destination until the SPL had a full count and said it was OK. The only time our troop left a scout behind was when the new SM didn't trust that policy. Wasn't me by the way.



    If you've got a 3/4 ton truck with a class 3+ hitch and a tongue capacity of >1000lbs that can always pull the trailer, you are generally right; just keep all the weight between the axle and the truck and you are golden.  But at least with my troop (and I have to assume others), that's not always the case.  We regularly have people with mid/full size SUVs pulling that have 5000lb/500lb weight limits and you have to keep things fairly well balanced to make sure you keep the tongue weight over at least 10% of the total weight, without going over the 500lb tongue limit of the hitch.  With our trailer, that means keeping the tongue weight between 300 and 500lbs. (preferably between 300 and 450)

    And while most of the time we've got a QM I've worked with or myself there to make sure things get loaded correctly, a $100 hitch that enables an idiot-proof quick eyeball check on the weight is some cheap insurance for those times when things happen without one of those QMs or myself present.

    • Upvote 2
  10. 36 minutes ago, yknot said:

    I don't have much to add to this other than that I know a lot of people with troop trailers who maybe don't do enough routine preventive maintenance, don't use them enough and let them sit too long, and don't have a pre departure check list. Don't let it sit over the winter or for several months because you only use it for certain kinds of camp outs. Hook it up and pull it out for local trips. Have a pre departure checklist which includes looking under the trailer, checking the floor and the load distribution/stabilization, checking lights. Don't be the only one who is always hooking it up. Always grab someone to doublecheck you. The stupidest thing -- and it happens not infrequently even with experienced people -- is forgetting to hook up the brake plug or the safety chains or not snapping the pin or some other minor, obvious thing. It's not hard to get distracted when a ton of kids are around. 

    I strong believe that every troop with a trailer should have one of these.  https://www.weigh-safe.com/product/universal-tow-ball/

    There are WAY too many parents pulling trailers without any good way to judge if the weight distribution is appropriate within the trailer (and lacking the experience to eyeball it)  Particularly with single axle trailers.  I know I had one year where someone pulled our trailer to summer camp and when they arrived complained about how terrible our trailer was to pull.  When I went over to it, I was able to easily lift the tongue off the hitch by myself.  The QMs and everyone else loading it had put virutally everything heavy just inside the rear door because it was "too hard" to shift the heavy stuff around inside the trailer.  I was honestly shocked person driving managed to make it down 65 miles of highway without the wobble taking them off the road.

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  11. I'm going to try and address a few of your points within following quote rather than trying to create a dozen separate quote bubbles.  My responses are bolded.



    On 8/1/2022 at 4:10 PM, Scoutcrafter said:

    Unfortunately, that is not how the first four months have gone. This troop creates “new scout patrols” rather than integrating new scouts into existing patrols – that doesn’t help. Our 11 year old kids are almost completely unable to run meetings and come up with agendas on their own – or at least they have not been given the chance to. Instead, the CC has been acting as a den leader and running everything. The CC also has never solicited any ideas from me, either.

    This is unfortunately the way New Scout Patrols regularly end up functioning.  I'm not saying it's good, but then I hate NSPs in the first place.  But it's VERY common.


    • ASMs/troop guides/patrol advisors are locked out of Scoutbook, making it impossible to see the patrol’s progression at a glance or send emails through SB. I had to create my own tool in Google Sheets to quickly see who was missing what. Only the advancement chair (in this case also the CC) and the SM have access to scout and patrol profiles.
    • ASMs/troop guides/patrol advisors are locked out of Troopmaster, our troop’s preferred troop management tool. To send emails efficiently, I bought a patrol domain name and created a mailing list using my business web/email hosting service. Adding/changing calendar items must be done by the SM.

    I may have missed it, but what exactly is your position within the troop?  Only the Scoutmaster and those ASMs he/she officially delegates "sign-off" authority to would normally have the access you are talking about here.  As someone else mentioned, in Scouts, Patrols don't "progress" only individuals do, so access to the advancement of an entire patrol is typically very limited.

    • Safety issue: also at the knife safety meeting which was also working toward totem chip, the scouts were taught an unsafe technique for using a hatchet to split blocks of wood. They were instructed to hold block upright with one hand, use hatchet in other hand to strike hard enough to embed hatchet in wood, remove holding hand, lift hatchet attached to block, then chop. That first part about holding the block with one hand while embedding the hatchet with the other is very unsafe, as a missed glance could land on the holding hand. There are much safer techniques of splitting wood, easily found on bushcraft YouTube channels.

    That's a pretty standard technique, I regularly demonstrate it myself in situations where I have been asked for help.  In my opinion it's no more "unsafe" than any other aspect of using a hatchet if it's done right.  However when I'm demonstrating it I heavily emphasize that they should only be swinging the hatchet 5-6 inches at most and only when there is plenty of room to strike well away from a hand.  That said, I don't teach that technique as a way to "split logs", I teach it as a way to shave strips off of an already split wedge of wood.  Honestly, the far bigger issue to watch out for with hatchets is scouts that like them so much they use them to the point of muscle weakness and then don't stop.

    • Gave the scouts wrong info by saying BSA doesn’t allow fixed-blade knives and limits length to 4 inches. The truth is that BSA does not prohibit fixed blades and doesn’t have a length limit. Troops and camps can impose their own restrictions, but those restrictions do not emanate from BSA nati0onal.

    I think as a result of your general frustration you are splitting hairs here.  Yes, you are technically correct, however from the perspective of the scouts, does it matter if the restriction comes from the troop, the camp or the BSA?  If the summer camp you regularly attend even for monthly camp-outs has such a rule, it makes far more sense to just tell everyone "no" than to have ongoing arguments because scouts end up with knives that they aren't allowed to use on some camp-outs.  Personally I tell our scouts and parents they really should avoid any knife longer than 3.5" (for scouts) because that's our state's threshold for automatically considering something a "Weapon" and the risk of major consequences go up significantly if they forget they have a knife in a coat pocket or backpack and anything more than a standard pocket knife.

    • Organized a water balloon fight during a campout, contradicting BSA’s prohibition on such activities. Personally, I think it’s a bad rule. However, I don’t think I would violate the rule based on my personal opinion. I’d respect the rule even if I didn’t like it. But it makes me wonder what other rules they might disregard.

    You are correct that this is against the rules.  However, that rule change was made within the last few years and given how bad the BSA is at publicizing exactly how they are changing rules, it does tend to take a while for things to become common knowledge.

    • Absolutely zero scout spirit/patrol spirit. In 4 months, I have not heard one song, one patrol yell, or one campfire skit.

    The lack of patrol spirit is a direct result of the BSA instituting NSPs and attempting to go with age based patrols.  Once you lose your long-standing patrols with history and pride, you lose any real sense of patrol cohesiveness unless you happen to have a strong group of friends in one patrol.

    • Requiring all rank requirements to be completed and filling out a 2-page form before the scoutmaster will schedule a scoutmaster conference. This seems like adding requirements to me.

    I agree that seems really odd.  I'd be curious to see what all the SM is expecting a scout to include on the form.

    • An adult built the campfire at the last campout.

    Eh.. I try and let the scouts build the fires, but ultimately there have been times I've done it myself because I'm not willing to sit around for another hour  waiting on them as they keep trying to skip the "gather tinder & kindling" stage and there's only one fire ring.

    • Withholding signatures for rank requirements until all the scouts’ books can be signed together at the same time (they said they do this only for Scout rank).

    And there are more issues beyond these.

    As a newcomer, I’ve had to bite my tongue and just observe their misguided practices. And now I’m realizing that trying to change their organizational myopia will be a lost cause.

    This is following the absolutely incredible, fulfilling, and rewarding experience we had in cub scouts, where I was my son’s den leader for the last 5 years. Yes, I’m completely aware of the differences between cubs and scouts, and I totally accept those differences. Indeed, we’ve been preparing for the changes for the last two years as a Webelos den, as I gave the den increasing amounts of autonomy and instructed them on the patrol method.

    I appreciate the gesture, and it shows they understood my concerns. They also assured me that after we get the cooking/first aid/knots meetings out of the way, I will have more freedom to guide the patrol the way I want. B

    To be honest, even though you say you are aware of the differences between Cubs and Scouts, some of what you've written (the underlined portion above) makes me think you haven't quite made the transition as well as you think you have.  While many of your points have some validity, your overall viewpoint leads me to think you still want/desire to have a much more involved "advisory" role than is really ideal in the Scouts BSA program.

    While I'm all in favor of new parents getting involved in helping right away, in general, I've found the best approach is to separate parents and their own scouts for the first year at least.  So if someone comes in and wants to be an ASM immediately, they might get assigned to mentor the Star/Life scouts, NOT to act as the ASM advising their own scout's NSP.  This serves a number of purposes.  First, it gets the new parent into a position where they aren't tempted to try and turn Scouts into Webelos III with the urge to make things efficient or make them run smoothly.  Second, as long as the "Advisor ASM" for a patrol is a parent (or their former DL) it's REALLY tough for the scouts to become independent.  They've had 4-5 years to become totally habituated to the idea that the "Adult" is in charge and they will constantly fall back on the advisor for help rather than stretching themselves to figure things out.  A totally new adult has a better chance of just sitting off to the side as an emergency resource than an adult that has been invested in that group for the last few years.

  12. I actually just upgraded our tool selection to a full set of hand tools, but I'm not going to go too much further than that.  There are very few parents in my troop that are handy enough to be willing/able to do much more than loosen/tighten bolts, so having a more complete set of tools isn't of much use anyway. 

  13. 19 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    Comments I heard from staff this past week:

    "Scouts who are not swimmers can go in a canoe with a buddy if that Scout is a swimmer." 

    That seems to be a pretty common misapplication of the rule as I've heard LOTS of Scouters saying it too.  Probably because the rule isn't written well.  Canoes are a different enough beast from other multi-person craft that they should just have their own entry specifying non-swimmers can only ride with adult swimmers.

    BSA's fixation on narrative formatting (rather than bullet points) is a real problem in many of these instances of guideline misunderstandings.

    • Upvote 1
  14. On 7/13/2022 at 3:32 PM, ThenNow said:

    And, this means only discernible, external injury or damage is physical injury, discounting the effects of child sexual (and other) abuse trauma on the brain? I have discernible injuries and physical symptomalogy from both the acts and allostatic load, but I also have neurological impacts, also known as injuries. Again, this is not the topic of the thread, but knowing what you mean will help me. My parents wanted to send me to counseling when I was 15, but I refused. They saw evidence of injury/trauma, just not the source. 

    I think you may have missed the original post where I started discussing this issue and just keyed in on a secondary comment thinking that I was putting forward my own opinion.

    The discussion was centering around bewilderment over the fact that there are file records showing parents "just want Mr. Abuser to get help" rather than wanting them forcibly castrated and fed to only mildly peckish tigers.  ALL I was pointing out is that prior to the 1980s "They" (meaning society at large) tended not to recognize any significant "harm" done by non-violent child sexual assault outside of those cases where physical injury was suffered.  There wasn't any kind of widespread understanding of the mental and emotional damage caused by sexual trauma and so parents may not have really recognized the true significance of what had been inflicted on their child.  So in other words, if Mr. Abuser talked or cajoled a 13 year old into participating in some level of sexual activity that didn't result in obvious physical harm, pre-1980s parents and society (not me) tended to view it a deeply unpleasant, immoral and possibly shameful occurrence that their child would probably just "outgrow".

    I was NOT arguing that only physical injuries matter or discounting the lifelong mental and emotional impact sexual assault can have on a victim and I was certainly not arguing that abusers that cajoled and persuaded children into sexual behaviors should be considered in any way less abhorrent than one that simply forces themself on someone brutally.

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    • Upvote 1
  15. Quote
    On 7/13/2022 at 1:31 PM, elitts said:

    1:  NGOs like RAINN.  Usually it's people or organizations attempting to drive home the severity of their issue by creating a false equivalency.  Some examples include:  "asking for sex repeatedly = coercion = rape", "sex with someone who has been drinking = rape".

    So, are you saying neither of these are actually sexual assault or abuse? I know we're talking about concealment and fraudulent concealment by extension, but I think understanding how you define the terms is important, at least to me.

    Actually, the breakdown for me is on the "asking repeatedly for sex" = coercion aspect of the equation, not on whether or not coercing someone into sex is assault.  Using threats or force to persuade someone into sex is definitely sexual assault.  But asking your partner multiple times in a night or crying about how you'll have "blue-balls" or pouting when your partner says no is not coercion.  It makes you a shitty person who should get thrown to the curb, but calling that sexual assault is disingenuous.  Here is a link to an article showing the kind of arguments I'm talking about.  They subtly alter and  twist definitions in order to make their arguments hang together.

    (I'd make an exception to this when you start talking about someone who engaged in an systematic effort to destroy someone's emotional or mental well-being in the attempt to manipulate them into relationship or sexual compliance.)

    As far as sex with someone who has been drinking, my issue there is that the argument is regularly made that "if your judgement has been affected by drugs or alcohol you can't consent".  If we are talking about situations where someone has had enough to drink that they are passed out or nearly unconscious or obviously only marginally functioning, I'd have no objection to that idea.  But the way some folks like to put that concept forward is to say that "any impact on your mental functioning makes you incapable of consent".  Given the fact that your brain function is impacted almost immediately (even if you don't notice), this standard effectively means that anyone who has had anything to drink is incapable of consent.  More importantly, establishing standards for when behavior is acceptable that depend upon the internal (and thus unobservable) condition of another person is just a horrible idea.

  16. 17 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

    Um, who are these "sexual assault advocates" who like to extrapolate definitions? I feel like the hole is getting deeper and wider.


    So, "physical injury" is the equivalent of "visible injury." Do I have that right? I'll go back to your post about fraudulent concealment in a bit. Just want to clarify terms for now.

    1:  NGOs like RAINN.  Usually it's people or organizations attempting to drive home the severity of their issue by creating a false equivalency.  Some examples include:  "asking for sex repeatedly = coercion = rape", "sex with someone who has been drinking = rape".

    2: Well, visible to a doctor doing an examination.  Internal tearing and deep bruising may not be visible to a bystander, but are still a physical injuries.

  17. 2 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

    Hold on thar, Baba Looey. What do you mean by this? All sexual abuse is violent. Do you mean non-physical? I know you're making a different point, but this sorta made my skin crawl. 

    I'm using the commonly understood definition of "violent", not the expanded interpretation that sexual assault advocates like to use.


    using or involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something

    So essentially, sexual abuse or sexual assault that doesn't result in physical injury.

    And for the people who will read this without the context of the whole thread, I'm not discounting or downplaying non-violent abuse or assault, I'm referencing a distinction that used to be made.

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  18. 4 minutes ago, johnsch322 said:

    My point is that there wasn't a recognition that non-violent sexual abuse would result in long-standing psychological damage.  Yes, if a child was raped and was catatonic afterwards, the system could recognize that as a direct impact of the assault.  But even then, they would work to fix the catatonia and once resolved, would view the matter as largely resolved.  If a child was abused but continued on with life apparently normal (home and school and church life) the view was essentially "Oh, they came through it ok, no further work needed".  The idea that there might be PTSD like symptoms or problems with attachments and relationships further down the road wasn't even on the radar.

  19. 6 minutes ago, yknot said:

    If our friend Cynical Scouter, whose name is still attached to many of these threads, were still here I think he would remind you that BSA's fraudulent concealment and negligence has already been proven in court. It was the cause of several large judgements and is why BSA saw no other option than to file for Chapter 11. It would have been unable to defend itself against the legion of lawsuits that were already on the horizon then.  

    No, Negligence has been found in many cases, but I haven't seen any cases where the SoL  has been re-opened (and the case won) via a claim of Fraudulent Concealment.  I believe ThenNow posted a link to a court case where the Court refused to dismiss a claim on summary judgement because they argued Fraudulent Concealment but that ruling was very heavily based upon the fact that they were unwilling to categorically reject all such cases, not because they thought that specific case would win.


  20. On 7/5/2022 at 3:33 PM, ThenNow said:

    POST SCRIPT: THIS is the standard of the day BSA needed to rise to and above. Not what the Babe Ruth League was doing. I took part in a ton of activities and only BSA and the RCC did this sort of pre-death cannonization. For the RCC, it was deeply engrained and implied, occasionally reinforced, but not codified like the above. 

    That doesn't sound any different than the sorts of advertising that happens with every youth serving organization.  In particular is sounds strikingly similar to the kind of language used with regard to school staff and coaches.  Both of those organizations even require the youth (in HS at least) to sign a Code of Conduct promising to obey instructions from staff and coaches.


    On 7/9/2022 at 9:39 AM, yknot said:

    Things are indeed different now but comparing an epidemic of child sexual abuse to some of these other issues isn't really a defense. It really falls apart when you look at environmental or health issues, because there are many similar situations where government agencies, corporate entities, or other organizations noted, collected, and yet failed to act or do the morally right thing with the information they had and often tried to hide because it was inconvenient, just as the BSA did. Whether it was a cancer causing substance or an abhorrent medical practice, we don't attempt to excuse it with the defense of "Well, that's how it was back then." Enrolling minorities in medical trials without their knowledge or dumping a chemical into a water source that resulted in human cancer clusters was wrong on some basic human level, even if prejudice, environmental awareness, and personal health issues were viewed differently back then. Whenever society has found that entities tried to minimize or even hide these kinds of egregious results, they've been called out for their actions and often criticized and sued just as the BSA has been. You know something's wrong on a basic human level if a lot of people are dying of cancer, or they are suffering from a disease you know is treatable, or a lot of children are winding up sexually abused. I don't why there is this defense that basic humanity should have applied in these cases but not when it comes to the BSA. 

    You are making ridiculous comparisons here.  The BSA had a system of protection that was insufficient and children got hurt.  That's incomparably different than a company or governments direct actions being responsible for people being hurt.

    On 7/9/2022 at 1:33 PM, johnsch322 said:

    One major thing I can't get out of my mind is what was ever done for the victims? I have not found any evidence of the BSA extending a helping hand to those who were damaged while in the care of the BSA. Does anyone have any knowledge of what the policy to victims were? 

    Up until the last few decades I don't think there was a clear understanding of the kind of lifelong psychological damage these abuses could cause.  Even the understanding of the impact of rape on women wasn't directly applied to boys here; I suspect because of a combination of beliefs that "kids will outgrow it" and "boys are tough and can put it behind them".  I think I read that by the 80s or 90s they started offering counseling of some sort, but again, that depended on the boy having made an official report.

    On 7/9/2022 at 2:00 PM, Eagle1970 said:

    I continue to believe there is no shortage of evidence to support a concealment case.  At this point, logistically speaking, how does tolling the sol with concealment impact a survivor's case?  

    Under the Trust Agreement, would it require an independent review, along with the $10k to make a case for concealment?  Or would the argument simply tilt the sol factor higher under the standard procedure?  Or other legal action?

    In the end, there were multitudes of failures along the way, and some appear to be intentional.  That will remain a fact, regardless of the bk settlement or the BSA's future.

    This issue isn't "Concealment" (which clearly the BSA did) it's "Fraudulent Concealment".  In general no one has an obligation to inform others when they've committed a tort against them.  The only time such an obligation exists is when there is a fiduciary or other "special relationship".  So the issue here isn't so much whether the BSA concealed the amount of abuse happening it's whether there was a duty to inform people.  And even then, I suspect "Fraudulent Concealment" could only apply when the BSA had some way of knowing a particular child was victimized.  So basically only those who filed complaints would be eligible.

    28 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

    Thanks Johnsch322.  ...  Last night just to remember ... because this has been going on for painfully long time ... I re-read 20(???) of the files.  The files are painful to read. 

    To be honest, where the IVF files really creep me out is just how many times everyone (parents, police, council, etc) push for the perpetrator to get treatment or that it's treated as a morality crime.  Or that the conviction is dealt with a really short jail time or even just probation.  ... To see parents write letters asking that their son's abuser get treatment just creeps me out.  


    Again I think this is the result of a failure to understand how devastating child abuse (sexual or otherwise) is to the psyche of an individual, particularly if untreated.  I truly don't think parents understood how life-altering the abuse would be for many children.  It may also have been parents deliberately putting on blinders about the issue; hoping "if we just ignore it and never talk about it, it's like it didn't happen."

  21. On 7/3/2022 at 11:38 AM, curious_scouter said:

    We are just back from summer camp.  This is my third camp as support leadership, next year I've raised my hand to take the lead so I'm capturing some of the observations, notes, etc. immediately on return while fresh in my mind because my mind is a sieve :) I thought I'd post some of the general comments here and see also if I can take advantage of the accumulated wisdom and recent summer experiences of those gathered here.  We had an AMAZING week.  Should note we had over 30 scouts with us, so some of this might be more relevant to a group that size, but still worth sharing. 

    • Will encourage more that Scouts bring "old fashioned games" to camp and considering building a box of them for our trailer.  Chess, dominoes, checkers, packs of cards, LCR, etc.  Once our scouts got their chess boards and sets from the merit badge, which was Thursday night, there were no less than THREE games of chess running in camp at a time.  Magic!  If we had provided that opportunity earlier in the week we would have had more of that I think.  Cheap, easy to pack, durable games like that can be a mainstay in our troop gear as well, providing similar opportunities on most outings. 

    These are some initial reflections and ponderings I had.  Curious to know what other pro tips you all have that lead to "magic moments" or that you found particularly beneficial and plan to include in the plan for next time.

    We bring an oversized plywood "camp kitchen" style box that serves as storage for troop copies of manuals, guides and booklets, chess, checkers, cribbage, Yahtzee, multiple decks of cards, loose leaf paper and a couple of spiral notebooks.  There's also usually a football and a couple other random balls in there.  Scouts have free access to it with the expectation that whoever takes something out puts it back.  We emphasize that point so we don't have scouts thinking "I'll just leave this out for the next person" and then stuff gets ruined because no next person comes along.  As a note, if you decide to have some playing cards available, spend the money for decent plastic Copag or KEM playing cards (the narrow ones are easiest for small hands).  They hold up much longer, can be washed and you can just replace individual cards that get crumpled rather than losing a whole deck.

  22. 23 hours ago, johnsch322 said:

    Shouldn't the inappropriate behavior and making threatening statements be reported to the police?

    It would depend on the nature of the statements and the behavior.  Making serious "credible" threats is a crime, but not every threat is both serious and credible; and while bullying is bad, not every instance of someone being mean, or rude or anything else is actually bullying. 

    The standard for making a report to police or CPS needs to be based upon what an average person might think is a problem, not simply what ANY person happens to report as bullying or inappropriate behavior.  Particularly since there is so much bad information out there as to what "bullying" or "sexual harassment" actually mean.

    *begining anecdote *

    Twenty some years ago I was manager of a public pool and I had a woman come up to me absolutely livid about one of my lifeguards.  She wanted me to know that she was going to be reporting one of my male guards (who was doing "in-pool duty" that day) to the parks department, police, and anyone else who would listen because "he was sexually harassing her 13-14 year old daughter by touching himself while looking at her and had done it repeatedly".  Given the fact that he was unequivocally gay, that seemed pretty.unlikely so I asked if she'd like me to speak with him immediately and she agreed, so I called him out of the pool.  As he climbed out he grabbed the front of his trucks again briefly; the mom gasped and said "There! You see!  He just did it again! It's disgusting!" 

    So I stifled a sigh, waved him away and then spent the next 5 minutes discussing the horrible elastic mesh inside men's swimsuits, the bad interior cut if our employer issued trunks and his complete disinterest in girls at all, let alone under-age ones. (And I later had a conversation with the guard about being a little more discreet)


  23. On 6/24/2022 at 10:33 AM, yknot said:

    The responsibility belongs with BSA. It will have to figure out a way to provide supervision. Perhaps if it restructures to operate in a more business like, effective way instead of the dysfunctional scout way it has adopted, it will streamline some of its convoluted and archaic structures and processes in a way that will make it more economical and functional to run. 

    You made a shiver run down my spine.


    "Oversight", NOT "Supervision".  I've never had someone else installing supervision work out well.  If our council started trying to actually supervise troop activities, I'm sure it would result in constant arguments as the different "supervisors" all had somewhat different interpretations (including a fair number of straight up errors) of what the BSA's vaguer guidelines mean.

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