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Buggie

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Buggie last won the day on April 6

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About Buggie

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    Senior Member

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    South Central US
  • Occupation
    Programmer
  • Interests
    Hiking, computers, and camping without traditional tents.
  • Biography
    Scout dad who finally has time to join a troop.

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  1. One of the main reasons for not being allowed to help in the southern part of OKC tornado zones was the risk of hazardous chemicals within the tornado struck neighborhoods. My son's troop and church youth groups also attempted to volunteer, but were turned away for this reason. Imagine all the chemicals that folks keep under the sinks, in washrooms, garages etc. There's a danger that the disturbing of any rubble etc can cause damage containers to leak and mix creating toxic clouds. Not to mention the chemicals themselves. This is on top of the already dangerous environment of nails, broken glass, shards of whatever etc. Helping the groups outside the area were good, but there were so many adults already volunteering they were selected over the non-adults for their maturity alone. Whether they were actually mature is not the point. 😄 I remember back in the Moore Tornado of 1999 how teenagers were allowed to come in and assist in various ways, but I imagine lessons were learned there and in other tornado recovery sites that made these changes.
  2. Some of the issues in my kid's school district is either they don't have network connectivity, or they don't have enough computers to share between the kids at home plus the parents currently having to work from home, if they have that luxury. My daughter's district took the stance of whatever work you can do, can only improve your grade. If any work can not improve it, it is not considered. Those unable to do school work, who can't do it all, or do poorly at it because they aren't used to doing external classroom work, are not going to be penalized for the situation.
  3. Boy Scout makes Ear Guards for Medical Workers After his local hospital asked people to help out medics with the pain they endure from wearing protective masks all day, Canadian boy scout couldn’t just stand by Go Canada!
  4. Even though all the schools here are on temporary (we're all sure it will permanent soon) shutdown, the district I'm most acquainted with has restricted access to the school buildings to approved by the superintendent only. To help with them not having to keep disinfecting areas that have already been cleaned. No teachers or administrators can go in without approval. I can imagine other school districts doing the same, limiting entry to keep from costly re-cleaning procedures already taken. However the buildings have opened up limited use to the kitchens to allow feeding kids in curbside pickup. It is truly unique times we're living in.
  5. Definitely visit more than one troop. There are different flavors based upon the mix of scouts and scouters. Some can be as different as night and day, but generally most have different focuses of activities that their scouts like to do. Nice to call ahead if you can get a contact number from the council/district site to see if that night is a good night to go. Very important these days with everyone practicing social distancing. Oh, and if they are going camping, ask if you can attend. Nothing better than seeing a troop in action in the field. And a great way to get to know the adults as they stay out of the way.
  6. Our boards are convened at the CO of one of the units because that's where the Scouter who usually conducts them has access. They are in a common meeting room with a nice broad table. It's meant to be relaxed and semi-formal. A mini-celebration as well as a careful review. Post review, Eagle candidates come out into the hall, nervous beyond belief generally. Sometimes they wander to the door of the gym where the local troop is having their meeting. Most often everyone knows each other between scouts and scouters. Those of us who encounter the candidates in the hall provide a nice relaxing chit chat about things.
  7. Our troop was planning on having their normal meetings, but were reminded of the CDC recommendations and have since decided it was best to not meet. I haven't heard anything from the CO (a neighboring UMC) about their facilities and their concerns, but I know our local Methodist church is planning to announce a two week hiatus at minimum.
  8. You should clarify that all adults attending summer camp must take Youth Protection Training. I leave it up to you to state whatever policies you feel you need to state, but I would definitely state that if you can not supply proof that you've taken the training, you will not be allowed to attend summer camp. I also recommend it even if they aren't going to attend, because the more you know the better things can be. Also agreed with earlier comments you can cut out some aspects. I do like that you are stressing that this is the time for a scout to grow and it is easiest to grow without someone jumping in to solve their issues. And another earlier comment about meeting with the SM ahead of time to help sooth parent's nerves. The kids normally do great all week. Maybe have a problem here or there, but generally good. Parents though have problems because they miss their kiddo. Very common. I recommend setting up a parents night and even a support group to help new parents feel validated in their concerns and how things are going for them. Share pictures of their scout having a blast during the week. State your rules about parent contact, and how it can cause a scout to get homesick if the parent calls because it can suddenly remind the scout that they don't have their parent there. But that can be best done in a meeting with the parents. Keep written notices brief as possible.
  9. Not what you're looking for, but I picked up a full size yoga mat with one of those straps you can carry it with. I recognize this isn't the greatest of sleeping pads, but I liked the carrying strap for it. It's fairly comfortable. I've not had a chance to camp with it yet, but already I get very tired when I'm on it. 😀 But seriously, it's not a terrible cheap one and I'm going to get a double use out of it.
  10. I've always suggested to scouts/parents that they photocopy or scan their scout handbook whenever things are checked off etc. Simply because those blasted things fall apart so easily. And you never know when something happens and everything is suddenly ruined. Far easier to have your copy than to trust it has been kept up electronically by the troop. Learned these lessons the hard way.
  11. My pedantic mind always goes into logic mode. Sure, the MBC isn't registered at council this year. The cards are all dated last year by the MBC Signature. Was the MBC listed in the BSA last year and during that time period, were they registered as MBC for those badges. If they weren't, the whole set of blue cards aren't valid. Which is a tough thing to tell the Scout. If they were, you can't retest. All you can do is advise that this will be noticed again and could be questioned. You have to accept the cards as valid (with the exception of the one card with the subject line crossed off).
  12. @Eagledad At what point would you report? We all have that line we find ourselves having crossed where we realize we have to do something.
  13. Then they report it. I'd get investigated. Maybe my time in scouts comes to an end. I get what you and others are saying. A rash report could jeopardize and ruin someone's life and reputation. I'm not calling for rash reports. And yes, I fully admit that one can get into difficult decisions about this. It isn't easy. The grey areas are where the predators love to roam. And like you have acknowledged, a non-report could do far, far worse if abuse is going on. But again, look at what the training tells us to do. It says not to determine if there's something going on by ourselves or with our fellow local scouters. Report it to national. Plain and simple. If you witness something happen that is in violation of YPT, report it. In YPT what we're taught about is grooming. It isn't only used upon a youth. It is used on adults as well. It's a slow build up of trust to increase the predators alone time with their target and to make it easier for them to get with that child, in or outside of official scouting events. Even to make adults doubt a child if they do report it. Also to make other adults doubt an adult who reports something may be going on. Grooming is to make other adults trust the sexual predator and think of them as an okay or good person. Grooming seeks to make us support the predator because we find them credible. And to believe them when they say they haven't done anything wrong. And it's easy to fall into it. We are all subject to someone manipulating us. An experienced predator could be skilled in getting our trust. To make us see them as a good person. To make their actions seem honest and above reproach. Reading the reports on how sexual abuse starts, it commonly begins with an adult getting the trust of the youth and the probably the youth's parents. For scouting, it's about getting the trust of the adults in scouting as well. The predator counts on it to be innocent looking. For example, the scout needs a ride to/from scouting. Parents say it is okay. What's the harm? The harm is that this is how grooming starts. Nothing will likely occur in the beginning of these situations because the predator is building trust. Yet they have violated YPT by being alone with the scout that isn't their kid in a one-on-one situation. Grooming in this case is about gaining that trust from the adults. In the real life situation I talked about in the earlier post? I was making sure no one-on-one occurred. I'm still not comfortable with it, because I know how easy it could be for that adult to have their kid unable to make scouts for a night or an event, and suddenly they are now in a one-on-one situation at some point in driving the other scouts to/from scouting. And while I don't believe this scouter is doing anything bad, how could I possibly know? That's what grooming does. It makes us believe the scouter couldn't be doing anything wrong, even when they are willingly breaking YPT. That's what reporting is supposed to get around. We are compromised when it comes to judgement because we can buy into the grooming. We won't report this good person because obviously they were giving the kid a ride to and from scouts. That's all they are doing. And we can believe that nothing happened. And probably nothing did happen. But will that always be the case? That's what grooming is all about. Building that trust. For most folks, hey, we're helpful. We have good intentions of helping our scouts and we want them to succeed. In our endeavor to do good for our scouts, we can put ourselves in situations that can look like grooming. A predator is looking for ways to build and bank that trust and get into those situations that they can take advantage of. That's why I say, ever vigilant. That's why the rules of YPT are so important to be followed at all times. Specifically, no one-on-one with a scout that isn't your kid. So for me, what separates a rash report from a legitimate report? Intention of YPT violation. If you purposefully are getting into a one-on-one situation like driving a scout, even with permission of the parents. That's means you are purposefully violating youth protection training. If you are purposefully walking off with a scout alone to go look at something cool, yup, violation. Is there always a clear cut way of designating this? Nope. Never will be. I'm looking for clear violations. I'm also looking out for my fellow scouters as I know and hope they are for me. I am also taking note if there's that one person, who seems to be getting into the pickle more often than not. Ever vigilant. May sound paranoid, but frankly, I don't give a damn how it sounds or looks. My scouts are worth it.
  14. I know it will seem harsh, but YPT dictates a report to national. You took the training. You should be doing the same thing. I'd also report to SM, CC, and COR unless one of them was the one I was reporting. It might end my involvement in scouting because I reported someone that people in charge like, but I've read too many articles, some mentioned here in this forum, where the situation is pushed off because the scouter would never and they are good folk etc. Only to find out later that they aren't as good as everyone thinks. In a lot of those stories, they talk to the guy, it's explained off, national never knows, and the abuse might take a slight vacation, then start back up with care not to tip anyone off again. Frankly, I'd rather save a kid from potential abuse than worry how it affects me or feel sorry because some scouter was stupid enough to forget YPT in a way that has to be reported. I've seen this before. I've had my own kid get targeted by the husband of a minister at church. (He got arrested by the FBI a year later for trying to hook up with teenagers nearby.) Post incidence and with this training, it is completely obvious what the guy was doing. This is not a "gee, don't do this again" situation when you're dealing with the life of a kid. Once I became aware, I swore I will never hesitate to report. Too many articles mention how "gee, don't do this again" results in the wrong thing. I'd also hate to be that scouter who had the chance to stop something, but didn't. I'm vocal about this with my troop. I've been vocal about this on this forum. The danger is far too real and too devastating for it to be treated without the proper response. And before anyone starts crying, "but it was just a slip up!" There are slip ups. When you have a scout follow you and put you in a 1-on-1 situation. When you turn around and realize you are alone with a scout. That's when you step away immediately. You can excuse yourself saying you have to go some place like the restroom or something. Haul your behind out of that situation. There isn't a slip up if you're taking a scout home with only the two of you in the car. You have to have good enough sense to think ahead. Your fellow scouters should have good enough sense to support you in looking ahead. If not, I'm reporting and let National sort it out. It's too dangerous to leave the scout alone! Then get a good chunk of distance. I follow a scout from at a distance if we are in a 1 on 1. I make sure they are safe. If I need to, I'll grab an adult on the way. Amazing how other troop's and scouters will lend a hand when they know it's about YPT. Heck, I've slipped up where at summer camp, I'm dropping scouts off returning from a field trip. I dropped too many off at once. Suddenly realized I was in a one on one. "Sorry scout, you're going to have to get off here." Been in the trailer, turned around, urchin at the elbow. "Let's get out of the trailer." And then thankful that the SM showed up at that moment because he saw the scout walk in and knew I was in there. I've provided the wingman support for other scouters. We do have situations like this all the time. Scouts don't think about this, even if we tell them about it. They trust us. They trust us to protect them. To keep them from harm. Don't be that scouter who lets them down.
  15. I would say "yes" because we still have issues with folk who have passed YPT and do it. Also folks who pass YPT and don't follow the process of vigilance and reporting, because <name> is such a good person, they couldn't possibly be doing that. the other day I exercised my YPT muscles by verifying a scouter who took other scouts home was following YPT in the process. (he was thankfully) and I would not have hesitated to report him if he wasn't. He might be a great guy and making a simple error, but these scouts depend on us to defend them. There's no way I can judge if he's innocently forgetting an element of YPT or doing something more diabolical. How many times do we read those news articles where the good scouter was just helping out a scout, only to find it was all part of grooming and ultimately, worse. Requiring us all to take YPT covers the legal point of you acknowledge that you took training that told you that it was wrong. It also reminds you that you have to be on the watch at all times. There are definitely elements of the old training I liked. But there are elements of this new training I really feel are important.
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