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Need Clarification on Webelos Overnight Camping

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My Internet service is down for a day and you start talking about me like I'm not here....

 

"In most cases each youth member will be under the supervision of a parent or guardian. In all cases, each youth participant is responisble to a specific adult." This sentence appears at least twice in the G2SS. If you like we can differentiate between "parent or guardian" to mean legal guardiand and "specific adult" to mean "small-G guardian for the campout." It is clear to me that either is acceptable.

 

On the other hand, it is also clear that "When staying in tents, no youth will stay in the tent of an adult other than his parent or guardian." means just that. Sorry grandpa and Uncle Bill, you need two tents.

 

Yet I think some family situations dictate we apply common sense and accept the judgement of the parents. If a "stepdad" shows up to go camping with his "stepson" are we really supposed to ask if he has legally adopted the child? It is probably more to the point that we are never going to know all nuances and permutations of the various family relationships. Frankly they're not necessarily our business.

 

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"Frankly they're not necessarily our business."

 

That would depend on your leaewrship role in the event and your willingness to risk your assets in a lawsuit.

 

As the event leader, it absolutely is your business and your responsibility to see that the policies of the BSA are observed. Failure to do so in the case of YP could easily expose you to criminal and civil litigation. Also since you ignored the G2SS you would forfiet the protection of the BSA liability protection. That measns you hire your own lawyer at your own expense pay your own court fees take the full load of financial burden should you be found liable.

 

Following the rules is a choice. We train youth to make good ones, we hope the leaders will as well.

 

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That may be, but I will make sure that I hire a lawyer who understands the concept of reasonableness.

 

True story: we had a Webelos last year who lived with his mom and stepdad. I don't know that I ever saw the stepfather. The mom was active, helping on the pack committee and attending several campouts. Last fall we were camping at the council camp which is about two hours from here. The mom says that the boy's dad, who lives about 45 minutes the other side of the camp, wants to go camp with the Scout. The mom made arrangement with the den leader for the boy to ride to camp where the dad met us. The dad was there waiting when we arrived. Nice guy. Fit right in with the rest of us.

 

Sunday morning, as we are loading up, I took the time to tell the dad what a great kid his son is and how much we enjoyed having him in the pack. The dad thanks me but almost in passing says that the boy isn't really his son. The "dad" lived with the mother from the time the boy was three months old until a year or two ago. He said the boy never met his real dad and considers him his father.

 

At what point should I have asked for a copy of the boy's birth certificate? I've got applications here for 37 brand new Scouts. Every one of them list only one parent. Unless I've just happend to meet them, I don't necesssarily even know the name of the other parent, much less their legal and/or biological connection to the Scout. For that matter, how do I know that the parent on the application is really the parent? What if they've just "always consider themself the father"?

 

At some point we have to trust the parents.

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Doesn't your permission form require the signature of the parent or legal guardian? Aren't the families instructed ahead of time of the policies requiring the adult in the tent to be a parent or legal guardian?

 

Trust God, make everyone else accountable.

 

BW

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The G2SS states parent or guardian. Since the BSA doesn't define either, they are open to interpretation. A parent can be the boys birth mom or dad, their adopted mom or dad, their step mom or dad, etc. A guardian can be an aunt, uncle, grandparent, brother/sister 18 years of age or older, a court appointed guardian, etc.

 

The BSA doesn't require us to ask for proof these people are who they say they.

 

Legal guardianships doesn't automatically equal family member. And the G2SS doesn't use "legal" with "guardian". And the on-line youth protection training uses the same verbiage as the G2SS.

 

Our main concern should be the safety of the youth in our charge.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Actually our form just says "parent." But I notice that the signature line on the new form in the G2SS says mother/father/guardian -- it doesn't specify legal guardian either. Admittedly, common sense tells me that in the case of a legal waiver it's looking for a legal guardian.

 

But in this day and age with families being what they are, how far do I have to go in determining the precise custody arrangements for a Scout? If a man known to us as the boy's "father" shows up to go camping do I really need to ask for birth certificates, guardianship papers or adoption records? In the above instance the mother signed the permission slip in advance of the campout and told us that the boy's "father" would be attending. What cause did I have to question that? Who here would think to ask, "Well is it his real, legal father or just some guy you used to shack up with."

 

God as my witness, the need to ask these kind of questions was never mentioned in training.

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So let me see if I understand. You feel that allowing anyone who says they are the parent (even if they aren't) or the guardian (and by your definition that could be any adult who is there with the scout) to sleep in the same tent alone with the scout, and you see this as "being concerned for the safety of the youth in your charge".

 

WOW!

 

 

 

 

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So let me see if I understand. You feel that allowing anyone who says they are the parent (even if they aren't) or the guardian (and by your definition that could be any adult who is there with the scout) to sleep in the same tent alone with the scout, and you see this as "being concerned for the safety of the youth in your charge".

WOW!

 

No you don't understand. The point I am trying to make is it isn't as black & white as you think it is. And without the BSA defining parent & guardian, it is left open to interpretation.

 

If don't know the person, ask! Use common sense!

 

Our main concern should be the safety of the youth in our charge.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10(This message has been edited by evmori)

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2CD - Crazy situation you had there. I believe you did exactly what you should do. The mother tells you it's the dad, she signs permission slips for you to go. You did your job. Now, if this unknown man had shown up and said "I'm the dad", then it would be different.

 

I believe I would sit down with the mom after the fact and explain the rules. This man should not have shared a tent with her son.

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Take Youth Protection or New Leader Essential Training and tell me that they do not instruct you that it must be a parent or legal guardian. This is truly frightening, and it explains a lot.

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I'm not arguing what the policy is, Bob, simply asking what BSA requires of me to take to ensure that the person who brings a child to a campout is in fact a biological parent or has legal custody of they child. What would you consider sufficient proof? What documentation does your troop require? For that matter, what proof have you provided the troop that you are the legal parent or guardian of your own son?

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Have taken AND taught YP, Bob. The verbiage is the same as the G2SS "parent or guardian".

 

Haven't taken New Leader Essentials so I can't comment on it.

 

Common sense prevails here. If you aren't sure, ask!

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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While I don't agree with Ed, I think BSA should make it clear in the Guide that "guardian" means "legal guardian." I can't think of any reason not to do so, and the very fact we're having this conversation proves they should. As for Twocubdad's scenario, I can't imagine that anybody would have acted differently. You had the mom's signature on the permission slip, and her statement that the man in question was the boy's father. Heck, for all I know all the p

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As A reminder I do not have a troop. I serve my son's troop. I was in my troop 30 years ago.

 

In my son's troop adults NEVER tent with youth EVER.

 

As a Cub Master, when we camped all the parents knew the rules, we were specific and detailed. If you were not legally responsible for that boy you were not to be in a tent or alone with him while scouting.

 

We made no exceptions. No nutty excuses from adults in or out of scouting.

 

 

 

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Been watching the presidential debates, Bob? They are wearing off on you. So I'll rephrase the questions:

 

What does BSA consider sufficient proof of parenthood or legal guardianship? What documentation does the troop you serve require? For that matter, what proof have you provided your son's troop that you are the legal parent or guardian of your own son?

 

 

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