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BSA Rules for Adults

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Does anyone know if there is a specific rule for Adult participation in a Pack and/or Den activity if their child is not present at the event? I have seen where many Pinewood Derby rules state that the scout must be present to race but is that up to individual Packs?


Ex. Pack goes on an overnight campout, child is not there but the adult is there and is not a leader or any other role in the Pack.


Thanks for your help. We are working on some guidelines for the Pack next year and this situation has come up several times.

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No BSA rule for or against parent (non-leader) participation when child not present, that is left to the unit.


It can get complicated.

Overnighter without child present - I would say NO (common sense?)

Pack Meeting without child present - I would say OK, probably there to talk to adults.


I am seeing more local youth groups restricting parents from outings even with their children in attendance. How dare they? The reason is rule consistency and to protect the other children. Specifically, why should any parent member be automatically allowed to attend an outing while the teacher, coach, or youth group leader is required to have a criminal background check, etc. Don't want to follow the rule, then you and your child need not attend. And so it goes.




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I was CC for a year after EagleSon moved up from Cub to Boy Scouting.


I know lots of Packs, Troops, and Crews where a non-parent is part of the leadership.


Scouter membership, YPT, 2-deep, no 1-1 contact, appropriately trained for his position? NO PROBLEM.



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If the parent is a registered leader, i.e. DL, ADL, CM, etc. then there should be no problem. Heck I know of one adult who signed him and his son up for a fun event, and OA conclave, at the end of the month. Son got a progress report from school and dad said if he doesn't see improvement within the next 3 weeks, son aint going to conclave.


Also as has been posted elsewhere, you don't have to have a child in scouting to be a leader. That's my case. I've been in for 27 years now, from CS to eagle Scout, tobeing on the district committee, adn my oldest won't be a CS until June 1.


Now if it's an unregistered parent, that would raise my alarm, bells. I know YPT is online now, but do they still have the video available? If so I would have ALL parents watch it,just so they know the rules.

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As a parent, I wouldn't want an adult who isn't a registered leader and no child in the unit just coming to hang around. If the adult has some part in the program or another reason (e.g. member of the CO or local official who has a legitimate interest in the unit) to be there, no problem.

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Back to the part of your original question about the Pinewood Derby. Our rule this year was that if the scout was not able to attend, they could give their car to their den leader and the den leader would check it in and race it on their behalf. I think we would have been ok too if a parent brought the car without the scout attending (maybe the boy was sick, our race was in mid-January).


The pinewood derby and pack meetings are definitely different than camping. It is suppose to be family camping. An adult their without their scout doesn't really fit "family camping".

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Might I suggest a solution to the issue...


1) I would not want to discourage adult "helpers" - we have a hard enough time getting the volunteers we need.


2) We need to be diligent in providing oversight and protecting the youth.


3) Many units - probably more Troops than Packs, have adult leaders and volunteers that stick around after their scout has aged-out and help run the unit. Some do this in an offical capacity, others in an ad hoc capacity.


What we have done in our pack...


1) Encourage every adult that wants to help to register as a committee member w/ the unit. This requires them to fill out the adult application and submit to the background check.


2) Once registered, even as just a committee member, they are then asked to do the YPG online training.


This means we have a background check and YPG training for hte majority of the adults in the pack.


Cost per year to register the adult w/ BSA as a committee member is just $10, I think, so a small investment for the safety of the scouts.


Anyone that wants to volunteer (without their scout present) should have no problem filing out an application and spending 30 minutes doing online YPG. You can haggle with them over who pays for the $10 registration - either them or the unit.


If an adult is not willing to submit to those conditions, then I'd politely refuse them the opportunity to participate in unit activities without their enrolled scout present.


You could easily write such a policy into your unit bylaws, then everyone either plays by the rules, or can't play in your sandbox.(This message has been edited by DeanRx)

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Ok this post has been bugging me all day. Question for TDK101, is the adult registered with the BSA? If yes then follow YP if it is still bugging you. If they are not registered, and you gut tells you to watch out, talk to the CC and make your concerns known.


I guess I am a little sensitive on this topic. While working at a British scout camp, we did have an issue with a non-registered adult helping a CS pack out. We were fortunate in that we had an off duty constable on the service team that week that dealt with the problem very quickly, but still scouts got hurt.

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"Does anyone know if there is a specific rule for Adult participation in a Pack and/or Den activity if their child is not present at the event? "


The BSA does not have any specific rule.


" We are working on some guidelines for the Pack next year and this situation has come up several times."


I'm not a great fan of these sort of guidelines.

Most times they are poorly written and again most times are not worth the paper they are written on.

If the reason for doing this is just because there is a need to keep one person away?

It's not worth the effort. - Far better to just tell that person that they are not welcome and are not invited.


We do as others have posted have the youth protection guidelines and many CO's have things in place which only allow people that have met what they require (FBI and State Checks and or training's offered by the organization)


I find it a little hard to believe that anyone with no connection to a unit would just pop-up or choose to attend an event without some sort of invitation?

If this happened at an event or meeting I was in charge of, I really would have no problem asking them why they were there? If there wasn't a good reason? I'd just ask them to leave! (Unit and BSA guidelines don't mean anything to people who are not members of the unit.)

I can think of reasons why a person who isn't an active parent of a child in the unit or a registered leader might be invited.

I'm thinking of people with maybe a special skill or who has been asked to do a specific job.

A poorly worded rule might end up excluding these people, which might not be a good thing and allowing them to attend makes the rule worthless.


If I was tasked with having to write a guideline that deals with this. I'd look at something very simple along the lines of "Only people invited by the event organizer may attend Pack events."

I would not use the word parent as even the BSA has a hard time defining this. (Kids don't always live with parents, single parents might opt to send an uncle or aunt along with the child. The list of who might be sent with a child is almost endless.)

But really I don't need a rule or a guideline to tell anyone who isn't supposed to be with the unit or who hasn't been invited that they are not welcome and I fail to see what good a rule or a guideline would do?





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Some packs may lose a lot of help if they ban people who have no kids in the pack from coming. When my son and I were in the pack there was an older lady who came to every pack trip and cooked for the entire pack. She did have help from other adults but she was the one in charge. Most of the time she would not spend the night but would drive to the camp in the morning prepare breakfast lunch and dinner and then drive home. We could have handled the cooking but it would have required a lot more time away from our kids and the meals would not have been as good. This lady was battling cancer at this time as well and unfortunately she lost her battle the cub scouts camping menu took a hard hit. Did we survive? Yes but we were the poorer for not having her with us. If you are leader shy stop looking at just the parents. The longest serving and one of the best cubmasters in our district is an old life for life scout that has had a couple of grandsons come through the pack but his kid days were long ago.

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The discussion seems to have gotten a little cluttered. The example given by the OP was this:


"Pack goes on an overnight campout, child is not there but the adult is there and is not a leader or any other role in the Pack."


This is not a question about people who volunteer after their Cubs have aged out, or about people with no children who just want to help. This is about a parent who's there when his or her child is not, who is not a registered leader and does not hold any position in the pack.


Unless, as others have pointed out, that parent has a special skill - perhaps the mom is a chef who's agreed to do a cooking demo, or the dad is a handyman who's running a craft activity - but the Cub is sick or has another commitment and can't come, he or she should not be there, IMHO.


Especially with an overnight campout, the situation as described would raise my eyebrows. An adult can go camping by his or her lonesome any time, any place - you don't need a pack trip as an outlet for your outdoors experiences.


Cub camping is family camping. If you don't have another member of your family present, what are you doing there?

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Life isn't this hard!!

If HWMBO who is no longer a member of the BSA arrived out of the blue without an invitation to an event /camp out, I feel sure that someone would ask "What are you doing here?"

If she had no good reason for being there? I kinda think anyone in their right mind would send her packing!


As we are seeing from what has been posted the list of people who are not involved as parents or unit leaders could go on and on.Making a guideline really hard to write.


We don't need these guidelines common sense will do a much better job.




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