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Another good reason to get training!

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Here is an excellent reason to go to training besides the fact that the scouts deserve a leader that knows and uses the scouting program.


I am going to keep the circumstances very vague in order to save the families involved further anguish, so please don't ask for details.


A civil case against a local Den Leader who had a Cub Scout die during a Den activity has come to an end after more than a year. The accident that killed the scout was not related to the den activity although it happened during the activity. The cub's family filed a civil suit saying that the leader was negligent and contributed to the death of their son. Since the leader had followed the Guide to Safe Scouting, the BSA assisted in her legal defense as was prepared to pay any judgements against her.


The judge however found in the Den Leaders favor. What made the difference? She had gone through Den Leader basic training and Youth Protection and had followed the program and it's policies. The judge determined that by being trained and operating the program as she was trained to do showed that she had taken every reasonable precaution to insure the safety of the scouts.


Training made the difference. As I said the accident was completely out of the control of the Den Leader. However had she not known and followed the program the judgement could have gone against her and it could have been severe.


As volunteers we have a responsibility to protect our own families, as well as the families we serve, from catastrophic loss. training and folowing the scouting program can help protect both groups.


Food for thought,

Bob White

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I am reminded of an incident about ten years ago in Southern California where a scout was lost on Mt. San Georgonio (over 11,000 feet high). I don't think any lawsuits were filed, or least none were reported. The reports also were silent on whether or not the adults had been trained.


Two dads wanted to take a patrol of new scouts up the mountain. The plan was to go up a certain distance, camp overnight, and take a day hike to the crest. This is not a technical climb.


The following violations of scout policy and common sense occurred:


One dad decided not to go for reasons that I do not recall. Therefore only one adult went on the outing.


No tour permit was obtained.


During the hike up to the crest on the second day, a scout became ill. From the descriptions in the press it was probably altitude sickness. Rather than turn around then, the group left the scout behind and continued the trek with the intention of picking up the scout on the way back down. The scout was never seen alive again and no remains were ever found.


Quite a story isn't it.

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That story makes you realize why we have to go to training sessions that for many of us seem like celebrations of the common-sense obvious. Sheesh. How many stupid things can one adult teach a couple of kids at one time?


As a GS leader I had a trail riding accident occur with my troop. I had done my level best to follow all guidelines, but the horses had their own ideas. A snake spooked them and it was off to the races with inexperienced riders aboard. Four fell, one was hurt badly enough for an ambulance ride.


Boy, was I glad that I'd exceeded Safety-Wise standards for adult leadership that day, (needed 2, had 3) and filed my plan with my SUD - the equivalent to a BSA tour permit, and had my health history forms on me with authorization-to-treat for all the girls, and had the emergency phone numbers for all the girl's moms in my belt pack, and had the Council emergency number on me, oh, and had my cell phone so I could do something with all that information.


Next time you think the scout paperwork's excessive, picture having one of your troop vehicles blow a tire and roll in the ditch on the way to camp, Now think of yourself standing on the side of the highway trying to remember who's in that car, what medications he's on or what health conditions he has, the phone numbers for the parents, who at the council office you have to notify....



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On many occassions I've been accused of being "anal". On the Pack level I prepare a book for each of my leaders which has the following information: Scout information sheet which has the Scouts info including birthdate, parents info and emergency contact information (and a lot of other stuf), copy of the Scouts Class I medical form, copy of the parents motor vehicle information (makes the tour permits easier). Myself, the Committee Chair and Ass. Cubmaster have a book with information on all of the Scouts. The Den leaders have a book with information on the Scouts in their Dens. Hopefully this information will never be used but I'd rather be safe than sorry.


After reading SagerScouts post I'm going to put a telephone list in the books also with all the appropriate phone numbers. (Thanks SagerScout)

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This past summer the troop had a horrible accident occur during the annual yard sale. Luckily no boys were injured. Also, luckily every boy could remember the phone number to where their parents were (home and work). We knew this was hitting the news immediately and wanted the families to know we were okay. We didn't even know how many boys were there at the time it happened! For a short time we were afraid we were missing someone.


What if one had been seriously injured? We had no contact information, no medical history, nothing. Most of the parents were there, but some were not.


It has made me more aware of the need to have that information. Even if the parents are there, I think it is helpful to have it handy. Doesn't take long to fill out the form.


I like SagerScout's idea and ScouterPaul's idea. As I was reading the G2SS the other night and came across the part about contacting the council if a boy was seriously injured or dead, I realized I have NEVER been told who to contact. I am finding that out and adding it to my safety book.


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The other scout organization teaches this:


At the first of the year, get Health History Forms on all scouts (includes dr. and medication info). Make copies, and make folders that have everyone's in it in alpha order. Don't forget the adults. Use folders with both brads and pockets. Paste the council emergency guide in front of each folder. The council supplemental insurance policy info goes in the back, with a claim form. There's a wallet card with the high points listed too.


Each trip, each driver gets one, with sticky note tabs on the forms for the girls she has in her car that day. Those girls permission slips for that outing - which have TODAY'S contact phone number on them - go in the pocket. Troop leaders keep rosters with ID of who is in which car.


The Troop Emergency Contact back home has the outing roster (not the TROOP roster, only those who actually go on the outing) and everyone's "today" emergency phone numbers. Outings are not authorized without a TEC agreeing to man his/her phone 24/7 until the troop is back. (cell phones have made this easier). The Service Unit Director is notified in writing of all outings.


This takes about 45 minutes of training time to explain, at the end of which every participant thinks that we are insane tree-haters. EVERY trip, even a museum visit, away from the meeting place requires this. It's a pain.


But the one time you need all that info and have it at your pinky-tips it starts making sense.


Imagine my shock when I went to 3 days of SM training and nothing remotely like this was explained at all.


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Bob White -


OK, not sure of the name of the course I took. I thought it was Scoutmaster Fundamentals, took a full day, plus another evening, followed by an overnighter.


Because of my experience in GS I was looking for that information (they make you neurotic about it, I'm telling you!) and I did not catch it.



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  • 1 month later...

These post are all worth their merit with good information and strong reason to get trained. How do I get leaders trained if they think they don't need it? Some have been in scouting a number of years...but that don't mean a thang...the way I see it. I really like these guys and they have a lot to contribute. I just can't make them see just how important training is. I surly don't want to have to go through something castastrofic to make a point. Any diplomatic lines to get this through?

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Tell your reluctant scouters to follow Barry Bonds' example. He goes to batting practice all the time. If any major league player could claim that he doesn't need batting practice it is Bonds, but he doesnt' do that does he?

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