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Here we go again....

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Time to go back and revisit YP training fotoscout.

What it says is 'If the abuse took place in the scouting arena you must inform the Scout Executive in the council where the abuse occurred AND the local authorities'.


'If the abuse took place outside of the scouting arena you need only inform the local authorities'.


It also says 'there are no secret meetings in scouting'.


Luckily the training is now available for you on line which will make brushing up more convenient.




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Sorry Bob, I left out he intricate details. I am quite sure however, that we were told that that the SE would make all the notifications, including local authorities.


As for out of council issues, yes, contact should be made with the SE of the council where the abuse occurred. The question surfaced about a scout who, at an out of council camp, revealed that he had been abused. Great debate ensued, and ultimately we were told to contact the Camp Director (regardless of time of day) and he would make all the notifications. Why, because he would have the proper contacts, or access to the proper contacts.


Now the secret society issue, if memory serves me right, it was directed at leaderless excursions where the boys might engage in some sort of indoctrination or hazing type activities, all of which is strictly forbidden.


You have repeated the phrase secret meetings often through this debate. If we do this job correctly, we simply cannot have secret meetings. You either have two deep leadership in a private meeting, OR, you have a one on one meeting in small corner of a larger occupied room. Nothing secret there. In either event, you can have a confidential meeting with the boy. In the first case, a little less confidential than the boy may want.

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I took it last year when it was first given to the masses. I can assure you that the procedure that I noted above is what was taught. Specifically the reasons given were that those individuals would have personal contacts with the authorities, and/or access our local SEs home phone number.


In addition, the instruction to contact the Camp Director is an attempt to get a professional to the boy as quickly as possible, since the boy has chosen this time to open up.


Its always possible that we got bad information.


Bob, I think that you an I have beaten this one to death

(This message has been edited by fotoscout)

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this is such an important topic that it deserves additional consideration.


"took it last year when it was first given to the masses."


Youth Protection training has been presented to adult scout leaders for over 15 years. This is nothing new.


And yes, if what you wrote is what was taught, then you were not trained correctly.


Check out the on-line course.


Bob White



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I was referring to our first session after it was made mandatory that a YP trained leader be present at every event. For us that meant about 150 leaders crammed into a school cafeteria during roundtable.


You can only imagine the debates as the tape was intermittently stopped for discussion purposes.


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Here is the direct quote from our Council Web Site.....



"While it is encouraged that EVERY scouter completes Youth Protection Training, it is MANDATORY that each unit has a YPT leader present on EVERY scouting event"


If you have your own version I'd like to see it.



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My YPT stuff says, "The Boy Scouts of America does not recognize any secret organization as part of its program. All aspects of the Scouting program are open to observation by parents and leaders." Not sure this has anything to do with personal secrets. Oops, I thought this was the "Confidentiality" thread, oh well.

Certain leaders and boys of our troop keep secrets from each other all the time, especially the new guys. Such as the correct way to draw the 'man-in-the-moon' or how to cross the sticks in those two popular campfire games. One patrol keeps their killer recipes secret from the others (and, alas, the leaders). Seems trivial but BW, your rigid view doesn't seem to allow much opportunity for case-by-case judgement.


Back to the real topic, though, dsteele, I'm curious as to how the funding breaks out in application. Where does it all go. Outside of the summer camp, our troop sees zip from the council. In some respects (again outside the camp) the council could go away and we would be just fine. Supplies are shipped to us, we send forms by mail, I have hardly any idea who all those people are in the council office at those infrequent times when I go there.


Oops, off the subject again, to follow up on the funding allocation, if UWay bugs out, which areas of the overall BSA program take the hit?

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"All units must have at least one adult with current youth protection training for any event requiring council approval (Local Tour Permit, Camp use applications, Long and short term camping, Unit Fundraising Projects)."

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Back to the topic...


Sounds like the United Way is breaking it's own non-discriminataion policy by openly discrimintaing against the BSA for not changing it's moral stance by bowing to the desires of the "Vocal Minority" on this issue.


Should the BSA be FORCED by ANY special interest group to change their policies, thereby giving special priveleges not normally afforded to all.


I'm no expert on this particular subject, or many others that face the kids of today, but if the United Way feels that we MUST know where to send these kids, why are they not concerned about where to send a scout with a pregnant girlfriend, an alcohol or drug problem, or anything else that could come up, that could be just as, equally overwhelming to them. There's only one reason. Someone else is putting pressure on the United Way.


How many social childhood problems should we have to find solutions for? Or, should we do what the BSA has told us and refer ALL of them to the parents?


Don't ask, and don't tell... Seems like the way to go, but if not, it is up to the parents. We can't be expected to know everything.



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Packsaddle, thank you for joining me in trying to bring this thread back to funding.


Don't worry, I'm not about to get out a soap box. You're not alone in not understanding where the money comes from. You're not alone in not seeing the need for a council, although that particular view is less frequent.


To quote, you said, in part, "Our troop sees zip from the council." You gave councils credit for camp, and you were right to do so. I forget how you phrased it, but it didn't come across as offensive to me.


As for the part about seeing zip from the council, let me take this opportunity to explain some of what is there, but isn't recognized by many to be the council in action. If I miss something, I hope others will jump to my aide.


Do you have a District Executive? Has he or she ever done anything for you. Have you ever gotten in a bind and had to have them deliver something to you at roundtable, a camporee, your own home? Has a member of the professional staff ever answered a question you asked whether by phone, email, personal contact, etc? Or answered any questions asked by any parent or leader in your unit? Who do you think reviews adult applications you sent in? Who enters the information into national's system? The DE and registrar in that order. Both are local council employees.


When forms are mailed to the council office such as advancement forms, tour permits, requests for certificates of insurance, requests for supplies, etc. Who handles them? The national office? No. The council office personnel. In some cases it is handled by multiple people.


In another thread which has somehow wound it's way into taking about child abuse, I see a whole lot of references to calling a professional and one even suggests waking the Scout Executive up at home in the middle of the night if necessary. And it is absolutely correct in that direction.


You probably see where this is going, but I need to toss in a couple of non-personnel ways your unit is served by the council that are not readily recognized.


Let's go to the council office itself. Every council has a large line item in the budget called occupancy. That includes lighting and heating and cooling for the buildings, snow removal and/or landscaping, etc. Do they have computers at the office, copiers, fax machines, telephones, and all those other things that cost money to provide the services expected?


Has anyone in your unit, including yourself, ever received anything in the mail from the council? I'm talking about newsletters, flyers for training, flyers for events, etc.? Look at the price of postage and multiply it by a lot. Also realize that someone printed that one the couuncil's dime. Even if it was written by a volunteer, for the most part (I know somethings are done outside the office by volunteers -- but that poses a different problem. It means that when people call the office no one has a clue what the person is talking about,) a professional reviewed it and approved it before it went out in the mail.


All of these things and many more are ways your unit (wherever in the world you are) are served by the council. They aren't readily visible, but they are services.


I'm going to give your eyes a little break and answer the second part of packsaddle's question -- If UW bugs out, which parts of the BSA overall program take the hit.



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Did you folks enjoy the grey bar? Good.


Packsaddle asked (paraphrased) If United Way bugs out, what areas of the overall BSA program take the hit?


No more Cub Scouts! Just kidding. This isn't the first time I've had this question in varying forms. I've had plenty of time to warm up and have seen some real life examples of the stuff I'm about to share.


However, I do have to warn you that losing a large amount of funding in a short period of time carries with it tough choices for council officers and Scout Executives.


I was being sacrastic when I said no more Cub Scouts! There isn't any clean cut answer to a budget shortfall. If there were, we could computerize it, tableify it and automatically put it in place. However, these have to be choices made by local authorities.


So let's begin the scenario . . . I'll even broaden it to more than United Way because there could be a lot of factors leading to a budget crisis . . .like a bad economy we're facing today, etc.


Let's say that you're in a council that just took a huge "hit" in income. You're going to go deeply into the red and won't be able to climb out of it if you continue to do business in the way you're used to. Realize that councils are made up of all people -- unit leaders, members, parents, chartered organizations, professionals, secretaries, camp staff, and on and on and on. You have lost income and need to cut expenses.


The number one answer is -- generate more income. Sell more popcorn, get more kids to camp, do another special event, meet and get a gift out of a new sugar daddy or mama, kill the guy someone who told you that the council is in the will :) -- something! The problem with this is that people feel the squeeze and grouse that all the council does is push raising money!


You can cut Learning for Life. Who needs that executive and the expenses that come with running that program? They should be able to find another job. Put Exploring under the District Executives (who know nothing about it for the most part) and know that it will wither and fade.


You can shorten the hours the office is open and save on occupancy and payroll. Instead of having the office open Monday thru Friday from 9:00 to 5:00, close on Tuesday and Friday. Tell the office staff they have to take mandatory time off, or eliminate their positions entirely. Got a district that hasn't met it's FOS goal in anyone's memory, doesn't sell popcorn, goes to another council's camp, or generally doesn't participate in council activities? Cut the district executive. He/she is either a deadbeat or the district feels they don't need one, so why give them one? If the DE isn't a deadbeat, help them find another job in another council. If you're lucky enough to have someone quit during your budget crisis, don't fill the position until you have the money. Who cares if the district is poorly served during that time? (that was sarcasm, I'm sorry.)


Sell the camp! That's one that's sure to raise a rucus. I think many of us have seen this solution, but sometimes it's the only financially responsible way to go.


Stop paying national. People are paying for local service and we have to bail ourselves out first. This, by the way, is definately what they call a career ender for Scout Executives. To the units it's no big deal until they have to pay cash for their badges and wait 30 days for them to come!


And there's always the final solution -- merge with a neighboring council, who will inherit your money problems. Hope that the new larger council is able to raise more money with lower expenses.


Where does the money to fund a council come from? FOS, Popcorn/ product sales, camping income, United Way, activity income, special events, and in some cases, investments and returns on endowment, wills and bequests, etc.


If any one of these areas takes a hit, and the council can't recover by increasing any of the above, it must make cuts or face obiliteration.


Where is the money spent? A lot on camp, it's also spent on salaries because our services are delivered through people. It's spent on mundane things like printing, postage, telephone, leasing costs for equipment, etc.


How can a unit help the council pay the costs to cover the expenses associated with it's often unrecognized services.


1. Have a unit FOS presentation and support it to your best ability.

2. Sell your council's products and not your own. I'm talking council popcorn and council wreaths. The last two councils I've served have done wreath sales and popcorn sales. Some units, in their own desire to build their treasuries have found that they can make more money contracting wreaths on their own than they can going through the council sale. This is because the council keeps a portion of the profit and they can eliminate the middle man. It's good financial planning, but usually means they don't understand the service the council is actually providing them.

3. Attend your own council's camping programs. When a unit goes to another council's summer camp, they are generating income and expense to the other council. However, what they don't realize is that for every council camp, there is a "break even" number. There are fixed costs to summer camp. There are required staff positions that are the same for 100 campers as they are for 2000. Those are some of the salaries I talked about in a previous thread. The more kids in camp, the cheaper you can feed them. Utility and phone bills will be the same regardless of the number of kids in camp. The bottom line -- going to another council's camp HURTS your council financially. It doesn't not help them. It hurts.

For example, the camp I am currently supervising really needs at least 400 Scouts to be financially viable. We're nearly 10% under that at this point. That means that I have to make sure we fall 10% under on expenses. We have about the same ugly options I outlined for councils. Our Business Manager (which was a hunk of camp salary last year) decided not to return. So the Camp Director will have to take on the load. Relieves budget, will hurt the camp director's effectiveness. However, the returning staff is returning at slightly higher salaries because of their experience, so it's a wash. I don't know if you remember, but there was an episode of Drew Carey where he had to cut the store's budget line-by-line by a little bit. That's what we're doing. I hope it can be enough.

4. Make sure your unit represents the Scouting program in your community proudly and in uniform. It's a whole lot easier for councils to get donations from local businesses when people see Scouts in uniform participating in Scouting for Food, parades and selling popcorn. Stories in the newspaper don't necessary do a whole lot. A Scout in eye-sight is a heart-warmer for the majority.


I hope your council never falls on hard times and has to face the choices I've outlined in the "cuts" section of this post.


By the way, I have seen in print, or have lived through all of the cuts I mentioned. None of them were pretty. Councils can climb out of financial hardships, but it takes everyone's help.


This year has been particularly tough for many councils. In fact all of the councils I'm in regular contact with this year.


Food for thought.


Ds(This message has been edited by dsteele)

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Good food for thought, dsteele.


I've been around Scouting for, well, let's just say a very long time... And, to use a rather ill-suited rhetorical phrase, perhaps we've gotten just a little too fat and happy in our reliance upon funding from middlemen charity like the United Way. And, given that the issues raised by the BSA stand on gays in Scouting (which I support, by the way), the problems with the United Way using what it deems to be its big stick with which to beat the BSA into submission will not disappear, ever. As long as there are those both in and out of the United Way who will seek to wield that stick, Scouting will have a funding problem. We can't beat that. And we're not about to change our ways. So, what to do?


Having no specific answers, I can only offer my thoughts that the BSA, all of us, may have to suck it up for the short term before United Way funding disappears altogether, which it will, and find other sources, or make them. This is very much akin to our country's problem with reliance on foriegn oil. We need to find sources of oil and other energies that will make us unreliant upon those things we can not control. Same thing here in Scouting. The program and the organization are far too valuable to change just to please those that would have us do that. They're also far too valuable too allow a wooden stake (named United Way funding) to be driven into the heart of the organization. We need to seek other resources.


As dsteele alluded to, getting there may hurt a bit...or a lot depending on how vigorously and enthusiastically we give our energies to finding solutions. But, as I believe that the US can find its way to being far less dependent on foriegn oil, I also believe that the BSA (you and I and the whole crowd and program) can find its way to being close to self-sufficient as compared to now.


The courts have agreed that we have the freedom of association. The other side also has the right to send their money elsewhere. Those that truly believe in the BSA can avoid the likes of the United Way and donate directly to the BSA. (I do that anyway. Always have, with each and every charity I support. No middlemen like the United Way necessary.) So, we need to start the hunt. Actually, we're late getting started, and the other side has a clear advantage at the moment.


So, I'll put the thinking cap on with others in our Council. You?

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Your post was very informative. Thanks. It generates a question, though.


You were pretty passionate about units attending their own council's summer camp. In theory, I agree 100%. Our Council's summer camp, however, is bad, bordering on horrendous. Although it has improved somewhat over the last few years, we hear, were it started from back a few years ago would make you sick.


First, there were not enough adult staff to monitor what the youth staff did. Most of the week, our adult leaders spent trying to keep the youth staff in line. The program areas were limited, poorly run, and run by staff that knew less about the subject than 2/3 of our Scouts. Meals (which were not optional, BTW {that means "by the way", BTW}) can best be described as unedible. Two of our boys complained of chunky milk. It was like this three straight years before we decided to look at other councils. And to top it all off, our council's summer camp is @ 15% more expensive than going out of council.


This has caused us to be in a quandry: We know that without the support of local units, the summer camp program will find it difficult to improve. We also feel strongly that we owe our Scouts the best summer camp experience they can have. How do we resolve this?


We very much would like to see our council's program improve. We've gotten Scouts to agree to serve on staff, although the council woldn't allow them to take a week off to attend summercamp with us. I guess I can't blame them for that, because we still weren't staying local. But because they refused, none of our Scouts would serve. None of our adults can take the required number of weeks off. We tried to offer to share jobs, but again, they wanted all or nothing.


Over the last years, we have seen, from asking others that do go, that the program has gone from a 1 on a scale from 1 - 10 to about a 3 1/2. What we get now going out of council is an 8 or 9. Every year, we ask the Annual Planning Committee to consider staying locally. To a boy, they refuse. Years ago, there were people in youth leadership positions that had the chunky milk. Now, the people who make these decisions remember the stories. In a few more years, maybe that memory will fade. But until then, the boys say no, and we think we have a valid reason for not overridding their decision.


Any suggestions?



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