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Should it be made mandatory for each unit to show the video on a regular, say annual, basis? I don't think it would be a bad idea. I also think the video should be shown to the parents first so they can excuse their child if they wish. I also don't think it's going to become mandatory. And how about this: Mandatory YP training (the adult course) for all parents? Not going to happen either, but something to think about.)


YP is very important. But I don't feel it is our or the BSA's job to tell boys about the birds and the bees. That is the parents job. Showing the video is more of a CYA maneuver than anything else.

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BSA certainly encourages showing the video annually. Our troop used to do it, giving parents a chance to watch it in advance and have an option to have their son not see it. The main problem was that the kids who haven't seen it are all the new, youngest Scouts, who are still relatively sheltered and sometimes overly protected. Still, most parents let their kids watch it. I wasn't a big fan of showing it, though. Having kids watch it every year really seemed like overkill.


BSA recommends that all youth attending the jamboree be required to view the video A Time To Tell.


I think BSA is doing as much as it can to encourage the video, but I don't think it's going to be mandatory. Too many hissy fits, I agree, although we did not experience anything like that when we showed it. I'm sure it has a lot to do with various sociological factors.

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I don't think the YP video "A Time to Tell" has really that much to do with the "birds and the bees."


It mainly reinforces the 3 R's using some scenarios that kids could realistically find themselves in.


Annually, it would probably be overkill. Maybe every two or three years. And I do agree it is not a great subject to bring up, but it's a resource that could help save a kid from the hell of sexual abuse.


I feel especially concerned about the young men who come to scouting with no father in the home. I don't know if it's statistically true or not, but I think those are the ones who could be very likely targets for a predator. I know that when we have done the video in the past, some of the single mothers I spoke with afterwords were thankful that we spoke to this subject because it was something they felt their sons definately needed to know but they weren't sure quite how to cover it.(This message has been edited by WAKWIB)

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It's not about "the birds and the bees", Ed. It's about making sure the Scouts know what they need to know to recognize that there is a particular kind of problem and to deal with it.


WAKWIB, I agree that once every 2 or 3 years would be sufficient. But, regardless of the frequency, "ever" would be a good start for most units, including mine.

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We recently had a Scoutmaster in our council arrested too. It sparked a lot of interest in the topic and have had more units showing the youth videos.


In our troop we do show the video every year. The questions the boys ask change, and as they age we will add the video for the older boys as well, which we will show only to them. We invite the parents and get a lot of good feedback about the presentation.


Some people choose not to participate - that's O.K., but out of 29 youth 25 or so attended this fall when we did the presentation.




Other topic - I am not sure that the BSA's ban on homosexuals in our program really has anything to do with Youth Protection. It has to do with the fact that some of our major chartering organizations feel that being homosexual is wrong, and that a homosexual __as a leader__ cannot set an example of being morally straight.


There is currently a hoo-haw in (I think) Connecticut about couple of women who volunteered to lead in their son's Cub Scout pack, but felt they had to tell the DE that they were a couple. He declined their applications. It can't be that there was a YP issue - since we don't have little girls to worry about.

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I imagine that the council, where the recent incident that started this thread occurred, will see an increased interest in YP training for the youth. Much like infoscouter posted about his council. The youth are the ones who need the more intensive and direct training in my opinion. We want them to be able to clearly see what it is they are called upon to recognize, resist, and report. What leads one to think that it is "pointless" to show it more frequently than 5 years rather escapes me. True, you don't need to run it into the ground, but I don't think it's pointless for a kid to see it a couple of times in his scouting career.

Again, I view it as frontline defense. And like lifesaving, first aid and a few other topics, it will help him at other times in his life. The typical sexual abuse incidents don't happen at the Scout meeting or campout. Nor are they always perpetrated by some creep who jumps out of the bushes. These men and sometimes women and sometimes even older teens, are predators who take a lot of time to lure the kids. If they pass the backround check, they have access. Clicking for a few minutes on the online YP is no deterrent to them.

I guess I'm beating this tom-tom a lot because I was close to some incidents in my youth Scouting career. In my mind, the whole Youth Protection program is one of the most intelligent and relevant things Scouting has come up with in helping to educate youth and adults about a real-life danger.

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"A Time to Tell" is primarily intended for boys 11 to 14 years old. (There is another video for Venturing-age youth, I forget what its title is.) So if you show it to a troop every five years, a lot of the boys in the target audience will never see it at all. Every other year would make sense because most of the boys would see it before they are 12 or so. I would not necessarily expect a boy who has already seen it to watch it again the next time -- unless their parents want them to.

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One of my responsibilities as Scoutmaster for the last National Jamboree was to show the video A Time To Tell.

Maybe it was bad timing on my part? But I opted to show it in February. When the weather was cold and there was snow on the ground. Which meant that the Troop meeting would be indoors.

The Troop had only met 3 times before my showing the tape.

Talk about deer caught in the head-lights!

The Scouts just sat there.

I tried to get some sort of a discussion going.

But it was a lost cause.

The best tool we have in our tool box when it comes to protecting the youth we serve is the Buddy System.

As you can imagine we have a fair number of guys where I work who have been convicted of molesting kids.

Looking at their history it seems that in most cases (Not all.) These guys are family members of the kids who they have harmed.


While I'm 101% for doing everything that can be done to keep our kids safe and free from harm.

I know that I'm never ever going to molest a kid.

With this in mind a lot of this YP Stuff isn't so much about protecting the youth. It becomes about me protecting me.

Last thing I want is in ten years or so from now, is for some nut to come along and say that I did something to him or her.

There are and I think always will be some very sick people out there who are very determined to do what they do.

These people will bide their time, waiting for the kid that they know they can prey upon and wait for the opportunity to do what they do.

It would be great if all this sick people had beards, smoked cigarettes and hung outside of public restrooms. At least that way we could tell our kids not to use the public restrooms! But that isn't the case.

I do think we all need to be vigilant and aware of the volunteers we work along side. Chances are that if you feel something doesn't seem right that there is a good chance that it's not right.


Looking at the files of the convicted child molesters we have locked up it seems that there are about the same number who molest young girls as young boys.

The Council I serve had a Field Director who was charged and convicted of molesting his 15 year son's girl friend.

I'm not an expert on why molesters molest. I however don't think it's about sex as much as it is about power and some kind of mental illness.




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Eamonn, the "conventional wisdom" in my area seems to be NOT to try to have a discussion with the Scouts after the video is shown. Instead, the idea is to try to get at least one parent to attend with every Scout (always a difficult task), then after the video is over everybody goes home and the families can decide for themselves whether and what to discuss about it.

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Perhaps you show "A Time to Tell" ONCE for the New Scout Patrol whenever you have a bunch of new scouts. I'd rather explain the video to new parents and offer it to them on loan if they want to take it up with their sons -- or really any of their children.


I can tell you I would have detested being made to watch that video more than once as a Scout -- in fact, I wouldn't have been too happy about even spending the time to watch it once but I've always been assertive enough that I wouldn't have been a victim. The only way I can see making Scouts watch that more than once would be if they were learning disabled and had a high risk of forgetting or not understanding it.

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The kids really need some type of education. People need to stop being afraid to teach kids. we teach them not to go with strangers, but they need more. My daughter is in Rainbow Girls and at a recent convention, one of the breakout sessions was on abuse. It's focus was on abuse in the dating environment, such as the warning signs that your boyfriend is getting controlling, if he hurts you etc etc and what to do if it happens. I was thrilled that they taught this to girls. It wasn't a birds and the bees lesson, but a lesson in real life situations. It also covered safety with adults. Why don't the boy scouts do something similar? One of the biggest problems is that boys are afraid/embarrassed to say if anything happens.


I work as an attorney for abused and neglected children. Through my job, I can tell you that homosexuality and pedophilia are NOT the same thing. Heterosexuals are just as likely to be pedophiles as homosexuals - just look at the female leader in Illinois who is accused of having sex wtih a boy in her troop. Pedophiles are interested in the control aspect gratificaiton of the sex act, and they usually get it from having sex with children, who don't have control. They are often crimes of convenience and access. They often groom the victims for lengthy periods of time before they commit the offense, which makes the boys even more reluctant to tell.


The boy scouts need to be more proactive and stop worrying about offending the leaders if someone has a concern. I have met with various council members over the last year on this issue and the overriding concern seems to be that they don't want to lose a good leader. If parents are expresing a concern about him, dont worry about losing him/her. You will probably lose more boys if the parents aren't happy with what is going on and that is a bigger loss to the troops.


The scouts also need to rethink their attitude toward child abuse registries. My ex was placed on the child abuse registry in 2004 after causing a bleeding injury to our son. He hid this from the scouts and was recently removed from the registry after 5 years due to the non-life-threatening nature of the injury. He was investigated 3 times in 2008/09 for child abuse. Charges were referred in one incident, but since the injuries had healed prior to the investigation, no charges were filed. The child abuse findings were listed as unconfirmed. In nebraska, that means no physical evidence (child was afraid to report for a period of time). It doesn't mean it didn't happen. He is now the jamboree scoutmaster (his current livein girlfriend is the ass't scoutmaster - they were both having affairs during their marriages). I was told that since he is no longer on the registry, nothing will be done. As to his hiding the registry from the scouts - no harm no foul. The violation of two deep leadership - not a problem since he claims to only be living with her as a roommate to save money. However, the parents of the troop that they were trying to take over (they left their previous troop after the parents got fed up with the two of them), took matters into their own hands. They decided that they would disband their troop if they took over and made it clear to the council so they did a very early recharter and basically forced them out. I realize slightly off topic, but this shows that the BSA could have lost a lot of scouts due to parents worrying about the safety of their children b/c they were too concerned with losing a leader. And when - not if - something happens, would you want to be the leader defending the BSA about their choices.


I know that is slightly off topic and I have expressed this concern before, but it shows that BSA needs to be more proactive. If they can't even follow their own guidelines about child abuse registry and two-deep leadership, then more and more of these incidents of child abuse will happen. As a lawyer, the fact that the Omaha area council failed to follow BSA guidelines will impact other cases. for example, the current lawsuit in the Utah area - if they show that BSA has a pattern and practice of not following their own safety guidelines, then they have a good chance of winning. Money that could have been spent on scouting will go to those victims. When the councils start worrying about being too politically correct, the boys will suffer, so it is up to the individual leaders and parents to take steps. This troop was worried about the moral wellbeing of the boys due to their married unit commissioner's actions in having affairs with other married leaders. They decided that this was not the moral message they wanted to be sent to their boys, so after the council refused to do anything, they followed the procedure to have her removed and to prevent the other married leader involved in the affairs from becoming a commissioner with their troop also. It can be done. the parents and local leaders need to be more proactive about preventing abuse since the councils are worried about other issues and only the parents and local leaders really know what the real situation is.

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