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Is a father acceptable?

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See, Bob, there I go agreeing with you again. ;-)


"We know we did it wrong but everything went fine" is not the attitude to have. I know that I've made some mistakes in following policy (and will probably make more). I usually discovered the mistake well after the fact. I always make sure to tell the committee or other leaders so we know not to make the same mistake again. I could not, in good conscience, go on a trip knowing I was breaking the rules.


As for the disagreement part, I think we're dealing with semantics. If the word was "chaperone" instead of "leader", we'd probably all be in agreement. IMHO, any adult that is on a campout is a "leader" (small "l"), in that they are helping lead the unit.

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Actually Bob, a Tour Permit was applied for and approved, and yes things could have gone wrong, but 2 deep leadership was a priority, to ensure that things would/could not go wrong.


And you seem to imply that unless you are a BSA trained leader, you are incapable of looking after the interests of the youth involved in the Scouting program. I might say, who better than a parent to protect their child in such a circumstance? I would even go so far as to say that, just because you are "BSA trained" does not make you "safe". We are trying our best to make a viable crew, one that complies with the requirements of the BSA. Could we not have some leeway here? Especially since the youth in question had a parent with them? Perhaps you could give some advice about recruiting a female advisor, instead of deriding the efforts being made to start a crew and help our youth! I would be keen to hear from others also, reagrding female leadership recruitment.

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"IMHO, any adult that is on a campout is a "leader" (small "l"), in that they are helping lead the unit."


That is going to totally depend on the unit. there is certainly nothing in the scouting program to suggest that attitude that I am aware of.


We leave tomorrow on a campout with 37 people including 6 Webelos and their fathers. Who the Webelos consider as leaders within their den is I suppose up to them. But the only leaders of the troop are the Scoutmaster and the three Assistant Scoutmasters. The others are Dads with a capital D but they are not the leaders of the Boy Scouts, or of the activity, not even with a "little l".


They are not trained to lead a scout troop or a scout activity, nor do they know the scouts well enough for them to lead them in any way. Any time a parent accompanies the troop on an activity it is as an honored guest. They are there to experience a Boy Scout activity and to watch their sons develop, but they are not there to lead the Boy Scouts or any of the activities, and they all understand and accept that. We want them to be there to have fun and not worry about being responsible for any of the activity.

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Just to state my opinion in all this, I have retracted my comment that it was okay for a dad to be a girl's leader because I have been proven wrong with a reference source. However, my

"interpretation," since that seems to be everyone's favorite word in this thread, is that of the two leaders present on an outing, one and only one is absolutely -required- to be registered with the BSA.


I would like to think that I am perceptive enough to decide, after meeting the woman who will be my adult chaperone for the outing, whether or not I can put my safety and my trust in this person. And if I decide that I do not believe this woman to be competent, and in fact find her to be a rather shady and untrustworthy person, I believe I have enough sense to respectfully decline my participation in the event in the interest of personal safety. On the other hand, if suddenly a new male leader were to attend an event, around whom I felt uncomfortable and threatened in any way, I also would not participate in the outing. It goes both ways. (And, being a female, it's generally the male gender that you have to watch out for, not the women.;))


Please do not confuse youth with naivete. I may look young, but I have a good head on my shoulders. But perhaps I'm biased in my opinion, seeing as how it's -my- head and all. ;)


I would rather go on an outing and risk the possibility of an incorrect judgement of a person to be trustworthy than be stuck at home doing nothing, my plans for the weekend ruined because we don't have a -registered- female chaperone, and wishing once again that I had been born a boy. :p


And I agree with bsabrit's comment that "just because you are "BSA trained" does not make you 'safe.'"


And that's all I have to say about that.


For now. :)

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Campfire Fairy,


Based on your other posts I am sure that what you say is probably true. but the fact is that your are still considered a youth in the scouting program, and selecting and approving adults is not the responsibility of the youth membership. Your Charter Organization and adult membership have a legal and moral resonsibility to know and follow the policies of the BSA and to select and approve all adult leaders. The fact that you were comfortable with the condition you camped under does not make it right and I am glad to know that nothing went wrong...this time.

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Campfire Fairy, as usual, you write and discuss well. However, the BSA in considering its policies has to consider at least 3 factors:


1) Facts

2) Perceptions

3) Legalities and liabilities


The facts may be that the person or situation may be completely comfortable. However, the BSA has made the judgement that it creates an unacceptable perception to have a coed activity without mixed gender leadership. Particularly in some parts of the country, this would be considered Sodom. That is contrary to the values which the BSA wishes to espouse even facts in a particular circumstance to the contrary.


Sadly, in an organization like the BSA which has 5 million members, Murphy's Law rules in considering the many, many ways that activities can be run and can have problems. The BSA cannot count on the good judgement on leaders, so it has to err on the very safe side of policies and procedures. Just as one goofy example, remember the report this summer of the polygamist who had started a Boy Scout Troop for the sons of his several wives.


Legally, the situation is even more draconian. Can you imagine some kind of problem occurring on a coed Venturing activity and having the plaintiff's attorney say "And you didn't even have a female leader present! What kind of sex ring were you running?? We need to send a message to these people that this is unacceptable in our community!!" It doesn't take many multi-million dollar judgements to impact severely the program for all. So the BSA is extremely cautious and would rather have events cancelled than risk negative perception or an untenable liability position.


Bob, not to split hairs with a microtome, but you are both correct and a bit incorrect about the review of literature by National Publications as I understand matters. There is a review, but it is for form and style, not for content. As an example, Scout and Scouting and Scoutmaster are always capitalized in official BSA literature and there is an official BSA style guide. You will see the term "assistant Scoutmaster" with the "a" small and the "S" capitalized. That is the official style and the review is for consistency in that vein.


During this review, if there is some inconsistency or error in content, it might be caught by the reviewer but that is neither their responsibility nor their expertise. It is presumed that the material from the appropriate division is what they want said.

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NeilLup- I'm afraid I may have been a bit confusing and ambiguous in my last post. I agree that it is necessary to have a female adult in attendance during co-ed overnight outings, and I more than understand the legalities behind this when the what-ifs and could-have-happeneds -do- happen. My sometimes overactive imagination can certainly drum up a number of ridiculous but not impossible allegations and accusations that could be devastating during a legal proceeding, and I certainly buy into the better-safe-than-sorry theory. To a reasonable extent.


Before I go on, I am forced to ask what exactly the G2SS is. I don't feel that I should comment on my interpretation of the source until I know exactly what the source is. :) And I am also curious about Neil's post regarding the significance of capital and lowercase letters concerning being registered BSA adults and >leaders< being any unregistered adult who wishes to accompany a troop/crew/etc. on an outing.(This message has been edited by Campfire Fairy)

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Hello CampfireFairy,


I apologize for the use of an acronym. G2SS stands for the "Guide to Safe Scouting" which is a publication that outlines, in detail, the procedures, leadership, etc. that must be used by and that is recommended for Scout leaders. You can view it or download it from the BSA national web site www.scouting.org.


As far as the practical significance of capitalization and non-capitalization, in my opinion, there is none other than that it is the way that the BSA writes such things. Among other things, I suspect it enables them to protect their rights to use the words Scout exclusively for youth programs.


In the case above, I only mentioned it as an example of what I believe BSA national publications does do as it reviews publications. The matter really has nothing to do with registered and unregistered leaders.

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"You will see the term "assistant Scoutmaster" with the "a" small and the "S" capitalized. That is the official style and the review is for consistency in that vein."


Interesting, I had not noticed that before. It seems that there could be great significance to the small "a."

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