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Venturing Application -- parent signature

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I decided not to further send Eamonn's thread, dealing with a very real current problem he is facing, off in a different direction. This is mainly a question for DS, but of course anyone else can jump in.

 

The issue here is, why the Venturing application does not require a parental signature, when the Boy Scout application does.

 

DS, in the other thread, I was not really questioning your statement as to what the Venturing application requires. My questions were mostly rhetorical, except for the last one, which I will get to. I would have no reason to question what you said because, one, I know you would not steer me wrong, and two, I had never seen a Venturing application until a few minutes ago, when your post prompted me to find one the Internet and print it out. Sure enough, there is no place for the parent to sign. (Now that I've finished this entire post, I have to put an asterisk here -- keep reading.)

 

My question that remains is, What sense does it make? Why is the signature required on one and not the other? I am not necessarily asking why the Venturing application doesn't require it; maybe the question is why the Boy Scout application does require it. In other words, the real question is, Why are they different? What rational basis could exist for requiring a 14-year-old to have his parents sign for one kind of unit and not the other?

 

I do understand that younger boys can join a troop, and maybe the BSA thinks that 14-year-olds can sign for themselves. (I'm not sure how 14 could be a dividing line when the age of adulthood is 18, but let's say it is.) But in that case, why doesn't the application to join a troop (which I also just downloaded even though I am familiar with it, just to be sure) say that the parents' signature is only required if the boy is 13 or younger? It doesn't say that, in fact it appears that a boy joining a troop at age 17 and 364 days (theoretically, of course) needs a parent to sign, but a boy (or girl) joining a crew on his her 14th birthday (4 years less one day younger than the hypothetical new Boy Scout) does not. I can't see why.

 

And get this. In looking at this Venturing application a bit more closely, I've noticed a few interesting things. There are several references to parents. Maybe this one is picky, but there is the statement, "All Venturing activities are open to parental visitation." I am familiar with that rule for Boy Scouts; but doesn't its presence suggest that the parent knows that his/her son is a Venturer? And how does the BSA know the parent knows that, without a signature? Here's a "better" one: The application itself has a whole section for Parent/Guardian information. It doesn't say Leader Information, it says Parent/Guardian Information, so it appears (to me anyway) that this information must be filled out on all applications. In this section there are several pieces of information that I don't think a boy should be giving out without his parent's permission. The biggie here is the parent's social security number but I'll leave that one aside, because I know there is a question about whether the SSN can even be required, except for an adult leader for whom it is necessary in order to get a criminal background check. But even beyond the SSN, the form asks for the parent's date of birth, business phone number, occupation and employer. With the possible exception of occupation, I don't know what a boy is doing giving out any of those items of information about his parent without the parent consenting. And here's the one that really has me scratching my head. At the end of the application (probably on the back in the "official" version), is the Class 1 Personal Health History (same as for Boy Scouts and Cubs.) I have never been completely sure whether the unit was actually required to obtain this, and I know that it does not go to council. But it says, "To be filled out by parent or guardian" and on the bottom, guess whose signature is required. The parent or guardian! So the parent's signature is required on the health information but not on the application itself?? If the health information is in fact required, then the absence of a parental signature line on the application seems irrelevant, because the parent does have to sign, just in a different place.

 

OK, now that I've beaten this completely into the ground, please, DS, anybody, explain this to me. Is it possible that this is just a long-standing mistake waiting to be corrected?

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It's been awhile since I've seen a Venture application and I dont remember having my parents sign it or not. However, I am pretty sure there is parental consent somewhere there. There's a need for parental signatures (or spouse signature, I believe) on all the official forms for everyone under 21 now, including Asst. Scoutmasters according to the new GSS. My question on that topics is, what if you are a college student, living away from home, over 18 and an Asst Scoutmaster or Crew member. How do you get mommy or daddy to sign the paperwork? Or do you need to find a spouse ASAP, so he/she can take care of it?

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First of all, take a deep breath and lighten up a bit.

 

The permission to sign the form is given to the appying Venturer for reasons I don't know. Probably because it isn't "cool" for a 14 year old, or 15,16,`7,18, 19, 20 year old to have to go get "mommy or daddy" to sign their application to join any group. They don't need parental permission to sign up for the High School ski club, so why should they need it for a crew.

 

As to why parental permission is required on a Boy Scout app and not on a Venturer app, I don't know that either, but we can all accept that the two different programs have different rules even when the ages overlap.

 

As to the parental signature on the medical information, that falls into the category of legal issues. A minor can not issue permission to treat, which is included on the health history. That's why a parent must sign on the health history.

 

The health history form is included for the convenience of the unit, not the council. That is why it is up to the unit to collect and maintain the information and why it is not forwarded to the council service center unless the youth participates in a council operated camp -- and then there is a different form.

 

DS

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Dave, actually (although, I was never in the high school ski club, but many like organizations) parental permission forms are required for most (if not all) high school clubs' trips.

 

In addition, it's not that it's uncool for Mommy and Daddy to sign your permissions slips at 18, 19, 20, but its often impractical. As I've stated before, I see more of my Crew family than I do my biological family, because I live on the campus of my college. At 18, 19, and 20 you can sign up for the military and get yourself shipped off to a foreign land (all without your Mommy and Daddy's signature) but apparently you can not chaperone a scouting event as an Asst. Scoutmaster nor can you go on a crew outing without Mommy and/or Daddy's knowledge.

 

Please correct me if I am wrong (OGE, we had a conversation about this at one of the last VEBs, do you remember?) I am pretty sure that the updated GSS says that parental (or spousal) permission slips must be filled out for events for Scouts and Scouters under the age of 21.

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DS,

 

I'm light, I'm light. I just have this thing about wanting things to make sense.

 

As far as school clubs and activities go, everything requires some sort of permission slip. I feel like I'm signing a permission slip every five minutes. The school authorities do not care if a 14-18 year old student thinks its cool to get mom or dad's signature. It's required.

 

I can of course accept that Boy Scouting and Venturing have different rules. But they are, after all, all part of the same organization. Something so basic as whose permission is required for a youth to be a member is something that should be consistent. This just looks like a mistake to me.

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OT and I were at a Council Venture Meeting, the head Venturer Advisor in the Council said naitonal had just issued a "proclamation" requiring "people" under 21 to have parental permission slips signed for activities.

 

I didnt see the proclamation and the gentleman was not forthcomming with any documentation, we would be interested in knowing if this is true or not.(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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OGE, I'd appreciate hearing about whatever information you do get to clarify this. Assuming that 18 is the age of majority in your state (and I know it is), it is difficult to imagine a justification for requiring a person of 18 or over to have parental permission for any activity. The fact that the BSA chooses to call them "youth members" if they are in a Venturing Crew does not change the fact that legally, they are adults. I suppose that the BSA has the right to require it, I just don't get why they would. And as OT points out, after one graduates from high school, depending on where one goes, it becomes increasingly difficult to get mom and dad's signature anyway. And there may be family circumstances that make it difficult.

 

It becomes even more difficult to understand if you don't need a parental signature at age 14 to join, but you do need a parental signature at age 20 plus 364 days to go on an activity, after you've joined. Seems a bit backwards.

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I know of no such proclamation.

 

Venturers sign their own application. I don't know why.

 

The conjecture that it may be difficult to explain to a 14 year old why they need a parent signature when a 18 year old does not, is as good as any, I suppose.

 

The JROTC Crew we're working on is having it's first nighter Thursday. Those kids will sign their own application regardless of age.

 

DS

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" They don't need parental permission to sign up for the High School ski club, so why should they need it for a crew."

 

However, you do need a parental permission slip to play sports. My son's still in middle school and he needed a permission slip to join the reading club (dangerous activity, reading)

 

 

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That way you actually know where he is at. Both of my parents are teachers and I have had siblings in school for probably as long as some of you have been involved in scouts.

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I, too, pondered the logic on parental signatures since 1997 when I started a Explorer Post before we transition into a Venturing Crew. It's true that it doesn't make any sense. The Two programs are different just as they are different from High School clubs.

 

As a leader though, I wouldn't take a chance on leaving on a trip without a signed Parental Consent Form on a Venturer or Scout who is under 18-years old.

 

AS for National's Proclamation, I don't know about that but it doesn't make sense to require Parental forms on Venturers who are 18-20 years old unless they are mentally incapacitated.

 

Here's one for you all.

 

We had here a situation here where a 20-year old Venturer "needed" to get a parental signature signed in a neighboring Crew. Would he have had to fax that form back to his parents on the U.S. mainland or Fedex it to them. Or should we let his 21-year old wife sign it. The Venturer is a member of the U.S. Airforce Security Forces. Common Sense Prevailed but we had a good laugh at Roundtable.

 

Let's keep in mind that there are special circumstances that as leaders, we need to just shake our heads and waive certain requirements to keep the program flowing.

 

I don't know the answer to NJ's question, but somewhere in the dark tunnels of National's underground hallways lies the answer of "Why?".

 

Maybe it's to costly to change the applications, again.

 

Matua

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While I have been aware that there are a good number of people in these forums who really do know what is in the books. I kind of liked to think that I wasn't a duffer about this stuff. Yes more then once I have posted something that I really thought was 100%. Only to find that I couldn't be more wrong. When this has happened I of course feel like a real twit.

When our Man of Steele pointed out that there was no need for the parent to sign the Venturing App. I felt that once again I had been caught with my pants down.

Yesterday I was on the phone with a friend who works in the national office. We were discussing my problem with the school crew. Of course he was "Off the record." I said how the parent didn't need to sign the app. He said are you sure? In the end he put me on hold while he went to check.

At least now I don't feel so bad. This chap has held all the professional positions in Scouting. So while Dave was right, at least in my ignorance I was in good company.

Eamonn

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