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WisconsinMomma

How about those who prefer leaders keep their hands off the kids?

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True story from back in the day. When I worked for national supply, one of the things I did with new Cub Scouts was show them how to wear a neckerchief. I would roll it up, place it around their neck, put the slide on it, and do the old "slide to the nose" measurement for proper [placement of the slide. One day, I got called into the office. I was informed I was no longer allowed to put on neckerchiefs. A long time volunteer/ part time employee, who also worked at another national Scout shop, was doing the same thing I was doing. One mother accused the guy of inappropriate touching by putting on the neckerchief and slide. The guy lost his job as a result of the complaint, and was almost put into the Ineligible Volunteer Files as a result of the complaint. Thankfully the manager or assistant manager saw the incident, and saved him from being removed from Scouting altogether. This was a retired guy who worked part-time for some extra money. He was involved for over 50 years in the program, served in a variety or roles over the years, and was either a RT commissioner or district commissioner at the time.

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I have had to touch  Scouts and Explorers/Venturers for rappelling. Assisting someone to tie a Swiss seat, and/or verifying it is safe can be awkward,  especially if a young lady is involved. Very glad to have other COPE staff around to assist and be in view.

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On 12/6/2017 at 7:43 PM, WisconsinMomma said:

How about those who prefer leaders keep their hands off the kids?  Given the number of kids with sensory issues, and the number of kids who aren't participating with two parents, etc.   I don't see any value in the custom. 

It was fun. that said, I don't have any personal experience with it, either as a cub in the 1970s or a cub leader/parent in the 2000s.   I'm worried that we just are taking all the fun and life out of things. Everybody wants everything sterile.  

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54 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

Let's keep on topic, adult touching in Scouting.

Scout units are owned by Chartered Organizations, and the CO's policies on physical contact will often apply to the adult leaders in the scout unit. This is true of my unit. My CO's policies are even more restrictive than those of BSA.

Can we have a little bit of leeway here? No argument, just asking.

Edited by David CO

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10 minutes ago, David CO said:

Scout units are owned by Chartered Organizations, and the CO's policies on physical contact will often apply to the adult leaders in the scout unit. This is true of my unit. My CO's policies are even more restrictive than those of BSA.

Can we have a little bit of leeway here? No argument, just asking.

Leeway for what?  That is not a "challenge" - I just am not sure what you are saying.

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17 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

Leeway for what?  That is not a "challenge" - I just am not sure what you are saying.

The moderator's instructions to stay on topic, adult touching in scouting, was in response to a member's post about schools prohibiting physical contact.

Since a CO's policies will often apply to the unit, I think some general discussion of changing policies in churches, schools, YMCA's, and other groups that commonly charter scout units, is relevant to the issue in this thread. 

As always, I will abide by the judgement of the moderators. 

Edited by David CO
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7 minutes ago, David CO said:

The moderator's instructions to stay on topic, adult touching in scouting, was in response to a member's post about schools prohibiting physical contact.

Since a CO's policies will often apply to the unit, I think some general discussion of changing policies in churches, schools, YMCA's, and other groups that commonly charter scout units, is relevant to the issue in this thread. 

As always, I will abide by the judgement of the moderators. 

Point taken, CO's touching policies as applied to scout units are on topic.

Regarding those policies, I have found church CO's to be stricter with their scout units than the church school was with their sports team.  :confused:

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I shake hands with every Scout when they complete a BOR, at ECOH's and other times when congratulations are in order.  Am I in trouble?  (I am mostly joking, but not 100%.)

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1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

True story from back in the day. When I worked for national supply, one of the things I did with new Cub Scouts was show them how to wear a neckerchief. I would roll it up, place it around their neck, put the slide on it, and do the old "slide to the nose" measurement for proper [placement of the slide. One day, I got called into the office. I was informed I was no longer allowed to put on neckerchiefs. A long time volunteer/ part time employee, who also worked at another national Scout shop, was doing the same thing I was doing. One mother accused the guy of inappropriate touching by putting on the neckerchief and slide. The guy lost his job as a result of the complaint, and was almost put into the Ineligible Volunteer Files as a result of the complaint. Thankfully the manager or assistant manager saw the incident, and saved him from being removed from Scouting altogether. This was a retired guy who worked part-time for some extra money. He was involved for over 50 years in the program, served in a variety or roles over the years, and was either a RT commissioner or district commissioner at the time.

That's awful.  In my opinion, the fact that all Scouter/Scout interactions must be within view of someone else SHOULD prevent this sort of problem from arising.   But apparently not. Presumably Mom was standing right there while 50-year-Scouter put the neckerchief and slide on her son.  She could see nothing wrong was happening, and yet she reported the guy and got him fired anyway.  It's pretty scary,

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9 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

Point taken, CO's touching policies as applied to scout units are on topic.

Regarding those policies, I have found church CO's to be stricter with their scout units than the church school was with their sports team.  :confused:

I have found the most restrictive policies have been in regard to school playgrounds. Our public elementary school forbids physical contact between students on the playground. No touch games.

So far, these no touch policies haven't been applied to the scouting program. I'm not sure how long that will last.

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1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

True story from back in the day. When I worked for national supply, one of the things I did with new Cub Scouts was show them how to wear a neckerchief. I would roll it up, place it around their neck, put the slide on it, and do the old "slide to the nose" measurement for proper [placement of the slide. One day, I got called into the office. I was informed I was no longer allowed to put on neckerchiefs. A long time volunteer/ part time employee, who also worked at another national Scout shop, was doing the same thing I was doing. One mother accused the guy of inappropriate touching by putting on the neckerchief and slide. The guy lost his job as a result of the complaint, and was almost put into the Ineligible Volunteer Files as a result of the complaint. Thankfully the manager or assistant manager saw the incident, and saved him from being removed from Scouting altogether. This was a retired guy who worked part-time for some extra money. He was involved for over 50 years in the program, served in a variety or roles over the years, and was either a RT commissioner or district commissioner at the time.

Putting a neckerchief on someone is one of the times I take particular care with scouts, in particular the girls. I don't how it works with you but here it is pretty standard for the neckerchief to be put on the scout as part of the investiture ceremony. It's not compulsory, just a tradition that a lot of troops use. I tend to put the woggle onto the necker in advance, keeping it near the bottom. Place the necker over the scouts head and then leave them to move the woggle up.

Physical contact with anyone of any gender though is something to treat with a little care. As the OP said not everyone appreciates being touched, even at times of great distress. Equally though I think it would be a sad world where it was eliminated from scouting altogether. I have had to do everything from help a tiny beaver scout reach the rope to break the flag to help a scout back into a canoe to comfort one going through some quite distressing personal problems. Be respectful of everyone's boundaries but lets not lose what is an important part of being human, let along scouting

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22 minutes ago, David CO said:

I have found the most restrictive policies have been in regard to school playgrounds. Our public elementary school forbids physical contact between students on the playground. No touch games.

So far, these no touch policies haven't been applied to the scouting program. I'm not sure how long that will last.

Local Diocese has "Maintaining Boundaries" policies, mostly for coaches. Hugs and handshakes still okay for coaches, scouters less so.

Edited by RememberSchiff

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48 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

I shake hands with every Scout when they complete a BOR, at ECOH's and other times when congratulations are in order.  Am I in trouble?  (I am mostly joking, but not 100%.)

That depends.  If the scout feels compelled to shake your hand, and that in turn makes him/her uncomfortable, then yes you could be in trouble.  

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25 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

Local Diocese has "Maintaining Boundaries" policies, mostly for coaches. Hugs and handshakes still okay for coaches, scouters less so.

Our previous CC, a woman in her 40's-50's, when serving on an EBOR (for kids in our troop) would hug each successful Eagle candidate when the EBOR was concluded - in full view of his parent(s) and the other board members.  I shake their hands.  Nobody's filed a complaint so far...

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