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Back story: The guy I've been dating for almost a year has been quite active in my children's life and has taken interest in helping my 10 year old son with his scout activities. I'm a single mom to 3 children, and I've done everything from projects and derbies to volunteer and den leader in our pack up until now. It's a little of a relief to have someone in our lives to take the reigns for scouts, since it was intended to make time for my son and his dad once we split up. Since the divorce, my sons' father is inactive in their lives, and has been for the last 3 years.

Anyways, the guy I'm dating is a felon and is almost done with probation with no infractions for a simple possession charge, and has been rehabilitated and proven his sobriety over and over again thoughout the last year. He isn't looking to take leadership or do anything specific with the any other youth in the pack. But we would like to attend functions as a family. He is, after all, building their rain gutter regatta for this weekend.

SO...In conversation with the Scout Master about attendance to an overnighter scheduled for this Saturday, I was asked not to leave him alone--for this function and any other functions. Not that I intended to, but I felt like that was a little out of line and extremely pointless since he will be taking both my and his 2 year old daughters home for the night.

He has a son who will be scout age next year, so you mean to tell me he can't attend functions with his son without supervision?

My question is, I guess, how can a scout pack discriminate against someone who has been a significant and positive influence in my son's life for the last year? I know for a fact as an active member of the committee that they do NOT vet every single parent, only those who are in leadership. My father has taken my son to a campout, and has had some criminal issues from when he was younger. My son's father took him on one overnighter alone, and he is a convicted felon with a battery on a pregnant victim in the presence of a juvenile. All kinds of people mess up at some point in their lives. And I'd be willing to bet that if they did vet everyone, they'd find some skeletons. So we discriminate against anyone who has a criminal history from simply attending a function with a boy? I don't think that's fair. And if they will have a comment about one person, then shouldn't they HAVE to vet every parent who attends a function?

Needless to say, he has now decided not to attend this function or any other functions, and my scout loses out on a fun time as a family.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, scoutmom86 said:

SO...In conversation with the Scout Master about attendance to an overnighter scheduled for this Saturday, I was asked not to leave him alone--for this function and any other functions. Not that I intended to, but I felt like that was a little out of line and extremely pointless since he will be taking both my and his 2 year old daughters home for the night.

He has a son who will be scout age next year, so you mean to tell me he can't attend functions with his son without supervision?

You have the right to invite or exclude anyone you want from your home. Likewise, others have the right to invite or exclude you. Under the circumstances, I think the scoutmaster is being very tolerant by allowing him to attend with supervision. The scoutmaster doesn't have to allow him to attend at all. 

My CO would not regard someone you are dating as being a family member. He is a guest. I would expect a guest to remain with the person who invited him, regardless of his personal history.

Of course, next year, he would be considered a family member of his son. 

 

Edited by David CO
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3 hours ago, scoutmom86 said:

Needless to say, he has now decided not to attend this function or any other functions, and my scout loses out on a fun time as a family.

A better approach would be for him to attend one activity with Scoutmaster-approved supervision and go from there...take Youth Protection. He may get a second chance from the troop but if he walks away, he will not get a second chance to experience your son's scouting adventures.

 

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Posted (edited)

He has been to more than one activity before, and this is the first time it has been brought up.

As for tolerance? We pay our dues. I have given 3 years of service as a volunteer. We've sold popcorn every year. We do our part as a member of this pack. My kid has been super scout for 3 years.

So, in the opposite direction, I can then request that certain people that I know are current drug users be drug screened before coming to a function? I can then request every single attendant bring background checks, and we can exclude any person with criminal charges from attending with their children? RIGHT? That is entirely extreme!

A convicted and registered sex offender walks in with his son, even if its against the law to be at functions where children are the main focus of the function.

So this is not scout policy? This is just discretion of the Cub Master/Committee?

Edited by scoutmom86

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He would probably would not be able to be a registered leader due to that, since BSA conducts background checks. But that’s just how I would think of it. Don’t think the cubmaster is out to get you when he is protecting the kids AND following the rules.

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I don't think she is out to get me either. And I understand protecting the children.

He has no desire to take leadership.

I also understand that not everyone has the greatest judgement, and I totally understand that it totally makes my life choices look pathetic. But the circumstances are not as they appear, and they surely aren't as they were portrayed in the newspaper.

Maybe I'm downplaying it in my own mind for my own sanity, but it doesn't seem like such a big deal to me. I just think that lots of people that participate in scout functions that aren't in any kind of leadership, but participate and attend have skeletons in their own closets. The only difference is that their skeletons weren't publicly exposed. And I think that if one person's shortcomings are going to be exposed, then all attendees should be exposed. It's a small town, and I'd be willing to bet the pack would downsize quite a bit.

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You asked the leader a question and got an answer about an individual with a documented incident. That's the framework under which he can participate. And to be honest, it's not that unreasonable. Not being a parent or legal guardian of any Scouts leaves it up to the discretion of leadership as to how they can participate. We don't allow anyone that is not a family member to attend overnights, and like your situation, they are not allowed to participate in any activity without two-deep supervision. It's CYA for everyone. It is leadership's  duty to take whatever steps necessary to protect ALL the youth in the unit.

You being upset about it and demanding all sorts of reciprocal checks without proof would likely be seen as petty and vindictive. If you are willing to generate that kind of ill will, that's your choice, but I see no reason why you would want to cast a pall over the Scouting experience of so many others. You can always find another unit and try there, but be prepared for a similar answer. And if you try to participate without disclosing this and later get found out, be prepared for harsher restrictions. Trust is easier to destroy than to build.

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I’ve never heard of parents being banned from activities unless there is a court ordered restraining order.  As a Pack, I don’t believe we would have that right unless the parent was disruptive or we were aware of any safety concern from our scouts.  That said, as he is not the legal guardian or parent then there is likely a higher bar.

In fact, multiple people (including my sister) with felonies have been approved by BSA as leaders.  I think it depends on your council, DE and CO along with what the conviction is for.  

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Your boyfriend and son wouldn’t be allowed to share a tent or anything either since he is not a legal family member. It’s really up to the cibmaster and committee since he really has no right to be there since it’s not his son.

Not saying it’s right, but saying how I interpret the rules.

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As a Committee Chair, if a parent came to me and said - my boyfriend is a convicted felon, it would give me a reason to pause.  Not so much from a CYA perspective, but from a risk assessment perspective.

I'd suggest giving it time.  Follow their rules for a while, let them get to know him.  At some point comfort and trust levels will probably be high enough that things may change.  But, forcing the, issue isn't the path.

 

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24 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

I’ve never heard of parents being banned from activities unless there is a court ordered restraining order.  As a Pack, I don’t believe we would have that right unless the parent was disruptive or we were aware of any safety concern from our scouts.  That said, as he is not the legal guardian or parent then there is likely a higher bar.

In fact, multiple people (including my sister) with felonies have been approved by BSA as leaders.  I think it depends on your council, DE and CO along with what the conviction is for.  

I have had parents barred from activities. Even though *I* personally had little doubt that it would be a problem, we have policies for a reason. That's why I call in District and Council to handle things. Follow policy and get backup. It keeps it from getting personal and everyone is clear about what the situation will be.

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4 minutes ago, numbersnerd said:

I have had parents barred from activities. Even though *I* personally had little doubt that it would be a problem, we have policies for a reason. That's why I call in District and Council to handle things. Follow policy and get backup. It keeps it from getting personal and everyone is clear about what the situation will be.

If district and council agrees a situation requires banning a parent then you made the right call.   

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Posted (edited)

He’s not spending the night though, is the point in case. I didn’t ask the Cub Master anything. We were simply taking about the events of the day.

 Matter of fact, I never disclosed anything about him to anyone in the Pack! It is public record. Anyone can see it or research his or anyone else’s criminal history.

 As I said before, I’d be willing to bed MANY parents and guests have criminal records. And no one else has been pointed out or excluded.(As I said, even the sex offender attends.) I’ve never heard of anyone in any other organization single out or exclude people who willingly wanting to participate. And might I add, as step parents!

This hasn’t been some casual experience with some random stranger. He has been around for over 9 months. And as I also said before, it was never addressed before now. I know for a fact the Cub Master knee then too. He attended Blue and Gold Banquet &  Thanksgiving Feast.

It really is fine. I highly doubt he will attend any functions anymore, since he knows how everyone there feels about the situation. I mean, who wants to be somewhere where you know everyone things you’re a danger to the children?

I really wasn’t aware that this was such a huge issue. And I didn’t know if it was policy or just a decision made by the committee, or if she just made it up since she doesn’t really like him, as she has made that clear to me before on a personal level.

Thank you all for your clarity on the subject. Goodnight!

Edited by scoutmom86

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