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fred johnson

Significant youth protection changes

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I've recently taken the updated YPT.  It was very well done and I was impressed.  I'm concerned though about two changes.  One that we've tried to do as a troop and one that was a surprise.

  • Scouts sharing a tent should not be more then two years apart unless they are siblings.  We as a troop have always tried to do this.  We viewed it as another imbalance of power situation.  I don't think this affects my troop, but I'm wondering how troops that do mixed age patrols will succeed with this.  Often you have scouts missing from the patrol.  I don't think it would be unusual in a mixed age patrol to have scouts camping where there is no one within two years of age.  It seems the only good conclusion would be that those scouts have their own individual tent.   So this is do-able and a good change.
  • Adults on a camp out longer than 72 hours must be registered as a leader (and thus also have completed YPT).  This seems a big challenge that units will game.  What if the scouts go on a long trip and some of the parents want to go or the spouse of a SM/ASM.  Or if you need an another adult to come as a driver.  This seems to be a hard rule to do smoothly and it also seems like it would affect the youngest scouts the most. 

Constructive comments and reflection would be useful.  ...  If you just want to complain about bad BSA decisions, just move on and don't post. :) 

 

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We'll need to make some minor adjustments, but I don't think either of these changes will have a big impact.

Except when we're on a backpacking trip, most of our tents are sized as 4 man, and we usually tent two to a tent, occasionally three, but that is most often because three scouts want that.  We have mixed age patrols, but when the scouts are choosing tent partners they're generally close in age.  I suspect that when we do run into a challenge it will be one older scout as odd man out.  Either he'll pitch his own tent or toss in with someone the same age from another patrol.

The 72 hour role will similarly have some effect but not get too much in the way.  We already have everyone who wants to camp with us do YPT.  The most common trip we have longer than 3 days is summer camp.  We often have an unregistered parent come out for a night or two, which won't trigger the rule.  Most of the adults willing to spend half a week are already registered, or the type of adult we want to recruit.  The other 3 day trip we take is usually Memorial day. We do things like whitewater rafting, canoe trips, or "up north" to the northern part of the lower MI peninsula.   depending on the trip we are usually right below or right above the 72 hour mark.  These trips do tend to attract more non registered adults so we may end up adding one or two more adults that wouldn't normally want to make the commitment.  So if we add a couple of adult registrations for 3/4 of the year we're looking at an additional cost of $24 a piece.  Doing extra paperwork is never my favorite past time, but this is pretty deminimis.

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Seems like a reasonable change with a coed program. Over the years I learned of scouting behavior situations and statistics that shocked me. I know that there are boy scout babies in the world. I knew that far enough back that those babies could be adult leaders now. 

One of my Patrol Method role models, who I met on the forum, quit scouting because of the coed problems in their Troop/Venturing Crew program. He and I were chatting (1997) at a Camporee 1:00 am while sitting between the girls and boys tents. He felt that American youth in our culture weren't mature enough to be coed. They were probably doing it wrong, because I know of a lot of successful Troop/Venturing programs that don't have this problem. Still, even church camps have to deal with the situation.

But now we live in an open gay, transgender , and whatever culture. In fact, in some ways these behaviors are encouraged. I have heard of youth sexual abuses in scouting. And If I know of a couple, you can bet National has enough information to motivate such a requirement. 

The only time I can recall any of our scouts tenting together that were more than two years apart was a 16 year old scout who volunteered to monitor (babysit) a severely mentally retarded new scout. And, many of the sexual abuse reports I learned about were with scouts of the same age, and consensual. So, it's not and end all.

Barry

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The 2 year thing might present a challenge, but the reasoning for it is understandable.  It's not just tents, but buddy system for bathroom breaks, etc.  That's not necessarily difficult, but one to remember.  Also, strong emphasis on letting the scout choose the buddy.

We require adults going on any campouts to do YPT. 

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I think the registration of adults for > 72 hours is good. Get the background check, get them covered by insurance, etc.  Get them YPT training, that's good.  It's not a huge fee.  It's a cost of doing business and running a youth program in the 21st century.  

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15 hours ago, fred johnson said:

I've recently taken the updated YPT.  It was very well done and I was impressed.  I'm concerned though about two changes.  One that we've tried to do as a troop and one that was a surprise.

  • Scouts sharing a tent should not be more then two years apart unless they are siblings.  We as a troop have always tried to do this.  We viewed it as another imbalance of power situation.  I don't think this affects my troop, but I'm wondering how troops that do mixed age patrols will succeed with this.  Often you have scouts missing from the patrol.  I don't think it would be unusual in a mixed age patrol to have scouts camping where there is no one within two years of age.  It seems the only good conclusion would be that those scouts have their own individual tent.   So this is do-able and a good change.
  • Adults on a camp out longer than 72 hours must be registered as a leader (and thus also have completed YPT).  This seems a big challenge that units will game.  What if the scouts go on a long trip and some of the parents want to go or the spouse of a SM/ASM.  Or if you need an another adult to come as a driver.  This seems to be a hard rule to do smoothly and it also seems like it would affect the youngest scouts the most. 

Constructive comments and reflection would be useful.  ...  If you just want to complain about bad BSA decisions, just move on and don't post. :) 

 

The old rule was (from the Guide to Safe Scouting):
"Assigning youth members more than two years apart in age to sleep in the same tent should be avoided unless the youth are relatives." [emphasis added.]

The new rule seems to be (new online YPT training):
"When sleeping in the same tent, youth must not be more than 2 years apart in age, unless they are relatives." [emphasis added.]

So "should" has changed to "must".  If you have youth more than 2 years apart in age, then they can't share a tent.  With mixed-age patrols, there might be some Scouts who have to have their own individual tent.  Some troops might have to get some more tents.


The new registration requirement (announced in the fall of 2017) was:
"Effective for the 2018 BSA summer camp season, any adult accompanying a Boy Scout troop to a residence camp or other Scouting activity lasting 72 hours or more must be registered as a leader, including completion of a CBC and YPT, even if they are the parent of a youth on the trip."

But the new online training seems to say:
Adults accompanying a Scouting unit for 72+ (consecutive or non-consecutive) hours must be a registered leader with the BSA.
Registration includes a criminal background check and Youth Protection Training.

So, not sure which one is correct:
-the length of time of the adult's presence at the event or
-the length of time of the activity that triggers the mandatory registration?

 

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38 minutes ago, 69RoadRunner said:

We require adults going on any campouts to do YPT. 

Now, you will also need to register them and incur the $33 registration cost.  I'm not sure the cost is the biggest issue as much as the paperwork issue.  

14 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

So if we add a couple of adult registrations for 3/4 of the year we're looking at an additional cost of $24 a piece.  

$33 a piece.  Not a huge difference.  Just a friendly clarification.

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Posted (edited)

I'm pleasantly surprised at the responses and very glad to hear this is not an obstacle or something people will circumvent.  I was trying to decide my thoughts on the second one.  The comments here help.  Thank you.

Edited by fred johnson

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23 minutes ago, fred johnson said:

Now, you will also need to register them and incur the $33 registration cost.  I'm not sure the cost is the biggest issue as much as the paperwork issue.  

$33 a piece.  Not a huge difference.  Just a friendly clarification.

I think T2Eagle is assuming that they would register the adults for 2/3 of the year, so the registration fee would be prorated.

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I've heard of folks trying to register as merit badge counsellors to circumvent the fee.  Would like to see an official policy from national on what "registered" means

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26 minutes ago, fred johnson said:

I'm pleasantly surprised at the responses and very glad to hear this is not an obstacle or something people will circumvent.  I was trying to decide my thoughts on the second one.  The comments here help.  Thank you.

Admitting girls was the deal breaker for me. I will not be registering with my grand kids. But, my kids aren't happy about admitting girls to the program either, so I'm not sure that would come up. 

However, pragmatically, I don't think these YPT changes would have affected our program much 20 years ago.

Barry

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

I've heard of folks trying to register as merit badge counsellors to circumvent the fee.  Would like to see an official policy from national on what "registered" means

The rule now says ...

The new registration requirement (announced in the fall of 2017) was:
"Effective for the 2018 BSA summer camp season, any adult accompanying a Boy Scout troop to a residence camp or other Scouting activity lasting 72 hours or more must be registered as a leader, including completion of a CBC and YPT, even if they are the parent of a youth on the trip."

So I don't think a MBC registration would count.  I think it means a leader in that unit or a leader in some unit.  I'm not sure though.  This is all new.

Edited by fred johnson

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8 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

I've heard of folks trying to register as merit badge counsellors to circumvent the fee.  Would like to see an official policy from national on what "registered" means

The written policy said "must be registered as a leader", which to me implies registered as an adult leader with the unit.  Being registered as an MBC would take care of the CBC and the YPT, but the approval authority is different between the two.  The Chartered Organization approves unit leaders, but the council (or district) approves MBCs.  I would think it would be a good C.Y.A. move to register the adult as a leader with the unit (Unit Scouter Reserve or Unit College Scouter Reserve, probably).  I agree that it would be good to see written official policy from national on what they mean.

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3 hours ago, Thunderbird said:

The old rule was (from the Guide to Safe Scouting):
"Assigning youth members more than two years apart in age to sleep in the same tent should be avoided unless the youth are relatives." [emphasis added.]

The new rule seems to be (new online YPT training):
"When sleeping in the same tent, youth must not be more than 2 years apart in age, unless they are relatives." [emphasis added.]

So "should" has changed to "must".  If you have youth more than 2 years apart in age, then they can't share a tent.  With mixed-age patrols, there might be some Scouts who have to have their own individual tent.  Some troops might have to get some more tents.


The new registration requirement (announced in the fall of 2017) was:
"Effective for the 2018 BSA summer camp season, any adult accompanying a Boy Scout troop to a residence camp or other Scouting activity lasting 72 hours or more must be registered as a leader, including completion of a CBC and YPT, even if they are the parent of a youth on the trip."

But the new online training seems to say:
Adults accompanying a Scouting unit for 72+ (consecutive or non-consecutive) hours must be a registered leader with the BSA.
Registration includes a criminal background check and Youth Protection Training.

So, not sure which one is correct:
-the length of time of the adult's presence at the event or
-the length of time of the activity that triggers the mandatory registration?

 

The way this was explained in one of our Commissioner meetings, is that if the activity is 72 hours or more (read: summer camp), all adults must be registered.  We were told that part of the reasoning for that was the people who would attend Monday/Tuesday, skip a day and come back for Thursday/Friday to try to skirt the 72 hour rule.

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8 minutes ago, MikeS72 said:

The way this was explained in one of our Commissioner meetings, is that if the activity is 72 hours or more (read: summer camp), all adults must be registered.  We were told that part of the reasoning for that was the people who would attend Monday/Tuesday, skip a day and come back for Thursday/Friday to try to skirt the 72 hour rule.

The written policy makes sense to me, but the new online training seems to contradict it.

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