Jump to content
John-in-KC

2019 GUIDE TO SAFE SCOUTING

Recommended Posts

One of the first times my SM volunteered to come to a crew event with me, he volunteered to transport ... thinking that he'd wind up with a car full of the boys ... since they basically knew the drill and he was, after all, their SM. (As you might guess already, I'm not to map out these details in advance.) Well, sure enough, come departure time (which involved the complexity of roof-top carriers, etc ...), the boys piled in my car and the girls in his! The terrified look on his face was one of those precious crew advisor moments that will stay with me forever. It wound up being one of his better four hour drives to camp. The young women were truly great, as I knew they would be.

I would never let YPT hype rob us of what is right and good in the world.

Edited by qwazse
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had the annual... what I call "gun" event this last weekend. This event is your standard go out and shoot and throw at targets located located at various stations scattered super far away from each other that lasts all day. Lots of fun for everyone who wants to go. Lots of walking too. One of our scouts hit all five skeet which was cool. However for me it was a constant "Youth Protection must be observed" type of weekend. With adults getting caught in Youth Protection types of situations where we were generally of one mind and didn't have to even talk about what to do. There was only one time where I had to come down hard on someone's bad idea so it wouldn't become an issue. 

At the meeting before the weekend, the adult with a very bad idea had to be told how really awful his idea was. He must have lost his mind or something. One of the scouts had double booked themselves and had to work Friday evening until well after the troop was on the road. So he couldn't come with us. The adult in question tried to figure out a way for this scout to still attend and was trying to hook up another non-family-related Scouter to drive him early Saturday morning in time to make the event. The adult knew it was a YP violation, but was still wanting to do it anyway because he trusted the other Scouter completely. I made it very clear that it was a violation and shouldn't be done. I warned first and when that didn't seem to change the adult's mind, I made it super clear it would be reported if it happened. I was also proud of the fact that I was not alone and that three other Scouters stated the very same thing. End result? No violation. However I was very irritated he even contemplated it and I was worried he would try something behind our backs or something. It gave me a difficult time sleeping that night because I knew if it happened and I reported it, that would mean the end of one and possibly two adults in scouting and that as the one who reported it, I probably would have a horrible time with the troop for getting two other scouters kicked out. But I was resolute that I would report it and I prepared by looking up the procedures. I was extremely thankful that nothing happened that needed to be reported.  

The second involved me. I was in a car with another adult. No scouts in the car. When we got to the event site and finished checking in, a scout joined us for the final ride out to the campsite. All good. We parked at the campsite to unload. Driver got out to ask if that was where he could park temporarily. About half a minute went by and I realize I was alone in a car with a scout. And it was cold outside. And I wasn't wanting to leave the warm car yet. So I got out and put on my coat, knowing that the scout would stay in the car where it was warm. Scout followed me out of the car and wanted to stand and talk with me, sheltered from the wind by the car. I moved. He followed. I was internally cursing the situation. I went well out of the sheltered area and into the biting wind next to others. It was certainly cold. Scout followed, but now we were surrounded by others. 

The third was quickly and easily averted. A younger scout wanted to sleep with an older scout. About 5 years apart. I was already starting to voice the issue, when the SM turned to me to verify the age gap that could sleep together. He knew that it was probably an issue at least. Those two scouts did not share a tent. I had to internally boggle that the SM had to even ask. The cold must have done something to his brain. 

The fourth YP item that could have been an issue was a simple out of sight situation. The adult was "explaining" in a controlled, yet unhappy way, that a task had not been completed as directed. He was doing it out of sight and sound of everyone, perhaps because he didn't want to make it a public event or because the item in question was right there in a heap in the trailer instead of folded and stored as had been requested before multiple times during the day/evening. (it had at least been moved from out between the tents to the trailer) As it was, I happened upon it because the scout had to pass through the kitchen area and go by me to turn the corner into the trailer and I glanced in to see what was going on. I told my fellow cook what I was doing. I planted myself as a distant observer where I could see and hear what was going on, but I wasn't in the scout's direct sight so he didn't get the feeling of being ganged up upon. Afterwards I made sure the Scouter knew that he needed to be sure he wasn't alone with a scout. I know he wasn't thinking as he was irritated. But still, one must be ever vigilant. 

And the last event was during the event campfire by the lodge at the entrance. Said older and last year scout from the last paragraph didn't feel like going to the event campfire now because life was unfair after his bad attitude and decisions were pointed out. And we had another 12 y/o scout who had gone to sleep right after chow. We kept forgetting about him since he was in his tent. The other adult who I was hanging out with really wanted to go to the campfire, but he saw the issue when I asked him to stay. I didn't have to explain it thankfully. So we sat around our campfire and chatted.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Buggie said:

A younger scout wanted to sleep with an older scout. About 5 years apart. I was already starting to voice the issue, when the SM turned to me to verify the age gap that could sleep together. He knew that it was probably an issue at least. Those two scouts did not share a tent. I had to internally boggle that the SM had to even ask. The cold must have done something to his brain. 

SM may have asked (I assume from your description that he asked in front of the scouts) thinking that if it came from more than one scouter it would be accepted without being questioned as much as if he had just said no himself.  That has happened to me several times with both pack and troop, where I know that the person asking knows the rule, whether it is YPT or something else, but knows that the scout (or other scouter) will be less likely to question the decision if they hear it from both of us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Buggie said:

The third was quickly and easily averted. A younger scout wanted to sleep with an older scout. About 5 years apart. I was already starting to voice the issue, when the SM turned to me to verify the age gap that could sleep together. He knew that it was probably an issue at least. Those two scouts did not share a tent. I had to internally boggle that the SM had to even ask. The cold must have done something to his brain. 

Those kinds of issues don't usually come up in our troop. Patrols tent together and all the patrols have kids who are within a year or so of each other in age. 

The only time that kind of age difference might be okay is with siblings. I can see a younger scout wanting to tent with his big brother. Even then, I'd encourage the younger scout to stay with his patrol.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a little curious Buggie, you give the impression that you are the respected authority over all the adults and have little patience for not following strict enforcement of policies and rules. Are you a retired SM or something similar? Would a refresher training class be an option to bring your fellow adults up to speed?

Barry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I was a parent for many years on the outside looking in with no knowledge of where the rules even were. I also respected my son's wish to have a place without parents looking over his shoulder. I was finally able to get in because of a job change that gave me more freedom and I joined a different troop to keep out of my son's hair. I think he had a far better experience that way.

Once I got my green light to join, I was very keen on knowing the rules in general, specifically the advancement section. Mainly because I recognized how some made up or misinterpreted rules were used against my son. And thus, could also be used against other scouts. People are taught not to question the authority. I'm certainly no rules expert and I can easily forget or muddle things myself. My sharpness comes from events involving my own son. Things where Scouters were making up stuff in regards to advancement etc. There were gates put up because of retaliation when my son reported being bullied by a popular scout. As far as YP, we had an adult outside of scouting who did the classic items you see in YPT2. I'm extremely thankful my wife and I listened to our guts and kept our kid away from him. He was eventually arrested by the FBI and was put in prison. That's why I caution folks who are going to take YPT2 for the first time because it triggered things in me because I saw all the different things that lowlife tried to do to my son and us. 

As far as a refresher, I'm not sure. We all had to take the YPT2 last spring. I haven't seen anyone who isn't aware of it, except for that first incident I mentioned where the adult was actively looking to break the provisions. That was bad in all respects and they were called out on it by others too. All those other incidents were simple nods to the affect that we were vigilant and stepped up correctly. I still laugh at that scout who kept following me when I was trying to stay out of a 1-on-1 situation. The scouts don't understand that side of things. If there is any aspect of training we should do, it's to do a very simple talk with scouts about not being in a 1-on-1 situation outside of family members. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not tying to play the devils advocate here, I'm just not sure what the current rules would say given the following situation.  Which although hypothetical could very easily happen in our troop.

A Cub Scout we'll call him Jimmy who is 10 years old , bridges over in March and wants to join his 12 year old brothers Patrol. It is a mixed-age patrol, the oldest being the patrol leader, a life Scout who just turned 14.

The patrol uses 4 man tents, on the May campout only 4 scouts from the patrol can come.  Two 13 year olds, the PL, and Jimmy.

Do the current rules stipulate that Jimmy must sleep alone in a separate tent?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Oldscout448 said:

Do the current rules stipulate that Jimmy must sleep alone in a separate tent?

Common sense says that you don't put a 10-year old new scout in a tent by himself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, mrkstvns said:

Common sense says that you don't put a 10-year old new scout in a tent by himself.

Why not bring 2 of those 4-man tents and split the boys up 2 in one tent and 3 in another?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Oldscout448 said:

Not tying to play the devils advocate here, I'm just not sure what the current rules would say given the following situation.  Which although hypothetical could very easily happen in our troop.

A Cub Scout we'll call him Jimmy who is 10 years old , bridges over in March and wants to join his 12 year old brothers Patrol. It is a mixed-age patrol, the oldest being the patrol leader, a life Scout who just turned 14.

The patrol uses 4 man tents, on the May campout only 4 scouts from the patrol can come.  Two 13 year olds, the PL, and Jimmy.

Do the current rules stipulate that Jimmy must sleep alone in a separate tent?

10 year old Jimmy cannot share a tent with the 13 and 14 year old scouts so yes he would have to sleep alone.

He might be able to sleep with another scout from another patrol but that kinda defeats the patrol method.

Edited by NealOnWheels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am working on starting a new EMS Explorer Post. Since the Exploring program uses the same YPT and the Guide to Safe Scouting (GTSS), I am looking for ideas on how to be compliant with this program. In my state, students can become certified as EMTs at age 16 and are permitted to run on ambulances at that age as long as there is a 21+ year old adult crew member with them (state regs). How would an Explorer program be compliant with the GTSS while Explorers are on the ambulance? It is not feasible to have every staff member of the ambulance company become registered leaders. Ambulances in the sponsoring organization are typically staffed with two EMTs (age 18+) and the Explorer would be a third crew member until s/he turns 18 and and become a full crew member.

GTSS: "Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities..."

How do I sell this to the sponsoring organization? I can't have three extra people on the ambulances. There would be no room for the patient.

GTSS: Re. restrooms - "The buddy system should be used."

Do we need a buddy to accompany a 19 year old to pee when they are in the station? 😆 Srsly?

I  understand the need for youth protection (I used to own a house 150 yards from Jerry Sandusky's, we're both members of the same church, etc. No, I didn't know. But everyone one around here is hypersensitive, especially local BSA.).

Thanks for ideas on policy.

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First and foremost, there are activities of the EMS agency, and there are activities of your Post. Make sure you understand which is what. 

I would get ahold of the Council Learning For Life Director. This is a matter the professional service should deal with. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. Our council has a school based LFL program but never an Explorer program like this. It's new territory for everyone, including the LFL director.

Edited by MarkMilliron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fuzzy math with ride-alongs and youth protection. 

There is a training module on Ride Along Safety on my.Scouting.

IMHO the BSA needs to understand when you are in another person's house, it is their rules.  Sure the BSA can "certify" police, fire, ems departments and personnel for ride-alongs, but  not micromanage the patrol car , engine, ambulance crews.  At what point do we teach self-protection from blood-borne pathogens, patients, and co-workers?

My $0.02,

We are...

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...Penn State.

Thanks for pointing me to the Ride Along training. I didn't look under the Law Enforcement Exploring section before.

I am also on my way to a national EMS conference this weekend and am presenting on engaging youth to improve emergency services volunteerism on Sunday. Explorers is one opportunity that I am recommending to complement the more generic "junior" EMS and fire membership categories that organizations have. In Pennsylvania, the Senate Resolution 6 Commission that just recently issued their report on solving emergency services' problems included recommendations on engaging students. They mentioned Exploring once. I am looking at trying to use Exploring as a model for recruiting and retaining community volunteers, but ... these strapped agencies have to be able to commit to something feasible.

Mark

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×