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Youth Protection Clarification Question

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The implications are big, and real, true direction is what folks are asking for. 

To say that 4 scouts from a patrol that want to go for a hike in the town park to work on orienteering skills MUST have 2 registered adults that are 21 or over or the activity can't happen, and that is now our standard of what is OK.  But, 4 scouts going to Mr. Jonson's house after school to work on Communication MB, where they will be alone with Mr. Johnson, is also OK makes no logical sense.

 

 

 

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The absurdities are endless.  If two boys, say working on the First Class cooking requirements, decide to sit together during their school lunch break to work on menus, two registered over 21 YPT trained adult leaders must be present?  It's a meeting afterall.  

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2 hours ago, HashTagScouts said:

To say that 4 scouts from a patrol that want to go for a hike in the town park to work on orienteering skills MUST have 2 registered adults that are 21 or over or the activity can't happen, and that is now our standard of what is OK.  But, 4 scouts going to Mr. Jonson's house after school to work on Communication MB, where they will be alone with Mr. Johnson, is also OK makes no logical sense.

To say that three scouts (girls) with a 28 month age spread from oldest to youngest may share a four-person mini-cabin,  but may not share a four-person tent also makes to logical sense.

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2 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

The absurdities are endless.  If two boys, say working on the First Class cooking requirements, decide to sit together during their school lunch break to work on menus, two registered over 21 YPT trained adult leaders must be present?  It's a meeting afterall.  

To say that if your son invites a friend to your house, to play video games, and he lives nearby and he happens to be in the scout troop, but your son is not quite home yet,  and since you are there also (maybe working upstairs) is a violation of YPT as this is one on one contact in or out of Scouting is absurd.

Doubling down on this, they are playing video games and move on to getting gear together and planning food for an upcoming outing, now that is a scout meeting and "horrors" there are not 2 YPT trained leaders around.  

Tripling down, your daughter (you are the dad, only parent home) has a friend come over, they are both in the new girls troop, to do some school work.  Her dad is a troop leader with you.  As they come in, the usual pleasantries, then a conversation about gear and planning food for an upcoming outing, now this has morphed into a scout meeting and "MORE horrors" while both you and her dad are YPT trained leaders there is NOT a female YPT trained leaders in the vicinity,  clear clear violation.

In all cases I would expect you would need to self report OR logically you realize the absurdity of many the revised YPT rules and nuances, and just keep on keeping on, working to deliver program and maybe generate some YPT absurdity skits.

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On 3/10/2019 at 3:36 AM, David CO said:

I get asked this all the time regarding sports. Can the boys on a team get together for an unsanctioned practice. My answer is no. If they do it, they can be kicked off the team. The school could be penalized.

It is the same way when I was on the school board. Can we get together at Starbucks, have a cup of coffee, and chat about the weather? Yes, but we couldn't talk business. If we did, it would be a serious breach of the Open Meetings Act. We would be breaking the law.

I have a relative who is subject to the insider trading laws. He has to be very careful about talking about business outside of work.

I would be very concerned if I had scouts/parents who were trying to get around the rules like that. It would not be teaching the boys the right values and habits.  I want them to learn good habits to take with them into the adult world.

I sympathize with those who are frustrated with the tangled web of rules being put out by BSA. I also support the right of Chartered Organizations to confront/oppose BSA on some of these rules. But don't be sneaky about it. Sneakiness is not an attractive character trait.

I would be very concerned if I had scouts/parents who were not trying to get around rules that  under the guise of safety forbid the function of the unit that is very core of Boy Scouting.

My boys are not "sneaking".   They have honourably and politely stated that they have no intention of following rules they consider to be both ludicrous and antithetical to Scouting, and that if the adults decide to " kick them off the team"  they will at least go out with their heads held high.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/10/2019 at 3:36 AM, David CO said:

I get asked this all the time regarding sports. Can the boys on a team get together for an unsanctioned practice. My answer is no. If they do it, they can be kicked off the team. The school could be penalized.

I guess it depends on what you mean by "unsanctioned." If you mean using the schools equipment or facilities, you MAY be correct. 

But if a group wants to play soccer at the local park, or basketball at the YMCA or even 7-on-7 football in an open field, that doesn't fall under unsanctioned. Even the NCAA, which is notoriously over-reaching doesn't consider that an infraction. In fact, as long as it is not required, or coerced or attended by staff or their agents most athletes can get together for additional practice. You see D1 QB's get together with their WR's all the time, even using school facilities and balls. 

On 3/10/2019 at 3:36 AM, David CO said:

It is the same way when I was on the school board. Can we get together at Starbucks, have a cup of coffee, and chat about the weather? Yes, but we couldn't talk business. If we did, it would be a serious breach of the Open Meetings Act. We would be breaking the law.

I have not done government work in Illinois for well over a decade, so things may have changed, but I used to do so on several states and no Opening meeting Laws were ever that broad. All of the open meeting laws I had to comply with had criteria like quorums, definitions of the mechanics of conducting business and ALL had exceptions for informal and social gatherings. Hey also included wording about (I forget the exact term) of trying to skirt the quorum and "conduct of business" rules. 

On 3/10/2019 at 3:36 AM, David CO said:

I would be very concerned if I had scouts/parents who were trying to get around the rules like that. It would not be teaching the boys the right values and habits.  I want them to learn good habits to take with them into the adult world.

I sympathize with those who are frustrated with the tangled web of rules being put out by BSA. I also support the right of Chartered Organizations to confront/oppose BSA on some of these rules. But don't be sneaky about it. Sneakiness is not an attractive character trait.

Why did I preface with all of the above?

Because even governing bodies notorious for over reaching (NCAA, Federal and State governments) realize the existence of and make exceptions for personal and social engagement of their governed members. Even with your insider trading laws reference; those laws or very difficult to enforce and convict on because we have rights to assemble and discuss our lives outside the framework of the school and our profession. 

While I fully realize the drivers and reasoning y BSA's policies, they have extended them beyond the point that can one can reasonably be expected to control, or in some cases that are impossible to control, by extending the policies to "out side of scouting." Some of the policies have fundamentally changed the program. 

There are literally dozens of common scenarios where BSA policy is not feasible and/or over reaches. Parents are being told polices that cover the 5% of their lives that consist of Scouting that are now being extended to cover the 95% that isn't Scouting. For parents to question/disregard these polices during that 95% should not surprise anyone.  

 

Edited by HelpfulTracks
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1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

Tripling down, your daughter (you are the dad, only parent home) has a friend come over, they are both in the new girls troop, to do some school work.  Her dad is a troop leader with you.  As they come in, the usual pleasantries, then a conversation about gear and planning food for an upcoming outing, now this has morphed into a scout meeting and "MORE horrors" while both you and her dad are YPT trained leaders there is NOT a female YPT trained leaders in the vicinity,  clear clear violation.

Of course if you make this scenario two moms and their sons it's a-ok.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/11/2019 at 11:50 PM, Sentinel947 said:

I wouldn't say I'm disturbed, but a bit disappointed. National sometimes has challenges getting the verbiage crystal clear on the first roll out. When the changes to the tenting rules and YPT were made in 2019, that language was updated to: "Youth sharing tents must be no more than two years apart in age." Which is clear, concise, and decisive. It leaves no room for interpretation. YPT is important and shouldn't have grey areas and interpretive "wiggle room" in it. 

I get it. National doesn't really have that much staff. Less than volunteers would think there are. Those folks are underpaid and overworked, and they aren't doing the work to become rich, but because they love and care about Scouting. I think it's important for both the pros and the volunteers to recognize in each other that we both love and care about this program, and that requires an extra dose of patience, some honest discussion and disagreement. 

Consider this, if the members of this forum, who are likely some of the most engaged and active Scouters in the country, are having these discussions and confusion regarding the rules, what does that mean for the typical unit? 

Disturbed, frustrated, disappointed; however it should be categorized, it's present for a number of reasons. 

  1. I appreciate that we some professional Scouters on this site, I wish more would come and participate. I have a number of professional Scouters I count as personal friends  (i.e. being friends outside of Scouting as well as in). Unfortunately there are many volunteers that have a negative opinion of professional Scouters in general, mostly unwarranted. It is usually based on a single or few encounters, where professionals are doing their job correctly but it rubs the volunteer the wrong way. I spend a fair amount of time defending professionals from volunteers that really have no reason to be upset. RichardB frequently comes across as dismissive and condescending and that is bothersome and create a justification for those that dislike professionals out of hand. 
  2. It is frustrating that it appears he and other professionals have not read the documents with a close eye and critical thought or he would see how they can be confusing. 
  3. It is frustrating that those making national policy appear to have little to no unit level Scouting experience so they can understand volunteers issues.
  4. If he and others do have unit level experience and do read the documentation closely, but do not understand or acknowledge that BSA distributes contradictory and confusing information across various documents, sometimes within the same document, that is doubly frustrating. 

To quote: "Feedback is a gift." If it felt like it was received that way more often it would go a long ways towards better volunteer/professional relationships.

Edited by HelpfulTracks

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2 minutes ago, HelpfulTracks said:

Disturbed, frustrated, disappointed; however it should be categorized, it's present for a number of reasons. 

  1. I appreciate that we some professional Scouters on this site, I wish more would come and participate. I have a number of professional Scouters I count as personal friends  (i.e. being friends outside of Scouting as well as in). Unfortunately there are many volunteers that have a negative opinion of professional Scouters in general, mostly unwarranted. It is usually based on a single or few encounters, where professionals are doing their job correctly but it rubs the volunteer the wrong way. I spend a fair amount of time defending professionals from volunteers that really have no reason to be upset. RichardB frequently comes across as dismissive and condescending and that is bothersome. 
  2. It is frustrating that it appears he and other professionals have not read the documents with a close eye and critical thought or he would see how they can be confusing. 
  3. It is frustrating that those making national policy appear to have little to no unit level Scouting experience so they can understand volunteers issues.
  4. If he and others do have unit level experience and do read the documentation closely, but do not understand or acknowledge that BSA distributes contradictory and confusing information across various documents, sometimes within the same document, that is doubly frustrating. 

To quote: "Feedback is a gift." If it felt like it was received that way more often it would go a long ways towards better volunteer/professional relationships.

Policies made at the 50,000 foot level, far far away from actual persons (dare I say customers??) who are involved in your program, and made by peoples that are not involved in the day to day, actually in the trenches will more than often miss the mark.

Typically as the Scouting volunteers move up the ladder of their respective council they move further away from the day to day actual "business" of Scouting.  They will be able to speak volumes of how they are involved in the program; Woodbadge staff, working staff at Commissioner College, staffing an event at the council camporee, doing summer camp inspections, SM for NYLT, teaching at MB university, etc etc.  Good things, but the nuts and bolts are sometime missed.  

What looks good in theory and well designed on paper, may not meet muster with an actual unit

As Helmuth von Moltke the Elder noted (He was the Chief of Staff of the Prussian army before World War 1).....“No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.”  Same could be said of most of these policies to one degree or another

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Posted (edited)

As a volunteer it's utterly disheartening to see the disappearance of the abililty for Scouts to meet together without adults. It seems so contrary to what we're trying to accomplish here as Scouters.  "Scouts, we want you to develop the skills to lead youselves and accomplish great things.  But, we can't leave you alone to work independently."

Someday I'd love to hear the internal story here.  I'm guessing that this really wasn't a decision of the BSA, but instead it was driven by the insurers.  I can completly envision a decision by some insurance company that said "we're going to raise your rates 40% unless you make this change."  

I'm not going to criticize any one person on this forum.  Again, I really don't care who pays your salary.  As far as I'm concerned we're all Scouters here.  Professionals and Volunteers alike - please just be yourself here.

But, if I were a professional, I can certainly imagine a fair amount of frustration.  How many posts have we had complaining about this change?  How many times have we all tried to push the edge and find the way around some rule?  I've got to guess that to be a professional on a Scouting forum, you have to have a pretty thick skin.

Edited by ParkMan
typo

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15 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

  I've got to guess that to be a professional on a Scouting forum, you have to have a pretty thick skin.

Not just in an online forum. :) It is an extremely fine balancing act. Especially when you personally agree with the volunteers.

 

1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

Policies made at the 50,000 foot level, far far away from actual persons (dare I say customers??) who are involved in your program, and made by peoples that are not involved in the day to day, actually in the trenches will more than often miss the mark.

Or have never been involved until hired. Extremely frustrating when policies are made by folks with academic credentials and no Scouting credentials.

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Refer to the previous scenarios....   

If an adult Scouter disregards the YPT rules/guidelines,   he/she will (at best) have their BSA membership withdrawn, at worst, they risk legal problems, arrest etc. Not to mention the social (?) results (?). 

If some Scouts choose to meet separately, at the Panera, out in a park,  on the dock at summer camp.... what can the folks at Irving do?   How can anyone REQUIRE and ENFORCE adult presence at a "bunch of Scout's " gathering ? 

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I also don't want to single out BSA. Youth groups are up against similar quandaries. I believe there are some urgent shifts on that front as well.

The problem is that scouting inspires independence commensurate with proven accountability. It is irrational to presume that every unit of every program is going to land on their feet after each shift toward caution.

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