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skeptic

YP and allowing actual Patrol Method?

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With the large changes in liability buffers and YP, how do we realistically allow a valid opportunity for the PL or SPL to lead in an outdoor environment?  Since two deep adult leadership is needed, according to current standards, how do you allow them to hike while being in charge, but still fulfill the YP rules?  Would having the adults hike in the back within reach, but not actually in sight allow this?  We all know that youth will mostly turn to the visible or within shouting adult when they have fears or concerns with their youth leaders.  Is this a skill we need to teach and learn in modern adult training?  Follow Me Boys has a number of "no adult" scenarios, things that were the norm then.  Most of us with more than 50 years likely have our own stories.  That was part of the process of learning, and should still be with proper options for safety.  Youth leader (only) in direct contact with the adults in the rear with phone or walkie?  Runner option if something happens?  How to do it with as much distance as possible is the big conundrum.  

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I saw a post here where a person was saying, if the situation was right, the adults could stay in camp while the Scouts are on a hike.

We have an outing this year that would be perfect for this. We have a group campsite next to a lake. There is a trail around the lake, 4 miles, flat hiking. No road, just trail, nice woods. I was hoping to stay in camp while patrol A goes clockwise and patrol B goes counterclockwise. I intend to have a PLC that morning to review the map, and then send them with walkie talkies. Then pour a cup of coffee and read the paper.

Thoughts?

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Adults (or perhaps an adult) were within scream most of the time when I  was a Scout in the Golden Age when Bill ruled the roost.  However, back before the "Improved Scouting Program," adults were trained, unlike the period thereafter, and especially since 2000.  So here's how an adult reacted if he wanted to be around again:

Out on a backpacker in the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area

Scout: "Johnny is getting real tired.  Should we take a break?"

Adult: "I'm only a Scouter.  Did you ask a leader.? I see the ASPL [SPL; PL] over there.   [turning and walking away]."

 

Absolutely no problem.

In the Age of Incompetence," big problem.   

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4 minutes ago, RainShine said:

I saw a post here where a person was saying, if the situation was right, the adults could stay in camp while the Scouts are on a hike.

We have an outing this year that would be perfect for this. We have a group campsite next to a lake. There is a trail around the lake, 4 miles, flat hiking. No road, just trail, nice woods. I was hoping to stay in camp while patrol A goes clockwise and patrol B goes counterclockwise. I intend to have a PLC that morning to review the map, and then send them with walkie talkies. Then pour a cup of coffee and read the paper.

Thoughts?

The rules changed a few years ago, so much learning was rendered obsolete.

One constant problem is the inability of BSA to communicate clearly.  Two registered adults "21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings."  If the adults are back "in camp," is he or she "at" the hike"?    I submit that, at the very least, the further the Scouts are separated from the adults, the more likely YP is being violated and the hike is a "prohibited activity."   Nor is any consideration expressed in YP of the impact of technology on whether adults are "at" a given location.  The explanation of the longer-standing  "no one-on-one" rule states that others must be in "view" of an adult and Scout for it not to be a "one-on-one" situation.  So one may infer, at one's own risk, or one could ask your counsel for a ruling.  (In my experience, that often results in being referred to BSA, where one may or may not get an answer.)  Binocular-equipped Scouters in a boat at your lake?

(Note:  BSA has advised me in writing that, contrary to any rational interpretation of the YP "Two registered adult..." rule, a Merit Badge Counselor may meet  (surely a "meeting") with a candidate without a second registered adult being present.  Of course,  a third person must be present.  This  position by BSA is daft as a matter of interpreting the BSA YP language, but it is, nevertheless, correct IMO as a matter of being able to use the Advancement Method.)

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11 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

If the adults are back "in camp," is he or she "at" the hike"?    I submit that, at the very least, the further the Scouts are separated from the adults, the more likely YP is being violated and the hike is a "prohibited activity." 

Now we're getting into grey areas with subjectivity. No, they aren't at the hike, but they're at the campout which is the primary activity. I'd do a risk assessment and determine if it was really necessary for adult(s) to be needed on every sub-activity. 

How old are these Scouts, estimated time/distance of hike, familiarity with the trail or area, maturity, etc. Just as I wouldn't expect adults to necessary to chaperone Scouts down to the Trading Post, I would make allowances for Trustworthy Scouts to take a short hike without adults.  That said, I enjoy hiking and would probably ask to tag along for fun but would hang way back in the rear as I always do. I'd still be within eyesight though, since no matter the pre-plotted route, my Scouts always seems to find a different path to take.

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They're 13 and 14yo's and capable and competent to do this hike. If we quit Scouting and went to that state park with those same buddies, I would not hesitate to send them on that hike while me and the other dads stayed in camp.

When I was that age we got on our bikes and were gone for the afternoon. uhg sorry this makes me frustrated.

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You can't write easy to understand rules that apply to all situations.  When I read two deep for all scouting activities and meetings, I interpret that as structure recurring scout meetings and big activities.  If a patrol wants to bike down to a park on Saturday and shoot hoops, that does not require a scout leader.  If the troop is on a weekend campout and a patrol wants to go on a five mile hike in the state park or in the scout camp, that does not require adults to go with those scouts.  ... BUT ... if an adult did go with them, two should be planned.  

We absolutely need to require youth protection, but we still need to encourage the independence that helps scouts grow and makes scouting fun.

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8 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

  ... BUT ... if an adult did go with them, two should be planned.  

Why?

Let's not confuse 2 deep with no one-on-one.  1 adult can be with multiple Scouts at a given time.

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1 hour ago, RainShine said:

I saw a post here where a person was saying, if the situation was right, the adults could stay in camp while the Scouts are on a hike.

We have an outing this year that would be perfect for this. We have a group campsite next to a lake. There is a trail around the lake, 4 miles, flat hiking. No road, just trail, nice woods. I was hoping to stay in camp while patrol A goes clockwise and patrol B goes counterclockwise. I intend to have a PLC that morning to review the map, and then send them with walkie talkies. Then pour a cup of coffee and read the paper.

Thoughts?

Yes, I was the one who suggested the adults set up at camp. I like your plan. It depends on your PLs and their assistants (in this case, the assistant may not be the APL, but the patrol's best navigator). You adults could add an SAR component to it. You could "dead drop" a package of each patrol's favorite treats, mark the waypoint on a GPS, and as a patrol approaches a drop, radio in the coordinates.

Our summer camp is similarly situated, and scouts can sign out with a buddy (or five or six) to go on that 4-5 mile hike. It's a mix of road and trail. It has some interesting stopping points and I sometimes challenge them to get a picture of something along the way.

From time to time I and another adult leader have shadowed buddies/patrols/troops on that hike. Troops are the worst regarding discipline. Buddies are the best. Patrols ... somewhere in-between. Although, I guess if we sent out 20 buddy pairs a day, we'd find one of them would get into some shenanigans.

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1 hour ago, Pale Horse said:

Why?

Let's not confuse 2 deep with no one-on-one.  1 adult can be with multiple Scouts at a given time.

Good Lord this is the most confused element.  They are vastly different and wholly unrelated, other than both should be observed. 

One leader of another unit at camp was concerned about how they could have Scouts at various troop activities as it would spread leaders to thin.  We talked with them, tried to guide them on 2 deep at the camp, but no one on one.  He could not grasp that if one leader went wandering to the camp store with 3 Scouts, that was not in fact one on one.  

We took his thinking down the rabbit hole and tried to show that using that thinking for a troop of 20 Scouts you would need a vast amount of leaders.  I suggested personal autonomous drones for each Scout and a vast network of trail cameras to insure safety, but do not feel that my sarcasm was well received.

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if I were "king," a patrol could go on a day hike with no adults, o=providing the Scoutmaster approved.  That was the rule for over seventy-five years.  To which, some might say, times have changed."  And they have.

At present, BSA might say: "Two or more registered adults must attend each Scout activity, such as a campout or meeting.  It is preferred, but not required, that no group of Scouts go off separately, beyond sight or sound, with less than two registered adults. "

 

This wording would pretty clearly, or more clearly, reflect this official statement of BSA in Scouting,  January 19, 2028:

Q: "My understanding is, as long as Two Deep is practiced for the overall campout or event, it is always OK for a single adult to be with Scouts as long as there is more than one boy present."

A:  "Not quite, we prefer to have a minimum of two adults as your previous paragraph described."

 

Or, to piggyback on the official answer: "As long as Two Deep is practiced for the overall campout or event, it is always OK for a single adult to be with Scouts as long as there is more than one boy present, but BSA prefers to have a minimum of two adults present with any group of Scouts."

 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Pale Horse said:

Let's not confuse 2 deep with no one-on-one.  1 adult can be with multiple Scouts at a given time.

You are right.  In my troop, we have an unofficial habit of when one adult goes somewhere, usually another tags along.  It's more polite and friendly than expected.  But we don't have adults follow scouts.  IMHO, scouts need to exercise independence and we as adults need to look for opportunities to let scouts feel independent. 

Edited by fred8033

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Posted (edited)
On 3/3/2020 at 9:56 PM, TAHAWK said:

At present, BSA might say: "Two or more registered adults must attend each Scout activity, such as a camp-out or meeting.  It is preferred, but not required, that no group of Scouts go off separately, beyond sight or sound, with less than two registered adults. "

 

Personally, I think at this point the "unofficial" BSA position is: "Can't we just have Cub Scouts (and its rules and risk profile) run from age 7 - 17?"

I mean, stating that "preference" is about as useful as a school saying "We'd prefer that every single student be in class and alert every day, diligently complete and turn in every assignment on time and get along with the rest of the students in perfect harmony".  Yeah, that'd be nice, but it's also never going to happen, so why even pretend that's the goal?

Beyond that, my take is that I'm going to have to treat Scouting Magazine articles and Bryan on Scouting posts the same way I treat instructions on rules that I get from any other Scouter or Council staff or volunteer.  ie: "Either show me where it's published in the official guidelines or manuals or stop talking to me about it."  The BSA has clearly shown it's capable of publishing official FAQs since there are several on their website; so if that explanation of "Two Deep Leadership" isn't on the Youth Protection page, I can only assume it's not really the official party line.

Quote

how do you allow them to hike while being in charge, but still fulfill the YP rules?

Hiking isn't a high risk activity in most circumstances and even the BSA thought so until the lawyers got involved.  As long as the adults in camp are within a reasonable distance/time given the most likely injuries, I think "2 Deep" is covered.  This of course means the acceptable distance will vary depending on the functionality of radios or cell phones.  If it's a longer hike or hilly enough that communication isn't feasible, I think having the adults trail along a mile or two back isn't any big problem.

Edited by elitts

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53 minutes ago, elitts said:

 

I mean, stating that "preference" is about as useful as a school saying "We'd prefer that every single student be in class and alert every day, diligently complete and turn in every assignment on time and get along with the rest of the students in perfect harmony".  Yeah, that'd be nice, but it's also never going to happen, so why even pretend that's the goal?

 

Schools don't say preference.  The most common word used by schools is expectation.  Our expectation is...

I don't agree that it is never going to happen.  Most of the time, students and scouts will rise up to meet the expectations.  So let's not set the bar too low.  We can have consequences for those who don't meet the expectations.  

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On 3/3/2020 at 12:30 PM, RainShine said:

I saw a post here where a person was saying, if the situation was right, the adults could stay in camp while the Scouts are on a hike.

We have an outing this year that would be perfect for this. We have a group campsite next to a lake. There is a trail around the lake, 4 miles, flat hiking. No road, just trail, nice woods. I was hoping to stay in camp while patrol A goes clockwise and patrol B goes counterclockwise. I intend to have a PLC that morning to review the map, and then send them with walkie talkies. Then pour a cup of coffee and read the paper.

Thoughts?

Yes, I have some thoughts.  We used to give kids more freedom, but we also demanded accountability.  If scouts misbehaved while out on the trail (unsupervised), there was hell to pay when they got back to camp.  
 

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