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elitts

Two Deep Leadership on a video chat because Why?

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Posted (edited)

The elimination of scouts being able to hike or camp in patrols was unfortunate, but now it appears the BSA doesn't even feel scouts can communicate safely over video chat without direct adult monitoring.  I have to ask where that line of thinking is going to end.  I realize that we are calling these conference calls "meetings", but that's just labeling.  A "meeting" is a gathering of people at a location or site, and when a bunch of kids are gathering at some location where parental supervision is absent, requiring Two Deep Leadership at least makes logical sense, even if some might argue that it's not really necessary; but a bunch of kids talking together over video chat from the safety of their own homes just doesn't in any way have the same level of potential risk.

I've heard any number of flimsy justifications (bullying, nudity, sexual behavior) for the need to require Two Deep Leadership at virtual meetings, but all of them ring hollow in the face of the fact that the rules don't provide the same requirements in any other situation.  Scouts can communicate with each other in any other way, whether is via voice, phone, email or text without being monitored by adults, but if we call it a "Virtual Meeting", suddenly it's unsafe?  I mean, we aren't sending two adults along with every group of summer campers as they walk from MB to MB, instead we trust them to behave appropriately and we rely on adults being within easy reach to deal with any problems.

I worry that this is yet another step down the road to the BSA wanting to advertise "Your scouts will be safe because they will be continually monitored by at least 2 registered adults at ALL times".

Edited by elitts

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, elitts said:

I've heard any number of flimsy justifications

Very strongly disagree. An online environment, in my opinion, poses many unique risks to youth than being outdoors. That is unfortunately just the world we live in. That two deep leadership is needed now more than ever. Downplaying the risks are irresponsible and immature. 

Our job, first and foremost, is to make sure youth are protected. Yes, sitting in on a one hour video call might provide a slight inconvenience for adults, but that is our responsibility.   

Edited by carebear3895

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, carebear3895 said:

An online environment, in my opinion, poses many unique risks to youth than being outdoors.  

Really?  Please explain what your basis is for this belief.  Keep in mind we aren't talking about general web use where exposure to adult material is a risk.  We aren't talking about Social Media where one bullying post can live on indefinitely and be seen by anyone in the world and we aren't talking about a situation where someone can interact with the group anonymously.

The actual risks are that someone will say something mean/insulting or the public conversation could be recorded and both of those can quite easily happen during a in in-person conversation as well.  "Zoombombing" is also a potential issue, but it's not one that having adults monitoring the conversation will actually prevent.  As with any in person interactions, all we can really do is trust that if something untoward happens, the kids are capable of shouting "Mom/Dad, come see what's going on!"

Personally, I'm MUCH more concerned about one-on-one video conversations than I am about a group format where anything said is being heard by multiple other people.

Quote

Yes, sitting in on a one hour video call might provide a slight inconvenience for adults, but that is our responsibility. 

My issue with this requirement has NOTHING to do with it being any sort of inconvenience.  My issue is that it creates an environment where the scouts can't behave and interact normally because they know they are being monitored.  I mean, I'm sure every adult scouter out there has "watched the fun die" when a group of scouts that is laughing and having fun becomes suddenly quiet and restrained as the adult approached the group.

Edited by elitts

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Elitts, are you pointing to a specific BSA posting somewhere, or just the GTSS requirement of two adults at scouting events being applied to online settings? 

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11 hours ago, elitts said:

"Zoombombing" is also a potential issue, but it's not one that having adults monitoring the conversation will actually prevent. 

Zoombombing is a good enough reason for me. An adult monitoring can't prevent it, but they can immediately deal with it. 

I "sat in" on our kids' troop meeting this week. I put myself on mute and turned up the audio where I could hear it and had dinner with my family while casually listening to the girls discuss cooking requirements for rank. It wasn't a big deal. There were a couple other adults there too, and I wasn't the one in charge of hosting, so I wasn't the one watching for hackers. 

A little adult oversight doesn't hurt anything, and has the potential to help a lot if "something" happens. 

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@elitts Pardon me for being  short, but I have very little patience for Scouters who feel like Youth Protection standards are unnecessary. 

Not sure what "fun dying" happens when their is an adult present. In my experience, if a group of scouts suddenly changed their behavior when an adult leader is approaching, 9 times out of 10 that group of scouts was doing something "un-scoutlike" 

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If you are using Zoom, there are some things that the host can do to reduce the potential of Zoombombing:

  • Use Zoom's waiting rooms and only let people you know into the Zoom meeting
  • Ask Scouts to use their real first name or nickname so that the host can recognize them
  • Use meeting passwords
  • Remove participants, if needed

https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/04/08/zoom-product-updates-new-security-toolbar-icon-for-hosts-meeting-id-hidden/

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47 minutes ago, Thunderbird said:

If you are using Zoom, there are some things that the host can do to reduce the potential of Zoombombing:

  • Use Zoom's waiting rooms and only let people you know into the Zoom meeting
  • Ask Scouts to use their real first name or nickname so that the host can recognize them
  • Use meeting passwords
  • Remove participants, if needed

https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/04/08/zoom-product-updates-new-security-toolbar-icon-for-hosts-meeting-id-hidden/

Exactly what we are doing here in the UK. Zoom has become the forum of choice for every age group and we use all the above. 

The other thing to remember about the two deep rule is that presumably that is the rule for your normal troop nights? What we are trying to do at our troop here is try to retain a sense of being as close to normality as possible. So our zoom meets are at the same day and time as our regular troop nights. We still have flag break (I share my screen and show a video from youtube of a flag break and ask them to stand up, to attention and salute during it), we still use the patrol system as far as zoom allows (break out rooms), of course it's not the same but I think the sense of normality is helpful for everyone. The point being that maintaining your two deep rule can simply be part of that mainenance of normality.

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17 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

As far for "fun dying." Group dynamics absolutely change when participants in the group change. I do not agree that 9/10 times if youth change their behavior around adults, that they were acting inappropriately. Youth have to adjust their communication styles around adults, and they will also be more wary of being contradicted or corrected by adults. Further, around their parents or authority figures, they don't want to say something that will embarrass them in front of that authority figure, which could be totally harmless around their peers. Also, many adults (including yours truly) cannot keep our mouths shut and opinions to ourselves. BP understood this, and that's why Scouts are supposed to have space away from adults, under our supervision, where they can grow, practice leading themselves and others, and be part of a team, without being railroaded by adults. Adults being present totally changes this dynamic, as the leader of the group is always and automatically the adult, despite our best intentions as adults. 
 

I have seen this first hand in the troop I left.  When adults socially distanced themselves from the Scouts by 30 to 100 yards, They are active, involved, and doing what they are supposed to be doing.  But as soon as some adults appear, they became lifeless automotons because they know that the adults will be telling them what to do and how to do it. And with some other adult, they will just walk away because the adult will take over completely and do stuff for the Scouts.

 

Trust me, I know how important YP is, I have had too many incidents over the years. But I do believe the current YP rules are excessive. No more patrol day activities, no more 18-20 year old ASMs counting as a second adult, no more parents as a second adult. I'm glad I am not a 18-20 year old ASM now. My troop growing up would not have been able to go to summer camp, and I would need 2 adults over 21 watching when I taught Lifesaving and other MBs.

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2 hours ago, RichardB said:

@RichardB some of the points on the "Safety Moment" are more intuitive than others. Say, for example, avoiding recording. That is very hard not to do! I have had parents who review all of their kids' texts. I am certain we no have such parents who record every online session.

Lacking incident reports, it's hard to tell which suggestions are reactions to actual abuse and which ones are defensive out of fear of hypothetical litigation.

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And FWIW,

If you ever see any invitations from National to contact them directly with questions regarding clarification of policies, don't!  National expects you to go through your local SE, and they will defer to the local SE interpretation, even if more stringent than the National policymakers intended.  And if the SE interpretation is less stringent than the national policy, National gives you and the SE a black eye.   If you choose to ask National staff, they will cc your SE...even if your YPT questions bridge over several councils (going to camp or treks out-of-council, for example) interpreting or implementing a policy differently within their borders.

Any invitation from them to engage without attribution is not sincere.  If you choose to do so, use a new/unidentifiable email address...but if they cannot ID you, you probably won't get an answer.

Caveat emptor.

 

 

 

 

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We usually have 3 adults in our Zoom troop meetings but when we do a Patrol breakout, we let the PL handle that part of the meeting and just pop in and out to make sure they are not having any technical  issues. This is very much the same as our regular Troop meetings in that when they break into patrols there are no adults sitting in that with a specific patrol.  My two ASMs usually don't say a word and I only speak duirng SM minute. One of my ASMs is also the Eagle Coordinator so he may stay the older scout patrol when they breakout.

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