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4 minutes ago, MattR said:

Every district has at least one unit that would rather go on their own because they feel they know better. Maybe they do and maybe they don't. Think about that with respect to YP and it's chilling. There is no control over these units.

We go our own way because we are so stringent with YPT, among other things. ;) 

We are known as the exemplar.  If you want to find the gold standard for the way to conduct a program, come visit us.  Always room for improvement, though...

We see too many other adults cut too many corners, particularly in safety matters, that we are comfortable interacting with three other nearby Troops with leaders of similar mindset.

9 minutes ago, MattR said:

Most are probably fine but how many need to fail before it impacts all the other units? How many units consist of 10 scouts and two parents that go camping.

We do at least four patrol-only camping trips per year.  With six patrols, that's twelve adults minimum.  Two adults is fine... please don't paint it as if it is not.

10 minutes ago, MattR said:

How many of these units have one parent that shows up late or goes home early because they're stretched thin, busy at work, etc?

Never.  When there are only two, if you can't make the whole trip, have a swap out worked into the plan, or do not go. 

11 minutes ago, MattR said:

It requires something more than throwing a video, pamphlet, or form over the fence.

Hear, hear!!

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This is one of that areas that the BSA can certainly clean up.  They need to be clear what is a YPT rule and what is a program rule.  Mixing the two dilutes the importance of the YPT rules.  It has to

Oh, the humanity!  Hang on to that picture.  If BSA survives the current round of lawsuits, you might be eligible for the next round.  Maybe in 10 years.  This may be your retirement plan.    

I was asking my Webelos aged son yesterday what games they play in PE at school so I would have some Den Meeting ideas.  He asked me if they could play Dodgeball.  Of course I had to explain that it w

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11 hours ago, ThenNow said:

A few random points:

1) Rumor is, compelling data illustrating the YPT has not been as effective as claimed will be released soon, countering the narrative that the existing program is sufficient and there is no need to address enhanced measures in the Plan. I'm told the data is dispositive. I make no assertion about the effectiveness one way or the other, since I don't know the facts. I do know this is a major issue for many claimants, some of them with positions of influence in the case. If the BSA is unwilling to adopt and implement additional measures, whatever that means, those players will not be supportive of the Plan. Don't shoot the messenger. "I got my news from the Chinese plate!" Another arcane reference and one I use to say, I have it on good authority that this is so.

 

 

I'd really be curious to see any actual data on YPT.  I don't know that I've ever actually seen any.  

i've seen plenty of assertions that it's among the best, and as I mentioned above it seems pretty standard to the other training I've received.

Has anyone on the boards here ever seen any actual stats?

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18 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

We go our own way because we are so stringent with YPT, among other things. ;)

In a way this illustrates my point. I don't doubt that your troop is well run. Yet your ability to go your own way implies units that don't have your stringency, that have sloppy YP, can fly under the radar because they also believe they should go their own way. Kids get hurt. On a lessor level units just have a poor program and that creates negative PR that we all have to deal with.

Changing the culture to be more focused on quality rather than membership numbers, whether for YP or program, is going to be a hard push. Units want their autonomy, councils want their salaries and national is just hanging on for dear life. I'd really like to see that change but I don't expect it.

My apologies for being a downer. 

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2 minutes ago, MattR said:

In a way this illustrates my point. I don't doubt that your troop is well run. Yet your ability to go your own way implies units that don't have your stringency, that have sloppy YP, can fly under the radar because they also believe they should go their own way. Kids get hurt. On a lessor level units just have a poor program and that creates negative PR that we all have to deal with.

Changing the culture to be more focused on quality rather than membership numbers, whether for YP or program, is going to be a hard push. Units want their autonomy, councils want their salaries and national is just hanging on for dear life. I'd really like to see that change but I don't expect it.

My apologies for being a downer. 

Not a downer, at all.  I'm sure we all wish the program would be better implemented at the unit level.  Can you imagine how many youth would want to be Scouts if it were so?

The sticking point is, how do you do this?  What is the forcing function?  As I had posited before, I believe this was supposed to be the vision for the function of the Commissioners Corps, but we ain't there...locally or nationally...

5 minutes ago, MattR said:

In a way this illustrates my point. I don't doubt that your troop is well run. Yet your ability to go your own way implies units that don't have your stringency, that have sloppy YP, can fly under the radar because they also believe they should go their own way. Kids get hurt. On a lessor level units just have a poor program and that creates negative PR that we all have to deal with.

Changing the culture to be more focused on quality rather than membership numbers, whether for YP or program, is going to be a hard push. Units want their autonomy, councils want their salaries and national is just hanging on for dear life. I'd really like to see that change but I don't expect it.

My apologies for being a downer. 

Here's a radical thought...pay the Scoutmasters!!

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On 3/6/2021 at 12:58 PM, yknot said:

 I can see where that would have some basis in fact, at least as far as how that data could be a reality. In the BSA YPT system, there is no oversight. COs are supposed to be the overseers on paper, but in reality that often does not happen and there are multiple reasons why Districts, Councils, and the BSA turn a blind eye to that and don't enforce it. There is a lack of clarity in many BSA YPT policies. There is great variation in how different scouters and units interpret YPT.  In those ways I think it is less effective than the YPT programs administered by some of the churches, sports leagues and other youth activities I have encountered. There is a lot more clarity and direct oversight in other youth organizations. That might also be a function of the fact that many of those activities are less fraught with problematic situations than scouting is.   

I coach cross-country and track for grades 4-8.  BSA's YPT is better in terms of material covered and instruction on protection from abuse than the USATF's 'Safe Sports' program (which includes instruction on sports injuries and motivation issues).  There's very little occasion, at least at this level, for abuse to occur.

I don't think lack of clarity is as much an issue as lack of oversight or method of insuring each unit actually puts into practice the YPT.  As to how you do that....

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4 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Not a downer, at all.  I'm sure we all wish the program would be better implemented at the unit level.  Can you imagine how many youth would want to be Scouts if it were so?

The sticking point is, how do you do this?  What is the forcing function?  As I had posited before, I believe this was supposed to be the vision for the function of the Commissioners Corps, but we ain't there...locally or nationally...

Here's a radical thought...pay the Scoutmasters!!

I think it would have to start with a shift at the council/district level.  

The Commissioner corp can be the right group to lead the charge, but we need to stop ignoring and abusing the commissioners.  I would start with a few things:

1. Make the Council Commissioner the top volunteer in a council.  Same for a district.  Today we place a business person in the role of Council President/District Chair.  That means the top volunteer is going to focus on what they know - membership, money, and growth.  If you made the top volunteer a tenured, uniformed volunteer who had primary responsibility for unit service, that would change a lot.  

2. Really focus on the unit support role for commissioners.  A Unit Commissioners success is defined by the success of the unit.  Unit service is about building relationships with unit.  This is not a skill that most Scouters inherently understand.

3. Create a growth path from Scoutmaster/CC to Commissioner.  Set the expectation that good Scoutmasters & Committee Chairs become Unit Commissioners.  Stop the expectation that unit key 3 members should not be recruited for district service.  My understanding is that in the UK senior unit leaders are expected to also have district responsibilities.

 

 

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I sort of went through this topic about YPT not being effective when the wife of one of my cousins claimed Boy Scouts has fostered a rape culture.  The fact of the matter is that youth groups are viewed as target rich environments by sexual predators.  It's not a lot different from the cases of men preying on teenage girls in high school athletic teams.  These predators are not going to pay attention to guidelines in YPT.  What YPT does help with is awareness so NON-predators can avoid situations that might look bad.

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1 hour ago, HICO_Eagle said:

What YPT does help with is awareness so NON-predators can avoid situations that might look bad.

I think it does more than that. Well, let me brainstorm some things it does. 
 

-non-predators avoid bad appearances

-another adult will be there on an activity to at least provide second person oversight; that other person must be 21 and potentially be better able to stand up for what is right

-lets Scouts know what to look for via the booklet that is covered as part of Scout and Star

-background checks

-makes a big deal out of all of it to let potential perpetrators know we are looking, go somewhere less vigilant 

One of the things that the GSUSA does, but I don’t know if it makes a difference, is they contact your character references. I know since I talked to my references. It wasn’t just because I am a male. They called my wife’s as well. 

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3 hours ago, HICO_Eagle said:

The fact of the matter is that youth groups are viewed as target rich environments by sexual predators.  It's not a lot different from the cases of men preying on teenage girls in high school athletic teams.  These predators are not going to pay attention to guidelines in YPT.  What YPT does help with is awareness so NON-predators can avoid situations that might look bad.

I don't think that's true. Otherwise we'd have 150,000 claims filed. Claims dropped once the BSA started putting YP measures in place although certainly plenty of abuse cases still occurred. 

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On 3/6/2021 at 11:44 AM, ThenNow said:

A few random points:

1) Rumor is, compelling data illustrating the YPT has not been as effective as claimed will be released soon, countering the narrative that the existing program is sufficient and there is no need to address enhanced measures in the Plan.

I already hear enough yelling and screaming about how YPT is making scouting impossible, additional enforcement will go over like a lead balloon.

That said, I will say that YPT enforcement is a complete and utter joke. I've never, ever seen anyone bounced or reprimanded for failing to adhere to YPT protocols. Perhaps it will take some heads rolling/SMs removed from position to get the message through.

On 3/6/2021 at 11:44 AM, ThenNow said:

2) Continuing with the next verse of, "I heard it through the grapevine," apparently National has until Monday at 4PM ET to satisfy the TCC that they are working on and will produce the requested asset data from the LC's.

I come back to a previous point: I believe that the reason National's not getting this isn't National. It's the LCs either

a) playing shell games with assets

b) flat out refusing to acknowledge assets or

c) not trying to hide assets by trying to hide their general overall poor financial management.

I also acknowledge d) some combination of the above

I know, for example, at least one Council in a state that requires all not-for-profits (like a BSA Council) to register with the state's department of charities. They haven't done so in years.

 

On 3/6/2021 at 11:44 AM, ThenNow said:

3) Subject to further scrutiny by the insurers, should the judge grant their motion for Rule 2004 discovery, there are just south of 60,000 potentially time-barred claims among the remaining 83,837.

Yeah. The number 54,000 was previously tossed around. And again, I can utterly see the insurance companies saying telling the 60,000 time barred claimants to go away and come back when the claims are valid/live. I can also see an insurance company wanting stability and closure and willing to pay now to ensure/insure no future liability.

On 3/6/2021 at 11:44 AM, ThenNow said:

4) The guess is that Judge Silverstein may rule on the discovery motion during the March 17 hearing. I heard that one from a little bird. Said plate was otherwise occupied. 

Subject to the general proviso that a federal judge rules precisely when he/she wants to. No sooner. No later.

Edited by CynicalScouter
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39 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

I already hear enough yelling and screaming about how YPT is making scouting impossible, additional enforcement will go over like a lead balloon.

That said, I will say that YPT enforcement is a complete and utter joke. I've never, ever seen anyone bounced or reprimanded for failing to adhere to YPT protocols. Perhaps it will take some heads rolling/SMs removed from position to get the message through.

And not just YPT...all the other G2SS provisions that add straws to the camel's back.  When I am mentoring younger adult leaders to take on SM-type roles, this is the biggest pushback I get...too many rules and prohibitions...

Are we near the breaking point with the burden of all those straws?  If you want to get certain behavior out of people, you need to incentivize it.  What incentive is there for someone to become an SM these days??

Although I agree enforcement is a joke, I doubt that rolling heads will help.  It would only further discourage people from taking on the roles.

Again I get to the radical idea of paying people to be Scoutmasters...then you can more easily subject them to some sort of inspection regime to ensure compliance.

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On 3/6/2021 at 1:10 PM, InquisitiveScouter said:

So the question is, is there any way, realistically, to enforce YPT provisions other than through volunteers?

Sorta. What needs to start happening is enforcement. That means when volunteers don't do what they are suppose to, they should be reported up and out. What's going to mean that some parents and registered adult leaders are going to be put on report. It is also going to mean some heads rolling.

1) BSA never took this seriously. Want to know how I know?

First, take a look at the December 2020 Key Performance Indicators. Take a real, real hard look at Youth Protection Trained.

2018 = 67.1%

2019 = 87.1%

2020 = 99.9%

Second, take a look at last year's Churchill Plan report on Council standards.
 

Quote

 

# 1 Youth Safety
Recommended Strategy

Raise the National BSA minimum standards for youth safety of councils to be at least 98%
and not allow adult Scout leader’s YPT certification expire at the end of the Recharter year

 

Are you kidding me? YPT has been around for what, 25 years now? 30? And only NOW is YPT over 90% in the KPI report? Only NOW is the standard going to be 98%? (It will never be 100%, there will always be 1-2% of people who just signed up/registered on Monday and and haven't YPTed until Saturday night).

IF BSA was serious about YPT it would have been 90% or 95%+ DECADES ago.

2) There is, to my perception, an attitude among many older/longer term scouters that things like two-deep leadership and no one-on-one have killed scouting. I've seen it in troop meetings, I've seen it here on these forums.

3) That things should be overlooked because BSA is being unreasonable. YPT gets in the way. Therefore, YPT needs to "bend". Take what happened with Scoutbook and the MBCs recently. In short, until February 2021, any Key-3 could add a MBC to their unit roster and it was not required that they actually file the paperwork with Council ever. Ditto Committee and other positions (although Scoutbook is about to end that on March 15).

You'd have thought that the world was caving in on people or that this was something BSA announced for the first time in December 2020. Registered adult leaders (including YPT) is what 25 years? 30 years? And yet people act like BSA is a bunch of SOBs.

4) Finally, and I don't have a better term for it, is the question of degree. YES, if an ASM saw an adult actively molesting a child in a tent I believe they would report it up and out. But what happens when the SM takes 7 scouts and one (unregistered) parent out for a hike? YPT violation? Yep. Should that hike happen? Nope. Is anyone like a ASM going to tell the SM no? Especially given how hard it is to keep SMs around? And besides, he/she is the SM. They are the ones who should be the exemplars on this. If the SM thinks it is OK, then it is OK, right?

As I previously alluded, I cannot ever recall a SM or other registered adult leader bounced for YPT violations. It is possible they were forced out and it was done quietly so as to avoid problems, but I've been around long enough that if that had happened there would have at least been rumors of SOMEONE that SOMEWHERE got benched because of it.

What it is going to take is a dozen registered adults (I keep picking on SMs here, but CMs, ASMs, Den Leaders, whatever) being told their registration has been revoked for failure to comply with YPT.

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8 hours ago, yknot said:

I don't think that's true. Otherwise we'd have 150,000 claims filed. Claims dropped once the BSA started putting YP measures in place although certainly plenty of abuse cases still occurred. 

I imagine a lot of you guys are or grew up hunting. Sexual predators are called "predators" for a reason. As prey, I now understand this extremely well, both by examining my experience and through study. Hunters hunt prey. The chose a type of prey and obsess over it. They create environments, food plots, access points, stands and blinds. They gather the right equipment to attract and bag that specific prey and use masking devices, clothing and scents to hide who they really are so as not to scare off the target. They have charts, tracking data, know the terrain, watch the population, the movement patterns and all of the above and on and on. Some of them, maybe most, don't even know they're doing it, like any other predator. It is or was or became hardwired. (I'll avoid wrestling around with that Gordian Knot.)

Anyway, I believe any deterrent is of benefit. Maybe not a penultimate or optimal benefit, but some is better than none. I hope it can be made better and eagerly await the YPT effectiveness data I understand is coming out soon.

One last note. In reading many accounts of men who were sexually abused as Scouts, the similarity of grooming techniques, contexts, methodologies of isolating victims and even the language used by abusers across a good number of accounts is eerily consistent. Some of them were my story almost to the letter, give or take. As I took in the data and considered it, I told an attorney friend who represents claimants in this case that there has to be some measure of collusion, cooperation and/or sharing of information among predators. The stories read like the abusers have a manual. It's chilling...

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55 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

When I am mentoring younger adult leaders to take on SM-type roles, this is the biggest pushback I get...too many rules and prohibitions...

And when I've had this come up I simply point to the BSA bankruptcy and how much councils and national have to pay for insurance nowadays.

The rules are there because of mistakes in the past. Failure to follow them is a 100% surefire way to ensure there's no future program.

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11 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

And when I've had this come up I simply point to the BSA bankruptcy and how much councils and national have to pay for insurance nowadays.

The rules are there because of mistakes in the past. Failure to follow them is a 100% surefire way to ensure there's no future program.

Preaching to the choir there, brother.  My point is, somewhere along the line everyone does a cost-benefit analysis.

"For the benefit of what Scouting has to offer, am I willing to undertake the cost of the 'regulatory' burden?"

More and more people I know are answering "No" to that question.   And, if they keep doing Scouting, those are the ones that consistently endanger youth and program.

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
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