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1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

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.

[...]

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registered adults (I keep picking on SMs here, but CMs, ASMs, Den Leaders, whatever) being told their registration has been revoked for failure to comply with YPT.

There is a simple solution to YPT training compliance - make it mandatory for all your leaders to have current YPT when you recharter the unit.  I would encourage a simple solution to get to 100%.

  1. When a unit recharters, make it mandatory for every member of the unit to have YPT valid for the entire recharter year of the unit.
  2. Extend the length YPT training is good for to 30 months.  We need to extend this a bit or else everyone will be taking the same YPT training every year due to point #1.

We have to focus on is shifting the conversation of YPT from a council or nationally mandated "thing you have to do", to a Scouter embraced cultural goal.  

The real point of YPT is to create a culture in the unit where other people notice suspicious behavior by a predator and stop it.  I'd submit that YPT isn't particularly onerous or difficult to follow.  It's mostly just some common place best practices coupled with some awareness of what to look for.

Make the rules unambiguous and also make the rules easier to follow.

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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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Having many rules and policies does make Scouting challenging to adhere to all such rules and policies.  However, units find ways to adhere to the rules and policies while running a challenging, fun, and rewarding program.

In my council, Youth Protection is followed and considered an inviolable policy.  It is not questioned.  I have heard many units cancel activities, even at the last minute, if there YP could not be satisfied.  It is seen as the best way to protect youth and volunteers from any suspicion of impropriety.  Almost to the person, all volunteers whom I know across the country support YP policies.  

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1 minute ago, ParkMan said:

There is a simple solution to YPT training compliance - make it mandatory for all your leaders to have current YPT when you recharter the unit.  I would encourage a simple solution to get to 100%.

  1. When a unit recharters, make it mandatory for every member of the unit to have YPT valid for the entire recharter year of the unit.
  2. Extend the length YPT training is good for to 30 months.  We need to extend this a bit or else everyone will be taking the same YPT training every year due to point #1.

We have to focus on is shifting the conversation of YPT from a council or nationally mandated "thing you have to do", to a Scouter embraced cultural goal.  

The real point of YPT is to create a culture in the unit where other people notice suspicious behavior by a predator and stop it.  I'd submit that YPT isn't particularly onerous or difficult to follow.  It's mostly just some common place best practices coupled with some awareness of what to look for.

Make the rules unambiguous and also make the rules easier to follow.

I'm confused. Maybe it's just our council, but we cannot recharter unless everyone on the charter has a current YPT through the coming year. It will get kicked back. At the unit level, we further require every parent to have YPT or we will not accept registration.

I would not hold us up as any great example though. There is a disturbing history of leadership not taking YPT or G2SS all that seriously. But at least everyone has been through the training. Parents have to take the training in order for them to understand the rules. 

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13 minutes ago, yknot said:

I'm confused. Maybe it's just our council, but we cannot recharter unless everyone on the charter has a current YPT through the coming year. It will get kicked back. At the unit level, we further require every parent to have YPT or we will not accept registration.

I would not hold us up as any great example though. There is a disturbing history of leadership not taking YPT or G2SS all that seriously. But at least everyone has been through the training. Parents have to take the training in order for them to understand the rules. 

In our council only a currently valid YPT is needed to recharter.  Your YPT could lapse a month after recharter and the rules would allow it.  Of course, once it lapses you are supposed to not volunteer again until you become current.

I see most people in our council and amongst our leaders taking YPT seriously.  Most of our YPT non-compliance is because leaders simply lapse along the way and then don't retake it until they have to recharter.

There was a move at one point to require it be valid for the entire yet.  But, when that started volunteers realized that it meant everyone was taking YPT every 12 months.  Given the length of the training and the fact that national said it was valid for two years, not one - people complained.  It appeared that this experiment stopped.  They then tried to recruit district level volunteers who would remind unit volunteers when they went out of compliance.

In my mind - this is one of those places where simply aligning the national & council rules would make it easier and would result in better compliance.

Edited by ParkMan
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That is National policy to have valid YPT at recharter.  If the recharter is online, a lack of YPT is flagged and you cannot go forward until the deficiency has been corrected as I discovered this year.  To me, the reluctance to take the training more often goes something like this.  The volunteer says to themselves "I do not molest or harm children and will not in the future so why should I have to take this again?".  Whereas we should all be happy to take this every year because the training is not only about the different ways in which a youth could be abused but also about what characteristics and incidents should make us concerned and report a volunteer.

STEM Scouts began requiring yearly YPT to renew for the next year and it was well accepted.

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20 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

There is a simple solution to YPT training compliance - make it mandatory for all your leaders to have current YPT when you recharter the unit.  I would encourage a simple solution to get to 100%.

  1. When a unit recharters, make it mandatory for every member of the unit to have YPT valid for the entire recharter year of the unit.
  2. Extend the length YPT training is good for to 30 months.  We need to extend this a bit or else everyone will be taking the same YPT training every year due to point #1.

We have to focus on is shifting the conversation of YPT from a council or nationally mandated "thing you have to do", to a Scouter embraced cultural goal.  

T

I disagree with your post for your one comment:

21 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

The real point of YPT is to create a culture in the unit where other people notice suspicious behavior by a predator and stop it.  I'd submit that YPT isn't particularly onerous or difficult to follow.  It's mostly just some common place best practices coupled with some awareness of what to look for.

Folks already notice suspicious behavior and stop it. That isn't the problem is that sexual abuse doesn't occur enough to recognize a problem. We've allowed it to sound like and everyday problem in every unit. It does not.

I was talking to my 68 year old Eagle brother in-law about this last week. He brought up the discussion because he is getting some emails about getting on the abuse bandwagon because he was a scout as a youth. He was appalled by the suggestion that he had witnessed, let alone experienced abuse while a scout.

YPT is already doing as much as it can. I don't see how it can be more "It's mostly just some common place best practices coupled with some awareness of what to look for" than it already is. You don't even see this level of YPT in schools.. We just allowed fearmongers to have too much voice without enough defensive reasoning.

Barry

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Just now, vol_scouter said:

That is National policy to have valid YPT at recharter.  If the recharter is online, a lack of YPT is flagged and you cannot go forward until the deficiency has been corrected as I discovered this year.  To me, the reluctance to take the training more often goes something like this.  The volunteer says to themselves "I do not molest or harm children and will not in the future so why should I have to take this again?".  Whereas we should all be happy to take this every year because the training is not only about the different ways in which a youth could be abused but also about what characteristics and incidents should make us concerned and report a volunteer.

STEM Scouts began requiring yearly YPT to renew for the next year and it was well accepted.

That's what I thought. Surprised there are Councils that can get around it, but that would speak to how serious BSA is or is not about YPT. I think annual makes the most sense. However, that's another area where the BSA is not serious enough because a significant number of people had extreme difficulty accessing and completing the online training. It also needs to streamlined so that it is easier for people to take in areas where internet access is limited. I tried for two months to complete it and finally gave up since I was not being rechartered anyway. I had simply wanted to maintain it because I still assist. 

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48 minutes ago, vol_scouter said:

That is National policy to have valid YPT at recharter.

I expect that every council does this.  The issue is when councils measure YPT compliance later and discover it have gone from 100% at recharter to 75% 6 months later.

The question becomes - what is the right thing for the BSA to do here:

  1. work to get everyone to 100% compliance all the time.  Requires 100% for recharter and then put plans in place to proactively make people take YPT once it lapses.
  2. create a rule that requires YPT be valid for the entire year, but require the course annually
  3. create a rule that requites YPT be valid for the entire year, but lengthen the YPT certification to all for taking the course bi-annually.
  4. don't track YPT compliance during the year for existing leaders recognizing that 100% compliance at recharter is sufficient.

Which of the above is the right approach?  In my mind, #2 provides the most trained volunteer force.  #3 & #4 results is trained volunteers but refreshed slightly less often.

#1 is what we do today.  I would argue that it's the least effective of the four and requires the most bandwidth and resources for volunteer leaders and the BSA professionals to accomplish.  It's also going to show the worst YPT percentages of the four.

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51 minutes ago, yknot said:

I'm confused. Maybe it's just our council, but we cannot recharter unless everyone on the charter has a current YPT through the coming year. It will get kicked back. At the unit level, we further require every parent to have YPT or we will not accept registration.

I would not hold us up as any great example though. There is a disturbing history of leadership not taking YPT or G2SS all that seriously. But at least everyone has been through the training. Parents have to take the training in order for them to understand the rules. 

If everyone has to have a valid for the charter year YPT, than pretty soon doesn't that just end up with everyone having their expiration date become December. 

Mine expires in June, so if I needed to follow that rule I would have had to redo this past December then I would be good until December 2022.  And then every other December I would renew.  Of course this is almost what happens now.  Anyone who hasn't renewed when theirs expires ends up renewing before recharter.  So at this point there are probably more than half a dozen leaders who have expiration dates in December.

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23 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

YPT is already doing as much as it can. I don't see how it can be more "It's mostly just some common place best practices coupled with some awareness of what to look for" than it already is. You don't even see this level of YPT in schools.. We just allowed fearmongers to have too much voice without enough defensive reasoning.

Barry

Agree.  I continue to state that the BSA's reason for being in business cannot be solely to protect youth.  It is vital and it is important.  YPT is a critical component and as you noted it needs to be common place best practices.  Our reason or "mission" is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

We do this with experiential learning, a game with a purpose, letting them fail and letting them figure it out.  That is what we need to go to market with.  If our "Go To Market" is we provide youth protection, likely families will determine / decide that their kids can be safe or maybe safer by being at home.  Now we can state and cite statistics that may indicate that is not the case, but that will be the decision.

To get to the next chapter of the BSA movement the organization needs to clearly state WHY the BSA is around and WHY it is important and WHY youth can benefit.  That message cannot be YPT,  That is part of what and how we do programs, not the reason we do programs.

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A couple thoughts on some of the previous comments.

I'm curious what YPT violations folks have seen that they think should have been acted on but haven't.  

Compliance with YPT rates should be taken with a grain of salt.  BSA's record keeping, especially with respect to training has long been atrocious.  I'm not even sure today that training and membership are actually the same database, rather they are in different databases and then some reporting function tries to tie them together. 

Making registration and recharter contingent on up to date training, which has been the rule for a couple years but is hampered by poor IT, should solve that fairly easily, although that may require prioritizing some systems upgrades to really make it reliable.

 

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29 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

If everyone has to have a valid for the charter year YPT, than pretty soon doesn't that just end up with everyone having their expiration date become December. 

Mine expires in June, so if I needed to follow that rule I would have had to redo this past December then I would be good until December 2022.  And then every other December I would renew.  Of course this is almost what happens now.  Anyone who hasn't renewed when theirs expires ends up renewing before recharter.  So at this point there are probably more than half a dozen leaders who have expiration dates in December.

I think it would be easy enough to tie YPT to the recharter date for all perhaps with the caveat that you don't have to renew that first year if  you've taken the training within the past six months. A lot of memberships, etc., have paperwork that has to be refiled by an annual date. Obviously, BSA needs to up the IT end. 

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Hopefully everyone recognized the split I just made.

22 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

I don't see how it can be more "It's mostly just some common place best practices coupled with some awareness of what to look for" than it already is. You don't even see this level of YPT in schools.. We just allowed fearmongers to have too much voice without enough defensive reasoning.

Two responses. First, the BSA is in a unique position in that adults and youth are together, away from civilization for long periods of time. It seems to me that there is more opportunity for abuse and that we just have to set the bar higher.

Second, if there is a better approach that comes out of this argument then I say use it. Case in point:  the BSA really doesn't have a way to encourage change.  JTE is a one way street. You fill out the form and you get a grade back. That's it. The motivation is completely external and it's really easy to just ignore. It's not how quality improvement really happens.

This is not fear mongering. It's more like my recognizing that the BSA is in a death spiral while the fundamental ideas of scouting still hold. So it's time to look at all of the assumptions and decide which still hold and which should be thrown out.

 

@InquisitiveScouter said:

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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...

Suppose a change was made to the commissioner program that created a better learning environment for units. Rather than be advisors at best and a waste of time at worse a commissioner had real responsibility and authority. I'm not looking for heads on pikes so much as servant leadership. Make a real connection between units and the council that is more than "send us money and fill out advancement reports." That would require a big shift in mindset at the council and national. Now, units are on their own. They can do whatever they want. Until something horrible happens the district is hands off. This is where bad programs and sexual abuse find a place to occur. I believe that the assumption is that the CO will monitor units. That is so far from reality that, and I hate to say this, it's negligent. Sure, I enjoyed the autonomy while SM but I could have used more support and I would give up that autonomy to ensure a better program for all scouts.

That's not to say I think it would be easy to adapt the commissioner program to do this. It would be hard.

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separate volunteer registration from re-charter.

 

The charter is for the unit. Any names on it are current at the snapshot in time of re-charter. 

Registration (or de-registration) of scouts or scouters should be ongoing and happening between the snapshots of re-charter.

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