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Ideas - What Can Prevent Abuse in BSA


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41 minutes ago, David CO said:

It's true that BSA has more rules than other organizations, but I don't think those extra rules have made kids more safe.  

 

BSA has more rules because of the kinds of activities it does with kids. Baseball doesn't really need two deep. The kids are hardly ever out of public view. They are on a field, usually with other adults around.  Most fields, dug outs, field houses have surveillance cameras. Players are rarely away overnight. However, no one in their right mind would disagree with you  that BSA has been unable to keep kids safe despite all the rules. 

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I actually agree with you that in the BSA today, the CO is the organization responsible for the unit and they should be vetting leaders.  They should be interviewing them, ensuring they are trained, e

Wherever there are adults that can charm insecure youth, which includes all those places you mention above, there is abuse. That mindset is one ingredient to reduce abuse. Just like car safe

To me, all of these should be reported.  Reporting shouldn't be reserved for actual crimes, it should be any violation.  In EHS, we are expected to report "near misses".  Those are then used to improv

30 minutes ago, yknot said:

no one in their right mind would disagree with you 

Thank you.  I have always thought this.  It is nice to hear somebody finally say it.  :D

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10 hours ago, yknot said:

Baseball doesn't really need two deep. The kids are hardly ever out of public view. 

That is true in general, but the Larry Nassar case should raise a ton of questions for parents of kids in sports.  I think rec sports are safe because, as you said, kids are all together out in the open with coaches.  Travel teams have a lot more interactions (overnight lodging, one on one coaching sessions, physical trainers, etc.).  I wonder if they have the correct protections in place to prevent abuse. 

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Somewhere above I commented that a scout leader staying on after their scout has moved on could be good or bad. If your Pack/Troop has a dedicated leader who is passionate about scouting, that's fantastic. Keep them around, learn from them & absorb some of that passion. But have a succession plan.

I have experience with organizations with "entrenched" leadership where the "my way or the highway" or "that's the way we've always done it" mentality is rampant.

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10 hours ago, yknot said:

Baseball doesn't really need two deep. The kids are hardly ever out of public view. They are on a field, usually with other adults around.  Most fields, dug outs, field houses have surveillance cameras. Players are rarely away overnight. 

Perhaps baseball has changed over the years.  

  • Security cameras ... I've never seen surveillance cameras as standard fair on the fields.  Maybe when covering a large area like 5+ baseball fields, but never focused useful cameras.
  • Out of public view ... 90% is on the field, but groups I was part of (35+ years ago) did regularly have pizza meetings, gatherings at houses, stopping by the coaches house, etc.  .. Heck, it was always fun to bike to the coaches house to visit.
  • Away overnight ... Sports have "traveling leagues".  Many are overnights.  Many are just day trips that take an hour+ to drive.  Even non-traveling leagues can still have regular trips.  

Thinking sports is so different is not really true. Yes BSA has more opportunities, but sports have other risk modes ... such as large locker rooms with no adult restrictions ... yet 17,000 assaults over four years.   

You might be comparing Little League which is more like Cub Scouts with parents and lots of public view.  Where as middle school and high school sports are more like Scouts USA.  At that age, there are significant risks introduced in sports similar to being introduced in scouts.

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12 minutes ago, GrubKnot said:

...

I have experience with organizations with "entrenched" leadership where the "my way or the highway" or "that's the way we've always done it" mentality is rampant.

I would suggest that an intransigent attitude has nothing to do with tenure. I’ve seen this with leaders who’ve only had a couple of years under their belts and their kids are still in their unit.

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8 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

That is true in general, but the Larry Nassar case should raise a ton of questions for parents of kids in sports.  I think rec sports are safe because, as you said, kids are all together out in the open with coaches.  Travel teams have a lot more interactions (overnight lodging, one on one coaching sessions, physical trainers, etc.).  I wonder if they have the correct protections in place to prevent abuse. 

Hmm, as a former coach, I had to deal with more abuse than in scouting. You folks are thinking sexual abuse, but I think in the context of adult power over the youth. I have seen a lot of abuse, or near abuse, when coaches loose their temper at the players, But sometime flare ups are at each other, which is scary in of itself for youth. My older son quit soccer from two coaches of apposing teams got into a fist fight. And, this was in front of other parents.

And it may not even be tempers, but adults applying their power on the players by just yelling to get them to perform certain actions for the sport. 

The most troubling abuse case I had to personally deal with in the BSA was the adult who last his temper at a scout and physically hit him. Not in a physically harmful way, but very mentality upsetting for the scout and those around him. That adult was asked to leave, but it had nothing to do with sex.

I don't know, seems the discussions here are worst case scenarios of rare and unlikely acts from adults ignoring the more common likely acts. 

Barry

 

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29 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

Perhaps baseball has changed over the years.  

  • Security cameras ... I've never seen surveillance cameras as standard fair on the fields.  Maybe when covering a large area like 5+ baseball fields, but never focused useful cameras.
  • Out of public view ... 90% is on the field, but groups I was part of (35+ years ago) did regularly have pizza meetings, gatherings at houses, stopping by the coaches house, etc.  .. Heck, it was always fun to bike to the coaches house to visit.
  • Away overnight ... Sports have "traveling leagues".  Many are overnights.  Many are just day trips that take an hour+ to drive.  Even non-traveling leagues can still have regular trips.  

Thinking sports is so different is not really true. Yes BSA has more opportunities, but sports have other risk modes ... such as large locker rooms with no adult restrictions ... yet 17,000 assaults over four years.   

You might be comparing Little League which is more like Cub Scouts with parents and lots of public view.  Where as middle school and high school sports are more like Scouts USA.  At that age, there are significant risks introduced in sports similar to being introduced in scouts.

I think it has changed. 

- Cameras are everywhere -- buses, fields, field houses, parking lots, doorways, hallways, dumpster areas, fields, practice areas, gyms. Games are streamed.  There is no streaming at camp grounds.  

- Most high schools and some middle schools have security on duty whenever kids are on the premises. Custodial staff today are trained in site security. School access is very limited and monitored

- Overnight trips are part of travel and sports like swimming but generally your kid is staying in your hotel room with you. In my experience, most parents go.
 

That's not to say that things still don't happen but people frequently point to other activities as being equally risky and they just are not. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Eagle1993 said:

That is true in general, but the Larry Nassar case should raise a ton of questions for parents of kids in sports.  I think rec sports are safe because, as you said, kids are all together out in the open with coaches.  Travel teams have a lot more interactions (overnight lodging, one on one coaching sessions, physical trainers, etc.).  I wonder if they have the correct protections in place to prevent abuse. 

The Nassar case is troubling because it literally happened right in front of parents. To me it once again speaks to the risk created when the abuser is cloaking themselves in some kind of presumed trustworthiness -- a priest, a doctor, or a scout leader. I think the message is that a lot of damage has occurred in our case because of the BSA credo that a scout is trustworthy. 

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As a coach I would occasionally take a player home after practice or a game, whether or not my son is with me. For boy scouts, I would have to wait in the parking lot with another leader until someone in the scouts family picks up the scout. Or the other leader would have to ride with me as I take the scout home. Scout parents are not allowed to waive the youth protection rules to get their kids home (single mother working during a troop meeting example.)

Scouting does have higher expectations for leaders in terms of youth protection. In general, scouting does not have the win at all costs element that sports can have. If I have a scout not motivated to advance in rank, I am not to bothered by that. I worry more about how scouts treat each other at camp. The only time I raise my voice is when there is a fight or someone is not observing the blood circle.

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52 minutes ago, yknot said:

I think it has changed. 

- Cameras are everywhere -- buses, fields, field houses, parking lots, doorways, hallways, dumpster areas, fields, practice areas, gyms. Games are streamed.  There is no streaming at camp grounds.  

- Most high schools and some middle schools have security on duty whenever kids are on the premises. Custodial staff today are trained in site security. School access is very limited and monitored

- Overnight trips are part of travel and sports like swimming but generally your kid is staying in your hotel room with you. In my experience, most parents go.
 

That's not to say that things still don't happen but people frequently point to other activities as being equally risky and they just are not. 

 

 

 

Cameras everywhere ... that's NCIS syndrome ...  It varies place by place.  usually targets property security.  ... it's rarely about protecting people ... I live right next to a huge sports center.  Two blocks away.  It's a hybrid of school / local sports center.  20+ baseball diamonds.  20+ soccer fields.  etc.  ...  I've walked it many times.  It has some security cameras, but no live web cams.  All cameras protecting the property.  There is nothing specific to fields to track which adults are being creepy.  I'm betting most of the time no-one is watching the cameras.  I'm betting a week or a month later the video is gone.  

School security ... Our local school is secured during school hours, but the school is wide open during outside hours (extracurricular).  I'm betting that's very common.

But I agree ... times have changed.  My sports teams traveled only by bus and locally.  Our ski day trips had kids sneaking off to the chalet bar.  ... My academic teams did travel overnight several times a year.  When those teams traveled, the coach went and the bus driver served as the chaperone.  They ate with us and stayed in the same hotel, but that was it.

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32 minutes ago, Owls_are_cool said:

As a coach I would occasionally take a player home after practice or a game, whether or not my son is with me. For boy scouts, I would have to wait in the parking lot with another leader until someone in the scouts family picks up the scout. Or the other leader would have to ride with me as I take the scout home. Scout parents are not allowed to waive the youth protection rules to get their kids home (single mother working during a troop meeting example.)

Scouting does have higher expectations for leaders in terms of youth protection. In general, scouting does not have the win at all costs element that sports can have. If I have a scout not motivated to advance in rank, I am not to bothered by that. I worry more about how scouts treat each other at camp. The only time I raise my voice is when there is a fight or someone is not observing the blood circle.

That's a good representation of a good scout leader.  Be there for the scout, but get out of their hair unless it's a safety issue or the scouts need to be coached on how to treat others.

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29 minutes ago, Owls_are_cool said:

As a coach I would occasionally take a player home after practice or a game, whether or not my son is with me. For boy scouts, I would have to wait in the parking lot with another leader until someone in the scouts family picks up the scout. Or the other leader would have to ride with me as I take the scout home. Scout parents are not allowed to waive the youth protection rules to get their kids home (single mother working during a troop meeting example.)

 

More than once I took a scout home after a campout because their parents never showed up. It only happen once for that scout because it was one of the few times the parent had to meet a grumpy scoutmaster. 

Barry

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44 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

Cameras everywhere ... that's NCIS syndrome ...  It varies place by place.  usually targets property security.  ... it's rarely about protecting people ... I live right next to a huge sports center.  Two blocks away.  It's a hybrid of school / local sports center.  20+ baseball diamonds.  20+ soccer fields.  etc.  ...  I've walked it many times.  It has some security cameras, but no live web cams.  All cameras protecting the property.  There is nothing specific to fields to track which adults are being creepy.  I'm betting most of the time no-one is watching the cameras.  I'm betting a week or a month later the video is gone.  

School security ... Our local school is secured during school hours, but the school is wide open during outside hours (extracurricular).  I'm betting that's very common.

But I agree ... times have changed.  My sports teams traveled only by bus and locally.  Our ski day trips had kids sneaking off to the chalet bar.  ... My academic teams did travel overnight several times a year.  When those teams traveled, the coach went and the bus driver served as the chaperone.  They ate with us and stayed in the same hotel, but that was it.

A lot of field cams do stream 24/7. Log on to some of them and you'll see. Even if they are pay for view, the camera is still recording. No one worries about switching it on or off. But physical abuse hardly happens on the fields. The main use of cameras is deterrence.  Every coach, teacher, and school employee knows they are there and recording what they are doing, what hallways they are in, what buildings they are accessing and what kids are in there with them. 

Most schools are also no longer open access and you have to be buzzed in both during and after hours. You must live in a nice area if your school still has an open campus because it's no longer the norm.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, yknot said:

A lot of field cams do stream 24/7. Log on to some of them and you'll see. Even if they are pay for view, the camera is still recording. No one worries about switching it on or off. But physical abuse hardly happens on the fields. The main use of cameras is deterrence.  Every coach, teacher, and school employee knows they are there and recording what they are doing, what hallways they are in, what buildings they are accessing and what kids are in there with them. 

Most schools are also no longer open access and you have to be buzzed in both during and after hours. You must live in a nice area if your school still has an open campus because it's no longer the norm.

 

 

Additionally, you also have to provide a drivers license once you get in the school to make sure you are even supposed to be there.  Not look at the picture and say ok, but it is scanned and checked against state databases.

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