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Chapter 11 announced - Part 3 - BSA's Toggle Plan


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13 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

My council owns two camps, one is over 100 years old and the other is over 50.  Neither I nor my scouts are entitled to those camps by virtue of anything I or they have done.  I've invested some time, treasure, and talent towards them in the last 20 years, but that's certainly only a small part of them. If I and my scouts are going to benefit from those camps then we do so because we're joining ourselves to the organization that built them, and that legacy, we now know, comes with both benefits and liabilities.

My council owns a certain camp, currently closed, that I visited once as a Scout. While there, I had the opportunity to attend a "camp tour", presented by one of the camp employees. The main feature of the tour was a "cabin" built by the original benefactor, with walls in the shape of unfinished logs but formed out of concrete. Many years later, some of the points I remember being told were:

  • The benefactor was a friend of (a certain famous industrialist of that era)
  • He was active in union-busting
  • He was a Nazi sympathizer
  • He was either connected to organized crime, or at least sufficiently afraid of organized crime that he took security precautions such as having his cabin built out of concrete
  • He never married
  • He was in the habit of inviting women to his wilderness getaway and, after they arrived, inviting them to swim nude in the pool next to the cabin (still present, no longer functional) while he mixed drinks at the wet-bar on the lower level and watched them swim through a glass window (and the tour guide pointed out a rectangular hole in the pool wall)

Years later, I don't know how much of that was established historical fact or if some was embellishment to make the story more interesting to typical Scouts who attended that camp. But I take a couple points from the experience:

1. In the wrong hands, that tour and its narrative could have been an element of "grooming", by predator camp stamp or regular visitors.

2. The legacy of at least one benefactor is... complicated. I don't think the tour guides were trying to say that he was a perfect Scout, in fact I think they would have agreed that at least some of his habits were at variance with the teachings of Scouting.

So perhaps today's Scouts should be Courteous and Cheerful by being happy that their recent predecessors were able to camp at that property, but Brave and Helpful by openly rejecting the negative elements of that legacy, and using that camp in a way that actually does the most positive good today, which may indeed be by selling it and using the proceeds to address today's problems, including by helping victims of sexual abuse (whether BSA or the LC was particularly at fault, or not, in their cases).

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16 hours ago, ThenNow said:

We're talking about sexual abuse, not monkey bridge height restrictions or the dreaded and verboten dodge ball. 

Safety is safety.  Scouts is a program designed around youth independence from adults, and often a limited amount of direct supervision.  Part of the risk you sign up for in that case is an increased risk of all manner of negative outcomes.  Now, the risk is still supposed to be relatively minor, but it definitely is increased from what would exist if the kid is under direct parental supervision.  Do people think about it consciously and specifically?  Usually I suspect not, but that doesn't mean it's not implicit in the program. 

This was in quotes and pretty clearly meant to magnify a point. As per your fellows, 20% of the parents help. A few wander around and watch, then leave. A goodly number drop and run. This is what I was told.

Also, by the by, that's not even what I actually said. This is: "It's all good. We got this. You can trust us 100%!" It was about the perception of parents. Not involvement. So, by implication, parents are involving their kids and thinking, "Hm. Crap. My kid might be abused while they go out in the woods. Hm. 20% chance? 2%. It's fine. We'll see what happens." 

What you said is that the BSA tells people "It's all good. We got this. You can trust us 100%!" with the implication being that parents should drop their kids off and go.  Parental perception is a different thing, and BTW parental perception everywhere is generally "The kids will be fine, I've got stuff to do, I'll be back later".  Just ask any kids program anywhere.  Again, are parents thinking "my kid could be abused in the woods?"; no, I doubt it.  But they also don't consider specifically if their kid could be abused by their coach, or teacher or the school janitor and all of those things are possibilities.  Your viewpoint clearly seems to be that the risk of abuse is significantly higher in Scouts than elsewhere, and I understand why that would be your view given your experience.  However, the numbers don't actually prove that to be the case.  Nationwide the risk of abuse is roughly 0.12% and if I do the math on the BSA abuse numbers it doesn't come out even that high.  And frankly, given the risks parents are willing to expose their kids to in order for them to play sports, do you really think a specific warning of "Your child has 1 chance in 3000 of being molested if you put him in Scouts" would change most people's mind?  Personally, I don't think it would.

And, the parents and public perceive it as such? Does the BSA waving the YPT Is the Platinum Standard banner far and wide indicate anything to the contrary? Maybe. Just maybe. Ok. It does. And, we're talking about sexual abuse, thus I mention YPT, not whittling. 

The BSA does talk about YPT being a great tool, I'll grant you that.  Do you know of a better system?  I have yet to actually see anyone recommend changes or improvements that are actually workable in any way.  Implementation might not be perfect, but then it never will be.  In fact most of the complaints that I see revolve around the collection of data and it being open to the public, NOT about the actual YP rules and training requirements.

What? Are you kidding me? I don't know of another organization other than the Youth Group at the local Holiness Church (casting NO aspersions) set forth as more "clean and wholesome." Call me a "complete idiot." Oh. You already did. Never mind...

I assume you mean you don't know of any other youth organization publicly perceived to be be "clean and wholesome"?  I suppose it's true that many people have that perception; and it's also true there aren't many other programs that have a similar mass perception, though I think Little League, Girl Scouts and 4-H probably do.  But do you suppose the reason the BSA stands apart in that way is that there simply aren't many (any?) other nationwide organizations for youth?  And what should public perception be based upon if not the goals and generalized achievements of a group?  After all, the BSA does attempt to instill the Scout Law in youth and the program does spend a significant amount of effort on local community service.  The experience of abuse victims aside, for 99.94% of the people who have been scouts, the program generally lived up to the expectation.

As far as feeling like I called you specifically an idiot, well, I certainly wasn't intending to, especially not for your perception of the BSA.  I suppose it's entirely possible that your troop truly was entirely clean and wholesome like a backwoods version of "Leave it to Beaver"; but that's not any group of boys I've ever been around, either as a youth or an adult.  The scouts in my troop as a child did things (away from adults) like having peeing competitions with winners for both highest arc and longest distance, seed spitting fights with watermelon, burping competitions and generally thought that "crop-dusting" people was just about the funniest prank possible.

Anoint effectively means to, "set apart to fulfill a calling." If my Scoutmaster and Executive weren't set apart among the others and seen as such by parents, volunteers and Scouts then I'm 6'6" and play for the Chiefs.

Your Scoutmaster was a rarity then from what I've seen.  There are certainly people I've met that are lauded as "dedicated Scouters", but I've never met or heard of one set apart like the priesthood they way you are describing.  Perhaps that needs to be a warning sign for abusers.  "If someone seems too good to be true, they need deeper scrutiny."

Fair enough. Delete that point.

 

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16 hours ago, David CO said:

I'm stunned.  The entire premise of scouting is that boys can be trusted.  They can go camping with their buddies, with limited parental involvement, and have it be strictly clean and wholesome.  That is scouting.  Take away the trust, and it is no longer a scouting program.

16 hours ago, David CO said:

Even if that were true, I would still argue that scouting is philosophically different from other organizations.  B-P founded scouting on the premise that a scout is to be trusted.  That premise was fundamentally different from other organizations of his time.  It is fundamentally different from other organizations of our time.

We are being challenged by a legal system that believes that boys can not, and should not, be trusted.  

BSA has failed us in that it is not arguing our main point.  Whether we say a scout is to be trusted, or a scout is trustworthy, this should be our main argument.  It goes to the core of our program.  Should BSA, or any scout association, now or in the future, be held liable for trusting boys?

I am not a lawyer.  Maybe this is not a good legal argument.  But I would go with it anyway.  Scouting should live or die by its core beliefs.

Scouting is not based upon the idea that "A Scout is Trustworthy" or that "Boys can be trusted" like it's a promise.  Scouting is based upon the idea that boys are "capable of being trusted" and that by utilizing the program we can help the boys/girls develop the leadership skills and personality traits to live the Scout Law and Oath.  People like to parrot "A Scout is..." phrases from the Law like it's a magic spell of some kind, but the assumption inherent in having a "Scout Law" is that failures are going to happen; if that wasn't the case, the Law wouldn't be needed because those traits would be baked in to the youth upon birth.

I trust the boys in my troop to be generally able to handle a camp-out without anyone getting injured or being disruptive to others, but I also know that even with the absolute best of kids, there will always be instances of emotions flaring up, or lapses in judgement.

Of course, part of the confusion here will be over what someone considers "clean and wholesome".  When I hear that phrase I imagine people think of a Church carnival or kids sitting down to a rousing game of Uno and then singing Kumbaya around the campfire together.  Which contrasts somewhat with say, the game called "Nutshot" the scouts invented a couple years ago where they threw a rope up over a tree branch and then they would swing in an arc one by one, while one of the other boys attempted to throw a frisbee from 30' away and hit the swinger in the nuts. (they were good about asking each swinger if they wanted to play though and letting people opt out of having a frisbee thrown at them)

17 hours ago, Eagledad said:

OK, but ThenNow is saying that he is here to provide information, but in providing information, he keeps giving a personal, not so kind opinion, of the BSA, Then defends himself as just the messenger. Continued Unleasing on him. All of us here whine now and then about National, but at least we admit it. He needs to be a scout like with us as he says the BSA is supposed to be. 

The vast majority of everything I've seen ThenNow post has been constructive and thoughtful and I've found his viewpoint to be informative in a number of cases.  I don't always agree with his views, but I certainly wouldn't view his overall purpose as being one bashing the BSA or Scouting in general.

 

16 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

As to judging people by some supposed lesser standard 30-40 years ago --- I think that's balderdash.  The rape of children has always been a heinous crime punishable by decades in prison.  I was an adult 40 years ago so it certainly wasn't such a long ago time for me that I would claim that what would be morally wrong for me today would have been morally acceptable for me then. 

What people are generally talking about with regard to "using the standards of 40 years ago" is not in judging the abuser's actions, but rather in judging the responses by officials.  In particular the independent reporting of the abuser to the authorities and efforts to screen applicants.  Now, the belief is that people in positions of supervision and authority should automatically report every accusation to the police. (though even this has nay-sayers because it can discourage people from coming forward)  In fact, it appears now that most people view not reporting an accusation to be tantamount to hiding or covering it up.

But decades ago the belief was that since a criminal conviction was extremely unlikely unless independent proof of an assault existed, it should be up to the victim (and his/her parents) to decide if they wanted the accusation made public.  Often, parents genuinely thought that it would be best for their children to "just try and forget it" rather than have to recount things to police, and then prosecutors and then in court.  All the while dealing with the social stigma that DID attach itself to rape/abuse victims in that era.

So when I am talking about "judging based upon the standards of the time", I'm simply saying that if the response of the BSA was reasonable given the standards of the time, they shouldn't be considered negligent simply because we believe differently now.

11 hours ago, yknot said:

I would be careful with that because it sounds like you are blaming the child victim and I don't think you mean to do that.

Fortunately, most of the people here actually think about context rather than simply jumping at the chance to try and excoriate someone for a perceived error.

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8 hours ago, David CO said:

Yes.  I totally agree.  A child who is yet of an age to still believe in Santa Clause would probably react just as you say.  Of course, I would never trust that child to go off into the woods, with his little Santa Clause believing friends, utilizing the patrol method, with little parental involvement.  

 

I think you know what I mean but I know it's easy to misunderstand each other in print. Instead of being clever, I'll be clear:  I was using "Santa" as a euphemism for "Scoutmaster" because it's the same construct --  an adult that a child thinks he or she can trust turns out not to be trustworthy. However, it seems you are confirming with your response that you actually do believe the child victim bears some responsibility for his/her abuse through some perceived lack of maturity or ability to speak out...? Or have I misunderstood what you are saying? 

 

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4 minutes ago, yknot said:

I think you know what I mean but I know it's easy to misunderstand each other in print. Instead of being clever, I'll be clear:  I was using "Santa" as a euphemism for "Scoutmaster" because it's the same construct --  an adult that a child thinks he or she can trust turns out not to be trustworthy. However, it seems you are confirming with your response that you actually do believe the child victim bears some responsibility for his/her abuse through some perceived lack of maturity or ability to speak out...? Or have I misunderstood what you are saying?

@yknot, I get where @David CO is coming from. If we don't give 11 y.o.'s some responsibility, they can't build resilience, in turn we deny them agency, then the abuse hits double-hard. Not only are they a victim, but we confirm that things are beyond their control. Then, once adults, they have to face incredible challenges like accepting love from their spouse, raising their kids, etc ... and they can't say, "I didn't believe that I could do X to make things better. I want to now believe differently. I want you to believe as well."

Ours is a systems culture. To a large degree, we think a well-balanced system can be worked to keep the worst of our natures in check. And, to a large degree, we're right. But, at some point our youngest citizens need to be introduced to that system in ways that enable them to drive it to the good.

This has nothing to do with scouting in particular. By age 11, a youth needs to know that they might be more saint than adults around them -- that they might be the real Santa in camp.

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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

This has nothing to do with scouting in particular. By age 11, a youth needs to know that they might be more saint than adults around them -- that they might be the real Santa in camp.

Unfortunately, my dad did pretty much the opposite and I'm thinking I didn't do a very good job with our boys, either. There was just so very much self-condemnation, compensating performance-orientation and identity confusion rampaging through me.

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3 hours ago, elitts said:

Scouting is not based upon the idea that "A Scout is Trustworthy" or that "Boys can be trusted" like it's a promise. 

I disagree.  That is exactly how B-P meant it.  

A scout's honor is to be trusted.  It was both a promise by the scout and a directive to the adults.  Trust them.

 

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LDS Church with a strong message to the court ... stop the estimation request from the TCC.

https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/886539_2610.pdf

This document is less than 20 pages so a fairly quick read.  It appears the LDS Church is heavily involved in the mediation process but has not yet agreed to any contribution to the Settlement Trust.  They raise a lot of objections to the estimation process as it would essentially pull in non Debtors (COs & LCs) into a bankruptcy they are not required to be part of (as they did not file Chapter 11).  They believe a true/faire estimation process would take several years of discovery and weeks of trials followed by time for the decision and appeals (in other words, not within the timeframe of the bankruptcy).

These are my takeaways, I'm sure you have others.  I found the small peaks into the mediation process interesting (LDS is involved and they are helping to provide information to the mediators).

 

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21 minutes ago, David CO said:

I disagree.  That is exactly how B-P meant it.  

 

I agree with David CO. When a scout joined the troop, I told the Scout in our first conference that I had total trust in him and it was up to him to change that trust. 

The problem with adult leaders in many troops is they tend to think of 11 years olds and 11 year old boys instead of adults with lesser experience. Truth is we don't know the maturity or life experiences of new scouts, so why assume they aren't trustworthy.

New employees of a company are typically trusted with the responsibility to change when they make wrong decisions in their work. Inexperienced often start their scouter career with the parenting habit of verbally correcting  scouts  of their wrong decisions. But, that is a bad habit in a program where the scouts are supposed to responsibly correct themselves when they make wrong decisions.

I HATE the term "Boys will be Boys", because that is a generalized term that demeans the character of all youth and their behavior, and quite frankly states that "Adults will be boys", since they are role-models by default.

Along with this, I instruct adults to expect the best in scouts and never ever show anger with wrong behavior. Show only disappointment. Scouts despise adult anger in a patrol method troop because that is condescending hypocritical reaction goes against the ideal of scouts are on their own to learn from their mistakes. 

Scouts don't change their behavior to prevent adult anger, the hide it. But, they respect disappointment because in most cases, that is a quiet one-on-one reaction without the condescending action from a superior. Disappointment is how mature adults react to bad decision makers of all ages. It's how we want the older scouts to react with younger scouts and Patrol Leaders to act with their patrol mates. Best place in the world to practice for real life. And, more often that not, the scout will be harder on themselves when they feel they let the other person down. 

When scouts trust that they are safe from condescending anger and correction, they don't hide their behavior in fear, they present it in the open for affirmation. But, they must feel they are being trusted as equals with the adults and other scouts to feel safe. Are the bad decisions of the adults treated the same way. Role modeling disappointment is the most powerful teacher for growth. 

Barry

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5 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Truth is we don't know the maturity or life experiences of new scouts, so why assume they aren't trustworthy.

Because the insurance companies say we must?

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Looks like the LDS, BSA and Insurance companies sat around a campfire today and filed their objections to the estimation request in unison.  I'm curious if any other church files and objection or if JP Morgan steps into this arena at all.  These are all essentially the same (at least as far as I can see).  They are asking the court to reject TCC's request to estimate their claim.

LDS objection

https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/886539_2610.pdf

BSA's objection

https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/886555_2612.pdf

Various Insurance Companies Objection

https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/886551_2611.pdf

Another group of Insurance Companies Objection

https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/886563_2613.pdf

Another Insurance Companies Objection

https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/886565_2614.pdf

 

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4 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

 

Looks like the LDS, BSA and Insurance companies sat around a campfire today and filed their objections to the estimation request in unison.  I'm curious if any other church files and objection or if JP Morgan steps into this arena at all.  These are all essentially the same (at least as far as I can see).  They are asking the court to reject TCC's request to estimate their claim.

 

Hm. The TCC must be doing something right. As I recounted to a friend per an open air preacher I knew, “Throw a rock into a pack of dogs and you’ll know which one you hit.” The impacted are barking. Loudly. 

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