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Bankruptcy, everything but the legalese


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Question to current scout leaders. What do you tell current scouts and or their parents if asked about the current bankruptcy and the child sexual abuse in the past?

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Just now, johnsch322 said:

Question to current scout leaders. What do you tell current scouts and or their if asked about the current bankruptcy and the child sexual abuse in the past?

Bankruptcy: I tell them everything is in flux and that while we hope BSA survives we told the First Class/Star/Life folks to not wait and try to make Eagle ASAP.

Abuse: Ye, it happened. No one doubts it. What the court is trying to figure out is how much BSA has to pay for letting it happen in their watch.

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1 minute ago, johnsch322 said:

Question to current scout leaders. What do you tell current scouts and or their if asked about the current bankruptcy and the child sexual abuse in the past?

I've mentioned before on this forum that the few folks I've talked to personally about this subject is they don't believe the abuse is substantial. It's not hardly even in the media. We are surrounded by media reports almost weekly of sexual abuse in our schools, government, family and so forth. But, most folks can't think of a single incidence from in scouting. In fact, most parents will say when it comes to sexual abuse, Scouting is a safe place.

There are a few folks here who are passionately involved, but you can see even in this forum that there isn't much of an audience who are appalled at the BSA in general. And a couple of the louder folks here were BSA haters even before the bankruptcy started ramping up. 

So, I believe the pragmatic answer to the bankruptcy is we have to wait it out. As for the sexual abuse, we have to do a better job protecting scouts.

Barry

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19 minutes ago, johnsch322 said:

Question to current scout leaders. What do you tell current scouts and or their if asked about the current bankruptcy and the child sexual abuse in the past?

First, virtually no one asks about the former.  But if they did what I would say is that it's a mess, it doesn't really have anything to do with us, and my belief is that in the end, after long and arduous negotiations, some deal will be worked out that compensates the victims and allows BSA, our council, and our troop and pack, to continue.  Ultimately, like all large bankruptcies and huge complex lawsuits, there will be a settlement.  No one will really like it, but there's actually no way for one side or the other to "win" it as a matter of law.

As to the latter.  Past abuse doesn't really come up often.  When it does I tell them that to my knowledge we've never had any incidents in our units' past. 

Talking about preventing abuse, that does come up, and even when it doesn't I always talk to new parents about YPT and how we implement it.  What I tell them is there are rules and training, all leaders have to take the training and I encourage parents to at least look through the highlights of GTSS.  I tell them the main rule is that no adult is ever alone with a scout, and that we take the rules seriously and adhere to them --- period.  But the most important thing that we all can do is be vigilant, and transparent, and communicate.  If you have a question --- ask.  If there's something that you wonder about --- ask.  If you think you see something untoward say something, and if you really think there's a problem there are all sorts of ways to report it beyond us.

If you have kids today none of this is new or unusual or something that you're not encountering with every activity that your kids are in. 

I'm not someone who buys into the notion that somehow people didn't know how wrong this was in the past and somehow that provides some mitigation of any organization's responsibility back then.  What I do know is what is different today is an awareness of just how common this can be, especially if treated the way it was in the past, and how devastating it is for kids if it happens.  I believe that awareness is THE thing that makes kids safer today.

Edited by T2Eagle
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14 minutes ago, johnsch322 said:

Question to current scout leaders. What do you tell current scouts and or their if asked about the current bankruptcy and the child sexual abuse in the past?

I’ve been asking my friends with kids (or close friends) in Scouts and to a person none of them is talking about it and mostly don’t want to hear anything. This is the parent side, mind you. I recently spoke with a good friend with a young son who’s actively involved. She hadn’t told me that before, even though she  knows I am “working on the case.” When she found out “working on the case” meant I was a claimant, her tack and level of interest changed 180 degrees. She started asking me all manner of questions, knew pretty much nothing about YPT and not a single thing about the case, other than “Everything is great...keep rock-n and roll-n with your Troop!” She’s now going back to speak with leaders at all levels to find out why they have told her (and others) anything about this. I told her about those few recent cases we’ve discussed her and she said, “Okay. I’m going to be going on the camp out with my son and interview all the leaders.” She’s not a woman to be trifled with. Interesting field research, at least I find it so. 

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4 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

As to the latter.  Past abuse doesn't really come up often.  When it does I tell them that to my knowledge we've never had any incidents in our units' past. 

Right, I will tell you that it is the adults and I've gotten several versions of "I've been in scouting XX years and never heard about it."

To which my response is "Well did you think BSA or the victims are going to advertise 'I was abused' or 'John Scout was abused'?"

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1 minute ago, ThenNow said:

“Everything is great...keep rock-n and roll-n with your Troop!” 

Right, because the argument goes that it does no good to focus on things we have no control over.

Can a den leader in Pack 123 do a thing about the bankruptcy? No.

Can they even vaguely explain it? No.

I would hoped that the COUNCILS would provide more information to give parents and leaders, but I cannot fault unit level leaders for not having the time or energy to try and track down this information.

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16 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

But, most folks can't think of a single incidence from in scouting. In fact, most parents will say when it comes to sexual abuse, Scouting is a safe place.

Which was pretty much exactly what happened with the Catholic Church until the dam broke with the revelations of the scandal in Boston in the 1990s. After that, it all came out.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_sex_abuse_cases_in_the_United_States

Moreover, as I've said, it isn't like people are advertising this.

Edited by CynicalScouter
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1 hour ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

When I think on this, I can honestly say we don't really need our local council.  Everything they provide us could be done (and in most cases, actually already is being provided) through National functions (policy, materials (books and uniforms), standardized training) and local volunteers (local training courses and events).

Could anyone else here live without their local council?  With the technologies we have now, could they go away without a great deal of impact to Scouting?  I think so....and so, BSA toggle?

 

I agree 100% scouting has become like the federal and state governments.  Why do we need both national and local councils? 

This is like government in that they have federal agencies and states have the exact same agencies.  Ie federal EPA, state EPA. 

I would say keep LC's but reduce the number to 2-3 per state. Eliminate national and replace it with a board that makes standards. That is all that is really needed is standards. Turn over HAB's to the LC in that area.

We could save hundreds of millions yearly with this change. People seem to like semi-local control and this would be it.

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35 minutes ago, johnsch322 said:

Question to current scout leaders. What do you tell current scouts and or their parents if asked about the current bankruptcy and the child sexual abuse in the past?

If asked we advise that BSA National is in litigation, the landscape is fluid.  There were abuses in the past and BSA continues to strive to correct.  Locally with our unit, to our knowledge, there are not any cases.  The goal is to keep it that way and be aware that not being aware can lead to problems.

On YPT out unit does adhere to the standards and all leaders understand the why of the standards.  If someone is meeting with a Scout prior to a meeting for some reason, we have another leader there and the meeting is out in the open.  After the troop meeting we always have 2 leaders stay until all Scouts are picked up.  Same for outings.  For outings leaders camp a distance from youth, when we wander the site to check on things, usually it is two of us.

For communications we attempt to include others, challenge is on e-mails most youth have no idea how to Reply all.  Easier with text.  Our Social Media platforms are open, no tagging, and any comments are public as are any questions.  Multiple leaders have admin access.

We have the families review the pamphlet in the Scout handbook and advise they have covered this with their Scouts.

Edited by Jameson76
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17 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

Which was pretty much exactly what happened with the Catholic Church until the dam broke with the revelations of the scandal in Boston in the 1990s. After that, it all came out.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_sex_abuse_cases_in_the_United_States

Moreover, as I've said, it isn't like people are advertising this.

Your kidding right! The Catholic issue was on the news almost every day. TV shows and light night comedians hammered on it. Folks may not of knew of an incident personally, but they certainly knew about the issue. I don't see it being the same.

Barry

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8 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Your kidding right! The Catholic issue was on the news almost every day.

Not until the 1990s and the Boston Scandal. Since then, it has. But prior? Nope.

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8 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

I cannot fault unit level leaders for not having the time or energy to try and track down this information.

I’m not faulting anyone. I just report the news.

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13 minutes ago, johnsch322 said:

I might be wrong but I think the dam is getting ready to burst as far as the media and the BSA.

I think that's about right. This is tracking with the Catholic Church scandal with one difference:

I would trace the starting point for the Catholic abuse scandal as the 2002 Boston Glove report about the Archdiocese and its coverups. That story was the replicated diocese by diocese since there is not overarching U.S. governing body of Dioceses (the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is a meeting-of-equals)

For Boy Scouts the starting point in my views was the Oregon case and the forced release of some of the IV Files in 2012. After that the ball started rolling downhill into the 2020 bankruptcy filing.

The other tracking is the release of names. The Catholic Church has been forced to release data on the number of victims and the names of perpetrators. The BSA is still hiding them. Those names will come out now.

The other thing was that the Catholic Church also called for independent audits, starting with what is called the John Jay report in 2002 when things started to snowball. It did not come out until 2004 but everyone knew where it was heading: abuse was rampant, under-reported or not reported, and an outside review was required.

The same with BSA: they have absolutely no credibility whatsoever at this point to claim "Our YP is the best" or "We have no abuse problems anymore!" Give me a break. As was pointed out, 18,000-19,000 claims filed are post-YP introduction.

That's why I really, really hope for the sake of scouts, victims, and scouting in general there is an outside monitor with teeth to start cleaning house.

After the John Jay report it became much, much harder to claim "Well I never heard about abuse in MY parish, therefore it did not happen." That's the same line a LOT of BSA-defenders have said: I, personally never heard of a sexual abuse case in my unit or district or council, therefore it never happened.

It happened. BSA just took great pains to bury it.

Edited by CynicalScouter
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