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Former Youth Protection Director on the dangers in Scouts BSA


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I don't think anyone said that.  What they said is that we shouldn't just do weekly meetings and eliminate the outdoor program.  Honestly, scouting without an outdoor program is not scouting ... its s

I second all of that. Factor in this little story, as well. Add it to the consideration of “who [you] are dealing with” and “Don’t send your Eagle badge back to National. It does not seem to care.” Yo

Not replacing MJ with another external CSA expert is a disaster of a decision.  It is fueling the anger in each of these speeches.  If MJ wasn't working out, they should have hired a new CSA external

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3 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

My experienced opinion is that the 50% youth sex abuse statement doesn't make sense. And any suggestion to changing the program based on that statement is absurd.. 

So are you saying that an experts knowledge is not true based on your experienced opinion?  

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To be clear ... someone has the data to calculate the 50% number.  I think all that is being asked is some additional details behind that number.  If forum members here didn't care, they wouldn't even be posting comments.  

If there are further details, it may spur discussions on what actions can be taken that protect scouts while still maintaining the program.  For example, MJ mentioned vetting older youth ... what does that look like, how would we do that  and what are the impacts to youth & the program.

Just a high level number doesn't help that much other than to raise these questions.  More details would really help us understand the situation further.

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Just now, johnsch322 said:

So are you saying that an experts knowledge is not true based on your experienced opinion?  

I'm saying the broad statement without detail doesn't make sense. 

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48 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

That is why the knee jerk Zero Tolerance of youth sex abuse reaction from the poster yesterday is so concerning. Dividing the age groups doesn't approach fixing the problem, and how do we keep friends having curious private discussions alone in their tents?

Discussion is getting a little crazy.

Barry

Thanks; that is what I was hinting at, but tend to ramble some.  Adolesence brings these discussions up in most youth gatherings at some point.  It is the time for trying to figure things out, evaluating personal feelings, and experimenting.  In other words, normal bumps and activities of growing up and dealing with emotional and physical changes.  Overreaction to these things is possible worse than ignoring.  IF you are confronted with it directly or indirectly, the issue is how do you address it without putting the youth into the "pervert" category?  Do you bring parents into the discussion?  Do you have some sort of broad group interchange with youth and adults?  And, of course, they then still go back into the cultural swamp where foul language is accepted as normal, and even advertising is suggestive.  Balance and reality is lost with too much knee jerk response, but we still need to somehow try to weed out the actual problems.  Just observations from a long life of not only Scouting, but working in schools and on occasion with other youth groups.  

Then we also have the blinders too many wear when it is "their kid", or their "friend".  Catch 22 in much of the drama.  So, better awareness, but not over reaction either.  The line is pretty narrow.

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2 minutes ago, skeptic said:

Then we also have the blinders too many wear when it is "their kid", or their "friend".  Catch 22 in much of the drama.  So, better awareness, but not over reaction either.  The line is pretty narrow.

Very narrow and challenging. Challenging enough to drive my wife to quit and take my daughter out the GSUSA. More often than not, BSA parents don't take this stuff very well. I find that discussions with older scouts is very productive when they don't feel challenged. They don't want any of the scouts to be categorized as a pervert or predictor. They just need some guidelance sometimes as to where the line is drawn.

Barry

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1 hour ago, T2Eagle said:

When I hear stats that not only don't comport with my own experience but that also seem really high even if I credit that my experience may be sheltered I start to wonder about definitions.  Earlier there was a discussion about folks' personal knowledge of YPT violation cases.

The only two I've known of personally were not in my unit but came from my involvement in summer camp and Jambo.  One was a case of a group text chat the was explicit and then also involved "sexting" pictures.  The other was a slapping of genitals that a group of scouts was doing.  Both these incidents were bad behavior, both involved youth in the same age cohort, both would probably fall into a broad definition of abuse (the latter was probably better classified as bullying) but I don't think they really qualified as the type of abuse that we've been discussing, and I don't think we should conflate the two.  An overly broad definition seems to me to diminish the seriousness and horror of what victims making claims today suffered.

 

There was just an incident from a camp this summer involving restroom cameras. The discovery of the cameras resulted in the perpetrator being caught, but a review of the cameras also captured multiple incidents of scout on scout sexual activity in the restroom. This kind of thing is obviously happening despite current youth protection policies. We don't know whether or not it was abuse -- it might have been consensual between two kids of similar ages and size -- but it was at minimum a youth on youth protection violation of concern. No parent wants to send their kid to a camp where that is occuring. 

Johnson is right to point this kind of thing out and it has to be reviewed in context of patrols and other situations where we put kids under the supervision of other kids. I've said this before but these kids are handed these roles with little formal training to help them understand how to be responsible for other kids or with any vetting of whether they should be in that role in the first place. Other youth organizations do this but scouting just assumes they can.  

 

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

That is why the knee jerk Zero Tolerance of youth sex abuse reaction from the poster yesterday is so concerning. Dividing the age groups doesn't approach fixing the problem, and how do we keep friends having curious private discussions alone in their tents?

So guess what friends having curious private discussions is not sex abuse and I am 99.9% sure that no one has called that as such.  But this is what I mean by minimalizing by alluding to curious private discussion as being part of a 50% figure.  

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12 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

My experienced opinion is that the 50% youth sex abuse statement doesn't make sense. And any suggestion to changing the program based on that statement is absurd.. 

This number is consistent with the information that was shared with us at a national denominational workshop on child and youth protection prior to the bankruptcy.  I agree that a deeper dig into the information and statistics is needed. How many of these are substantiated reports as opposed to initial reports? What have we learned from these reports?  Based upon these learnings, do we need to revise our current "best practices?" 

It sometimes seems that every bit of new information opens up a dozen new questions.

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1 minute ago, johnsch322 said:

So guess what friends having curious private discussions is not sex abuse and I am 99.9% sure that no one has called that as such.  But this is what I mean by minimalizing by alluding to curious private discussion as being part of a 50% figure.  

I gave an example of such a discussion report to council. 

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3 minutes ago, johnsch322 said:

But this is what I mean by minimalizing by alluding to curious private discussion as being part of a 50% figure.  

And you seem to be maximizing a broad statement without knowing the context. Based on our separate experiences, we will different opinions. .

Barry

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1 minute ago, Eagledad said:

And you seem to be maximizing a broad statement without knowing the context. Based on our separate experiences, we will different opinions. .

Barry

Are you saying between a CSA survivor to a person who was never abused?  

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“A predator would prefer to lurk in my troop.” Is one more of many reasons for someone like me to stay in scouting.

We are all jaded by our experience. The adult relatives and associates who came forward about their CSA, suffered their insults outside of scouting. BSA provided me and my kids a safe haven relative to many other places where I learned CSA was happening.

Increased transparency (which I favor) and reporting to independent auditors (a definite plus), although helpful, won’t tell us if an organization’s YP is improving or worsening. But, understanding those risks relative to risks in other sectors would help us all.

There was mention of PA’s clearance requirements for all volunteers with youth. One important consequence was that maybe 3/4 of our area’s leaders let their registration lapse the year that policy rolled out. It was a bit tough at first (e.g., the paperwork burden to get an international scout to be a volunteer discouraged his participation), but with a narrower pool of volunteers, I do have fewer adults to track.

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