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Debate over 72 hour rule - spun from bankruptcy thread


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6 hours ago, PeterHopkins said:

If we assume it's true that the presence of unregistered parents increases the accountability of the registered Scouters, wouldn't we get even more comfort as to the safety of the youths at an event, of those parents were background checked?

First, let’s be clear that “un-registered” does not equate to “without child abuse clearance.” Worse, most parents, given stricter requirements, would complete their application just before departing for camp. I doubt their clearances would go through instantly. Therefore, until systems are tightened, “registered” will not equal “cleared” for most purposes. Although PA’s clearance laws ease the burden of screening, I don’t get comfort from them. A malefactor can do a lot in the five year gap between filings. 

Secondly, in other youth-facing projects, we still welcome being accountable to parents while keeping one eye open lest they assume roles towards other youth that they should not. Fresh eyes on the way we do things seems to do more good and little, if no, harm.

Thirdly, scouting happens, with or without BSA. Parents who don’t want to bother with paperwork are simply taking their kids camping elsewhere. State parks, friends’ hunting camps, and relatives’ farms abound. I am very concerned about the youth losing access to havens that are ten times as likely to protect them from exposure to abuse.

The harsh reality is that, rather than getting a bunch of cleared parents in every unit at camp, we’ll get more units with only two adults spending the night with our scouts. That just sounds like a recipe for unintended consequences.

The real issue: how do we get from tenfold less risk to hundredfold? Should we background-check parents as they register their kids? If they aren’t cleared, we would then need a contingency plan for helping them monitor their child’s safety. But, cleared parents would provide one less hurdle to feeling comfortable with them camping with our kids.

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I'm sure there are plenty of people who don't understand the rules and some places that have decided to implement stricter versions of the rules, but that doesn't change the fact that what you've desc

one ≠ five, therefore one on one ≠ one on five. If I can spend five hours with five scouts --- and no other adult -- in my vehicle on the way to a campout, there can be no logical expl

Try reading all of the article instead of ignoring the parts that don't support your position.  You are currently arguing that a lone adult is breaking the rules even though the author references THIS

I do like the Canadian approach. In short, parents have a cheaper/faster path to get clearance to attend events like campout, but that clearance is only good for 5 events. After those 5 events, they must register and have a more detailed check. That seems to balance the two competing concerns. 
 

more parents at events is good for helping address youth on youth abuse/bullying/etc. 

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9 minutes ago, malraux said:

I do like the Canadian approach. In short, parents have a cheaper/faster path to get clearance to attend events like campout, but that clearance is only good for 5 events. After those 5 events, they must register and have a more detailed check. That seems to balance the two competing concerns. 
 

more parents at events is good for helping address youth on youth abuse/bullying/etc. 

One issue is that the 72 hour rule is not limited to parents (and to be fair, parents can and have abused; however, there is a bit of a balance).

I had a kid's uncle want to go to summer camp with us for 2-3 nights.  He didn't want to register.  I asked him for a medical form and he refused to fill it out and said he would refuse to attend if asked for that info .. very odd and glad he didn't attend.

Looking at recent reports of CSA, many, many seem to occur at summer camps.  The potential 1:1 is high there.  There is a large collection of non parent adults present.  What I found, is that in many cases, kids DO NOT report the incidents.  Eventually, one victim is found and then many more come out of the woodwork.  So, we need to be careful thinking everything is fine just due to lack of reports.

One major area of concern I have is about girls.  We have added girls.  This is not a debate about adding girls, but girls aged 16 - 19 are the #1 demographic for being sexually abused.  Men are by far the greatest perps of CSA.  By report, it is nearly 99%; however, many agree cases of women sexually abusing children are higher than reported so some researchers have said that men "only" commit 80% of CSA.  Still, we have mostly male leaders (highest offenders of CSA) around teenage girls (highest rate of being sexually abused).  This mix is a big concern at summer camps. 

Any SM knows it is VERY difficult to ensure kids have buddies at all times.  Merit badge schedules vary a lot making it difficult for many scouts to ensure they have buddies.  I can tell you, nearly every day at camp, I see 10-20 kids walking by themselves throughout camp.  

Also, when scouts/kids see adults, many will run up to talk.  I have had a few times where one of my scouts, walking alone, saw me walking alone and ran up to talk.  It is not common, but it has happened.  I typically ask them where there buddy is and tell them to go get one.  However, there are too many opportunities for this to occur at camp and it concerns me, especially now that we have added girls.

Requiring all adults to register does not seem like a major hurdle.  I expect that while background checks are not perfect, just asking for the info may scare away potential abusers.  We require health forms, so just add the registration to that process.

Our Troop is also talking about other possible changes.  How do we ensure every kid has a buddy within the merit badge program?  Should we ensure adults are never alone (adult buddy system)?  The issue I have is that as a Troop, we can work on improvements but we also have to count on everyone else ... and in some cases, based on recent history, that has failed. 

 

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@Eagle1993, I’m afraid statistics regarding male vs. female perpetrators are rapidly changing. I don’t want to dis any other youth organizations, but from staff who’ve worked in female exclusive camps, I’ve learned that reigning in grooming/abuse is a challenge. Maybe it’s because when one multiplies 1/5 of perpetrators being female by young females being 3 to 6 times more likely to be victims it doesn’t decrease female youth’s risk of assault in a camp governed mostly by female adults.

(And I let my daughter hang out with college students when she was a youth. It was a net positive. I have to admit that I didn’t map out the risks very well.)

So, from my perspective all parents need to be vetted equally.

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It is all about personal responsibility and past history.

Third hand story:   Talking to a Scouter friend:  He was a Scoutmaster for a time, then dropped back to being Committee Chair as health and age interfered.  One time during a Troop meeting, a new fellow came in, and he was directed to my friend, now Com Chair.  The new man said he was an Eagle, and had just moved into the area and wanted to get back into Scouting. Friend said great, do you have a kid to join the Troop? man said no, he was single, but wanted to give back, as he was given in his Scouting days.  Friend said great, here's an adult application, and medical form. We'd be glad to have you help.  Man said why do I have to fill this out,  all I want to do is , like, teach knots and stuff. Friend said everyone fills this out that wants to be a Scout Leader.  man says this is not necessary, a Scout is Trustworthy , right?  Friend said right.  And Obedient.  Here's the form to fill out, we'd be glad to welcome you into the Troop Committee, but everyone fills this out and gets "checked out and in".   Man said Okay. Let me think about it, and left and never came back..... 

Again, all Scouting is local.   

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On 10/23/2021 at 1:14 PM, johnsch322 said:

Interesting that you want TCC lawyers to show proof when it was the former person in charge of YPT that pointed out the fact and found it to be not acceptable. If it was the source of even one abuse I would say that it is a policy that should not be in effect. If other organizations do it why can’t BSA?  As I have mentioned before my wife while we were in Canada had to get an RCMP background check before she could go on an overnight with my daughter. We paid for it and had no complaints about it. 

Well, the person who was in charge of YPT also didn't provide any evidence or analysis about how changing the rule would mean over all safer scouting, and he stood by the many statements about how safe scouting is --- right up until he didn't work there.  Maybe he has the evidence, if so he should share it.  His lack of transparency is no more noble than BSA's.

As to your personal experience, that's fine.  But I have scout families for whom the $50 necessary for a background check would come out of the grocery fund.  That is what I mean by it having a chilling effect on parents attending to observe their kids.  The single mom who wants to see what goes on with her son when he's away on a weekend campout is going to decide not to, and just have to live with some uncertainty she shouldn't have to live with, rather than absorb that cost.  For Cub age kids it would probably mean no camping at all for a significant number of them.

And all that is without taking into account the complexities of what having a background check means, and what should be done with the information.  When a background check turns up non-CSA transgressions what should be done with that information?  Prior convictions for DUIs, illegal substances, tax evasion, etc., who and how do you decide to judge those things before saying a parent can camp with their kid?

Maybe background checks for everyone is a right and necessary idea, but it's not as self evident or without significant costs and unwanted and unexpected consequences as some folks seem to think.  If it's a good idea than it should be able to be shown as a good idea by evidence and analysis, not just by facile assertion.

 

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7 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

As to your personal experience, that's fine.  But I have scout families for whom the $50 necessary for a background check would come out of the grocery fund.  That is what I mean by it having a chilling effect on parents attending to observe their kids.  The single mom who wants to see what goes on with her son when he's away on a weekend campout is going to decide not to, and just have to live with some uncertainty she shouldn't have to live with, rather than absorb that cost.  For Cub age kids it would probably mean no camping at all for a significant number of them.

And all that is without taking into account the complexities of what having a background check means, and what should be done with the information.  When a background check turns up non-CSA transgressions what should be done with that information?  Prior convictions for DUIs, illegal substances, tax evasion, etc., who and how do you decide to judge those things before saying a parent can camp with their kid?

That is more than likely the same argument from 50 years ago when virtually no background checks were. To expensive, to burdensome etc. etc. and where did that get BSA.  How many less victims would there have been. 

I will say it again if MANDANTORY background checks were done on all those who did an overnight with scouters and it saved only ONE scouter from being abused it would be well worth the cost and effort.

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2 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

How do we ensure every kid has a buddy within the merit badge program? 

One idea we had was to buddy up before summer camp, and let them pick their mutual schedule.  May lead to repeating the coursework, but repetition is not a bad thing with some badges.

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48 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

But I have scout families for whom the $50 necessary for a background check would come out of the grocery fund.  That is what I mean by it having a chilling effect on parents attending to observe their kids.  The single mom who wants to see what goes on with her son when he's away on a weekend campout is going to decide not to, and just have to live with some uncertainty she shouldn't have to live with, rather than absorb that cost.  For Cub age kids it would probably mean no camping at all for a significant number of them.

I know families who are in the exact predicament. Glad oldest has aged out as I do not think I would be able to afford his registration, even at the reduced adult rate, this year. This will kill Cub Scouts and trickle down to Scouts.

 

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46 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

Maybe background checks for everyone is a right and necessary idea, but it's not as self evident or without significant costs and unwanted and unexpected consequences as some folks seem to think.  If it's a good idea than it should be able to be shown as a good idea by evidence and analysis, not just by facile assertion.

How do you determine this?  Kids don't report issues for possibly decades.  Do you wait until 20 years from now, see that a large number of girls were sexually abused in our program and realize we let a someone in due to the 72 hour rule?  

I  think we need to look at outside experts and they are indicating this is an issue/concern.  I would rather not wait to find out this was an issue and we did nothing.

To me, we need different rules for Cub Scouts & Scouts BSA.  Most CSA reports are coming from Boy Scouts (now Scouts BSA).  I agree with @Eagle94-A1 that requiring every adult to register for overnights in Cub Scouts is burdensome, won't make it safer and could kill the program.  Most Cub Scout overnights, that I held, had each parent attend.  Parents watch their kids and that seems to work. 

From my understanding of the reports, most abuse occurs is in Scouts BSA.  I have no issue with BSA saying any adult who wants to spend overnights in Scouts BSA must be a registered leader.  The cost can be paid by fundraising (we don't charge our adults to register as leaders).  For the most part, only registered leaders attend overnights at our outings.   The only outing where I have non registered adults attend overnights is summer camp.  I believe my Troop could manage if this was a requirement and I expect most parents would understand.  It would address a concern raised by non BSA CSA experts and I think the program could absorb it with minimal negative impacts.

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Not sure if everyone understands this every abuse incident that occurs after MJ stated that the 72 hour rule was not a good policy and that incident makes it into the courts this will be used as evidence of negligence.  If your LC allows this to happen your liability issues go up.

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11 hours ago, PeterHopkins said:

There aren't really loopholes taken advantage of by local councils. Local councils can enact policies more restrictive than the Guide to Safe Scouting, but not ones that are less restrictive.

A neighboring council near me requires Youth protection Training will not expire during the upcoming registration period. So, if someone took YPT in November 2020, it will expire in November 2022, and they need to take it again before registering for calendar year 2022.

My council does not allow Cub Scouts to camp on council property without a parent.

Several council, including my council, will not allow a direct contact leader to register or reregister unless the person has completed training for the position. In my council, the requirement is waived, if the person has been in the position for less than the months at the charter renewal date. So, if someone registers as a Lion den leader on September 25, 2021, that person needs to be fully trained to reregister for calendar year 2022.

In our case our unit was much more meticulous than our council. I am sure this is no longer the case, but within my recent memory the council did not perform background checks to save money. Their rationale was that people who had something to hide would refuse to agree to a background check and self screen anyway so why spend the money. At least that was the rumor. It's possible it simply happenened by default. We, like many councils, had a dearth of administrative support and paperwork processing was often late, incomplete, nonexistent, etc. They may simply have sat on a shelf so long, someone said why bother let's wait until next year and when no one came asking about it the practice perpetuated. To me that's a loophole. It might no longer exist, but it did and there are other ways the system is massaged. We've talked about a lot of them on this forum over the past year.  

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