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Youth Protection, 18-20 year olds, women leaders


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Mods, I am placing this topic in Politics because I fear that it may blow up. THAT IS NOT MY INTENT ( emphasis). If you feel this is more appropriate in General Discussion, please feel free to move it over there.

The topic of 18-20 year olds and Youth Protection came up at an Eagle BOR tonite. Long story short,  The 18 year old Eagle was asked if he would continue on as an Assistant Scoutmaster. He replied he would  not serve as an ASM  because he would not be able to comply with the YP rules as they apply to non-Scouting events because he is still a high school junior and is in regular one-on-one contact with Scouts outside of Scouting as a result. And under the current YP rules, no one-on-one contact is allowed at all, inside or outside of Scouting. He said he would rather give up Scouting than his friends. One of the members of the EBOR also sat on my son's EBOR. I found out that my son was asked the same thing, and also responded the same way: he would rather give up Scouting than give up his friends.  Has anyone else have this happen. I know Mike Johnson said  the majority of YP violations is "Youth on Youth," but have there been any data shown?

All of us on the EBOR agree that it is a shame that our best examples are leaving us.

Edited by RememberSchiff
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I have to admit this is one rule I'd modify. I can't see how letting an 18 yo scout stay with his friends is a problem. Without friendships scouting is a bust. Lack of friendships is the main reason s

This thread has gone from 18 yo scouts to following rules to bad beer humor to women scouters to substance abuse and a strange reference to Rabbinic Judaism. It's New Year's eve. If there were ev

I've seen this too.  The newly 18 year old that we have to tell that he can't share a tent with his long-time friend that he shared a tent with the month earlier. 

I'm not sure the right rule, but there needs to be an exception based on age and position.  Perhaps ...  Age needs to be within two years.  Same as the existing G2SS rule for youth.  Perhaps a new position of a young adult mentor that is not direct leadership role.  

The challenge is USA has some hard rules triggered by turning 18.  Someone more knowledgable would need to navigate that issue. 

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The problem these two Eagles have is not in Scouting, but outside of it. Now that YP applies to Scouters outside of the scouting activities, they cannot have one-on-one contact at school, carpooling to school,  study sessions, gaming, and hanging out. Both know why YP exists: to protect both the youth and adults.

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2 hours ago, scoutldr said:

over-reaching rules

^^^^^This

From G2SS:  "Parents and youth are strongly encouraged to use these safeguards outside the Scouting program. Registered leaders must follow these guidelines with all Scouting youth outside of Scouting activities."

What I do outside of Scouting is none of BSA's business.  If my son wishes to have a friend over (with his parents' consent), and my wife is not at home for an hour or so because she is running to the grocery store, we'll be just fine, BSA, thanks... 

And can you imagine this conversation?

"Dad, is it OK if Jimmy comes over after school? We would like to work on our science project together, and then do some gaming."

"Sure son, if his parents say it is OK.  Let me text his Dad real quick to verify...  OK, his Dad says he will pick him up after work.  Will Jimmy be staying for dinner?"

"Nope, he is going out with his parents, and needs to be home by 6."

"OK, fine.  I'll be here working in the yard.  Mom won't be home from work until about 5:30.  Wait...didn't Jimmy join Troop XXX last month?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Sorry, you'll have to cancel.  BSA says I cannot allow that, as we will not have two adults here."

Actually, our humorous solution is that my son and I agree to quit BSA temporarily until the activity is done.  When we are done, we mentally reactivate our membership.  But, we are always Scouts.

This is the kind of stuff from BSA that the average person just shakes their head at...and it kills confidence in the organization, and generates results like the OP.

Oh, and where is the exception for family members?  We have a Scout who just turned 18.  He is a senior in High School.  His brother is a sophomore.  Are you telling me the older brother (now a registered ASM) cannot be at home with his younger brother after school while his parents are at work?  If you interpret the text according to the letter, the answer is, ridiculously, no.

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
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2 hours ago, scoutldr said:

While I am sad to see these young people leave Scouting, I applaud their decision.  Valuing friendships over the arbitrary and over-reaching rules of an organization means we have done our jobs.  A Scout is Loyal.

Yes. I consider both of them Lawful Good Paladins.

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We do not register our aged out HS Senior Eagles / Scouts.  Same as above, the YP issues are numerous and not worth the effort.

Our unit does allow them to participate as a "leader" BUT, they must complete YPT, they cannot drive anyone else to an outing, they camp in the adult leader areas.  It is what it is.

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I suspect that we will continue to see more and more BSA policies driven by legal considerations and organizational protection.  This will be one of the consequences of tens of thousands of abuse claims and well over a billion dollars in costs. If nothing else, the insurance companies are likely to mandate very stringent rules. The enforcement, accountability and much of the liability will rest squarely at the unit level and with chartered partners, assuming that model survives.

And what would appear to have been common sense in the past, is likely to take a back seat in the future to very prescriptive guidelines and requirements approved by legal consultants.  A safer program? Time will tell. A more restrictive and limited program? Definitely.

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i would tell them that rules don't self justify.  They exist to accomplish a purpose, if a rule fails to accomplish its purpose, or worse, as I think is the case with this rule as applied to this situation, the rule actually defeats its own purpose, than the rule needn't be and shouldn't be followed.  You can find all sorts of legal, philosophical, and even Jesuitical support for this position if you're concerned enough to look.

And it's worth remembering that the stakes are very low with disregarding the rule.  The worst that can happen is that if someone is foolish enough to make some sort of report of this to BSA or council, than the older person has to leave scouting.  Which is the same result, without any upside, to foolishly adhering to the rule.

I would add that during a scout event, like a campout, the basic YPT rules of no one on one, no tenting together, etc. should be followed.  The rule isn't perfect as applied in that situation, but it's also not facially foolish, nor is it much of a burden or inconvenience.

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6 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

Our unit does allow them to participate as a "leader" BUT, they must complete YPT, they cannot drive anyone else to an outing, they camp in the adult leader areas.  It is what it is.

This is a pretty good use of the 72 hour loop hole. Good reason to not register for a few years. 

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12 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

^^^^^This

From G2SS:  "Parents and youth are strongly encouraged to use these safeguards outside the Scouting program. Registered leaders must follow these guidelines with all Scouting youth outside of Scouting activities."

What I do outside of Scouting is none of BSA's business.  If my son wishes to have a friend over (with his parents' consent), and my wife is not at home for an hour or so because she is running to the grocery store, we'll be just fine, BSA, thanks... 

And can you imagine this conversation?

"Dad, is it OK if Jimmy comes over after school? We would like to work on our science project together, and then do some gaming."

"Sure son, if his parents say it is OK.  Let me text his Dad real quick to verify...  OK, his Dad says he will pick him up after work.  Will Jimmy be staying for dinner?"

"Nope, he is going out with his parents, and needs to be home by 6."

"OK, fine.  I'll be here working in the yard.  Mom won't be home from work until about 5:30.  Wait...didn't Jimmy join Troop XXX last month?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Sorry, you'll have to cancel.  BSA says I cannot allow that, as we will not have two adults here."

Actually, our humorous solution is that my son and I agree to quit BSA temporarily until the activity is done.  When we are done, we mentally reactivate our membership.  But, we are always Scouts.

This is the kind of stuff from BSA that the average person just shakes their head at...and it kills confidence in the organization, and generates results like the OP.

Oh, and where is the exception for family members?  We have a Scout who just turned 18.  He is a senior in High School.  His brother is a sophomore.  Are you telling me the older brother (now a registered ASM) cannot be at home with his younger brother after school while his parents are at work?  If you interpret the text according to the letter, the answer is, ridiculously, no.

The issue is that if a youth under the circumstances that you outlined were to be abused, the BSA can be liable.  Youth have been abused entirely outside of Scouting with only the initial meeting of the perpetrator and victim occurring in a Scouting setting with the BSA being liable.  So while your points are valid and well taken, the BSA must show that it has made Scouting safer for youth.

I do not know if there is a happy middle ground or what it might be.

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13 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Actually, our humorous solution is that my son and I agree to quit BSA temporarily until the activity is done.  When we are done, we mentally reactivate our membership.  But, we are always Scouts.

I've dealt with similar, but chosen to follow G2SS as best I can.  

To be really, really honest ... and please forgive my response, but it is my view.   I absolutely cringe hearing that comment.  It is very dangerous and shows contempt for the Scout Law and contempt for the program that you've put your signature saying you will follow.  Even tongue in cheek, it is absolutely NOT something we should say or do.  It is absolutely a violation of G2SS.  It is a bad example to set for our youth.

I am really sad to hear a scout leader saying those words.  

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7 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

i would tell them that rules don't self justify.  They exist to accomplish a purpose, if a rule fails to accomplish its purpose, or worse, as I think is the case with this rule as applied to this situation, the rule actually defeats its own purpose, than the rule needn't be and shouldn't be followed.  You can find all sorts of legal, philosophical, and even Jesuitical support for this position if you're concerned enough to look.

Again ... I know we are all experienced scouters ... and I have deep respect for our commitment to the scouting program.  

I cringe.  These should NOT be the words of a scouter.  PERIOD.  Our oaths mean something.  Our promises mean something.  Our character is on the line when we sign saying we will represent BSA and follow the program.  I'm far from perfect, but I do try to measure my decisions based on G2SS guidance when it involes scouting youth.  

Ethical justification?  We're not talking life and death situations.  We're applying G2SS to daily life.  No one is forcing you to be a registered BSA leader.  Further, how do you draw your line?  It's silly, but you can use similar justification to ignore other G2SS rules.  Laser tag?  Handguns?  Full contact martial arts?  Hazing?  

KEY COMMENT:  I'm an old-school character guy with John Wayne as the type of hero I respect.  He'd spit in your eye if you give him a rule he won't or can't follow.  He'd have contempt for a man that makes a promise with the plan to break that promise.  It's two faced.  

My eyes view it as cut and dry.  Do your best to follow G2SS or don't be a registered leader.  When you have trouble following the rules, pull in others (DE, council training or membership chair, etc) for guidance.  I've had a few that fall in that category.  I've talked with our council training and advancement chairs to make sure I'm applying a reasonable G2SS interpretation. 

Finally, playing the scouting vs non-scouting game is how a significant number of past abuse cases happened.  Non-scouting events with scouting leaders and scouting youth.   


Again, my apologies.  I know everyone is trying to do their best to raise their own kids; be a good leader; and, to give back to the community.  I have a lot of respect for that.  

Edited by fred8033
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1 hour ago, fred8033 said:

I've dealt with similar, but chosen to follow G2SS as best I can.  

To be really, really honest ... and please forgive my response, but it is my view.   I absolutely cringe hearing that comment.  It is very dangerous and shows contempt for the Scout Law and contempt for the program that you've put your signature saying you will follow.  Even tongue in cheek, it is absolutely NOT something we should say or do.  It is absolutely a violation of G2SS.  It is a bad example to set for our youth.

I am really sad to hear a scout leader saying those words.  

You're right.  I quit.  Goodbye.

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