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Youth Protection, 18-20 year olds, women leaders


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First and foremost, in the BSA alcohol is forbidden. Show up to a BSA event with it, and I will report you. Been there, done that. Ticked off folks as a result.

But you go to international Scouting events, including WSJs, and alcohol is served. When I first arrived at Kingsdown Scout Camp in the UK, the staff were having a BBQ with beer being served. At a WB reunion at the camp, the group went to the local pub in uniform. The Belgium Scouter whose troop I looked after when they got stranded thanked my with 2 cases of Belgian beer that were supposed to go to his brother.

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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

32 minutes ago, qwazse said:

This ….

In addition to the collegiate ASM who couldn’t do without a bottle of cheap beer on a camp out, maybe @yknot should have ordered an investigation of the “…  moms and wine in go cups around the camp fire.”  @SSScout should have called the FBI on those boys who “wanted to be sociable.”  @Armymuttshould do some soul searching about the risk he poses to our youth (given the point of this thread being that leading a unit makes demands on behavior at home), and certainly he should put chain-smoking-mom on a National d.q.-ed list.

I do think there is some merit in seeing how much damage someone has done when a scout is found having stolen contraband. I don’t think there is a straightforward leap from substance dependence to child sexual abuse. (If only it were that easy.)

I really can't parse out what you are talking about. You strangely seem to be defending alcohol use in scouting because you don't believe it's linked to child abuse despite a preponderance of evidence otherwise, but I am sure that is not what you really mean.  

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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

In addition to the collegiate ASM who couldn’t do without a bottle of cheap beer on a camp out, maybe @yknot should have ordered an investigation of the “…  moms and wine in go cups around the camp fire.”  @SSScout should have called the FBI on those boys who “wanted to be sociable.”  @Armymuttshould do some soul searching about the risk he poses to our youth (given the point of this thread being that leading a unit makes demands on behavior at home), and certainly he should put chain-smoking-mom on a National d.q.-ed list.

Why would you mock those who are trying to follow the rules of the BSA and or other organizations?  How could that even be remotely scout like? The BSA has had and may still have a huge problem with Child Sexual Abuse and there are those within the organization who want more stringent controls and have the will to enforce them.  Why do you appear not to be one of those? 

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55 minutes ago, yknot said:

I really can't parse out what you are talking about. You strangely seem to be defending alcohol use in scouting because you don't believe it's linked to child abuse despite a preponderance of evidence otherwise, but I am sure that is not what you really mean.  

I’m saying that screening for predators starting with adults who are dependent on alcohol is likely to miss its mark.

The link cannot possibly be causal to any high degree. Alcohol use disorders far outstrip rates of known sexual predation. This means that the preponderance of people who feel it’s their right to have a drink while taking care of youth will likely not be predators.

That is not to say they should be given a pass. From my perspective, if one can’t go a week without a drink one has a problem. As a kid, scouting was a respite from alcohol-dependent adults (one errant college age ASM the notable exception); however, those adults did not abuse me or any other kid I know, and many fought the fiercest soldiers the world has ever known to keep the likes of us safe and speaking freely. So, with no malice towards such folks, and recognizing that other parts of the world think differently, I’d rather them not join us at camp if they’d rather imbibe — not because they might be predators — but because some scouts could use the break from reminders of their troubled homes.

@johnsch322, let’s ignore your feeble attempt to paint me in a pale light. Are  you saying that it would be worth our while investigating every alcohol dependent person for the risk they may pose as a predator? Seems to me that a predator need only sober up to fly under that radar.

I need rules that actually make kids safer … not ones that constitute a witch hunt that ultimately leaves their risk for abuse unchanged.

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17 minutes ago, qwazse said:

I’m saying that screening for predators starting with adults who are dependent on alcohol is likely to miss its mark.

One I never wrote that

19 minutes ago, qwazse said:

those adults did not abuse me or any other kid I know, and many fought the fiercest soldiers the world has ever known to keep the likes of us safe and speaking freely.

You or those you knew (as far as you know) may not have been abused but many were (including myself) and I also was of those who fought to keep this country free

22 minutes ago, qwazse said:

let’s ignore your feeble attempt to paint me in a pale light.

you put yourself in that light with your posts 

23 minutes ago, qwazse said:

I need rules that actually make kids safer

There are rules and no alcohol would be one

In summation if you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem

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6 hours ago, SSScout said:

One must take the stand where the responsibility sits.

Many moon ago, I organized and led canoe trips for American Youth Hostels.  Our local club would put an ad in the local outdoorsy publication and young adults would come, pay the rental fee, get some instruction, and happily paddle down a stretch of the Monacacy (also known as the Monotony) river. The requirements were prominently displayed in the ad ::: Swimming ability, no alcohol, expectation of getting wet, etc.  Once,  a pair of young males arrived with a large cooler. When I asked to see the contents, they smilingly opened it to reveal three six packs, on ice. I distinctly remember three,. "Oh, we wanted to be sociable".  When I announced they had a choice, either leave the whole cooler behind, or go home, they cursed and chose to go home.... 

One canoe stayed strapped to the shuttle car.

They didn't need to abandon the cooler. For a small percentage I would  have given it a good home.  

Unless of course the three sixes were Iron City!

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2 hours ago, johnsch322 said:

 

In summation if you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem

While I am quite certain that Qwazse doesn't require any help in this "debate",  I find I cannot let your final sentence  pass without comment. It's one that gets used a lot and frankly, It's insulting.  The implication being that unless someone is in favor of your solution to a problem, then they are supporting the problem.   The idea that Qwazse, or any of us on this forum, is supporting or complacent with child abuse of any description goes way beyond the pale.  

Edit: FYI  I have no need whatsoever to list any qualifications (survivor, recovering alcoholic, etc) in order to give voice to my opinions.  Neither does anyone else. 

 

Edited by Oldscout448
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3 hours ago, qwazse said:

I’m saying that screening for predators starting with adults who are dependent on alcohol is likely to miss its mark.

 

OK. Well I'd say that's a completely wrong belief on multiple levels. Adults who are dependent on alcohol should absolutely be screened out. The reasons are so obvious I don't think it's worth articulating them. 

 

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4 hours ago, yknot said:

OK. Well I'd say that's a completely wrong belief on multiple levels. Adults who are dependent on alcohol should absolutely be screened out. The reasons are so obvious I don't think it's worth articulating them. 

 

I'm not a clinician, but I see there is a difference between abuse and dependence.

https://www.hazeldenbettyford.org/articles/what-is-the-difference-between-alcohol-abuse-and-dependence

https://www.sutterhealth.org/ask-an-expert/answers/alcohol-abuse-vs-alcohol-dependence

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK44358/

The BSA Adult Application screens for "abuse" not "dependence".  Question 6b on the right side.

https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/524-501.pdf

Sounds like you might advocate to change the verbiage from "abuse" to "dependence", but I think, unless you are a clinician who deals with this distinction, you might be using the wrong terms and have a misunderstanding.

If you are a health care provider who deals with this, then please, enlighten us further...

 

 

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
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My apologies if I confuse anyone. But there is a distinction between substance dependence (very prevalent in our country) and substance abuse. Or, at least, there had been.

The two obviously blend into one another. So much so that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders now no longer makes that distinction, putting most of the symptoms under substance use disorder. (Data wonks may click here for more.)

Based on recent surveys, it is very likely that at least one of the scouters and several parents in an average unit have an alcohol use disorder. Hopefully they will identify it, seek treatment and recover before scouts notice it. I’ve also learned that the high prevalence might be distinctly American, I saw a profound absence of Hungarian subjects with SUD (all young adults, the rate was low single digit) and when I contacted my colleagues about it, they said, “No, how much would you expect us to have?”

Oh, and alcohol is the tip of the iceberg. Cannabis dependence is rising rapidly with the increasing availability. It’s a whole lot easier to conceal as well.

So, going forward, substance use will continue to be a consideration with our young ASMs (or young adults in any youth program).

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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 ever a year where it would help to end on a high note, this is it. Please help me out on this one.

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53 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Cannabis dependence is rising rapidly with the increasing availability. It’s a whole lot easier to conceal as well.

We were at our camp for a district event, and one of our Scouts found a bag of marijuana on the ground in a high traffic area.  We gave it to the Ranger and reported it to the SE.  I asked the SE if he wanted me to contact authorities.  He said, "No, they would handle it."  Ranger had friends in LE, and he said he would give it to them for destruction.  Ranger also said they would not have police respond, as nothing would result from an investigation, and the local LE was overburdened anyway.  Sounded fishy to me, so I asked my lawyer.  He said, as long as I did not know it was anyone in our unit, I had no positive duty to report.  That would be up to property owners/event supervisors/hosts (i.e., council).

When we returned home, I wrote an email to all parents letting them know about the issue, and let them know they could contact me or the SE with questions.  (If they contacted me, then I would tell what happened again, and refer them to SE.)

Ranger indicated they find makeshift paraphernalia at summer camp quite often.  I have run across same at other camps while exploring hiking paths.  Sad...

But that is a "high" note...pun intended 😜

 

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
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57 minutes ago, qwazse said:

My apologies if I confuse anyone. But there is a distinction between substance dependence (very prevalent in our country) and substance abuse. Or, at least, there had been.

The two obviously blend into one another. So much so that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders now no longer makes that distinction, putting most of the symptoms under substance use disorder. (Data wonks may click here for more.)

Based on recent surveys, it is very likely that at least one of the scouters and several parents in an average unit have an alcohol use disorder. Hopefully they will identify it, seek treatment and recover before scouts notice it. I’ve also learned that the high prevalence might be distinctly American, I saw a profound absence of Hungarian subjects with SUD (all young adults, the rate was low single digit) and when I contacted my colleagues about it, they said, “No, how much would you expect us to have?”

Oh, and alcohol is the tip of the iceberg. Cannabis dependence is rising rapidly with the increasing availability. It’s a whole lot easier to conceal as well.

So, going forward, substance use will continue to be a consideration with our young ASMs (or young adults in any youth program).

So, BSA Adult Application should be revised to, "Do you use illegal substances, have a dependence on or abuse alcohol or have substance abuse disorder?"  Or some other legalese text, but if, and only if, there was statistical evidence that this significantly contributed to child abuse cases.  Otherwise, this should be covered by the BSA Scouter Code of Conduct: 

"7. I confirm that I have fully disclosed and will disclose in the future any of the following:

    Any criminal suspicion, charges, or convictions of a crime or offense involving abuse, violence, sexual misconduct, or any misconduct involving minors or juveniles •

    Any investigation or court order involving domestic violence, child abuse, or similar matter

    Any criminal charges or convictions for offenses involving controlled substances, driving while intoxicated, firearms, or dangerous weapons

8. I will not possess, distribute, transport, consume, or use any of the following items prohibited by law or in violation of any Scouting rules, regulations, and policies:

• Alcoholic beverages or controlled substances, including marijuana

• Concealed or unconcealed firearms, fireworks, or explosives

• Pornography or materials containing words or images inconsistent with Scouting values

9. If I am taking prescription medications with the potential of impairing my functioning or judgment, I will not engage in activities that would put youth at risk, including driving or operating equipment."

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6 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

We were at our camp for a district event, and one of our Scouts found a bag of marijuana on the ground in a high traffic area.  We gave it to the Ranger and reported it to the SE.  I asked the SE if he wanted me to contact authorities.  He said, "No, they would handle it."  Ranger had friends in LE, and he said he would give it to them for destruction.  Ranger also said they would not have police respond, as nothing would result from an investigation, and the local LE was overburdened anyway.  Sounded fishy to me, so I asked my lawyer.  He said, as long as I did not know it was anyone in our unit, I had no positive duty to report.  That would be up to property owners/event supervisors/hosts (i.e., council).

When we returned home, I wrote an email to all parents letting them know about the issue, and let them know they could contact me or the SE with questions.  (If they contacted me, then I would tell what happened again, and refer them to SE.)

Ranger indicated they find makeshift paraphernalia at summer camp quite often.  I have run across same at other camps while exploring hiking paths.  Sad...

But that is a "high" note...pun intended 😜

 

We too often jump to conclusions in judgment with these types of things, forgetting that Scouts, and Scouters are actually real people.  They are not somehow less prone to mistakes in judgment or foolish decisions to "see what happens", or "what it is like".  I still remember why I chose years ago NOT to smoke, even though was surrounded by smokers.  My mom made the first strike by giving me a cigarette to light when I was maybe 13, as I kept bugging her to let me try.  Once my eyes stopped running and I had enough water, the negative experience stayed with me until I though one more try, when I found apack of cigarettes in the parking lot of the Foster Freeze that I cleaned before school.  I decided to try it again, "now that I was older".  The same basic experience transpired and that was it, other than a few ventures during my 1960's "rebellious " time.  They did not last long.  Similarly with alcohol.  A few bad experiences put me off of it very early, though I do on rare occasion still drink something; a six pack of ale or hard cider sits in the fridge for weeks, and even months.  Had my beer period while stationed in Germany, and that may have helped later, as our more local fare leaves much to improve.  

The point here, is that those withing the program are also part of the larger society and simply the human race.  And they can, and do act at times like others around them.  Hopefully they recognize and do not become addicted or lost in a temporary "adventure".  

 

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On 12/30/2021 at 3:11 PM, johnsch322 said:

Obviously, you did read exactly what I wrote.  Instead of a condemnation of an ASM who brought alcohol I read light banter about the brand and the ASM needed a better mentor to choose a better brand.

You chose to make the leap.

There is a poster on these forums who is a survivor (not myself but I am, and alcohol was used in my abuse) who read the original post and the subsequent posts.  As a result of reading them he has suffered mental anguish because it relived his memory and caused him concern that the same situations may be occurring.

Most of subject matter on this forum isn't about sexual abuse in any direct way, and outside of those threads devoted to the discussion of CSA, expecting the people participating in those discussions to be concerned and aware of what might "trigger" someone is unrealistic and unreasonable.  Most of us are well aware of the fact that humor is often used to ease uncomfortable discussions and situations and can understand that cracking the kind of joke RoadRunner did was not intended to take away from the significance of the discussion.  If the subject is too raw for an individual to tolerate a discussion of that nature, it's unfortunate, but not a reason to attempt to silence someone.

On 12/30/2021 at 5:05 PM, johnsch322 said:

Comparing the long term effects of sexual abuse to anguish over alcohol dependency/abuse and then saying there is a balance with good memories gives me distinct opinion that you have no idea about the long term effects of Child Sexual Abuse. Unless you yourself are a survivor please stop trying to deflect from what you post. What you posted and the subsequent posts were a trigger to at least one survivor and maybe multiple others. 
As far as your suspicions I wouldn’t doubt that those who are abusers have a tendency to have alcoholic and or drug abuse issues themselves. 
As far as for the ASM that brought the alcohol to the BSA campout I wonder what his intentions were?  It was two ASM’s who brought alcohol and pornography plus who knows what else to a campout and raped myself. I hoped someone looked further into his background to see what else he may have done. 

There have been plenty of posters on here who are survivors that have shared mixed feelings (as opposed to pure hatred) about their time in scouts, so clearly discussing the idea of good memories balancing traumatic ones isn't an impossibility or an indication that someone simply has no idea what a survivor should look like. 

Furthermore, I'd suggest you not start down the road of arguing one type of abuse is incontrovertibly worse than another.  Rape is bad.  Childhood rape is worse; and certainly is can be among the most horrific specific occurrences that can happen to a child.  But assuming that the long term effects of the damage an alcoholic parent can inflict on a child through emotional and physical abuse can't measure up to the long-term effects of CSA is just plain ignorant.  The difference is that victims of CSA don't talk about it because they block it out, or are ashamed or just try and ignore it while the children of alcoholics/addicts don't talk about it because it takes years or decades before they can even understand that the hell they live in isn't "just the way life is".

On 12/31/2021 at 3:00 AM, yknot said:

OK. Well I'd say that's a completely wrong belief on multiple levels. Adults who are dependent on alcohol should absolutely be screened out. The reasons are so obvious I don't think it's worth articulating them.

First of all, the person you responded to here specifically said we shouldn't be screening out people with alcohol problems as potential sexual abuse risks.

Second, alcohol dependence and abuse issues come in many shapes and sizes.  If you are thinking about the kind of alcoholic that needs alcohol in their system non-stop or they get the DTs, then yes, they shouldn't be allowed to be in charge of children.  But that type of alcoholic tends to be the obvious minority of people with an alcohol problem.  The far more common alcohol abusers are the binge drinkers or the people who come to depend on alcohol to moderate their mood.  These are the folks that may be totally sober 6 days out of 7, but whenever they do start drinking they drink to excess; or it might be the working mom that needs a glass or two of wine to wind down from work every weekday. 

Most folks like this, often called "functional alcoholics" are completely capable of going for periods of time without drinking when the situation calls for it.  Particularly if they are removed from their typical emotional triggers (work, family drama, relationship problems).  The original commentor's point was that it's not fair to screen these folks out as "unsuitable for membership" if they can comply with the BSA's rules banning alcohol from Scout functions.  Not that they should be allowed to drink secretly while camping or something else like that.

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