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Once_Eagle-Always_Eagle

Slippery slope youth protection question

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I am the committee chair of a cub scout pack and we do family camping several times a year. I have two questions pertaining to youth protection requirements: 1 hypothetical and 1 actual

 

HYPOTHETICAL

Obviously, on a family campout, dad is permitted to share the tent with his son. No one would ever argue that. But what if mom/dad can't come? Can an uncle/grandparent bring the boy and share the tent with his nephew/grandson? I suspect the answer is yes.

 

ACTUAL SITUATION

Sliding further, I had a Webelo boy that really wanted to go on our most recent family campout but mom-and-dad weren't available. I told them that the boy wasn't allowed to attend solo since this was a family campout. I further added the only way he could go with another parent is if the parent had actual legal custody of the child. I then found a 4 page form on the internet that the parents could complete and have notarized to appoint a temporary legal guardian. I wrongly predicted the parents would determine it was too much trouble and just catch the next campout, but to my surprise, they completed the form appointing temporary guardianship of the child to another parent/friend in the pack so their boy could go.

 

I found out AFTER the campout was over, that the boy actually shared the tent with the other dad and his son (so one dad, one son, and one non-related boy in a tent). Am I correct in presuming this tent sharing was a violation and I need to have follow-up dialog with the parents making them aware of the youth protection policies?

 

Thanks in advance!

Anthony

 

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Good Lord! A 4-page legal form to create a temporary legal guardian? Sounds like you really did not want this boy to attend, and did all you could to put obstacles in his path.

 

First of all, NOWHERE, does BSA state that the person in charge of a Cub Scout MUST be a LEGAL guardian.

 

If we run into your "actual" situation we have the parents find one of their son's buddies to attend with. It is up to them to talk to the other family, and sort stuff out. All we really need from them is a written note of permission signed by the parents, and the adult who is to be in charge of the boy.

 

We let the families know that, per BSA Youth protection, the boy is NOT allowed to sleep in the other families tent with the adults. They can have separate tents for the boys, and adult(s). To stretch it a bit, a tent with more than one room could work too.

 

A boy attending with a family member other than his parents is a bit gray. However, I would allow them to share a tent if I had written permission from the boy's parents for them to do so.

 

 

 

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http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/GSS/gss01.aspx

 

"Separate accommodations. When camping, no youth is permitted to sleep in the tent of an adult other than his or her own parent or guardian."

 

Remember the youth protection is to protect both the adult and the youth.

 

I have never shared a tent with my son on a cub scout outing because he always tents with the boys who would otherwise tent alone.

 

The best solution would have been for the two webelos to share a tent and dad tent solo. Yes what happened was a violation of youth protection guidelines.

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Basement - But if I understand this right, the family assigned legal guardianship to the other adult for the duration of this campout.

 

Very sneaky. Never heard of that happening before in a Scouting context.

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I realize the wording in the manual and training, but that's why i titled this slippery slope. due to the paperwork completed, the parent with teh boy *IS IN FACT* the legal guardian. I suppose the safer solution is to look at the intent of the guideline rather than the technical boundary. It is simply safer for all parties involved if the boy has his own tent.

 

I like to keep things simple, and a good way I can ask the question that makes this clear and evident:

 

"Even if you sign a paper assigning legal guardianship, would you want this unrelated adult to see your son change clothes- or would you want your son to see him?"

 

The answer to that had better be so shockingly obvious to any reasonable adult that it removes the question of what is allowed and replaces it with the obvious 'What is right'.

 

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As to the Actual Situation the rule is you can only stay in a tent with a legal parent or guardian. The form you are describing was a legal document giving temporary guardianship to the other parent. Therefore the Youth Protection Policy was not violated if what you are saying is accurate. But I would not call it Kosher by any stretch of the imagination.

 

I would say it warrants a talk just to be on the safe side so they know the policy and you dont have a similar issue again. I also believe the boys should have shared a tent and the adult been by himself unless there was an issue with one of the boys we dont know about where they are uncomfortable doing that.

 

We actually have a boy in our Troop who has health issues and wants to go to summer camp. Because of those conditions he cant stay in a tent with another boy and he cant stay alone. The other problem is that his parents are not going to be able to come. So they already have the forms filled out to do the exact same thing and give temporary guardianship to another adult.

 

As for the Hypothetical Question its a grey area technically they are not parents or guardians so it would be against Youth Protection for them to share a tent but on the other hand they are part of the family and nobody will generally question it.

(This message has been edited by MoosetheItalianBlacksmith)

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As to your new question.....no nobody wants that. But nobody said that happened either I know parent and sons that leave the tent to let each other change and that may be the same situation here. Without knowing the fact we cannot rush to judgment. Again Im not saying its right. id put the kibosh on it in the future and have a talking to the people involved just to be on the safe side. But theres no proof anything was done wrong.

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I am no lawyer but I thought it took a court order to make someone a legal gaurdian. Maybe I am wrong.

 

Why did you not allow this Webelos Scout to the campout without a parent? Surely you could have found a responsible adult to supervise him. He could have stayed in a tent with another scout or even by himself if he were comfortable with that arrangement

 

 

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Hiya Once_Eagle!

 

You raise a good and common example of situations that happen in modern families that aren't strictly "covered" by any of the BSA guidelines.

 

What do you do when the boy's biological father comes but he is no longer a legal guardian? What do you do with grandpa, who is effectively standing in loco parentis? And on and on.

 

I think the answer is very easy and straightforward, eh? You always honor the instructions of the boy's parent or guardian. Always. If you do anything else, if you try to make some convoluted case that the BSA somehow trumps the rights of the parents, then you are only settin' yourself, your unit, and the BSA up for all kinds of problems.

 

So yep, let grandpa come, and if the parents say so then grandpa can share a tent with junior. And if they've really gone through the trouble of assigning temporary guardianship, then you salute, shut up, and treat that person exactly as you would the boy's parent. And apologize to 'em later for making 'em go through that trouble. ;)

 

Again, the standard for all of these things is not what's written in a BSA guidebook, it's what a reasonable person would do, eh? And no reasonable person would take a young, shy fellow on one of his first campouts away from the close friend or family member who is there to support the boy. That would be negligent.

 

Beavah

 

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While it is true that if you want to get a more permanent guardianship you have to go to court.

 

But For a temporary guardianship you only need an official document signed by an official notary.

 

In alot of packs the RULE is that you cannot go on a trip without a parent.(This message has been edited by MoosetheItalianBlacksmith)

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Take a look at this link.

 

http://www.prevent-abuse-now.com/stats.htm#Offenders

 

95% of sexual abuse victims know their abuser......

 

 

Our pack policy is that unless you are bio mom or dad, scout will tent with another scout.

 

I know bio mom or dad could be a perv too, but much less likely.

 

Ounce of prevention in my book.

 

We do allow cubs to come on the campout with out parent, but they are the responsibility of another adult.(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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You cant say that they cant tent with anybody beside a Biological parent. There is a reason its Parents and/or GARDIANS. What if you get a boy thats adopted or you get a boy that has both of his parents that died and he was taken in by somebody else. Or perchance there is a divorce and the parent with guardianship gets remarried.

 

Guardians have to be taken into consideration.

 

Another thought about that divorced couple. What if the parent that doesnt have Guardianship isnt supposed to have one on one contact with the child?

 

But I will say its always preferable for boys to tent with other boys.

 

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I know bio mom or dad could be a perv too, but much less likely

 

Actually, da most common perpetrator of child sexual abuse is the father. Mom and dad together are the most common perpetrators of all forms of child abuse.

 

So perhaps your policy should be that da boys aren't permitted to tent with mom or dad, because stranger abuse is much less likely. :p

 

Seriously, no BSA unit should be interferin' with what is properly da right and responsibility of a parent: to decide who is responsible for their child at a family campout. That way lies dragons. If you make a child sleep somewhere else against da wishes of the parent and anything bad happens at all, you will be roasted alive. Like several other things we're discussing today, it's just not reasonable to prevent a young child on his first night camping from sleeping with a trusted adult relative.

 

Please consult with your chartered organization before acting on this "policy." If they don't do much youth work, yeh might suggest they consult a competent attorney and/or social work professional in your jurisdiction.

 

Beavah

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Bottom line: jump through what ever hoops your charter org. rep says you have to to establish guardianship. Work from there.

 

Harsh reality: looking at every adult as potential abusers will not help you protect the boys. (The skilled predators, as Beav commented earlier, will put on a good show of complying.) Identifying signs of abuse in boys or predatory behavior in adults -- even though that usually means after the first incident -- is the closest we can come to stopping abuse.

 

As soon as cubs are willing, encourage them to bunk with each other. You'll save on tents because you can pack a bunch of those little gompers in one! (This strategy worked well with my oldest son, but not with my youngest.)

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Moose son we can run a camp out how ever we want. with in YP and G2SS guidelines that is.

 

It has been a non issue, not a soul has ever complained

 

The boys love it, they tent with their buddys.

 

Parents have more room in their tent

 

Helps the helicopter parents begin the letting go process.

 

there is a lot of different ways to run a successful program.

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