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Engineer61

Have you ever asked the Parents?

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I talk to the parents of my scouts all the time. Contrary to what some people believe I think that's actually a critical part of a SM's job -- specifically because I recognize that they are entrusting me with the most precious being in the world to them, their child.

 

I talk to parents about many things, including safety issues of which YPT is just one. I have had one or two parents not have a scout go on a particular trip because of a safety concern -- not about how we operate but because they weren't sure their son would be responsible enough for the event, and I don't second guess them on that.

 

I like to think that I listen to the parents, I do conduct regular parent meetings and I always ask if anyone has any questions. But E-61 does make me wonder if I shouldn't be more explicit in getting feedback: asking rather than telling. It would disturb me greatly if I found out that any of my parents had as poor a view of me as E-61 has of his son's SM. Frankly, if I found out that he/she was that worried about their son's safety when I was responsible for him I would work overtime, including really insisting they come on an outing with us, to assuage their fears and provide us some real time feedback.

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T2Eagle, I doubt that you would be able to sway a parent who starts out with such a deep mistrust as E61 indicates he has. You can't please all the people, all the time, no matter what you do. And in bending over backward in one direction, you run a real risk of irritating others, in the other direction (there's only so parent-friendly you can be, before you start encroaching on boy-led. How much hand holding is enough?)

 

Frankly, I am not at all clear on why E61 has his child in scouting, or why he frequents scouter.com , considering his low opinion (based on limited knowledge) of the program and those of us involved in it. And I don't mean that as a slam against him, but I just really don't get it. Most of us tend to walk away from the things we don't enjoy - not hang around the fringes and second-guess them. At the very least, I would say that if he and his wife/ his son's mother really don't trust the present troop's leadership, as he has indicated numerous times, then perhaps they should locate a different troop.

 

 

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Yah, I think E61 has made it clear in the past that his wife is the custodial parent and wants the boy in scouting, as did the child's dad. E61 is doin' the controlling rather than supportive thing and sniping from the sidelines until he gets his way. Some folks need to be in control in a relationship, and we all prefer things we know and understand to things that we aren't as familiar with. To some extent, that's a good thing, because at least he feels some responsibility for the lad, which is more than many men in his position.

 

B

 

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>>Each of your troops have potentially dozens of parents who are relegated to the sidelines for every outing

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"Each of your troops have potentially dozens of parents who are relegated to the sidelines for every outing, summer camp and activity that your troop does"

 

I must admit that I have no idea what this means.

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I know Beav loves to beat the drum about child abuse being more from parents that others...unfortunately he never supplies any data.

 

At least on Sexual Assault side (the issue that BSA faces the most), the facts are contrary to Beav's supposition. A July 2000 DoJ report on Sexual Abuse states that only 34% of the sexual assaults on children are done by a family member ... 58% are done by "acquaintances" and 7% by strangers. (Table 6 in reference document) Note that of the Scouting age bracket (12-17) 66% of the sexual assaults are by acquaintances, not strangers or family members.

 

So I'll agree with Beav on the over emphasis of stranger danger to some degree ... the issue with stranger danger is the fear of death of the victim being the final outcome.

 

bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/saycrle.pdf

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Most of the time I just lurk and read this forum. I would like to say thank you to the powers that be that Engineer61 is not a parent in our Troop!

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Da reason for your mistaken statistics, E61, is that DoJ is only accumulating criminal charges of sexual assault, eh? Most frequently, parental abuse is prosecuted under different statutes as child abuse and neglect and, when there is insufficient evidence to sustain a criminal complaint (which is often the case for parents who abuse children in the privacy of their own home), it is handled as an administrative civil action.

 

A more comprehensive treatment is given in da Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect, which is available from da U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. There you will find that the majority of all children countable under the Harm Standard (81%) were maltreated by their biological parents. When limited to incidence of sexual abuse, it is true that only 36% were abused by a biological parent, but when yeh add in non-biological parents and "partners" of a biological parent (like yourself), it is still da largest category, especially when yeh add in relatives.

 

Then yeh consider that a child only has contact with a few parents, but has contact with dozens of other folks. On an incident-per-person basis, parents are a much bigger risk.

 

Beavah

 

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If parents have a fear of the leaders in thier son's troop, then the parents need to either pull their children from the troop or start attending every event.

 

I know that when my sons played sports there was no 2 deep requirement. No other school age activity I know of requires Youth Protection training or 2 deep leadership. I would say that all 11-18 yr olds are in more danager from all other activities besides scouts as a result.

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... thank you to the powers that be that Engineer61 is not a parent in our Troop ...

 

How do you know? I can see a lot of parents in our troop fitting this mold. The SM and ASMs and talk at length to them when they raise concerns. Sometime they're right. Sometimes we offer apologies. Other times we make it clear that change is not forthcoming and explain why.

 

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On the idea of parents relegated to the sidelines ... and the blasting that I took for it on this thread ... I'd suggest you all read chaoman45's post at the end of "The grass is greener..." thread.

 

OGE's reply was nice too.

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Some adults can be trusted and others can't.

 

The issues on which a person can be trusted or not may vary.

 

I see adult leaders on the OA threads who may be fine Scout leaders in many ways but are over involved in OA and think they should be abole to exclude parents from some OA ceremonies.

 

As a new adult leader in a troop a few years ago, a mother confided in me that an Assistant Scoutmaster had has sex with her daughter in camp in a tent at the camporee we were at.

 

It was my first outing with the troop, and frankly I listened but said and did nothing. I wound up getting out of there and volunteering with another troop. A few months later I heard that the adult leader in question had had his BSA membership revoked.

 

There are lots of ways people can screw up. I think we all need to be on the lookout for people who have issues that need to be dealt with. I certainly expect people to scrutnize my behavior as Cubmaster, and one reason I recruited a capable Committee Chair is so that there was someone who would feel free to talk turkey to me if I needed it.

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"I know that when my sons played sports there was no 2 deep requirement. No other school age activity I know of requires Youth Protection training or 2 deep leadership. I would say that all 11-18 yr olds are in more danager from all other activities besides scouts as a result. "

 

I know that with every baseball team I've coached over the past 13 years ... I have at LEAST 3 deep adults on the field and about 6 parents at every practice/game ... each which is a public park and lasts only 2 hours at most.

 

 

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"Most of the time I just lurk and read this forum. I would like to say thank you to the powers that be that Engineer61 is not a parent in our Troop! "

 

I'm willing to bet that every troop has a parent exactly like me in it.

 

I don't trust the adult leaders but I keep quiet ... I don't want these bozos taking out on my kid. I learned my "place" at the first meeting I went to ... some white haired pontificating windbag turned and walked away from me the moment I said that I'd never been a Scout.

 

Guess I'm not worth the time of day if I don't know the proverbial secret handshake.

 

 

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