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Youth Protection Quiz II

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Great feedback, much appreciated.


Some of the examples are pretty true to fact, some are me just clarifying. For example I asked if we were ok with 2Deep for a recent PLC that I could not make and he never really answered. He has suggested that since the PLC starts with the SM & SPL, then the SPL with his leadership team and then a recap with the SM that the ASM is not really needed there. Not 100% sure if he is thinking of flying solo or will ask a parent to stick around. And when asked if a parent was with a Scout working on gear with SM at his house the answer was that he was "Around." I know the parent lives a mile down the road so took it that way for my example. Other occurrences that were not gray I left out too.


These past two years he has given a lot of time to Scouts at the District and Troop level, as well as the OA. Also just started Woodbadge. Done some great stuff, and has received a lot of admiration from parents and District folk. On the other hand when I point something out I am deemed the bitter XSM. There have been other oddities with Troop finance, Boy Led Troop, advancement, etc. People hear the 'talk' but may not see the 'walk.' It is helpful that the past-past SM spotted something and I have had questions from parents.


I really, really just want to take him aside so I can share this feedback and start from there. If he shapes up it is win-win, if not I do not want to remain in violation for not following through (ex: Joe Paterno).


I brief call to the Exec to discuss might be in line as well.

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Regarding the PLC meeting two deep leadership is not needed.


Two deep leadership is needed for trips and outings.


Two deep leadership is not required for meetings.


But the one-on-one rule would apply to meetings.


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My concern with the PLC was if SPL was dropped off 15-20 minutes ahead of time, or if he picked up SPL on the way. It is helpful if the SPL can have some time before the PLC to review. My previous understanding, reinforced by this thread, is one on one is a no go. Period.


So as long as two Scouts show up at the same time he is ok with PLC, or an adult is one the premises (respectful of privacy, but within view).

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Best advice has already been said.


Call the SE.


When someone is not following policy, it has to be reported.


Abusers are extremely adept at explaining away their transgressions to people they know and trust.


An SE just sees things in black and white and if the errant behavior does not fall back in line with policy, he drops the ax to err on the side of caution as must be done when objectively looking at any case of suspected abuse.

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You're the former SM? Oh, yuck. I hadn't paid much attention to that in the original post. Even when you are right, there's no way it looks good or works well for you to be telling the new SM how to run things. Is there someone else who agrees with you who could take over owning this issue?


If you do call the SE, can you let us know what he says? I'm curious whether he'll take any action at all, or hand it back to the unit to correct.

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Well now hold up there a bit.


We've now got a specific example:


"For example I asked if we were ok with 2Deep for a recent PLC that I could not make and he never really answered. He has suggested that since the PLC starts with the SM & SPL, then the SPL with his leadership team and then a recap with the SM that the ASM is not really needed there. Not 100% sure if he is thinking of flying solo or will ask a parent to stick around."


This would NOT, in and of itself, be a violation of GTSS or Youth Protection guidelines. Two deep leadership is specifically required for Trips and Outings. It is not required by the BSA for meetings, merit badge sessions, or gear clean-ups. Now the Troop may make it a policy that no Troop meetings, including PLC's, may occur if there are not at least 2 adults present - but that's not a BSA policy. As long as the adult is not left alone with an individual Scout, then a PLC meeting consisting of the SM, SPL and PLs, with no other adults, is well within the bounds of GTSS and Youth Protection. So in this case, the SM is correct - and you are not. There is no YP violation here - just a misreading of the policy by the ex-SM.


"And when asked if a parent was with a Scout working on gear with SM at his house the answer was that he was "Around." I know the parent lives a mile down the road so took it that way for my example."


So in other words you assumed the worst and didn't assume that by "around" he meant that dad was hanging out in a lawn chair on the patio. You know what the word assume breaks down to, right?


Right now, based on the further information you've shared, I see not one, but two, ex-SMs who don't like changes in boy-led and advancement philosophy and perhaps other changes this SM is sheparding through the Troop and are trying to figure out if the SM can be hung up with a YP violation. And now there is an insinuation of financial irregularities without any specifics. As for parental concern? Its not unusual for parents to talk to former SMs they're used to when changes are made - as a former SM, wouldn't it be more courteous to the current SM to tell those parents that if they have questions and concerns, they should share it with the new SM? Who appointed you to be their sounding board? Sure, you can politely listen, but then you should be steering them towards the new guy - just as the past SMs when you took over should have steered parents to you.


Twice now, you've mentioned trying not to be the bitter former SM - and yet you must be coming across as the bitter ex-SM to someone or you wouldn't be so worried about it - the CC and/or COR perhaps?


I'll ask again, what is your role in the Troop? Are you the COR or CC? If not, why is it YOUR responsibility to talk to the SM about any of this? Why does another ex-SM and a neighboring SM think it is their right to demand that YOU talk to this SM about anything. Unless you are the CC or COR,then you shouldn't be talking to the SM about this at all, the person(s) you talk to about these things should be the CC and COR - those are the people to express your concerns with. If you have that talk with the SE, the first people he is going to call is the CC and COR - and there is a good chance he's going to tell them to train their parents better in what a YP violation is.


Unless you have specific proof of a YP violation that truly is a YP violation, and not either you misunderstanding the policy or you making assumptions, then I'd talk to the CC about your concerns then keep an eye out for anything specific.

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Again, great feedback. calico, I especially appreciate your candor.


My role currently is ASM, and I enjoy it. Was not being evasive on that. Formerly SM. The SM previous to me is not in the Troop anymore, he stayed a few years after his son aged out and then left after I came on board. He usually is not at meetings but in the Spring we are lucky enough to have guys in college come back to visit so sometimes he drops in or attends an event. He asks plenty of questions - progress on individual boys, who new leaders are and such. When the SM hops in a car and drives away with a youth it sort of surprised him. The neighbor SM is in OA, and was asking about our SM showing up at an OA event with one boy in the car.


Current SM was my ASM, and we switched. As SM I valued his advice, so feel sort of free to provide him with advice now. YP is everyone's responsibility. I stopped in here to clarify some points. When some general examples made it sound like we had a monster on our hands I got a little more specific to clarify but have said a few times now I just want to set myself straight, and then if needed set him straight. For instance, the info about PLC is very helpful. Is it my job to "set him straight"? No way! But I'd prefer someone discussed something like this with me before taking it farther.


CC has talked to SM about some of these issues. No idea what was said. But if I do see a true violation I can start there. COR is at Summer house enjoying retirement, but he may be in town soon.


Yes, bitter or disagreeable. If you are doing something against YP, I disagree. The finance issue was real, I brought it to the COR as SM and he corrected it but it took a while. During that time we had to be disagreeable to some folks. So now my 2 cents are worth 1 cent. I'm okay with that - having more fun as ASM than I have had in years.


I am very adept at sending people with feedback to the SM. Any feedback received via eMail is either forwarded to him or he is included in the reply if it is an informational question. I have Scouted with some of these families for 7 years so yes, they do come to me. I also sub for SM on trips, events, COH's etc. as needed/asked. Have been trying to figure out how to get out of current SM's space, but not if there are weird YP things going on.


As for assuming in the example. The first time I heard of a single boy working on gear one on one at his house I pointed out the issue and asked that it not happen again. I was SM at the time and certainly had the right to do this. Now though I get "around" when I ask about things like that. Is it my place to continue to ask? Looking like teh answer is "no - that is the SE's job"


Someone mentioned just handing it over to the SE, who is paid to do this type of stuff. Sounds great, but it would be good to know what is and what is not a violation. I still think the first stop is with him.


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Yep, most got this correct - (all violations except for #5).


Now, my mea culpa. As a merit badge counselor, I made an arrangement to meet a scout at his house. I knew his father (a Scouter from another troop). So, I went to his house after work and went over his paperwork (worksheets for the Personal Fitness merit badge). After about 10 minutes with the Scout I noticed that it was fairly quiet at his house and casually asked if his mother or father were home (or a sister/brother). No, just me he answered. Well, I didn't make a big deal of it but did tell him that I wasn't supposed to meet with him one-on-one (he was an older Scout, around 16 or 17) and he seemed surprised. Since that horse had left the barn, I continued for another 15 minutes or so to finish up and left. Now I make a point of asking up front if I arrive at a Scouts house as a MBC if the Scout is alone and/or remind them when scheduling a visit that he needs to have an additional "person" at home.


Another time at the end of summer camp one year all the boys got picked up except for one. His parents were divorced and I asked him who was suppose to pick him up - mom or dad. He didn't know. Well, mom assumed dad was going to and dad assumed mom was. Meanwhile, after asking parent to meet us around 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM here is was at 1:00 PM and no one to pick this Scout up. I made one of my assistants stay with me and we finally were able to get a hold of the Scouts grandfather and he made the 2.5 hour trip up to get him. My assistant scoutmaster wasn't happy but understood.


Sometimes, I think I should have just practiced a few taut-line hitches and threw the scout in the trunk of my car. It would have gotten me home about 5 hours sooner.(This message has been edited by acco40)

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jblake has it right...


YP, while about protecting the youth is ACTUALLY about protecting EVERYBODY... the youth, the adult (from false accusations), and BSA from lawsuits / liability.


I do performance reviews for both male and female staff. If I am EVER in my office with the door closed - 1) I try to have 3rd party in the office too, 2) I leave the door open and 3) I ALWAYS sit in the far corner away from the door and have the employee sit in a chair nearest the OPEN door. WHY? So there can NEVER be a "he cornered me and said / did X,Y,Z and I was trapped and couldn't get away... /etc..."


Same reason my friend who is an OB/Gyn NEVER does an exam without a nurse or med student / etc... with him in the room - just TOO many people looking to litigate for a fast buck (I blame the Bevah types out there!) - just kidding :)


Two deep - means you, plus the scout, plus someone else. It can be an adult, it can be another scout. In a car, in a home, its fine.


The only time you can NOT have it be you and two youths, is in a TENT or in a bathroom / shower facility!


Spin this one off... what do you do when you walk into the bathroom at the CO meeting place and there's a couple scouts in the toliet? Do you turn around and walk out? what if YOU are in there doing your business and THEY walk in on you?


Common sense says, finish up as fast as you can and get away from the situtation, but will that hold up in court?

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Two deep refers to leadership on outings. It is primarily a way of ensuring backup if one leader gets ill, has an accident, has to leave, etc. Two deep does NOT refer to the prohibition on 1-on-1 contact. There is a fundamental but oft-misunderstood difference between the two.

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I think we have all been in a touchy situation like you describe. I am not trying to get excited about a single such occurrence, rather practices that are being put in place.


Oak Tree,

Good advice. Talk with the CC. The driving kids alone happens a lot, and the families actually appreciate the SM doing this so it will not be popular with them. Someone mentioned better YPT training for families - that is a great idea too.


Thank you all for the revised understanding of two deep not needed at PLC's. I had been attending these to provide 2 Deep and as a resource if the guys had questions (as the current SM did when he was my ASM). Sounds like I am crowding the SM a bit and I will pass for now on unless invited. Not keen on leaving my kid with him without another adult, but will work it out so that adult is not a former SM.


Next step? Probably a call to SE. Not to report but to confirm that the ban on 1:1 is not just for within actual meetings. Applies to transport and other activities as well. If the SM is unclear on this (the way I was unclear about 2 Deep prior to this thread - despite all that good training) he can confer with the SE. We'd both be getting the same info from the same source. I think respecting no 1:1 takes care of all of the examples I listed. Then clear cut violations get reported to SE after conferring with CC and COR. Not a lone voice.


If the SE thinks it is no big deal, then, well, he's right. He does this for a living. I've fulfilled my reporting requirements and can sleep at night.

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One on one contact is to be avoided with all youth except for your own child. YPT should followed inside and outside of Scouting events. Being alone with another Scout that is not your son is never allowed. Arguing over when a Scouting Event begins and ends to determine when YPT is in effect should not be a part of the discussion.




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About the CO bathroom issue, before I go to the bathroom, I knock on the door. If nobody answers, I go in. If I see a Scout in there who didn't answer, I turn right around. Haven't had the situation of being walked in on by a scout, but I guess in the future I lock myself in, despite the fact that there are 4 toilets in there.

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