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cubdadinnj

Scouts with porn on campouts

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If a parent gives their kid a cellphone with unlimited access to the internet, my testimony would be that THEY are the ones who provided the porn, and that my instructions to the scouts and parents were to leave their electronics at home.

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.... And this is how we've wound up with little red wagons being deemed as unsafe....

 

SP, there are appropriate measures already suggested which deal with the real issue. I see little good being accomplished by labeling youth as sexual offenders for the rest of their lives when the intent isn't nefarious. The biggest issues facing Scouting are what can happen when adults over-react to a given situation.

 

Am I taking a calculated risk? Yep. Everytime I put on the shoulder loops, I'm taking a risk, whether it is due to a Scout bringing porn, someone being injured from falling off a cliff, or having a Scout react badly to a corner being taken from a Totin' Chit.

 

The alternative is to bubble-wrap the Scouts and never leave the safety of home. So I'll face the risks, thank you.

 

I can only hope I'm lucid enough to take the stand in 30 years to recount what happened on a Scout camp out....(This message has been edited by Eolesen)

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>

 

 

 

The problem is that BSA is over reacting to the present environment by having draconian, hair trigger YPT policies which everyone is trained in and expected to follow.

 

>

 

 

Yep, you probably are. It may be years or decades before those good intentions explode in people's faces.

 

The alternative is to follow the policies we've been trained in and put the responsibility on the people who are supposed to have it.

 

This is really no different than the sexual harassment policies that were adopted twenty years or so ago. A lot of touchy feely stuff and "jokes" that had been going on forever became contrary to public and employer policies and behavior changed.

 

Managers who learned of such behavior but didn't want to report it might well lose their jobs. Employers who ignored such issues faced lawsuits for millions.

 

What's so wrong about reporting this kind of issue to a Scout Executive? Let them investigate it and take whatever action is deemed appropriate.

 

 

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I think it's great to give your SE a call with any issue that you may have. Calling the police as well when the context doesn't warrant it could be hazardous.

 

You don't bring in drug-sniffing canines if you find a cigarette box in your boy's waste paper basket, do you?

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SP, I guess the argument would center around whether I am responsible as "in loco parentis" or legal guardian...which I don't think I am...I'm just a volunteer scout leader. If I am to be held responsible, then I alone will make the decision as to what electronics are brought to an event under my control.

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Boys can use pornography to groom other boys for abuse just as easily, and probably more frequently than adults use pornography to groom boys for abuse.

 

Understanding that, I think it's a good idea to have the situation reported, because bringing the subject to daylight will do more to deter abuse by a youth against a youth than you'd think.

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Yah, hmmm...

 

I reckon there's probably a universal rule in Scouting circles, or should be.

 

Anybody who uses "you may be liable" or "you may be sued" as an argument for making someone do (or not do) somethin' doesn't have any idea what they're talkin' about and should just be ignored. ;)

 

Relax, folks. The world is crazy and there are always outliers, but it's not that crazy.

 

When yeh do have a standard of care, da issue of liability depends on whether yeh acted reasonably. It is reasonable to take the boy's porn away from him and tell his parents. It's not really reasonable to call the cops, eh? When yeh call the cops for trivial nonsense you are stealing resources from your fellow citizens, eh? Those officers aren't available for a real crime being committed. They have less time to follow up on an investigation of a genuine crime.

 

I think as scouters we need to be on the side of de-criminalizing childhood. Children experiment and make mistakes. Yeh don't arrest 'em yeh work with 'em. If yeh can't do that, then yeh shouldn't be involved in youth programs.

 

As for the SE, I'd ordinarily say the same rule applies, eh? But then again, if everybody in da nation starts calling the SE every time a boy is caught with a Playboy or gets in a friendly wrestling match with his tentmate then perhaps someone will think to change the dumb wordin' on this particular passage. ;)

 

Beavah(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Thanks Beavah, I do worry all the time about people who say "oh but if you get sued..." I was wondering why you hadn't replied to this thread yet. Were you busy out doing scouting instead of posting on the internet or something? ;)

 

We had a mom(supposed to be a leader but) worried about the boys getting home from summer camp and asking the scoutmaster to check everyone into cars for the ride home in a particular way on a particular form that she made. The scoutmaster referred her to the committee chair--if she thought it had to be done a particular way, then the CC could do that paperwork.

 

The scoutmaster has a method and has never left anyone behind before, but it requires actually knowing the scouts and using buddy systems and such, not paperwork.

 

She said "but if you get sued your method won't stand up in court cause you don't have documentation." He asked her who exactly was going to sue him, even if they accidently left someone behind at summer camp? she didn't have an answer.

 

 

 

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I'll guarantee that if you leave my boy alone out in the woods because you didn't keep track of the boys ... I'll be doing a helluva lot more that suing you!

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Engineer, I'm not talking about leaving your kid out in the woods alone. I'm talking about the Scoutmaster having a plan to account for everyone, but it wasn't (gasp!) a written plan that met with the mom's approval and he might get sued. Aside from that, if one of the scouts got left behind at summer camp, two of their ASPL's, JASM and many others from the troop are working up there--I'm pretty sure they'd be ok at camp for the little bit of time til someone realized they weren't in a vehicle for the ride back home.

 

 

I've seen checklists fail and someone still get left behind. All it takes is a scout to get out and go to the bathroom after the checklist is put away by the troop leader and nobody realize there is an empty seat where there shouldn't be one. That's where each individual driver taking responsibility instead of just one adult and the buddy system making sure nobody goes off by themselves.

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On a pack campout I was a Wolf DL and along with a Tiger DL we led a 30 minute nature hike along the edge of the campground. 11 kids. 2 adults. Kept counting 1,2,3,..11. Check. Over and over...how many. 11-great. Started with 11 and ended with 11. Problem was 2 of the 11 were different than we started with! We were the worst Den Leaders ever--we lost kids!

 

Apparently one boy saw his mom coming out of a bathroom and ran over, his buddy went too. A couple other kids saw the nature hike and joined in.

 

Now I know better, but it is easy to screw up.

 

 

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One of the best skills I ever learned in leading walks, hikes and ski-trips was learning to lead from behind. I worked Cub Scout Day Camps (paid staff - camps were organized and run by council) for 5 years as the director of the Nature Center - I was the one most likely to lead the Cubs on a nature walk through the woods - Since the trails weren't that difficult to follow, I could send the Den Chief (each group had a "Den Chief - it was out CIT position - paid as well) to be the point person, and I led the hikes from the rear - drove the parents who came along nuts sometimes (it usually took them a while to see how this can work) where I always had full view of everyone in front of me - though we still used the Buddy System, I always knew exactly where everyone was, even the adults and never lost a single person. When I worked OKPIK at MNHA (before it was a Council program), I set the SPL up front to lead and I skied behind everyone else - I knew where everyone was, I could tell if someone was struggling, I could see how the sleds were handling, and I never lost a single person). Of course, nowadays, when I'm not leading, I still manage to finagle my way as the last person in the group - habit I guess.

 

As to the original question, I suggest this is one of those areas where the gray and the black-and-white can't be reconciled. These videos were on th Scout's own phone so you would have to report the Scout to the authorities for victimizing himself. Let's not even go into having Scout volunteers try to determine what is "obscene" - I know people who think photos of the park district swim team in the local paper is obscene and others who don't consider porn to be obscene unless it deals with children or some of the more extreme practices out there. It sounds like you handled this correctly with no need to second guess yourself.

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