Youth Protection update

You might have heard a story recently, first reported by National Public Radio, about how cases of child abuse in the past by volunteers of the Boy Scouts of America were significantly under-reported. The existence of the Ineligible Volunteer (IV) files, or “perversion files” as they were sometimes called internally, was revealed in 2012 as the result of a court case. These files were secretly kept by the BSA as far back as the 1920s and contains information on thousands of volunteers suspected in tens of thousands of incidents of child abuse.

As one lawsuit led to another, the BSA began exploring bankruptcy protection proceedings last year in order to shield itself from eventual destruction by a potential onslaught of “me too” cases. That’s not to diminish the concerns of those aggrieved, but as we have seen with other organizations, we could be on the verge of extinction as an organization if these lawsuits proceed to destroy the BSA.

I’ve been asked by friends and co-workers about the latest news. Continue reading “Youth Protection update”

How the Methods strengthen Scouting

The aims of the Boy Scouts of America – character development, citizenship training, and mental and physical fitness – are carried out through application of the methods of each program. You can probably name at least a few of them off the top of your head. Advancement, uniforming and the outdoors come to mind right away, but they all work together to help ensure that our core values are carried out.

For example, in Cub Scouting, the first two methods are Living the Ideals and Belonging to a Den. Continue reading “How the Methods strengthen Scouting”

Guide to Advancement updated for 2019

As the Scouts BSA program continues to roll along, our published materials are getting caught up with the changes. After the Guide to Safe Scouting updates released earlier, there is a new Guide to Advancement for 2019.

Typically updated every two years, the current edition mainly edits content to reflect the addition of female youth members in the traditional programs, but there are a few other updates. The Guide can be found online at the Guide to Advancement section of the Boy Scouts of America website.

Here are the major changes in the latest version: Continue reading “Guide to Advancement updated for 2019”

Guide to Safe Scouting updated for 2019

Scouting safety is important enough that the guideposts we must follow are continuously reviewed and updated. The Boy Scouts of America maintains the latest version of the Guide to Safe Scouting online and provides a new printed version every year or so.

This year’s Guide includes several changes and updates. Some, as usual, are cosmetic or represent wording changes and clarifications. Others revise sections or an entire chapter.

Here’s a summary: Continue reading “Guide to Safe Scouting updated for 2019”

Volunteer – Just Do It!

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably an adult volunteer in the Boy Scouts of America or another Scouting organization. We were the ones who took a step forward – or stayed in place when everyone else stepped back – and found ourselves in a job we didn’t know much about at first, other than it would help the pack go, or allow us to be with our children and have some fun and adventures with them and their friends.

When I first volunteered to be a den leader, our Cubmaster told me that I needed to do two things – go to basic training, and attend Roundtable each month. Wanting to not let down the boys in my den, I went and got trained, and each month I joined our Cubmaster and many others at Roundtable.

At these events, I marveled at the knowledge and experience of the volunteers leading the sessions. Continue reading “Volunteer – Just Do It!”