Bullying prevention: it’s our job

We usually think of bullying as taking place between youth. Whether they lack the filter of age and experience or just don’t know that it’s wrong, young people – particularly teenagers – can be genuinely mean-spirited at times.

But it’s not just young people. One of my readers wrote to me a few weeks ago to relate a situation in his troop where the Scoutmaster was, in his description, verbally and mentally abusive to Scouts in the troop. He didn’t go into specific detail but from the circumstances surrounding the incidents, one could describe the behavior of the Scoutmaster as bullying.

After making progress toward greater awareness of bullying and its effects and consequences, it seems like the discourse is becoming less civilized. Continue reading “Bullying prevention: it’s our job”

Dealing with the fee increase

Update: On October 23, the BSA announced the new fees, as you’ve probably heard:

  • Youth members in Cub Scouts, ScoutsBSA, Venturing and Sea Scouting, $60 per year
  • Youth members in Exploring, $36 per year
  • Adult members, $36 per year
  • Annual charter fee, $60 per unit (previously $40)

More information and links in this post on the Scouting Magazine blog.

We now rejoin this post, already in progress.

By now you’ve heard about the Boy Scouts of America’s plans to increase the annual registration fee for youth and adult participants. The fee, currently $33 per year, is charged of all registered youth members and adults (with a few exceptions, such as Merit Badge Counselors, parent partners and such). Many councils add a local insurance fee to this, but the $33 goes to National. We’ve been told that it will be going up effective with charters that renew starting this fall. We are in suspense about the amount of the fee increase; it hasn’t been announced at press time, but the BSA has informed us that the increase will be considered and acted upon by the National Executive Board and conveyed to us no later than October 23.

Naturally, this announcement has landed like a ton of bricks with nearly every unit. Continue reading “Dealing with the fee increase”

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”

Two-deep leadership updates

By now, you should have taken the new Youth Protection Training course online to bring your training current. As we’ve discussed before, everyone must take the new course, which was released in February, regardless of the expiration date of your YPT. If you haven’t taken the new YPT, do it now!

The recent revisions to the Boy Scouts of America’s youth protection practices include updates to the policy requiring two adult leaders at all Scouting activities. The national youth protection team has provided some important clarifications and answered many questions about the new policy: Continue reading “Two-deep leadership updates”

It’s time to retake Youth Protection Training!

As we have discussed recently, the revised Youth Protection Training is now available, and all Scouters are required to take it regardless of when your current training expires.

If you have not taken the new course, which was released in mid-February, your YPT expiration date has been reset to September 30. Now would be a great time to re-take YPT if you haven’t done so since February.

This training is mandatory for all registered adults regardless of position and highly recommended for all non-registered parents. Scouters who do not take the new YPT prior to October 1 will have their registration cancelled, meaning they are no longer a registered leader – ineligible to lead a den or pack, serve as Scoutmaster or on the committee, or counsel Scouts in merit badges.

Go to https://my.scouting.org to check your training status or to retake Youth Protection Training. Do it now before the program year gets going and you’re short on time and before the site gets overloaded by last minute re-trainers!