Double-check your adult registration requirements

Recently, the Boy Scouts of America updated (overhauled, really) its youth protection training and related requirements, which I wrote about here.

Among the changes is the new requirement that adults staying at a long-term Scouting event, such as summer camp, must be registered with the BSA if they attend the event for more than 72 hours (three nights). The time need not be consecutive, which means the 72 hours is reached if the adult camps, say, two nights at the beginning of the week and returns for the last night of summer camp.

I’ve been hearing, though, that some camps and councils are tightening the requirement, Continue reading “Double-check your adult registration requirements”

Major updates to youth protection training and procedures

As anticipated, the Boy Scouts of America has issued some major updates to our landmark Youth Protection procedures.

The program is being expanded and strengthened, and will include youth training in youth protection for the first time (aside from our traditional A Time to Tell and It Happened to Me programs). The requirement for all adult volunteers to take Youth Protection Training, often spotty in the past, will be strictly enforced, and there will be professional help and guidance available for those having questions about what to do as well as for those who have experienced abuse under Scouting’s umbrella in the past. There’s also new training for camp staff covering youth-on-youth situations.

Here is a summary of the changes affecting volunteers and units that are now in effect: Continue reading “Major updates to youth protection training and procedures”

Dealing with health forms

Along with welcoming new members into our packs and troops and starting the program year, fall is the time when many units collect updated health forms from their youth and adult members.

The Boy Scouts of America recommends that each member have on file with his or her unit a completed copy of the General Information and Health History form (Part B) so unit leaders can provide essential health information to medical personnel in the event someone needs assistance or treatment. Part B, along with Part C, Pre-Participation Physical, is required by most camps for long-term camping, such as summer camp or resident camps.

Maintaining these records can be a confusing process. Continue reading “Dealing with health forms”

Fees going up soon, and other changes

You may have already received word from your council, but in case you haven’t heard – be prepared to shell out a few more dollars soon.

The National Council has announced that effective December 1, 2017, the registration fee for all members of the Boy Scouts of America, from Cub Scout to adult, will increase to $33 annually from the current $24.

While this won’t impact those who join this fall, pretty much everyone will be affected at recharter time. And since many units, particularly Cub Scout packs, collect registration fees for next year in the fall, the nine dollar increase may throw off pack budgets that have already been established, along with fees that packs are charging.

The usual reasons – higher costs – are given for the increase, Continue reading “Fees going up soon, and other changes”

Our barriers to abuse

ypOnce again, there are sordid details of child abuse by a prominent member of society in the headlines. The latest incident involved former Congressman and speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert (R-Illinois) who is accused of sexually molesting boys when he was a high school wrestling coach prior to his service in elected office. He won’t be charged with the crimes because the statute of limitations has expired, but his behavior is being taken into consideration as he is sentenced for illegal financial acts involving hush money recently paid to one of the victims of his assaults. I won’t detail any of the prosecution’s findings in the case here, but you can certainly read about them in the press.

The Hastert case brings to mind another recent episode involving the Penn State football program that led to the downfall of one of the game’s most celebrated coaches, which we also wrote about here. It reminds us that despite increased awareness, these things continue to happen in our society to vulnerable youth who, through their naïveté, may be unaware of what is happening and are unwilling to make waves for fear of losing out on opportunities they desperately want. Continue reading “Our barriers to abuse”