Youth Protection

New G2SS – NO PATROL CAMPING!

In the new Guide to Safe Scouting there has been a rule change on allowing Patrols to camp alone.. without Adult supervision.  This was always a great part of my Scouting experience when I was a youth and it is a bit heart breaking to see that the BSA has changed this.  I know it is because of Lawyer’s and over protective parenting…  Boys are no longer allowed to be boys.

BUT Worry not Scouters that love the real Patrol method.  Your Patrols can still camp alone.. well kinda.. 2 Deep leadership does not mean holding their hand.  They can still camp in their own camp site.. away from adults.  Adult leadership need only be present.. but not on top of them. 

We do this all the time.  The Scouts take off down the trail.. they establish a camp site, we make one a couple hundred yards away.  That is still in range to provide the necessary “Leadership”.. and yes I use that in quotes.. we should not be providing “Leadership” at all.  We provide guidance, mentoring, coaching.. but not “Leadership”.  In fact it is not really leadership at all in the Boy Scout program.. the Safety Sandwich talks about Supervision and Discipline.  We adults provide adequate supervision.  And if you can accomplish that by being a fair distance away than you are well within the G2SS.  I am not saying buck the system.  I am saying allow Boys to be Boys.  Allow them to explore and seek adventure.  Allow them to be alone with their buddies, not having to look over their shoulder to see if an adult is going to jump in.  Never forsake safety or propriety… but let them go.  Supervise and train them to do what is right, and they will.  I have faith in them… just like my Scoutmaster had faith in me.

Anyway.  Let them camp alone.. just be near by.  The results are the same.  Patrol time.
Here is the link to the new Guide to Safe Scouting.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Backpacking, blog, camp skills, Camping, Character, Just fun, Leadership, Patrol Method, Risk Management, Scouting, Scouts, training, Youth Protection | 6 Comments

Weekend update

This weekend I participated with our District Training team for Scoutmaster Outdoor skills and ITOLS.    We had a great group of students (learners) this weekend, the split was about half and half, Cub Scout leaders to Boy Scout leaders.  I am a big fan of Training.  I think that training makes Scouting better, whether that is Youth Protection or Climb instructor, training is a key element to making a great program for the youth of Scouting.
Boy Scout outdoor skills training is a lot of fun for me.  I love to share ideas, tips, and of course the Scouting way of doing things.
I had a chat with one of the participants this weekend, a guy that I have known for sometime and a guy that is very familiar with the Boy Scout program.  He is a new Assistant Scoutmaster and so he had to be trained.   I asked him if he was learning a lot in the training.  He replied, “not really, but it is always a nice refresher.”  We went on to talk about the training that the BSA offers and that it is, by and large, geared to the lowest common denominator.  We train to the person that is not familiar with the program, camping, what ever the course may be.  I know that I have sat through many classes that I thought I could have done without, but the point is that the BSA wants all of us on the same sheet of music and to accomplish this, training has to be standard and kept to the level of the vast majority of new participants.  I agree with this approach.    There are also plenty of Scouting training courses for the advanced participant.  Powder Horn, Wood Badge, Climb instructor, just to name a few.  Once a Scouter is in the program and expressing interest, there are many opportunities for them to advance their training.  We always encourage the participants of our training to keep getting trained, using the BSA course and out side classes too.  Wilderness First Aid, Advanced Map and Compass, CPR etc.  These are all ways that a Scouter can make a greater contribution to the unit.
So this weekend was all about Training…. and a great night in the Hennessy Hammock.  Yes, I am now fully a Hammock Camper.. I had the greatest nights sleep in it, worked out some bugs, and it is now an item in my pack.
This weekend I also sat down with our District Commissioner, Vice Chair for Program, and Boy Scout Training Chairman for some great conversation.  The next couple weeks worth the podcast will feature those conversations.  So if you are interested in Youth Protection and some of the issues that training has raised lately, and if you are interested in the process of conducting a 50 miler.. well then, listen in to the next two weeks of podcasts, they are sure to inform you and even entertain.
Let me also remind you of a few ways that you can contribute and add to our online Scouting community.  You can email me at tbirdironchef@gmail.com.  Leave feedback or comments here on the blog, or be the first to leave a voice mail at the SMMVoice mail box 503- 308-8297.  And of course follow me on twitter @smjerry.
Ok.. there’s the Weekend update.  I will have a hammock review video hitting the blog here real soon.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Categories: Camping, Skills, training, Wood Badge, Youth Protection | Tags: | Leave a comment

Risk Management – Show #14

In light of recent events that have rocked, once again, the Scouting community. Show #14 of my podcast is dedicated to Risk Management.
Risk Management is a process during the planning and preparation phase of any activity that must be done.

By minimizing or reducing the risk we encounter on activities, simple things like the cars we drive in to on coming weather patterns need to be considered to ensure the safety of our Scouts.
There is no way that we can take away all of the risk, and that is ok, as long as we have done our best to implement plans to reduce the impact and severity of the risk.Never take a chance with a Scouts life.
Enjoy the show. Leave some feedback, I am curious to know what you all think.

Standard Podcast [33:59m] mp3 format
Show resources

Have a Great Scouting Day!
Categories: podcast, Risk Management, Youth Protection | Leave a comment

Zero Tolerance…


That is what the Boy Scouts of America feels about Bullies and Harassment… and so do I.
There is no room for bullies or harassment of any kind within the BSA. There simply is no place for it. A simple review of the Scout Oath and Law will not allow for it.

The 2008 requirements now discuss this issue. And I for one and glad. I know this is old news for those of you that keep up with the changes annually, but, like youth protection this needs to be discussed each year.
The new Tenderfoot requirement states:

9b. Explain the importance of the buddy system as it relates to your personal safety on outings and in your neighborhood. Describe what a bully is and how you should respond to one.

The first thing a Scout should know is that he can trust his leaders. He needs to Report any violation of safety or harassment by a bully. As leaders we can not be everywhere, nor should we, but we need to be out in front of these issues and get on top of them as soon as it is reported.
The Second Class requirement that address’s this issue is:

8b. Explain the three R’s of personal safety and protection.

The “three R’s” of Youth Protection convey a simple message that the BSA wants its youth members to learn:
Recognize situations that place him at risk of being molested, how child molesters operate, and that anyone could be a molester.
Resist unwanted and inappropriate attention. Resistance will stop most attempts at molestation.
Report attempted or actual molestation to a parent or other trusted adult. This prevents further abuse of himself and helps to protect other children. Let the Scout know he will not be blamed for what occurred.

And the First Class requirement that discusses bullies and harassment is:

12. Describe the three things you should avoid doing related to the use of the Internet. Describe a cyberbully and how you should respond to one.

With the Internet, email, text messaging, and other electronic media out there, all of which make our lives better, we need to understand that with everything there are precautions that we need to take. Again we need to be out in front of the situations and prepare for the worst.

With the new requirements, the BSA has stepped up its ZERO Tolerance of harassment and bullies. There just is no room for it in our Troops and the in the BSA.
Getting on top of a bad situation and defusing it, discussing it, and taking appropriate actions are key in providing a safe harassment free environment for the Scouts to enjoy their experience in Scouting.

Happy Scouting!

Categories: Youth Protection | Leave a comment

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