Youth Protection

Knowing who you work with

It is not enough as a Scoutmaster these days to take boys camping, teach them a few skills, and hand out merit badges.  Kids today, like kids in the past, and certainly this will apply in the future as society changes, kids grow up differently, and attitudes and norms change, are different.
I think that it is important to know why are the way they are to best be of service to them.  Is this above and beyond?  I don’t think so, I think that we need to do our best to know who we work with.  How else can we be of service.
We are experts at backpacking, or knot tying, or model rockets, but what are we doing to become experts at understanding young men.
I found this set of 5 videos that will help.  I am going to post the first one here.. then just follow the links to the other 4.  Or you can find all 5 video’s at the BSA Internal Communication You Tube Channel.  It is worth your time to watch these two ladies tell the Scout executives about young people.  I learned a lot, I am sure this will help you to.

Be sure to watch the other 4.. I promise there is interesting information that will make you (and me) better Scout Leaders.
BSA Internal Communication You Tube Channel
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Youth Protection and recharter? SMMPodcast 82

This is Show #82 and I am joined by our District Commissioner and our Program Vice Chair in a discussion about Youth Protection and how it effected recharter.  Listen in and then weigh in by leaving a comment, feedback, or a voicemail to the SMMVoice mail 503 308 8297.
This show is sponsored by Class

Standard Podcast [36:56m]:  Play in Popup | Download

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Been a few days

Once again, time has passed me by.. I suppose it is true what they say about time flying when you are having fun.
So here is a quick update, I am not to sure that anything inspirational or motivating will come of this, well maybe.
Let me begin with the weekend.
Wood Badge Staff Development #3 was this past weekend, and I think that while it may have not been the intention of the staff.. it seemed that we completely became a “High Performance Team” on Saturday.  Ironically, a guest presenter practiced the Stages of Team Development presentation immediately after the Troop Guides practiced our Course presentation.  It was all systems go after that, and without a doubt the team is heading to Gilwell ready and peaking.
After the training session we went to dinner at a local German restaurant called Der Rheinlander.  It was a fantastic time.  We relaxed over some nice food and awesome company, sang songs, and invited our spouses to join in the fun.
Sunday was dedicated to final Wood Badge prep for me as well as doing some things around the house.  It was nice to spend the day hanging out with the kids and wife.
Three new Scouts came to the troop Monday night.  One will not cross over to the Troop till October.  He has a few things left to wrap up for his AOL, but then he will join us.  The other two are ready to go and will be with us on the upcoming camp out this weekend.  It was nice to introduce them to their new patrol mates in the New Scout Patrol.  They met their Troop Guide last night and learned how to pitch a tent, get a menu planned, and how to adjust their backpacks.  So its right into it for them.  It’s nice to see the growth.  New guys coming, and older Scouts stepping up and leading…. isn’t that how it’s supposed to be?  Yeah.
Which leads me to I guess the motivational part of it.  I had to have a chat last night with the Patrol leaders.  It seemed that the edge is not there for the up coming camporee.  We talked about the three components of leadership.  That is to say that a Leader provides Purpose, Direction, and Motivation.  They needed to find that in themselves and in their patrols to be successful.  No one in the troop wants to come in second at Camporee.. they at least want to compete, but without the drive or purpose and direction, they will lack the motivation to accomplish the tasks that will lead them to the success they are looking for.
Well, they all agreed they need to get back on the horse and motivate their patrols.  PLC will meet next week and we will see what they come up with.
Like I said, time flys when you are having fun…
Hey tomorrows podcast features a great discussion about Youth Protection and how it effected Recharter this year.  Joining me are the District Commissioner and Program Vice Chair of the Thunderbird District.  I think you will enjoy it.

Let me know what you think.. leave a comment or feedback.. or drop an email.
Have a Great Scouting Day!


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!

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  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!

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!

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!