YPP at work
Gerald A Belton (gbelton@MAILHOST.TCS.TULANE.EDU)
Tue, 25 Oct 1994 07:56:17 CDT
George Huffman asked if anyone knew of any cases where the YPP prevented
a molester from getting into Scouts. In that regard, I would like to
share a personal experience.
My family used to be very involved in a medieval history organization, the
Society for Creative Anachronism. One day at an SCA event, one of the
spectators approached us and started asking questions about the SCA. We
answered his questions, and he was interested in joining. His name was
Lester, and we really liked him. He had a great sense of humor, and he
could do magic tricks and he could juggle.
My wife invited him to our house and helped him make his first SCA
costume. We found out that Lester often did volunteer work with
the Red Cross, and with the New Orleans Recreation Department. At
this time I was serving on my troop comittee, and several times I
invited Lester to become involved in Scouting. Kids really liked him,
and he liked the outdoors. He had just led a canoe trip for NORD.
I could never figure out why he did so much volunteer work, but would
never become involved with the BSA.
As I got more involved with Scouting I had less time for SCA, so I
didn't see Lester for a long time. A mutual friend mentioned to me one
day that Lester was missing. A few days later there was a story on
the front page of the Times-Picayune; Lester had been found stabbed to
death in a swamp near his home. Police haven't solved the case yet but
they do have a possible motive: Lester had been convicted several times
of child molestation in two different states. When I met him he had
just been released from prison.
In retrospect it is obvious why Lester never got involved with the BSA.
He was afraid of the background check. I'm sure there are a lot of
people like Lester out there, who think about becoming Scout leaders but
change their minds when faced with the application form stating that
their past will be investigated.
Sorry if this has been a bit long, but learning that Lester was a
molester really shook me up. I would never have suspected it. So
YPP does work, even when none of the applications catch anyone. Just
having to fill out the application keeps at least some molesters from
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City