Re: BSA- YPP discussion: Forward from Michael F. Bowman
Chuck Bramlet ("ELL447::BRAMLET"@ECC6.ATENG.AZ.HONEYWELL.COM)
Thu, 23 Mar 1995 07:55:01 -0700
I sent copies of some of our recent discussions to Mike Bowman, who
is temporarily off line to finish some projects. Here is one of his
messages on YPP.
**Begin Forwarded Message**
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 1995 23:39:06 -0500 (EST)
From: "Michael F. Bowman" <mfbowman@CapAccess.org>
Subject: Re: YPP discussion
WHY YOUTH PROTECTION:
It doesn't matter where you live or what you do, sooner or later you WILL
be confronted with either an adult or a child who has experienced some
form of child-abuse or neglect that has or may have a lasting impact on
the individual's life. Unfortunately, we are becoming all too aware of the
pervasive nature of abuse and its disturbing frequency. All you have to
do is read the daily paper and you'll see case after case.
It isn't my intention to paint a bleak and gloomy picture with instance
after instance of case examples or to say that things are getting worse
than ever. It isn't my intention, because I don't think this would be a
true assessment of the situation.
Fortunately, there are thousands of good people like those of you who are
volunteers in Scouting serving young people every day. For some of your
Scouts, whether you know it or not, you are the safe harbor and a refuge
against the worst of what life offers. By giving these young people a
change to gain self-confidence and self-esteem you are restoring values to
them that may have been eroded or even destroyed by abusive situations.
And for these children, you, without knowing it, are already part of the
cure - the giving of hope, love, support and a place to talk things
through. Many are the children who have found through Scouting a chance
to relearn life and grow up with more positive attitudes, because they
were rewarded (advancement) and recognized for what they could be and do.
And if this were not enough, you are now part of one of the largest
efforts ever undertaken to prevent the environment the fosters abuse from
existing in this movement, where every child should have the chance to
have a positive growth experience. By participating in Scouting with its
YPP guidelines you are creating a safety net that will help immensely and
often in ways we can't imagine.
Sometimes our YPP program helps to identify problems early-on, well before
they get out of control. In other cases, it provides an avenue for
action, when there is a need. In still other cases, the Scout leader who
listens to the anguish of a child without being acusatory goes a long way
to starting the healing process that allows the child to learn that the
bad things he/she experienced were not his/her fault and that he/she can
have a sense of value dispite the things they have experienced. And still
many more, those who keep their silence, through participation learn life-
long values and a sense of their own worth through the praise and
encouragement that leaders like you give.
When I hear the horrible stories and the sad news about how children are
being treated, I am all the more convinced of how important volunteer
Scouters are in being the front line to provide a safe-nuturing environ-
ment in Scouting. And I am also at the same time thankful that because of
your efforts, less and not more children are adversely affected by abuse.
With all of this in mind, I think that you can see that our jobs in
Scouting take on even greater importance. And consequently, it becomes
critical that we make sure that our programs are free of any abusers. YPP
goes a long way towards this end by creating barriers through the rule
requiring two adults at every activity, through education, and by
providing a reporting avenue.
We all can be proud to be part of an organization that is committed to
preventing and reducing the incidence of child abuse. And the reason it
works is because you care enough to help. My hat is off to all of you for
doing your best for these young people. I would also offer my thanks, but
it doesn't mean much next to the thanks that is written in the hearts of
the youth you have, are and will continue to help by your participation in
Scouting. You make a difference.
Speaking only for myself in the Scouting Spirit, Michael F. Bowman
Prof. Beaver, Nat. Capital Area Council, BSA mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG
**End Forwarded Message**
Chuck Bramlet, ASM Troop 323
Thunderbird District, Grand Canyon Council
I "used to be" (but stilll am) an Antelope!
(and a good ol' Antelope, too...)
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