Re: youth protection
James A. Sheckels (sheckej@EARTHLINK.NET)
Thu, 12 Sep 1996 21:02:16 -0700
Fred Weber posts:
>I Disagree with your interpetation of the rule.. Our Council, the Greater
>St. Louis Area Council, INSISTs on the "rule of four". Very plainly this
>means that there has to be at least two adults and two scouts at EVERY
>scouting activity. This protects both the Scouts and the adults. This
>includes merit badge counselors..etc... It is not a difficult rule to
>follow...often the second adult is a spouse..
But, the rule of four, in National BSA documents (I'm looking at the Guide
to Safe Scouting, page 4) states:
"No fewer than four individuals (always with the minimum of two adults) go
on any backcountry expedition or campout. If an accident occurs, one person
stays with the group, and two go for help. Additional adult leadership
requirements must reflect an awareness of such factors as size and skill
level of the group, anticipated environmental conditions, and overall degree
Note that there is no statement of who goes and stays. The situation would
be the determinant factor. This is an EMERGENCY situation; I believe
National allows us room to THINK, use our brain in this situation. If this
means one adult and one Scout go while one/one stay, I'm okay with it, and I
don't feel I have violated youth protection policy. This is clearly an OUT
OF THE ORDINARY scenario.
As to St Louis Council - if this is how that councl (or any Council) effects
the rule of four, that's fine. It just isn't a National policy. Nor does
it violate National policy. This is why it is so important to undertsand
through this list that we are dealing with "layers" of policy, as well as
So the "disagreement with interpretation of the rule" really isn't valid, as
we are talking two different policies: that of National, and that of St
Louis Area Council. Both are equally valid policies.
As I stated in another post, there are two separate policy areas being mixed
here: that of adult leadership and that of youth protection.
We cannot, and I think should not, expect any organization to cover every
conceivable (or inconceivable!) situation. We MUST use our brain to make
the best decision based on the circumstances provided.
I've said it before, I'll say it again: When you make a choice which is
legal, moral, ethical and safe, you will not be wrong 99% of the time. Now
that's using your brain!
Have a GREAT SCOUT day ;-)
YIS, Jim Sheckels - I used to be a Bobwhite...SE 308-7 '82/'72-WWW-B'Hood
CR & CC Troop & Pack 742, Hope Mills United Methodist Church, NC
Member of NAUMS/District Advancement & Training Committee
3501 Farm Circle Rd, Fayetteville, NC 28306-8303
Scouting IS NOT an exact science, so use your brain - noone else is! <]:->
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City