Re: National Bulletin - Selecting Leaders
Bob Caron (Robert.Caron@UMB.EDU)
Thu, 9 Jul 1998 11:54:43 -0400
Time out! There are a few things here that don't seem to make sense, and I
don't mean just the specific things this bulletin covers.
One. Starting this year in Massachusetts, and I would guess in a number of
other states already and probably more to come, there is a new law regarding
background checks. Councils are required to run background checks on all
staff, paid, unpaid, permanent, temporary, office, camp, and so forth who are
considered part of Council/District and have contact with youth. Both my
volunteer wife who teaches a nature class at Cub Day Camp and my 17 year old
son who is a paid camp staffer had to sign release forms authorizing the
Council to request a criminal history check on them. I would bet that in the
next year or two this will be extended to all volunteers to the unit level.
Without getting into the debate of how we got here, this seems to be the
irreversible trend in all parts of the country. The states are latching onto
the Councils as they are the incorporated entities with the BSA name and program.
Two. We are supposed to have that infamous BSA National provided insurance
coverage and backup in case of incidents that arise in this area (malfeasence,
misfeasence, hanky-panky). I find it hard to believe that National, actually
its insurance providers, (and by extension its Councils) can continue in this
position while relinquishing the duty of qualifying its volunteers (insureds).
Are we to lose this coverage and support next?
Three. WE are the volunteers, meaning part-time, spare time. THEY are the
professionals, meaning full-time, dedicated. Who more logically should handle
background checks and other processing and qualifying of leader applicants?
Sure, the unit committees and commissioners can make sure the forms are filled
out and other paperwork shuffled in a timely manner. But qualification and
background checks of leader applicants take time, must probably be done during
the business day, and should be consistent. That seems to me to suggest a
full-time staff function.
Troop Committee Secretary, Northborough Troop 101
Brotherhood, Chippanyonk Lodge #59, OA
Knox Trail Council #244, BSA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City