Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: Re: MB counselor registration question
Re: MB counselor registration question
Bruce E. Cobern
Tue, 15 Jun 1999 19:30:40 -0400
> From: Scouts-L Youth Group List [mailto:Scouts-L@listserv.tcu.edu]On
> Behalf Of Maryellen
> Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 1999 6:11 PM
> Welpers, I can answer this one...
> Tour Permits require at least 1 of the tour leaders to be YP Trained.
> Wanna take those boys anywhere and wanna be insured for it so that if
> something happens it don't come out of your bankbook? Well, you
> better file a tour permit and it better have a youth Protection Trained tour
> leader on it.
I just checked the printings of both the local and national tour permits in
the 1999 edition of the Guide to Safe Scouting (1998 printings of the permits)
and neither of them contain any language I can find requiring YPT. I agree
tour permits are advisable, and highly recommend they be obtained, but I also
find nothing in any of the literature that REQUIRES a tour permit. A tour
permit serves as a letter of introduction to your host. It tells them that
your council, theoretically, has looked at your plans to make sure they comply
with national policy. But what is important, from a liability standpoint, is
whether you actually comply with those policies during the actual trip, not
whether you say you will on a tour permit. It is more important that all your
actual drivers meet the requirements than that you list all their names on the
permit. The permit won't protect you if you violate policy. As the attorneys
on this list have told me, and I agree, it will, however, be one more piece of
evidence to indicate that the leadership took reasonable care in the planning
and carrying out of the trip. Better to have it than not to have it.
> Frankly, I do not see why everyone is balking at this training.
Nobody, particularly not me, is balking at the concept that trained is better
than not trained. Nor would I balk at a requirement that CERTAIN leaders be
trained, or at a council that required such. What I am balking at is a broad
brush attempt to REQUIRE certain training when there is no justification for
it. Or, to use "its required" as a substitute for justifying why it is
important. As I said in an earlier post, it is much easier to hide behind a
requirement than it is to explain a justification.
The other thing that I balk at is the myriad of claims that are made that
things are required when, in fact, they are not, or at least not nationally.
Sure, local councils might have more restrictive requirements but national
does not require YPT (to use the current subject matter) except for those
participating in national events. They have never put an expiration time
limit on the training, etc. It is contentions like these that bother me. If
you can't convince me to take training because you can justify it to me based
on its benefit to me or the program, then you shouldn't be asking me to take
> As a
> parent, I am glad that the leaders that lead my son are youth protection
> trained. I am also glad that they are registered and their backgrounds
> checked out.
Background checks (which are required even of the teacher who registers as a
MBC, that's why they must register) are an entirely separate issue from YPT.
> As a leader, I don't mind spending an hour and a half once
> every 3 years getting this training. But as a matter of fact, I get it more
> often than that but that is ok too.
Nor do I, and I also end up taking the course more often than that. The
question is whether the program can afford to discard the services of whatever
number of potential leaders or merit badge counselors might balk at the time
commitment if we can't justify why these people should commit the time.
> As for having a youth protection trained MB counselor, well if they aren't
> required to have the training, then you can be darned sure that I or
> another adult that I trust will go along with my son to the merit badge
> counseling session. The price to pay if something happens to a child
> because he wasn't protected is too much to pay. I don't care if it is a
> teacher that has had the training, or a doctor or a child care
> professional. How many of them do we see in the news that have
> gotten past the background checks and have went on to abuse a child?
And what does any of this have to do with whether they have been YP trained?
If this teacher, who has been screened not only by the school district but by
Scouting, is inclined to abuse a Scout, do you really think that sitting
through a YP video will change that? Again, this is more an issue of
registration and what checks your council does on registration, than it is of
YP training. As long as the mbc is aware of the primary requirement never to
be alone with a youth, and as long as your YOUTH are aware of and required to
observe this very same rule, what impact will the training on how to recognize
or report abuse have on the safety of your son or any of the other Scouts.
You are talking about training for training's sake without any real benefit to
> I know of one case where a janitor that worked for the schools for years
> was found guilty of molesting several children over his time there.
And if he registered as a mbc and took the YP training, do you think that
would have stopped him? If you want to accompany your child to all of his mb
sessions that's fine, but whether the counselor has been to YP training should
be irrelevant to that decision. That is a matter of being comfortable with
your child being in that environment.
> Nope, in my book, as I said before, I want them to know that Boy
> Scouts are strict on the policy of not letting anyone have access to a
> child alone.
And that is ONE sentence which, even if you repeat it several times to make
sure the counselor gets it, takes at most five minutes. Why require 1.5 hours
to deliver that one sentence message? Its overkill.
> Call me an over protective mom or whatever, but I will protect these
> scouts as if they are my own.
Training is a wonderful tool when you train the right people in the right
subjects, but the pervasive attitude, primarily amongst trainers, that
everyone needs to be trained in everything is probably one of the largest
roadblocks to getting people trained in the subjects they really need.
Bruce E. Cobern
Founders District, Queens Council, NY