Scouts-L Mail Archive for June of 1999: The role of training (was MB counselor registration question)
The role of training (was MB counselor registration question)
Wed, 16 Jun 1999 12:09:29 -0400
Wow, a simple question on registering MBCs has turned into an interesting
discussion on the YPT program.
First, let me say that I am a big fan of the YPT and agree that every scout
LEADER should take it every chance they get. I've been through it 4 times
in 7 years and I learn something new every time. But, I view that training
as much for MY protection as for the boys. It really should be re-named
"Youth Protection Awareness Training".
What I am absolutely opposed to is requiring training for its own sake and
assuming that because a person has been through a class they will behave in
a certain way. I can point to a former SM (who is still a unit
commissioner and quite active in his former troop) with Woodbadge beads and
an Eagle knot who did all of the cooking on campouts because it was too
much trouble to teach the scouts how to cook (and he doesn't like what they
cook). He also divided the troop into patrols only when required to attend
a district camporee (which the troop seldom did because HE didn't like the
way they were run).
The YPT generally covers four major topics:
1. BSA Policies as they apply to LEADERS
2. What constitutes abuse
3. How to recognize that a child might have been abused
4. Responsibilities for report suspected abuse.
As a leader who spends considerable time with scouts in a variety of close
situations, I welcome the chance to learn these things and accept my
responsibility to look out for changes that might indicate abuse and to
watch for suspicious behavior in other leaders. A counselor who meets with
a scout once or twice can't tell take on that responsibility and to even
suggest that they should will certainly drive some of them off. Since the
policies regarding MBCs are different than what is taught in the YPT
(two-deep leadership doesn't apply in this case), there is no useful
purpose to be served by requiring these people to sit through the training.
BTW, notice that there is nothing in this training that would stop someone
who wanted to abuse a child from doing so. In fact, if a person wanted to
become a leader for nefarious purposes, I would think they would love this
training and be anxious to take it quickly. Why?
1. They will now know what others a looking for so they won't stand out
(they'll certainly violate policy but they'll know how to hide it)
2. Other leaders will feel more relaxed because "everyone" is trained
3. This leader will be above suspicion (sp?) because he has been "trained"
to "protect" the children
But I can guarantee that this 1.5 hours will do NOTHING to change the fact
that this person will eventually abuse a child.
To Mary Ellen - I'm glad that you are concerned for your children and wish
to attend their counseling sessions -- I applaud that. But please attend
ALL sessions (or make sure they are with a buddy) whether this person is
"trained" or not.
To Cheryl, stick to your guns no matter how loud Mom screams -- never meet
in private one-on-one with a scout. The risk just isn't worth it.
And to everyone, please don't assume that because a person has received any
particular training they will behave in a certain way. It just doesn't