Scouts-L Mail Archive for December of 1999: Re: Youth Protection - What's the straight word?
Re: Youth Protection - What's the straight word?
Fri, 31 Dec 1999 14:01:10 -0500
<Neil Lupton wrote>
"To what aspects of the program does Two Deep (Adult) Leadership apply as a
matter of rule and policy?"
Is it outings and trips only or does it include meetings?
Following what I had read on the list, I quoted G2SS which speaks only to
outings and trips and does not speak to meetings. However, my DFS said he
had checked and was told that the policy pertained to outings, trips and
meetings (Troop meetings, Pack meetings, Den meetings, etc.) Also, a new DE
was told that he had been taught in his Professional Training recently that
it included all outings, trips and meetings. However, neither of these
individuals could show me in writing anything other than G2SS and a section
in the current Scoutmaster's Handbook which follows exactly the words of
Despite what others have said, and despite the personal opinions expressed,
the rule pertaining to this subject can be found in the G2SS. As you have
already guessed, there is no WRITTEN contrary rule. As a result, until
either your DFS or DE can produce a document that supports their
interpretation, go by the G2SS.
<Bob Myers wrote>
However, the second bullet states:
"NO ONE-ON-ONE CONTACT. [snip]
The last part of this statement is new, as far as I know, and seems to be in
conflict with other policy statements, particularly the merit badge buddy
system. I would have expected this statement to call for such meetings in
view of at least one other "person", or something to that effect.
You raise a good point, but there is no conflict with other policies here.
The "One-To-One Contact" rule doesn't require two adults. All that is
required, particularly for merit badge work, fundraising efforts
(door-to-door), or any other very small group activity is more than two
people. It can be two adults and one Scout; one adult and two Scouts; or one
adult, one Scout, and one sibling, friend or family member.
<Steve Blary wrote>
No,Why does anyone need this in writing? Is some one refusing to practive
it and is demanding something written before they will comply? If so I
would be *very* concerned about that person.
Two-Deep Leadership AND Youth Protection are important BSA policies. As
such, they SHOULD be written down. Everyone expected to follow these
policies SHOULD have them in writing. If someone tells you to comply with
this or that policy and can't show it to you in writing, you should be
Having the policy in writing removes any doubt as to what the policy is. In
fact, Neil's question is a perfect example of why you should ask to see it
in writing. Here, two people you would expect to know the policy very well
gave information that seemed to conflict with the written policy used by
most Scouters. In addition, they couldn't produce a document that supported
Not only is it important to protect the children, it is also important to
protect leaders from false accusations. A leader falsely accused will not
be able to "deliver the promise" to his charges if he is busy battling for
his freedom in the court system.
In my opinion, any one that refuses to practice two deep leadership in *ALL*
scouting activities has no business being a leader. It is a small price to
pay to help ensure the safety of *ALL* involved.
We can all agree that Youth Protection is an important concept to know and
follow. Furthermore, I think we can all agree that Two-Deep Leadership is
also an important concept that should be followed. In fact, YOU MUST have
two-deep leadership in most cases to comply with the YP guidelines.
<There are a number of situations where an adult leader will find
him/herself alone with a group of youth.
shouldn't happen unless an emergancy
<Does the Scoutmaster whose assistant(s) is(are) busy that week cancel the
<Does the OA committee advisor always have to have another adult present?
yes, if he is with children
<Is the driver required to have another adult in the car when transporting a
group of boys to a weekend campout?
yes, that is a trip or outing which is directly covered in the GSS
I would point out, Steve, that such strict interpretation of Two-Deep
Leadership would make it nearly impossible to conduct any kind of program in
many situations. Two-Deep Leadership is required for activities and outings
because those generally take place away from "civilization" or in a place
where facilities or communication are limited. Depending on the program, the
unit can easily find itself spread out over a great distance. If an
emergency occurs two adults are needed to 1) get and go with emergency
personnel; 2) provide adult supervision to the remaining Scouts.
At a unit meeting, two-deep leadership may not be necessary since meeting
places are usually located within an area Scouts are familiar with,
communications facilities are close-by, and the unit generally remains in
one place. If an emergency occurs, emergency personnel and parents are
close-by and the Scout leader doesn't necessarily need to go with the
emergency personnel; or provide adult supervision to the remaining Scouts.
Exceptions, obviously, due exist which is why Jim Miller suggested using
"common sense" (which does exist, just under an assumed name <G>).
As for your comment about transporting Scouts, I have quoted the appropriate
part of the G2SS which doesn't entirely agree with you:
<G2SS 1999 edition>
During transportation to and from planned Scout outings,
*Meet for departure at a designated area.
*Prearrange a schedule for periodic checkpoint stops as a group.
*Plan a daily destination point.
A common departure site and a daily destination point are a must. If you
cannot provide two adults for each vehicle, the minimum required is one
adult and two or more youth members - never one on one.
<For trips and outings, two-deep adult leadership is required. At all other
times, the "rule of threes" applies - that is, never have less then three
people, youth or adult.
Please direct me to some BSA documentation on the rule of three's.
As soon as I can get to my resources, I will post the reference in question.
In the mean time, the rule of three's in the BSA involves interaction
between adults and Scouts in very small groups. In essence, not matter what
the situation, there must be at least three persons in the group. Either one
Scout and two adults; two Scouts and one adult; or one Scout, one adult, and
one member of the Scout or adult's family. Transporting Scouts is one place
where the rule of three prevails (it's implied by the wording of the above
quote BTW). Scoutmaster conferences are another very important area in which
the rule of three applies.
It takes many things to provide the program, and the proper adult leadership
is one of them. Without the proper adult leadership there can *not* be a
That may be true in Cub Scouting, but in a Boy Scout troop or Venture Crew,
youth members take on a lot of responsibility for the program. As has been
discussed earlier on this list, the BSA's various programs follow a
progression from Tigers and Cubs where adult leaders are directly involved
in all aspects of the program, to Venturing where the adult leaders' role is
more supervisory and the youth members take on much more responsibility. In
a Boy Scout troop or Venture Crew, youth members often plan and carry out
activities that do not require adult leadership.
I want to make this perfectly clear. No one, as far as I am aware, has
advocated completely scrapping Two-Deep Leadership or YP policies. All Jim
was pointing out, and I agree, was that there are certain situations where
Two-Deep Leadership is not directly necessary. This opinion is supported by
the G2SS and several other BSA documents (The Scoutmaster's Handbook, The
Troop Committee Guidebook, are just a couple).
A. J. Mako, firstname.lastname@example.org, SM Troop 381 http://www.Scouts381.org/
Old Portage District, Great Trail Council, BSA
"I used to be an Eagle (C-7-97), but I'll always be an Eagle (1981)"