scouts-l Mail Archive for July of 2000: Youth Protedtion Insanity
Bob Riley (Cubmaster639@AOL.COM
Wed Jul 26 2000 - 18:46:37 CDT
Hello fellow Scouters,
Roman Smith lit the fire on this touchy yet,
timely subject. With so many split up families
these YPP precautions are causing more problems
than I think were envisioned when they were created.
Because I had to (be the bad guy and) enforce the
sleeping rules on our last couple camping trips
we have one family who will not camp with
us anymore. In fact, they may have dropped out of
Scouting all together (partially because of this).
This guy, a trained ex-Wolf den leader, insisted on
being able to sleep with his girlfriend's son. It
didn't matter to him when I explained of the steps I take
to not sleep with my almost ten year old step son, to whom I have
been his father-figure since he was ten months old,
even though I am married to his mom. When I take him
anywhere, on a Scout activity, I always have a
handwritten permission slip from his mother. Aside
from how much I love him and he loves me I have
absolutely no, nada, zip legal ties to him.
While I know my step son will be safe and this guy's
girlfriend's son will be safe I also accept the fact
that we have to keep the Big Picture in mind, that
we have to set the example for the others. We can't
say, "Do as I say and not as I do".
Like I tell my leaders, once we put on that uniform and
then even more when we sew on that TRAINED patch we
have to raise the bar on our behavior. We now are
examples to the many as oppossed to the one or the few.
This guy even offered to bring a permission slip
from his girlfriend giving her permission for him to
sleep with her son. He got very annoyed (not to mention
spewing out some choice names at me) when I told
him that even "she" couldn't give that kind of permission.
Did I like it? No. Did I agree with the policy? In
"this" case - No. As much as I would love to be able to
make exceptions to these YPP policies on a case by
case basis I believe we're safer not being able to. It
takes the responsibility out of our hands and, hopefully,
eliminates all possibilities of any boy's being hurt.
In my city alone the percentage of single parent households
was 65% in 1998. That doesn't include those households,
like my buddy's and mine, where non-biological,
pseudo dads and moms are living. This problem is only
going to get worse.
I'm curious what the list members' experiences with these
YPP sleeping rules are and if any of you think there is
any room for changes in these policies.
Do you think the rules should allow my friend to sleep
in the same tent with his girlfriend's son - with her
Do you think I should be able to sleep (in the same tent)
with my step son? We "will be" this weekend on our yearly,
family, non-Scout camping trip in the Adirondacks - if we
can escape on our own for one night like we like to do.
Maybe this year the almost-fiur year old can join us. ;o)
Like I always say,
"It's not always easy to do what is right".
Have a great Scouting weekend - I will,
CM & WDL & Wagon Master Family Camping trained