Youth Protection

The Boy Scouts of America places the greatest importance on creating the most secure environment possible for our youth members. To maintain such an environment, the BSA developed numerous procedural and leadership selection policies and provides parents and leaders with resources for the Cub Scout, Boy Scout, and Venturing programs.

 

FOR INFORMATION ON PA ACT 15 (Pennsylvania Children's Protect Act) Please click here

BSA YOUTH PROTECTION TRAINING

**Please note** Baden-Powell Council Executive Board approved a resolution to protect the youth involved in scouting.  The Baden-Powell Council policies are the following:

  • 1.  Effective July 1, 2015 All NEW volunteers must submit the Youth Protection Training proof of completion with their adult application in order to register.
  • 2.  Your Youth Protection Training must remain current through your entire registration period...for this reason, you are required to take YPT every year in order to re register annually.

New volunteers becoming involved July 1, 2015 or after will need to provide proof of completion in the appropriate BSA Youth Protection training along with their adult membership application when applying for membership in the Baden-Powell Council.  Their application will not be accepted unless both are present.  The current grace period a new volunteer has to complete the appropriate BSA Youth Protection training after their adult application has been submitted will no longer exist effective July 1, 2015.  

Currently registered adults when renewing their membership registration (December Re-Charter) shall provide proof of completion in the appropriate BSA Youth Protection training that covers the complete period of their new registration.  This proof of completion will be collected as part of the annual re-charter process beginning in December 2015. 

As is current practice, your Unit Committee Chair should serve as the person responsible for ensuring the BSA registration and BSA appropriate Youth Protection are completed. 

The Executive Board recognizes this new Youth Protection requirement essentially makes Youth Protection training an annual, rather than bi-annual, requirement.  We believe the more frequently our leaders are made aware to the symptoms and signs of abuse, the quicker we can react to helping the Scouts of the Baden-Powell Council who may be in need. 

    Please keep these council requirements in mind as you proceed to the National BSA website for additional information and to take the online training.

    Taking Youth Protection Training    CLICK HERE TO TAKE YOUTH PROTECTION

    - If you have not taken Youth Protection Training, please log on to my.Scouting.org and take the training. Be sure to have your member ID number. The number can be found on your Boy Scouts of America membership card.membership_id_card

    - If you do not know your member ID number, contact your unit leader or committee chairman. Your council can also assist you.  If you are a new member, the course can be completed without a member ID number as well. 

    • Basic questions such as your member ID and account set up can be answered by the staff of the Baden-Powell Council Office at 607-648-7888.
    • Technical Support questions can be answered by the National Support Team at (855) 707-2644.

    - If you have taken Youth Protection Training online but did not input your member ID number, please log back on to the Training section of my.scouting.org and input your member ID so the training will be linked with your records.

    - If you have taken Youth Protection Training but did not take the course online, log on to my.scouting.org to ensure your records are up to date, or contact your council and have them verify that your Youth Protection Training records are accurate.

    Thank you for your commitment to our nation’s young people and to Scouting.


    Links to District and Council Leadership (Click your district for contact information)

    Chenango District (Chenango County)

    Delahanna District (Susquehanna County)

    Hiawatha District (Broome and Tioga Counties)

    Taughannock District (Cortland, Tompkins, and southern Seneca Counties)

    Baden-Powell Council


    Leadership Selection

    The Boy Scouts of America takes great pride in the quality of our adult leadership. Being a leader in the BSA is a privilege, not a right. The quality of the program and the safety of our youth members call for high-quality adult leaders. We work closely with our chartered organizations to help recruit the best possible leaders for their units.

    The adult application requests background information that should be checked by the unit committee or the chartered organization before accepting an applicant for unit leadership. While no current screening techniques exist that can identify every potential child molester, we can reduce the risk of accepting a child molester by learning all we can about an applicant for a leadership position—his or her experience with children, why he or she wants to be a Scout leader, and what discipline techniques he or she would use.

    Youth Protection training should be taken within the first 90 days of becoming an adult leader. While there is no standard time period after which an individual would be required to retake Youth Protection training (either online or the guided presentation discussion version), each person is encouraged to take either course as a refresher every 24 months. This does not preclude local councils or the National Council from requiring a date-specific certificate of completion for the online version.

    Barriers to Abuse Within Scouting

    The BSA has adopted the following policies to provide additional security for our members. These policies are primarily for the protection of our youth members; however, they also serve to protect our adult leaders from false accusations of abuse.

    • Two-deep leadership. Two registered adult leaders or one registered leader and a parent of a participant, or other adult, one of whom must be 21 years of age or older, are required on all trips and outings. The chartered organization is responsible for ensuring that sufficient leadership is provided for all activities.
    • No one-on-one contact. One-on-one contact between adults and youth members is not permitted. In situations that require personal conferences, such as a Scoutmaster's conference, the meeting is to be conducted in view of other adults and youths.
    • Respect of privacy. Adult leaders must respect the privacy of youth members in situations such as changing clothes and taking showers at camp, and intrude only to the extent that health and safety require. Adults must protect their own privacy in similar situations.
    • Cameras, imaging, and digital devices. While most campers and leaders use cameras and other imaging devices responsibly, it has become very easy to invade the privacy of individuals. It is inappropriate to use any device capable of recording or transmitting visual images in shower houses, restrooms, or other areas where privacy is expected by participants.
    • Separate accommodations. When camping, no youth is permitted to sleep in the tent of an adult other than his own parent or guardian. Councils are strongly encouraged to have separate shower and latrine facilities for females. When separate facilities are not available, separate times for male and female use should be scheduled and posted for showers.
    • Proper preparation for high-adventure activities. Activities with elements of risk should never be undertaken without proper preparation, equipment, clothing, supervision, and safety measures.
    • No secret organizations. The Boy Scouts of America does not recognize any secret organizations as part of its program. All aspects of the Scouting program are open to observation by parents and leaders.
    • Appropriate attire. Proper clothing for activities is required. For example, skinny-dipping is not appropriate as part of Scouting.
    • Constructive discipline. Discipline used in Scouting should be constructive and reflect Scouting's values. Corporal punishment is never permitted.
    • Hazing prohibited. Physical hazing and initiations are prohibited and may not be included as part of any Scouting activity.
    • Junior leader training and supervision. Adult leaders must monitor and guide the leadership techniques used by junior leaders and ensure that BSA policies are followed.
    • Member responsibilities. All members of the Boy Scouts of America are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the principles set forth in the Scout Oath and Law. Physical violence, hazing, bullying, theft, verbal insults, drugs, and alcohol have no place in the Scouting program and may result in the revocation of a Scout's membership in the unit.
    • Unit responsibilities. The head of the chartered organization or chartered organization representative and the local council must approve the registration of the unit's adult leader. Adult leaders of Scouting units are responsible for monitoring the behavior of youth members and interceding when necessary. Parents of youth members who misbehave should be informed and asked for assistance in dealing with it.

    Digital Privacy

    A key ingredient for a safe and healthy Scouting experience is the respect for privacy. Advances in technology are enabling new forms of social interaction that extend beyond the appropriate use of cameras or recording devices (see “Barriers to Abuse Within Scouting”). Sending sexually explicit photographs or videos electronically or “sexting” by cell phones is a form of texting being practiced primarily by young adults and children as young as middle-school age. Sexting is neither safe, nor private, nor an approved form of communication and can lead to severe legal consequences for the sender and the receiver. Although most campers and leaders use digital devices responsibly, educating them about the appropriate use of cell phones and cameras would be a good safety and privacy measure.

    The "three R's" of Youth Protection

    The "three R's" of Youth Protection convey a simple message to youth members:

    • Recognize situations that place you at risk of being molested, how child molesters operate, and that anyone could be a molester.
    • Resist unwanted and inappropriate attention. Resistance will stop most attempts at molestation.
    • Report attempted or actual molestation to a parent or other trusted adult. This prevents further abuse and helps to protect other children. Let the Scout know he or she will not be blamed for what occurred.

    Key Resources

    New- Social Media Guidelines- With the expanding use of Social Media to tell Scouting's Story, be sure to review these usage guidelines to protect all of our membership while online and when using popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

    New- Youth Protection Overview - an update on Youth Protection Policies, Procedures, and why we do what we do.

    New- Youth Protection Infographic - a brief overview of the layers of Youth Protection in the BSA.

    Guide to Safe Scouting
    The purpose of the Guide to Safe Scouting is to prepare adult leaders to conduct Scouting activities in a safe and prudent manner.

    It Happened to Me: Cub Scout Meeting Guide
    Video Facilitator Guides. A sample letter to parents and guardians as well as English and Spanish meeting guides for facilitators' use when showing the age-appropriate sexual abuse prevention video.

    A Time to Tell: Troop Meeting Guide
    Video Facilitator Guides. English and Spanish meeting guides for facilitators' use when showing the age-appropriate sexual abuse prevention video.

    Youth Protection Meeting Guide (Venturing Program)
    Video Facilitator Guides. A sample letter to parents and guardians as well as English and Spanish meeting guides for facilitators' use when showing the age-appropriate sexual abuse prevention video.

    Camp Leadership ... A Guide for Camp Staff and Unit Leaders
    Brochure for unit leaders and camp staff who are responsible for providing a safe and healthy camp setting where Scouts are free from the worries of child abuse.