Weekend Camping Reservations






 




 



 

 

SCOUTS FIRST HELPLINE

 

 

The protection of youth is the primary obligation of every individual involved in the Boy Scouts of America - including leaders, parents, members and professionals. The BSA has been and will continue to be vigilant in its efforts to create barriers that help prevent abuse and to recognize and report child abuse regardless of where it occurs.

 

As part of the BSA's "Scouts First" approach to the protection and safety of youth, the BSA has established "844- Scout1st ,”, (844-726-8871), a dedicated 24-hour helpline to receive reports of known or suspected abuse or behavior that might put a youth at risk. (The call may be answered by a person who gathers initial information and escalates the report for further handling based upon the nature of the situation.)

 

The helpline's goal is to provide immediate assistance to ensure that the victim, unit, and council are fully supported and the actions taken are properly documented. Minor, non-recurring infractions with no indication youth are at risk can still be addressed at the unit or council level.

 

Nationwide, the BSA requires everyone involved with Scouting to report any known or suspected abuse to local authorities.

 

Responding to Abuse: When information regarding known or suspected abuse or behavior that might put a youth at risk is first discovered, the following steps should immediately be taken:

 

  • Get the victim medical treatment, if required, and to a place of safety if needed
  • Ensure the victim(s) parents are notified as soon as possible
  • Notify law enforcement and/or child protective services
  • Call the 844-Scouts1st  Helpline

 

Reporting Abuse or behavior that might put a youth at risk: Accurate information is critical to an appropriate response; however, a lack of specific information is not a reason to delay a report. At a minimum. every effort should be made to have the following infom1ation available when reporting to the 844-Scoutslst Helpline:

 

  • The name, age, council, and unit of the alleged victim(s)
  • The name and phone number of the victim's parent(s)
  • The name, age, council, and unit of any other known or suspected victim(s) and their parents contact information
  • The name, position, council, and unit of alleged perpetrator(s)
  • The name and phone number of the law enforcement or protective service agency to which the incident was reported
  • The name, unit, and council of any known witnesses
  • The name and phone number of the reporter
  • Details of the incident: who, what, where, and when

 

The BSA also offers assistance with counseling to any Scout, former Scout, or family member of any Scout who suffered abuse during their time in Scouting. Individuals can email scouthelp@scouting.org or call toll free at 855- 295-1531 to discuss these sensitive matters.

 

Questions regarding the 844-Scouts1st Helpline should be directed to BSA Membership Standards at 972-580-2365 or 972-580-2007.

Updated 9.11.17

 

Scouts First Helpline for Abuse and Youth Protection.pdf

Important Documents that Your Unit Should Have accessible to All Leaders when they take Youth Protection:

Council Letter        Why Should You Take YPT?        YPT Tri-Fold Flyer        YPT Key Resources        

YPT Reporting Procedures

To Run an Adult Leader Youth Protection Training OR to show the Youth in your unit (It Happened to Me, A Time to Tell, and Personal Safety Awareness for Venturers and older Boy Scouts - Please contact your District Executive and they will get you a copy of the appropriate videos and syllabi.  Any Questions, please contact the Council Service Center at 845-566-7300 during normal business hours.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

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 theCub ScoutBoy Scout, and Venturing programs.

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.

Required Training

  • Youth Protection training is required for all BSA registered volunteers.
  • Youth Protection training must be taken every two years. If a volunteer’s Youth Protection training record is not current at the time of recharter, the volunteer will not be reregistered.

Youth Protection Reporting Procedures for Volunteers

There are two types of Youth Protection–related reporting procedures all volunteers must follow:

  • When you witness or suspect any child has been abused or neglected—See "Mandatory Report of Child Abuse" below.
  • When you witness a violation of the BSA's Youth Protection policies—See "Reporting Violations of BSA Youth Protection Policies" below.

Mandatory Report of Child Abuse

All persons involved in Scouting shall report to local authorities any good-faith suspicion or belief that any child is or has been physically or sexually abused, physically or emotionally neglected, exposed to any form of violence or threat, exposed to any form of sexual exploitation, including the possession, manufacture, or distribution of child pornography, online solicitation, enticement, or showing of obscene material. You may not abdicate this reporting responsibility to any other person.

Steps to Reporting Child Abuse

  1. Ensure the child is in a safe environment.
  2. In cases of child abuse or medical emergencies, call 911 immediately. In addition, if the suspected abuse is in the Scout's home or family, you are required to contact the local child abuse hotline.
  3. Notify the Scout executive or his/her designee.

Reporting Violations of BSA Youth Protection Policies

If you think any of the BSA's Youth Protection policies have been violated, including those described within Scouting's Barriers to Abuse, you must notify your local council Scout executive or his/her designee so appropriate action can be taken for the safety of our Scouts.

Scouting's Barriers to Abuse

 

The BSA has adopted the following policies for the safety and well-being of its members. While these policies are primarily for the protection youth members, they also serve to protect adult leaders. Refer to the Guide to Safe Scouting, contact your local council, or email youth.protection@scouting.org  for more information.

  • Minimum two-deep leadership on all outings required. Two registered adult leaders, or one registered leader and a parent of a participating Scout or other adult, one of whom must be 21 years of age or older, are required for all trips and outings. Appropriate adult leadership must be present for all overnight Scouting activities; coed overnight activities – even those including parent and child – require male and female adult leaders, both of whom must be 21 years of age or older, and one of whom must be a registered member of the BSA.
  • One-on-one contact between adults and youth members prohibited. In any situation requiring a personal meeting, such as a Scoutmaster's conference, the meeting is to be conducted in view of other adults and youths.
  • Separate accommodations for adults and Scouts required. When camping, no youth is permitted to sleep in the tent of an adult other than his or her own parent or guardian. Councils are strongly encouraged to have separate shower and latrine facilities for females. When separate facilities are not available, separate male and female shower times should be scheduled and posted. Likewise, youth and adults must shower at different times.
  • Privacy of youth respected. 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.
  • Inappropriate use of cameras, imaging, or digital devices prohibited. 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.
  • 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.
  • No hazing. Physical hazing and initiations are prohibited and may not be included as part of any Scouting activity.
  • No bullying. Verbal, physical, and cyber bullying are prohibited in Scouting.
  • Youth leadership monitored by adult leaders. Adult leaders must monitor and guide the leadership techniques used by youth leaders and ensure that BSA policies are followed.
  • Discipline must be constructive. Discipline used in Scouting should be constructive and reflect Scouting's values. Corporal punishment is never permitted.
  • Appropriate attire for all activities. Proper clothing for activities is required. For example, skinny-dipping or revealing bathing suits are not appropriate in Scouting.
  • Members are responsible to act according to Scout Oath and Law. 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 Scout Law. Physical violence, theft, verbal insults, drugs, and alcohol have no place in the Scouting program and may result in the revocation of a Scout's membership.
  • Units are responsible to enforce Youth Protection Policies. The head of the chartered organization or chartered organ-ization 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. The parents of youth members who misbehave should be informed and asked for assistance.
  • Mandatory reporting of child abuse. All involved in Scouting are personally responsible to immediately report to law enforcement any belief or good faith suspicion that any child is or has been abused or exploited or endangered in any way. No person may abdicate this reporting respon-sibility to any other person.
  • Social media guidelines. The policy of two-deep leadership extends into cyberspace. Another adult leader should be copied on any electronic communication between adult and youth member.

Violations of any BSA's Youth Protection policies must immediately be reported to the Scout executive.

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 “Scouting's Barriers to Abuse”). 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. To address cyber-safety education, the BSA has introduced the age- and grade-specific Cyber Chip program, which addresses topics including cyberbullying, cell-phone use, texting, blogging, gaming, and identity theft. Check it out.

BSA Social Media Guidelines


The "three R's" of Youth Protection

The "three R's" of Youth Protection convey a simple message for the personal awareness of our 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

State Statutes on Child Welfare  
Reporting requirements for child abuse differ from state to state. The Child Welfare Information Gateway provides access to information and resources on a variety of topics, including state statutes on child abuse. This site is not operated by the Boy Scouts of America.

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.

Personal Safety Awareness 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.

Youth Protection Training Facilitators Guide  
Video Facilitator Guides.

Cyber Chip
To help families and volunteers keep youth safe while online, the BSA introduces the Cyber Chip. The Scouting portal showcasing Cyber Chip resources includes grade-specific videos for each level.

Bullying Awareness
These fact sheets will help with bullying awareness and direct you to resources provided by the BSA and other entities we work with to protect children.

Youth Protection Champions
To address the need for Youth Protection–specific volunteers at all levels, the BSA has implemented its new Youth Protection Champions program. These volunteer champions will be the key drivers of Youth Protection at their assigned levels.

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.

ScoutHelp
Support is available for victims of past abuse.

Youth Protection Mission Statement

True youth protection can be achieved only through the focused commitment of everyone in Scouting. It is the mission of Youth Protection volunteers and professionals to work within the Boy Scouts of America to maintain a culture of Youth Protection awareness and safety at the national, regional, area, council, district, and unit levels.