Keeping Scouts safe from abuse is an A-1 priority for all of us.
Over the years Scouting has added layers of protection to minimize the possibilities of abuse.
These include background checks, two deep leadership, no one-on-one contact between youth and adults (including digital communication), and annual Youth Protection Training for all registered adults.
Each of these actions makes the Scouting program a safer environment for our youth.
In the area of youth-on-youth abuse, more attention is being given to hazing and bullying. Make sure that any such behavior is not tolerated, and is strictly prohibited in your unit.
In addition, be sure tenting assignments match up youth of similar ages.
Every Scout unit should hold an annual presentation of the age-appropriate youth protection video “It Happened to Me” for Cub Scouts, and “A Time to Tell” for Boy Scouts, etc.
Repeat and reinforce the 3 R’s: Recognize, Respond, Report.
The importance of reporting right away cannot be over-emphasized. Make sure all your Scouts know to report any event or situation that is uncomfortable or simply not right.
Many units are now holding the Scout youth protection video presentation in one room and the leader and parent Youth Protection Training in another – one night a year to hit the highlights of safety for everyone!
Keeping Scouts safe from abuse is up to all of us. Let’s keep this front and center, at the top of our priority list!
Yours in Scouting,