In the Boy Scout program, adult leaders often refer to their youth protection program as the “adult protection program.” We know this is a serious issue today. The underlying concept that many of us have is that not only should children be protected, but that they and their parents know they are protected. Because the religious emblems program works with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, we want to emphasize the “two-deep” concept. That means a counselor or facilitator must never meet alone with a scout. This is covered in detail on the next page, which points out some of the guidelines for youth protection of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts as they might apply specifically to your work as a counselor or facilitator. In the section on “No one-on-one contact”, we offer some suggestions for a practical approach to this while you are working with Scouts on their religious emblems.
Boy Scout and Girl Scout Child Abuse Prevention Requirements
The Boy Scouts of America has adopted a number of policies aimed at eliminating opportunities for abuse within the Scouting program. These policies focus on leadership selection and on placing barriers to abuse within the program.
The BSA has adopted the following policies (among others) 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.
The Girl Scouts of the United States of America has adopted similar policies, as outlined in their publication of mandatory requirements, Safety-Wise.
Two registered adult leaders or one registered leader and a parent of a participant, one of whom must be 21 years of age or older, are required on all interactions with youth members. 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. If two counselors aren’t available, the parent of one of the participants or another adult not related to the counselor should be present in the general area. If a religious emblems session must take place with one youth and one adult, the session must not be in a closed space where the two are alone – a meeting room, rectory, or similar location is acceptable if the room is open, if at least one other adult is present in the area, if that adult may view activities where the session is being held, and if the other adult will periodically be in a position to view the session area. A meeting in the home of the scout or the counselor is acceptable, if there is another adult present, who is not related to the adult counselor.
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.
Proper clothing for activities is required.
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