An Update from the Michigan Crossroads Council

Dear Scouting Friends:

The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America (the “National Council (BSA)”) has confirmed that a Youth Protection oriented segment that was expected to run on the TODAY Show tomorrow (July 10th) has been postponed and that a new air date has yet to be confirmed.  As the nature of content could change in the interim, the National Council (BSA) will continue to stay in touch with the producers of the segment so that it can provide our Council and other Councils with helpful information before the expected airing of the segment.

Like the National Council (BSA), we will continue to monitor these news reports and endeavor to keep you appraised of further developments.  We also will provide you with information relating to these matters that you can share with business associates, friends or Scouting leaders and families.  [READ MORE]


Scouting Safely Resources

We want you to know that the safety of our youth, volunteers, staff, and employees is an important part of the Scouting experience. Youth develop traits of citizenship, character, fitness, and leadership during age-appropriate events when challenged to move beyond their normal comfort level, and discover their abilities. This is appropriate when risks are identified and mitigated.

The Scouting program, as contained in our handbooks and literature, integrates many safety features. However, no policy or procedure will replace the review and vigilance of trusted adults and leaders at the point of program execution.

Commit yourself to creating a safe and healthy environment by:
  • Knowing and executing the BSA program as contained in our publications
  • Planning tours, activities, and events with vigilance using the tools provided
  • Setting the example for safe behavior and equipment use during program
  • Engaging and educating all participants in discussions about hazards and risks
  • Reporting incidents in a timely manner

Thank you for being part of the Scouting movement and creating an exciting and safe experience for every participant.

Scouting Safely Resources

Scouting Safety Moments


New BSA Incident Reporting Requirements — Effective Immediately

When an injury, illness, or other incident occurs during a Scouting activity, the safety of our youth is top concern. It is essential that we all help mitigate potential impacts by following mandatory reporting requirements.

To better enable this, https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/680-016_fillable.pdf, and a new online form have been put in place at the national level and are effective now. The form is available to councils and volunteers. Serious incidents need to be reported within 24 hours both online and to the regional and area directors as well as emailed to pr@scouting.org.

Online incident reports on serious youth-protection violations, membership standards infractions and medical treatment beyond first-aid will need to submitted within 72 hours. The process for submitting reports has been streamlined and simplified so please ensure you, your leaders, your troop, etc. comply with these requirements.

Learn more about the New Incident Reporting requirements here — https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/incident-report/


New Youth Protection Animated Videos

Have you seen the new youth protection animated shorts? A special thanks to the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center for this new interactive experience for over 1.2 million Cub Scouts and their families across the nation. The Boy Scouts of America has partnered with subject-matter experts from the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center Foundation to present the “Protect Yourself Rules” that help children recognize, respond to, and report abuse.

https://www.scouting.org/programs/cub-scouts/preview-adventures/protect-yourself-rules/

Learn more – https://www.scoutingnewsroom.org/press-releases/barbara-sinatra-childrens-center-and-boy-scouts-of-america-partner-to-expand-programming-on-child-abuse-awareness-and-prevention


A Message from The Chief Scout Executive

ALL MEMBERS OF THE SCOUTING FAMILY MUST BE ADVOCATES FOR PREVENTION OF CHILD ABUSE AND SUPPORT FOR VICTIMS

Fellow Scouters,

The tragedy of child abuse, be it physical, sexual, or emotional is one that is truly heartbreaking.

Painfully, there have been incidents of abuse that occurred in our program, and we sincerely apologize that some despicable individuals used their positions in Scouting to harm children.

First and foremost, the Boy Scouts of America believes victims. To those who were harmed – we grieve with you, we respect you, and we want to help you heal. Over the years, Scouting has provided counseling for victims, no questions asked, for as long as they needed it. Our commitment and responsibility to victims is in keeping with the tenants of the Scout Oath and Law – it’s at the core of everything we stand for. That means we want victims to receive fair compensation, and we are committed to finding the best way to do that.

We are also committed to fulfilling our duty to serve the millions of youth and families currently in our programs. Those Scouts and families count on us to deliver life-changing character and leadership opportunities provided by the outdoor adventure methods of Scouting. And, the safety of the youth in our programs is paramount.

I want to be clear – the Boy Scouts of America has never knowingly allowed those who have committed inappropriate acts with children to remain in our program.

Long before there were smart phones, email, fax machines, the internet, criminal databases or other modern methods available to identify or track predators, the BSA kept records to ensure that anyone seen as unfit to be a leader – even those not charged or convicted of any crime, would be banned forever from our program.

The BSA never covered up the fact that it kept that database. In fact, that database has been the subject of various public news reports over the years.

The creation of that database was just the first step in the BSA’s development of a comprehensive set of strategies designed to provide the best possible youth protection system. Today, record-keeping or databases such as ours are now recommended by experts as an important step in protecting children.

In addition to other protective measures, all participants in Scouting are considered Mandatory Reporters, and as such, are required to report any suspected abuse to the appropriate state child protection authorities. We fully cooperate with law enforcement and wholeheartedly support the prosecution and punishment of convicted individuals.

And while the BSA’s database of those banned from Scouting has been used against the organization and made us more vulnerable to lawsuits, if we could go back in time to the 1920s when these records were first created, we would decide to keep them again and again because we firmly believe that doing so has protected millions of kids who have been in our program over the last century.

Scouting is always premised on helping others.

I ask every member of our Scouting family to continue upholding his or her duty to others and to our country by standing up for victims. Believe victims. Support victims on their journey to becoming survivors.

Be outspoken and be advocates for youth protection and prevention of child abuse – in and outside of Scouting.

Do your Good Turn Daily and find ways to support victims of past abuse, speak and act boldly to protect children presently in our program, and spread the good works of Scouting so that we may continue to positively change lives for future generations of children.

Sincerely,

Mike Surbaugh
BSA Chief Scout Executive