On January 21, 2017 at the Council’s annual business meeting, the Council Board passed new training requirements for adult leaders. The Boy Scouts of America provides some of the finest leadership, team building, and outdoor skill training available anywhere and the dedicated volunteer trainers in our Council are waiting to provide that training to all Scout Leaders and volunteers. Whether you have been with Scouting for over 20 years or if this is your first, there is something new to learn. This training is provided for all adult and youth leaders because the training is vital to the Scouting program at all levels. The Black Hills Area Council understands the importance of training to the success of a unit and this policy requires all unit to adopt and adhere to it.
Black Hills Area Council Youth Protection Training Policy
The Black Hills Area Council believes that every registered Scout leader should have a current Youth Protection Training (YPT) Certificate.
First, all newly registering Scout Leaders must provide certification that they have completed the YPT training in order for the registration to be processed, as a membership requirement. This can be accomplished either online or at the Scout Service Center.
Second, unfortunately, some YPT certifications expire during the year that a leader is registered with the BSA, thus leaving the registered leader uncertified in YPT. Many of these registered leaders have not been timely in getting the YPT competed once lapsed.
Effective January 1, 2018, without exception, all adult registrations and re-registrations will require that the Scouter’s YPT Certificate be valid for the full duration of the new registration or recharter term.
While the YPT certificate is good for two (2) years of training, any Scouter taking the course in 2017 is covered for the reregistration in 2018 but will have to take the course again at some time in 2018 to be covered for registration for the year 2019.
This policy will reduce the time required by staff and volunteers to manage the compliance with the BSA standard of 100% YPT training. The Council Registrar shall be responsible for ensuring full implementation of this policy.
- YPT is the one training that BSA mandates for every Scouter, regardless of seniority or position in Scouting.
- Parents who entrust their youth in our care expect us to take every step and every precaution to ensure their safety.
- YPT principles are widely recognized as among the best in the field of youth protection. BSA’s YPT course for Cubs and Scouts, as well as the YPT course for Explorers, Venturers and Sea Scouts, have been carefully designed to address issues that might occur in the respective programs.
- Completion of YPT not only makes the individual Scouter aware of the YPT standards in their own conduct, but it also raises the sensitivity and awareness of those standards in a group situation.
- The BSA and the Black Hills Area Council currently do not have effective programs that will notify a Scouter that his/her YPT Certificate is about to expire.
- The names and units of Scouters whose YPT has expired or who has not never taken YPT are available to the leadership of the Council and each District through https://my.scouting.org and can be provided to all units upon request so that expiration dates may be reviewed. Any unit key-3 leader can request a copy of the unit YPT status at any time. The Council will send a copy to the unit each year in September to allow the unit to start the YPT training update prior to the recharter process starting.
- YPT completion is not difficult to achieve. Taking 30 minutes annually helps ensure our Scouts are safer is time well spent. All the courses are offered online, for free, at https//My.Scouting.org, and can also be offered at the unit level by request and is available during any office hours at the Scout Service Center in Rapid City. If a Scouter needs help to get on My.Scouting.org, they should contact the Scout Service Center.
- The Council’s current policy of requiring a current YPT Certification at the time of registering or re-registering has not worked to improve the situation. Since mid-2013 the percentage of Black Hills Area Council Scouters with a current YPT Certification has ranged between 80-85%.
- The BSA has been sued for alleged youth abuse acts that took place in the past and that would be in clear violation of today’s YPT standards. Such suits defame BSA and are costly. While there may not be much we can do about events that occurred in the past, and in some cases, decades ago, if we implement the above policy we can say, “today the Black Hills Area Council aggressively pursues a 100% Youth Protection Training Policy.”
Black Hills Area Council Position\Leader Specific Training Policy
The Black Hills Area Council believes that every registered Scout leader should be trained in the primary position in which they are registered. This is also may be defined as those Scout Leaders in Direct-Contact position. It shall be the policy of the Black Hills Area Council that all direct-contact leaders must become trained in that position within the first year as registered in the position. Much of this training is provided online at my.scouting.org so an early investment in that training is vital to providing the best quality program for the unit they are serving. This is especially important to any new Cub Scout leader with no previous Scouting experience.
Direct-Contact leader positions are those that have direct responsibilities for the operations of a unit’s program as are as follow:
- Cub Scouts: Cubmaster, Assistant Cubmaster, Den Leaders, and Committee Chairman
- Boy Scouts: Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, and Committee Chairman
- Venturing: Crew Advisor, Associate Crew Advisor, and Committee Chairman
- Varsity Scouts: Coach, Assistant Coach, and Committee Chairman
- Exploring: Post Advisor, Assocaite Post Advisor, and Committee Chairman
- Other: Chartered Organization Representative, Merit Badge Counselors, committee members, etc. (a trained leader report can be provided for any unit upon request)
Unit Leaders who have not completed the required training will not be permitted to re-register in that position when the unit’s charter is being renewed. Over the past few years, the Council has struggled to attain a trained percentage above 25%. It is widely known that units and Councils that maintained a higher trained leader level, generally have better programs that comply with the BSA guidelines, and then retain more youth and leaders for longer periods of time.
The Black Hills Area Council sponsors a Scouting ‘U’ annually with numerous adult training opportunities to meet these requirements. Adult training is also offered during the youth Merit Badge Midway and other training for a unit may be offered upon request by units or as the needs exist. Supplemental adult training is also offered at the Medicine Mountain Scout Ranch as well as other camps that a unit may visit during the summer. The Council requires all contact leaders to be trained and wearing the “Trained” patch for the position they are registered in.