Scoutmaster Musings - Checking Volunteers

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Scoutmaster Musings

Checking Volunteers
I thought the BSA did a thorough check on guys like me that registered as volunteers. When a new parent completed their form and we received it back as 'accepted', I thought that meant the person checked out ok. But, as it turns out, prior to April of 2003, criminal background checks were not done. And, anyone that registered prior to that date hasn't had a one done on him/her.

I'm sure this isn't news to most of you that are more up on this stuff than me, but I found it interesting. All these years I've been a cub scout leader and scoutmaster, I could have had a 'checkered' past and no one would have known. All the adult volunteers that have been running troops and packs for more than 5 years have not had a criminal background check done.

So, I got a nice letter from Mr. Mazzuca, the Chief Scout Executive, on Saturday. It explained the situation and asked me to help him make the BSA program more secure by providing personal information and giving the BSA permission to do a criminal background check. Since I thought it had already been done, I didn't have a problem with the request and, as a matter of fact, have already completed the process.

Those adult volunteers in the BSA that do not complete the request for private information by August 1, 2008, will be dropped from the BSA. If they want to volunteer again, they'll need to fill out a new volunteer registration - which requires giving permission for a criminal background check. So, either you get checked out, or you get kicked out. I expect some folks will be up in arms about the intrusion, but I'm all for it. The only concern I have is trsuting the capabilities of the website designers that created the site and database that will hold our information.

After August, I can be confident that any adult my son is interacting with in the BSA has had a thorough check done on him/her - which is what I've believed from the start. From my view, we're just catching up to what it should be anyway.

I also hope every unit receives a report before September informing them of which adults have been dropped so they don't hang around in any 'unofficial' capacity.

Scout On

Posted: 15:05 06-09-2008 336
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