Thursday, August 16, 2012

Don’t Be This Guy

“This Guy”

I received an email this morning from a caver friend from another Grotto in our Region. Apparently he had to make the tough decision to cancel a trip for a Boy Scout Troop because he didn’t feel comfortable with what “This Guy” was trying to get his Grotto to agree to as part of a caving trip they were planning to take in a week. “This Guy” was trying to get around the Guide to Safe Scouting section on caving and the BSA Caving Policies.

The Guide to Safe Scouting and BSA Caving Policies

The Guide to Safe Scouting and the BSA Caving Policies are there for a reason. This helps the Unit Leader understand what is considered safe and acceptable for them to do with the youth he or she is responsible for.
Every time this comes up I think about what it would be like to tell a parent that their child has been injured, even worst, won’t be coming home. I think about how I’m going to explain to a litigator while on trial why I knowingly didn’t adhere to the Guide to Safe Scouting and an accident happened resulting in the injury or death of a child.
The BSA Caving Policies are not there to make it difficult for a Troop to get underground, but to keep the kids safe and to let the adult leaders know they are doing everything in their power to do that.

Not Just Once

What disturbs me even more is not just that this leader tried to get around the policies, but a few weeks before he had contacted me about the same trip. I gave him the same information and the same instructions. I guess he didn’t like my answer and decided to try someone else to see if he could get his way. Just like other high adventure activities, the communities in those activities are tight and talk to each other. Unfortunately “This Guy” has started a not so pleasant reputation for his Troop. Unfortunately this is all that’s needed for some folks in the caving community to see all Scouts as being this same way. As a Scouter myself I find this disturbing.

Help Spread the Word

I know that I’m preaching to the choir and that those who read this blog are very conscientious about sticking to the rules and having a safe and fun trip. But we all know someone who has the potential to be “This Guy”. Please, take some time and share this story with them and tell them to not be “This Guy”.

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Thanks,

Allen



2 comments:

  1. It would be helpful to know exactly what "policies" "This Guy" was trying to get around, and how that was interpreted as being a safety (or just plain obnoxious behavior) issue by the experienced cavers doing youth outreach in the grotto.

    In other words, were these also restrictions applied to other youth in caves, were there issues for the particular cave, etc.? Education is far more effective than squalking "policy" at helping people develop judgment and good safety sense.

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    Replies
    1. He was trying to get around an age requirement from the Guide to Safe Scouting and the BSA Caving Policies. Being part of the organization you have to adhere to their rules. For non-commercial wild cave trips BSA has a minimum age of 14 y/o.
      This minimum age may not be consistant with other youth organizations, but it is a BSA policy that should not be ignored.

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