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RipFoster

scouting vs YM activities

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While they normally go hand in hand, there are some activities that are restricted by BSA that are not specifically restricted by the church/ym program. What are your thoughts on simply classifying an activity as "ym" to get around the bsa restriction?

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I understand that in the USA scouting and ym run hand in hand? But that doesn't have to be the cases does it they can be completely seperate - so an activity can be either a scouting or ym activity.

Doing something as a YM activity shouldn't be a way of getting around BSA regulations - do it a YM activity may be a way to do the activity. A YM activity would then open the activity up to boys who maybe of YM age but aren't in scouts for whatever reason.

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This is playing with fire, and it shouldn't be done. In the United States and Canada, scouting activities are young men activities and young men activities are scouting activities. When you attempt to relabel an activity a "young men" activity, you are circumventing all of the training requirements that provide you with legal and liability protections should there be an accident. Worse, you are very possibly exposing the youth to risks that the training requirements are supposed to mitigate.

You say you want to do a climbing activity, but the council won't approve it. That can only mean a handful of things. The most likely reason is that there are not enough trained adults to run the event. This is a safety risk.

What's more, if you assume that you can relabel the activity a "young men activity," what makes you think the Church wants to pick up the liability? You still have to have all the participants complete permission slips, and you still have to fill out an activity plan for the Church. An attentive leader should be asking what you're doing for safety and will recognize that the Church specifically tries to avoid these liabilities by utilizing the scouting program. (also, the BSA's coverage is better than the Church's) If there's an incident, the first thing the Church is going to ask is why you weren't following BSA guidelines for the activity. Then they will ask why you didn't fill out a trip plan. Then they will ask why this wasn't a scouting activity.

I'd strongly recommend against relabeling your activities. If you really want to have a climbing activity, find a trained instructor that can run it. If you can't find trained instructors, go to a commercial facility (commercial facilities assume the risk and the council won't hesitate to approve it). If neither of those are options, plan a different activity.

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I have heard Scoutmasters speak of this very thing when I worked for the BSA. My council had a high LDS population, so YM activity seemed an easy fix. I believe there was often someone in the ward intelligent enough to speak out against it.

Last I was aware, the chartered organization, aka ward, often had the final say on activities under a parameter of guidelines and policies. Which happen to exist for a reason. And from what I've seen, there's not a heck of a lot the Scouts can't do, provided they are in the right kind of unit with the right kind of everything.

Honestly, there is no good reason you couldn't take the Scouts rockclimbing or whatever provided you had planned it out.

But Brother Outdoorsman who went climbing once in college twenty years ago volunteering to take the boys out at the last minute... no, that's irresponsible.

Act like adults and plan it all out.

Edited by Backroads

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Why on earth would anyone sit around with their Scout troop and come up with an activity that has no bearing or relation to Scouting?

In that case, yes, I suppose you could label it as a YM activity.

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You can go with the relabeling if you're really intent on doing this. But be very diligent about collecting permission slips that fully inform the parents about the risks of paintball. Make sure no one participates without having a permission slip, and make sure the activity plan is filled out and signed well before the activity.

Also, make sure you review the Handbook chapter on activities, that says such things as "Activities should involve minimal risk of injury or illness to participants." and then goes to include "Activities that have a high risk of injury or illness" in its list of unapproved activities.

I understand that different people have different interpretations of what 'high risk' means, but you need to decide if paintballing is consistent with that policy. Here's a sample of a paintballing waiver you can use as an example.

http://www.cousinspaintball.com/pdf/waiverform.pdf

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Also, make sure you review the Handbook chapter on activities, that says such things as "Activities should involve minimal risk of injury or illness to participants." and then goes to include "Activities that have a high risk of injury or illness" in its list of unapproved activities.

Hmmm...no more driving to Church functions, then. It's far more dangerous than even a lot of "extreme" sports.

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Climbing may not have been the greatest example. Paintball may be better. BSA prohibits paintball. Easy way around that is ym activity

There's nothing about paintballing that gets you any credit for Scouts. So, why would you want to do paintballing as a Scouting activity?

You can have a YM Activity that is not a Scouting Activity. Like going to the pool for a Birthday Party is not a Scouting Activity so there's no reason to have to relabel because you don't call Birthday Parties a Scouting Activity in the first place.

But a swimming event at the pool to earn merit badges is a Scouting Activity. Relabeling it a YM Activity because you don't have scout leaders who can go is not a good idea.

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Hmmm...no more driving to Church functions, then. It's far more dangerous than even a lot of "extreme" sports.

I'd love to see you come up with justification for that statement. Please submit your findings in accidents per person hour of each activity with adjustment for hours of experience doing the activity.

But you're still missing the point. The purpose for all the forms and hoops to jump through is to maintain liability coverage for the organization and for you. Part of gaining that liability coverage is making sure that the proper safety precautions are in place. The Church even goes so far as to encourage using commercial transportation when feasible.

I'd really recommend reading chapter 13 of Handbook 2 before deciding if this is an activity you want to do as a young men group. But I can tell you this, if I were a ward leader and the young men proposed this idea, I'd say no without hesitation.

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