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April is Youth Protection Month

Youth protection and child abuse is a difficult topic to raise and discuss with parents, unit leaders and the youth we all serve. However, it is a topic that we as a Scouting Community need to raise and discuss openly so as to ensure appropriate measures are in place to protect our youth in the packs, troops, crews, and posts we serve. We need to raise the awareness of our parents and youth so that they recognize the warning signs and make it more difficult for those with ill intent from attempting to gain access to our youth.  
 
It’s interesting to note, and probably not just coincidental, that in 1986 the Boy Scouts of America declared war on child abuse calling it unacceptable in America (along with hunger, illiteracy, teenage unemployment and drug abuse.)  For almost 30 years we have said it’s wrong and we have the ability to do something about it! For 30 minutes a year, from the comfort of your personal computer, you can keep up to date with our constantly improving Youth Protection policies and refresh your knowledge and awareness of existing policies. Certification of leaders is required for successful and timely unit rechartering every year.  
 
I am asking all units leaders and Chartered Organization Representatives  to  raise awareness about the Youth Protection policies, training and resources within your units through discussion with parents and youth.
  • Are your unit leaders presenting age-appropriate information once a year at a unit meeting to Scouts and their parents? We have videos, which have received national recognition, addressing this issue for every age group.
  • Are your units promoting the Cyberchip program to educate parents and the boys about safe usage of the Internet? T
  • Youth protection policy is covered in the front of every handbook and a Scout needs to review it with their parents, and as part of a unit program with their leaders.
We know how valuable you time is and would not ask for more of it if we didn’t truly believe this will make Scouts in your sponsored units safer.  Training does not prevent a person from abusing kids.  Training allows the rest of us to eliminate their opportunities to abuse youth
 
YOUth Protection, it begins with you!

Yours in the Scouting Spirit

Eric Anderson, Council Commissioner

544 Broadway, Massapequa, NY 11758 | (516) 797-7600
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