BPSA Covid Update, Wednesday June 16, 2020

With many areas re-opening and different levels of Covid risk across the country, please follow your local guidelines in deciding when and how your scouting in groups might resume.  As a baseline, the CDC has helpful guidelines here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/activities.html

In addition to following local guidelines, please also consider different people’s risk comfort levels and the current strain on families – the other volunteers that help your group function.  Asking folks to participate, whether in planning or even just showing up, may be a relief from isolation, but may also be a much larger burden than usual.  In keeping with our pledge to inclusivity, please also make sure you are respecting different levels of risk and exposure tolerance within your group. This may manifest in greater vigilance in distancing, mask wearing, etc., offering alternate, on-line contact, meeting in much smaller groups, etc.

BTCs are subject to very specific case-by-case need and availability.  For new groups who have applied for charters, the National Training Committee and HQ are working on a plan so that they may begin their scout groups. For other BTC needs, please contact your Regional Commissioner.

 

We also have an updated Child Protection Policy that includes guidelines for having on-line meetings and other “distance scouting”.

Youth Ethics and Protection Policy: Electronic Communications

The BPSA-US national Youth Ethics and Protection Policy states that “one-on-one contact between organizational leaders and youth is prohibited within the BPSA-US and the TPL [Two Person Leadership] practice must be followed without exception.” In an effort to make the TPL policy explicit in our digital communications, BPSA-US has adopted this addendum.

Electronic and Telephone Communications with Children

Scouts use several forms of contact to communicate and connect, including telephone, email, text, computer chat, video, and all similar technology. In an effort to clarify these communications in the context of our Youth Ethics and Protection Policy, see the following guidelines.

Children Under age 12 (Otters, Timberwolves, and young Pathfinders)

  1. No adult leader or adult scout shall communicate directly via email, text, or similar technology with any youth scout member. All communications will be directed to a parent or responsible adult guardian on record.
  2. If a youth scout sends a message to a scout leader or adult, that leader or adult will direct any reply to the scout’s parent or responsible adult guardian on record.
  3. Exceptions may be made to this policy in regard to private reports of suspected abuse.

Children Aged 12-17 (Pathfinders)

  1. Adult leaders or adult scouts may communicate directly via email, text, or similar technology with youth scout members, but ALL messages MUST also be copied (cc’d, group text, etc.) to the youth scout’s parent or responsible adult guardian on record.
  2. If a youth scout sends a message to a scout leader or adult, that leader or adult will reply to the scout, AND INCLUDE the scout’s parent or responsible adult guardian on record to the message, email, or conversation.
  3. Exceptions may be made to this policy in regard to private reports of suspected abuse.

The final version of this Addendum was approved by a majority vote of the BPSA-US Board of Directors on May 8, 2020.

The full text of the Child Protection Policy can be found in this Google Document.