My interests and contributions of service within the
SCA are such that I intend to make formal application for the personal
background check as soon as the Powers That Am finalizes the procedure.
I've run informal competitions for the youth of the Society in the area of
performance arts; I've assisted understaffed children's activity areas when
weather drove more than the expected level of participation (and the MoC
desperately needed a break); I tell stories, teach classes, and otherwise
support our non-adult participants in any number of ways; *AND* you'll
never see me turn down a chance to assist with a demo for the Cub Scouts if I
can work it into my schedule / resources.
Just hope they've somehow taken into account those of
us on-the-road as much as 99% of the year... for a number of reasons, my
permanent address is still in Texas and will be for at least the remaining
duration of my current membership. Which kingdom gets the hit to cover me,
the one where I'm physically spending 99% of my life or the one with my
"permanent" address? (Or will there be an option to allow individuals to
cover the cost of the check -- what I've seen up to now indicates nothing
particularly promising along that line of thought.)
The Society for Creative Anachronism is not alone in
combining youth and adult membership, plus casual participation, under the cover
of a single organization (participants, not just adult leadership and advisors
to a youth-centered group). We might consider also what has been done / is
being done in the NRA. HOWEVER, what is most germane to the SCA situation
is the SCA itself.
A few stray thoughts from a wandering
(Background information: I began as a herald at
the age of 8 -- because of Cub Scouts. It was another 11 or 12 years
before I even knew there was an SCA out here. I am an Eagle Scout, former
Cubmaster, etc. I was last *registered* as a Scout leader before the
requirement for background checks became policy -- I have adopted the SCA as my
current expression of the Scouting movement's ideals. And yes, my friends,
the BSA / GSA are *not* the only Scouting organizations in the
does this policy affect demos where our main audience is youth, or may
simply include them? Do we need to have a certain number of authorized,
background-checked youth officers at demos? Do we assume, or have to
check, that the sponsoring organization is providing supervision with the
How does this process work for
those of us who are not "expected" to be in charge of youth, but find
ourselves in that capacity anyway? Dance classes and balls frequently
attract teens and tweens, and I've had children down to about 4 show up.
Many of the older ones do not show up with obvious parents in tow. I
would guess that there are many A&S and other activities at events that
similarly would have youth participants even though they are not designated
I now have to start checking ages, parental supervision and ID's at the
door? Do I have to get a background check even though I am not a youth
officer? Do we need a deputy in charge of youth dance who can get
the background check instead?
is my liability? If I am one of the few people dealing with youth, but
not covered by the policy, how do I deal with a false accusation against
me? If some other adult treats a child inappropriately at a dance I am
running, am I suddenly liable, since I am nominally "in charge"?
we try and cover everyone in contact with youth, the process will be too
cumbersome; if we don't, it will have too many loopholes to be
effective. While I absolutely respect the idea of protecting our
youth, there is no particular assurance that this new
policy will have any significant practical effect in doing so. This
seems to me a case of increasing the bureaucracy of the Society, with no real
advantage to anyone in the end.