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RE: [Ayreton] Background checks for Youth people

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  • Mike C. Baker
    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
    Message 1 of 12 , Apr 19, 2007
      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 generalist.
      (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 USA...)
      Adieu, Amra / ttfn - Mike / Pax ... Kihe

      Mike C. Baker
      SCA: al-Sayyid Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri al-Amra, F.O.B, OSCA
      "Other": Reverend Kihe Blackeagle PULC (the DreamSinger Bard)
      Opinions? I'm FULL of 'em
      alt. e-mail:
      KiheBard@...  OR MCBaker216@...
         Buy my writings!:   http://www.lulu.com/WizardsDen

      From: Ayreton@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Ayreton@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Teleri
      Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2007 11:44 AM
      To: Ayreton@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [Ayreton] Background checks for Youth people

      How 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 appropriate credentials?

      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 youth activities.
      Do 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?
      What 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"? 
      If 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.
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