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Difference between Registered Adult vs. YPT Trained Adult for All Scout Activities

Hello Folks,

Can someone clarifies for me the difference between a registered adult vs. a YPT trained adult? BSA’s adult supervision policy is very clear - 'Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings ". But I’ve found some references and even guidance from my local district commissioner that one registered leader and a participating (YPT) Scout’s parent or another adult meets the two-deep leadership requirement Do you agree?

(See Youth Protection: 'Two-deep leadership' vs. 'no one-on-one contact')

From my experience as a Merit Badge Coordinator for my troop, each new merit badge counselor applicants must consent to a background check when submitting their application. Could the background check be the difference between a registered adult and vs. a YPT trained adult. Without the background check, an adult with a shady history can be YPT trained and slip through the safeguards because his/her history is unknown. Any thoughts?

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Here’s a link to the Index for the Guide to Safe Scouting: [Wait, wait for it]

Here’s a link to the section on Youth Protection and Adult Leadership:

Which reads:

"Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings. There must be a registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over in every unit serving females. A registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over must be present for any activity involving female youth. Notwithstanding the minimum leader requirements, age- and program-appropriate supervision must always be provided."

Don’t skip the linked FAQ as it does give some exceptions.

So, Scouting activity? Two registered adult members, over age 21, Youth Protection trained. Girl youth present? At least one of those adults must be female.

Lion and Tiger Adult Partners are not registered members of BSA - they have not paid a membership fee, have not undergone a criminal background check.

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Check with your Council professionals on what they consider a registered leader for purposes of two deep leadership. In my council, a Merit Badge Counselor does not qualify as a registered leader for any activity except working on a Merit Badge. If a Merit Badge Counselor, for example, wants to serve as the 2nd leader on a weekend camp out, they must be registered in a paid position.

I have heard people complain this is a money grab, however, a Criminal Background Check and processing of applications is not free. The adult leader’s registration fee covers the costs. Merit Badge Counselors are intended to be just that, not also serve as participating leaders for other activities.

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Pardon my ignorance but is there a reference to this that you can point to?

A registered adult is a registered adult. I get it, I can understand that some units were bypassing fees and registering adults as counselors but unless there’s some adult membership fees going to the council, your council was not losing money with this, just losing out on additional income.

It was a statement by the Scout Exec for my Council when he was asked. Councils can set YPT policies that exceed those of the National Council. That’s why I said to check with your Council staff.

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You are correct, they can set policies that exceed Nationals, but that policy does nothing to exceed the policy, it only serves to increase paid membership.

A Merit Badge Counselor must undergo a criminal background check, must have completed YPT to apply and must be current when they annually renew their status. The only difference here is paid versus unpaid.

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Arguably, the policy also forces chartering organization representatives to review the adult leader application for anyone who will serve as a designated adult leader at a unit event. I don’t actually support the policy that @edavignon’s council has implemented, but it does do more, at least in principle, than just a money grab.

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Going back to the original question:

Several changes were made to the BSA’s youth protection policies in late 2018. The Scouting Magazine article that you found was published prior to those changes.

Under the old youth protection rules, 2-deep leadership meant:

Two-deep leadership is required on all outings. A minimum of two registered adult leaders — or one registered leader and a participating Scout’s parent or another adult — is required for all trips and outings. One of these adults must be 21 years of age or older.

Under those old rules (no longer in effect), a parent of a participating Scout could be used as the second adult. A registered leader age 18-20 (for example: Assistant Scoutmaster or Assistant Den Leader) could also be used as the second adult.

Under the current youth protection rules:

Youth Protection and Adult Leadership: Scouting’s Barrier’s to Abuse
Adult Supervision

[2-deep leadership section] Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings. There must be a registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over in every unit serving females. A registered female adult leader 21 years of age or over must be present for any activity involving female youth. Notwithstanding the minimum leader requirements, age- and program-appropriate supervision must always be provided. (Youth Protection and Barriers to Abuse FAQs)

All adults accompanying a Scouting unit who are present at the activity for 72 total hours or more must be registered as leaders. The 72 hours need not be consecutive.

[No one-on-one contact section] One-on-one contact between adult leaders and youth members is prohibited both inside and outside of Scouting. (Youth Protection and Barriers to Abuse FAQs)

  • In situations requiring a personal conference, the meeting is to be conducted with the knowledge and in view of other adults and/or youth.
  • Private online communications (texting, phone calls, chat, IM, etc.) must include another registered leader or parent.
  • Communication by way of social media (Facebook, Snapchat, etc.) must include another registered leader or parent.

So two BSA registered adult leaders age 21+ are required for all Scouting activities, including meetings, with some limited exceptions as described in the Youth Protection and Barriers to Abuse FAQs. Other adults (YPT trained or not) no longer count as the second adult for 2-deep leadership purposes.

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Some chartered organizations have their own requirements for volunteers that have direct contact with youth. For example, we’re chartered by a Catholic parish, and they require all direct-contact volunteers to complete the Archdiocese’s youth protection training and undergo a separate criminal background check over and above the BSA’s requirements.

The end result for this is that, as the COR, I don’t accept anyone for two-deep leadership purposes unless they’re a registered leader in my units and I know they’ve completed both the BSA and the Archdiocese youth protection trainings.

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I understand that perspective, and I can see a lot of value to it. At the same time, it seems to me like that should be a chartering organization-level decision, rather than council-wide mandate.

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Just to take this one step further; If a Scout meets at a merit badge counselors home (perhaps to get a partial signed off) is the Scouts parent a “qualified” adult? In other words, if the Scout and a parent go to the counselors house is the two-deep requirement satisfied?

That issue is explicitly addressed in the BSA Barriers to Abuse FAQs to which @JenniferOlinger linked in her post above.

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Home
> Scouting Safely > Youth Protection and Barriers to Abuse FAQs

Youth Protection and Barriers to Abuse FAQs

Additional FAQ’s: General Health and Safety, Annual Health and Medical Record, Shooting Sports program, Family Scouting Information

Adult Supervision

Q: The Barriers to Abuse say that there must be two registered adults present for all Scouting activities and meetings. Does that include merit badge counseling? Fund-raising events?

A. Yes. However, the parent or legal guardian of the Scout may serve as the second adult. This parent or legal guardian does not have to be a registered leader.

Yup, must have missed it. Thanx!

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Anyone can take YPT. You are correct… the big difference is background checks and being covered under insurance by being registered with BSA.

I am a COR for two Catholic-sponsored Scouting units. BSA should work with the Catholic bishops to develop one set of youth protection requirements to avoid duplication We have lost potential Scouts for our units because parents don’t want to deal with the hassle of two sets of requirements. Ideally, the Catholic bishops should accept YPT, or perhaps YPT with additional requirements. The problem is that there is no uniform set of Diocesan youth protection requirements for all diocese, according to the Fr. Joe Powers, National Catholic Committee on Scouting (NCCS). NCCS needs to work with the bishops on this issue, so Catholic-sponsored Scouting units are not at a disadvantage in recruiting.
Jim Brown, SDIC, COR, T355 & P355

Parents who are not volunteer Scouters, they have to take diocese specific youth protection training?

I can’t speak for all dioceses, but in the Detroit Archdiocese, only registered volunteers are required to take the training. Of course, that applies to adults volunteering in any parish organization – Scouts, Dads Club, coaches, lunchroom volunteers, etc. I think just about every parent in the parish is in one organization or another, so pretty much everyone has gone through the training.

A couple of things to consider… There is no uniform set of Diocesan youth protection requirements because every state has their own set of youth protection laws – some of them are stricter than others, some more lax. Each diocese has to provide training that meets their state’s requirements.

Second, what is the difference between taking the BSA YPT and diocese YPT and “YPT with additional requirements”? Honestly, that sounds like exactly the same thing to me.

Third, all the YPT training is optional (though encouraged) for parents, as long as they don’t intend to be registered leaders. “Too many sets of requirements” is a cop-out for a parent that doesn’t really want to deal at all with Scouts. Two sets of YPT trainings and background checks is hardly a barrier to an adult that really wants to volunteer with Scouts BSA.

Finally, in my experience (which is with one parish in one archdiocese), Virtus training is required for every adult that volunteers with kids in the parish in any capacity – Scouts leaders, coaches, lunchroom and playground parents, volunteer library readers, Dads Club members, even the K of C now that our Scouts do some volunteer work with them. I don’t think there are any parents in the parish that haven’t taken the archdiocese-required training.

Is there a way to run a YPT report on the adults in our Troop? Would we need their membership # or some other details? TIA

Yes, your training chair or key 3 has access to the roster and YPT reports. It will not pick up adults who have a BSA ID and YPT but are not registered with the troop.