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Youth Protection Champion

Hi Folks,
I am an Assistant Council Commissioner in the Cascade Pacific Council. I would like to learn more about the Youth Protection Champion program. Do you have this person at your Region, Area, Council, District and Unit levels? How many councils have adopted this program? How would I go about getting this started in my Council?

Thank you for any help you can provide.

Rev. Dr. Laura Schwerin

I took on the role of YP Champion for my district last year (I am vice chair for program). We felt it was pretty important given the transition to the new training. We did not find any specific materials to support the role, so I just flew by the seat of my pants. Here are a few things I learned:

  1. Getting the attention of unit leaders is not easy. I kept up a monthly drumbeat of email to the Key 3 membership in our units with information about their unit completion rates. I included information about how critical the new YPT was to protecting both their Scouts and leaders from potentially bad situations.
  2. Well communicated deadlines help, but only to a point. We trained 274 adults from the release of the training through August 31st, an average of 1.3 per day. With the expiration of YPT certification on September 30th, we were able to get another 179 (5.8 per day) before the end of the month.
  3. Using the charter renewal process was critical. Even with the deadlines, we still had about 230 untrained until we bit the bullet and forced units to drop untrained adults. This included the district committee and MBCs. As it stands today, we have a total of 9 expired leaders in two units at the same chartered org, and 96.4% of our adult leadership is trained.

This is just the first step to get everyone up to a minimum threshold. It was kind of a brute force approach, and we have more work to do to make this sustainable. I’d love to hear about approaches other districts or councils have taken.

Three years ago, we had rumors that our council was going to start requiring YPT every year. Then no one can expire while they are registered. The council dropped this, but our unit liked the idea. We turn in our recharter paperwork in December. If a leader has not completed YPT during the current year, they are not included.