Boy Scout leaders detail safety for scouts - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Boy Scout leaders detail safety for scouts

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FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - The Boy Scouts of America is an organization going back 102 years, but keeping our children safe is a parental instinct going back millions.

After coming under fire following the release of the Ineligible Volunteers List, local Boy Scout leaders are speaking up, asserting the safety of their program.

"Youth protection is paramount," said Scout Executive Barry McDonald. "We're going to do everything we can to take care of our scouts."

McDonald says all scout leaders and volunteers are required to not only undergo background checks, but also has to take youth protection training programs every two years, which detail the guidelines each scout troop has to follow.

"No one-on-one contact, being aggressive in making sure these rules are enforced," he said.

McDonald says if a volunteer or leader doesn't complete the course within two weeks of the required time, the entire troop administration is notified. If they don't complete it after that, they are no longer eligible to participate with the Boy Scouts.

"We not only have a moral obligation," McDonald said. "We have a legal obligation."

Scout Leader Amanda Graham has participate with the scouting program for 4 years. She has a unique perspective into the training program, because she's also employed with the Department of Social Services.

"Most of the children I deal with don't have an adult to go to tell that something's going on," Graham said. "In scouting, every leader makes sure a child knows they are there for them."

The Boy Scouts of America have come under fire recently after an Oregon judge made public a record known as the Ineligible Volunteers List, but it has become more commonly known as the "Perversion Files."

The list contains the names of scout leaders who have been accused of sexual abuse towards scouts in their troops.

McDonald said the Pee Dee Area Council could not comment on the list, or events that have transpired in the past. But, he said the youth protection programs put forth by the BSA are constantly evolving, to ensure the safety of all scouts for the future.

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