During this month, you have the opportunity to understand the importance of prevention of emerging threats to youth. Youth Protection depends upon the shared involvement of everyone in Scouting.
What can you do? Have you done the following?
- Do you know your Youth Protection Champion? Contact your Youth Protection Champion at the unit, district, council, area, or regional level. For more information, see the BSA’s YP Champions web page at http://www.scouting.org/Training/YouthProtection/YPChampions.aspx.
- Ensure that you and others you know are Youth Protection–trained. For more information, see the BSA’s Youth Protection web page at http://www.scouting.org/Training/YouthProtection.aspx.
- Training is not limited to leaders; encourage parents and others interested to take it.
- Don’t forget to reconcile your training record with your MyScouting profile. For step-by-step instructions on how to do this, see the BSA’s YP Training How-To’s web page at http://www.scouting.org/Training/YouthProtection/howto.aspx.
- If you have Youth Protection training questions, contact your council Youth Protection Champion.
- Be an “upstander,” NOT a bystander, and get involved. For more information, see the BSA’s Bullying Awareness web page at http://www.scouting.org/Training/YouthProtection/bullying.aspx.
- An upstander is someone who recognizes, responds to, and reports bullying behavior.
- Targets of bullying behavior can become those who bully and target others. Stop the cycle before it begins.
- Brush up on internet safety. For more information, see the BSA’s Cyber Chip web page at http://www.scouting.org/Training/YouthProtection/CyberChip.aspx and National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) NetSmartz web page at http://www.netsmartz.org/scouting.
- According to NCMEC NetSmartz, “it is important that parents and guardians understand how children’s vulnerabilities may make them susceptible to manipulation by these predators.”
- Sex offenders/predators know to contact youth where there is little to no adult supervision—online.
- Cyberbullying—bullying can occur in cyberspace. Research indicates that about one-third of online teens (ages 12 to 17) have been cyberbullied; girls are more likely to be targeted.
Further, the BSA challenges you to not only acknowledge Youth Protection during the month of April, but every day of the year. Our youth are worth it. Remember…
Youth Protection Begins With YOU.