Frequently Asked Questions

Revised October 2018

 

All Scout units that are chartered to a Catholic parish or school in the Diocese of Camden will comply with diocesan regulations. The adult scout leaders will be background checked by the diocesan procedure and the parish or school will cover this expense. Scout units that are not chartered to a Catholic parish or school but meet on parish, school or other Diocese of Camden property will have their adult leaders background checked at their own expense and will provide proof of clearance to the parish or school Safe Environment Coordinator.

Adults in regular contact with minors will pass a fingerprint criminal history background check through the Diocese of Camden and will attend a safe environment training program called VIRTUS® Protecting God’s Children

All adults in regular contact with minors (contact at least twice per calendar year) will be in safe environment compliance. In addition, all adults on any overnight trip will be safe environment compliant.

Protecting God’s Children is a national program that is faith-based and involves adult interactive learning. Beginning July 1, 2018, all adults in regular contact with minors in the Diocese of Camden will attend PGC sessions. For more information: https://www.virtusonline.org 

While the Diocese of Camden recognizes and respects the BSA Youth Protection training, PGC is the safe environment program that scout leaders will attend. BSA Youth Protection is a program run by BSA for BSA to instruct leaders on protecting youth.  It is a membership requirement for Boy Scout adult leaders. This is a link that discusses BSA Youth Protection: http://www.scouting.org/Training/YouthProtection.aspx

The policy of the Diocese of Camden requires that employees and volunteers undergo and pass a criminal background check. It does not require “participants” to undergo a background check. If the 18-year-old Venture Scouts are participants, they do not need to be in safe environment compliance. If the Boy Scouts consider these 18-year-old Venture Scouts to be leaders and running activities, then they will need to pass the diocesan criminal history background check as soon as they turn 18 and will have to attend a PGC session.
If merit badge counselors are part of a troop or pack that is chartered to a Catholic parish in the Diocese of Camden, yes, they have to be in safe environment compliance according to diocesan policy. If merit badge counselors are not members of the troop or pack, they would need to be registered anyway with BSA (according to BSA policy) and have the proper training. In either case, BSA youth protection rules require that no scout is left alone with a merit badge counselor (or any adult leader other than their parent).
The non-Catholic parish unit will have their adult leaders background checked and cleared at their own expense and will provide proof of clearance to the parish or school Safe Environment Coordinator prior to the joint trip, e.g., completing a BSA adult application in time for the results to be processed by BSA and received before the overnight event takes place.
Since this situation would place the youth at unknown and undue risk, no scout unit that is chartered to a Catholic parish or school in the Diocese of Camden will sponsor or participate as a unit in this type of trip. Information may be made available to parents for them to register and participate as individuals with their children at their own discretion.
The answer to the first question is “No, it is not considered a joint overnight event.” The answer to the second question is “Yes, a unit may participate.” At Summer Camp or a Camporee, units occupy their own site and have their own leadership. This type of event is permissible. The “joint overnight event” question is referring to two units taking a trip as a single unity—shared leadership, sleeping accommodations (troops sharing a single site or cabin), food, activity, etc.