Nine Scouting leaders completed youth protection training Sept. 19 at the American Legion Post on Eastern Avenue in Augusta.

As stated in the Boy Scout Handbook, “Child abuse is a serious problem in our society, and unfortunately, it can occur anywhere, even in Scouting. Youth safety is Scouting’s No. 1 concern.”

Child abusers are out there and come in all shapes and sizes, and they too often are people youth know and trust. Scouting has the tools and information Scout leaders need to help them keep youth safe so they can enjoy the program, according to a news release from Chuck Mahaleris, district vice chairman for the Kennebec Valley District of Scouting.

Youth protection training is required annually for all registered volunteers of Pine Tree Council. It is valid for one year, after which a leader must take the training again to remain eligible to serve as an adult in Scouting.

Karen Norton of Harpswell, a member of the Council Training Team, led the course. Those completing the course were Becky Blais, Philippe Blais, Josh Demers and Douglas Mason, who are leaders in Augusta Cub Scout Pack 603; Charles Fergusson of Troop 609 in Windsor; Jeffrey Morton and Michael Fortin, both of Augusta Troop 603; Mahaleris of Augusta; and Kennebec Valley District Executive Michael Perry of Livermore.

The training, which is also offered online, will be provided in person several times this fall to ensure all leaders have an opportunity to learn how to recognize the signs of abuse, how to react, and to whom should they report. Scouting leaders are mandatory reporters in Maine.

 

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