Eight Scout leaders completed youth protection training Jan. 4 at a course held at the China Baptist Church.

The course is required annually for all leaders who work directly with Scouts, according to a news release from Chuck Mahaleris, district vice chairman for the Kennebec Valley District of Scouting.

Those completing it included Matthew Bodine, Ronald Emery, Aiden Pettengill, Samuel Boynton, Scott Adams and Priscilla Adams, all of China; Luanne Chesley of Vassalboro, and Brian Wedge of Belgrade.

Joe Poulin of Oakland, the training chair for Pine Tree Council, led the program.

“Being a leader in the BSA is a privilege, not a right. The quality of the program and the safety of our youth members call for high-quality adult leaders. Each adult leader must agree to undergo a criminal background check and annually complete the Youth Protection Training course either online or in person. Before we can take Scouts camping or teach them how to tie knots, we have to make sure they are in safe hands,” said Poulin.

Scout leaders are mandatory reporters if abuse is suspected and should take the following steps to reporting child abuse:

• Ensure the child is in a safe environment;
• in cases of child abuse injury or medical emergencies, call 911 immediately;
• in addition, if the suspected abuse occurred in the Scout’s home or family, you are required by state law to immediately report/contact the local child abuse hotline; and
• Notify the Scout executive or his/her designee. If he/she cannot be reached, call the 24/7 Scouts First Helpline at 1-844-726-8871 or email scoutsfirst@scouting.org.



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