The Green Crew Environment Is Committed to Creating a Safe Place for All Youth
Every adult involved will have a background check and be trained in our
Protecting youth from harm is a critical component of creating a safe environment for learning, leading, and positive impact. The Green Crew is committed to protecting youth from discrimination, bullying, and abuse. [You can learn more about our efforts to make the Green Crew free of discrimination and bullying here.]
We have partnered with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for the programming of our leadership team. One aspect of the leadership we are incorporating is the BSA’s youth protection program (YPT). The BSA program, which has been designed, deployed and tested to create barriers to inappropriate and predatory behavior.
The Green Crew YPT program expands the BSA YPT program to cover every adult and youth involved as a participant, member, leader, or volunteer. Aspects of the program include mandatory background checks and required training. Additionally, there are program rules and policies to guide interaction among and between youth and adult volunteers.
Mandatory Background Checks
The Green Crew takes great pride in the quality of our adult leadership. Being a consultant or advisor of the Green Crew is a privilege, not a right. The quality of the program and the safety of our youth members call for high-quality adult leaders.
The Green Crew has a multilayered adult leader selection process that includes criminal background checks administered by a nationally recognized third party and other screening efforts. The adult application requests background information checked by the Green Crew Committee of adult advisors and the Izaak Walton League MN Valley Chapter’s Youth Program Oversite Committee.
While no current screening techniques exist that can identify every potential child abuser, we can reduce the risk of accepting a child abuser. Our application and background checks inform us about a adult applicants. We seek to learn about their experience with children and motivations for volunteering.
All Green Crew youth over 18 and adult and youth over 18 will be required to take Youth Protection Training. This online training course is required before participation in any activities, meetings, or events. During Crew Committee meetings we will review elements of the training. Youth Protection Training must be taken every two years, and any member or volunteer over the age of 18 who is not currently in their training will not be eligible to participate in a Green Crew function.
There are additional training modules (with corresponding policy requirements) in digital privacy, social media guidelines, and youth-on-youth abuse. There are an adult and youth versions of each of these training.
Program Rules and Policies
There are rules and policies which come from the YPT, which are followed by the Green Crew. Among these are:
Two Deep Leadership: One of the requirements associated with YPT the Green Crew’s adoption from the BSA is that there is no one-one communication or contact between an adult (over 18) and a youth (under 18). This includes communication on Zoom, email, or in person. There must always be at least two adults. This protects both the youth and the adults. One of the adults must be the gender of the youth. So if the group of youth is mixed gender, then the adults must be as well.
Sleeping Arrangements: On overnight trips, there are no mixed gendered sleeping arrangements. Furthermore, the age gap between youth sharing a tent must be two years or less. This means no 17 years older youth are sharing a tent with 15-year-old youth. Even though the program considers a 19-year-old a youth member of the Crew, the YPT treates the 19-year-old an adult and would not be in a tent with a 17-year-old.
All persons involved in the Green Crew shall report to local authorities any good-faith suspicion or belief that any child is or has been physically or sexually abused, physically or emotionally neglected, exposed to any form of violence or threat, exposed to any form of sexual exploitation, including the possession, manufacture, or distribution of child pornography, online solicitation, enticement, or showing of obscene material. Our adult volunteers will not abdicate this reporting responsibility to any other person.
Every adult involved in the Green Crew is a mandatory reporter. Any suspected violation of the YPT will be reported to the authorities, the leadership of the Green Crew, and the BSA hotline. Reporting to the leadership of the Green Crew and the BSA will never replace reporting to the authorities. Our focus will always be on maintaining the safety of the youth involved.