From: [email protected]
Subject: [outlands] Re: 5/19/2007 Society Revised Youth Policy
Date: July 16, 2007 10:12:16 AM MDT
To: [email protected]
Reply-To: [email protected]

Gunwaldt here, thanking Lady Jane for posting this policy.

I truely hope that there are none here surprised by the flavor of this policy. The organization has dictated how all kingdoms must act regarding minors because some kingdoms felt the need to create minor-only activities. Now security background checks are to be required, with the cost fed back to the kingdoms but the results are only a yes/no statement without any backing documentation. People trying to help can be "blacklisted" from participating with no recourse for the defamation. And now parents (and guardians) are co- opted as responsible parties for enforcing this intrusion of our modern world.

And yet a simple solution exists for the Outlands. Don't hold minor- only activities.

The SCA provides wonderful learning experiences for children of all ages, even those who think they are adults. What period activities are there that require an upper age limit? Storytelling? Handicrafts? Field or board games?

Without wishing to belittle any of those folk who have organized and executed 'youth activities', what I have seen has been little more than semi-structured babysitting. The setup is rigorous, with sign- in sheets and much haranguing about not complying with policies. Distractions are often modern toys. The overall intent seems to be to create a place where kids can be dumped off while the rest of the event goes on. Personally, I don't think this is a productive way to treat children of any age. Younger children want/need/deserve personalized attention. Teens are maturing adults and should not be herded and isolated from the everyday activities that we all conduct at an event. They deserve more respect than that even as they are learning how to show and understand respect.

So, just don't hold official 'minor-only' activities and we can avoid the adminstration and expenses and headaches of trying to structure what parents already have the responsibility for executing.

Father of three (now grown) children who have spent their entire lives in and around the SCA.
REVISED: VIII. Children's Activities

See Appendix A for additional guidelines for Youth activities in the SCA

A. Requirement: The "Two Deep" Rule. For all organized SCA activities for minors {known in the SCA as Youth Activities}, a minimum of two adults (at or above the age of legal majority in the state, province, or country in which the activity occurs), unrelated to one another by blood, marriage, or relationship, must be present. This policy does not relieve parents or guardians of their primary responsibility for the welfare and behavior of their children. Parents (or guardians) who bring minors to an event (as defined in Corpora) must ensure their children's activities are compliant with SCA Governing Documents, Laws, Policies, and site rules--to include any Kingdom--or event--rules regarding a requirement for minors 12 and under to be within sight/sound of responsible parent/guardian at all times. This policy is not subject to variance nor does it permit pre-existing non-conforming activities.

B. Authority: This policy is executed under the authority of the Vice President of Operations of the SCA, Inc., (Society Seneschal) and covers all events as defined in Corpora.

C. Enforcement: Individuals in charge of events are required to enforce this policy. If an activity begins with compliance, but the number of un-related adults present drops below two, the activity will cease at once and not resume until compliance is re- established. Persons in charge of events are required to report to their branch superior when non-compliance has been discovered.

D. Penalties for noncompliance:
a. Violation of the "two-deep" rule.
i. When activities with minors present are out of compliance, the official discovering the lapse will correct it immediately or terminate the activity. All lapses require a report of the incident to the official's superior. Under emergency conditions it is expected that persons in charge will act to ensure safety first and compliance second.
ii. Individuals who knowingly violate this policy will be banned from representing the SCA as an officer in the operations chain via administrative sanctions as described in Corpora Section X, and the Uniform Sanction Procedure.
b. Neglect of Parental (or Guardian) responsibility for minors:
i. If an event/branch/SCA officials find minors in breach of SCA Governing Documents, Laws, Policies, or site rules they will (for a first offense) escort the minors to their parent/guardian and issue a verbal warning. A report on the incident will be tendered to the Kingdom Seneschal.
ii. On a second offense at a given event, the parents(s)/guardian (s) will be required to keep their minor(s) with them for the remainder of the function. A report on the incident will be tendered to the Kingdom and Society Seneschal.
iii. On a third offense, the minor(s) *and* parent(s)/guardian (s) will be expelled from the event, and the matter will be reported to the Kingdom and Society Seneschals.
iv. Habitual offenders will be subject to review by Kingdom and Society level for possible sanctions.

Happier better links concerning children