Bob goes on to say…If you are approached by a Scout or Guide Group to help out with JOTA and/or JOTI, please consider saying yes. I would also like to point out that most States have laws relating to working with children, and I advise you to find out from your Scout Contacts what the rules are in your State or Territory. It’s better to do this well before the event to allow the process time to work.
Here in the UK the Scouting organisation has been painted as an organisation infiltrated with perverts and weirdos by both newspapers and popular myth. As a result many people are afraid to let their children join the Scouts and worse still those prepared to help out as leaders are being put off by the need to be vetted by the authorities and the stigma of being involved. The vetting procedure as I see does very little good as it only weeds out those who have been caught previously and makes a bag full of money for the Criminal Records Bureau while putting off good people with nothing to hide. It is not really surprising that people are afraid of the CRB checks as the process has already ruined peoples lives by throwing up false positives and mere application gives you a ‘criminal record’ with out being a criminal as you forego some of your rights and allow them to snoop into every aspect of you life. The stigma is something that requires strength of character to brush it off and an ability to educate those who are misinformed or bigoted. The checks are something that must be conceived as a necessary evil until we can change them. I would therefore plead with every radio amateur to help if you can but if not to show your support to an organisation that helps to mould young people into well rounded members of society, while many of their peers run wild.
One final note: I never was a Scout, I was ‘too cool’ for that, but I had family freinds who took us to do all those Scout type things and having helped with JOTA and talked to the Scouts and their Leaders I know I would have loved it. They might just have wanted me to cut my waist length hair; No way! If only I knew what would happen to my hair later in life.
Information about JOTA and JOTI can be found at www.scouts.com.au. Look under the International Menu Item. Check that site for updates regularly as the event comes closer.
JOTA-JOTI is on October 16-18.