Youth Policy Frequently Asked Questions
Q) The "new" youth policy PDF is dated May 6, 2004. Is this the correct date and policy?
A) Yes, the Curia put the Youth Policy in effect in May as noted. This was the
first standalone youth policy for our kingdom and is similar to policies put in effect in other kingdoms.
Q) Section b-ii states that Coordinators of 4-8 year olds activities must have one assistant for every five children. It also states in section e-ii that Coordinators of 9-17 year olds activities must have one assistant for groups of more than ten children. What if I have three five year olds and four nine year olds? Further, may I assume that the Coordinator, being an adult of over 18 years of age, counts as one of those adults, or do I automatically start off needing at least two adults?
A) The requirement is a minimum of two adults plus additional helpers depending on the number of children. If you have a mixed range of ages then you go to the lowest common denominator. So if you have 5 children, two adults are needed. If you have 6 to 10 children and any are 8 or younger then you need an additional helper (for the younger age groups helpers can be as young as 14). If you then have 11 children an additional helper is needed and so on. If you only have ages 9 and up then two adults are needed for up to 10 children. Coordinator must be at least 21 and additional helpers at least 18.
Q) In section b-vii, it states that parents of children 4-8 must check in periodically. Must they do this in person, or can they be contacted via cell phone?
A) Parents should check-in in person.
Q) In section b-viii, it states that Coordinators and staff may not strike or yell at a child. While I would never strike a child at all, may I assume that while I may not verbally upbraid a child, I can - 1) Call out loudly in general in an attempt to gain the attention of all the children, and 2) take a child aside to discuss, calmly, the situation? May I give a child a "time-out"? I will mention that Sunday-school teachers do this - at least, the Sunday-school teacher of my son does this.
A) You are correct in your interpretation. Time out from the activities would be acceptable for disruptive behavior, as would returning the child to their parents.
Q) Section b-xv, it states, "No lunch or snacks will be provided". May I offer to the parents that for an extra $5, an event-staff member will go to McDonalds and pick up a happy-meal for their child? In addition, how does this work out with so-called "Children's' Feasts", such as the one advertised for Crystal Ball this past weekend?
A) The statement on "No Snacks" was intended to indicate that we are not responsible for feeding the children/youth as part of activities. You are certainly able to offer children's feasts, or the Happy Meal lunch or have cookie decorating or making sugar paste subtleties etc. Parents are responsible for making suretheir children are fed and that any food allergy issues are addressed.
Q) In section b-xvi, it states "Daycare services will not be offered by groups." Can you clarify this statement?
A) The SCA does not provide any babysitting or daycare. No one can set themselves up as a merchant offering these services. Childrens and youth programs are SCA related activities suitable for young people. Parents are free to make their own private babysitting arrangements, you may also set aside an area where parents can form their own co-op for watching children.
Q) How do you handle bathroom breaks when you have only two adults and two adults are needed to take children to the restroom?
A) There are several options –
Q) On page 6 of the PDF, rule #5 says "non-SCA children must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian at all times" regarding demos. This impacts all our demos as an educational group. My barony holds weekend long girl scout demos, school demos, library and public demos where children interact with hands on activities - but their parents are not present. 30 parents are not going to take the day off to attend a school demo so their child can participate. Parents of girl scouts may sign a waiver, but the scout leader isn't the same as a legal guardian. This rule, as many of us understand it, would make these demos nearly impossible.
A) The policy on youth at Demos applies to Demos sponsored by a SCA group without a host organization. Where we are performing the service of demonstrating, teaching, etc. about the Middle Ages and the SCA for a hosting organization such as a school, scout troop, library or other related organization, then the host is responsible to insure that adequate supervision is provided for the children present. In this case the rules that govern the host organization apply.