Home » Parents & Leaders Background Clearances Needed for All Summer Camp Programs

Parents & Leaders Background Clearances Needed for All Summer Camp Programs

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All Parents and Leaders attending New Birth of Freedom Council Summer Camp Programs in 2016 must submit all applicable, PA-mandated Child Abuse Clearances in order to attend.

Non-Pennsylvania Residents

All adults who are non-Pennsylvania residents attending any New Birth of Freedom Council summer camp program must comply with the child abuse clearance requirements of their home state.  To simplify this process as much as possible, units are asked to compile all of the home state clearance documents (if any, that are applicable in your state) for all leaders and parents over 18 years of age who will be attending camp and submit copies of them in a single batch to the council’s Camping Service at least two weeks prior to arrival at camp.

Please include a Unit Roster listing all parents and leaders that will attending camp with your unit.  Please use the Unit Roster form that can be found in your Leaders’ Guide, making sure to list the name of the camp and the dates or session your unit will be attending.

All of these documents may be scanned and emailed to sharon.gochenauer@scouting.org (preferred method) or paper copies may be mailed to Camping Services, New Birth of Freedom Council, 1 Baden Powell Lane, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050.

Pennsylvania Residents

All adults who are Pennsylvania residents attending any New Birth of Freedom Council summer camp program must comply with the child abuse clearance requirements of Pennsylvania.

  • Out-of-Council Parents and Leaders: All out-of-council units are asked to compile all clearance documents for all leaders and parents over 18 years of age and submit them in bulk at least two weeks prior to camp. See the information below on how to obtain each of the required Pennsylvania clearances.

To simplify this process as much as possible, units are asked to compile all of the clearance documents for all leaders and parents over 18 years of age and submit copies of them in a single batch to the council’s Camping Service at least two weeks prior to arrival at camp. Please include a Unit Roster listing all parents and leaders that will attending camp with your unit.  Please use the Unit Roster form that can be found in your Leaders’ Guide, making sure to list the name of the camp and the dates or session your unit will be attending.

These may be scanned and emailed to sharon.gochenauer@scouting.org (preferred method) or paper copies may be mailed to Camping Services, New Birth of Freedom Council, 1 Baden Powell Lane, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050. Please use the unit roster found in your camp Leaders’ Guide, listing the name of the camp and the dates your unit will be attending

  • New Birth of Freedom Council Parents and Leaders ONLY: All in-council units are asked to compile all clearance documents for all leaders and parents over 18 years of age and submit them via http://tinyurl.com/qc6fhfm as soon as possible, but no later then two weeks prior to arrival at camp. Please see the information below on how to obtain and submit your clearance documents.

Once all three clearances have been submitted for each individual, that person will be issued a New Birth of Freedom Council proof of clearances certificate (which includes a personal code number) indicating that all mandated clearances have been received. Please use the unit roster form found in your summer camp leader’s guide, listing the name of the camp and the dates your unit will be attending. On the unit roster, please add the personal code for each parent and leader attending summer camp in the appropriate space on the form.

Who is a Mandated Reporter of Child Abuse?

All BSA-registered volunteers, parents, and leaders attending summer camp, and all other persons over the age of 18 are mandatory reporters. The law requires direct reporting from the individual suspecting or witnessing child abuse immediately. After reporting the suspected abuse to the state, the individual shall also contact the council’s Scout Executive at (717) 843-2042. The Commonwealth has created a portal for reporting purposes at www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis or (800) 932-0313.

Pennsylvania Background Clearances Questions:

Question 1: Who is required to comply with the new Pennsylvania law

Answer: All parents and leaders attending summer camp who are residents of Pennsylvania.  Adults driving Scouts to camps may also need the PA-mandated clearances, depending on their circumstances.  For instance, if one parent asks another parent (parent-to-parent) to drive their son to camp, then the PA clearances are NOT required for that driver. If, however, a carpool is organized or drivers are recruited by the unit’s registered leaders, then clearances are REQUIRED for drivers. 

Question 2:   Whose responsibility is it to ensure that all necessary background check clearances are obtained?

Answer: It is the shared responsibility of the unit leader bringing the group to summer camp, the unit committee chair and chartered organization representative, to ensure that compliance is handled before attending summer camp

Question 3: What clearances must be submitted, how long will it take to submit,  what is the cost and what is the process to submit each type of clearance application?

Answer: Leaders and parents who are PA residents and will be attending summer camp must provide the following three clearances.

  • Report of Criminal History from the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), cost – free, 10-15 minutes online to complete. state.pa.us/Home.jsp
  • Child Abuse History Clearance from the Department of Human Services, cost – free, 20-30 minutes online to complete. compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home
  • Fingerprint-based FBI criminal history clearance submitted through the Department of Human Services, cost – $25.75, 5-10 minutes online and 10-15 minutes at the fingerprinting location*. pa.cogentid.com/index_dpwNew.htm
    • *Special note to save $25.75 Pennsylvania volunteers and parents who have resided in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the past 10 years continuously can submit a Disclosure Statement Application for Volunteers in lieu of the fingerprint-based FBI Clearance.

Question 4:  What do the forms look like that are accepted by the Council?

Criminal History from PSP:

Child Abuse History:

Fingerprint-based FBI criminal History clearance:

*Disclosure Statement Application:

Question 5:  How long are they valid and long does it take the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to process the clearances?

Answer: Clearances obtained are valid for 60 months. Many of the clearances submitted on-line (PSP and DHS) come back within a few minutes. However, the FBI fingerprint-based clearance will require you to go to a site, such as UPS store, with the code you will receive after starting the process and paying the required fee on-line, to have your fingerprints scanned.  It may take as long as several weeks for these results to be returned to the individual by mail.

All parents or leaders planning on attending summer camp are strongly encouraged to begin the process of obtaining the required clearances as soon as possible to avoid any issues in being able to attend camp.

Question 6: How to Submit Clearances to the New Birth of Freedom Council

Answer: Leaders and parents who are Pennsylvania residents from the New Birth of Freedom Council attending summer camp are to upload copies of their required documents to the New Birth of Freedom Council Background Clearances System. In order to ensure that your files are properly received and recorded, please secure all your documentation before visiting this site and upload all of your files at the same time. Clearances obtained for other volunteer or employment organizations may be submitted if they are current and meet the guidelines.

Upload your clearances at http://tinyurl.com/qc6fhfm. It is recommended you install a .pdf converter to allow you to print the reports and upload them to the Background Clearances System. Free .pdf converters are available from CutePDF and PrimoPDF.

Resources for Additional Information

Question 7: What will happen if a leader or parents arrives at camp without the camp having received their required clearance documents? Will the clearance documents be returned?  

Answer: Complying with Pennsylvania state law is not at the discretion of the New Birth of Freedom Council or the Camp Director and we are not able to make any exceptions. The camp will direct leaders and parents to the online services (if available), to complete and receive back the required clearances documents before being permitted to check in to camp.  Those leaders or parents who are required to provide the FBI fingerprint-based clearance will not be permitted to remain in camp and until all of the required documents are obtained.

Please only submit copies or scans of your clearance documents as these will not be returned after camp.

Question 8:  I am a leader or parent from the New Birth of Freedom Council.  How will I receive my proof of clearances from the council?  Who do I contact with any questions?

Answer:  If the council has received a valid e-mail address from the leader or parent, the proof of clearances will be e-mailed to the individual.  If a valid e-mail address is not available, the proof of clearances will be mailed to the individual.

Please contact Mitzi Perry at (717) 827-4576 or mitzi.perry@scouting.org with any questions or for assistance with obtaining and submitted the PA-mandated clearances.