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City starting a troop/crew, costs, problems?

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  • City starting a troop/crew, costs, problems?

    If a city was to sponsor a scout troop or venture crew as part of its youth activities, how much does that usually cost other than providing a place for people to meet, maybe some binders, pens, paper? What about the city being sued for being noninclusive, how likely is that and what is the probably outcome? Has anyone done something like this recently?

  • #2
    The city probably has meeting and storage space that could be used, so da cost is minimal. Beyond that, we critters off in internet land can't give yeh legal advice, eh? And nothing that I or anyone tells yeh should be considered any form of legal advice or opinion, just our random speculation.

    Depending on your local community and state statutes, the city might have a lawsuit risk. Yeh do, after all, live in da State of the Fruits and Nuts, eh? . Most good attorneys would advise the city that the risk is real and advise against it. But attorney advice is just advice, eh? How great that risk is just depends on your community, eh? The city council and officials know their community and are tasked with representing it, and sometimes representing your community means taking reasonable risks on their behalf.

    How they manage that risk is also up to da city. Yeh can just do it and then spin the unit off to someone else if a suit materializes from someone who has cognizable standing. Yeh can take a good look at other programs da city sponsors and set things up so that yeh have a good case for public benefit, along a church-state partnership model and/or equal treatment model. Yeh can try to line up a special interest firm to be a white knight to help yeh fight any suit that comes up. I would think it'd be best to think about it a bit.

    An alternative to the city is to have da local chamber of commerce or community foundation sponsor a unit, and then just promote 'em through city channels or as individual councilmen or city workers.

    Another alternative is to sponsor an Explorer Post instead of a traditional unit.

    Another option is to start some other type of outdoors club through your parks department, either on your own or in partnership with someone like Campfire USA.

    Lots of ways to skin a fish.

    Beavah

    Beavah

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    • #3
      Gee, look at all the gymnastics you have to go through, when just dropping the discriminatory rules would accomplish the same thing.

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      • #4
        "If a city was to sponsor a scout troop or venture crew as part of its youth activities, how much does that usually cost other than providing a place for people to meet, maybe some binders, pens, paper?" A great part of Scouting is camping. Some camp and cooking gear is provided by the troop, and therefore, the city. Your adult leaders will need proper uniforms, and to attend training. You will also need to provide transportation to campsites and other Scout functions.

        "What about the city being sued for being noninclusive, how likely is that and what is the probably outcome?"
        Very likely. Search "BSA learning for Life police and fire"

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        • #5
          Well, I think once a scout troop gets up and running it's pretty self sustaining and can fundraise to cover its costs. I used to raise several hundred dollars a year by working various fundraisers back when I was a Scout, because my family was poor and that was the only way I'd be going to summer camp, etc. The problem I see is starting a new troop, where nobody really has anything yet. Anyway...

          I thought Explorer posts didn't exist anymore, that it was just regular Boy Scout troops and Venture Crews?

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          • #6
            Explorers still exist, but under the name of Learning for Life. The BSA founded LFL to counter the gay/atheist thing with Fire/Police charters. See, LFL doesn't have that requirement for membership. Our local police dept has an Explorer post, but its really LFL. This allows LFL to have gay and atheist members. But its still owned by the BSA. Go figure.

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            • #7
              Gern,
              Actually L4L was started prior to the Exploring/Venturing split, sometime in the early to mid 1990s if memory serves. It's purpose was to basically convert "in school scouting" units to a program that avoided the "3 G's of Scouting," problems and allow public schools with a character development program.

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              • #8
                I spent a while looked at that Learning for Life program. It looked basically like all the other programs that try to motivate kids. The laughably cheesy "choices game" for high school students was the final straw -- I don't really see why any high school students would voluntarily be a part of the Learning for Life program unless it was mandated by the school or something like that. I mean, if it even did a tenth of the "cool stuff" that Scouting does, then it might be interesting, but it seemed pretty dry and boring. It was rather reminiscent of those TV specials starring 30-year olds wearing neon-colored clothes with lasers strobing in the background while bad educational poetry is recited to the accompaniment of a thumping beat in order to "relate" to kids and "engage" them while attempting to educate them. Part of the nature of Scouting is that kids are given "ice cream" with all sorts of "vitamins" hidden away inside -- Learning for Life strips away all the ice cream.

                If you're going to be putting in all those hours of community service, you should join Interact where you can apply for all those amazing Rotary scholarships, or do it with your church so that you receive blessings from your God, or, or... Learning for Life seems like it's only going to help those kids that are "good enough" to not need the help in the first place.

                I don't know, maybe there's a lot more to it that the website just didn't show (the website was pretty sparse on actual information), but from everything that I've seen so far, I'm not going touch Learning for Life with a 10' pole.

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                • #9
                  Aren't units formerly known as vocational Explorer units, now LFL units?

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                  • #10
                    They are Explorer posts, which are LFL units.

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                    • #11
                      Beavah will attempt to downplay the constitutional problems with city governments violating the first amendment by owning and operating a youth group that discriminates on the basis of religion, but he isn't risking anything.

                      The BSA itself states that government entities are NOT suitable chartering organizations for troops, crews, etc.

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                      • #12
                        I don't see how that would violate the first Amendment. You're probably looking at the, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." part, right?

                        Well, 1) This isn't Congress. 2) No mention is made regarding any establishment of (established, or organized) religion. In fact, you don't even need to belong to a religious establishment, you just have to be religious. 3) No prohibition is established no any free exercise of religion. Every religion believes in at least one "God", whatever that God is to a religious person. Boy Scouts doesn't define it. I don't see how a Boy Scout troop that was chartered by a city could possibly violate the First Amendment.

                        Now, talking about the right "to petition the Government for a redress of Grievances." Given that normal citizens may not sue the Federal Government (only States may sue the Federal Government as an entity), I think the First Amendment has had a part of it broken already, but that's another quarrel.

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                        • #13
                          Actually if memory serves, at the time of the US Constitution being written and adopted, several states did have state religions. Hence the wording was to forbid Congress from creating a national religion.

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                          • #14
                            I'm confused about Merlyn's talk about discriminating "by religion." Scouting's points include reverence, so I assume any real atheist would have little interest in joining the BSA, the others just $eeking law$suit$.

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                            • #15
                              BH: I think it's pretty clear, that -- because of recent court decisions -- the city, or the unit it charters, would attract scrutiny that may get in the way of running program. (We might want it to be different, but like you said "that's another quarrel" that, if you form a crew, can be fodder for an ethical controversy.)

                              I'd go for the chamber of commerce alternative that Bevah suggests. You seem to see a need for a Crew and/or Troop in the community. And that 13 - 20 age range naturally has a lot of direct interaction with local businesses anyway.

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