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  1. BSA and United Way

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  2. To The Colors

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  3. Moral Values

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  4. Al Gore

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  5. Council-Politics

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • I am sharing my personal angle to why this particular incident most bothers me.  The policy or lack thereof, is gender neutral but its impact is not. The original concerns came from mothers and the people who handled their concerns poorly are fathers and  impacts are on sons. There's a lesson about gender relation to be learned here. Policies for good or bad do impact people differently, and I felt strongly the gender angle should not be missed especially in a gender-based organization. When I told the chief Commissioner this perspective before he agreed to review my incident report form, his response was "how could you!", i.e. saying that Council leadership had a sexist bent or a blindspot. He even demanded that I apologise.  But then he did the right thing by inviting the Executive to be at the meeting, personally invited the mother who brought forward the concern of children in distress to the meeting, offered her interpretor and had her letter translated and reviewed to assess the impact. That was the right thing to do, but a lot for a busy and understaffed Council leadership.  The bottom line is that BSA has a duty to do what all governance bodies do with a protective policy which is to deter the retribution and retaliation in the reporting process and make this point with all members that this is a part of their obligation in youth protection. The symbiotic culture in scouting communities makes this no-brainer concept more important not less, because leaders need to be a bit more self aware, as my leaders (from the CO to the Council) could have been more so and it would have helped to prevent a fiasco.  70 scouts and 10 leaders left to form a new CO, 6 months after I left. A lot of lives and friendships were disrupted, and the credibility of the Council was damaged and still not repaired. To this day, no one at the Council has said anything about non-retaliation policy, even acknowledging the standard. They probably worry about lawsuit issues and when I and others only care about good scouting.  If we're going to have a policy on Youth Protection, have a full policy! Enough said. Thanks for your help!          
    • Council executives (or at least some professionals in councils) have absolutely dismissed unit volunteers for non YPT related issues under the code of conduct. (Wear your uniform in a bar and see what happens.... even if you are not drinking alcohol or with scouts). I completely agree that the unit IH/COR/CC is the typical group (and correct group) to determine if any displine of a SM is required.  That said, I don’t buy that the lack of a YPT retaliation policy prevented the DE from acting.  There is no need to add additional rules in YPT.  If the DE really felt the volunteer needed to be dismissed, he could absolutely pursue it under the code of conduct harassed clause.   My belief is that he agreed that there was a YPT concern, the leader addressed it and the DE felt that was enough and the unit should handle the rest.  When the parent complained he said nothing I can do and pointed to a lack of policy so he wouldn’t have to defend his decision further.  
    • My barista, a senior, is my cookie contact. She hasn't been in the shop since she took my order. oh no! Maybe the cookie police have her in interrogation!
    • I think this confuses many people.  They presume that the "BSA hierarchy" will overule, supervise, correct, etc. unit leaders. I recognized a long time ago that the BSA is essentially a francise system.  The BSA provides the program and infrastructure for the chartered organizations to run their own program.  Local unit operations and volunteer supervision is entirely within the domain of the chartered organization.  The BSA does not get involved in unit operations unless there is a safety or youth protection issue.  Beyond that, the BSA really attempts to stay uninvolved in local unit management.
    • DE couldn't do it, but the Scout Executive can. And I can tell you in my experience, SEs will avoid getting involved in unit matters . Regarding this link: https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/controller/BSA_Whistle_Blower_Policy.pdf  Looks like it is for professionals. Do not know if the BSA really feels this way or if this is CYA, But I can tell you prior to 2013 when the document was created, whistleblowers were indeed retaliated against. they did it subtly. One guy I know was "promoted" to Scout Executive. Yep he went from being a DFS with 2 FDs, 1 DD, and 8 DEs under him to a Scout Exec with 1 FD and 4 DEs underneath him. Another whistleblower was "promoted" from DE to DD. The DE position that was suppose to report to him was vacant, so he had deal with that vacancy. And in addition to the assigned council duties, he also got the vacancy's council events AND the finance director's, who was fired, duties. He stayed long enough for  his kid to be born, and then left as soon as he could. 
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