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Posts posted by NJCubScouter

  1. 9 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    It means, without god, all judgment is by man. Since man often disagrees with their neighbor, there is no objective guidance for behavior.


    We have had this exact same discussion several times, it probably is not necessary to have it again right now.

  2. 1 hour ago, ValleyBoy said:

    Also as adult leaders of the unit we have informed the unit committee that as leaders of the unit  we will hold this youth to the same requirements for advancement  as the other scouts when it comes to the subject  of the Pledge of Allegiance and any Flag ceremony that the Troop takes part in.     

    Does that mean he is required to salute the flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance even though his religion tells him not to?

    Just out of curiosity, does he wear the American Flag patch on his uniform?

  3. 12 minutes ago, Eaglein87 said:

    Poaching is actually illegal. Taking members from another group to their detriment not illegal. Troops compete for members already. Problem is decision to do such has caused GSA to file suit. Not thought out. BSA knew they had to grow membership after a 20% reduction and the solution was add girls. Just one other decision not fully vetted that may end up hurting rather than helping.

    Recruiting members from another group is not illegal.  Recruiting members from another group by using the other group's trademark is "illegal," not in the criminal sense, but in the civil sense.  That is what the lawsuit is about.  A court will eventually decide whether the BSA (and/or its councils) violated the GSUSA's trademark rights.  Or the BSA and GSUSA will reach a settlement.  That's how these things go.

    • Upvote 3
  4. 7 minutes ago, Hawkwin said:

    The leadership we currently have is not necessarily responsible for the failings of past leadership that resulted in so many sexual abuse cases. There may simply be nothing any competent leadership team can do to overcome that potential financial burden.

    I think that is true.  This situation does not necessarily show that current leadership is incompetent.  On the other hand, it doesn't show that they are competent, either.  :)  As I said before, if the BSA files, and after their schedules are filed, there will be a lot more information by which us, the general rabble, can evaluate (and argue over) what and who the problem really is, and was.   And eventually, when the BSA proposes to set up a fund to pay these sex abuse claims, which will result in lower payments than the plaintiffs are looking for, the plaintiffs' attorneys will have their say as well.  And if there are any other creditors who are going to get shorted, they will also have their say. 

    If the BSA does file, it is unfortunately going to be quite a spectacle.  A lot of council-approved popcorn will be consumed by the spectators.  It is not going to end up being a good thing for anybody.  But that's the way things go sometimes.

  5. 2 minutes ago, Eaglein87 said:

    Since you have experience in such matters would you say the financial situation should be somewhat dire to have to go down this road?

    Dire, yes.  For a business (which I assume would include a non-profit like the BSA) to file for any kind of bankruptcy, its assets would be less than its liaibilities.  The tricky part here is that when a substantial part of your debt is pending and anticipated claims for things that do not have a fixed dollar value (like pain and suffering, emotional distress and disability, etc.), what is your debt, actually?  It's an estimate, and different parties to the case may have an interest in doing different estimates.  Is Former Scout X's case eventually going to produce a recovery of $2 million against the BSA, or a recovery of zero because a jury decides that X's story is not credible?  (Which also makes it tricky to settle a case like that, although most are settled before trial.)  Add enough of those 2-million-$ (or more) swings together, and you see the problem of figuring out what your debts are.  It's much easier if your business has assets appraised at say $2 million but you have a bank loan of $2.5 million with no dispute as to the amount due, and overdue trade debt of $300,000, and no other debt.  You are insolvent and can file a Chapter 11.  If in the same scenario the bank loan is $500,000, you're not, and you can't.  But that's not even close to being the situation here.

  6. 8 minutes ago, Eaglein87 said:

    Can anyone confirm costs on Bechtel? Is it true that the cost is close to the total BSA endowment? Some articles out there claim such.


    "Costs are rising. Initially budgeted at $176 million through 2013, the Summit's cost is now estimated to reach at least $350 million by the end of this year and $439 million by the end of 2015"

    The sad part is, this is exactly what was predicted by some in this forum when this donation was accepted.  My recollection is that National thought they would get a good chunk of money by renting out the Summit for events, but there was that tax problem with the State of West Virginia and I am not sure how that got resolved, and I am not sure how much rental income there ended up being.  Not nearly as much as they thought, evidently.

  7. 42 minutes ago, Eaglein87 said:

    Can anyone comment on the ownership/relationship between Philmont and BSA National. Would Philmont be immune from divestiture brought on by Bankruptcy? How much funding does Philmont receive from BSA National? 

    It has always been my assumption that BSA National owns Philmont.  The question would be whether there is any "restrictive covenant" in the deed by which the property was transferred to the BSA, which seeks to control what the property can and cannot be used for, and what happens if the BSA no longer owns it. [Note after seeing Mashmaster's comment:  Ok, I was thinking in the right direction, but not far enough.]

    I see no reason why Philmont would be any more "immune from divestiture" than any other non-residential property owned by any other person.  (Residential property, meaning the home you live in, can be protected, unprotected or partially protected, depending on what state you are in, and the specific financial factors at work in that case.)  That's one of the main reasons to file a Chapter 11 - to try to keep your property while getting more time to pay your debts, and often to reduce certain kinds of debts. Sometimes it means that some property will be sold while other property is retained.  If you cannot get approval for a reorganization plan, or your reorganization fails for some other reason, you often end up in a "liquidating 11" in which all your property is sold and the proceeds are used to pay creditors.  That is what happened to Radio Shack and Toys R Us.  They originally filed for reorganization and closed some stores, with the intention of remaining in business as a smaller operation, but it didn't work out and they were liquidated.

    This is an area of law that I know something about, but I have been withholding general comment because (1) if I had a dime for every company or individual who "might file" but never does, I would be a rich man, and (2) you never really know what's going on until you see the "schedules" that are filed with (or shortly after) the bankruptcy petition.  They will list every asset and its value, every debt (both undisputed and disputed), every creditor (including those who have filed lawsuits that are still pending, though in the case of sexual abuse it may not list their full names and the amount of the claim will probably be listed as "unliquidated" - which means, by the way, that we would know how many of these lawsuits there are, which I don't think we know at this point), and either at the beginning or sometime later, every category of income with amounts, and every item of expense, with amounts.  This is likely going to be way more information than they put in their public annual financial reports, and way, way more than they would like to disclose..  That's one of the disadvantages to filing bankruptcy, you have to lay out your entire financial life for the public to see,  but it's all part of the "deal" in which you can get some relief from your debts and stay in operation.

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  8. 2 hours ago, John-in-KC said:

    First, a lot of people need to take Troop Committee Challenge, or whatever National is calling it this week.  Committees are not democratic bodies, they are consensus or chairman’s decision bodies, acting on program needs the PLC and the SM present. 

    It has been awhile since I took Troop Committee Challenge, but I just found a syllabus for it online, as well as a version of the Troop Committee Guidebook that is the 2000 printing, but I doubt the fundamentals of how the committee operates have changed since then.  They don't say that the committee MUST operate by voting, nor do they say the committee CANNOT operate by voting.  The only thing they say about voting is in the negative:  SM's and ASM's do not vote.  This implies that someone can vote, i.e. committee members, but it does not say what they get to vote on.  In fact, the chapter about committee meetings in the Troop Committee Guidebook is surprisingly brief and vague.  Someone in this forum once advanced the theory that the BSA intentionally leaves it up to each CO to decide how "democratic" the meetings will be, and in the absence of direction from the CO, how the committee operates is up to the committee itself.  I think that is correct.  In my troop committee, the committee almost always makes decisions by consensus, but I think that lurking in the background is the understanding that if there is no consensus on a given subject, there will be a vote.

    • Upvote 1
  9. 10 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    As for the BSA adding more adventure, I believe National figured it out. Badon Powell was wrong; scouting develops character and leadership simply by sending Scouts to Philmont once a year to backpack. That patrol method thing is a myth. Next year all troops are required spend a day at Six Flags. The Eagle is saved.

    Such cynicism in one so young.   :D

  10. 17 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    So, it was in the interest's of the BSA to find a way to refer to the program that: conveyed Scout, didn't tick off too many boys, encouraged as many girls as possible.

    I would add a fourth criterion:  That the new name did not open the BSA up to a very plausible claim of trademark infringement.  On that count it is a failure.

    • Upvote 1
  11. Latin Scot's DAC is correct about one thing:  A unit may not REQUIRE a "troop board of review" for Eagle, as the "preliminary" or "practice" EBOR's are called in my district.  I believe that was made clear in the most recent version of the G2A, or maybe the one before that.  I see nothing wrong with a troop OFFERING a "practice" EBOR, if it will make the Scout more comfortable.  I don't see how a DAC can prohibit it.  In fact, I don't see how a DAC, or any district committee chair, can issue any "mandates" to units, on any subject.  How are they going to enforce it?  

    Our troop has never done preliminary EBOR's and our Scouts always pass the actual EBOR's with flying colors.  It really is a celebration of what the Scout has done.  I have heard that there have been Scouts who do "fail" their EBOR's in our district, but I don't see how that happens based on the 15 or so that I have participated in for our troop.  The only somewhat "sour note" of any kind that I can recall was when one of our Scouts included in his life goals that if he ever had a son in the Scouts that he would volunteer to be an adult leader, unlike his own father who was an Eagle but never became an adult leader for his son's troop and never did anything to help out.  He wrote all that in the thing.  I don't think we asked him about it, because what was he going to say, and we were kind of stunned into silence by the fact that the kid had criticized his own father in his Eagle paperwork.  Kind of a gutsy move on the kid's part, and he wasn't wrong.

  12. I did not look back to see if I ever responded to this thread since it was started in 2003.  To my recollection my summer camps as a Scout were as follows:

    Allamuchy, Stanhope NJ (then Morris-Sussex Council, now Patriots Path Council) - 1972

    Ten Mile River, NY (both summer camp and TLD, the predecessor of NYLT) - 1973

    Philmont - 1974

    Masawepie (way northern NY state) - 1975

    It is possible that I went to camp as an 18-year-old ASM in 1976, but I don't remember.  If so, it probably would have been Allamuchy.

    (If there seem to be a couple of years missing, there are - for various reasons, including quitting for awhile, I did not go to summer camp in1969-71.)


  13. 20 minutes ago, cocomax said:

    Taking the Boy out of Boy Scouts seems to have caused a lot of trouble. . .

    We saw this coming a mile a way and pointed it out.

    They should have just called the girls program  "Boy Scouts for Girls".

    What exactly am I suppose call girl Scouts BSA troops now?

    By dropping "Boy" from the name "Boy Scouts" and forming a girls only program and keeping a boys only program we as scouters need some way to describe a troop as being a boys troop or a girls troop.  The most logical thing to do is to add the noun "boy" or "girl" in front of the new name "Scouts BSA" to tell people that I am talking about an all girl scout troop or an all boy scout troop. This is important to do when recruiting boys and girls to join a troop and this is also were we are going to get into a lot of trouble. 

    The only label I have so far to label a new girl "Scouts BSA Troop", is  "girl Scouts BSA Troop".

     It is only logical that scouters will just use the shorthand of "Scouts" (and drop BSA) within their units, but will commonly refer to all "girl Scouts BSA troops" as "girl Scouts" and other all "boy Scout BSA" troops as "boy Scouts". 

     "girl Scouts BSA" almost sounds like "Girl Scouts USA" . . .

    . . . and YES,  parents I have been talking to are very confused by all this, this is causing massive confusion already and the girl Scouts BSA units have not even started up yet. 

    What they should have done is come up with a completely new name for the age 11-17 program for girls, which is what they said (or at least strongly implied) when the changes to Cub Scouting were first announced about a year ago.

    But they didn't.  And they left us locals with an issue that, while its an issue, is not insurmountable.  We can say "female" instead of "girl."  It's awkward, but it's not a huge deal.  

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  14. 53 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    You don't think so! Hmm, I'm pretty sure a small mention of the male dominating program pushing the GSUSA around on the issue will bring out heavy artillery. Activism is looking for a fight. 

    Ok, we have different ideas about how worked up people (other than the parties and their lawyers) are going to get over a trademark dispute, but there's only one way to find out..

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