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Oak Tree

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Everything posted by Oak Tree

  1. From my days as a youth, I have the best memories of the Klondike Derbies that we participated in. Those were something that had to be done at the district level. Nowadays I live down south and we don't have Klondike Derbies. We do have a district camporee, and it's fine, but the youth tends to rate it fairly low on their list of preferred annual activities. We could skip it and no one would care. The district roundtables are fine...but there just isn't a lot there that needs to be done in person. We are a pretty strong unit and we don't have a lot of need for help from the dist
  2. There are always issues, but there are also things that work. >> The 100th anniversary of the National Park Service is next year but park visitation is declining every year Might depend on what you are counting, but certainly this is not a clear trend http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/17/travel/feat-most-visited-national-parks-sites-2014/ >> state parks are seeing declining visitation as well. Not here in NC: http://ncparks.gov/News/newsletter/stewards/February_2015.pdf State parks report record attendance of 15.6 million in 2014 In fact, the whole issue of "wher
  3. I have no actual information on this at all, but this seems like a strange speculation. The Direct Service Council has 100 units, according to Scouting.org, which does not make it one of the smallest council. Do any of the rumors provide any suggestion on what is supposed to be happening to these patches? Are these troops just not going to wear CSPs? Or is it going to merge with one of the other two overseas councils? I suppose a merger would always be a possibility, but I'm not sure how exactly that would affect the value of the patches. From scouting.org, it doesn't look like anything
  4. Actually, I wasn't responding directly to your point at all. I was just commenting on the general topic and I meant to suggest that people are welcome to go look at the actual decisions themselves and see how they'd like to craft their own legal policies on this topic, and I was stating what we have done in our unit. Edited because new posts were put up while I was creating my post: But since I am now responding directly to you, I'll take a quick look at your specifics. I am not a lawyer, nor a former auditor, but based on my reading of the decisions, I'd say that your legal counsel ha
  5. I'm glad that the troop found a new home, and I'm glad it was reported as well. Still, couldn't we somehow do a little bit better on the grammar here? "The outpouring of community support that we have received in the last few weeks since we have been going through this adventure," said [...] Troop 54 leader. "Growing into responsible adults is part of people and that is why they are so happy to have them on board with us," said [...], manager of the Mandan Eagles Club. I'm reassured by the fact that there was an outpouring of community support in western North Dakota.
  6. I think the IRS is fairly clear in its decisions - it does not think that fundraising which provides benefit directly to people based on how much fund-raising they do is acceptable behavior for a tax-exempt organization. Essentially at that point, the Scouts are just working for hire and they may as well pay tax on it. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-wd/201507023.pdf Some of these cases are pretty much directly on point. I think it's true the most of this flies under the radar of the IRS and it is unlikely people will care, but we stopped offering Scout accounts because it sure looks like i
  7. The question assumes that something needs to happen to save the BSA. This is not at all apparent. There are many organizations that are much much smaller than BSA and survive just fine. Besides, given the societal trends towards acceptance of gays, it seems to me that the BSA was in much more danger if they did not adapt. Younger people are much more accepting than older people, and all groups have been growing more accepting over time. http://www.pewforum.org/2015/07/29/graphics-slideshow-changing-attitudes-on-gay-marriage/ The BSA was going to have to do one of two things: either
  8. Actually, the BSA policy is that people must sign the membership application, and the membership application clearly states the excerpt from the Declaration of Religious Principle. The Scout Oath and Scout Law are also clearly stated there. If a person is willing to sign this application, I don't believe that we have any further obligation to inquire into their faith. And the actual statement quoted was pretty much exactly BSA policy.
  9. I've seen one version of the list from a few years ago. While the size of this council initially sounds small, it's actually very much in keeping with typical councils. In the northeast, where the councils formed early and small, they still tend to be that way. In the U.S. as a whole, the average council size is right around 10,000 youth (2.6 million youth, 273 councils) but there are a small number that are a lot bigger than that, and a large number that are a little bit smaller than that.
  10. Can you elaborate on what recent actions were taken by the National Committee in this regard? I thought that the council had to sign off on leader applications. Is that no longer the case? Also, do they guarantee that they will not pull your charter, regardless of whom you allow in as leaders and youth? Because I can pretty easily imagine situations where the BSA would be well within their rights to say "You need to get that guy off your roster or we're going to cancel your charter." You're saying that they can't do this?
  11. I found Terry's post a bit unexpected, given the tendency here to have pretty wide-open speech. But having seen his editorial regarding the admission of gay youth, I am not at all surprised that he is very much in favor of equal treatment of gays in Scouting. This reminds me of how Reddit decided to ban global warming deniers from their science forums. It's done, it's decided, move on. Huffington Post is not covering Donald Trump on their politics page, but on the entertainment page. He's a political troll and we don't want to give trolls serious attention (although it's not clear tha
  12. This thought occurred to me as well. And presumably if the group is already sponsoring a troop under some other name, they would already have access to the meeting space. Getting an EIN (and yes, this is the same for all organizations) is trivial. But at some level, I start to think, if a group is willing to go to all this effort to pre-emptively exclude gay leaders, maybe they should just go join Trail Life, which seems to be set pretty much exactly for this purpose. In terms of actual logistics, I'm not sure if the BSA would be so eager to charter troops to random unaffiliated pseud
  13. Page 3, Lines 14-16 at http://scoutingnewsroom.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Religious-Organization-Protections-Memo-062915.pdf That is, unless the web site is detecting who is logging in and providing a different document to different users...which would be overly clever and bizarrely confusing. I agree with you that the text of the actual resolution is ambiguous at best. But the FAQ and the legal analysis both state that units chartered to non-religious COs may not discriminate.
  14. The clearest statement on this is in the Effect of Changes in Adult Leadership Standards on Religious Chartered Organizations that is linked to from the initial post in this thread: http://scoutingnewsroom.org/blog/update-on-adult-leadership-standards/ There it says that under the proposed change, "Units not chartered by religious organizations could not exclude homosexuals who otherwise meet the BSA’s high adult leader standards and the chartered organization’s standards."
  15. North Carolina is far from homogeneous on this issue. County votes on the gay marriage amendment ("Amendment 1") ranged from roughly 80% in favor to 80% opposed. The bigger cities all voted against banning gay marriage and the rural counties voted in favor. The map looks overwhelmingly against gay marriage, but the large urban areas and biggest college campuses were all against the amendment (Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Asheville, Boone). See the island phenomenon here: http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2012/05/nc-results-map.html
  16. > how then do the local units differentiate? How do local units differentiate now? Some focus on full uniforms, some focus on merit badges, some focus on boy-led. Some go to Philmont regularly, some have never gone. Some only go backpacking, and others only go car camping. Some are more boy-led, some are chaotic, some are adult-led, some are small, some are large. Some place more emphasis on religion (awards, services, etc). Some have young leaders, some have old leaders. Some have women leaders, some don't. Some earn JTE Gold, some don't. How do people find out? They show up, th
  17. I would count it only as 3g. I'd count hauling a sled as backpacking for the part where you haul your entire camp with you on the sled. He only did 12 miles of that. Similarly, if he had done this trip with an actual backpack, carrying the backpack only 12 miles total, and carrying a daypack for the rest of the hiking, I would not count that as 20 miles of backpacking either.
  18. I don't think that we are in any danger. Our troop is sponsored by a theologically conservative church, but we are in an upscale professional area and more understanding of shades of gray, I suspect. I've started a conversation with the church leadership on the topic and my sense is that the local option is satisfactory. The church still gets to pick the leaders, they should not be any more vulnerable to lawsuits than they are right now over who they pick for Sunday School teachers, and the values of the Scout Law have not changed. In all these respects, really, nothing has changed. Between th
  19. 1. I cannot imagine this is true. You can invite people over to your place to do whatever you want. Scouts are automatically covered by Scout insurance when they are on Scout activities. 2. Don't worry about it. Let them follow whatever rules apply to them. 3. Tour permits are not about insurance. Scouts are covered whether or not you file the newly named "Tour and Activity Plan".
  20. HELLO!?!?! Anyone capable home up there? I'm doubting it because it seems like national decisions are being made by the least competent people you could imagine running a corporation. Either that, or else by a group of monkeys with a keyboard. Is there any professional out there anywhere who thinks that this was handled well? First the surprise announcement that they were changing the policy, and then the surprise backpedal. At this point I am completely in awe of the BSA's ability to do this so incredibly, stunningly, badly. I think Homer Simpson could do a better job. I am normally bemu
  21. Holy Complicated User Interface, Batman! The old interface has one button that showed me what I wanted. Now I can't even figure out how to do that at all, despite a myriad of options.
  22. a group that only allows only Christians into it. Technically, the AHG Creed only applies to adults, not to the girls. Any girl can join as long as she can promise to "love God". In this sense, the youth membership requirement is very similar to the BSA policy.
  23. The recharter agreement that we just signed says that the BSA will "Provide primary general liability insurance to cover the chartered organization, its board, officers, chartered organization representative, employees and volunteers currently registered with Boy Scouts of America. Coverage is provided with respect to the claims arising out of an official Scouting activity" and it says that the CO will "Conduct the Scouting program according to its own policies and guidelines" The insurance that the BSA provides is a major reason why groups are willing to offer the Boy Scout progra
  24. Well, that's pretty alarmist, AZMike. Can you point to any cases where women's groups have sued because some troops don't allow women to be Scoutmasters? Are there any cases where religious freedom groups have sued because some troops restrict their leadership on the basis of religion? For that matter, I'd be curious to know of any lawsuits against a volunteer organization for how they choose their leaders. What standard is the government using that would make a troop not be considered part of a church? Hospitals are employers who provide health care plans for their employees.
  25. I've been thinking about being prepared, too - but I don't have nearly the concerns that you do. So if I understand the immediate primary concern, it would be to determine whether or not your troop should have a policy that allows for gay leaders. That particular topic could be a divisive issue, and it's one that some parents might push for. I understand that your CO only provides space, but they do approve your leaders, and they can decide what the policy is. You definitely want to talk with them. In my case, the CO is a church that will not have a policy of approving openly gay lea
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