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Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. Fair. But it's relegated to a requirement for a rank and it's a handout pamphlet in the Scout book. For leaders, we've got an extensive online training with talks by professionals in the field. It's very sobering and thought provoking. For parents, it's a pamphlet that a youth does with his/her rank advancement. I think for most parents it's a check-box item. I think this is typical: Scout to parent: I need you to sign off on this requirement for my badge. Parent to scout: What is it? Scout to parent: It says we need to talk about abuse of kids. Parent
  2. I think we may be discussing something slightly different - but that's OK. My point was that while this is an important case legally and for public policy, I don't get the sense that this is one of the primary political issues of our day. People are certainly sensitive to and feel bad for abuse victims. There are also a lot of people with a Scouting background. I suspect that if asked 60% of people want to see both sides come out from this ok. Everyone is on board with helping abuse victims. Even from comments here, I gather that people assume that somehow the executives at the BSA o
  3. Isn't the real truth here that regardless of whether it's the BSA or any other activity, no activity can ever ensure 100% safety. 1. YPT is a has best practices an individual should follow. But, it cannot make the individual follow them. 2. YPT has built in checks and balances - but it relies on volunteers to follow them and report concerns. Yet, no parent should ever assume that their child is 100% safe from risk. Don't drop your kid off and assume nothing can happen. Don't place blind trust in the leaders of the unit. Don't neglect to ask probing questions of your child.
  4. These are all good ideas. To this I would add: - Have the BSA follow a model similar to Scouts UK where units at a CO are integrated. Have a unified committee led by a single CC. This will provide for a stronger ability to oversee volunteer activities and ensure good practices.
  5. Guess it's just me then. But - I don't think I'd change my point. I don't think this specific case is enough to drive legislative action. Sure, the principle may be something that people still advocate over. Do you really have groups telling you that they want to expand the SOL to specifically go after the BSA in more geographies? Which groups are those again?
  6. I'm looking for some documents that would clarify that. I found a fairly recent annual council charter agreement. It's at: https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/mission/pdf/523-027_WEB.pdf I see nothing in here that binds a local council to send assets to national if they decide to leave or dissolve. There is the BSA Charter and Bylaws. A copy is at: https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/Charter_and_Bylaws_June_2019.pdf In the BSA Charter and Bylaws it says: So let's assume that my council had done this and put a section in it's bylaws that says it will se
  7. Maybe it's just me - but I don't think this case is a big enough deal to influence legislation. The BSA is feels the heat and so will be pressured by publicity. Similarly, this is important to the claimants and so they will feel passionately about it. Like anything, a vocal minority has enough impact to get favorable articles in the press. Yet, for your average person I just don't see that they are that inclined to pick a side here and advocate on their behalf. Everyone is sympathetic to abuse victims. Yet, few people like lawyers. Many people were also involved in Scouting as a
  8. Agreed - will be interesting to see what the judge says. Without going too far into a tangent, there are two other factors of why this is so muddled: 1) People tend to look at the actions of the employees and not the board. The professionals are structed in a high autocratic model. As such, the culture is one that drives employees to follow the instructions of the Scout Executive. The SE's career path is dictated by national. This drives a lot of uniformity in the professional ranks. The board, on the other hand, is more independent. 2) It's a non-profit
  9. I will be very interested to see how the court rules on LCs being legally separate entities. Is there a timetable for that decision? It very much strikes me that the LC are separate - though the BSA's need for brand control and uniformity makes it seem that they are not. We have our own budgets, build our own camps, control our own programming, drive our own membership. We just have to do it all according to BSA policies, have to hire BSA trained people, at the higher levels we have to hire people with BSA experience, and have to have our facilities accredited by the BSA. It alm
  10. I was the worst at attending these - even as Troop Committee Chair. There's only so many hours for volunteering and since so many of them were on a Saturday afternoon I was always doing something else. In our troop of 50+, there might be 5-10 Scouts there. To me this was another reason to do them at a Troop COH. Better to have the whole troop there on a normal Scout night to see the event than the 5-10 that knew the Scout well enough to go to their special event.
  11. It's funny - I don't know where that tradition started. Our troop is that same too. I suggested changing it when I was committee chair only to get a very stern "why do you want to mess up our Eagle Court of Honor process." So I left it alone... Sounds like you've got a role similar to another troop I am familiar with - a very experienced Scouter served as Eagle Court of Honor advisor. That made a lot of sense to me.
  12. Good luck! When I was troop committee chair, I used to stress out over getting Scouts to do things. Then I realized two amazing things: Scouts are great at committing other Scouts. It's a wonderful skill for them to learn Scoutmasters have a lot of pull to just say - "I need you to do this at the ECOH". Parents get that and will respond. The kicker is that it's exactly how a Scout led troop is supposed to do it.
  13. Bigger picture comment - I've never been a big fan of parents organizing an Eagle COH. It forces parents to figure out how to put together an Eagle COH everytime and puts a lot of stress on them. In addition, that usually then adds yet another event to the troop schedule. But that's a different topic for another day. If in general attendance is good and this is a one-off, then I would suggest that the SPL needs to appoint a scout to each slot. My specific recommendation: The Scoutmaster requests a list of positions needed from the mom. Scoutmaster turns to the SPL and says
  14. If we take a giant step back - the question I would ask is why? Sounds to me like the Scoutmaster is trying to fix a problem (helping at the Eagle COH), but using the wrong tool (service hours). If the Eagle COH attendance is such a problem - why is that? If getting service hours is a problem - why is that? There are probably much better solutions to those problems than - use service hours to get the Scouts to help at the COH. Figure out why kids don't attend the COH. Perhaps make the COH more meaningful or easier to participate in. If service hours are the issue, then perhaps s
  15. Understood 100%. In the world of optics one can be both proactive and reactive. Yes, in a reactive sense coming to the rescue of the BSA might be a difficult thing - though I'm not sold that's so true. Let's remember that Scouting is a 100 year old organization. Yes, the BSA is struggling now, but many, many people benefitted from it over time. I suspect that there is a great deal more warm feelings for the BSA than many people realize. Putting that aside - in a proactive sense, there is a story that one could tell about how scouting is a good thing. The argument would be th
  16. I've often wondered the same thing. Seems to me that it would be in the interest to the US to take this category of organizations and give it additional oversight. I think we all would welcome an inspector general as well to oversee the operation and youth protection programs to make sure that they are operating in the best way possible.
  17. There may be some possibilities about the NRA designation - but don't know for certain. I think back to the inclusion of many of the national battlefields. As I understand it, that designation came into being when the NPS inherited the properties from the Army. I'm wondering if a similar thing could occur here - call it a national youth recreation area or something like that. You could even hire the BSA to operate it as a concessionaire.
  18. Thanks for the numbers - this is very useful to have. Insurance is crucial and critical to what we do - it's unfortunate that a byproduct of so much of what happened is the increases in insurance premiums. I suspect that in a roundabout way they will impact the settlement numbers as the BSA will need to figure out how to keep dues manageable enough to attract members, still pay these premiums, and also still pay into the settlement.
  19. My sense is that Philmont is the one HA base that works as a National Monument - though probably not a full park. There might some argument for others such as Northern Tier as a National Recreation Area. The Summit you just annex as part of New River Gorge NRA. It would be a fascinating idea for the NPS to develop some sort of new youth category - be able to use places like Philmont for their intended purpose under the auspices of the ownership of the NPS. Expand Philmont and the other main HA bases so that they can be used by any similar youth organization. The GSUSA for example.
  20. Gotcha - thanks. Myself, I don't even think about national that much anymore. I'm a district level volunteer and so I live in the world of unit health. What national does certainly impacts us, but they more or less do what I need them to do and don't get in the way too much. As part of my volunteer work, I've seen enough at the council level to recognize that we really do operate as a council independently of national. The layoffs we've had locally in the professional ranks have more to do with Covid and membership loss than anything. No one at national is telling us who to la
  21. I'm truly sorry that you felt so hurt by the offer. $50,000 for 85,000 claimants is $4.25 billion dollars. I can't imagine that with 85,000 claimants a settlement that high is even possible.
  22. While I cannot speak to senior executive salaries, I know that several executives have been laid off. Right now they are thinning the executive ranks as they reduce the numbers of areas and regions. Both national and local councils have been laying off staff as well. Why is this a concern for you?
  23. I think we're very much on the same page here. I'm all for finding a level where the BSA and LC can really contribute to a meaningful settlement. What I fear is that regardless of what the BSA offers, the lawyers will continue to call it shameful. $500+ million is a lot of money but it's called shameful. Is 2x or 3x that going to change anything? Scouting simply cannot get to $1,000,000 a claimant - it's just not there. I have no idea how one arrives at a reasonable number. Open every book and have an independent audit of everything and pay that - perhaps that's it. Of course t
  24. Nice try to spin my statement. Granted - 85,000 cases of abuse occurred by volunteers in Scouting. If the organization was more vigilant, it could very likely prevented most of those. The BSA was not more vigilant and as a result many kids were abused. That's without question. Today, that same organization is trying to put a number on a settlement. The assets of the organization are almost entirely all program assets. The more of those assets you sell, the less the organization can serve youth. The higher the settlement, the less Scouting can do it's job. My point is - let
  25. Thanks! I'm curious to explore that reaction: 1. Why is $6,000 bad? 2. Why is $14,000 or $20,00 better? 3. What is the right amount?
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