Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by T2Eagle

  1. One of my Eagle scouts is part of the team!
  2. The only possible reason I could think to not do this is if your troop currently has a uniform hat that everyone wears. Even then I'd probably give the nod to the patrol. But since very few troops, including it seems yours, actually have a troop approved hat then yes enthusiastically help them get those patrol hats. By the way, I would not take this to the PLC, patrol decisions aren't the bailiwick of the PLC. After all no one would think the PLC needs to approve patrol flags or yells, right? With any luck the other patrols will see the new hats and will want their own patrol specific haberdashery. Our troop has never had a troop hat. The closest we come is that everyone who attends summer camp gets that year's summer camp hat. Since pretty much every other troop around here does the same you can't distinguish anyone, not during summer camp and not at any other event we might attend.
  3. Distasteful as it may be to have something like this, it's probably prudent. There is going to be a tremendous amount of litigation eventually about Covid as the bills for treatment come due, especially if there are, as there is some indication of, long term consequences in addition to the initial illness. Our current health care system, fragmented and disjointed in its financing, is simply not designed to pay for a pandemic. Everyone's health insurance premiums are going to skyrocket next year. Lots of people are going to be out of work and therefore without health insurance, but also with large bills for care. Of all the many things we haven't figured out about this disease, how to pay for all its attendant illness is certainly a large one. There are going to be a lot of bills that need to be payed, and very few people really in a position to pay them.
  4. I agree. You can't separate out possible/probable problems caused by Covid with the financial implications of those problems. A lot of money would need to be spent now and in the coming months, both at the local and national level, for an event that just doesn't look like it could safely be held a year from now. I'm also on my Council's Jambo committee, and have chaired it in the past. We were way behind in recruitment compared to previous years, and I don't think we ever would have gotten to where we wanted to be in number of participants. As a nation we need to get our act together sooner rather than later about this pandemic.
  5. I'm always skeptical of anything I don't see in writing, so I'd start there. Was anything put in writing announcing this? Second, no one in the world knows what the council or national structure will look like in December 2021, so again I'm deeply skeptical. I believe that we are part of the council and therefore have a responsibility to put forth reasonable efforts to support the organization, but reasonable is just that, reasonable. Make the pitch for FOS, or allow council to make its pitch for FOS and let your families decide how much if anything they can contribute. If you want to allow your scouts to sell things like popcorn or camp cards to help fund raise for themselves or the troop so be it; if your scouts choose not to do that it's perfectly acceptable, fundraising for the council is NOT the responsibility of the youth.
  6. Ehh, let them waste their money targeting us.
  7. That's the multi-million dollar question. The plaintiff's position is that councils are not separate entities and so all properties and funds, national and local council, are fair game to fund compensation of victims. Obviously BSA's position is that councils are wholly separate. Both sides can make solid legal arguments for their positions and it is unclear what the combination of facts and law would lead to if it really does wend it's way all the way through the court system --- a process that would take years. What's driving most of this right now is that some states have expanded their statutes of limitation to include many old cases. The properties of councils in those states are definitely in jeopardy because any lawsuits would definitely include those councils as joint defendants with BSA national. Councils in other states only face losses if a court decides national and council are one and the same. Best bet seems to be that there will be one giant settlement funded jointly by all the councils and BSA. Each Council will pony up some monies, many of them will need to pony up significant money based on their own individual exposure, and that along with money from BSA national. That would settle all claims and save the years and years of litigation, the outcome of which no one can be sure of.
  8. it simply isn't true that the law is clear on this, and that use of these accounts within reason is a clear violation of the law or IRS regulations, or is contingent simply on the idea that one won't get caught. I hold a law license, I asked a friend who is a tax practitioner to take a hard look at this, and their conclusion was that individual accounts, at least as we use them and as most troops do, are not a violation of either the letter or the spirit of the federal statutes and IRS regulations. As Fred8033 said, ask a different tax lawyer and you can get a different answer, I would bet that if you ask a third you'll probably get yet a third answer. Some day, maybe, a federal court will provide a clarifying opinion that will most likely fall somewhere amongst those three legal opinions. Laws are often not written in a way that they can provide an answer to every question that might arise. Regarding scout accounts, it just is not at all clear that Congress in writing its laws, or the IRS in promulgating their regulations interpreting and implementing those laws, intended to remove the protections of non exempt status from our large, complex, several thousand member CO church just because Johnny scout only pays $100 for summer camp while Jimmy scout has to pay $300 because Johnny out hustled Jimmy at popcorn selling. You can feel strongly that your interpretation of the law is more correct, but that doesn't mean that those with a differing opinion are acting in bad faith.
  9. Is this a process issue or a substantive issue for the SM? It might be he's just trying to bang them in to Scoutbook and without names and contacts he's bumping into issues. I would explore with him what he's really trying to accomplish. These things almosy always work out, but when things are done in a way that's different from previous processes (as is everything these days) it can take a bit longer. If he's concerned about the substance or quality of the merit badge completion that's a different matter altogether.
  10. BSA's position is consistent, and honest, that the the councils are separate legal entities. But that doesn't mean they aren't related for purposes of a lawsuit. Three separate legal entities approved my membership as a scout leader: my chartering org, the council, and national BSA. If I commit a heinous act against one of my scouts all three entities may face civil liability, and all three will be sued together. Whether the councils are independent will likely not ever be settled as a matter of law, that is it's unlikely that that issue will be decided by a judge and then definitively put to rest through appeals courts. More likely a grand bargain will be struck along the lines Cburkhardt described. Councils which face huge exposure, which are those councils in states with newly expanded statutes of limitations, will be willing and required to contribute a lot of their assets to the fund because whether the courts decide that they are or are not part of national they're subject to loss of most or all of their assets by the new claims any way. Councils, like mine, which are not subject to any claims under our state's laws, will only be willing to contribute a small amount because it would take a contrary ruling and the complete upholding of it through the appeals courts before any of our assets would be in jeopardy. What I haven't heard discussed much is where the COs are in all of this. They are also subject to all the new claims in those states allowing them, and I don't understand what happens if they're not part of the settlement.
  11. This seems like an overly broad characterization. Just because we as scouters are used to doing things a certain way doesn't mean that's an innate preference. Lots of youth organizations have either tighter or looser controls from their parent organization, but I doubt you would find much difference in personality or motivation between the median volunteer in any of them. A strength I do think the CO system brings is continuity and institutional knowledge. Many, probably most troops that survive their first 10 years or so build up a coterie of scouters who remain with the program past the point when their own scouts have aged out. I don't see that in many other youth-serving organizations, certainly not in the same numbers or degree. I don't have any direct experience with GSUSA, but what I see in the troops in my own parish is that they really lack any coherent structure or ongoing organization. The GS troops themselves wax and wane almost entirely on the basis of the strength of the parents of any given year, and there is little or no support from any antecedent leaders. Whereas our troop and pack, serving the same families and often with the same adults, has scouters who are still part of the program when their own grandchildren become scouts. There is tremendous strength in that continuity of both support and knowledge. I think that would be very hard to duplicate without the CO system .
  12. I wanted to comment on just this topic. The idea that BSA is going to NOW develop some IT platform that will replace the crap they currently have is laughable. They have demonstrated zero ability to do this in all these years when the need was obvious and resources were available. The idea that they're going to emerge from bankruptcy with the expertise resident in the organization, plus the money necessary, to accomplish something they haven't for decades is just incredulous. If they were capable of doing in this it would already be done.
  13. It's doubtful that any FOS money ends up going towards a settlement in any meaningful way. In the vast majority of councils FOS is part of the current operating budget, it comes in and goes out the same year. What's going to go into the settlement is endowments and sales of real property.
  14. Weird little factoid, the owner of the failed Boyce Hydro dam is a man named Lee Mueller, who appears to be the son of a socialite named Virginia Boyce Lind—and the grandson of the newspaper magnate who founded the Boy Scouts.
  15. This type of restriction has always been true. Want to take your kids skiing without helmets, no problem, want to take your scouts skiing, helmets for everyone. Does your state require that everyone in any kind of watercraft wear PFDs all the time? They don't, but the scouts do. Any law anywhere say you have to have a buddy to go swimming, or have restrictions about the depths of water based on a swim test? We have lots of safety rules that are more stringent than the law, following them is nothing new. Your state may have decided that the costs of increased exposure caused by gatherings are less than the economic costs of prohibiting those types of gatherings. Your local council's calculation can and probably should be a different weighing of those variables. We're having a meeting tonight on when and how to get back together, but at the top of our agenda is notice that no matter what we think, our decision is subject to veto by not only state and local laws but also by BSA and our chartering org. I'm going to get explicit permission from our pastor before we do anything.
  16. I'm still a bit confused as to how so much of the council assets can be brought into this. The councils are separate legal entities, domiciled in their own states; that's a hard vale to pierce. For instance, I live in Ohio, no change in the statute of limitations in other states affects my council's liability. National does not have the authority to order us to turn over assets to it, and so neither does the bankruptcy court. The power that National does hold over us is the charter, which really boils down to the copyrights. So the real drop dead question for us would be how much are we willing to pay for the right to use the names and symbols. They're certainly worth something, but I suspect the clearing price is a lot lower than what is being discussed here. Is the problem that assets in the states that have changed are so substantial as a percentage of over all scouting that losing them would effectively doom the movement nation wide, or is it that National is determined to preserve its assets, primarily the HA bases, and so the price of keeping them is going to be paid by all the local councils? If it's the latter I'd balk at that. Philmont, Seabase, Summit et al are wonderful, but only a very small percentage of my or anyone else's scouts will ever go there. On the other hand, virtually every scout attends a local scout camp. If the choice is between Philmont and my council camp I'll choose my council camp as the asset to keep.
  17. My therapy advice to you would be relax, you're worried and thinking and planning a lot for it, they're not, and they're probably right. You have the age and experience to understand how many things could go wrong, how hard it could be for you personally, and how challenging it could be for everyone; they have the invincibility of youth, and believe, again probably correctly, that they'll be fine and everything will go right. "My son does cross country this should be easy" is an objectively accurate statement. Any reasonably fit teenager with good boots will be able to handle the trek you're describing. Now here's the really hard thing you should prepare yourself for --- you're not in charge, this isn't your adventure, and how you and the other adult think it should be conducted once you're there is irrelevant. This is the scouts' trek. How they want to do it is what counts. Your son is a part of that decision making, but you are not. Some of the most challenged and disputatious crews I've seen are those with an adult or adults who have an idea of the right way to do things that is different than the scouts'. You may think the right way to do it is to be up before dawn, on the trail early, and pushing hard as you go through the day. But it's not up to you, and if your scouts want to sleep a little later, be the last crew out of each station, and take their time goofing and laughing rather than pushing to that day's destination than THAT'S WHAT THEY SHOULD DO. The mental challenge for you is to plan now for relaxing yourself through that possibility so that you're not miserable the whole time because you think they're doing it wrong. I don't know, and you don't know, and truth be told they don't know, how they're going to decide to conduct their trek. The best mental preparation you can do, for yourself and them, is to Be Prepared to have as your top priority and your goal just enjoying the time you spend with them as they decide how to do things. There is no right way or wrong way as long as it's their way, and remember you're just along for the ride (or walk as the case may be). As for prepping in the face of the very real possibility that the trek might be cancelled, that's challenging even for adults, for teenagers doubly so. The harder you train for something the deeper will be the disappointment when you can't do it. Backing off on the training is part of a natural protective mechanism to ameliorate the pain of that disappointment.
  18. I find it interesting that no one is publishing their plans for what happens if someone becomes symptomatic and/or tests positive while at the camp. What happens if Johnny scout spikes a fever on Wednesday? What if he spikes a fever and starts coughing? Is there testing available? What kind of test is it, the kind that is readable that day or the kind that takes a three day turn around? Does his troop all go home? Do they go home in individual or all together packed six to a car? What about the staff members who were in direct contact with him? Who goes into two week quarantine, where do they do that? The strength of a plan is not what happens if everything goes well, but rather what happens when things start going wrong.
  19. Pioneer Scout Reservation, Erie Shores Council, is doing 1/2 week troop programs. "Each camping session will be limited to 10 groups per session. Each group must stay in separate campsites. No campsite sharing will be permitted. Group Size Group size will be limited to 10 total people per group (number subject to increase with state and local health orders). All groups must have 2 deep leadership so there is a limit of 8 youth max per group. Troops with group sizes larger than 8 youth will have to split into multiple groups. One group per campsite, no sites will be shared."
  20. One of our troop leaders runs a small manufacturing facility of essential goods. Here's what he's found he has to do in his workplace in order to maintain safe social distancing. Take all the chairs out of the break room. Until he did, inevitably people would sit close to one another during meals and breaks, no matter how much tape, marking, and prepositioning of chairs, etc he did. Buy a bunch of six foot tables to place between work stations, without that people again moved closer to each other to talk, help, examine work product, exchange material, etc. Institute a strict scheduling of breaks and meals where before it was informal and set by the consensus of the employees, because, again, left to their own devices folks inevitably congregated with too many people too close together. This is among adults mind you, who can potentially lose their jobs for not maintaining discipline, but still cannot maintain it; because it is unnatural for us, a social species, to do it for a sustained period of time especially in situations that we're already habituated to doing pretty much the opposite. He described his experience for us at our adult leader meeting, and thought it laughable that anyone could think they could maintain these type of safe practices with teens and pre-teens out in the woods and fields.
  21. We had a committee meeting the other night, and there was a near unanimous consensus strongly opposed to doing any group camping this summer. Many, maybe most, of the people in the meeting were themselves or a spouse already working in essential work places, and they were already uncomfortable with the risk that put themselves and their families. Adding to that risk just wasn't in the cards. We're going to look for some creative ways to maybe get together for some smaller parallel activities like a fishing meet up or something similar. But it's highly doubtful we'll get together as a group until something significant changes in our understanding of the nature of the risks involved in doing that.
  22. it would not be wrong for your son to raise the issue with the MBC, since he is part of a class where these photos are available to the members of the class. the key to this is to do this very diplomatically, make sure he frames this as a matter of bringing information to the MBC, not a matter of being accusatory. provide the facts, don't characterize what the facts might mean or what conclusion someone should draw from them. Further he needs to understand that the decision about what to do about it is with the MBC and not with anyone else, and that neither he nor you will likely ever know what the MBC says to the other scouts.
  23. I like being an optimist, but I just don't see this happening. Let's say everybody's fine and looking good when you start your trek. But day 4 or 5 someone starts coughing, spikes a fever, and tests positive for Covid, assuming they can even get tested. Everybody on the trek and every staff member that came in close contact with that person now has to go into a 14 day self quarantine. What does that mean? Are they all going to stay at Philmont, because it sure as heck doesn't mean they should all get on a plane or train to travel home. This doesn't look like a plan to move forward with the season, this looks like a plan to do rolling cancellations in the hope that somehow something will change, when there's really nothing that's going to change.
  24. Eh, do you know anyone who doesn't have a driver's license today because they couldn't pass the test?
  25. Flew over top of my childhood home. My sister got a great snapshot.
  • Create New...