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elitts

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Everything posted by elitts

  1. I would hope it's not worded that way. Clearly the intention of such a clause is to make sure that the local council can't "go rogue" and take assets that have been paid for by leveraging the BSA name and go start another organization. Or alternately, to make sure that if a council goes belly-up, the BSA can make sure any major assets get transferred to whoever is taking over the area. But it would be quite a stretch for someone to argue that a clause like this was intended to be interpreted to allow for assets to be siphoned back while the LC was actively functioning. And beyond
  2. I only brought up the HA bases because they are directly controlled by the BSA. Plenty of troops go on weekend backpacking and canoe trips (with the BSA's encouragement) into the wilderness (or at least semi-wilderness) and there's no extra liability waiver for those, that's just "going camping". Absolutely. You tell them "Well, we don't have a structure nearby we can go into, so lets double-check our rain-flys, make sure everything is tied down and then hunker down in our tents." You certainly shouldn't be saying "OK, I need you all to call your parents to come pick you up, the c
  3. Of course we think about the risks before hand, but it's important to keep in mind that the BSA program isn't about maintaining a "risk-free" environment. In Scouts, risk-mitigation and safety are considered, but they aren't the driving focus of the program because many of the things we are doing have a certain amount of danger inherent in the activity. So the question becomes, what level of risk is acceptable for scouts. Clearly, the BSA thinks being in a tent during a storm is generally an acceptable risk, even if it's not the "safest possible" way to weather a storm; otherwise Philmont
  4. Seems like a good example of why crowding a bunch of people under a "shelter" isn't always a great option. I agree with the idea of hunkering down and not being out "doing stuff" during a lightning storm. Certainly I'm not going to be the guy standing there holding a baseball bat in an open baseball diamond with one going on or sailing across a lake in a Sunfish. But you don't see many places actually cancelling events because there is a forecast chance of a storm, they just deal with it when it happens, then move along. And I'm not even saying scouts shouldn't go hop int
  5. How exactly does that work? Do you just not allow your troop to do any sort of backwoods camping? Or you just switch the camp-out from a backpacking/canoe trip to a plop-n-drop camp-out any time there is a risk of a storm? I'm not trying to be an ass, but if that's truly how you operate your troop, I can't help think you are doing them a disservice. Sometimes tragedies happen; and while reasonable precautions are worthwhile, there is such a thing as over-reacting. Basing your camping decisions on the 0.000015% risk of dying from a lightning strike seems like a good example of such
  6. This concern over lightning strikes seems like nothing more than yet another case of "We got sued, so now we have rules for it". The death rate in the US for lightning strikes is around 50 per year. To put that in perspective, 17,000 people in the US die every year from slipping or tripping and falling down. And yet, we have guidance from the BSA telling us that "safety" requires dragging people out of bed in the middle of the night and then hustling them through the woods over uneven ground to shelters because they might get struck by lightning. So yeah, I'm not getting my scouts out
  7. Yup. And I suspect that's what will happen with many of them. Unfortunately, I suspect this will be accompanied by a reasonably significant amount "back-room deals" either on purpose, or because you will have councils decide "Why list it when we have a ready buyer?", ignoring the fact that sometimes when you list something for a reasonable amount of time, you get a buyer willing to pay much more than "the guy who has been pestering us for 10 years".
  8. Completely different active age group for the most part. The vast majority of active Scouts are aged 10 - 14, with an even more drastic drop off at 16. Sea Scouts and Venturing doesn't even start till 14. It's exactly that 10-14 age group that tends to get the most "weird" around girls. By 15 or 16 they start to figure out how to "chill out" around girls. But can you pull a sword out from down-under at the drop of a hat?
  9. I really think that if the BSA finds a number that truly gets creditors more than they get under liquidation and she can't see a way to strip more out without killing BSA, but the creditors still won't agree, she'll order the cram-down. But in a situation like that, what I DO see happening is that while the re-vamped BSA is now free of liability, because there wasn't an agreement the LCs and COs will still be fair game and we can start this all over again, all over the country.
  10. For a single property or even a few? Sure, I suppose that might work. But I doubt the trust wants to end up with a pile of deeds rather than a bag of cash. I know if I was a claimant, I'd never accept a pile of real estate at Fair Market Value instead of currency because holding and liquidating the property isn't free. There's taxes and assessments to pay, transfer fees, insurance costs, maintenance costs, and then of course transfer fees when it's sold for the trust.
  11. I doubt it. I think before most LCs start down that road, there would need to be a determination that they are NOT independent and that they will be folded into the bankruptcy. And frankly, even then, I'd like to see most of the camps (enough to service all the local scouts) retained as a "central part" of the Scouts BSA program. For the most part, the land hosting most Summer Camps really isn't replaceable. Recreation land anywhere near (within 90 minutes) a major city is already outside the price range of anyone looking to do an affordable camp. So even if BSA 2.0 wanted to start over o
  12. Except you are basically never going to get FAIR MARKET VALUE for most of the properties that get sold for this. These are all specialty properties that would normally need upwards of 12-24 months (or more) of marketing time to find a buyer; but you can be sure the liquidation time-frame will be much shorter. What you will get for these properties is usually going to be the FIRE SALE price. In lay-mans terms: you're price has to be discounted to the point where someone with the cash would be enticed to buy a property that they weren't really in the market for in the first place, which usual
  13. Agreed. I'm frequently astounded at the difficulty that organizations tend to have with writing documents of this nature. The only thing I can think of is that they don't have the same person writing everything so you end up with one person writing a rule, then a completely different person with a different understanding of the rules writing the FAQ.
  14. That one makes sense to me, at least as a program rule.. Our linked troop has a couple of parents who have decided that their kids can just go camping with whichever troop has the most interesting outing as long as the parent is one of the supervising adults. It's not a safety issue I don't think, but it is one of "troop integrity". Or said another way, that restriction is to make sure people aren't skirting the rules of "no co-ed troops". But I agree that it's not a YP issue and including it there is bad planning.
  15. Yes, I knew that, but my point really is that Labor Laws aren't where we should be taking our queues from for Scouting. Labor laws are designed to protect workers from activities that could be excessively dangerous in a work environment, when done repetitively, over time. Service projects aren't a work environment; the tools are different, the pace is different and the supervision is different; all of which means things that might be a significant risk in one environment is relatively safe in the other. 4 wheeled carts are dangerous in a work environment because industrial carts are steel,
  16. Oh, I know that's where most of that stuff comes from. And when such "warnings" were just a list of stupid crap we could throw out along with the tag on the mattress and the instructions to not "use your lawn mower to trim your hedges", it was fine. But at this point I really do think the incorporation of all those rules/guidelines is actively hurting compliance with the more important rules by creating a generalized level of disregard. (Particularly with rules issued without clear and convincing explanations for their existence) Plus, the existence of rules like that doesn't ACTUALLY
  17. The other issue that I think is less obvious, but still fairly important is to revise the G2SS. The existence of vague, contradictory, and stupid rules goes a long way towards decreasing observance of the rules overall and I think this can't help but to water down some of the impact of the YP policies as well. Not because people consciously think the YP is unnecessary, but because the pervasive idea of "BSA rules are just stupid and inconsistent" can't help but to permeate your thinking. There are two major issues with the Guide at this point that I think need addressing. The firs
  18. Personally, I don't think there is much left to do on the "active protections" level of things. I think "no one-on-one" is the only tool necessary to protect children as long as it's really being used. At that point, the only way I can see issues coming up are with scout on scout abuse, or with an adult that is looking for opportunities to break the rules. Unfortunately, those are both going to be essentially impossible to shut down entirely. The one thing I can see being useful would be a little more emphasis with the Scouts on their responsibility to help with maintaining "no one-on
  19. Beyond the kind of program killing requirements like "every group of scouts must be monitored at all times by 2 adults", zero tolerance policies are the only thing I'm actually concerned about, particularly in the area of "no one on one contact". While I certainly don't mind zero tolerance with regard to violations along the lines of "that adult took a scout off into the woods" or something, it's just TOO easy to briefly run afoul the no one-on-one contact rule when dealing with kids when you are doing something either with or near a scout, only to realize that all the other scouts that were
  20. The major problem with that whole conversation is that the current dialog it isn't representing the situation fairly. We aren't talking about victims agreeing to receive a $6100 settlement; we are talking about the BSA contributing an average of $6100 per victim to the "Fund". And beyond that, the primary source of victim reimbursement dollars was always going to be from the insurers, not the BSA. So while I agree that a settlement of $6100 would be a slap in the face to a victim, that was never what we were actually talking about. What we are actually talking about is a calculation that l
  21. Oh, I don't think local government liability will sway public opinion on the issue, I think that when state governments start seeing local Cities and Towns and School Districts being sued into bankruptcy and they have to start bailing them out (because cities going through bankruptcy is awful all-around) they will decide that maybe opening up the window wider might not be a good plan. And while they could pass laws barring lawsuits specifically against government entities (beyond what already exists) the politics of THAT would be so so so much worse than tightening up SoL laws (or not loo
  22. Well, that wouldn't happen. What I mean is that a cram-down would take anything the judge didn't find critical to the functioning of the organization, but it would leave the organization functioning, not a non-functional shell. But this could easily leave the BSA with significant assets as long as they aren't effectively saleable. So they could theoretically keep Philmont (even independent of any claims that it's deed restricted) if the liquidation price less fees and taxes are less than the amount of the mortgage on it. (but I agree Bechtel is a potential problem given the recentness of t
  23. This is exactly why bankruptcy judges are appointed by Court of Appeals judges that are appointed for life. They don't have any reason to worry about the optics because no one can really apply pressure to them. But, to be fair, a cramdown doesn't mean the BSA's proposal is what carries the day. In a cramdown the judge looks at the numbers and makes their own determination on what the BSA can afford to pay. And while I imagine a judge trying to rope in the LCs would cause even more years of legal fighting, it would be entirely within their purview to order the sale of everything but the tra
  24. I suspect there will continue to be intermittent successes on expanding SoL laws right up until someone manages tie in government agencies in a big way because of it. As soon as you get some youth Sport League getting sued and the local Parks and Rec Dept gets thrown in for good measure because they sponsor the program, I think you'll see major expansions start to dry up. The fact of the matter is, for as much as some states really need/needed to expand their SoL laws (places where you only had to age 21) These unlimited look-back periods are truly horrible public policy. The ONLY purpo
  25. Perhaps, but as I've mentioned before, the Catholic Church settlements are just not a reasonable comparison for the issue with the BSA. Other than the type of assaults on children being the same, there are orders of magnitude in difference between what the Church did and what the BSA did; so thinking the results would be similar just doesn't seem realistic. While I can't say I'm an expert in trial law involving liability insurance, it most cases I've ever heard of, the liability of the insured doesn't start until after the damages exceed the policy limits.
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