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Everything posted by gpurlee

  1. You raise excellent points. I think that the frustration for the chartered organizations that have been named in lawsuits for incidents that occurred thirty, forty or more years ago, is that there is no corporate memory that remains of that time period. Key organizational persons have died. Any records, if they even existed, were purged years if not decades ago. First of all, the vast majority of the chartered organizations simply did not have the understanding or expectation that they could be held legally accountable for actions which occurred in a Scout unit. Most believed they w
  2. You make several interesting points: Traditionally, we know from observation that the majority of chartered organizations have acted more in the role of a benevolent landlord rather than treating their Scouting organization as a true ministry or part of their organization. A meeting place, equipment storage and perhaps a Scout Sunday program or chili supper fundraiser have been the extent of their involvement. This has been common practice for decades. You are correct that court interpretations of the charter agreements have shocked some chartered organizations into realizing the
  3. Welcome to Scouter.com. Hope you are finding Woodbadge to be both informative and fun. Good luck with your troop.
  4. Our council covers multiple states. It is interesting that the Catholic dioceses in some states have ceased to charter Scouting units but not in other states. It is also clear that at the national level the UMC is seeking to continue a relationship with the BSA. Assuming that the proposed settlement is approved, it appears that there may be a variety of options open to local congregations that wish to continue some level of involvement with the BSA. It may be a traditional chartering model or more of a "landlord" relationship that limits CO liability. Our own UMC sponsored units are in a wa
  5. Interesting analogy. As a private pilot, I have seen first hand the commitment to improving aviation safety. The flying public today is safer now than it has ever been due to this emphasis on safety and prevention. An important part of this is the National Transportation Safety Board which is an independent, governmental body charged with investigating incidents and making recommendations to prevent future incidents. They are very skilled and have broad investigative powers. While they work with airlines, pilot associations and manufacturers, they are independent and their findings carry grea
  6. Welcome to the forum Anj
  7. I have served as the council historian for many years and searched through my materials from that time period. No charter agreement found but the thing that stuck me was the new unit organizational materials provided by the council. There was essentially no training material that covered chartered organization duties, responsibility or accountability. There were no references to youth protection which is not surprising since it was the late 1980's before the BSA rolled out its youth protection program. I think that it is fair to say, based on what I could find from that time period, that many
  8. You raise a good question. Within our council there recently was a multi million dollar settlement involving a police exploring program. Three officers charged for offenses involving both male and female explorers. Knowing there was a decades long problem with abuse within these programs, one wonders why oversight was not stronger and protection policies not enforced.
  9. Our area numbers are definitely down also. Last weekend's Klondike Derby probably had a third of the number of participants of previous winter events. In fairness, we were still recovering from the ice storm. More telling is that two years ago, Cub recruitment fell by 90 percent. While there was some increase this past fall, it was nowhere near the pace of previous years pre-pandemic. Most of our Cub packs are currently around third of their previous membership. The "feeder system" going into troops has been devastated in our area. Even more so, the number of adults who normally would cro
  10. Quick update our temps have unexpectedly held around 32 degrees which has kept the worst of the storm at bay in many areas. Power outages are MUCH less than had been previously feared. Worst is yet to come as temperatures will drop as night approaches . Lots of accidents and slide offs but 95 percent of drivers are off the roads. More sleet than ice at the moment in the area which means powerlines and trees have been less impacted. Not good but could be much worse ... at the moment with several more hours of precipitation ahead of us.
  11. One of the things I have always loved about Scouting is the lifelong skill and knowledge development it can provide. I have always believed that the emergency preparedness merit badge is one of the most valuable and useful badges that the BSA offers.. Right now as I type this our community is in a declared state of emergency and under an ice storm warning. The governor is on TV with a live update. Four hundred thousand outages reported in the region. It is raining hard here at our house with temperatures holding at 33 degrees. One degree can make a huge difference. But temperatures wi
  12. Several years ago, an adjacent rural council raised the funds to construct a beautiful, large Scout center at its primary camp that was the envy of the area. It featured a nice Scout shop, conference and training rooms and and offices. Beautiful setting. However, it was an hour or more away from the major population centers, Few volunteers wanted to make the drive there for meetings or supplies. Its remote location meant that it was invisible to most of the community. A council merger with a shift of primary camps was the final blow. Within a fairly short period of time, it was abandoned and
  13. The final decisions rest with the local councils. However, there is precedent to a national BSA mandate. In the early 1990's national established a series of sixteen benchmarks that local councils had to achieve in order to receive a charter. If I recall (and it has been a while) these included (1) the number of eligible youth within the council geographic area, (2) percentage of eligible youth enrolled, (3) a positive operating balance over a period of time, (4) establishment of a significant endowment, (5) outside annual audit and a (6) a minimum financial reserve among others. There were
  14. This will be one of the major challenges for the BSA as it moves past the bankruptcy. Our council, for example, had had potential merger discussions with three other smaller neighboring councils even before the national bankruptcy filing and the pandemic. Since that time, the situation has grown much more concerning with a membership decline of over fifty percent. In addition, revenue streams including product sales, activity income and camp fees have all taken a significant hit. In our area, we also have an abundance of full featured camps within a two to three hour drive. At least a d
  15. This is an important point that has serious implications for the individual Scouter. Insurance provided through the BSA (may) cover the chartered organization. It does not cover the individual Scouter. You are on your own in the event an allegation of abuse is ever made. The costs of legal defense even for a false allegation can be staggering. Scouters need to have a discussion with their personal insurance agent to ensure that they are adequately insured. Many Scouters believe as long as they follow all BSA policies and procedures, they will never face the situation where there is an a
  16. Is it time for the BSA to change its top leadership model? For decades, the vast majority of council Scout executives have been selected from a system that works by promotion from within the BSA ranks. You work your way from district executive, perhaps to a field executive or specialty position such as development. You attend a variety of Scouting specific training courses over the years Eventually you can be placed on a list for consideration as a Scout Executive at a council or national position if you meet the approval of your supervisor. “Putting your time in” has been considered to
  17. Willkommen im das Forum. Ein guter Freund, Kasimir, von Reiden, ist ein Schweizer Pfadi.
  18. Just so you know it, we are probably on the verge of starting a new thread on cat herding. It is amazing how these threads take the strangest turns. But, I will leave that decision to the discretion of one of my fellow moderators. Nevertheless, I will share our cat herding story. This past summer we decided to "adopt" two outdoor cats from the local Humane Society for the storage barn at our troop camp. Win-win situation was the plan. Save the lives of the cats and encourage the rodents to move out of the barn. It seemed like a really good idea and very Scout-like. Perhaps w
  19. I suspect that we will continue to see more and more BSA policies driven by legal considerations and organizational protection. This will be one of the consequences of tens of thousands of abuse claims and well over a billion dollars in costs. If nothing else, the insurance companies are likely to mandate very stringent rules. The enforcement, accountability and much of the liability will rest squarely at the unit level and with chartered partners, assuming that model survives. And what would appear to have been common sense in the past, is likely to take a back seat in the future to ver
  20. A few months ago, one of the posters here offered some great advice I thought. Type what you intend to say. Set it aside for a few minutes and look at it again before you press "post". Does it really say what I intend for it to say? Does it come across as respectful to the readers? We are in a challenging and painful environment. For some of the posters here, Scouting represents the start of a lifelong nightmare which has been brought once again to the surface. For others, Scouting has been a wonderful, life changing experience full of friendships and good memories. And an im
  21. A lot of the mainline Churches have sponsored Scouting for decades. As you note, many of them including our sponsor are contending with years of declining membership and face their own set of threats and challenges. We are hopeful that our 111 year relationship will survive this period. Our pastors over many years have noted that for many residents in our community, their association with and knowledge of our church came from their involvement in our Scouting programs. Nevertheless, there is a high level of fear and trepidation among the area churches that Scouting today carries too high of a
  22. United Methodist congregations will be encouraged to vote "no" to the proposed BSA restructuring plan. Reasons stated include inadequate compensation for the survivors of abuse and concerns that issues surrounding church liability have not been adequately addressed. UMC congregations who have previously submitted claims will be able to cast a single individual vote per congregation. Many conferences are conducting zoom meetings involving these congregations this weekend to review the proposal as well as the national ad hoc committee recommendations in order to submit the votes befor
  23. Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving from your moderation team. We are thankful for each and everyone of our forum participants!
  24. Area units in our council have been told that this is no longer an option. Apparently, there are concerns about the legal standing of these groups unless they have been registered with the Secretary of State as a not-for-profit entity. This may be a local interpretation related to specific state requirements. In addition, consider if a major, long -established organization is reluctant to assume the liability risk of sponsorship, would a group of parents really want to assume that liability and potentially place their home and other assets at risk in today's environment? Remember that ma
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