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SiouxRanger

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Posts posted by SiouxRanger

  1. On 1/17/2022 at 6:56 PM, Wëlënakwsu said:

    I and most parents would be ‘offended’  and not sign the proposed liability waiver or release that includes “abuse and molestation”. 

    And so too would I be offended.  Not much of a "marketing piece" is it?

    But this is the point to which BSA National has brought all of us.

    The "abuse and molestation" language is from a major insurance company website offering such coverage, though I was advised after my email inquiry that such coverage is not offered to scouting units.

    In plain English, "that coverage is not available to scouting operations as they pose too high a risk to insure for any premium we believe people would pay-and so not worth our effort to market-we have staff to pay."

    Essentially, scouting activities cannot be insured against claims of abuse and molestation.  Scouting is uninsurable regarding those risks.

    So, the immutable problem is how do scouting activities continue if risks with monumental liability risks are uninsurable?

    To my knowledge, there has NEVER been any insurance coverage for unit leaders who sign another adult's application for membership for acts of abuse allegedly perpetrated by that adult after the application approval date.

    So, how many of us are potential defendants in child abuse cases for negligently "signing off on," that is "approving," an adult's application for membership in scouting who subsequently engaged in alleged abuse?

    Answer:

    Every adult leader who has signed another adult's application is a potential defendant.

    The critical question is whether "every adult leader" has coverage for such alleged negligence through their homeowner's insurance (carried by most folks) or some other insurance.

    To my humble knowledge, and all correct me if I am wrong, National has provided no information that adult leaders are insured for "abuse and molestation" coverage.

     

     

     

    • Upvote 1
  2. On 1/13/2022 at 1:00 AM, yknot said:

    In one sense, negligence can already be assumed if the unit leadership is aware it is not chartered and yet is continuing to run program

    Negligence pertaining to what?

    The only negligence of real concern is liability for an adult committing some act of child abuse.

    To my knowledge, National has NEVER provided insurance coverage to unit adults (or alleged youth abusers, for that matter) for abuse and molestation claims.

    And, I'd note that the "abuse and molestation" language is not of my origin but from a major insurance company's website, which upon my email inquiry about coverage, perfunctorily advised me by email that no such insurance was available for scouting units. (I think a wholly owned subsidiary of Met Life-but I could check my emails if anyone needs particulars.)

    Scouting liability issues pertaining to CSA or abuse and molestation are pariahs.

    Does anyone know if any insurance company is offering such insurance to scouting volunteers, scouting units (generally unincorporated associations) or chartering organizations?

     

  3. On 1/14/2022 at 6:02 PM, gpurlee said:

    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 be essential.

    The thinking was that through these experiences you gain the expertise necessary to lead a Scouting organization

    However, the BSA has increasingly become an outlier among not-for-profits in the use of this model. Other national not-for-profits such as Goodwill, Easter Seals and Volunteers of America have long since moved toward a model where the local (or national) executive board can select any individual that they believe is best suited for the position of chief executive.  This person may have come from another not-for-profit or the business community. The candidate may bring specific skills such as fundraising or crisis management that is needed at that particular time by the organization. They may have extensive community knowledge and an invaluable network already established that would typically take years to develop. They have found that the personal characteristics, experience and leadership skills of the individual are more important than years of prior history within the organization.

    The organizational history and knowledge needed by the top leader can be gained in a variety of other ways. Several other national organizations have leadership academies to provide new chief executives with the organizational specific knowledge and skills needed. The emphasis is on finding the best qualified individual to lead the organization. The local executive board is not limited to a small list of prescreened, nationally approved candidates.

     

    Why make the shift in selecting top executives?

    There are a variety of reasons. A few of them include:

    (1)   ) To ensure that there is a constant infusion of new ideas and skills into the organization from outside the organization.

    (2)   To avoid the development of a “good boy” network where agreement is valued and challenges to established norm is discouraged. An organization that requires working your way up a career ladder and not “shaking the boat” can be at a marked disadvantage in preventing organizational crises where challenging the norms and speaking out was needed.

    (3)   To avoid the development of organizational blind spots.

    (4)   It can also fast track the hiring of highly qualified individuals including individuals who are female or minority group members who otherwise might have to spend years working their way up within the organization.

     

    When you look at some of the crises that the BSA is facing today, one may wonder if some of these were related to institutional structure and rigidity.  Did this lead to its failure to identify and its willingness to acknowledge serious internal problems?

     Has the current leadership model worked well in organizational growth, health and avoiding crisis? Or is it time for the BSA and its boards to consider a new model of executive selection?

    Just read this again.

    I can't upvote more than once.

    You are "right on."

     

    • Upvote 1
  4. On 1/13/2022 at 10:02 PM, qwazse said:

    It just won’t count for camping nights!

    Well, I guess it just it depends on who is doing the counting.

    And, frankly, your comment is just obtuse.

    I cannot adhere to rules prescribed for third graders which were written by second graders (National 

    staff.)

     

  5. 21 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

    The very first question I have for you is when does your charter expire?

    December 31. 2021. Our charter is now expired.

    22 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

    Respectfully, when you're talking about insurance for and releases for "abuse and molestation" you're talking about things that you really don't have a handle on, and you shouldn't be guessing or opining about them to and for your unit. 

    I am currently licensed as an attorney and fully understand Releases, and such.  What I do not have is any information on the coverages of BSA National procured insurance, the type of coverage (risks insured), who is insured, policy limits, and deductibles.  That insurance may not cover abuse and molestation claims.  And if it does, who is insured?  Unit leaders (who are not alleged abusers), Units (not likely legal entities), chartering organizations, and the local councils?

    Thank you.

    • Thanks 1
  6. My unit has entered and uploaded its rechartering individuals' info, but no rechartering agreement of any sort has been signed by our Catholic Parish Priest.  The Diocese wants to use its facility use agreement and our Council wants to use BSA's facility use agreement.  And there is a standoff.

    And so, relevant parts of an email to me by my unit's COR:

    I'm following up with our DE to let him know the feedback I got from Father and the diocese and suggesting that this is a bigger issue that needs to be dealt with at least at the Council and Diocese level if not higher rather than through me and the other CORs for each unit chartered to a Catholic parish.
     
    In the meantime I wanted to confirm my understanding of your recommendation to proceed with activities as normal.  As we discussed, Father has given us approval to continue meeting on campus and we have been, which I believe aligns with what we discussed...

    The Pack is planning to hold Pinewood Derby this weekend on campus which I believe falls under the meeting category.  One new question that came up tonight was Troop campouts.  They have a campout planned a week from this coming Friday and they are looking for feedback that they can move forward with it.  Based on all the reading and research you've done, do you see any issues or concerns with a campout in terms of liability coverage if something were to happen?

     

    And so, posters, the questions are:

    "Should a unit which has no rechartering agreement in place, uploaded its rechartering individuals' info, but not paid a rechartering fee, nor received written confirmation from the DE continue to conduct scouting activities, such as troop meetings, and monthly campouts? And if so, what are the uninsured liabilities?"

     

    My reply email is:

     

    All—

    I am no insurance expert, and I am not sure I have any sound recommendations, but from my understanding:

    From the viewpoint of personal injury to a scout, presumably parents have health insurance (some may not), the Parish ought to have premises liability insurance which should also cover medical expenses and pain & suffering for injury. The “touted” BSA insurance is secondary to all other insurance, and I don’t think its coverage is very high in any event.

    There is a fair chance BSA may deny it has liability on its secondary coverage given the uncertain status of our unit as “registered” or “not registered.”  I am not aware of any agreement by our Units (Troop and Pack) that we are providing primary or secondary liability/medical insurance for injury to scouts, so I think, at best, the Units may be tacitly representing that there is secondary insurance due to registration with Scouting.  So, we (individual unit leaders, Troop, and Chartering Organization) may potentially lose BSA’s secondary liability insurance for injuries and be potentially liable for the benefits that secondary insurance would provide.  

    We could ask parents to sign a Waiver regarding any injuries, and abuse and molestation, acknowledge that there may not be any coverage by BSA insurance.  The Release would run in favor of the troop, unit leaders and the chartering organization.  There is case law in our state that such waivers are nearly worthless as a defense, but if we have a waiver in hand at least we have a potential defense.

    So, to get the best protection available, short of shutting down all activities, is to obtain a Release from parents of each scout which runs in favor of all unit leaders, the troop (thought it is not a legal entity), and the chartering organization.

    As far as individual leader insurance liability for the adult’s involvement in an accident is concerned, I think that the only coverage available for that would be whatever insurance the adult leader has through homeowner’s coverage (maybe) or auto coverage.  Homeowner’s coverage may provide zero coverage (Adult authorizes scouts to sled on a hill and a scout is injured.) BUT, chartered or not, there is no change in the insurance coverage for an adult leader-these risks run as a non-registered troop are the same as a registered troop.  Maybe we’ve all been running uninsured risks for decades.

    The BIG issue is whether there is any coverage for the Unit adult leaders, the Unit, and Chartering Organization for liability for what is called “abuse and molestation” (in the insurance industry).

    Perpetrators who commit abuse and molestation are never insured.  Their actions are intentional and likely criminal acts and are uninsurable.

    From National’s bankruptcy proceeding, it seems as if there was abuse and molestation coverage from 1976 onward.  But just who is insured is not clear to me.  Maybe chartering organizations, local councils, but individual adult leaders who are not the perpetrators?  I do not know.

    More importantly, I do not know whether any such National insurance is currently in effect (during the pendency of National’s bankruptcy) nor who it insures.

    So, for the greatest protection, we stop all Unit activities until all of the insurance coverage is resolved.  That could be yet this year. Truly.

    Or, prepare a broad-based Release releasing unit leaders, the unit, and the chartering organization for all liability, injury, and abuse and molestation. Probably best to get a release for each outing.

    Best I can do.

    But there are always the Oracles at Delphi, too.

    Adult Troop Leader

     

    Posters-thanks in advance.

     

  7. 45 minutes ago, 1980Scouter said:

    For wealth, I will use my LC. They are contributing 6 million currently. They have 20 million in assets.  Some are restricted.  But at least 13 million is not. So they could give a lot more. It would likely require selling a camp but they have two nice ones.

    If they lose the council office and a camp in addition to most of their endowment they still exist and have a camp and can continue on with liability released. By the way they have over 400 claims against them.

    This is what it will take in my opinion to get the plan passed. They survive in the end but with less assets. 

    I agree.  From the TCC  individual council analyses, some councils are scheduled to contribute a third or half of their unrestricted assets and others perhaps only 20% or so. The TCC analyses would do well to also show the percentage of contribution to unrestricted assets.  It roughly appears to me that the larger councils are contributing a smaller percentage, and I wonder if those councils are going to be the survivors with the councils contributing a much higher percentage are targeted for merging out of existence. "We need a war chest in the surviving councils."

    I understand that there is a map with "150 mile circles on it" which identifies all of the camps in the Scouting system within those circles.  Circles with too many camps for the scouts available, will see the sale of camps.

  8. 49 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

    in order to position the program as larger than it was and garner more UW and more FOS local contributions.

    And, in my area at least, from United Ways. Grumbling among other local charities that they were being unfairly shorted because of United Way money going to service phantom scouts.

  9. 2 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

    As a survivor and someone who was briefly on an Executive Board viewing the initial stages of the case (before being scrubbed), I don’t think there is any such “tacit recognition,” as stated. If we received overwhelming recompense - compensation is a bit crass to me, though I’m certain you mean no offense - those who wish to see Scouting continue would be no less intent on YP improvements. The two goals exist independently and intensely so. I would be ashamed of myself if I received an award of any amount and watched BSA emerge without advocating for YP reform. Our opportunity for significant leverage is now. If we don’t seize it and end up squandering the moment, that would be an awful thing. That said, BSA has to come to the table and “make it so, Number One.” (Nod to Captain Picard. So, everyone gets that reference, yes?!)

    You do understand me precisely and stated it much better than I.  No offense was intended.  My intent was that "no matter what award survivors receive, YP reform has to improve/bolster/enhance/ensure that such abuse never happens again."

    (I'd note that I sometimes use non-legal terms in my posts because readers may not be versed in the nuances of legal terms-of-art.  I used "compensation" to connote a money judgment/payment. "Award" is technically more appropriate, but more generic and to a non-lawyer, connotes things much more akin to a medal or ribbon-clearly not my intent.  To a lawyer, "award" is a money judgment. So, perhaps, "settlement payment" or even something else would have been better.  Mea culpa. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.)

    Words are our joy, and our burden-and sometimes, downfall.

    And I also meant that it is my impression that Survivors see YP enhancement as a co-equal and essential element of any resolution of this, equal with any monetary award.  And, I understand that regardless of any monetary award, YP reform is its own issue and to be resolved as its own issue.

    Clearly, BSA's proposal of ONE Survivor on any YP Board moving forward is a clear statement that BSA cares not one whit about meaningful YP reform. Survivor presence should be a majority.

    I stand firmly with the Survivors.  BSA has to make good on the damage it has caused. Funds accumulated in National's and Councils' war chests (long-term investments) over the past many decades should be used to redress the damage done over those past many decades. Borrowing NOW to pay for the damage of past decades is shifting the burden of that damage to current Scouts and their families.  And is not their bill.

    But is leaves Councils flush with old money to fund salaries.

    Yesterday, I learned that our scout executive's salary plus retirement fund contribution, for last year was just shy of 50% of the Council's budget. (The retirement contribution was HALF of salary.)

    Sack cloth and ashes at the ready @ThenNow.

     

    • Thanks 1
  10. 7 minutes ago, SiouxRanger said:

    Oh, well, yes..

    I have long made the observation that the law is totally unable to conceive of the infinite varieties of situations the human mind can create.  The law is ALWAYS

    ???

    ALWAYS behind the circumstances human minds can concoct.  Statutes always have gaps in their coverage, and that is why we have courts which try to fill those gaps

    • Upvote 2
  11. 45 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

    Well said.  

    There are other options though.  For example, taking a loan to cover finances / legal costs that reduces the asset liquidation value.  ... hmmm ...

    Oh, well, yes..

    I have long made the observation that the law is totally unable to conceive of the infinite varieties of situations the human mind can create.  The law is ALWAYS

    • Upvote 1
  12. 26 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

    Well said.  

    There are other options though.  For example, taking a loan to cover finances / legal costs that reduces the asset liquidation value.  ... hmmm ...

    From a different point of view, I was only addressing a number of posts and did not want to get bogged down in answering each at length, repeating myself, losing whatever audience I have (maybe only you, faithful friend).

    I wasn't addressing legitimate solutions to sheltering assets.  They exist, are legal, and maybe even acceptable to National.

    • Upvote 1
  13. 20 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

    Well said.  

    There are other options though.  For example, taking a loan to cover finances / legal costs that reduces the asset liquidation value.  ... hmmm ...

    Yep, agreed.

    I have always held the position that the law (legislation) is inherently incapable of imagining all of the possible combinations and permutations of human behavior, and so laws never "comprehensive'," that is, covering everything.

    And THAT is why we have courts-to apply laws (inherently insufficient) to situations the laws just don't quite cover.

    (Trust me, NOBODY likes to pay legal costs. For any reason or any purpose.  (smile))

    • Upvote 1
  14. 4 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

    I really think it would help for JSS to start declaring what the court thinks of the plan.

    Your's is a good point.

    The American system of jurisprudence is based on the idea that opposing parties in a case, present their opposing positions and arguments in support of them in open court or documents, and then the judge "adjudicates" by making a judgment and rendering a decision. The judge's decision will tell you about the judge's thinking. You'll have the decision before you'll have insight into the judge's thinking.  Not so helpful, but it is our law.  A  judge rarely just pontificates from the bench (during a hearing) about how the judge is thinking.

    But people being people, there are ways a judge "signals" their leaning on an issue, or whether they think a party's position is shakey.  (They rarely signal that they think a party's position is strong.)

    They ask pointed questions or make comments on the evidence offered or arguments being made during a hearing. And the tone of that will be a big clue of the judge's thinking.

    Or, they will suggest an in camera conference in the judge's chambers, where the judge can be a bit heavier in the judge's comments (not wanting to make the same comments in open court and perhaps embarrass an attorney in the presence of their client-if the client feels that the attorney has lost the confidence of the judge, that attorney may not be able to persuade the client to compromise, and the judge is not in the business of crippling legal counsel so that pending matters cannot be resolved.)

    It is complicated.  And subtle.  Reading tea leaves is easy, and just as about as reliable.

    • Upvote 2
  15. 2 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

    In this case, it's easy to imagine that, say, 10 to 15 percent of claimants won't be satisfied with anything less than burn it all down.

    Your comment just strikes me.

    The "flip side" is that there are some survivors who are not interested in "burning it all down."

    And why would that be? (I'd understand if 100% of survivors wanted to burn it all down.)

    I suspect because one of the goals of the TCC-that "YPT be enhanced and upgraded so that abuse never happens again."

    Essentially, a tacit recognition that there is not enough money to adequately compensate us, but we can demand ONE THING that compensates us for the pain in our souls-that it never happens again to other children.

    • Upvote 1
  16. 6 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

    To me, what is confusing, is the 66% is what is listed by Omni as target and it shows it as approved.  One would think if the real target was higher, Omni should list that as the minimum.  However, I know this whole thing is a grey area....

    Omni is merely in the business of doing "ministerial' acts.  It posts documents, indexes, tallies votes.  It is a clerk.  It is not making policy. Judges make policy, sometimes consistent with other judges and sometimes not..   It sounds as if the only % on the books and contained in bankruptcy law is 66%.

    Omni is merely reporting that the vote it tallied exceeds the stated statutory requirement.  We've heard of judges using anywhere from 75% to 95%.  Omni, as a clerk, is not in the position to "pick a percentage."   Judges do that. Omni's representation of "approved" is irrelevant.

    • Thanks 1
  17. All of the comments about various arrangements to transfer camps out of local council ownership, essentially for free, to protect them from creditors have not mentioned the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act, updated in 2014, and renamed the Uniform Voidable Transfer Act.  It has been enacted in about 45 states.

    The purpose of the Act is to render transactions voidable if done to shelter assets from present or future creditors (by transferring valuable assets, in our case a local council, without receiving comparable value in return which comparable value could be used to pay claimants).

    Almost certainly, any such transfer after the Oregon case verdict in 2010 would be suspect as that case was the proverbial handwriting on the wall.

    Were it to be shown that Scout Executives had knowledge of substantial settlements, not in the public eye, that date could even be earlier. By the time you know you have a problem, your knowledge is the problem, as any action you take to shelter assets once you know they are at risk makes the sheltering suspect and perhaps voidable (that is can be reversed). Catch 22.

    Were a council to transfer camp(s), then manage to stave off filing bankruptcy for the requisite period, one gets into legal discussions of the interplay between bankruptcy law and state law. I don't have any current knowledge on that topic.

    And then there is the problem of the Scout Law, Rule 1:  Trustworthy.

    Not seemly for scout councils to connive to conceal assets to avoid a financial reckoning for its activities. Then there's the embarrassment of council board members who might take exception to being a co-conspirator in such machinations.

    • Thanks 3
    • Upvote 1
  18. 21 minutes ago, Bronco1821 said:

    Is there somewhere one can go to find that their vote was recorded correctly?  I voted against the plan through the mail but my attorney is one of the "those" and I was just hoping that he somehow didn't vote after me by master ballot changing my vote to for the plan.  There are so many documents to plow through and the OMNI site is very un-user friendly, plus I'm old and not so tech savy.

    That is an excellent question.  The answer should be posted here if someone knows, and hopefully, either the TCC has that info posted somewhere and makes it known at its Town Halls, or the need to post it is brought to the TCC's attention.

    And THEN, there needs to be some mechanism to flag those disparities to OMNI so they can be tallied.

  19. I was treated poorly by a high school football coach during my high school career, as were a number of my classmates.

    My children attended the same high school.

    I advised them of the coach's "proclivities" and that they were to report to me any ill-treatment by that coach, as I would have their back, and would take care of it.  Nothing ever developed.

    On another account, a soccer coach screamed and threatened my oldest son, a soccer referee.  It frightened him.  He was a child.  I secured the removal of the coach from the program.

    Please tell me WHEN did we, you, society, decide to provide no or limited protection to children?

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