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Registration Revocation

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As noted elsewhere, our Council is in turmoil - with wholesale replacement of long serving volunteers in District and Council positions. Anyone criticizing the sale of Council assets has been "punished" in this way. FOS is being boycotted and hasn't made its goal since our new SE showed up. He has managed to unite volunteers into a way no other SE has - against him.


A unit leader had his registration revoked after criticizing the proposed sale of a facility and the treatment of volunteers. There is clearly no "cause or grounds for legal action" to justify his removal and the units he's in are upset with his removal.


He was NOT given any reason for this action. Nothing was said to him or his units before he was summarily removed. Two staffers showed at his door - no volunteer with them as BSA procedures state. BSA seems to claim that reasons are given verbally but even their own procedures state that those delivering a letter in such cases should not give specific details. "You're guilty of something - defend yourself." BSA should be ashamed.


BSA refuses his request to have reasons stated in writing and won't even cite the rules he was removed under.


His SM has been told that he can't be told the reason for this leader's removal, but that the reasons for this do not involve boys - that he is no threat to boys and that he is welcome to participate as a parent in any Scouting activities - it sure seems like he was not removed for cause. And if that's the case, only the chartering organization has authority to remove a unit Scouter.


So, how does this leader appeal this action if he has no facts to respond to, no incident to give his version of? If not told WHY, he can't defend himself.


This is like something out of some Communist of Facist state. What about Due Process? If he's not a threat to boys, which was made clear, what's going on here?


This is a leader whose history is exemplary. He's supported by the units he's in. There aren't any valid reasons to remove him. What's going on and what should he do?


BSA is stonewalling - for "his protection." Sounds more like legal tail-covering. Nobody believes there's a valid resaon for his removal. Most believe that this leader was removed for purely political reasons. He spoke up against what many people believe are wrong and got punished for doing so. He didn't hold any District position to lose so out he went. Hang him as an example. That seems to be this SE's approach. Intimidate when you can't lead.


And BW can blindly defend all he wants but this is just wrong. If boys aren't at risk, why should BSA treat a long serving leader so badly. What about Due Process, Innocent until proven guilty and other lasting AMERICAN values? We should be ashamed - and worried. So much for BSA being fair to volunteer leaders. You'd better watch your back - free speech, even when speaking out for what's right, apparently isn't a right in BSA.


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OK, I do not have anything that will back this up. No lost or misunderstood memos, no material from the BSA. In fact nothing. I will try and find out more but at this time I'm unsure where to start looking.

I have just returned from a meeting that was supposed to be about a Eagle Dinner. I was only there as our rep is on vacation. This dinner had in the past been held in May.

For this dinner each Eagle Scout picks out an area or a career that he might want to pursue.

Then the District Advancement Committee is charged with finding sponsors who will take the Scout to work for a day and pay for two dinners and a gift for the Scout $75.00 They of course get to eat one of the dinners. Companies can sponsor a table or whatever at different levels from $250.00 to $5,000.00.

It was the feeling of some people in the Council, me included that having this dinner in May was just to close to the FOS campaign. So it was moved to August. Since the move (this is year two) the percentage of Eagle Scouts attending has gone down.

A couple of the guys attending tonights meeting feel that this is the end of Scouting as we know it. In fact they let me have it with both barrels tonight. That is fine I'm a big boy and can take it. Also at the meeting were the Council Commissioner and the Vice President for Program. The unhappy guys when they seen that they were not making much in fact no headway with me started saying how it was time for the Scout Exec. To go. Needless to say neither of them are board members and at this time don't have the "Pull" or the support to make this go anywhere. One guy was clever enough to see this and shut up the other guy just kept going on and on and....

He started saying things like we were more interested in money then we are Scouts and that sort of stuff.

At this time there is really no harm. He has dug his heels in and no matter what anyone says he isn't going to change his mind.

However he says that his next step is to get a petition out to all the Scoutmasters.

While I think what he is planning to do is wrong ,I will be meeting with his District Chairman and ask the Chairman to see if he can drum some sense into him.

Up till now this is all fact.

Now let us pretend that he starts spreading the word that our Council is more interested in money then it is Scouts. What happens if people in the community hear this and stop donating? What would happen if a story slanted this way got in the press? What happens when a parent who was thinking about having their son or daughter join Scouting gets wind of this? I don't know what happens. b

But I can imagine that none of it would help us in the work that we are trying to do.

I think that the Scout Exec. has the right and can revoke a membership. As I say I don't know the rules that govern this. I have been led to believe that if someone has their membership revoked that they can appeal to the National Office of the Boy Scouts Of America.

We have has far as I know in our District revoked the membership of one Scouter. He was at a District Camporee some years back and for some reason "Mooned" a group of Scouts. The District Chair. Was there and seen it all. It went to the Scout Exec. Who revoked his membership. This was about ten years ago. The guy was still a parent, his son went on to become an Eagle Scout. The troop committee, the chartering organization and a good number of the parents in the troop send letters to the National Office asking for him to be reinstated. The National Office considered their request and denied it.

Scout Execs. are trained by the BSA, the BSA selects from the hundreds of people who work for them those that are ready for promotion. The Scout Execs are supported by the Regional Staff and Committee. Sure there are times when Scout Execs mess up. Most are willing to stand up and say when they have. But I would hazard a guess when it comes down to taking a side who the BSA will back.

Eamonn(This message has been edited by Eamonn)

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There are a number of scenarios where a volunteer might be removed. There is a book "Selecting District People" #34512E that talks about removing a volunteer. A couple of examples: A "person who just can't get along with others and may even greatly offend some, driving good people out of Scouting."

Another: "This volunteer is a poor team player who is not in keeping with the organization's image. This person prevents others from being effective and may also drive them out of Scouting. This volunteer may hate his or her Scouting responsibility and lets others know it."


The BSA is not a government and is not a democracy. There is no court. Volunteers have no particular "rights". The bottom line is that BSA has the right to choose its leaders.


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What one, or an organization, can do and what they/it does do are two different things. No less the expert than our former President, William Jefferson Clinton stated that the reason he "did" Monica was because he could. He also stated that it was a lousy reason and decision on his part.


As many state, the BSA can remove volunteers. The risk is making "martyrs" out of these volunteers. I think that the SEs, National Council, etc. should give other volunteers and the general public more credit than they currently do. If a volunteer is critical of an official BSA decision (not policy but a decision like selling off council property), I think it would be very low to try and "muzzle" that individual by membership revocation. On the flip side, there are improper ways and proper ways to make ones views heard.


In the council where I am a member (my council - for the majority of you), there was talk of selling off one of our camp properties. It was about 45 years old and at one time in the middle of nowhere. Now, it is surrounded by the outer edges of suburban sprawl and the land value alone is worth much more than 10 times the original value of the property and buildings on it. There was much debate about the issue. One of the reasons for selling was that the property taxes alone were more than the funds that the camp brought in from fees. After bitter debate, the camp was not closed.


It was only after a few years that I learned from the Program Director that due to our state laws, the council pays no property tax on the camp at all!


To my knowledge, no volunteers had their memberships revoked.

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Hops is right, an SE has total control in the council, he has the right to remove a leader, revoke a charter and overide a charter organization or district committee. It may not seem fair but it is the way BSA set it up. The only appeal you can try is to the Regional office, but you need to have clear evidence of wrongdoing by the SE or they will not even listen to you. If your SE is as unpopular as you say and he fails to make FOS and unit goals over time eventually Regional will replace him.

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As Stapler guy pointed out, when you kick a grumbler out of a volunteer organization, you can make him a martyr. You might also be telling one and all that he had a point. More volunteers will take up his banner.


I also think that BSA, like any organization that has more than 20 members, is prone to duplicity. Stapler Guy's story about the camp is a prime example. The people in charge claimed that property taxes were too high but I'm sure that someone up the chain of command knew that there were no taxes. Why'd they want to sell the property? Maybe to fund a pay raise. Maybe to fund pet project.



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The SE does NOT have the right to kick someone out for whatever reason - the procedures do NOT state this.


Under "How to remove a VOlunteer" in various Commissioner and District publications it is clear that even if there is a reason, ONLY the chartering organization can remove a unit Scouter - if they are uncooperative or whatever. But steps are supposed to be taken to deal with the issues before removing that person.


Council can act to remove someone for "cause or grounds for legal action, misrepresentation or immoral acts" - but the person is still allowed to file an appel.


However, how does one file an appeal if NO FACTS OR REASONS are given for the removal? How can you refute facts that are not provided?


This is simply cowardly. You're guilty - you're out.


Too many people seem to be willing to follow and not question. Evil thrives when good people are silent.


Right has no reason to fear light. Wrong seeks darkness to hide.



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I'm quoting this from http://www.mninter.net/~blkeagle/camo.htm


"Just to let the guy know, Mike: In 1996, two Scouters wearing camoed pants and a Scouts shirt were REFUSED ENTRY into a Council Camporee by the Scout Executive of that Council. The Scout Executive informed them of the BSA's uniforming policy and told them that unless they choose to be in compliance with that policy, they would not be allowed entry into the Camporee. One adult complied; the other adult re-asserted his personal right to wear whatever the hell he wanted to wear. The Scout Executive simply said "fine", both Scouters went into the camp facility.


An hour later, the Scout Executive, accompanied by the local County sheriff, served the Scouter still wearing the camo gear with a "letter of membership denial", and advised him that since he is no longer a registered member of the BSA, that his presence on the campground is no longer welcomed. He was given 15 minutes to pack out his gear, and he and his son (because the man said "If I go, my son goes too...") was escorted off the camp property by the law enforcement people."


I know nothing about this as to the truth of it or not. We wont go there; have done similar things in recent threads regarding this site. Please do not start that here.



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Oh dear... something must be done about this "council in turmoil."


I think it may be time to take the issue to a higher level, if anyone who opposes the SE would have their membership revoked... My best advice would be to get a few of those dedicated leaders who have had their membership revoked (because of a disagreement they might have had with the SE) to write a letter or something like that to a national or regional officer, and ask them to step in and resolve the situation. Present the national or regional officer not only with the reasons why you think this SE is abusing his power, but also with the "state of turmoil" that the council has ben in with the leadership of the SE.

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It is my understanding the the chartered organization can remove a member, youth or adult, from its unit, but only the national or local council can remove a member from scouting altogether. If a CO removes a member from its unit, that person is still a registered member until his or her membership expires.


I have not personally heard of any arbitrary treatment of volunteers, but I am sure that it happens from time to time. It is important for BSA to maintain some notion of fairness and due process, although the idea of hearings, witnesses, etc., is not required and not advisable. People do deserve to be told why actions are being taken.


Given the rarity of outright removal, I would think that some kind of automatic review should be built into the process, probably at the regional level. As far as I know there is no review at higher levels unless someone appeals an action.

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Jhkny you are so very wrong , it is as Eisley stated a Scout Exec has the power to remove anyone from scouting or deny a charter as the local rep. of the National office that is in the National bylaws. I know this because as a DE i once had to stand in for the SE and remove a volunteer who had physically abused some boys in his troop. It was done on a council and district level, and he was blackballed from scouting forever. A CO can only dismiss someone from that unit alone.


The BSA maintains tight and total control on local scouting in case of legal problems that could involve a lawsuit against the organization.

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If a person was removed for good reasons or for bad reasons, it appears that some importance should be given to open understanding or to hear what occurred. In most areas of the United States and in many businesses, some form of due process is an accepted method of showing fairness. The "good use of power" applies balance to its' judgments because it is considered not just bad manners but an abuse to do otherwise. I would hope that if the BSA considers being part of the 21st century is important then listening to those in the opposition would find a place in the organization.


Likewise, volunteers need to act in accordance with Scouting principles in all of their actions even when they feel that they have been wrongly treated. If the volunteers knew that they could be listened to and responded to fairly, then the rules of decorum would be easier to engage. Nonetheless, Scouters need to follow reasonable guidelines of response even if the organization does not support a doctrine of fairness. To do otherwise would be a violation of the Scout Oath and Law, a doctrine held high by most of us.




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