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Does BSA have a monopoly?

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One thing that I can't reconcile about those so-called 'facts' is their status as facts. If there is a shred of validity to the stories jkhny insists on bringing to us, any numbers supplied by BSA are suspect. I could not reliably say there is any trend whatsoever, whether growth or decline. But I do know this unit and those around us are doing fine.

As for Canada, I would also subject that alleged trend to a thorough critical assessment before I accepted it.

And even if both trends are real, I could not make any conclusions about the actual cause and effect relationship in your inquiry.

 

My statement was about a relationship between the membership policy and FUNDING. That, at least, seems to be clear - at least for some of the traditional funding sources such as United Way. This too could be in error because BSA may have found replacements for this funding as well. If BSA opened their books to public scrutiny this could be determined with better reliability.

Is there really a decline? Does BSA 'cook the books' to make their membership more lucrative for the remaining funding agencies, thus setting up a false decline when more accurate numbers are later produced? Have any of the numbers ever been accurate? From my perspective, as long as this unit is doing well, the boys having fun and progressing to adulthood, the importance of an increase or decline at the national level is mainly for those whose interests are for the funding. As Rush says, "It's all about money". At least for some of us.

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This is a matter of US law.

 

And international law, under our copyright and trademark treaties. Ironic isn't it that under those treaties, the BSA could try to enforce its exclusive use of the term "Scouting" against our brother scouts in Britain and Denmark. Same way Coca-Cola could stop a British company from selling a Coke knockoff.

 

But I never said it wasn't legal. That is a question of law which has not yet been decided.

 

I said it wasn't honorable.

 

Law does not determine ethics, though we hope over time that ethics will inform law.

 

 

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Of course we notice that when people do use the word scouting in the title of their organization, such as "Scouting for All" they do not provide any program that even comes close to presenting an outdoor, ethical or citizenship program just a group of folks filing lawsuits and clogging the chat rooms with negative rants against the BSA, forcing the expediture of big $$$ that have the effect of curtailing positive experiences for youth in the community. And when they are challenged they file cease and desist orders.

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Hey stlscouter, I'm not aware of any lawsuits or "cease and desist" orders filed by Scouting For All; perhaps you could fill me in. And exactly what has SFA done to cause the BSA to spend "big $$$"?

 

I also can't help noticing that the BSA is the one filing lawsuits lately, in an effort to prevent the loss of some of their special government support. So if you want to complain about expensive lawsuits, blame the BSA.

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So if you want to complain about expensive lawsuits,

blame the BSA.

 

No one tops the ACLU in expensive pointless lawsuits!

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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DanKroh writes:

 

Kudu, have you ever had this sort of thing happen with the Baden Powell Scouts?

 

I can't comment on that directly, but as Merlyn_LeRoy notes, the trademark issue will be determined by the YouthScouts case. This is perhaps the first serious challenge to the perceived monopoly since the BSA unsuccessfully tried to force the Girl Scouts to change their name to the Girl Guides in 1924.

 

As I understand the YouthScouts' case, the basic idea is that the Congressional Charter may protect the term "Boy Scouts" but that it does not protect the single generic term "Scouts" any more than it protects the single generic word "Boy." The case is significant because the YouthScouts filed in San Francisco, which is not known as a Religious Right stronghold, and BSA will be forced to appeal any favorable ruling to the Ninth Circuit, which has ruled against the BSA in the past.

 

The YouthScouts website is updated with each and every development in the legal case, see:

 

http://youthscouts.org/news.html

 

If you are really interested in the legal history of the term "Scouts," be sure to look at the YouthScouts' massive online compendium. For instance:

 

http://youthscouts.org/BSAvWrennTTABAnswerCounterclaims.pdf

 

I excerpted some of this information in the thread "Question on BSA and Religion"

 

http://www.scouter.com/forums/viewThread.asp?threadID=125243#id_125986

 

For those who are interested in the idea of Scouting as a religion, the best examination of Baden-Powell's vision of Scouting as a spiritual movement can be found in Tim Jeal's biography, Baden-Powell. I excerpted some of Jeal's key passages in "B-P & Nature Knowledge," see:

 

http://inquiry.net/ideals/beads.htm

 

SR540Beaver writes:

 

What if every car company wanted to include the word Chevrolet in their name? Or if every shoe company wanted to call their shoes Nikes or every fast food place wanted to be called McDonalds?

 

The correct analogy is "What if Chevrolet wanted to trademark the generic terms "car" and "automobile"? Or if Nike wanted to trademark the generic terms "shoe" and "sneaker"? Or if McDonald's wanted to trademark the generic terms "hamburger" and "french fries"?

 

As Beavah notes, and the YouthScouts' online material documents in detail, the terms "Scouts" and "Scouting" were used generically to refer to the methods of Baden-Powell's stand-alone program by many Scouting organizations established in the United States before the BSA. Not only single Patrols and Troops form Maine to California, but also those organizations that had further aspirations of forming national Scouting movements. By 1910 these included the publisher William R. Hearst's "American Boy Scout" (later the "United States Boy Scout"); the National Highway Protection Association's "Boy Scouts of the United States;" "The Peace Scouts of California;" the "National Scouts of America," formed by a military school in Manlius, NY; and "The YMCA Scouts."

 

If you have the Kid Scouts of America with Troops and Patrols and they have no youth protection guidelines in place and allow kids to sleep in tents with adults, guess who gets painted with the same brush of criticism when a problem arises? Every organization with Scouts in their name.

 

This is a two-edged sword, because it is the BSA that tarnishes the good name of Scouting by asserting that "Scouting's values" include going to court to exclude a six-year-old boy because his parents will not sign a religious edict that requires the recognition of the god named "God" as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings as necessary for the best type of citizenship. This "sins of the father" approach is the exact opposite of Baden-Powell's notion of Scouting as "catching hooligans" and changing their values through the indirect methods he called the game of Scouting. It is also the exact opposite of the teachings of Jesus as they are understood by many Christians (tolerate the little children, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of heaven).

 

It is the Religious Right that is riding the coat tails of a century of heavy-lifting by well-meaning volunteers, in order to impose its policies of discrimination on Scouting. This is the central problem with mere reformist organizations such as "Scouting for All." SfA does not adequately recognize that it is the BSA's unholy monopoly on Scouting that allows it to be the only Scouting association in all of the Western World that asserts that discrimination against Girls and Gays is a "Scouting value."

 

The best way to free Scouting from the exclusionary polices of the BSA's religious corporate brand, is to support the YouthScouts' challenge to the legal monopoly on Scouting, and for moderates to get out there and establish alternatives.

 

What the BSA fears most is not the small victories of SfA and the ACLU, but the infinitely more powerful American value of freedom in the marketplace of ideas.

 

Kudu

 

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I'm trying to recall a single lawsuit that wasn't expensive. Some help here?

Also, what are the qualifications that make a lawsuit pointless?

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A few points - early on in the US there WERE competing "Scouting" organizations. BSA actively sought and won political support - gaining a Congressional charter - which they then used to end the "Scouting" claims of competing groups. In fact BSA sought to prevent Girl Scouts of America from using "Scout" when they first started up.

 

As far as costs and such - volunteers do most of the real work in Scouting. They run local units, training for new members, run events, staff camps (at least the majority) and more.

 

In our Council - "Camping and Activities" revenue (things that you think of when it comes to Scouting) actually pay for the costs for these things. Actually they're profitable - our Council makes money on them..... but then charging $75 if you use any firewood out of the box at the local reservation's cabins....... Camping and Activities account for just over a third of the budget.

 

AN in-depth analysis of our COuncil shows that salaries and related costs are over half of our budget...... ironic in that many volunteers say the ONLY time that they see paid staff is when they show up to ask for money.... candid conversations with DE's reveal that they are under tremendous pressure to raise money - to bring in 3x their own salary. THAT is their main focus - and a major complaint. Litle time is spent "directly" supporting Scouting - at least around here.....

 

SO..... what DOES "Council" do? Record keeping ain't that good...... and the basic bookkeeping is not well handled.....more than a few SM's have complained that the office doesn't WANT to deal with summer camp payments and such ..... "It's like pulling teeth to get them to TAKE your money" - and it seems like there are ALWAYS problems even when you do pay......

 

I don't know ANY business that could run so poorly and survive.....

 

Our SE hasn't made ANY of his goals in 5 years, a few hundred volunteers have walked away but he's making $135,000 for watching over 7-8,000 SCOUTS (lets ignore the LFL fraud..... we raise money for "handicapped Scouts" and pay LFL to teach crafts to retarded kids once a month...... but we claim those numbers.....). In contrast our Girl Scout head here earns $86,000 while overseeing a program with 17,000 kids in SCOUTING.

 

BSA's "numbers" are an exercise in confusion. Read the BSA annual report and compare it to Girl Scouts.......

 

Even the way BSA counts is deceptive. We claimed an "increase" in youth served a few years back - a number that has gone down since..... a challenge led not to an investigation not by a local volunteer but a BSA audit that showed "no evidence that procedures were not being followed...." NO numbers were investigated despite clear "problems" and conflicts among Council documents and reports.....

 

Strangely, the dues paid by Council to National are dropping by double digit percentages....... a more accurate indication of participation than "total served by year end" numbers..... Who cares if a kid shows up for one meeting and isn't ever seen again? No success there. But it boosts total counts. Dues have to get paid for every member for every month they participate. If THAT number is down by over 20%.... you have a problem..... and THAT is one of my problems with BSA..... WIlliams touts measuring "success" with statistics but all BSA does is manipulate statistics - and STILL can't show any REAL success...... SCOUTING numbers continue to tank..... LFL is a contrived joke of a program designed to get funding BSA can't get from charities or government.......

 

But BSA has some of the highest paid execs in non-profits in the US - despite the failure of their "leadership" BSA does a horrid job of serving a wide range of youth - hence the high fraud levels in "innner-city" and "disadvantaged youth" programs..... staff are under intense pressure to show "success" that simply isn't there...... BSA is desperate to hold onto the LDS - its only guaranteed source of members - and as a result has allowed them influence no other group has in BSA..... this applies to training and even program conduct.....

 

In a few more years what's going to be left of BSA? I don't know but ANY organization that ignores those that do the work, and limits its appeal to a broad base to appeal to a few large "customers" eventually is held hostage by those "customers" and loses any broader appeal.....

 

But this matters little. Even if BSA dies, the professionals will still have nice big pensions and benefits - more than their volunteers will get from their jobs.

 

 

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The correct analogy is "What if Chevrolet wanted to trademark the generic terms "car" and "automobile"? Or if Nike wanted to trademark the generic terms "shoe" and "sneaker"? Or if McDonald's wanted to trademark the generic terms "hamburger" and "french fries"?

 

They already have, mustang, impala, civic, special, .....

Which is just like scouts.

 

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dan writes:

 

They already have, mustang, impala, civic, special, .....

Which is just like scouts.

 

No, it is not "just like Scouts."

 

"Scouts" and "Scouting" were used to refer to the stand-alone program of Baden-Powell before the BSA was invented, just as "automobile" and "car" were used generically to refer to horseless carriages.

 

The correct analogy of "Mustang," "Impala," or "Civic," is to legitimate inventions of the BSA that use common words that were not previously used in Scouting such as "Star," "Life," "Eagle," or "Merit Badges."

 

"Tenderfoot," "Second Class," "First Class," and "Proficiency Badges" (as well as "Scouts" and "Scouting") were terms already in general use in Scouting before the establishment of the BSA, and are not specifically protected by the Congressional Charter.

 

Kudu

 

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Merlyn As I recall the Scouting For All folks issued a cease and desist order against a group that was using SFA.com Imagine a group that does no scouting program telling someone else not to use the scouting word.

But, at least you have the cetifiable 1,000,000 signatures on the petition. Who audits that number? Any crinimals or child molesters in the group or don't you take the time to check that out?

I understand the Scouting For All group was at the march on public property in Washington DC, anybody pay fair market value for that priveledge? Like in the neighborhood of at least $1 like Balboa Park or $3 milliomn in improvements to A. P. Hill?

And while we're at it w2hy does the Scouting For All folks like you lie when you know that you are not for ALL but just the godless and homosexuals?

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stlscouter writes:

Merlyn As I recall the Scouting For All folks issued a cease and desist order against a group that was using SFA.com Imagine a group that does no scouting program telling someone else not to use the scouting word.

 

Oh yes, some group tried to deceive people by using www.scoutingforall.com about six years ago. That domain name is now owned by Scouting For All.

 

But, at least you have the cetifiable 1,000,000 signatures on the petition.

 

Funny, the SFA website only talks about 111,898 signatures, and like most petitions, asks signers for name, address, etc.

 

Who audits that number?

 

Who claims it's audited? Are you claiming it's audited? Are you claiming that SFA says it's audited?

 

Any crinimals or child molesters in the group or don't you take the time to check that out?

 

Are you saying criminals and child molesters can't sign petitions?

 

I understand the Scouting For All group was at the march on public property in Washington DC, anybody pay fair market value for that priveledge?

 

What country do you live in? In my country, protesting on public property is a right, not a privilege.

 

Like in the neighborhood of at least $1 like Balboa Park or $3 milliomn in improvements to A. P. Hill?

 

Oh, I see. You aren't really interested in any of that, you just want to whine about the BSA losing special privileges, so you try to ignore the constitution and say that public protesting is some kind of "privilege" (that the government could take away, like any other privilege). No citizenship merit badge for you.

 

And while we're at it w2hy does the Scouting For All folks like you lie when you know that you are not for ALL but just the godless and homosexuals?

 

Well, now you're lying. SFA does not advocate that only atheists and gays be elligible for membership; that would be kind of dumb, as many SFA members (including Scott and Steven Cozza, David Rice, etc) are neither atheists nor gay.

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Kudu

The correct analogy is

car or automobile is equal to boy.

Impala or mustang is equal to scout.

 

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The correct analogy is

car or automobile is equal to boy.

Impala or mustang is equal to scout.

 

That's just absurd, eh?

 

The point was that "car" and "automobile" were terms that predated the Mustang or even the existance of Ford Motor Company. That means either someone else owns them or they are in the public domain.

 

Scout and Scouting similarly predated the existance of da BSA. That means either someone else owns them or they are in the public domain.

 

Scoutin' for All is, IMHO, a worthless organization, and BP-Scouts and YouthScouts don't seem to really exist. But that doesn't mean that the BSA, which I support, can use "any means necessary." Tryin' to claim and enforce ownership of something that you clearly did not create and do not own is not honest nor honorable. It's a tactic that the BSA should be as ashamed of, and that all of us who are morally straight should oppose.

 

Having honor means doing some things that aren't in your own best interest because they're the right thing to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bevah

Why thank you, that was my point. :)

 

I do agree with you up to a point.

 

The BSA does not do anything relating to scouting as Baden-Powell used scouting terms, seems that his idea on scouting was tracking and hiding.

 

The one thing that you have not addressed is the issue of someone using the scouting name and the "public" would not know which group was which.

Sometimes you need to protect what is yours.

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