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eolesen

Is the Congressional Charter important?

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In the original thread, the question came up regarding who would own the Congressional Charter IF BSA were to fracture due to a change in its membership policies...

 

I've suggested that the Charter is fluff, and not required to operate the organization.

 

Others have disagreed with that... example...

 

 

So you *would* ignore/gloss over any promises/expectations implied by the granting of a Congressional Charter, correct?

 

 

To that, I have to respond with the question in the title...

Is the Charter codified by Congress critical to delivering a successful program?

 

 

 

To me, ALL that is really necessary for the organization is to deliver on the three aims, using the eight methods, and following the twelve points of the Scout Law.

 

I don't find any reference to the Congressional Charter in the Scoutmaster Handbook.

 

I don't find any reference to the Congressional Charter in the Scout Handbook.

 

And I don't find any reference to the Charter in the Scout Law.

 

If you haven't read it, it's pretty dull reading, and focused on corporate governance, trademarks, and the right to own property. Boys are only mentioned twice.

 

http://usscouts.org/aboutbsa/bsacharter.asp

 

(This message has been edited by eolesen)(This message has been edited by eolesen)

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The Congressional Charter is just prestigious fluff.

 

It's amusing to see liberals grab at any and every straw in their desperate hatred of BSA and the things it stands for. Pathetic.

 

And no matter what they do BSA has continued to stand for what it believes to be right, persevering against every attack.

 

The very model of what it means to be Brave.

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Those aspects of the charter were ones that I was thinking of with my question which stimulated this spinoff. The 'brand' of BSA is well-known and is worth a lot to any organization which wishes for success. So if LDS split away, which fraction of the split could still call itself 'BSA'?

The answer to that question might seem inconsequential but my guess is that the decision would be contentious and probably result in some kind of litigation.

Unless, of course, the Mormons merely decided to copy the program ideas and call it the 'Mormon Scouts of America' or something along those lines. 'Mormon Scouts of America' just doesn't quite resonate the same as 'Boy Scouts of America', does it? Who wants to be that 'other' scout organization...essentially the same status as BPSA or Spiralscouts (not to mention Royal Ambassadors, etc.)?

I don't minimize the consequences of a split like that. It will be contentious on many levels. And it is unlikely that either 'side' will derive much near-term benefit other than being shed of the other fraction.

 

Edit: But even if you minimize the importance of a Congressional Charter as 'fluff', the question remains: Which side gets to retain the name and brand of 'Boy Scouts of America'?

It's just a question. If you think it's an easy one then answer it.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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The Mormon Church has a developed youth program "on hand" - and no, they can't use the words "Scouts" -- seems the BSA has a US trademark on that (and a bunch of other words too).

 

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I'm not saying the program doesn't matter. YOU are saying the 'brand' doesn't.

 

Edit: UCEagle72, the issue is that BSA would be splitting. Prior to the split, BSA does indeed 'own' the trademarks, etc. But it seems that both sides of the split will likely want to retain ownership, therefore the contention. So who gets it?(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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So....who gets the trademarks then? If the document which establishes 'ownership' is just "a bit of prestigious trivia", OK...then at least answer the question.

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I'm just playing Devils Advocate regarding the branding vs. program... The brand is indeed powerful.

 

I'll argue that the brand protected thru regular trademark laws, not by virtue of the Charter. What they're doing is no different than Coca Cola owning "It's the real thing!"

 

The word "Scout" is a universal and internationally recognized term, and I'm sure dozens of organizations could try and lay claim to it. Likewise, the FDL is universally recognized as the symbol of Scouting.

 

If another organization were to surface and petition for membership in the WOSM, it would make for a most interesting situation, especially if they wound up with more critical mass than BSA.

 

But that brings me back to the original question... is the Charter a trump card here, or just a piece of history?

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Which brings up some questions. First, in what company is the BSA? What other (if any) organizations has the US Congress "chartered"?

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Sorry for this long post, but since SSScout asked, here is the index to U.S. Code Chapter 36, Subtitle II, Part B, which lists the "patriotic organizations." The section about the BSA contains the BSA's "Congressional charter." I have never been quite sure what it really means in legal terms. Even the section about the rights to words, trademarks etc. doesn't mean very much because it doesn't specifically list any words or trademarks and says that this section does not affect any "vested rights." So basically it leaves it up to the courts to decide any disputes, just like regular old trademark law does.

 

So here's the list. It's just a cut and paste so it may not be pretty, and I hope it doesn't break the forum software:

 

CHAPTER 201AGRICULTURAL HALL OF FAME ( 2010120111)

CHAPTER 202AIR FORCE SERGEANTS ASSOCIATION ( 2020120212)

CHAPTER 203AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND LETTERS ( 2030120307)

CHAPTER 205AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY ( 2050120506)

CHAPTER 207AMERICAN COUNCIL OF LEARNED SOCIETIES ( 2070120712)

CHAPTER 209AMERICAN EX-PRISONERS OF WAR ( 2090120913)

CHAPTER 210AMERICAN GI FORUM OF THE UNITED STATES ( 2100121012)

CHAPTER 211AMERICAN GOLD STAR MOTHERS, INCORPORATED ( 2110121112)

CHAPTER 213AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION ( 2130121307)

CHAPTER 215AMERICAN HOSPITAL OF PARIS ( 2150121507)

CHAPTER 217THE AMERICAN LEGION ( 2170121708)

CHAPTER 219THE AMERICAN NATIONAL THEATER AND ACADEMY ( 2190121908)

CHAPTER 221THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW ( 2210122109)

CHAPTER 223AMERICAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA LEAGUE ( 2230122312)

CHAPTER 225AMERICAN WAR MOTHERS ( 2250122510)

CHAPTER 227AMVETS (AMERICAN VETERANS) ( 2270122712)

CHAPTER 229ARMY AND NAVY UNION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ( 2290122912)

CHAPTER 231AVIATION HALL OF FAME ( 2310123112)

CHAPTER 301BIG BROTHERSBIG SISTERS OF AMERICA ( 3010130112)

CHAPTER 303BLINDED VETERANS ASSOCIATION ( 3030130312)

CHAPTER 305BLUE STAR MOTHERS OF AMERICA, INC. ( 3050130514)

CHAPTER 307BOARD FOR FUNDAMENTAL EDUCATION ( 3070130712)

CHAPTER 309BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA ( 3090130908)

CHAPTER 311BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF AMERICA ( 3110131111)

CHAPTER 401CATHOLIC WAR VETERANS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, INCORPORATED ( 4010140112)

CHAPTER 403CIVIL AIR PATROL ( 4030140307)

CHAPTER 405CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ( 4050140511)

CHAPTER 407CORPORATION FOR THE PROMOTION OF RIFLE PRACTICE AND FIREARMS SAFETY ( 4070140733)

CHAPTER 501DAUGHTERS OF UNION VETERANS OF THE CIVIL WAR 1861-1865 ( 5010150112)

CHAPTER 503DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS ( 5030150308)

CHAPTER 60182ND AIRBORNE DIVISION ASSOCIATION, INCORPORATED ( 6010160112)

CHAPTER 701FLEET RESERVE ASSOCIATION ( 7010170112)

CHAPTER 703FORMER MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ( 7030170312)

CHAPTER 705THE FOUNDATION OF THE FEDERAL BAR ASSOCIATION ( 7050170512)

CHAPTER 707FREDERICK DOUGLASS MEMORIAL AND HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION ( 7070170708)

CHAPTER 709FUTURE FARMERS OF AMERICA ( 7090170914)

CHAPTER 801GENERAL FEDERATION OF WOMENS CLUBS ( 8010180106)

CHAPTER 803GIRL SCOUTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ( 8030180307)

CHAPTER 805GOLD STAR WIVES OF AMERICA ( 8050180512)

CHAPTER 901[RESERVED] ( )

CHAPTER 1001ITALIAN AMERICAN WAR VETERANS OF THE UNITED STATES ( 100101100112)

CHAPTER 1101JEWISH WAR VETERANS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, INCORPORATED ( 110101110112)

CHAPTER 1103JEWISH WAR VETERANS, U.S.A., NATIONAL MEMORIAL, INCORPORATED ( 110301110310)

CHAPTER 1201KOREAN WAR VETERANS ASSOCIATION, INCORPORATED ( 120101120112)

CHAPTER 1301LADIES OF THE GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC ( 130101130113)

CHAPTER 1303LEGION OF VALOR OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, INCORPORATED ( 130301130311)

CHAPTER 1305LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL, INCORPORATED ( 130501130513)

CHAPTER 1401MARINE CORPS LEAGUE ( 140101140104)

CHAPTER 1403THE MILITARY CHAPLAINS ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ( 140301140305)

CHAPTER 1404MILITARY OFFICERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA ( 140401140412)

CHAPTER 1405MILITARY ORDER OF THE PURPLE HEART OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, INCORPORATED ( 140501140511)

CHAPTER 1407MILITARY ORDER OF THE WORLD WARS ( 140701140712)

CHAPTER 1501NATIONAL ACADEMY OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION ( 150101150113)

CHAPTER 1503NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES ( 150301150304)

CHAPTER 1505NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF STATE SOCIETIES, WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ( 150501150513)

CHAPTER 1507NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CITIZENSHIP ( 150701150713)

CHAPTER 1509NATIONAL COUNCIL ON RADIATION PROTECTION AND MEASUREMENTS ( 150901150912)

CHAPTER 1511NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES ( 151101151108)

CHAPTER 1513NATIONAL FALLEN FIREFIGHTERS FOUNDATION ( 151301151311)

CHAPTER 1515NATIONAL FEDERATION OF MUSIC CLUBS ( 151501151512)

CHAPTER 1517NATIONAL FILM PRESERVATION FOUNDATION ( 151701151712)

CHAPTER 1519NATIONAL FUND FOR MEDICAL EDUCATION ( 151901151911)

CHAPTER 1521NATIONAL MINING HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM ( 152101152112)

CHAPTER 1523NATIONAL MUSIC COUNCIL ( 152301152312)

CHAPTER 1524NATIONAL RECORDING PRESERVATION FOUNDATION ( 152401152412)

CHAPTER 1525NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL ( 152501152512)

CHAPTER 1526HELP AMERICA VOTE FOUNDATION ( 152601152612)

CHAPTER 1527NATIONAL SKI PATROL SYSTEM, INCORPORATED ( 152701152712)

CHAPTER 1529NATIONAL SOCIETY, DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN COLONISTS ( 152901152913)

CHAPTER 1531THE NATIONAL SOCIETY OF THE DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION ( 153101153107)

CHAPTER 1533NATIONAL SOCIETY OF THE SONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION ( 153301153304)

CHAPTER 1535NATIONAL TROPICAL BOTANICAL GARDEN ( 153501153514)

CHAPTER 1537NATIONAL WOMANS RELIEF CORPS, AUXILIARY TO THE GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC ( 153701153713)

CHAPTER 1539THE NATIONAL YOEMEN F ( 153901153904)

CHAPTER 1541NAVAL SEA CADET CORPS ( 154101154113)

CHAPTER 1543NAVY CLUB OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ( 154301154304)

CHAPTER 1545NAVY WIVES CLUBS OF AMERICA ( 154501154512)

CHAPTER 1547NON COMMISSIONED OFFICERS ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, INCORPORATED ( 154701154713)

CHAPTER 1601[RESERVED] ( )

CHAPTER 1701PARALYZED VETERANS OF AMERICA ( 170101170111)

CHAPTER 1703PEARL HARBOR SURVIVORS ASSOCIATION ( 170301170313)

CHAPTER 1705POLISH LEGION OF AMERICAN VETERANS, U.S.A. ( 170501170512)

CHAPTER 1801[RESERVED] ( )

CHAPTER 1901RESERVE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES ( 190101190112)

CHAPTER 1903RETIRED ENLISTED ASSOCIATION, INCORPORATED ( 190301190313)

CHAPTER 2001SOCIETY OF AMERICAN FLORISTS AND ORNAMENTAL HORTICULTURISTS ( 200101200106)

CHAPTER 2003SONS OF UNION VETERANS OF THE CIVIL WAR ( 200301200313)

CHAPTER 2101THEODORE ROOSEVELT ASSOCIATION ( 210101210107)

CHAPTER 2103369TH VETERANS ASSOCIATION ( 210301210313)

CHAPTER 2201UNITED SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS, INCORPORATED ( 220101220114)

CHAPTER 2203UNITED STATES CAPITOL HISTORICAL SOCIETY ( 220301220315)

CHAPTER 2205UNITED STATES OLYMPIC COMMITTEE ( 220501220529)

CHAPTER 2207UNITED STATES SUBMARINE VETERANS OF WORLD WAR II ( 220701220712)

CHAPTER 2301VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS OF THE UNITED STATES ( 230101230107)

CHAPTER 2303VETERANS OF WORLD WAR I OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, INCORPORATED ( 230301230313)

CHAPTER 2305VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA, INC. ( 230501230513)

CHAPTER 2401WOMENS ARMY CORPS VETERANS ASSOCIATION ( 240101240112)

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Normally, I don't repost. But it is more germane to this discussion:

 

BEGIN REPOST

 

"I don't see that the Congressional charter is of any practical significance beyond an endorsement of Scouting by a political body."

 

Really?! Well, I suppose if you apply post-1972 "standards" then I guess you could justify that statement. But let's take a look at what Congress actually endorsed when it granted the Congressional Charter...

 

In the preface to "Scouting for Boys," B-P writes:

 

"Therefore the aim of the Scout training is to replace Self with Service, to make the lads individually efficient, morally and physically, with the object of using that efficiency for the service of the community."

 

Earlier in the preface B-P offers the following eloquent description of Scouting:

 

"It is, in a word, a school of citizenship through woodcraft."

 

For many years after this, Scouting remained true to this vision. Consider the following, which appeared in the "Handbook for Scoutmasters" for many years:

 

"THE AIM OF SCOUTING - SCOUTING trains for CITIZENSHIP by inculcating in the boy, from within instead of without, the qualities of Character, Health and Strength, Handicraft and Skill, and Service to Others." (CAPS in the original text)

 

In 1972, "Aim" became "Aims" and the vision of Scouting became muddled. This was followed by the "Mission Statement" we are familiar with today:

 

"The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law."

 

There is nothing of citizenship here! This is something that any boy, Scout or not, can get in any church, temple, synagogue or mosque! So if the program we are now offering is not the program we promised the American people in seeking the Congressional Charter, and the Charter is now "fluff" that we as an organization can dishonor at our choosing (being a private organization and all), then we should probably be honest about that fact and disavow the Charter entirely!

 

END REPOST

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NJ, you left a couple out:

CHAPTER 11GENERAL MOTORS, CHRYSLER, BANKS

 

Sorry, couldn't resist.

 

Sherminator, then I guess that means the Mormons get to keep the Charter if they want it. No problem.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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At the risk of driving the thread off course, I'll just note the banks were never forced into Chapter 11 the way the auto companies were.

 

SA

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