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Questions from a brochure

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I wasn't sure whether to approach this as a "uniforming" question, a comment about an error in a council publication, or as a Venturing question, so I'm posting it here.

 

I guess the Venturing way to ask the question would be: Can a Venturing youth member be a member of the Council Executive Board?

 

Here is why I ask. Over the weekend I received, at home, a brochure from my council, which apparently is directed at Scouters. It is basically about how important the council is, the programs and services the council provides, and about the council's need for financial support. The message is, support your council by selling popcorn, going to council camps, FOS and in other ways. All well and good. Now, in this brochure are various photos of Scouting activities and participants. One of the photos is of a young woman, probably 15 to 18 years old, wearing a Venturing uniform shirt. (You have to use your imagination a bit since the photos are all black and white, but the shirt is considerably darker than the one worn by the young man standing next to her, who is clearly a Boy Scout.) You can see the left sleeve of her shirt and the front of the shirt. On the left sleeve, everything is where it is supposed to be, including the patch of a Venturning crew President. Perfect so far... until we get to her left shirt pocket. On her pocket she is wearing a patch that says "Council Executive Board."

 

This immediately raised two issues, first, why is a youth a member of the Council Executive Board? and second, why is the position patch on her pocket? I think the only answer to the second question is, they made a mistake. That patch would go on the sleeve. My initial answer to the first question was, that must be a mistake too, because the Council Executive Board is an adult position. She clearly is a youth member because, number one, she looks like one, and number two, she is wearing the "President" patch (and in the right place.)

 

But then I figured, ok, let me ask the assembled multitude. Is it possible that the young woman in the photo could actually be entitled to wear that patch? (If she wore it in the right place, of course.)

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My guess she is there by the virtue of her position as the president of the council's Venturing Presidents Council. Many boards have youth members on them both in and out of Scouting, most of them ex-offico. You being a lawyer would know if they legally can have a vote in your state. I would believe anyone under 18 in most state could not serve as an officer of a corporation.

I have never seen any requirements for executive board members.

 

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We have youth member reps on our board. I see them at the AGM and never at a board meeting I am not sure if this is a real position or just window dressing

Eamonn

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It is likely she is a member of the council executive board. Like the national council, most local councils have youth representatives on the executive board.

 

The patch is probably in as accurate a position as she is able to do in her field uniform. The patch is likely designed for wear on a blazer pocket or the BSA dress uniform.

 

"I think the only answer to the second question is, they made a mistake."

 

I do not understand who you are suggesting "they" are or what role "they" played in sewing patches onto other peoples uniforms?(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Bob said:

 

It is likely she is a member of the council executive board. Like the national council, most local councils have youth representatives on the executive board.

 

OK, well now I learned something. I thought it was an exclusively adult position. After reading this I went searching on the Internet and found references to each council having two youth representatives, and some councils in which the OA Lodge Chief and/or council Venturing Youth President (a position I did not know existed) also serve as one or both of these Executive Board members. It sounds like a good opportunity and experience for an older youth member, and a good chance for the adults to hear what the youth or thinking.

 

The patch is probably in as accurate a position as she is able to do in her field uniform.

 

While I don't consider myself a member of the "uniform police", I always thought that patch placements were either correct or incorrect. I didn't realize there was a third category, "as accurate as she/he is able to do." In this case, by that logic, it would mean that every Scouter who holds a position at both the unit and council/levels (of which there are obviously many) should wear one of their position patches on their left pocket, since there is only room for one on the sleeve. I have never seen a Scouter do so. Obviously, many have two or more shirts, though I have seen a few who (using various methods of attachment) temporarily place one position patch over the one that is sown on to the shirt. I suppose that would represent yet another point on the spectrum between correct and incorrect.

 

(I said) "I think the only answer to the second question is, they made a mistake."

 

I do not understand who you are suggesting "they" are or what role "they" played in sewing patches onto other peoples uniforms?

 

I didn't say anybody sewed a patch onto anyone else's uniform. "They" would be the person(s) who prepared that part of the brochure and/or approved it for publication. If the patch placement was incorrect, their mistake would be in choosing to print a picture of someone with an incorrect patch placement. If the patch placement was correct, then there is no mistake. If there is a recognized third category for "as accurate as she/he is able to do," as you suggest, well, then, I don't know. Maybe the "test" would be in how many Scouters looked at the brochure and said, Hey, that's wrong.

 

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Don't fool yourself into believing that council administrative support staffs, editors, photographers, or graphic artists, have the slightest idea about patch placement on a uniform. That responsibility lies soley on the person wearing the uniform.

 

If you are asked to "appear in a photo, please wear a full and complete ubiform", it is up to you alone to present yourself correctly. No photography or editor is going to hold up production to research your attire.

 

If the patch is in the incorrect place then that is the young lady's error.

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I know in my home council the OA Lodge Chief was once a member of the Executive Board. Unfortunately they stopped inviting the Lodge Chief to be a member a few years before I became chief, after a showdown between the Scout executive and the then Section Vice Chief. I will spare everyone the details, but as far as I know that put an end to youth members of my council's board.

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Bob, notice that I included in "they" not only those who prepared the brochure but those who "approved" it as well. Even if the people you list don't have the slightest idea, I hope it is being reviewed and approved by SOMEONE who DOES have the slightest idea. This is not some routine fund-raising letter or a monthly district newsletter for Scouters. In the five years I have been the parent of a Cub/Boy Scout, this is the first time I have gotten a mailing like this, on this subject. It is a somewhat "fancy," somewhat glossy thing on what I think is called "card stock" (or close to it), with two different color backgrounds (though the photos are monochrome.) It was apparently bulk-mailed to the parents of all 20,000 Scouts in the council (not just Scouters as I had originally thought; the address is "To the parents of...") I don't know how much all this printing and mailing costs, but it has to be in the thousands. Isn't that important enough for the SE, if nobody else, to take a few minutes to look at it and make sure it doesn't have anything in it that will make the council look careless and amateurish? You know, the young woman wearing a position patch on her pocket really is NOT a big deal, but your attitude seems to be that it's ok to take a bunch of pictures and stick them in a brochure, without someone in authority and with knowlege, making sure that they properly depict what they are supposed to depict. I don't agree with that. This young woman is not simply someone who got her picture taken; someone decided to use her image (including her uniform) as a symbol of youth in the council. If there were a finger of "blame" to be pointed (and this case does seem a bit trivial to do so), I would point it up the chain of command, not down at a 17-year-old girl who was so excited to be on the Executive Committee that she may have put a patch in the wrong place.

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What you seem determined not to accept is that the the responsibility for the uniform belongs to the person wearing it and no one else.

 

When Boys' Life or Scouting Magazine does an article they don't edit out people in incorrect uniforms, or make them move patches. They expect the individual to dress correctly. This is a local council brochure for pete's sake. You don't really believe that a swarm of marketing experts is checking every detail of each photo do you?

 

There are no uniform police. There are people who wear the uniform conscientously and people who don't. It's a matter of personal choice. You would hope leaders would not purposely do the wrong thing. I still don't know if she is wearing it incorrectly, not having seen the badge.

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This is a local council brochure for pete's sake. You don't really believe that a swarm of marketing experts is checking every detail of each photo do you?

 

There you go again, Bob, with your typical tactic of making up something that someone didn't say and then ridiculing it. No "swarm" would have been necessary and no "marketing experts" would have been involved with the photo I am talking about. One look by the SE probably would have caught it, and I can guarantee you that most of the Commissioner-types who I know would have caught it with one look.

 

There are no uniform police.

 

Sure, Bob, whatever you say.

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