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Scoutmaster denies 17 year old Life Scout Eagle

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I would think a combo of the UC and COR could investigate this issue.  if threats were made, it should be turned over to police to investigate.  This is something the unit should not be involving itself in.  If it's not illegal and the police need not be involved, is it really necessary to ban a parent?  That's the grey area I'm trying to wrap my head around.  What, short of illegal, is there that would cause a troop to take such action?

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I would think a combo of the UC and COR could investigate this issue.  if threats were made, it should be turned over to police to investigate.  This is something the unit should not be involving itself in.  If it's not illegal and the police need not be involved, is it really necessary to ban a parent?  That's the grey area I'm trying to wrap my head around.  What, short of illegal, is there that would cause a troop to take such action?

 

What would the UC have to do with it?  The UC can't ban someone from the CO's property.  

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What would the UC have to do with it?  The UC can't ban someone from the CO's property.  

 

The UC is the initial contact person between BSA and the unit.  The COR is the initial contact person between the CO and the unit.  If the unit is banning parents from the program, both the BSA and CO need to be aware of it and those two people would be the ones with the responsibility to initially investigate the seriousness of the situation.

 

If the CO is banning people from their property, then it's time for the unit to find a new CO who won't interfere in the program they are supposed to be chartering and promoting.

 

The only way anyone is going to get to the bottom of the situation is for the UC and COR to investigate and report back to their respective organizations as to what is going on.

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How can the Chartered Organization "interfere" with the unit?  The CO owns the unit.  It is their unit.  

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How can the Chartered Organization "interfere" with the unit?  The CO owns the unit.  It is their unit.  

 

But they sign a charter (contract) with BSA that they will run the unit according to the principles and policies of the BSA.  So it's not a one-sided ownership issue. A church cannot charter a BSA unit and then run it like a 4-H Club.

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How can the Chartered Organization "interfere" with the unit?  The CO owns the unit.  It is their unit.  

You have said this several times.  

 

The reality, legally speaking, is that BSA owns Boy Scouting in the U.S.A.  The right of an organization to operate a troop or pack is absolutely subject to the CO following the rules set by B.S.A.  So says the written contract the CO signs every year. The charter represents expressly that it wants to follow the B.S.A. program.   If you don't want to offer Boy Scouting as set out by B.S.A., don't enter into the contract,

 

 

 

THE ANNUAL UNIT CHARTER AGREEMENT...

 

The Chartered Organization, as a duly constituted organization that serves youth, desires to use the program(s) of the BSA to further its mission respecting the youth it supports. The Local Council provides the support and service necessary to help the Chartered Organization succeed in its use of Scouting.

 

The Chartered Organization agrees to:

• Use Scouting to further the Chartered Organization’s aims and values for youth.

 

• Chartered organizations must utilize the Scouting program to accomplish specific objectives related to one or more of the following:

o Youth character development

o Career skill development

o Community service o Patriotism and military and veteran recognition

o Faith-based youth ministry

 

• Conduct the Scouting program consistent with BSA rules, regulations, and policies. They may be found on the My Scouting website and at the following location: www.scouting.org/Membership/Charter_Orgs/ resources.aspx.

 

 

If you want to talk practicalities, that's a different discussion.  You may get away with violating the rules.  Many have just as many get away with other behaviors.

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The previous SM with the Troop I am associated with was just the one in the OP (before my time with the Troop)

The CC didn't complain about what was going on either.

 

I don't think the CO/COR knew exactly what was going on but when enough parents complained and they saw that membership had dropped drastically since the SM had taken over he was replaced.

 

I saw the same issue a couple of times when I was a District Commissioner. In one case there was no involvement between the unit and CO. The other the SM and COR were husband and wife and the CO had little to do with the unit.

In both cases parents had legitimate concerns on what was going on but with no help from the CO/council not much could be done from my standpoint to help.

Both of these units folded as enough parents/scouts voted with the feet and transferred to other units they didn't have enough scouts left to recharter.

 

I think the bigger issue is the lack of involvement and interaction between our council and the Charter Orgs.

I know the DE's in my council have no interaction with COR or CO's.

Our DE's start new units and then disappear.

 

The charter agreement is given to each unit and are told it is their responsibility to get it signed.

Had an issue with a VFW that holding up a charter because they wouldn't appoint a new COR when the old one quit.

Our DE refused to visit or contact the VFW and left t up to the unit to work things out with the CO.

 

I posted how the pack/troop/crew I work with need to find a new CO.

We got no assistance from District or Council.

Even after letting the DE know we were meeting with a new CO the only answer was to "make sure we send in the paperwork ASAP" when things got finalized.

 

Maybe Council's need to do a better job vetting CO's and work with them on what the Boy Scout program is about.

 

It seems that building a relationship and working with the CO's would grow membership and bring in more fundraising than popcorn ever will.

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I agree with our moderator, John in KC, that this topic is not about the council/CO relationship.  

 

We are talking about a parent being banned because of a disagreement over the advancement program.  Only the CO can ban someone from the CO's property.  This is about the parent/volunteer/CO relationship.

 

Some things are certain.  The parent doesn't own the unit,  and the SM and CC don't own the unit.

 

In my experience, when parents or volunteers raise the issue of the charter agreement and the council/CO relationship, the real issue has nothing to do with either the charter or the council/CO relationship.  

 

It is usually about the parents or volunteers trying to take the ownership and control of the unit away from the Chartered Organization. 

Edited by David CO
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We are talking about a parent being banned because of a disagreement over the advancement program.  Only the CO can ban someone from the CO's property.  This is about the parent/volunteer/CO relationship.

 

You are assuming facts not in evidence.  The post said the SM and CC banned this parent, not the CO.  We have absolutely NO IDEA what the CO's role in this is.  As @@CNYScouter stated, most CO's have no clue what the unit is doing.  Your CO most likely is the exception.

 

 

Some things are certain.  The parent doesn't own the unit,  and the SM and CC don't own the unit.

 

 

It is also certain that as @@TAHAWK pointed out, that the CO is requied to implement a program following the BSA's rules.  You can own a McDonalds franchise, but you can't sell pizzas unless McDonalds says you can.  The CO can own a BSA unit but it can't come up with its own advancement rules.

 

 

In my experience, when parents or volunteers raise the issue of the charter agreement and the council/CO relationship, the real issue has nothing to do with either the charter or the council/CO relationship.  

 

It is usually about the parents or volunteers trying to take the ownership and control of the unit away from the Chartered Organization. 

 

 

No, it is typically because the unit is not following the rules.  In this case, the problem is not with the CO.  It is with the SM and CC.  They have decided to set up their own rules for Eagle which read something like "you don't get Eagle unless we think you deserve it."  

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The ban was put in place as a form of retaliation one week after the very contentious meeting that my son and I had with the SM, CC and UC. I was informed of the ban by a telephone call only (yes, seriously) nothing in writing at all. 

 

 

I have most definitely not threatened anyone, acted in any inappropriate manner or done anything to warrant being banned. 

 

 

Prior to my raising the issues about my older sons advancement, I had a great relationship with everyone in the troop, the scouts, the other leaders and the parents. There were no issues.

 

 

When the additional ten nights of camping issue arose, and things began to devolve, the SM strongly suggested that I look for a different troop if my older son and I didn't like the way that things were being done in that troop (ironically he didn’t suggest that my younger son also leave).

 

 

My response, in short, was that the troop has to abide by the BSA advancement guidelines and policies. The SM and CC's position was that they could do whatever they wanted to since “the troop committee voted on it.†In their view, as long as the committee approves something then they can do it.

 

 

I blew the whistle and opposed what was being done to my older son and they chose to eliminate me as the source of the criticism. 

 

 

I have not yet addressed the ban directly with the head of the CO, however, I have discussed the ban with the troop’s CO rep.

 

 

We had a good conversation and he does not have any issues with me and I get the sense that he feels that the ban is not at all warranted or fair, however, he seems unwilling to go against the SM and CC.

 

 

There are at least four other families/parents that i know of who have issues with the way things are being done in the troop; either related to advancement, bullying (and in some cases racism) between the scouts and a general sense of distrust for the troop’s leaders. Most of the other parents and families beyond that, in my opinion, just go with the flow and do as they're told. I don't think they're especially familiar with BSA rules and regs. 

 

 

One of those families in particular feels as strongly as I do about the way the troop has handled their son's Eagle project proposal, which was suspiciously delayed for a year. They also had a meeting with the SM, CC and UC on the same night my older son and I did. Their meeting was also very contentious and heated and, from what I understand, it was the mother who advocated most vocally for her son, while the husband remained relatively quiet.

 

 

I’ve encouraged that family to be more vocal with Council, however, they are extremely fearful of retaliation, especially before their son’s Eagle proposal is approved.

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Yah, hmmm...

 

Lots of confusion here it seems.

 

Nobody's entitled to membership in a unit, eh?  Da unit can remove whomever it wants from its membership rolls.  Yah, yah, in terms of registered adult leaders da call is technically da COR/IH's, though in many cases da committee is involved.  In terms of removin' a youth, da BSA's recommended procedure is to involve da Committee, but da SM is usually the one makin' the call and the COR certainly can.  Nobody's entitled to come on a trip or to a meeting.

 

In many cases da BSA may also act in addition to da CO and remove someone's registration, eh?  It lapses at the end of the year in any event.   It's very rare for da BSA to act on someone's registration without da concurrence of the CO; really it happens only over da gay/atheist and youth protection issues.

 

There are lots of very good reasons why a unit might want to not invite a parent or other adult to its meetings or campouts, eh?  Adults are humans, too.  Sometimes they behave badly. Sometimes they aren't healthy.  Sometimes they can't swim.  Sometimes they can't avoid smoking.  Sometimes havin' 8 adults and 4 kids is just silly.

 

When we're talkin' about da Chartering relationship, it ain't a franchise like McDonald's, eh?  We're not makin' hamburgers, we're teachin' kids.   Da BSA functions more like a textbook publisher.  They hold da copyrights and trademarks on da BSA materials, and they license those materials to Chartered Organizations for the CO's use in runnin' its own program with its own goals.

 

Just like a school teacher can skip Chapters 6 and 7 in da textbook or use a supplemental text, COs that use da BSA materials can drop things, re-arrange things, make use of other materials from other groups, write their own supplemental materials, etc.   Da BSA doesn't care about that sort of thing.  We respect it and encourage it.   Where do yeh think program improvements and new programs come from?  There are a bazillion great ideas over at USSSP and other places online, eh?  It's part of what makes Scoutin' a rich and vibrant community.

 

Da only way a local unit can put a charter at risk is when their actions (and da related PR) put da BSA's brand identity at risk, and da BSA has to act to protect its asset.   So if yeh put on your scout uniform and make a TV add endorsing Donald Trump or Butterball Turkeys, expect a cease-and-desist.   If yeh vandalize a national monument in a viral YouTube video carried by every major media outlet, expect da BSA to act even if da CO doesn't.  If yeh decide to give Eagle Scout to a vocal New Atheist and invite CBS, and then yeh do it a couple more times, you're done. 

 

Other than those sorts of things, da BSA respects and follows da lead of da Chartered Partner.   This is an important part of da BSA's liability protection, eh?  If we really were controllin' all aspects of da unit programs, then we'd be liable for da unit programs rather than just an insurer.   To maintain our insulation, we can't behave like da "superior" overseein' ordinary unit operations.  This is why, for example, "Tour Permits" no longer exist.  We don't "permit" da units to do anything, eh?  Instead, we just suggest or expect a "plan" to be helpful. ;)

 

For Advancement, Eagle Scout and da other ranks are da BSA's award, so we can give it to whomever we wish, eh?  If a unit chooses not to bestow a rank, we can if we feel it's been earned.  That's it.  Givin' out awards isn't interferin' in da unit's operations.  Da unit can keep on keepin' on pretty much, and we don't really do any quality control in da other direction on units that just pencil-whip awards. 

 

Does a unit have an ethical  obligation to follow da BSA's guidebooks?  I reckon it depends whether yeh are a Patrol Method or a Troop Method person, eh? :rolleyes:   If yeh think da BSA is made up of organizations sponsoring units the way a troop is made up of patrols, then no.   If yeh think da BSA is what's important and da unit is a sort of subsidiary of da BSA the way a patrol is just a subsidiary under da direction of a troop, then yes. :)    Of course, our actual legal organization is just like our old materials, eh?  We're Patrol Method.

 

Beavah

Edited by Beavah

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"When we're talkin' about da Chartering relationship, it ain't a franchise like McDonald's, eh?  We're not makin' hamburgers, we're teachin' kids.   Da BSA functions more like a textbook publisher.  They hold da copyrights and trademarks on da BSA materials, and they license those materials to Chartered Organizations for the CO's use in runnin' its own program with its own goals."

 

 

 

 

Again, the CO formally agrees to operate the program of the Boy Scouts of America, inclusive of the advancement program of the B.S.A.

 

 

THE ANNUAL UNIT CHARTER AGREEMENT...

 

The Chartered Organization, as a duly constituted organization that serves youth, desires to use the program(s) of the BSA to further its mission respecting the youth it supports. The Local Council provides the support and service necessary to help the Chartered Organization succeed in its use of Scouting.

 

The Chartered Organization agrees to:

• Use Scouting to further the Chartered Organization’s aims and values for youth.

 

• Chartered organizations must utilize the Scouting program to accomplish specific objectives related to one or more of the following:

o Youth character development

o Career skill development

o Community service o Patriotism and military and veteran recognition

o Faith-based youth ministry

 

• Conduct the Scouting program consistent with BSA rules, regulations, and policies. They may be found on the My Scouting website and at the following location: www.scouting.org/Membership/Charter_Orgs/ resources.aspx.

 

If the CO elects to violate this contract in any material  way, it may - and should - lose it's franchise to operate Boy Scout unit.  Wether B.S.A. elects to pull the plug on outlaw untis is another issue entirely.

 

 

.No council, committee, district, unit, or individual has the authority to add to, or subtract from, advancement requirements. There are limited exceptions relating only to youth members with special needs....
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There are at least four other families/parents that i know of who have issues with the way things are being done in the troop; either related to advancement, bullying (and in some cases racism) between the scouts and a general sense of distrust for the troop’s leaders. Most of the other parents and families beyond that, in my opinion, just go with the flow and do as they're told. I don't think they're especially familiar with BSA rules and regs. 

 

 

One of those families in particular feels as strongly as I do about the way the troop has handled their son's Eagle project proposal, which was suspiciously delayed for a year. They also had a meeting with the SM, CC and UC on the same night my older son and I did. Their meeting was also very contentious and heated and, from what I understand, it was the mother who advocated most vocally for her son, while the husband remained relatively quiet.

 

 

I’ve encouraged that family to be more vocal with Council, however, they are extremely fearful of retaliation, especially before their son’s Eagle proposal is approved.

 

 

Yah, hmmm...

 

These things often go this way, eh?

 

When a disgruntled parent doesn't get what they want, they escalate da rhetoric.   So things move from relatively small advancement issues like how da troop defines active and then suddenly become reports of bullying and racism and other impropriety.

 

My advice to yeh, @@SSF, is that yeh stop that nonsense.   Now you're startin' to try to hurt other people, rather than just advocate for your son.  You're tryin' to whip up other parents, even though almost none of 'em are interested.  You're doin' that to try to hurt da SM and CC, even though they're just followin' through on what the Troop Committee composed of other parents voted to do.  You've talked to da COR who has final authority in these matters, and he's supportin' the SM and CC and Committee, eh?

 

It's over.

 

I know it's frustratin' for yeh, and unfortunately you're now in a spot where your choices are havin' an impact on your kids.  But yeh have got to take a deep breath and a step back.   Anger's a step in da grieving process and wise council folks will understand that, but if yeh start makin' false accusations of something like racism then yeh might find that not just this troop but scoutin' in general no longer wants to have you or your kids around.

 

Beavah

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• Conduct the Scouting program consistent with BSA rules, regulations, and policies. They may be found on the My Scouting website and at the following location: www.scouting.org/Membership/Charter_Orgs/ resources.aspx.

 

Yah, yeh should actually consider readin' da materials, @Tawhawk.  :rolleyes:

 

If yeh go to that page, you'll see a link to da Rules & Regulations of da BSA, which is a specific document, and a page full of da policies we're talkin' about – leadership selection, required YP training, mandatory child abuse reporting, barriers to abuse, etc.   Flaunting those things might get da BSA to choose not to renew a charter, sure.   Especially if they become a PR or liability issue.

 

We're not talkin' about campin' 12 times a year or only wearin' full uniform or how yeh administer Advancement.   Nobody's got any interest in that, especially since we have a mechanism to give out an award ourselves if the unit refuses to.   Besides, a CO can quite legitimately say that in order to further its aims and values for youth it has to teach youth to be active, responsible, contributing members.  Most churches after all expect weekly attendance, eh?  And they don't give credit for da attendance from 3 years ago. ;)

 

It's da BSA that gets to decide what da Chartering Agreement means, not you.  I reckon we're goin' to keep rechartering units despite your objection to da lack of precision. :)  After all, if we started droppin' charters every time a parent had an advancement dispute with a unit, we'd be an organization with only a few thousand members in a few years' time. :p   

 

Advancement is a kids' game we use as a tool, eh?  Nuthin' more.  That's why I keep comparin' it to sports and sportsmanship, not to law and policy.  It's not da nuclear launch codes, and we're not goin' to go nuclear by pullin' charters over advancement issues.   How many summer camps are there that are in technical violation of da MB rules?   How many council charters have yeh seen revoked as a result? :p

 

Beavah

Edited by Beavah

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SSF has convinced me.  If the COR has no problem with him, then neither do I.

 

I am astonished that a COR would be hesitant to "go against" the unit leadership.  I should think that it would be the other way around.  The unit leadership should be hesitant to go against the COR.

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