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OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE: Girls as Youth Members, All Programs

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This sounds somewhat familiar.  There were still racially segregated troops when I was a Scout, although  none in our council.  The lack of such troops got us picketed annually during Scout Week by the John Birch Society.  Also cited on the JBS signs as drawing its ire were the World Brotherhood MB and trick-or-treating for UNICEF.

I was a district Scout Chairman when:

ST. PAUL, Minn., Feb. 13 [1988]— Officials of the Boy Scouts of America have voted to allow women in leadership positions, including scoutmaster, ending a male-only policy that has often been challenged in court, organization officials say.

The change was voted Thursday by the national executive board in a meeting in Washington, D.C., according to The St. Paul Pioneer Press-Dispatch. The organization's headquarters are in Irving, Tex.

Many positions in the Boy Scouts were already open to women, said Barclay Bollas, national news editor for the Boy Scouts. Of the 1.1 million volunteers within the program nationwide, about 500,000 are women, he said.

''In fact, there are many instances of women serving as trainers of scoutmasters,' he said. 'There was never a question of the ability of women. It was just that the Boy Scouts felt there ought to be male role models for boys.'

'For 12 years, the Boy Scouts had successfully defended legal challenges over its policy of allowing only men as leaders but decided to drop the restrictions because the court challenges had become too costly,' said Ron Phillippo, executive director of the Indianhead Council, which includes eight counties in eastern Minnesota and four in western Wisconsin.

 
 

'Scouting officials said that if a valid community organization, such as a church or a parent-teacher organization, agreed to sponsor a troop and have Mrs. Pollard lead it, the Boy Scouts would accept the application.'

'We look forward to her application and her becoming a scoutmaster,' Frank Hebb, public relations director for the Boy Scouts of America, said in a telephone interview from the organization's national headquarters in Irving, Tex."

. . .

"Mr. Hebb said Mrs. Pollard's legal fight was not the reason the policy was changed. 'Certainly we were aware of the number of years we were in court with Mrs. Pollard,' he said, 'but the board just felt it was time to change the policy.'

A Unanimous Vote

He said the organization's national executive board, meeting last Thursday in Washington, voted unanimously to allow women to be leaders or assistant leaders for Webelos, who are boys 10 years old; for Boy Scouts, who are 11 to 17 years old, and for Varsity Scouts, who are boys 14 to 18.

'The executive board decided the time had come when it was appropriate to recognize the valuable leadership women can provide,' Mr. Hebb said. The organization, which has 4.2 million youths as members, has 1.1 million adult members, including 500,000 women who work with Cub Scouts and hold other scouting posts, he said.'"

. . .

"The new rule specifically opens to women assignments as leaders and assistant leaders of Webelos dens for 10-year-old Cub Scouts; scoutmasters and assistant scoutmasters of Boy Scout troops, whose members are usually 11 to 17; and coaches and assistant coaches for Varsity Scouts, ages 14 to 18."

 

When this change was announced in 1988, it came as a surprise.  A number of Scouters announced that they would drop out of Scouting, and some did.

The hoped-for end of the shortage of adults in Scouting did not take place.

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Nope.

 

First, the President, who is elected, not the Exec, apoints the nominating committee.

Second, any member of the council can nominate someone in writing, but not from the floor.

Third, National couldn’t pick the slates even if they wanted to. Dozens of committees members x almost 300 Councils would be impossible to manage, let alone knowing enough about each person to know who they wanted.

Finally, whoever told you that the Councils charter was at risk was bluffing. They cannot revoke a charter for following their own bylaws. And if they try then they put the tax exempt status in jeopardy as well as risk piercing the corporate veil and put the executive board in legal jeopardy.

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Ugh. I remember being blindsided by that 1988 decision. The BSA had won in the courts (1986, 1987) and it seemed the BSA was going to continue as a male-only program. But fewer men, particularly former scouts, were stepping up  and instead of determining the problem(s) and fixing them, the BSA sought female adult leaders.

Edited by RememberSchiff
grammar

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This sounds somewhat familiar.  There were still racially segregated troops when I was a Scout, although  none in our council.  The lack of such troops got us picketed annually during Scout Week by the John Birch Society.  Also cited on the JBS signs as drawing its ire were the World Brotherhood MB and trick-or-treating for UNICEF.

I was a district Scout Chairman when:

ST. PAUL, Minn., Feb. 13 [1988]— Officials of the Boy Scouts of America have voted to allow women in leadership positions, including scoutmaster, ending a male-only policy that has often been challenged in court, organization officials say.

The change was voted Thursday by the national executive board in a meeting in Washington, D.C., according to The St. Paul Pioneer Press-Dispatch. The organization's headquarters are in Irving, Tex.

Many positions in the Boy Scouts were already open to women, said Barclay Bollas, national news editor for the Boy Scouts. Of the 1.1 million volunteers within the program nationwide, about 500,000 are women, he said.

''In fact, there are many instances of women serving as trainers of scoutmasters,' he said. 'There was never a question of the ability of women. It was just that the Boy Scouts felt there ought to be male role models for boys.'

'For 12 years, the Boy Scouts had successfully defended legal challenges over its policy of allowing only men as leaders but decided to drop the restrictions because the court challenges had become too costly,' said Ron Phillippo, executive director of the Indianhead Council, which includes eight counties in eastern Minnesota and four in western Wisconsin.

 
 

'Scouting officials said that if a valid community organization, such as a church or a parent-teacher organization, agreed to sponsor a troop and have Mrs. Pollard lead it, the Boy Scouts would accept the application.'

'We look forward to her application and her becoming a scoutmaster,' Frank Hebb, public relations director for the Boy Scouts of America, said in a telephone interview from the organization's national headquarters in Irving, Tex."

. . .

"Mr. Hebb said Mrs. Pollard's legal fight was not the reason the policy was changed. 'Certainly we were aware of the number of years we were in court with Mrs. Pollard,' he said, 'but the board just felt it was time to change the policy.'

A Unanimous Vote

He said the organization's national executive board, meeting last Thursday in Washington, voted unanimously to allow women to be leaders or assistant leaders for Webelos, who are boys 10 years old; for Boy Scouts, who are 11 to 17 years old, and for Varsity Scouts, who are boys 14 to 18.

'The executive board decided the time had come when it was appropriate to recognize the valuable leadership women can provide,' Mr. Hebb said. The organization, which has 4.2 million youths as members, has 1.1 million adult members, including 500,000 women who work with Cub Scouts and hold other scouting posts, he said.'"

. . .

"The new rule specifically opens to women assignments as leaders and assistant leaders of Webelos dens for 10-year-old Cub Scouts; scoutmasters and assistant scoutmasters of Boy Scout troops, whose members are usually 11 to 17; and coaches and assistant coaches for Varsity Scouts, ages 14 to 18."

 

When this change was announced in 1988, it came as a surprise.  A number of Scouters announced that they would drop out of Scouting, and some did.

The hoped-for end of the shortage of adults in Scouting did not take place.

 

 

Doesn't sound like anyone other than National Executive Board members voted on this.  Musta meant Councils, CO's, and membership wasn't considered part of the process.  Kinda the way it was this time and with the homosexual issue.  Pretty hard to change the spots on a zebra.

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A Unanimous Vote

He said the organization's national executive board, meeting last Thursday in Washington, voted unanimously to allow women to be leaders or assistant leaders for Webelos, who are boys 10 years old; for Boy Scouts, who are 11 to 17 years old, and for Varsity Scouts, who are boys 14 to 18.

 

 

It is always a unanimous vote. In a system where people are freely and fairly elected, you don't get a unanimous vote on such a controversial issue.

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I am not sure of the theory.  I have watched the reality for almost fifty years.

 

We had seven districts.  The SE decided there should be three, each chaired by a "community leader."  So it came to pass.  The former district leaders were not fired.  They were ignored - as if they had died.  It has taken almost five years to start to recover.   The "community leaders" have been useless.  Polite.  Nice smiles.  Do nothing but write checks.

 

In early 2016, our west-side district nominating committee nominated a respected longtime district Scouter as candidate for District Chairman.  At the annual district business meeting, he was overwhelmingly elected.  The SE quickly announced that he was disapproved as District Chairman.  That district is entering its second year with no District Chairman because  the members will not elect anyone else.  Since the disallowance, the SE retired, and we got a new SE, who has decided to eliminate districts.  We are told this too will come to pass.

 

No way would I quit.  Someone has to actually accomplish something(s), even if it's by way of crewing the life boats.

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Nope.

 

First, the President, who is elected, not the Exec, apoints the nominating committee.

Second, any member of the council can nominate someone in writing, but not from the floor.

Third, National couldn’t pick the slates even if they wanted to. Dozens of committees members x almost 300 Councils would be impossible to manage, let alone knowing enough about each person to know who they wanted.

Finally, whoever told you that the Councils charter was at risk was bluffing. They cannot revoke a charter for following their own bylaws. And if they try then they put the tax exempt status in jeopardy as well as risk piercing the corporate veil and put the executive board in legal jeopardy.

 

A few comments from a former pro.

 

1) While the council president selectes the nominating committee, the Scout Executive (SE) wields enormous power behind the scenes. I've seen  good people who were proposed for council level position, but because they were not 'Yes Men" and the SE said they would be a bad choice.  Even when those of us in the field wanted someone in particular. We currently have someone who would like to fill a district Key 3 role, but will not be allowed to serve in that role due to the SE. Like Tahawk, that position has been vacant for 2+ years.

 

2) While national does not control who is on district committees, the SE and DE do indeed play a large role.  I know I was under pressure to get rid of some folks. While some I was able to keep, others were not put on the slate of candidates per the SE. Got around it by having the district chairman appoint them into position.

 

3) Do not know about the legal side, but do know that what DavidCO said happen in Chicago did indeed happen. many folks here and elsewhere reported about it.

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3) Do not know about the legal side, but do know that what DavidCO said happen in Chicago did indeed happen. many folks here and elsewhere reported about it.

 

I'm sorry but no - I was going to quote from DavidCO's post on this but this one seems even more natural to do.

 

What DavidCO said happened in Chicago did not happen in the way that he is relating it.

 

The Chicago Council nominating committee put forth a slate that was rejected by the COs.  The opposition put forth an alternative slate that was ignored.  The Council Exec and Board President declared their slate board members anyway.  This led to a lawsuit that the Council was not following their bylaws and that the slate was installed illegally.  The court ruled against the Council.  It was this lawsuit that got the interest of National (they had a couple of observers in the courtroom - National never filed a "friend of court" brief which one would think they would do if they had a vested interest in the slate being seated).

 

The Council held another vote - and tried to prevent opponents from coming to the meeting.  It didn't work and the slate lost again.  At this point, National came in and said if a slate couldn't be elected, National would suspend the charter and would appoint a caretaker board.  At no point did National say they preferred that slate.  They didn't really care who was on the slate, they just wanted a slate elected.  The third time was not the charm - the slate was again rejected.

 

At this point, National suspended the charter and appointed a caretaker board.  No one on the slate of candidates was appointed to that board.  No one from the opposition was appointed to that board.  National looked mostly outside the Council to neighboring councils, choosing past Presidents of those councils to serve as the caretaker board.  The Chicago Council was now being run by members of Northeast Illinois Council, Northwest Suburban Council, Thatcher Woods Council and others.  

 

The primary goal of National was to get a slate of candidates together that would be acceptable to the COs.  They didn't care who was on the slates - they only cared that the Council could get back to regular order.  There were elections held every year but it took about 9 years for things to settle down enough that a slate was actually elected.  During that time, National continued to appoint board members from the local communities, the appointed Board cleaned up the financial mess the Council was in, taking it into and out of receivership.  The slates were not handpicked by National - they were put together by the appointed boards with input from the members of the Chicago Council that had an interest in these things.

 

As soon as the Council elected their own slate of candidates again, National restored the charter.

 

National is not selecting Council Board Members - National's only interest is that Councils can run themselves and follow the regular order of their rules.  

 

Anything said otherwise is just pure speculative conspiracy theory.

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The primary goal of National was to get a slate of candidates together that would be acceptable to the COs.  

 

That is nonsense. National refused to allow the CO's to vote on and elect a board of their own choosing. They kept putting up a slate of candidates who were totally unacceptable to the CO's.

 

What was true then is still true today. The execs still have all the power, and there are no free and fair elections in BSA. All of these recent changes have been done without the votes or the approval of the CO's. It is totally on the execs.

Edited by David CO

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2009

"After countless rejections over the past seven years, the slate of nominations to the Chicago Area Council Board was finally approved by the voting membership.

 

On June 22, the Annual Meeting and Board Election was reconvened, with about 60 CORs and Scouters gathering to vote. All five slates of nominees was approved by hefty majorities. Leading up to the election, there was much talk encouraging both sides of the election. While some felt enough concessions as to the members of the slate were made that they could be approved, others sought more changes and specific persons to be included or excluded from council governance.

 

The major change in the CAC board is Glen Emig replacing Mike Hughes as council president. Emig, a member of the Scouter 11 group that brought suit (and won in court) against the council in 2007 over irregular governance, wasted no time in working on key issues. Just one month after his election, Emig convened a board meeting addressing the CAC bylaw stating a board will remain in place until the next Annual Meeting should the nominations slate fail two times. Also on Emig’s “to-do†list is a full review/revision of the CAC bylaws, the official hiring of Chuck Dobbins as official Scout Executive (he is currently interim S.E. appointed by National), and a full financial review of the council’s books.

 

Upon the successful election in June, the National Council of the BSA restored the charter of the CAC, which had been in receivership. The Member-At-Large slate was greatly expanded to include many frontline Scouters including OSA President Bill Van Berschot, OOEC Chairman Joe Sener, and Bill and Rita Egan."

Owasippe Staff Association, Vibrations, Vol 31, Issue 3.

 

 
 

 

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The Member-At-Large slate was greatly expanded to include many frontline Scouters including OSA President Bill Van Berschot, OOEC Chairman Joe Sener, and Bill and Rita Egan."

Owasippe Staff Association, Vibrations, Vol 31, Issue 3.

 

 

 

Yes, the Owasippe Scout Reservation was saved. Owasippe Staff Association and Owasippe Outdoor Education Center members were big winners in this negotiated slate.

 

I find it somewhat ironic that the CO's ended up losing some of their voting strength in the council when the members-at-large were "greatly expanded". This was a poor reward for stepping up and supporting the opposition.

 

I have mixed feeling about the results. I'm glad that Owasippe was saved, but I am disappointed that opposition leaders double-crossed the CO's in the negotiations. The CO's never got the free and fair elections they were promised.

 

My unit has never gone back to Owasippe. Since the membership changes, we have only used church owned campgrounds.

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Let me guess, the Council (effectively the SE) selects the Council Members-at-Large.

 

No - the nominating committee selects them and the COs vote on the slate.

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