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RememberSchiff

Congressional Charter question(s) to ponder

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Why do BSA units have to recharter to National each year, but National does not have to recharter with the federal government?  :confused:

 

Did Congress miss a revenue opportunity? Would Congress take more interest in "paid" charters?

 

:)

 

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IIRC the congressional charter states something along the lines of "in perpetuity", while unit charters are "annual". Of course I could be wrong.

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I think it is time to rethink giving BSA an exclusive charter. There is no good reason why we shouldn't have more than one scout association in the U.S.. A little competition could be a good thing. It might make the execs think twice before making radical changes if scouts could switch associations like they can transfer to different units.  

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13 minutes ago, David CO said:

I think it is time to rethink giving BSA an exclusive charter. There is no good reason why we shouldn't have more than one scout association in the U.S.. A little competition could be a good thing. It might make the execs think twice before making radical changes if scouts could switch associations like they can transfer to different units.  

 

Is there any reason why a group of adults couldn't simply form a new organization with a different name?

 

Seems like there is already quite a bit of competition between various youth organizations.

 

Heck, there is even the Baden-Powell Service Association : https://www.bpsa-us.org/ (fair warning, they include girls).

 

Welcome to BPSA

The Baden-Powell Service Association offers a community-oriented traditional scouting program for youth and adults of all genders in the United States. There is no religious requirement and our groups are independent from sponsoring organizations. We offer the experience of scouting to anyone who wishes to join us.
We are not affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America or the Girl Scouts, USA or their governing scout associations. We are members of the World Federation of Independent Scouts (WFIS) and as such are not in competition with other American scouting associations; we are only their brothers and sisters in scouting.

Traditional Program

Traditional scouting is a method that harkens back to the original principles and practices of Scouting's founder, Robert Baden-Powell. Our program and coursework are modeled after B-P's original texts, and our method is simple: we promote good citizenship, self-reliance, loyalty, and outdoor skills. Our focus is on empowering youth through hands-on practice in small groups, led by peer leadership.

 

 

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The Congressional Charter is largely honorific - a recognition by Congress that "you're ok and we like you".  While it ostensibly protects the BSA from anti-trust laws and protects their logos, etc., its mostly something the BSA can brag about having.  Trademark and copyright laws protect the BSAs logos, badges, uniforms, etc. far better than the federal charter.

 

The Congressional charters started when companies wanted to be registered in the District of Columbia (this would be about 1791).  Eventually Congress decided they had more important things to do so they finally gave the District of Columbia the power to charter businesses but Congress decided it would honor patriotic organizations with what are now known as Title 36 Charters.  The BSA has a Title 36 Charter.

 

The Congressional Charter is not a substitute for a business charter though - the BSA is still registered in the State of Texas as a corporate entity, and in fact is required by Texas state law to renew their charter each year.

 

Congress stopped issuing Title 36 charters in 1992 (though a few more were granted after this date, those were mostly in the works already).

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On 11/29/2017 at 3:02 PM, Hawkwin said:

Is there any reason why a group of adults couldn't simply form a new organization with a different name?

Seems like there is already quite a bit of competition between various youth organizations.

 

 

 

There is no reason why not, as long as they don't use the words Scouts, Scouting, etc. don't use the same names for their ranks, etc.  Although I agree with Calico, the protection for these words really comes from federal trademark etc. law more than from the "Congressional charter."  (Which, contrary to popular belief, does not mention any specific words that are protected, and of course "Scouts" and its derivatives are shared with GSUSA.

Except, apparently, for Spiral Scouts.  That group has been around for more than 10 years  and the BSA has never sued them as far as I know - unlike other "Scout" groups that the BSA has sued over the years.  I have never understood that.  Though I have never actually seen a Spiral Scout in person and, at least at the moment, their web site is down.

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