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Archdiocese of New Orleans tells all of its BSA units to cease scouting activities.


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In a Feb 2, letter

“At this time, all Cub Scout and Boy Scout groups, whose charters are held by Catholic Schools or Parishes within the Archdiocese of New Orleans, should cease all scouting activities until further notice.”

... ”Boy Scouts of America has updated the language of their Charter Agreement. Our legal team, along with our insurers, are in dialogue with BSA and are awaiting clarification of the new language, and risks to which our groups may be exposed. This is a complex issue.”

The letter also informed units which have not  signed their rechartering documents to not do so until further notice.

...“As of January 31, 2021 the charters of the Boy Scout Chapters held at parishes and schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans expired and shortly the insurance provided to Charter Holders, which is not provided through the archdiocese, will also expire. We recognize and strongly value the importance of Scouting to our youth. Archdiocesan leadership is actively pursuing clarifications on the changes in obligations and expectations of the 2021-2022 Charter Agreement, as well as insurance coverages that may be provided beginning March 1, 2021 to Chartering organizations, while considering alternative actions that will enable scouting to remain a vibrant and active part of the community in our parishes and schools.”

more at source

https://www.fox8live.com/2021/02/03/some-boy-scout-leaders-new-orleans-area-told-they-have-stop-all-activities-until-further-notice/

Edited by RememberSchiff
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  • RememberSchiff changed the title to Archdiocese of New Orleans tells all of its BSA units to cease scouting activities.

I'd expect more of these.  I'm actually looking to see if we can switch our troop charter to the new model.  I think it would be in the best interest of the church.  The church provides a space and storage but has no involvement in running the program or overseeing the leaders.  
 

It's really no difference to the church.  They will continue to support by opening their doors, providing space and storage.  It's really a clarification and movement toward how scouting really exists.  

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This is what I think is going to be the problem. A lack of easily obtainable, affordable, liability insurance. Who in their right mind would insure scouting right now. 

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I had heard that the Diocese of Dallas had last year done something similar, namely, that they were not going to be CO/CORs anymore and switch to the new model. But I heard it in a Zoom discussion, I never saw anything in writing.

And of course the Methodist churches are also pushing for this in some areas as well.

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4 hours ago, fred8033 said:

It's really no difference to the church.  They will continue to support by opening their doors, providing space and storage.  It's really a clarification and movement toward how scouting really exists.  

Given how little many COs actually participate in the units (other than to sign the charter agreement annually) I can imagine many will. There's no upside and only a ton of liability on the other.

That said, the one big thing that is going to choke a lot of units is that Council holds your money now. Now, it is one thing of a Council just serves as piggy bank/bank account. It is another if Council decides it needs/wants to approve your budget and expenditures.

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12 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

That said, the one big thing that is going to choke a lot of units is that Council holds your money now. Now, it is one thing of a Council just serves as piggy bank/bank account. It is another if Council decides it needs/wants to approve your budget and expenditures.

DO. NOT. GO. THERE.

 

One lodge I was in was scheduled to host conclave, which involves  a lot of camp improvements and maintenance. Lodge had been saving up for several years to pay for the camp improvements due to conclave. Since the lodge's money was held by the Council, and the SE can decide what he wants to do with the money, he took the money scheduled for conclave and included it in the lodge's FOS donation. Long story short, no one knew this until the bills started showing up, and the council refused to pay. SE was heard saying " Lodges support the council, not the other way around." I do not know how the matter was resolved, but the lodge advisor eventually stepped over the matter.

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10 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

" Lodges support the council, not the other way around."

Yeah, that's exactly what I am thinking. Don't need to ask the Troop for a FOS donation when you hold the money you can just help yourself.

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5 minutes ago, PACAN said:

Why in God's green earth would a unit have a council hold their money?

IF they switch to the new Council-chartered model, the Council holds the unit's money.

Edited by CynicalScouter
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11 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

IF they switch to the new Council-chartered model, the Council holds the unit's money.

This is similar to the girl scout model too.   .... from my understanding ... the girl scout councils have access to their bank accounts.   But, at least the units still have their own bank account access.  They don't have to submit an expense report or spending request to the council.

QUESTION - Does anyone have published reference materials about the new charter model and the councils holding the money ?

if councils start managing unit funds, many things in the troop will become a "cash model".   Makes the treasurer's life easier, but volunteers can get burned being shorted or having extra work to chase dollars. 

  • Our troop has shrunk so much that we are often running on a cash basis.   
  • Here's an envelope for this campout with notes on the outside and money on the inside.  
  • Many troops have youth collect food money from each other.  It's a mixed blessing.  It gives scouts responsibility, but scouts don't feel the impact.  Their parents do.  Usually, the parents are paying for the food.  If the scout gets shorted, they don't really care as it's the parent that really got shorted.  No skin off the scout's back.  Our troop always had the scout submit the food receipt and the scout got reimbursed ... as long as it's within reasonable closeness to the budget. 
Edited by fred8033
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20 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

This is similar to the girl scout model too.   .... from my understanding ... the girl scout councils have access to their bank accounts.   But, at least the units still have their own bank account access.  They don't have to submit an expense report or spending request to the council.

 

QUESTION - Does anyone have published reference materials about the new charter model and the councils holding the money ?

There is nothing in the new Council model agreement.

But I have been told that (in the same way that the CO's "own" the unit and its assets) that the Council while acting as CO "owns" the unit and its assets and that it requires councils to create budget/line items and accounts.

Now, because this is all brand spanking new, that's my question. Is the Council is holding the funds? That is what I was told. Is it in a unit bank account somewhere? How much control do councils have over the assets? Etc.

Edited by CynicalScouter
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The troops I've been involved in have always been small and therefore always ran on the cash model for activities anyway. Our charter organizations provided a place to meet and (sometimes) to store equipment but that was about it so the new model would work for those troops (if they still exist). Liability insurance is the real kicker. I would not trust Council with my unit's money (if it had any worth speaking of) and I *like* my local Council. I've just seen too many broken promises and shenanigans as execs and directors change out.

I wonder if a trust arrangement could be made to sponsor a unit, "hold" its money, and provide a liability shield for the church or other organization agreeing to provide a place to meet and store equipment. Maybe paying a nominal fee to the church or organization for the meeting place and storage so it's clear they are separated from the trust and the unit.

Sadly, I don't think this will be the end of it. The powers that have been attacking Scouting as a pillar of society for decades have the upper hand in the entertainment and news industries right now and some of them will NOT stop until they have obliterated Scouting. Period.

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28 minutes ago, HICO_Eagle said:

I wonder if a trust arrangement could be made to sponsor a unit, "hold" its money, and provide a liability shield for the church or other organization agreeing to provide a place to meet and store equipment. Maybe paying a nominal fee to the church or organization for the meeting place and storage so it's clear they are separated from the trust and the unit.

That is partially what the new system is. The (former) CO signs a Facility Use Agreement in which they commit to providing a place to meet and use of facilities only plus $2 million in general liability insurance. Storage isn't mentioned directly.

As for a "trust", no. That gets into IRS and tax issues as well as having the "trust" being controlled by, who exactly?

Right now that answer's simple: all assets of the unit belong to the CO (including and especially the money).

Units are not authorized to set up "trusts" or such as that becomes a tax nightmare.

One alternative, and Councils depending on where you live may or may not approve, is to move to the "Parents of Troop 123" or "Friends of Troop 123" model where the CO is some group of people.

The alternative is that the Council holds the cash/owns the assets in the same way that the CO owns the unit and its assets now. Now, the question is whether or not the Council is merely the custodian of the money or has control over it.

The other questions is whether this is temporary. So, for example, if units go to Council-charters for a few months or a year until they can find a new CO.

Edited by CynicalScouter
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I'm not seeing in the attached docs where the council holds the unit's money.

The problem that I can see that councils face is what happens if a unit spends more money than it has.  I assume that in this case the council is left being responsible for the debts of that unit.  I would think that in this case the council would want some sort of audit oversight of the unit's spending.  However, if a council tries to enforce the kinds of spending rules on units that they do in other places, then it will certainly create an off the books system.  

My guess is that councils will want to avoid this if at all possible.  Other than continuing for these units to exist, there is no benefit to the council for all this added effort.  

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