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7 hours ago, mashmaster said:

If the current CO no longer is willing or able to charter Scout units, what do you expect them to do? 

If the CO is no longer willing or able to charter the scout unit, the unit should be disbanded.  The unit should cease to exist.  The unit number should be retired and remain unused unless/until the CO re-charters a unit.  This sends a crystal clear message that a unit is part of its Chartered Organization.  A unit is not a separate entity.  

The parents are free to go "shopping" for a Chartered Organization who is willing to form a new unit for their kids.  New CO.  New unit.  New number.  

The problem arises when parents want to retain the number, flag, history, and identity of a unit.  They want to make a statement that the unit is its own entity.  It can continue outside of its CO.  This leads to all sorts of problems.  

The council is to blame for this.  The council undermines the CO/unit relationship by allowing a new CO to use the old CO's unit number.  The council is completely in control of the assignment of unit numbers, and could quickly put an end to the practice of CO shopping.  The council should have a strict policy of assigning a new unit number to every new CO.

BSA could do this too.  But its not going to.  

 

Edited by David CO
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I expect the BSA at all levels knows the CO model is broken.  If they truly implemented the model, @David CO is correct.  No unit can switch COs as the unit is simply the extension of the CO.  If the

They do.  They paid for the insurance policies. Now its up to the execs and lawyers at BSA to make sure the insurance companies pay the claims.

1) Tax status is automatically extended to the unit because, for legal and BSA purposes, the unit is simply an appendage of the CO. If your CO is tax exempt, so is your unit. It if is for profit, so i

11 hours ago, fred8033 said:

My view is the current situation is rather unfair to BSA. 

Not at all.  BSA allowed CO shopping.  BSA intentionally undermined the CO/unit relationship and weakened the oversight that might have prevented some of the abuse.  BSA should be held accountable.

 

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I expect the BSA at all levels knows the CO model is broken.  If they truly implemented the model, @David CO is correct.  No unit can switch COs as the unit is simply the extension of the CO.  If the CO decides to not recharter, they shut down the unit.  Now, the CO can decide to be "friendly" and offer to donate the scout equipment to another unit, but it is the CO's property.  I'm probably incorrect, but I thought in the past veteran bars required the unit to be chartered with the same CO over the time period.

The BSA doesn't run this way anymore.  It seems like they are committed to the "idea" of the CO as they can claim that the CO is the owner of the unit and fully responsible.  However, they also don't really want the COs to own the units (look at changes they made to how the funds must be used for scouting after a unit closes).  DEs know that many COs don't really meet the charter agreement, but they have to sign off or they would see many units simply collapse.

That said, if I were this unit I would be doing the same actions they are currently planning.  Unfortunately, the units I know that searched for COs recently ended up panic signing a CO up right before charter.  They were selective at first, but then realized few if any organizations are looking to sign on BSA units (at least based on what they have told me).

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16 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

That said, if I were this unit I would be doing the same actions they are currently planning.  

I understand the temptation to go CO shopping.  People put a lot of time and money into the unit and don't want to see it disappear.  Nevertheless, I still think CO shopping should be prohibited.

 

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I got mixed emotions on this.

I agree with @David CO that BSA has not encouraged  COs, and in particular CORs, from doing their jobs, especially on the district and council level committees they are de facto members of. Heck I was told NOT to visit IHs to talk to them about their units per the agreement letter in the recharter packet. I got a lot of heat for those visits because I was told I needed to spend the time on starting new units and to stop focusing on existing units. While I did notify folks about district meetings, which no COR ever attended, they were never notified about council meetings. Heck I could not even tell them because i was not informed about them.

And I do agree that CO shopping just because  is wrong. It does weaken the programs. I have been fortunate lately because the units i have been involved in have had strong relationships with the CO. Kinda helps if the IH is an Eagle and has a son in the troop. :) But the relationship between the CO and the units needs to go both ways Yes, the CO helps the units, but the units also need to give back. It could be doing yard maintenance,  collecting palms for Palm Sunday services, setting up for outdoor services, anything to support the CO. EDITED: The longer units are with a CO, the stronger the relationship should be, the better the units program will be and better the service a CO receives.

But sometimes I do think their is a need to switch COs. The troop I grew up in had 3 COs while I was there,  We were at the first CO for 20 years and initially had a very good relationship with the CO. But over time the CO's congregation changed demographics, and fewer members of the church were joining. The CO no longer viewed us as part of the church, and we were treated as such: last minute moves to smaller meeting spaces or even canceling meetings, destruction and theft troop gear, etc. And yes we did try to support the CO, but they did not want us. After discussions with the IH, it was decided that the troop would be better served by another church that did want a Scout troop, and eventually we did move

The second church was great under the initial IH. But after 2 years,  a new IH appeared that had a very strong anti Scouting bias. They made it known that they wanted us gone, They even called the police on us for trespassing when we were late leaving an Eagle Court of Honor. Here we are, taking the garbage to the dumpster and getting ready to leave, when a cop shows up asking if we saw any kids running around and causing problems as they got a phone call saying there was a bunch of kids trespassing at the church. We later discovered that 1 minute after the scheduled end time of the ECOH, the IH called the cops on us for trespassing. Within 6 months of being told they wanted us gone, we found another church that had a pack, but no troop, and we went there.

In both cases above, the CO's we left signed off on allowing us to continue using the unit number, gear, and keeping our history.  That history means a lot to both the youth and adults. BSA does have a process for transferring numbers, but the CO must agree to it if an active charter is in place. Once a charter expires, their is a 5 year hold, at least when I was a DE in my council, on that number for the CO in case they ever restart a unit. And at least in my council, the "reserved" number is held for any new units in the district IF they want the number. When I started a CS Pack at one church, their original number form 30+ years ago was "reserved" and they could get it back.

 

38 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

  I'm probably incorrect, but I thought in the past veteran bars required the unit to be chartered with the same CO over the time period.

Policy is continuous charter, does not matter how many COs you have. My troop above is  one example of a troop with multiple COs. Current CO started the troop I am in 99 years ago. but there were two periods of time when the troop folded. We have only been around for 40+ years according to the charter. although we have memorabilia in the Scout room going back to before the council was even formed.

Edited by Eagle94-A1
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I am in complete and total agreement with the idea that the CO "owns" the unit with one big caveat that I've seen come up:

The CO "owns" the unit and may run it anyway it wants in compliance with BSA rules.

Let me give you an example of what I am talking about. There was a pack whose CO was a Lutheran Church. Webelos Adventure Duty to God and You requires that you complete Requirement #1 (Discuss with your parent, guardian, den leader, or other caring adult what it means to do your duty to God. Tell how you do your duty to God in your daily life.) AND an additional requirement from a list of 3.

One option, and I want to emphasize it was an OPTION was "Earn the religious emblem of your faith that is appropriate for your age, if you have not done so already."

The new pack committee chair (who sat on the Church's board) insisted that OPTION was MANDATORY in order to earn Duty to God and You AND that the scouts partake in the PRAY program in order to do it. This raised two major concerns:

  1. Several non-Lutheran scouts were being forced to use the PRAY program when they belonged to other denominations.
  2. This was adding a requirement in violation of Guide to Advancement by converting an OPTIONAL requirement into a MANDATORY one.

Well there was the push/pull about who owns the unit and how since this was the church's unit they could and would do this. Eventually the pastor as IH got dragged in and as soon as he saw it completely shut it down, if for no other reason than item #1 and what was perceived as forced imposition of a particular religion/Christian denomination.

Again, I am all in favor of COs "owning" units, and I wish more were engaged than they are. But that also does not give them carte blanche to simply make up rules as the go along.

 

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46 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

The troop I grew up in had 3 COs while I was there

I suspect these CO's were not always providing the proper oversight of the unit.  That's the big problem.  All of the other stuff you mentioned should be secondary to unit oversight issues.  I know it sounds harsh, but I would rather see a unit closed than to have it continue without the proper CO oversight.  Oversight should be priority #1.  

 

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44 minutes ago, David CO said:

I suspect these CO's were not always providing the proper oversight of the unit.  That's the big problem.  All of the other stuff you mentioned should be secondary to unit oversight issues.  I know it sounds harsh, but I would rather see a unit closed than to have it continue without the proper CO oversight.  Oversight should be priority #1.  

With the first one I do not know much except the CC was also the COR, and he was an active parishioner. I would like to say there was proper oversight, but I do not know.

Second CO, we had one of the leading parishioners as COR (he also was duel enrolled as an MC which is allowed) and with the first IH we had a great relationship. IH even attended COHs and visited when camping locally so he could get back in time for Sunday services. We also had about 35-40% of the Scouts as parishioners and/or attending the school. So there was oversite by the COR as well as limited oversite by the IH. His replacement came in with a strong anti Scouting bias, and within about 2-3 months of arriving stated they wanted us gone. Going from memory here, so bear with me,  but I think they wanted to start some church specific clubs at the school and/or church. Starting a Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) keeps popping in my head. The Scouts didn't know anything about the stuff behind the scenes. We were told we were moving to a new church because they had an established pack, and invited us to move so that their Cubs had a place to move to. I only found out about the drama after I became an ASM, and it was in passing. The brother of the Eagle Scout whose court of honor we were "trespassing" at earned Eagle, and his dad, who was the COR/MC at the second CO, made a joke about  trespassing at the brother's ECOH. That's when I found out who called the police on us.

Upon reflection I do not know if the 3rd CO was actually the church or the Knights of Columbus Council. I know several knights were involved with troop and later venturing crew. I believe the pack also had knights involved. Pastor had a Scouting background, and attended COHs when he could. COR went to parish committee meetings. So the oversite was there.

Edited by Eagle94-A1
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Many Chartered Organizations are struggling to find volunteers to help with their organization, much less for a Boy Scout troop they are chartering. Our COR has a scout in our troop and the previous COR resigned about the time her son got his Eagle rank. Since, my troop is fed by packs that may not be associated with the CO, finding a replacement COR from scout parents will be harder to find.

And boy is having the right COR is important for the Troop and the CO, because they select the adult volunteers that work with scouts and run the Troop admin. The COR has to be involved and make immediate changes if the scoutmaster is determined to be harmful to scouts. 

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14 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

...  as forced imposition of a particular religion/Christian denomination.

Again, I am all in favor of COs "owning" units, and I wish more were engaged than they are. But that also does not give them carte blanche to simply make up rules as the go along.

 

I agree ... if they accept members of other faiths and churches, they need to be open to members exercising their faith.  

At the same time, the CO absolutely has the right to reserve the membership to youth and leaders from their own CO.  Then by doing so, it can be a religious extension of the church.  But if they accept members from outside their CO, then they need to be sensitive to other faiths and values.  

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19 hours ago, David CO said:

Not at all.  BSA allowed CO shopping.  BSA intentionally undermined the CO/unit relationship and weakened the oversight that might have prevented some of the abuse.  BSA should be held accountable.

 

Several topics here.    CO shopping.   BSA subverting CO ownership.   CO liability .

My comment was about CO liability ... Their liability seems similar to BSA.  Every CO every year signed paperwork documenting their responsibility such as selecting and vouching for leaders.  The CO effectively signed every adult leadership application thru their CO or the CO's designate.  ... If BSA is being held liable for what happened years ago when times were different, COs seem to be in the same basis.  ... COs (pastors, youth ministers, etc) have always known that these things happen.  Heck, my wife and I come from different faiths and she told me the stories of youth enamored with the young pastors and the trouble that happened sometimes.  It was completely alien to me as I am Catholic and we never had youth pastors, etc.  

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4 hours ago, fred8033 said:

My comment was about CO liability ... Their liability seems similar to BSA.  

I disagree.  While CO's do face liability for any incidents that have taken place in their own units, they have no liability for the problems in the other units.  Many, if not most, scout units have had no claims of sexual abuse.  

Also, the CO's did not have control of, or access to, the ineligibility files.   Insurance companies will not be able to make an effective argument that the CO's hid information from them.  

 

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7 hours ago, fred8033 said:

The CO effectively signed every adult leadership application thru their CO or the CO's designate. 

I've never seen a school (CO) held liable for hiring the wrong guy, so long as they were unaware of any previous wrongdoings by the applicant.  It is always the lack of oversight/supervision that gets them in trouble.  By itself, signing off on an adult leadership application doesn't create any great liability problem for the CO.  The CO's insurance company is fully aware of the fact that the CO signs off on all adult leadership applications.  There is no deception.  No hidden risks.  

BSA is in big trouble because it was less than forthcoming with information about the risks involved in its scouting programs.  It hid information from the scouts, parents, units, CO's, and insurance companies.  

 

Edited by David CO
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6 minutes ago, David CO said:

I've never seen a school (CO) held liable for hiring the wrong guy, so long as they were unaware of any previous wrongdoings by the applicant.  It is always the lack of oversight/supervision that gets them in trouble.

Yes, that's why the main civil causes of action against BSA and the COs are

  • Negligence in Supervision - the abusive leader was an "agent of [Boy Scouts] was under [Boy Scouts] direct supervision, and control" using BSA methods, uniforms, instruction, etc. And the COs were responsible for oversight of the unit and its leaders.
  • Negligence in Retention - the abusive leader was not shoved out the door fast enough by the CO.
  • Negligence in Hiring - (yes a volunteer is "hired" for these purposes) Boy Scouts (and the CO) failed to do enough of a background check to detect the abuser's tendencies and nevertheless held the abusive leader out as a "competent and trustworthy scout leader, supervisor, servant, teacher, and counselor."

Negligent hiring is only 1 of the 3.

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