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Unit Recharter Struggles


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6 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

never let the adult side of things hold a Scout back from advancement.

Or never let the adult side of things hold a scout back from having fun - with the safety caveat.

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You make several interesting points: Traditionally, we know from observation that the majority of chartered organizations have acted more in the role of a benevolent landlord rather than treating

The issue both he and I highlighted was the fact that BSA at all levels "knew or should of known" the imminent threat of CSA throughout the organization. The documented knowledge of that irrefutable e

Makes sense.  Dioceses are independent businesses with their own lawyers AND their own state oversight requirements.  For example, my diocese has legal reporting requirements to the state AG as part o

I and most parents would be ‘offended’  and not sign the proposed liability waiver or release that includes “abuse and molestation”.  Stick with the BSA Consent Form or similar.  (My understanding is that waivers provide little protection, especially if negligence is involved.)

Besides the lack of confirmed liability protection from the BSA or Church…  The parents probably believe the Pack and Troop are under the auspices of the Church.  The Pastor has only agreed to on-campus events and thus I believe it prudent and in the interest of all to not have any off-campus events until registration status is resolved or definitive authorization from Church or BSA received.  Unfortunately the adult side of things will hold the Scouts back if charter and registration is delayed further.

Regarding the facility use standoff…  the following is almost a year old, but may be of interest: https://d2y1pz2y630308.cloudfront.net/12728/documents/2021/2/Boy Scouts Memo Agreement.pdf

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On 1/13/2022 at 1:00 AM, yknot said:

In one sense, negligence can already be assumed if the unit leadership is aware it is not chartered and yet is continuing to run program

Negligence pertaining to what?

The only negligence of real concern is liability for an adult committing some act of child abuse.

To my knowledge, National has NEVER provided insurance coverage to unit adults (or alleged youth abusers, for that matter) for abuse and molestation claims.

And, I'd note that the "abuse and molestation" language is not of my origin but from a major insurance company's website, which upon my email inquiry about coverage, perfunctorily advised me by email that no such insurance was available for scouting units. (I think a wholly owned subsidiary of Met Life-but I could check my emails if anyone needs particulars.)

Scouting liability issues pertaining to CSA or abuse and molestation are pariahs.

Does anyone know if any insurance company is offering such insurance to scouting volunteers, scouting units (generally unincorporated associations) or chartering organizations?

 

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On 1/17/2022 at 6:56 PM, Wëlënakwsu said:

I and most parents would be ‘offended’  and not sign the proposed liability waiver or release that includes “abuse and molestation”. 

And so too would I be offended.  Not much of a "marketing piece" is it?

But this is the point to which BSA National has brought all of us.

The "abuse and molestation" language is from a major insurance company website offering such coverage, though I was advised after my email inquiry that such coverage is not offered to scouting units.

In plain English, "that coverage is not available to scouting operations as they pose too high a risk to insure for any premium we believe people would pay-and so not worth our effort to market-we have staff to pay."

Essentially, scouting activities cannot be insured against claims of abuse and molestation.  Scouting is uninsurable regarding those risks.

So, the immutable problem is how do scouting activities continue if risks with monumental liability risks are uninsurable?

To my knowledge, there has NEVER been any insurance coverage for unit leaders who sign another adult's application for membership for acts of abuse allegedly perpetrated by that adult after the application approval date.

So, how many of us are potential defendants in child abuse cases for negligently "signing off on," that is "approving," an adult's application for membership in scouting who subsequently engaged in alleged abuse?

Answer:

Every adult leader who has signed another adult's application is a potential defendant.

The critical question is whether "every adult leader" has coverage for such alleged negligence through their homeowner's insurance (carried by most folks) or some other insurance.

To my humble knowledge, and all correct me if I am wrong, National has provided no information that adult leaders are insured for "abuse and molestation" coverage.

 

 

 

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37 minutes ago, SiouxRanger said:

Negligence pertaining to what?

The only negligence of real concern is liability for an adult committing some act of child abuse.

To my knowledge, National has NEVER provided insurance coverage to unit adults (or alleged youth abusers, for that matter) for abuse and molestation claims.

And, I'd note that the "abuse and molestation" language is not of my origin but from a major insurance company's website, which upon my email inquiry about coverage, perfunctorily advised me by email that no such insurance was available for scouting units. (I think a wholly owned subsidiary of Met Life-but I could check my emails if anyone needs particulars.)

Scouting liability issues pertaining to CSA or abuse and molestation are pariahs.

Does anyone know if any insurance company is offering such insurance to scouting volunteers, scouting units (generally unincorporated associations) or chartering organizations?

 

My experience with legal proceedings is that corporations, institutions. insurers, and lawyers are looking to offload liability all the time in any way that they can and with anything they can. If they can prove you neglected to have any necessary paperwork in place, it gives them a toehold to work through.  And liability for scouters extends way beyond CSA. 

 

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1 hour ago, yknot said:

My experience with legal proceedings is that corporations, institutions. insurers, and lawyers are looking to offload liability all the time in any way that they can and with anything they can. If they can prove you neglected to have any necessary paperwork in place, it gives them a toehold to work through.  And liability for scouters extends way beyond CSA. 

 

This is why I am a stickler for paperwork and following all points of BSA policies for activities...

I shake my every every year, especially at summer camps, at how many adults just blow off safety provisions...

Thunder?  Yeah, I heard it, but it sounds really far away, we can continue our activity (smh)

Jimmy is a Beginner?  That's OK, he can get in the canoe with Johnny the swimmer, who is not an adult (smh)

Canoe Trek?  Naw, they don't need the three hours of instruction or demonstrate proficiency and recover from a capsize (smh)

Class II rapids?  Naw, we don't need helmets (smh)

Scuba?  No, we don't need to get the Scuba agency medical formed signed by a doctor...the BSA Annual Health and Medical Record is good enough (smh)

and on and on and on...

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10 hours ago, SiouxRanger said:

Essentially, scouting activities cannot be insured against claims of abuse and molestation.  Scouting is uninsurable regarding those risks.

So, the immutable problem is how do scouting activities continue if risks with monumental liability risks are uninsurable?

This is an important point that has serious implications for the individual Scouter. Insurance provided through the BSA (may) cover the chartered organization. It does not cover the individual Scouter. You are on your own in the event an allegation of abuse is ever made. The costs of legal defense even for a false allegation can be staggering. Scouters need to have a discussion with their personal insurance agent to ensure that they are adequately insured. 

 Many Scouters believe as long as they follow all BSA policies and procedures, they will never face the situation where there is an allegation made. And if so, they believe that they personally are protected by BSA legal defense and insurance because "they did all the right things.".  Unfortunately, this typically is not the case.  Scouters need to understand the potential personal risks and how to best protect themselves and their families.

Unfortunately, the BSA historically has done a poor job educating its volunteers on the importance of this.

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On 1/20/2022 at 7:56 AM, gpurlee said:

You are on your own in the event an allegation of abuse is ever made.

Yep.  And your most likely defense?  That you are not worth enough to be named as a Defendant unless there is strong evidence you did something particularly egregious.

On 1/20/2022 at 7:56 AM, gpurlee said:

The costs of legal defense even for a false allegation can be staggering.

If your defense costs you less than $50,000, even if you win, or are dismissed out of the case, you are lucky.  The likely cost of defense is so high, and so far beyond most folk's ability to pay, many attorneys would require a retainer in that amount.  Lump sum up front.  Welcome to the modern Scouting environment.

 

On 1/20/2022 at 7:56 AM, gpurlee said:

Scouters need to have a discussion with their personal insurance agent to ensure that they are adequately insured. 

And further, ask your questions in writing and get a written response.  If possible, get a written response not only from your agent but from the issuing insurance company's legal department. A written opinion from your agent only binds that agency and the agency he/she works for.

No one can obtain insurance coverage for damages for intentional wrongful or criminal acts.

A huge benefit of applicable insurance is to cover the cost of a legal defense if accused of negligence as an adult leader in some fashion.

On 1/20/2022 at 7:56 AM, gpurlee said:

 Many Scouters believe as long as they follow all BSA policies and procedures, they will never face the situation where there is an allegation made.

EXCELLENT POINT! That you, yes, Y0U, are someday accused has no bearing on your activities.  Lawyers sue ("name as Defendants") anyone even remotely likely to be liable for the alleged damage.  All on the worry that if they fail to name someone who seems unlikely to be liable, but discovery and evidence at trial points the finger at that person not named as a Defendant, the case they filed turns out to be worthless, and they have to start all over again-if the statute of limitations has not run n the meantime.  Lawyer may have to prosecute TWO cases when they could have only had to prosecute one.  And, if the statute of limitations has been blown (case not timely filed against the ignored Defendant), the lawyer may be personally liable for the damages to their client.

Everybody beats up on lawyers, but lawyers accept a serious level of risk to handle cases competently and may end up paying for their client's damages from the auto accident, for example, because they did not handle their case properly.  Lawyers carry errors and omissions insurance (legal malpractice insurance) to insure against liability for negligent actions (mistakes).

On 1/20/2022 at 7:56 AM, gpurlee said:

Unfortunately, the BSA historically has done a poor job educating its volunteers on the importance of this.

So, where does one begin with analyzing this?

I fully agree, but I suspect there is much, much more to this.

Does BSA actually WANT to "educate" its volunteers about these issues-volunteer potential liability, and the magnitude of the financial loss to volunteers (and chartering organizations, and insurers)?

Volunteers are a HUGE reservoir of free labor.

Many of volunteers have a long-term history in the program, so they are high-seniority, unpaid "employees" of sorts.  They KNOW what they are doing.  They trained themselves for free (not a BSA cost) by participating in the program as youth and as adult volunteers.  The BSA model is that of a small number of paid professionals who "manage" a huge number of adult volunteers-those volunteers who conduct the program.

So, is the BSA marketing piece to attract volunteers to be:  "Come, serve youth.  Kids are great. You may be named a Defendant in a child abuse case which could wipe out your net worth.  Campfires are great times. If you lose your home, at least you'll know how to live in a tent."

Clearly, BSA KNEW that there were thousands of abuse claims for decades.  BSA captured all the records of such claims at its national offices directing that councils retain no copies of any documents pertaining to abuse claims.

And the volunteers continued to volunteer not being warned by BSA, which knew the Truth.

And the chartering organizations continued to recharter scout units not being warned by BSA, which knew the Truth.

And the insurance companies continued to insure not being warned by BSA, which knew the Truth.

Aside #1:  With respect to "errors and omissions insurance" (malpractice insurance) the insured is required to report to the insurance company any potential claim of which the insured has knowledge of.  I have not seen any comment on this issue, BUT the HUGE ISSUE is whether BSA had an obligation to report the abuse claims of which it had knowledge to its insurers so that they could re-evaluate their risk and adjust their premiums accordingly. Apparently, BSA never so advised its insurers.  THAT OMISSION provides the insurers with the defense to having to provide coverage, that "BSA failed to advise us of potential claims so we are not liable to pay for any such claims."  This is a sound legal argument.

Aside #2: Comprehensibility of posts.

A.  It is common for folks to state facts.  Sometimes they omit facts essential to allowing the reader to follow their thinking/reasoning.  Rule: Include all the essential facts.

B.  Personal Pronouns be BANNED.  I am talking about ( I, you, he, she, it, we, they, me, him, her, us, and them ). Unless the use of a personal pronoun is perfectly clear.

Tom said.  Al responded. George had nothing to say. Sandra objected. So they decided to sell the horse. Who was in favor, who opposed, if anyone, ...

C.  State the significance of the facts stated.  Many folks state facts assuming that the reader will understand the significance of the facts that they stated will be readily apparent to their reader. This is rarely true.

No greater example is from a Lincoln case (anecdote, or just plain fantasy???)"

"So, you saw Tom fighting with Bill?"

"Yes sir."

"And when was that?"

"About 10 p.m."

"Nighttime was it?"

"Yes, but there was a lantern hanging outside the tavern door."

(Lincoln-about 1855.)

"And how far were you from this fight?"

"About 50 yards."

"And you say that Tom bit off Bill's ear-it being dark, and you so far away-how can you say that?"

THE question about the significance of "drawing the conclusion for the audience."

"I saw Tom spit it out."

 

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I got an email that we weren't rechartered because we didn't pay. I had our treasurer send proof that they deposited our check.

Now I noticed that one of our scouts and his mom are no longer showing up in Scoutbook. He has the same first and last name as another scout in our troop who aged out but is now a registered adult with our troop. We had problems with his account in the past because of it.

My son just aged out but registered as an adult. He now appears twice in Scoutbook both as a scout, not adult.

Scouts who left our troop and did not re-register still appear in Scoutbook.

Calling this a mess is really an insult to messes.

Our Charter Org is our homeowners association and not to blame here at all.

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5 minutes ago, 69RoadRunner said:

I got an email that we weren't rechartered because we didn't pay. I had our treasurer send proof that they deposited our check.

Now I noticed that one of our scouts and his mom are no longer showing up in Scoutbook. He has the same first and last name as another scout in our troop who aged out but is now a registered adult with our troop. We had problems with his account in the past because of it.

My son just aged out but registered as an adult. He now appears twice in Scoutbook both as a scout, not adult.

Scouts who left our troop and did not re-register still appear in Scoutbook.

Calling this a mess is really an insult to messes.

Our Charter Org is our homeowners association and not to blame here at all.

Frustrating.  When we cannot get basic administrative tasks dealing with membership right, our confidence in the integrity of all other processes erodes.

Best of luck as you wade through the mess.

Have you spoken directly with your registrar?

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7 hours ago, SiouxRanger said:

And my Catholic unit remains unchartered, and apparently no catholic units in my diocese have been rechartered,

You are not alone.  We were informed a couple of weeks ago that while the two Catholic chartered units in our district signed charter agreements for 2022, at the end of the year the diocese will cease chartering all units in the council.

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1 hour ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Frustrating.  When we cannot get basic administrative tasks dealing with membership right, our confidence in the integrity of all other processes erodes.

Best of luck as you wade through the mess.

Have you spoken directly with your registrar?

Our Committee Chair is doing that. She handles rechartering. She handed the check directly to the rep along with some paperwork. He separated the 2 in his folders and I think that's why we were not credited for paying.

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I think this might be a good time for national to reevaluate the charter org model. Troops shouldn't have to rely on a church or other organization to be able to exist. 

We've seen where these other organizations have different philosophical views and that can lead to them taking it out on troops. I can also see them worried about liability, whether real or perceived.

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@SiouxRanger and @MikeS72

Have not heard the National Catholic Committee on Scouting say anything about not rechartering.   Of course some Diocese may have decided that on their own. Ours has not.    Remember when the gay youth membership decision was made a few Bishops stopped troops in lieu of Trail Life.    Also individual Pastors can decide not to recharter as well.

 

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