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I did not condone all infractions being handled at the unit lebvel just the ones that appropriate to being handled at the unit level.


You must understand that the BSA has at its disposal only two punishments for rule violations.

1) Removal of the Charter

2) Pernmanent revokation of a persons BSA membership.


That's it. So those are not swords that are wielded carelessly.


So the best way to approach rule violations is through training and counseling.


Units on the other hand have far more options at their disposal. Since the unit volunteers belong to the unit and the unit belongs to the charter organization. The CO has the ability to bring the leader into line without having to to go to the degrees that the Council or national has.


The unit can remove the Scouter from office and reassign him, the BSA/Council cannot. The unit can suspend the scouter, the BSA/Council cannot. The unit can insist the adult attend training The BSA cannot. (The BSA can exclude the scouter from certain activities for not being trained but they cannot force him or her to go to training)


So you see it makes perfect sense to first try to resolve things at the individual and then unit level before it progresses to the council.



Now to your specific questions. "So what if a Scout gets abused by a leader

A Child abuse situation goes immediatley to the Council Scout Executive and the local authorities. Een if no abuse can be proved if it is found that a Youth Protection safeguard was ignored then the adult will likely be permanently removed form the BSA.


" or a Venturer returns from a backcountry excursion pregnant because she was allowed to tent with the oppisite sex

Both youth members and the Adult leader present who allowed the rule to be ingored will likely have their BSA memberships permanently revoked.


I agree with you that there are leaders who put very little stock in the rules they said they would obey. I find it sad that they do not seehow badly that reflects on their personal character and how poorly it speaks of their selection as scout leaders.


However they belong to the chartering organization and unless the infractions are serious enough for their removal from the program they will likely remainas a blemish on the charter organization and on the scout unit unitil they quit or are replaced.


As you can tell from some of the posts on this forum there are still people who say they are active scouters who do not fully accept their obligation as role models of citizenship by obeyong the rules of the program as they said they would. The DE who stayed in the cabin with his fiance at Cub Camp is just one example of that.


No amount of counseling or training will be more effective than selecting quality people.







(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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At the risk of sounding a bit preachy, I believe that the Beavah quoted some scripture out of the Bible about throwing stones. If we return to the same source, let's remember what Paul had to say about such things. Within the Church, you are to point out and help your brother see the error of his ways (however you should also be aware of your own shortcomings). Paul stated that it was the duty of members of the Church to judge their own. And not to judge those outside the church.


This same example can be applied to this topic. As members of BSA, it is our duty to point out violations of the rules within BSA.

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In my council, I have noticed an increased number of scouts who transfer to other units (some are Eagle factories, most are not) just to earn their Eagle. This information is not tracked on the Eagle application and is rarely stated at an EBOR. Something is wrong here, a scout should not need to transfer out of his unit to become Eagle, but none of the aforementioned police seem interested.


Personally, I would like to see the Eagle application require a troop membership history. 'We see just a year ago you transferred to Troop 2. What prompted that move after 5 years with Troop 1?' 'Sir, I would not have been able to earn my Eagle at my old troop because...' The commissioners or Eagle Board then has a talk with those scoutmasters to find out what the problem is.

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Thank you Kahuna for verifying what I told Bobby about the wreath. It amazes me the amount of misinformation he relates and he creates his own fantasy world of scouting where only he knows the rules. NEI never talked about the wreath in my class either except to say it signified a tie to the National office. I gues we will have to let Bobby have his little fantasy, lol.

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"But did you never wonder why commissioners are the only volunteers that have a patch that looks like the ones worn by professionals?"


Because at one time, the BSA didn't have Scout Executives and District Executives. Commissioners, whose responsibility was to "commission" new units, and to recruit new members, often with direct contact, could be paid by a local Council. First Class Councils could keep up to 15 cents of the 25 cent registration fees, and usually paid their Commissioners from this retention. Second Class Councils could keep up to 5 cents of the 25 cent registration fee, and their Commissioners were Volunteers.


Professional (paid) or not, they were all Commissioners. Eventually, the BSA got large enough that it was decided that there would be a paid, professional class - the Executives (Scout and District), who would no longer be responsible for direct recruiting, and direct formation (commissioning) of units, but would run the day to day business operations of the Council.


Commissioners would be all volunteer and would retain their traditional roles of unit formation, unit service and recruitment. Eventually, recruitment became a responsibility of the units themselves (thus ending the Neighborhood Commissioner program, whose job was direct recruitment in the neighborhood).


Though the Executive service were no longer Commissioners, they retained the "Wreath of Service" on their position patches as a reminder that their first and formost responsibility is to the Units and the BSA Program.


The "Wreath of Service" should not be thought of as a means to identify a superior position in Scouting. It is meant to be a reminder and to keep the wearers humble. To be frank, the most important position patches and adult can wear say either Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster or Den Leader. Every other adult position patch indicates a support role to these positions.


Perhaps you should ask "Did you ever wonder why professionals have a patch that looks like the Commissioner's patch"



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"As a commissioner, your role is different from that of other Scouters. The insignia you wear displays a wreath around Scouting's trefoil representing your commission to serve chartered organizations in the operation of Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, Vasity Scout teams, and Venturing crews. The quality of Scouting depends upon the men and women who wear this wreath of service."


pg. 3, Commissioner Fieldbook for Unit Service

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When I went to commissioner training, one of the things we talked about was the impression "out there" that commissioners are the "council cops." It was repeatedly stressed to us that this is not a useful impression and not something we ought to encourage. And now here we have some folks advocating for recognition of the commissioner corps as just that. Hmm, interesting.

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"So if it is not my place or anyone elses place to point out that someone is breaking the rules, whose place is it? Who is there to be the BSA rule breaker police?"


To look for a moment at the swamp we started out to drain, I believe that the answer begins at the beginning of the Scout Oath.


"On MY honor, I will do MY best."


It's not like speeding in your car where it's the job of a cop to police you and if you don't get caught, no harm, no foul. Rather, by voluntarily undertaking the obligation of the Scout Oath and Law, we are each committing to do our best. So the first policeman of a Scout or Scouter is the person themself. That is an obligation freely and voluntarily undertaken.


There can be some real disagreements about what this means. There can be some extreme disagreements where one person's sincere and honest interpretation disagrees with or is even inimical to another person's interpretation of the Oath and Law.


In most cases, I would hope that talking with a person about the Oath and Law obligations would be sufficient to resolve the problem. However, I have watched enough "We're going to play paintball whether the Guide to Safe Scouting says we can or not." to know that can be wishful thinking.


In those cases, the person noting the problem has to decide if the matter is sufficiently severe to justify some escalation. Then talking with some more senior person in Scouting and/or with a knowledgeable pro is wise. There can be some real benefit in dealing with a pro. They are paid to do this and they are most often not local people. Next week, next year and 10 years from now, I will still be dealing with the same people in my local area. The pro likely will not. They can say the unpleasant things that need to be said as part of their job knowing that they will be moving on.


But there is no one answer. Having been a Commissioner at many levels including Council Commissioner, I disagree that being the "bad guy" or "Scouting cop" is a Commissioner function although it can be the Commissioner who does this function on occasion. The Commissioner is the friend of the unit.


Rather, I have found that it depends on the personalities of the people involved at the time rather than the badges that they have on their sleeve.

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GoldWinger, You CAN tote your piece on commercial flights. It just has to be secured in a locked case in your checked baggage. At least that's what I do. It does depend on the airline but most of them have similar regs.


Edited part: "So the first policeman of a Scout or Scouter is the person themself. That is an obligation freely and voluntarily undertaken."

I can accept this as long as the person being policed IS the person himself. I see a problem if I, for example, am expected to police other members.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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"GoldWinger, You CAN tote your piece on commercial flights. It just has to be secured in a locked case in your checked baggage. At least that's what I do. It does depend on the airline but most of them have similar regs."


They have to allow that because it's required by law. However, that ain't toting and it ain't gonna do me any good if Mohamar and Hussein start yelling in A-Rab.

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