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Beavah

Unit Bylaws

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No Eamonn, not blind, you see quite clearly.

 

A troop that wants to do their own "thing" and has disdain for any BSA book, guide, policy or what have you, can codify their rejection of BSA by writing their own bylaws. Those folks that get all animated about wantin' to avoid havin' rules and procedures simply write their own rules and procedures bylaws. Makes is easier to justify perhaps? I see no other purpose.

 

As I can see, things are getting all twisted again. Where in any official BSA rules or regs or bylaws does it state what day & time a specific unit meets, Frank? Where in any official BSA rules or regs or bylaws does it state what a specific unit charges for dues (if any), Frank? Where in any official BSA rules or regs or bylaws does it state when permission slips for outing for a specific unit is due, Frank?

 

Not doing their "own thing"!

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"As I can see, things are getting all twisted again. Where in any official BSA rules or regs or bylaws does it state what day & time a specific unit meets, Frank? Where in any official BSA rules or regs or bylaws does it state what a specific unit charges for dues (if any), Frank? Where in any official BSA rules or regs or bylaws does it state when permission slips for outing for a specific unit is due, Frank? "

 

Yes, I would agree that these things need to be documented (as others have stated).

 

These don't go into bylaws. Bylaws document certain information about organizations (for instance, that you pay dues, that you have meetings). But certain kinds of information DON'T go into bylaws (dues amount, time/place of meetings). Instead, these go into the organizations "standing rules". Some organizations may have further "policies", such as risk management policies and the like. These are all separate documents from bylaws.

 

Should units document this sorts of things? YES

Should units call these bylaws or put them into some kind of 'bylaws' document? NO

 

As someone else noted, these sorts of things can go into a simple 1-2 page "unit policies" document that would put into writing things like time/place of meetings, dues amount, etc.

 

 

 

 

You know, part of our 'job' as adult leaders is teaching our scouts. All our scouts will most likely be joining organizations in college and in life that use bylaws. Why can't we as adult leaders teach them the correct things about bylaws rather then the nonsense I see here from too many. I've encountered too many scouts who have been told misleading and just flat out wrong information about parliamentary procedure and bylaws, either from well meaning, but unknowleable adults or adults who were misinformed themselves. This means that orgs that use parlypro & bylaws that they don't just have to teach their new members this information, but many times have to 'unteach' their new members of thier bad information.

 

 

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Yah, emb021 is quite right about there bein' a distinction between bylaws, policies, regulations or standing rules, and guidelines in the bigger, broader world of corporate law.

 

There's some value in understandin' those distinctions, and the reason for 'em. Dues should be easy to change; what constitutes a quorum when you're talkin' about spending 2/3 of the troop's cash on a new trailer should not be.

 

I don't think for most troops, though, there's quite the need to go with da full corporate model, eh? Besides, dat's not a great fit for a lot of COs. It's enough to write 'em down on a few pages or in a troop handbook and get 'em jumbled up a bit, as long as there's an understanding (or better yet, a written procedure) that it should be hard to change the governance process.

 

Now we know that FScouter always looks at things assumin' the worst of fellow scouters, but by and large havin' bylaws and policies for a unit is a fairly ordinary thing. And yah, sure units may put things into bylaws or such that differ from BSA practice. But I reckon they can also differ from BSA practice without writin' anything down just as easily. The difference is that in writing it down and approving it, more people are involved, more time is taken, more opinions and thoughts are considered. That makes it less likely that they'll go runnin' off the reservation, not more.

 

And, if yeh have a few bylaws in place, then down the road when da CC thinks he's king or the SM wants to pay $10K for his cousin Vinny's leaky boat, folks have somethin' to turn to.

 

Beavah

 

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"sure units may put things into bylaws or such that differ from BSA practice."

 

Not sure why the word "Practice" Is being used?

Could it be that if this read:

Sure units may put things into bylaws or such that differ from BSA policy, that this so called practice might just sound wrong?

Ea.

 

 

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"Now we know that FScouter always looks at things assumin' the worst of fellow scouters,"

 

Hey now, that seems like quite the interesting comment unless one has an intimate knowledge of the afore named scouter and understand the ins and outs of all of his experiences and I really don't think anyone here can make such a judgement based on the miniscal slivers of a persons personality we get to glimpse on this forum. I think we should support and encourage volunteers, not drag them down

 

Then again, thats just my opnion, I could be wrong

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Nah, not draggin' him down. Just tryin' to provide highway markin's for the new folks who are tryin' to navigate. That other thread a bunch of newer forum members got all in a huff about the tone of the conversation and the different things people were sayin' about the same topic, and I came back with the bit about how yeh have to get where other people are comin' from. FScouter in his bits and piece on the forum generally assumes that other scouters are a wretched hive of scum and villainy who are out to break the rules and be unsafe and violate da BSA program. Just like CalicoPenn will always come down hard on the side of the kid in any dispute, assumin' the scouter is the bad guy, eh? Product of their background and personal experience, just like my furry personality in da forums is a product of my background.

 

FScouter's perspective is an OK one, eh? In Scoutin' as in anything we do have a few confused folks and a few bad eggs. It's worth rememberin' that there's a chance of havin' a bad egg out there. Bein' reminded occasionally is healthy. Like any perspective, yeh have to then balance it with other views and information. Maybe not every unit that writes some rules or bylaws is out to be dastardly, eh? :)

 

Yah, Eamonn, don't get hung up on da word, eh? Substitute any word you like; "practice" "program" "guidance" "policy" "rules" "books" "worksheets". Meaning stays the same.

 

Need to get PMing workin' again 'cause this stuff detracts from the thread a bit, eh?

 

Beavah

 

 

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Actually, OGE, Beavah is on the mark! It seems FScouter only pops up when he has somethign disparaging to say! Not very moderaterly like either.

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Actually this thread seems more a battle over semantics than anything else or a misunderstanding of the meaning of a word by certain folks.

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Ooops! Seems like I hit a nerve with the Beavah! I too post with the idea of helping out the new folks, and of course providing a counter to notions that home-brew Scouting is somehow better than BSA Scouting.

 

Isnt that really what custom unit bylaws are all about? Bylaws. It sounds so authoritative. This is how WE do it, here in our neck of the woods, where were different and we know better than the rest of the country, particularly better than in Texas. Rather, I look at BSA as tried and true and dont have any notion that round these parts we somehow know better.

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FScouter in his bits and piece on the forum generally assumes that other scouters are a wretched hive of scum and villainy who are out to break the rules and be unsafe and violate da BSA program.

 

This seems just a wee bit of an extreme representation of FScouter's positions. It's always dangerous to describe other people on the forum, because they so often take offense, so I'd like to commend FScouter on his response.

 

I also agree with Beavah that it is useful to know where other people are coming from. I'm just diaappointed he didn't describe me :-) I would have said that FScouter is a by-the-book Scouter who tries to come down on the side of the kids and assumes that people who bend the rules are doing so for their own convenience and/or because they don't think that rules should apply to them. So we don't always agree on those points, but I looked back over a bunch of FScouter's posts, and they didn't seem quite so polarizing as Beavah's flowery description might lead you to think.

 

I'd describe lots more posters - it does sound like a fun project - but I'm afraid it would quickly degenerate. Perhaps we should have one thread per poster, where that individual isn't allowed to post, but where everyone else can talk about him/her. On the other hand...

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a wretched hive of scum and villainy

 

Oak Tree, I took this statement by Beavah not as being an "extreme representation of FScouter's positions", but rather as an amusing bit of tongue-in-cheek on Beavah's part. Of course, it might help if you know that the phrase used by Beavah is not his own, but is lifted from the movie "Star Wars IV: A New Hope." (The first movie made in the series, even though it was retroactively re-numbered; when I first saw it, it was just called "Star Wars.") It is a phrase used by Obi-wan Kenobi to describe the Mos Eisley spaceport. (Maybe I shouldn't let on that I know this much about this, but I assume Beavah was assuming people would know where the phrase came from, or at least that it came from some movie somewhere. Maybe next time you are going to do that, you should at least put quotation marks around it so people at least know it came from somewhere other than yourself.)

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OT: Well, it may have been renumbered as 4 retroactively, but it was still done before the second Star Wars movie was released (which was numbered 5).

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Yah, Oak Tree loses out on quite a few old guy geek points there, eh? :)

 

I just imagine FScouter as a straight-laced fellow from a well-developed imperial planet walkin' into that Mos Eisley cantina filled with scouters...

 

Beavah

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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