Re: Denial of Registration
Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Tue, 8 Feb 1994 21:33:29 CST
Larry Rinaldo <lrinaldo@R02DG05.R02.EPA.GOV> writes:
>Hello fellow Scouts!
>I have a subject that is touchy, AND want to get my hands on some materials.
You were NOT kidding about it being touchy!! I have been working on
this for about a month, and this afternoon, I got *some* answers, did
some research and got *some* answers and still there are *some*
answers that I will perhaps NEVER get answered. By anyone.
I placed three phone calls and wrote one letter to folks that would
know something about the policy in question. Here's what I've found
>According to BSA there is a Denial of Registration, Clause 21, Article 8,
>Section 1 of the bylaws set forth by the right of BSA to set standards of
>membership and leadership. The procedure for maintaining these standards
>is through the denial of registration is expressed in a publication titled
> "Procedures for Maintaining Standards of Membership and Leadership"
First, the book is SO restrictive that it don't even have a BSA stock
number! *That's* restrictive! Next, the ONLY professionals that have
the booklet are those that completed the "Standards of Membership"
course offered through the National Executive Institute (and those
that attend this course are Scout/Council Executives, Associate
Council Executives or Deputy Scout Executives, or Directors of Field
Services with potential to become Council Executives.
There's a large statement in the front inside cover that states that
the contents of this booklet is NOT to be shared with ANY volunteer or
with non-career executives of the BSA under ANY circumstances.
Professionals found in violation will be counseled under the
provisions of the local Council and the Scout Executive Code (in other
words, their life as a career executive is OVER in essence).
For this reason, a Regional and a National professional refused to
even admit the booklet and its nine pages exist! So, I called in a
HUGE favor and got ahold of a professional that is getting ready to
retire. I had to wait until his retirement was effective before I
could get a answer.
Today, I got the answers.
WHAT IS THIS BOOK? It is a result of the BSA's Shaping Tomorrow task
force that recommended many of the changes that we have experienced.
One of the concerns from the professional field was this concern that
no matter what happens with volunteers, no matter what they do in
their personal lives, and no matter what public actions they do, the
BSA normally can't get rid of them as members without some coercion at
the local Council level. Professionals wanted more control over whom
they can admit and retain as leaders and whom they cannot. Therefore, they
wanted more teeth into the policies and the Bylaws gives them that
WHAT DOES IT SAY? The book basically says that senior professionals
had BETTER BE DAMNED CAREFUL before issuing that letter Larry and
Kathie referred to, called the "denial of registration letter" (a
sample copy is found on page five of the booklet, using the generic
"Takeany Council, BSA". Local Councils should also consult their
legal counsel and if possible, members of the community from which the
volunteer resides in before issuing the letter.
The letter MUST be signed by the Council Scout Executive (it CANNOT be
delegated to anyone else). The letter MUST be delievered IN PERSON to
the person concerned and the letter CANNOT have ANYTHING other than
the boilerplate letter format.
A copy of the letter, along with any information deemed important in
the rendering of this decision, is sent by mail pouch through the
Regional Director of Membership to the National Membership Services
Office at the National Office. There, it stays in the person's file
for an unspecified period.
The letter can be issued to ANY VOLUNTEER, ANY PROFESSIONAL and ANY
EMPLOYEE of the local Council basically for any breech of the
"standards of membership" of the BSA. Those standards are explained
on the first three pages of the booklet. Besides convicted felons,
those engaged in homosexual or having sexual relations with youth
members (consentual or not), and those that clearly expressed a
tendancy for such behavior, letters can be sent to volunteers that
"do not meet the standards of the Scout Oath or Law, as applied by the
local Council's interpretation of those time-honored principles" (this
comes straight from this booklet, says the professional, and it is
this statement that BOTHERS MANY PROFESSIONALS (A great friend of
mine, once returning from the course, quickly resigned from the
profession as Assistant Council Executive because of this "new
policy". It is a shame, because I feel that he was personally
responsible for the improvements in his Council's financial status,
which he was responsible for...his wife, also a senior executive in
a neighboring Council, resigned as well within a year) ).
Basically, this statement allows the Council Scout Executive to
withdraw membership to ANYONE they see fit!
WHAT IS, IF ANYTHING, THE IMPACT THIS HAS ON VOLUNTEERS? Simply put,
as many examples were demostrated over this and other forums, many
good volunteers may be given the "axe" (and this is NOT a Wood Badge
pun) and this letter simply for being "against the policies of the
local Council", as we are all supposed to be loyal (one of the Scout
Laws) to our Council and to the Scouting program in general. There are
countless stories of great volunteers that refuse to "go with the
flow" and challenge local Council authority to do what they do. In
many of these cases, they have appealed to the Region and got
reinstated. Some have not.
As Kathie mentioned, there is a list of "undesirables" which is
maintained at each of the four Regional offices. As applications are
sent to their offices and NOT to National (as many think), the Region's
Membership Relations service compares the application electronically
against the national "undesirable" listing and if your name is on
there, a stern letter is sent to your local Council Executive warning
him of the "undesirable's presence" in the Council....and advises him
NOT to register him or her. Of course, being the independent
Executive they are, many destroy the returned application and the person is
not registered...some CEs, however, go ahead and register the person
once they get the background information and interview the volunteer.
Professionals are barred for life.
>Does anyone have this? If you have it, is it in a form to transmit though
Nope. Not a chance in this time. The ONLY way you can get a copy of
it, is by taking a copy from a local Council senior executive.
I want to make two points about this "Undesirable" listing and this
entire policy. The first point is as many have explained on here,
just because your name appears on that "list", don't mean that you
have necessarily done ANYTHING illegal or unlawful. There are many on
that list that ARE criminals or have done something that the majority
would call "unlawful". However, there are many other names on this
listing whose only "crime" was to counterman or speak up to a Scout
Executive or whom were "troublemakers" and won't let the Council do
whatever it was it was doing until they stopped it or caused attention
to it publicly.
The other thing is that NOBODY has a copy of the listing at the local
Council level. It is ONLY at the four Regional offices, and those
offices don't release ANYTHING to NOBODY except National
professionals, Regional and Area Professionals, and THE Council Scout
Executives within their Region ONLY. You nor I can call up and see if
Scouter "X" is on this list.
As a matter of fact, as the BSA's national spokesman Blake Lewis spoke
on national television last fall, "....the BSA does NOT have such a
list..." On page seven is a description of the "undesirable" listing,
including how those forenamed professionals can obtain information
from that Regional list.
Sorry to be such a pooper on the day where we celebrate the BSA's
birthday, but this was a question that not only deserved an answer,
but one in which I have been working on getting answers for in a long
Your local Council has (or should have) a implementation policy for
the issuance of those letters. It is NOT a everyday thing, and for
the most part those that have received those letters deserved them.
There is also a vast amount of corruption and abuse in the usage
of those letters, and our new Chief Scout Executive is currently
trying to correct those situations (I'm not defending the BSA, this is
what was told to me) so that those that were given those letters for
simply standing up to another person don't get penalized permanently
for that defense.
Larry, that's all I know. That's all that I can be told. I've lost a
good friend in the process, and another friend is leaving the
profession that he loves very much over this (and some other) policy.
But the information is important, I think.
I hope that this is of some usage to you.
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
AIS/MR Recreation Specialist, LifeSkills Inc. ___)_
(h) 502-782-7992 (f) 502-781-7279 (w) 502-842-2274 |-=-|]
3201-D Cave Springs Avenue -- Greenwood, KY 42104-4439 -=====-
WALTOML@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU (or via America OnLine) KYBLKEAGLE@AOL.COM
"Not speaking for Lifeskills, Inc. or WKU...but I do speak well!!"
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City