Re: BSA: Executive Board Requirements
Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Tue, 22 Nov 1994 13:58:36 CST
"Jim Miller, Jr." <jmillerjr@LSFCU.ORG> writes:
>The CE brought out a resolution from National that had neither a date
>nor a confirmation of acceptance. This resolution states that Article
>VI, Section 7, Clause 2 of the Bylaws of the Corporation states:
>"Cluase 2. The executive board of each local council shall consist of:
>...and (e) not more than two youth members, who shall be registered Boy
>Scouts or Explorers appointed by the council president with the approval
>of the executive board to serve for a term of 1 year. The..."
This is from a memo sent to Council Executives dated 2 March 1984.
Let me shed a little background on this, since some of you may not be
aware of this, and it's relvancy to the issue posted.
From 1973 to 1985, the BSA had a massive influx in youth members in
their Exploring program. A large part of it was the fact that the
Exploring Division was the ONLY division that had a "national officer"
to sit on the National Executive Board, and that pushed the Exploring
program as a Division on equal parring with the Boy Scouting and Cub
Scouting Divisions. Each spring, a new slate of officers from the
National President and six Regional Vice-Presidents/Regional Chairs,
down to 29 Area Exploring Chairs, and downward to 420 Exploring
Associations (either Explorer Presidents Associations, or "EPA" or
Explorer Officers Associations, or "EOA"...depending on the size of
the local Council) were elected. Some areas, the youth members had
more pull than many of the adult members, simply because they could
raise more money effectively than many adults.
Somehow, the BSA stood up and took notice of this fact. Several youth
leaders, also stood up and took notice of the BSA's sudden "interest"
in their abilities. They bent over backwards to get them into places
to help their Region or local Council to get more money for Exploring
and all of a sudden, the Exploring Division as a whole, and local
Councils with active EPA/EOAs were in BIG BUCKS.
Then, those former youth leaders became APO (Alpha Phi Omega, a
national fraternity based upon the ideals of the Scout Oath and Law)
members. This helped to created "alliances" between APO and the
Exploring Divisions in many local Councils...APO Chapters did have a
greater access to the BSA's prime camping (and partying) properties
as well as do things under the name of the local Council (because
their elected officers as well as former officers were/are APO
Some of those APO chapters and some of those Exploring officers took
advantage of their new power and there were some VERY ANGRY Council
Scout Executives, one of which wrote the National Director of
Operations, saying "I will resign before taking direction from a 17
year old child" (back in those days (wow...1979...those days...), a
Area or Regional Exploring chair had about as much say in how a
Council did their Exploring program as the Area Director did...and
they had the backing of the Area Director!).
The letter was produced, restating the BSA's Rules and Regulations
which does indeed state that a Council shall have only TWO youth
represenatives on it's Executive Board.
*HOWEVER* , there's NOTHING that keeps a local Council from having
as many youth or adult members on its ADVISORY BOARD, whose members
advise and work with members of the Executive Board and whom are
"movers and shakers" in their communities.
When the letter was issued, many Council Scout Executive IMMEDIATELY
disbanded their Explorer Associations, and three of the six Regions
(Northeast, Southeast and SouthCentral) declared that they will no
longer hold elections for Area Explorer Chairs or even hold meetings
with them, and that their Regional Explorer Chair would serve as a
ADVISOR only to the Regional Exploring Chair (the adult appointed to
serve as that Region's Exploring "expert" and as a member of the
National Exploring Committee).
Two years later, the BSA decided that the National Explorer President
would serve a one-year term and the person with the second amount of
votes would serve as Vice President; and that at the end of the term,
the two officers would flip-flop and the Vice President would serve as
President...and their duties would be severly limited to serving as
"Conference Chairs" for the biannual Exploring Conferences.
>His questions on this point are many.
>1 - Is this actually a current part of the BSA Bylaws?
Yes, it is. Each local Council can only have two (used to be three)
youth members on their Executive Board. However, as I stated, other
youth members can serve as members of the Advisory Board of the
Council, as well as former youth members of the Executive Board.
>2 - Is there some restriction on Executive Board positions to be 21
>years old, similar to Scoutmaster/Post Adviser?
All ADULT members of the Council Executive Board must be 21 years of
age, of good character, and residing within the Council territory.
Youth members need only to be a registered youth member of that local
>3 - Would these people be considered youth if they were not currently
>registered as Boy Scouts or Explorers?
Depends on their age. If they are under 21, yes, they are considered
>4 - Why would anyone attempt to restrict the youth input on this
>extremely important level of the program?
Youth input was never that important, Jim, to the Council's success.
Remember that the purpose of the Executive Board is to formulate
decisions and give the Executive Secretary (the Council Scout
Executive) authority to carry out their wishes. Of course, a GOOD
Council Board is going to consider what youth in their Council wants
to do as far as Council-level programming, but they don't have to have
the youth present to make those wishes known.
Remember also, that this body is formed of those people that naturally
don't "have time to listen" to youth members or for that matter, adult
members with "new ideas". This is one of the reasons why many
seasoned Scouters don't really want to serve on the Executive
Board...because when they dissent about something that they've
experienced, there's not many there that even understand why it won't
work the way they choose it to work.
>5 - If the Bylaws read as stated, how does one begin the process of
>having them changed to mandate a minimum number of youth positions on
At your level, you cannot. This needs to be brought up at a National
meeting, and the Rules amended. There's simply too many Council
Executives that remember the late 70s and early 80s *too well* and
don't want to return to that prosperous and powerlosing period again.
This is also the reason why many exercise a chokehold almost over
their Order of the Arrow Lodges.
Besides, other than the Order of the Arrow Lodge Chief and the
Explorer Association Chair/President, whom else COULD serve? APO
folks are NOT part of the Council's operation; there are no youth
members allowed for the National Eagle Scout Association any more.
>Never mind answering number 4, since there could be no good reason for
>this anyway. We all know this is a youth program. IMHO, the board needs
>to reflect the views of 18-25 year olds at least as well as it does any
>other age group.
>It should also be pointed out that our CE has an extreme dislike for any
>strong, vocal youth in the program, especially those who have no fear of
>going against the CE's thoughts. One of the APO Presidents is our
>immediate past Lodge Chief who fought the CE on several issues last
If you would look back into your Council's history, Jim, you will see
that what I've stated earlier beared out and why he don't welcome
youth involvement on the level that you (or me, for that matter),
would want it to be.
Settummanque! (former youth and later adult member of Council Exec.
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Services ___)_
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