Update on several issues here
Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Wed, 30 Nov 1994 14:11:28 CST
As many of you know, I still maintain some friends at the National
Office of the BSA, and in various other professional locations
elsewhere. Once a week or so, I save up all of the questions that we
collectively have (as well as those questions that are sent to me
personally), make a couple of calls, get the answers and post them
here to share with everyone.
First, the rationale for the MB counsellor issue that I hope has been
resolved here. According to the Program Group and the Registration
Service, the intent for their joint memo to the local Councils was
twofold: first, to help local Councils resolve some possible youth
protection issues by having 18-20 year olds to perhaps wait a while
before serving as merit badge counsellors, as well as to prevent
"undesirable teens" (their words, not mine) from serving or
influncing younger boys in their role as counselor. I don't
personally agree with this, but that was the first intent. I do
agree, however, with the second intent: that is, to prevent what has
happened to the old "college scouter (reserve)" position to occur
with the MB counselor. That is, we have MB counselors on paper, duly
registered, but NOT really serving in that role....and instead,
sitting around, waiting for the next OA activity or event. I can see
this happening if a local Council decides to retain the 18 age limit.
Again, MB counselors are approved by the local Council. They are at
least *18* years of age or older, of good moral character, and have
experience and/or expertise in a area which he or she can share with
Second, we have been going around and round about who REALLY
establishes the requirements for the various religious emblems and
awards presented by various religious bodies to Scouts, Scouters and
Explorers. This is what the Relationships Service had to say:
"All of our religious awards are presented jointly by the BSA and the
religious organization or church. The requirements are jointly
created by a member of our staff and a committee of the church. While
the church adds the religious requirements, we simply add the lenght
of service, a rank or age limit or assistance in deciding the
appropriateness of the award for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Explorers or
adults. But the final say in the award comes from their committee and
not our office. We do get many inquiries about how the BSA can award
religious awards, and we send a flyer to those interested that
explains how those awards are earned and presented."
"The same requirements for a Boy Scout, for instance, is NOT the exact
same requirements for a Girl Scout, or Campfire member. The booklets
that P.R.A.Y puts out clearly explains this."
"A youth can earn and wear the entire series of awards for his
faith. He wears the medals on the uniform and wears the Boy Scout,
Cub Scout, and Explorer devices on the square knot. A adult wears a
separate knot, with NO devices on it."
"There are a few Scouters, and you're one of them, that have received
awards from more than one faith. In those cases, you still only wear
one square knot. We are working with Program to come up with
something because as time goes on, there will be more people getting
more than one...and in two cases, there are TWO awards that adults can
receive in the SAME faith, and we need to come up with some consistant
way that those can be acknoweledged on the field uniform (I suggested
the bronze, gold and silver Eagle palms as a possible compromise).
When asked about the appropriateness of a combined booklet that would
list all of the religious awards, the only comment I got back was "We
are working on it, but clearly there many problems that have to be
worked out as to whom would do it, the format of the booklet, and whom
would the booklet go out to. We already show the medals in the
Insignia Guide, the Scout Handbook and in religious relationships
posters and we keep those up constantly....."
Someone asked me to look into the process for repealing a local
Council decision to "remove a member", and I couldn't get anyone from
National to comment to me about it. I did, however, get a Scout
Executive to comment on it for me, and he stated that "the person
needs to appeal the decision through the Region in which he lives.
Be advised, that such appeals need to be throughouly supported by
letters and statements from Scouters that can attest to your good
character and ability to serve. There are three volunteers and two
professionals on the Region level that serves as "appeal committee".
Don't have the person to send just a letter saying "my Council
Executive don't like me....", they need to explain the entire
situation as they saw it and like I said, to have those strong letters
"As a Scout Executive, I have the power to remove members or leaders
and to place them on the registry of nondesirables if I feel that that
their prescence in the program does not meet with the Scout Oath or
Law. Even though the policy don't state this...you know that *I*
would be ready to back it up with statements and materials that I have
which led me to remove the member."
Finally, the Exploring Division got my last portion of the call today.
I asked if there would be a forthcoming catalog for Exploring leaders
and Explorers and they stated that "the Supply Division has just
mailed out a catalog for Explorers and Exploring leaders, along with
the revised green field uniforms."
I could not get anyone at the Supply Division to answer me on the
availability of the light blue "Air Explorer" uniforms, nor could I
get ahold of someone to answer a question about training awards (Mr.
Peterson would be out of the office until Monday.
Hope that answers some of your questions or concerns...as always, I'm
always able to help you with your questions or problems, but again I
ask that before you post here, to please contact your local Council
and at least give them the courtsey of asking them first. While we
here are continually amazed at the fact that all we need to do is post
here and our questions are instantly answered, with several differing
points of view and several different slants on why it is so, when we
take those answers back to our Councils, they look at us sometimes in
eyes NOT flattering or even nice. Give them the chance to help
you...that is what WE PAY them to do for us, you know!
But if you can't (or don't) get a straight answer from them, or if the
answer you get is somewhat "not right", then go right ahead and post
it here (or, if you feel that it's not appropriate for the entire
Scouts-L audience, send it to me or someone else here). Together, we
will find the answers you ask and (you may not like it, but we'll)
answer it for you (and if its not personal,) and for those lurking
asking the SAME question!
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Services ___)_
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