Re: On our own
(no name) ((no email))
Wed, 31 Jul 1996 01:35:14 -0500
>I have a question for him and the rest of the group. What kind of backing
>can we expect from BSA if we do follow the guidelines?
If your unit follows the BSA's health, safety and youth protection policies,
you can expect your Council (and through them, the National organization)
to support the *chartered partner organization* in any and all "battles"
between disgruntled/disenchanted/grieving parents or Scouts.
Your unit can expect that the BSA's legal team, which are based within the
National Office as well as within each of the four Regional offices, will
extend advice and information (some confidential, of course) between the
*chartered partner organization*, the local Council Scout Executive and the
Your Council's legal consellor will contact your *chartered partner
organization* and extend his or her professional courtesies as the legal
advisor to the Council President and other volunteers of the Council.
Note here, Drew, that I haven't mentioned the *unit leader or his or her
assistants*, just the chartered organization which entered into an agreement
with the local BSA Council to charter the BSA unit. As "owners" of the
Pack, Troop, Team, Post or Ship or any combination thereof, your chartering
organization has the additional duty to support and if need be, protect you
and your assistants and other adult workers from lawsuit or other problems
in the best way they can. In most cases, chartered partners view the BSA
unit which they sponser as "part of the family" and will help in legal
matters affecting the unit (mostly because of PR reasons, and not just
have a "stake in the outcome").
This is also why I and other Scouters here have been recommending that
primary Scouters (Cubmasters, Scoutmasters, Coaches, Advisors and Skippers)
get additional liability insurance on themselves above and beyond
the limits of your Council's liability (this varies from local Council to
local Council....ask and find out specificially from *your Council). This
additional insurance protects *your interests* in case you are named a party
in a lawsuit along with the unit and the local Council.
Natually, you or your assistants or others involved in your unit may be
asked to provide information on how you handled the situation and this proof
along with the various BSA forms and documents, properly filled out,
goes a long way to an out-of-court settlement or dismissal of a case.
I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that all of this is "bulletproof",
There has been cases whereby even after the unit has complied with all
existing BSA and local Council policies and procedural stuff, that someone
came a'gunnin' for "the BSA" and the Council refused to get in the middle of
the dispute. This mostly deals with domestic disputes, for instance, a leader
takes a child to Summer camp. He has a permission form signed by the father
of the child, along with a medical history form and the full fees of the
camp. The child falls and breaks his leg during camp. The mother of the
child, who has custody of the child, now wants to take "the BSA" to court
because they failed to get her permission for her son, which she has sole
custody over, to attend the camp. Her law team named in the document the
father, the name of the camp (which implies and involves the local Council)
and the Boy Scouts of America. She also includes you and your unit.
I've "seen" many cases like this whereby the Council will turn to the unit
and say "we're not in this...it's every person for themselves, and we have an
out here....the kid's not registered with our Council. Good luck and tell
us how it turns out". The unit will turn around and say to you "he's not
registered with our unit and not only that, you failed to get the permission
of his parent." They may or may not support you (and letters I've got here
tell me that they don't unless the child either died at camp or has some sort
of abuse at camp which reflects back on the chartered organization negatively).
However, in general terms, if *you and I* have done everything the way the
BSA and our local Council *wants it done*, you should have no problem
whatsoever with anyone or any organization...and the BSA as a corporation
and the local Council as an operational arm of that corporation, will indeed
support your chartered organization in getting the matter resolved to the
mutual consent of all parties involved, even if they don't support you directly.
Hope that resolves your fears and concerns about whether or not we're all
sitting out here "on our own".
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle) (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Services of Kentucky (502.826.7046) __)_
174 Chapelwood Drive, Henderson, Kentucky 42420-5036 | ** |]
(H) 502.827.9201 (F) 502.826.7046 (W) 888.284.4848 (yea!) coffee?
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