An Historic Moment
Rodger Morris (rodger@FISHNET.NET)
Fri, 20 Dec 1996 08:49:28 -0800
We have just seen an historic and precedent setting moment here on
SCOUTS-L. The BSA has just taken another bold step forward into the
information age, and has finally entered the last decade of the
"Better late than never."
At 10:35 AM 12/20/96 -0500, Jack L. Sears Jr., Scout Executive of the
Flint Ridge Council, BSA, wrote in his official capacity as Scout
Executive an official policy statement of the Boy Scouts of America in
re where to obtain information about Camp Thunder:
>To Whom it may Concern:
>The author of the above listed posting is not an employee of the Flint River
>Council, Boy Scouts of America or Thunder Scout Reservation. His opinions,
>views and expressions are not supported or endorsed by the Flint River
>Council, its Executive Board, Staff or Volunteers.
>For official information regarding Camp Thunder and the Flint River Council
>send your posts to: Thunderbsa@aol.com attention Jeff Elliott, Thunder
>Thank you very much
>Jack L. Sears Jr.
>Flint River Council,
>Boy Scouts of America
For the first time, a professional employee of the Boy Scouts of America
has gone on-line on SCOUTS-L in his official capacity to make a statement
of official BSA policy. This shows a fine disregard for the policy set in
re this matter by the BSA at the national level and it sets a precedent
that cannot be subsequently disavowed by the BSA.
Also, for the first time to my knowledge, a Boy Scout council official
has posted an official e-mail address open to the general public for
requesting information concerning official Boy Scout policy and camp
facilities and the like. It is to be regretted that Mr. Sears used a
surrogate to post his notice in this forum instead of posting the message
himself, but it is possible that he does not, as yet, have an e-mail
address of his own.
Certainly, this is the case in my council. Here in the Ventura County
Council, BSA, we hope to set up e-mail for the council employees in the
Heretofor, the BSA has taken the position that the BSA and its employees
will make no official statements of BSA policy on the Internet, with the
exception of the official World Wide Web page established by the BSA this
year. This policy is set forth in a memo that was sent to the council
scout executives, dated 23 October 1996, which then later in the same
memo authorizes local BSA councils to establish their own official web
This memo also urged caution in publishing an e-mail address for the council,
citing a fear that an overwhelming amount of inquiries would be received.
My professional opinion is that this fear is mostly without foundation, as
the increase in e-mail correspondence will be largely offset by a decrease
in correspondence with the local council by other means. This opinion is
supported by our experience where I work at a federal government agency as
a computer specialist and local area network (LAN) manager. Indeed, we have
noticed a great savings of time lost to playing "telephone tag".
Mr. Sears is to be congratulated for his courage in posting in his official
capacity on SCOUTS-L. Let us hope that he has the courage to continue
participating in this forum in his official capacity in the future.
Welcome to SCOUTS-L, Mr. Sears!!!
Would you be kind enough to introduce yourself so that we may get to know
you and your Scouting background better, as provided for in the SCOUTS-L
welcome message? This is not required, but it would be the Scoutlike thing
Also, Mr. Henderson of your council has spoken highly of your efforts to
improve the Flint River Council and Camp Thunder. Please give us an
overview of the challenges you have faced during your tenure as Scout
Executive and how you, your fellow council employees and the volunteers
of your council have met these challenges together.
You have a unique perspective to add to this forum, and I am glad that you
have decided to participate with us. If other BSA professional employees
had the courage to do likewise, the BSA would be much the better for it,
owing to an improvement in the BSA's internal communications with its
Again, sir, I wish to extend the left hand to you in Scouting fellowship
and bid you welcome to "the virtual Scouting Roundtable that never ends".
Yours in Scouting,
Rodger Morris <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Scoutmaster, Troop 852 Wood Badge 416-18
Ventura County Council at Philmont, 1973
Camarillo, California, USA "I used to be a Beaver..."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City