Randy Finder (naraht@DRYCAS.CLUB.CC.CMU.EDU)
Tue, 3 Jun 1997 12:27:00 -0400
On Tue, 3 Jun 1997, settummanque, or blackeagle (Mike Walton) wrote:
> Sorry for the late response, Brother Randy....I'm still trying to move stuff
> in and try to arrange for future work, as well as Jamboree and other plans.
No problem. I also hope you don't mind if I abbreviate some your
responses. I'll do my best to keep the important parts.
> Brother Randy asked about the BSA's restriction on the Rules and Regulations
> and the Charter and Bylaws publications (and other publications) to Council
> Executive discretion only:
> >Why this is to BSA's advantage?
> Two ways, the most important of which is that it keeps their "core
> documents" out of the reach of those that would tend to do "harm to the BSA"
> and allows them to update the documents without having to print entire new
> editions to the field.
> To which he later responded and asked:
> >Reason #2 makes some sense to me. Especially if the R&R are updated >more
> than once a year.
> It doesn't make sense to me, because most of the policies are not updated
> for at least two years....most are discussed and ratified during the
> biannual National Council Meetings. A lot of "policies" are not "rules" nor
> "regulations", but rather "this is the way we're going to handle this",
So most of the R&R is updated every two years on a scheduled basis
(August of odd numbered years for example)?
> >#1. The sense I get from that is that a perfect example of a person who
> >would do "harm to the BSA" would be (overblown example here :) "The
> Mainly because it limits access to those that the BSA gives access to.
> Let's use your example. If the President of the San Francisco ACLU wants
> copies of the BSA's Rules and Regulations as well as a copy of the Charter
> and Bylaws, they would have to write the local Council Executive, whom would
> request the appropriate booklets from Risk Management at National and at the
> same time, "tip off" the reason for the request by stating specifically (as
> the policy is now in place) WHO would get the documents and FOR WHAT REASON
> are they requesting them.
As some one else commented earlier, that's what the discovery phase of
the trial is for. What I don't know is if ACLU of California gets it as
the result of one trial, if they can share it with ACLU of Ohio.
> What a lot of Councils are doing are simply requesting one copy of each for
> the Council President, and photocopying it on their end for additional
> Council officers instead of sending specific requests to National asking for
> copies for each of their Council officers. That's their call...the folks
> from National is simply trying to restrict access to those documents (and
> others) to those that have a specific need to have them and to reduce the
> number of "excess copies" hanging around somewhere while the rule or
> regulation has changed meanwhile.
Best way to do that would be to put a HUGE experation date on the front
cover and put the date of publication at the bottom of each page. I think
the military does it that way.
> I later wrote:
> The BSA has long held that it's publications and materials are not things
> that can be "passed around" in the public domain, and this is a step toward
> tightening who *specificially, by name* has copies of those documents and
> who *should have access* to the same.
> Randy replied:
> >I just hope BSA doesn't end up in the type of lawsuits that Scientology
> >did over publication of some of this over the web.
> One of the many things that the BSA has been looking at is publishing copies
> of the Rules and Regulations as well as the Charter and Bylaws through their
> website. There's lots of legalities involved in doing that, but I see it
I hope they do that.
> At the same time, the publications of the BSA are properties of the BSA,
> Inc., and as such, the National Council can decide what if, and how they
> will be used.
And yet limiting the access of the volunteers who are the backbone of
scouting is ugly.
>> Bizarre removal examples
> Nope. The guidelines are more liberal than that. A Council Scout Executive
> can basically remove anyone at his or her discretion, for basically anything
> dealing with his or her interpretation of not following the Scout Oath
> and/or Law. For instance, a Scout Executive can remove a person from
> Now of course, those letters can be appealed, and there's also a procedure
> Now, will many Council Scout Executives abuse that power and start removing
> people right and left?? No, not if they expect to hang around there for
> longer than a couple of years. The current Chief Scout Executive has been
> reviewing a lot of those earlier "removals" and have reinstated a lot of
> "removed Scouters" from the Love era and have told Council Executives that
> if you remove someone, you'd better be prepared to defend the removal at
> risk of your own position. That's one of the reasons why the previous
> "restricted to professionals" booklet has been incorporated into the Rules
> and Regulations, to allow senior volunteers to have some sort of oversight
> over who gets "canned" and why.
Ouch. I'd heard of some of those cases, but thought they were just
reviewing a few.
> Finally, Randy states:
> >In short I understand some of the reasons given. Reprinting costs makes
> >sense for rapidly changing documents, and documents directly giving
> >guidance on legal situations that might arise from removing (or not
> >removing) a leader probably should be private, but having the charter >and
> by-laws in that category just doesn't seem right...
> The Charter and Bylaws explain who is in authority in a local Council, how
> Looking at this from the BSA's point of view, if you as volunteers asked us
BSA in this line = BSA Corporate...
> to manage the program, then you're going to have to let us manage it in the
> best way possible. Doing so, there's going to have to be some changes to
> allow us to streamline ourselves and to protect ourselves from lawsuits
> arising from volunteers getting mad because we've "streamlined them" out of
> a volunteer position. By not publically providing the way we're going to do
> it gives us some protection and also allows us to get rid of that "dead
> weight" that you've been saying that we have but you can't do anything about
> it. Now, we can.
> One of the results, as I've stated several times in the past, when we as
> volunteers "take our hands" off of the program because we got too lazy to do
> it ourselves and gave it to our professional team members to "handle it".
Anyone want to repost those statistics on the number of
professionals in other scouting organizations in the WOSM?
Leadership, Friendship and Service - Alpha Phi Omega
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City