Re: Scouting and the PTA
Shellgren, Eric A (Eric.Shellgren@PSS.BOEING.COM)
Thu, 9 Apr 1998 12:27:23 -0700
>Could someone please enlighten me on the reasoning behind the National
>PTA's policy of prohibiting local units from chartering Scouting units?
>My PTO is being asked to consider PTA affiliation, and when I posed
>that question to the State PTA representatives, I got a non-answer.
> Keith Tilley
My wife was a PTA President in the late 1980s. I remember quite vividly
the day she received a letter from the State PTA that advised her not to
charter a BSA unit anymore.
When she tried to find out the specific reason why, she received nothing
more than vague implications that liability was the primary concern.
The tone of the letter seemed to imply that if something happened to a
boy or as a result of something a boy did, the PTA parents were the ones
solely responsible for liability. That panicked many of the parents. No
one bothered to check the validity of the information. It didn't seem to
matter to them that several PTA parents involved in Scouting had other
information. "The state PTA said it was true, so we believe them..."
seemed to be the prevailing feeling. By the time the next state PTA
convention happened, it appeared to be "gospel" state-wide that Boy
Scouting and Cub Scouting were bad liabilities.
Since that time, the local PTA has had at least five changes in
leadership and at least two complete turnovers in membership. The church
that holds the charter for the pack and troop has had only one change in
pastors in that same time and has a fairly stable membership. The church
also has strong backing for Scouting through the denomination.
Perhaps one of the important things about finding a good chartered
organization should be to look at its stability and turnover of
- Eric Shellgren
Eagle in 69 - Owl in 96
"We trained hard, but it seemed every time we were beginning to form up
into teams, we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that
we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and what a wonderful
method it can be for creating the illusion of progress, while producing
confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization." --Petronius Arbiter, 210
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City