Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Tents/swimming/denying membership
Sat, 6 Feb 1999 09:55:19 -0500
Once again, I've waded through the digest and feel
like putting in my 2 cents (I'll use one message to
help us keep under the 50/day limit).
1. Wenzel tents - I originally responded privately, basically
saying that you get what you pay for. Isn't anyone else
bothered by the fact that two posters said how great it was
that they had their damaged tents replaced? I'd rather not
have a tent that was damaged so easily in the first place!
A tent that can't stand up to a "hard wind" is a danger to
the scouts in your unit.
2. Swimming requirements - To me, the thrust of the 2nd/1st
class swim requirements is not to give the scout skills to
save someone else's life, but skills that may help them to
save themselves if they ever find themselves in the water
3. Denying membership - As others have said, the unit has
the absolute right to pick and choose their members. Some
have said that there are "right" and "wrong" reasons: however,
this is in our own eyes, and a unit doesn't need a reason.
A unit can deny membership because a boy "smells funny". They
may not like the fact that he wears an earring. He may not be
the "right" religion. Yes, as a private organization, we can
even deny membership in a unit because of someone's race. Now
I'm not advocating that this is good, just that this is the =
rules. I personally believe that a unit should open it's
membership to all who want to join.
Note that this will not protect you from being sued if you
deny membership to a boy; it will only give you a strong case
for winning the suit. You may find yourself the object of
adverse publicity in the local paper. You may find your =
meeting place being picketed. You may find pressure being
put on your chartered organization to either allow the boy
in or disband the troop. Note that while council cannot
"force" you to register a boy, they can threaten to lift
the unit charter if you do not comply.
Remember the bad press that we got a few months ago over
the troop that decided to throw out a boy with some
disability (it might have been Tourette's syndrome).
The troop, which was only about 6 months old and had
relatively untrained leaders, felt that the boy was a
threat to the others in the unit. When the bad press
caused the chartered organization to allow the boy to
stay, the other scouts quit the unit.
Remember, just because you have the legal right to do
something, it doesn't automatically make it morally
right, or is it in keeping with the Scout Oath and Law
that we all swear to abide by.
Joseph A. Alessi in Ozwin 2.21
Vice Chair - Program, Lafayette District
ASM Troop 313, Cradle of Liberty Council
Adviser to the Treasurer, Unami Lodge
I used to be an Owl