Scouts-L Mail Archive for May of 1999: Re: Active Membership
Re: Active Membership
Bruce E. Cobern
Mon, 3 May 1999 14:08:24 -0400
From: Jim Peterson <kupete@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU>
Date: Monday, May 03, 1999 12:58 PM
>Hmmm. I don't read it that way. Seems to me that the obligations
>in the BSA Rules and Regs are put on the MEMBER'S shoulders, not on the
>unit to "monitor and deregister" a member is not active.
>The document says, "an active member is one who....attends
>regularly...fulfills a member's obligations to the unit....", etc.
I don't have the document in front of me but, as I recall, there are
specifically TWO classes of membership described in the R&R. Thus, the
unit can choose to keep the Scout on the charter but not "active." As
another alternative, the unit can terminate the youth's membership in
THAT unit, which DOES NOT terminate his Scouting registration, but would
stop the "active membership" clock.
>And c'mon, we all know that our DEs and council execs would have a
>collective coronary if we even suggested that we would actually start
>dropping inactive scouts from the charter so let's not pretend that
>could actually be put into practice.
Frankly, I don't think what the professional staff wants has any bearing
on this. Somehow, I don't like the sound of the argument that goes:
"He hasn't been active, and we wanted to take him off the charter, but
the DE objected, so we left him there, and now he has to become an Eagle
Scout because we left him on the charter." While I empathize and even
sympathize with the DE's and their goals, those goals are not always
congruent with ours as leaders. When they are in conflict, you have an
OBLIGATION to act in the best interest of the Scout and the program, not
the DE. So, saying you can't do what is authorized and allowed because
the DE's don't want you to is, to me, a cop out. If you believe it is
the right thing to do, you do it. If you choose not to do it, then
don't complain about the consequences, intended or otherwise.
However, don't get me wrong. I'm not thrilled with the positions that
get taken once an appeal goes to national, but I live with it. The
solution is to make sure resolution happens long before that point.
Remember, this is NOT an adversarial process. Everyone is supposed to
be working toward the same goal, and should be on the same page.
Understandings should be reached, and misunderstandings resolved, LONG
before it ever reaches the confrontation/appeal stage. My position at
that point is almost always pro-Scout, unless the unit can clearly
demonstrate to me that they conveyed their dissatisfaction to the Scout,
obtained his agreement on what was necessary to correct any
deficiencies, and the Scout then failed to perform.
There are many ways to make this work within the system as it has been
given to us. In 20+ years as a district advancement chairman I have had
exactly ZERO appeals go to national, and actually have only had to defer
about 3 candidates.
Bruce E. Cobern