Scouts-L Mail Archive for August of 1999: Re: Council Communications
Re: Council Communications
Thu, 26 Aug 1999 09:25:47 -0000
<Terrell A. Mayton wrote>
I thought discussion of the three G's was against the list rules.
It is, but Ogden's message concerned council communications, not the 3-G's.
<Ogden Rogers, Ph.D. wrote>
I am wondering to what extent (or not) your local Councils have been
communicating news about the continuing disagreements National is having
with the Unitarian Universalist Association, the New Jersey Supreme Court
decision, ... or for that matter, the recent resolution concerning National
being asked to set up a committee to explore the issues concerning
membership and sexual orientation.
I'm not surprised your council hasn't been discussing these subjects with
you. None of this actually affects how you go about conducting a Scouting
program. If it did, you wouldn't be asking the question because the council
would have been communicating with you. That does not mean, as Pat Driscoll
mentioned, you can't ask them. In my council, most Scouts and Scouters
remain blissfully unaware of any trouble between the BSA and UUA. Many of
them either don't know about the NJ decision or don't care (it is after all
New Jersey NOT Ohio).
It seems to me that in my council (Indianhead MN-WI)we get communications
and newsletters that are all focused on the traditional "newsy news" of the
organization... but very little discussion concerning issues that might be
controversial... or perhaps part of a needed larger dialogue in the ranks of
Council communications tend to involve things we need to know to provide
Scouting to youth. Except with respect to UUA Scouts or UUA units, we don't
need to know the gory details of that situation. I know most of the details
and that knowledge really hasn't been of much use at Scout meetings and
activities. Similarly, the NJ decision has no effect on my troop and I don't
need to go very far to get the OFFICIAL local council stance on the issue
(it better be word-for-word that of National!).
If you feel that these topics need to be discussed, by all means discuss
them with the appropriate people. The council's executive board are about
the only one's who can carry the discussion to National. I really don't see
what good that will do.
The only news I seem to get about the various policy difficulties comes from
outside media outlets like the newspapers or T.V. news. Have others been
geting information from their councils about these important issues that
probably will require our attention, thought, and dialogue with each other?
Why would these issues require our attention? The NJ decision is a legal
matter best left to the BSAs legal representation. We can discuss it until
we are blue in the face and it won't change anything. Courts aren't supposed
to bow to public opinion. Discussing it amongst ourselves isn't really going
to do much more than entrench the two sides. National isn't about to change
their policy until an overwhelming majority of members and chartering
partners say that's what they want. I personally don't see a very long line
to do that (see Fred Farnell's post).
In conclusion, I'd like to echo Steve Wiseman's comments about getting out
and doing something rather than sitting here (or in a newsgroup) talking
about it. Not only is that the Scouting way of doing things, it's
responsible citizenship. Keep in mind, however, that Congress probably
doesn't want to do anything about NJ until AFTER the decision is considered
by the US Supreme Court (except keeping their fingers crossed that they
don't have to do anything :-} ). If anything, writing a letter to the Chief
Scout Executive or the President of the BSA (not the honorary one - he has
no real power) will have the most impact. Writing a letter to your
Congressman, Senator, or the courts will generate a response, but those
individuals really can't do much about the UUA or NJ decision.
A. J. Mako, firstname.lastname@example.org , Scoutmaster Troop 381
Home of the Unofficial Win95 Boy Scout Desktop Theme,
Old Portage District, Great Trail Council, BSA
"I used to be an Eagle (C-7-97), but I'll always be an Eagle (1981)"