Scouts-L Mail Archive for September of 1999: Re: Council Communications
Re: Council Communications
Thu, 2 Sep 1999 11:13:13 -0400
From: eddunn <eddunn@Bellsouth.net>
> With concern for Council "rights" and sharing information with
> volunteers, the question begs: who benefits by not telling the
There's a big difference between the council sharing information about
Scouting, and sharing information about administrative and legal
battles. The council's whole purpose is to provide support for the
Scouting program. Almost all of the communication between volunteers
and the council involves information those volunteers need to provide
Scouting to their communities. Volunteers in a unit sponsored by a UUA
congregation would have received information they needed to deal with
that situation. Other Scouters would have received that information
when and if they needed it. Same goes for the other issues confronting
the BSA. Chances are, though, the council will give you the basics if
you ask them.
> Scouting is meant to be an organization of parents to help
> them raise thier kids, not some great white whale to hide behind!
> decisions that are made on the National and Council level needs to
> known by the parents, and yes...approved by them.
Here, I think, you have been misinformed. Parents approve decisions
made by the units their children belong to. BSA policy isn't voted on
by the volunteers, nor should it be. When an organization sponsors a
BSA unit, they make a promise to provide a Scouting program as
designed by the BSA. The sponsor owns the unit, provides leadership,
and conducts the program, but the BSA decides what that program can
and cannot be. The sponsor, or even the members of the unit, cannot
pick and choose which parts of the program to use. Yes, they can
choose how the program will be run, who will run, who will benefit
from it, and all that. No, they can't choose a different advancement
scheme, or change the Scout Oath, or even ignore the membership
requirements. They can be _more_ restrictive if they choose to be, but
they cannot be _less_ restrictive.
> It may be easier to
> run the organization without the "interferience" of everybody, but
> does a great disservice to everyone, especially the boy.
First of all, the BSA isn't running the organization without
interference from everybody. They take the opinions of members,
parents, and sponsors very seriously. In fact, sponsoring
organizations have a huge (albeit, little used) voice in BSA policy.
Who do you think decides who the Council President is? Who do you
think makes the decisions at the district and council level?
> If Scouting is going to have any value at all in the future, it will
> only be if the leadership comes from the parents level, not some
> and unsupervised place.
Leadership in Scouting DOES come from parents, and other adults in the
community. They are the ones who are charged with actually affecting
the lives of the young men and women in their units. The rules of the
game, though, come from National through the local council. Rest
assured, when and if the rules change, that information will be passed
along. Until then, the issues that the BSA is presently involved in
need to be addressed by National and the local councils directly
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)"