scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: Re: Who "owns" a Troop?
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@PIPELINE.COM
Tue Nov 02 1999 - 21:23:56 CST
> From: (MAJ) Mike Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
> Sent: Tuesday, November 02, 1999 6:49 PM
> Man, Bruce REALLY had me pulling books and calling in stuff over the last
> couple of days!!
Good, its about time someone made you work! :-)
> "Guidance for the disposition of chartered units funds and property
> (equipment such as tentage, cook kits, stoves, and any other material used
> in the performance of Scouting by the chartered unit) is provided from the
> Boy Scouts of America's Rules and Regulations, Article XI, Section 1. When
> implementing this policy, you should also consult the Rules and Regulations
> of your local Council for more specific instruction; or consult the Scout
> Executive as the Executive Agent for all property bearing the BSA logo,
> indicia, and/or clearly used in the performance of Scouting by the chartered
> organization (candle holders, derby tracks, flags and flag stands, etc.).
> Clause 2, Disposition of Funds Upon Termination of Local Council or Unit.
> (b) Unit Obligations. In the event of a dissolution of a unit or the
> revocation or lapse of its charter, the unit committee shall apply unit
> funds and property to the payment of unit obligations and shall turn over
> the surplus, if any, to the local Council, if there be one, or if there be
> no local Council, shall dispose of the same in accordance with the direction
> of the Executive Board. In the case of an institutional unit, any funds or
> equipment which may have been secured as property of the unit shall be held
> in trust by the institution or the chartered local Council, as may be agreed
> upon, pending its reorganization or the development of other plans, with the
> approval of the local Council, for the use of such funds and property in
> connection with a program for character development, citizenship training,
> mental and physical fitness for the youth of that institution or, by the
> agreement of those involved, shall be used elsewhere for the promotion of
> the program of the Boy Scouts of America."
But what this says, and it might be somewhat different in a more recent
version of the R&R because I don't believe the section as it was previously
quoted to me was quite that long, is far from saying that assets of the unit
belong to the CO to do with as they want. It clearly says that they will be
disposed of by agreement between the council and the CO, specifically for use
in conjunction with Scouting or some other program with the same ends. If the
assets were to belong to the CO there would be no need for them to be held "in
So, it still seems clear that the conventional "the CO owns the assets" wisdom
is a misstatement, either inadvertent or intentional, on the part of some
people way back when who wanted people to believe that, for whatever reason.
> The Parapro book is dated 1977, Bruce....I've got a copy of the BSA's Rules
> and Regulations which state the above which is dated 1981. I do have a copy
> of a more recent Rules and Regulations, but I believe that information has
> been provided already here.
Well, I think I'm going to have to get my new SE to get me a copy of the
> It's clear to me from the reading of the above, current or not, that many
> Scouters were NOT "making stuff up" as they went along but rather was told
> the policy as stated above....and it's clear from reading the above, that
> the BSA and the Chartered organization are to be the "caretakers of BSA
> materials" until such time that it's determined that Scouting will no longer
> have a place within that chartered organization or the local Council
> determines that it's in their best interests to reallocate the funds and/or
> equipment to other units, or to liquidate them and place the proceeds back
> into the general fund of that Council.
But somebody either "made it up" or misinterpreted the policy, either
intentionally or inadvertently. It is abundantly clear that far too many
people, including those on this list, are willing to accept "conventional
wisdom" without taking the time or effort to verify its veracity.
> Hope this helps in the discussion....I'm enjoying it, and once again
> Bruce...thanks for challenging the policy!! You're helping us all to
> understand and to work out the reasons for it...
It certainly does, and I'm still open to current unambiguous statements
concerning ownership of unit assets, either during a unit's tenure OR on
Thanks. I'm adding this to the information I'm saving on this subject, this
Bruce E. Cobern