scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: Re: Drunk Dad
MAJ) Mike Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle (blkeagle@USSCOUTS.ORG
Fri Mar 19 1993 - 20:40:48 CST
James DeGhelder wrote:
>There is no policy or practice in place that BSA or any of it's partners has
>to help you deal with the situation.
This is absolutely true; however, the BSA does have in place its
"maintaining standards of membership" policies which has been in place since
the middle 40s and was re-engerized during Ben Love's tenure as CSE (Chief
Under the "Maintaining Standards of Membership" policies, a local Council
Scout Executive (and ONLY that person...not the District Executive nor a
Field Director/District Director) can remove a person from BSA membership
for whatever justification he or she sees fit. The key is that "did this
person show that he or she has a blatant disregard for the principles of the
Scouting movement (the Scout Oath/Promise and Law)?" If so, then that
person may be a good role model for his or her children, and church, but the
BSA doesn't consider him or her a good role model and their membership card
would be revoked.
In "Eagle Feathers", I call this the Walton Maxum and it appears on the
"You become a Scouter for the principles you believe in and for the personal
example you will hopefully provide to young people. Registration in the Boy
Scouts of America is like holding any part-time or full-time job: you can
quit at any time you like. You can also be removed from that registration at
any time, for any reason, and for any length of time by the Corporation or
its local Council representative. If you are true to your reasoning for
being a member of the BSA, you truly do not need registration and you can
make a positive difference in the life of young people and the adults whom
support them by your participation.
The registartion card only entitles you to wear a uniform and to receive
recognitions you may wear on that uniform. The PRINCIPLES, if you believe in
them, allows you to do whatever you can whenever you can wherever you can to
be of service to others and to serve as that positive role model to other
adults and to youth members.
They will know you as a Scouter not by the uniform or other clothing you
wear, but rather by the degree of devotion and service you exert to the
program and to others involved in the program."
>And remember, once a action is taken by the council there is no
>recourse or valid appeal process in place.
There is recourse, but a limited amount of recourse. A person may appeal
the decision to the Region in which that local Council is a part of; it may
further be appealed to the National Director of Membership/Relationships and
finally to the Chief Scout Executive and National Executive Board. Very few
appeals make it to the national levels; most appeals are either approved and
overturned at the Regional level or confirmed at that level, which in most
Scouters' cases, they give and walk away from the registration side of the
Whether or not the appeal process is valid or not is subject to
interpretation and personal situation. Some Scouters have told me that the
process is very fair and very much taken from the hands and thought process
of the Council's Scout Executive; others have told me that the process is
very "insider specific" and "blackballing" (sorry for the offensive term)
still exists within the BSA.
>It would be nice if National did set some policies (not like zero-tolerance)
>but some guidelines to help even out the playing field.
It would be nice, James, but it goes back to the other active thread which
has been on this list this week: it has to work evenly in all locations
around the nation and in all similar situations. Much of it also has to
deal with the "current image" of the local Council to its public. There are
some Councils that are located in areas of the nation that do not care about
social situations (marriage, divorce, family makeup, etc.) and emphasize
performance and personal example. Other Councils are located in areas of
the nation that "key in on" what kind of family life will a volunteer have
and specifically if his or her personal example would be overshadowed by his
or her personal choice in family situation, marriage or divorce. A very
vocal, public divorce may toss the Scouter in the local papers, always with
the verbage "local Scout leader...." as part of the description of the
individual. Likewise, a person who choses to marry or become associated
with a person not represented in that community (for instance, a man wishing
to marry a woman of Asian extraction in central Alabama) may find that while
the UNIT (where it should *really matter*) doesn't bat an eyelid that the
*local Council*, which must raise monies and conduct programs in that
community may find it difficult to raise monies because of that "one family
that you have there..."
The same things can be said with regard to previous criminal behavior,
personal actions outside of Scouting, and yes, drinking and even smoking.
It truly is up to that Council's Scout Executive and without written
policies that are *explained to the volunteer BEFORE he or she signs the
application*, it does make it hard to be a part of something "on faith value
I explained the situation to someone appealing his removal from the BSA in
this way: It's like you applied for a job. You fill out the standard
application, as you've done for the previous 100 jobs you have applied for.
They hire you right on the spot after reviewing your application. There
were only two questions: when can you start and do you need help with
getting to the training. Three months into the job, after you've attended
and completed the training, after you've done the tasks expected of you in a
good (no, exceptional) manner, the head of the Company comes to your home
along with his legal counsel and hands you a letter. He explains that
"although you've done a great job, we'll have to let you go. Here's a
refund of what we owe you, and good luck finding something else." After you
stand there stunned for a couple of minutes, you ask "For what reason?",
and the head of the Company replies "I can't go into detail. It's in there
in the letter, and of course, you can appeal."
Would *you* want to know *exactly which rule or policy you violated??*
Would *you* like to know where you were supposed to KNOW that this rule
existed (since remember, they hired you "right off the street" and the
training you attended had NOTHING about "here's the rulebook. Violate any of
these rules and you'll be outta here by the close of business")? The
training, rightfully, explained your role and how to do your role and how to
stay out of trouble while you are working.
The BSA does NOT explain that "the rules are contained in the Rules and
Regulations and the Charter and Bylaws, supplemented by the words contained
in the Scout Oath or Promise and the Laws. If you are *perceived* (actually
or not!) as in violation of any part of the Scout Oath or Promise and/or
Law, or the policies contained within the Rules and Regulations and the
Charter and Bylaws (two separate publications which, as we've discussed
here, are restricted items and not "issued to every volunteer wanting a
copy"), you can be removed.
The word "can" is important. It is up to the Scout Executive/Council
Executive of that Council. He or she shouldn't take that decision lightly,
and in most cases, it isn't...because he or she can be beaten up by the
Regional Director if indeed the decision was based on some sort of personal
bias or "not wanting to just deal with this person anymore". And there
*are* some cases which were taken to federal court which were later resolved
out of court in dealing with this policy.
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
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