scouts-l Mail Archive for July of 2000: Competing BSA organizations?
Brown Michael-EMB021 (Michael_Brown-EMB021@EMAIL.MOT.COM
Mon Jul 24 2000 - 12:44:30 CDT
At times people have said that the BSA has a 'monopoly' on scouting in the
USA, and that it is somehow a 'good' thing if this ended and we had
competing scouting organizations. They usually point to the multiple
scouting associations in England, or to countries that have several
associations federated together, to bolster their argument.
Personally I can't agree. While most people agree that competing companies
is a good idea, competing organizations is not necessarily good. Would you
like to have competing Red Cross organizations, for instance. The reasons
that there are multiple scout associations in some countries is complex. In
England I know that changes in the scouting program of the Scout Association
(the official WOSM Scout association) is what lead some to form the B-P
Scout Association to stay closer to the vision of scouting that B-P had.
WOSM only recognizes ONE scout association per country, and the SA is it.
The BPSA is part of one of the non-WOSM world scouting associations. I am
not aware of other Scouting associations in the UK.
In some countries, different associations were created along
ethnic/religious lines. So you might have a Catholic Scout association, a
Protestant one, etc. These then federate together to present to WOSM as one
organization. But since the component associations are divided along these
lines, they really aren't competing for the same boys. With the BSA's
policy of chartering units to local organizations, there is no need for such
Personally, I feel that proposing a split of the BSA to be wasteful. The
BSA spends a great deal of money developing program materials. If we had
several "Baby BSA", each one would have to do this themselves. Think about
what your council has invested in in terms of camps and the like. How would
these "Baby BSAs" handle it? Who gets Philmont? While the other "Baby
BSAs" be able to come up with something similiar?
The only solution is for the BSA to become more neutral to these issues.
The BSA takes no political stance. These issues should be viewed in the
Venturing Crew #1838