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Postby Buffalo Bill » Fri May 20, 2005 8:31 am

Lemme see now just why did I take such a hiatus from this forum? Oh yeah, now I remember.

SCOTUS confirmed BSA's right to determine its own membership standards. BSA grants charters to a multitude of organizations with differing membership standards. Those organizations retain those charters as long as they follow certain guidelines as dictated by BSA. Last time I looked uniforming was still one of the methods of Boy Scouting, although, granted, not in Venturing or LFL.

Our unit uses uniforming as one of those recognized methods, and will continue to due so do so until directed not to. "If it is not written down it is not an official rule" Since the BSA has not stated that we may not use this method to reach the stated aims, we will continue to enjoy this option.

We have stated that, within our unit, a boy is expected to wear the nationally recognized Boy Scout uniform. Yes, we still exercise the option to permit some variation based on need, or our permitted interpretation of how to employ the uniform method. If a boy chooses not to follow what we have determined to be our membership standard, he may continue to advance, just not in our unit.

Just as previously pointed out, proper uniform involves loyalty and obedience for the Scout Spirit requirement as far as we are concerned. Should a Scout be signed off on his Scout Spirit and subsequently show for his BoR out of uniform, that casts a shadow on his demonstration of the first point of the Scout Law.

The right of an individual unit to determine its membership could be illustrated thusly: An LDS Troop allows a non-LDS boy into its ranks. The LDS Troop's policy is to not camp out on Saturday night due to the religious convictions of its majority LDS Scouts. Our non-LDS Scout sees nothing wrong with camping out on Saturday night and insists his leaders provide him with the two deep adult leadership and that his patrol mates remain camping with him. I don't believe that it is written in BSA policy that we must provide for this Scout's desires. If he cannot comply with the restrictions of the Troop, he may seek membership elsewhere. Stating that we must change our standards for an individual unwilling to comply would be tantamount to telling the LDS Troop they must camp on Saturday night to placate the one individual's desires.

Since we enjoy the right to establish certain standards within the movement, and those standards are understood, requesting compliance with those standards is not an unlawful order. Of course, other units may have opposing viewpoints on the matter, and they have that right.

This curmudgeon will continue to exercise his right to use one of the stated methods, in fact I'll try to follow the other seven as best I can. I may not do a terrific job, but I can strive to improve.
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Postby ASM-142 » Fri May 20, 2005 8:46 am

Buffalo Bill wrote:Lemme see now just why did I take such a hiatus from this forum? Oh yeah, now I remember.

SCOTUS confirmed BSA's right to determine its own membership standards. BSA grants charters to a multitude of organizations with differing membership standards. Those organizations retain those charters as long as they follow certain guidelines as dictated by BSA. Last time I looked uniforming was still one of the methods of Boy Scouting, although, granted, not in Venturing or LFL.

Our unit uses uniforming as one of those recognized methods, and will continue to due so do so until directed not to. "If it is not written down it is not an official rule" Since the BSA has not stated that we may not use this method to reach the stated aims, we will continue to enjoy this option.

We have stated that, within our unit, a boy is expected to wear the nationally recognized Boy Scout uniform. Yes, we still exercise the option to permit some variation based on need, or our permitted interpretation of how to employ the uniform method. If a boy chooses not to follow what we have determined to be our membership standard, he may continue to advance, just not in our unit.

Just as previously pointed out, proper uniform involves loyalty and obedience for the Scout Spirit requirement as far as we are concerned. Should a Scout be signed off on his Scout Spirit and subsequently show for his BoR out of uniform, that casts a shadow on his demonstration of the first point of the Scout Law.

The right of an individual unit to determine its membership could be illustrated thusly: An LDS Troop allows a non-LDS boy into its ranks. The LDS Troop's policy is to not camp out on Saturday night due to the religious convictions of its majority LDS Scouts. Our non-LDS Scout sees nothing wrong with camping out on Saturday night and insists his leaders provide him with the two deep adult leadership and that his patrol mates remain camping with him. I don't believe that it is written in BSA policy that we must provide for this Scout's desires. If he cannot comply with the restrictions of the Troop, he may seek membership elsewhere. Stating that we must change our standards for an individual unwilling to comply would be tantamount to telling the LDS Troop they must camp on Saturday night to placate the one individual's desires.

Since we enjoy the right to establish certain standards within the movement, and those standards are understood, requesting compliance with those standards is not an unlawful order. Of course, other units may have opposing viewpoints on the matter, and they have that right.

This curmudgeon will continue to exercise his right to use one of the stated methods, in fact I'll try to follow the other seven as best I can. I may not do a terrific job, but I can strive to improve.


Each troop is its own chartered organization. However, they do not set their own membership standards.

National does provide a lot of direction by "guidelines"; however, they also have rules that troops must abide by. I do not agree with the rule about not having a uniform mandatory but that still is the rule and individual troops do not hae the authority to dismiss this rule by National.

As far as camping to include when and where that is up to the troop as long as the follow the proper procedures: TDL, tour permts, approcal from the committee, etc.
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Postby cballman » Fri May 20, 2005 9:01 am

ok people a lot of opinions and a lot of action in a short time. but again we are getting a little off color with this one so when I check it out later and it keeps getting personal it LOCKED just keep it nice and neat.
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Postby Buffalo Bill » Fri May 20, 2005 9:02 am

Self-edited since it served no real purpose.

Gotta run it through the twelve myself.
Last edited by Buffalo Bill on Fri May 20, 2005 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Buffalo Bill » Fri May 20, 2005 9:10 am

Charlie:

Would it be too vitriolic a subject to open up a discussion somewhere on this board as to whether a unit has the right to determine membership and standards?

I'd really be interested in seeing some of those posts.

Thanks for your efforts.

B2
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Postby wagionvigil » Fri May 20, 2005 9:17 am

I will tell you right now BSA will never allow that.
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Postby Buffalo Bill » Fri May 20, 2005 9:45 am

I'm talking about a chartered org sponsoring a faith specific based Troop. Or say a VFW stating that all its youth will wear the red beret. How about a Troop that closes its doors to new members because it is "Full"?

I'm not saying the discussion is about Scouts and the 3 Gs. But how much leeway do the units have as long as they meet BSA standards of membership.

My interest lies in a discussion about membership in our units and what is or is not accceptable. If we cannot expect certain standards what are we to do?

If a chartering organization has certain expectations of the youth in their units, what do they do when youth refuses to meet the standards.

How much say do we have as to individual unit membership.

I really do understand if y'all think it would lead into forbidden territory, but I'm interested.
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Postby wagionvigil » Fri May 20, 2005 9:56 am

Then don't we become discriminatory?
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Postby ICanCanoeCanU » Fri May 20, 2005 9:59 am

Bill - our troop is sponsered by a catholic church with the majority of our youth belonging to the church but not everbody does. We also have kids from other faiths including a muslim and a polish boy. We have always been connected with the church and volunteer quite often to help the church in anyway possible. Many eagle projects have been done on site. We recently had a large group of webelos cross in from the church and try to mandate a pray at the start of every meeting. This did not go over well with the scouts and most of the new group had adults stepping into leadership roles. With a few other problems thrown into the mix - the bottom line was we lost a few scouts, some of which were older, which is really sad. The new group that was so adement about praying left for another troop which isn't catholic and for some reason they aren't pushing the pray idea anymore even with the other troop.

Our council offers a catholic retreat each fall for any members of all troops. This is a nice way to keep everyone happy without mandating to all.
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Postby ASM-142 » Fri May 20, 2005 10:08 am

If a troop starts setting their own rules about membership it would be discrimintory.

What would happen if their is only one troop is an area that is chartered by the VFW that mandates the wearing of Red Berets. However, a boy who wants to be in scouts belongs to a specific religion that will not allow the wearing of Red Berets.

What is this boy to do?
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Postby Buffalo Bill » Fri May 20, 2005 10:36 am

I'm not advocating one way or the other.

I do know of Troops that are all of one faith. I do know of Troops that all wear red berets (not VFW--as in my example). At Summer Camp, I have watched with envious pride as a Troop musters for a meal--every single Scout in full Class A.

ICanCanoeCanU gave an example of what happens when certain elements come in after the fact and change the status quo when it is faith based.

BSA has already directed certain standards. National has not come out and said, "These are the only standards that you may apply" Would BSA go so far as to force an Orthodox Jewish Troop to accept a Muslim Scout?

Should a red beret Troop have a Scout that refuses to wear the beret be forced to stop wearing it if that Scout professes that the beret offends him somehow?

Where is the line drawn? What factor determines a sponsoring organization's right to freedom of association within the movement?
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Postby evmori » Fri May 20, 2005 1:31 pm

Someone show me on what page in what BSA publication it states a Scout MUST wear his uniform or have his handbook for a BOR! I doubt if anyone can. Making either or both requirements is adding to the rank requirement and isn't allowed! We should encourage the Scout wear his uniform & bring his handbook for a BOR but denying him a BOR because he isn't in uniform or have his handbook is an outright violation of BSA policy. And if a Scout showed up at his Eagle BOR without his uniform that would be OK!
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Postby Mrw » Fri May 20, 2005 1:47 pm

We require the handbook for a BOR as that way we can confirm the boy has had all of the requirements finished and had the Scoutmaster conference. We hav e 35 boys and moat are 11-12 right now. They sometimes don't fully understand how the program works.

We also look at the next rank and help him to understand how to get there so we can help him make a reasonable goal time to get there. They start learning to plan ahead that way.
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Postby Buffalo Bill » Fri May 20, 2005 1:58 pm

I probably better not mention that our District Eagle Advisers will not discuss a Scout's Leadership project with that Scout unless he is in full Class A.
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Postby cballman » Fri May 20, 2005 2:09 pm

well lets pose another question then. How can a scout show scout spirt if he hasent been in or tried to get a uniform? then lets ask the same question about sports does the coach let a kid play without a uniform? then it seems to me that we as PARENTS not leaders or coachs need to see what is more important to our kids. Do the same parents or kids complain when the kid dont play a sports game because not in uniform? these are something to think about. In our troop we have uniforms or will find someone who has one that dont fi anymore donate to a child that is in need. but then again why does the scout shops sell uniforms if they are not required? see I can ask questions and not get personal but unless you are guilty of doing these things for others. then you might get you toes stepped on. I have been guilty of many wrongs that I found out from this forum and have been working with our leaders to right the wrongs.
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Postby ASM-142 » Fri May 20, 2005 2:39 pm

BSA policy does not require a uniform. I do not agree with this but this is something that we must live with in BSA.

For sports, if a uniform is required then it must be worn to play. If it is not required to be worn then a player has the option to wear it or not and still be allowed to play.
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Postby Buffalo Bill » Fri May 20, 2005 2:47 pm

I like your issues Charlie.

I'll continue to support the uniform issue as long as it remains one of the 8 methods.

From the BSA web site: http://www.scouting.org/factsheets/02-503.html

Uniform
The uniform makes the Boy Scout troop visible as a force for good and creates a positive youth image in the community. Boy Scouting is an action program, and wearing the uniform is an action that shows each Boy Scout's commitment to the aims and purposes of Scouting. The uniform gives the Boy Scout identity in a world brotherhood of youth who believe in the same ideals. The uniform is practical attire for Boy Scout activities and provides a way for Boy Scouts to wear the badges that show what they have accomplished.

I also note that there sure are a lot of Scouts in uniform in Scouting and Boy's Life magazines.
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Postby evmori » Fri May 20, 2005 2:53 pm

cballman wrote:well lets pose another question then. How can a scout show scout spirt if he hasent been in or tried to get a uniform? then lets ask the same question about sports does the coach let a kid play without a uniform? then it seems to me that we as PARENTS not leaders or coachs need to see what is more important to our kids. Do the same parents or kids complain when the kid dont play a sports game because not in uniform? these are something to think about. In our troop we have uniforms or will find someone who has one that dont fi anymore donate to a child that is in need. but then again why does the scout shops sell uniforms if they are not required? see I can ask questions and not get personal but unless you are guilty of doing these things for others. then you might get you toes stepped on. I have been guilty of many wrongs that I found out from this forum and have been working with our leaders to right the wrongs.


Scout Spirit is living the Oath & Law in your everyday life. Neither mention the uniform. And sport require a uniform. Being a member of the BSA doesn't.
Why does the Scout shop sell bolos or knives or leather stamps? These aren't required either.

Don't get me wrong. I think the uniform should be required but for some reason, the BSA doesn't require it.
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Postby ASM-142 » Fri May 20, 2005 3:31 pm

Buffalo Bill wrote:I also note that there sure are a lot of Scouts in uniform in Scouting and Boy's Life magazines.


There are also scouts not in uniform in Scouting and Boy's Life magazines
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Postby wagionvigil » Fri May 20, 2005 3:33 pm

And Scouts Wearing the Uniform Wrong.
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