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Boys and Girls (Co-Ed) Cub and Boy Scouts Are Coming


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#161 David CO

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 10:00 AM

I reached out to my council's attorney, who also moonlights at a local university for tort (contract) law, and this is the response I got:

 

Evening             ,

 

In response to your question concerning the Boy Scouts of America Congressional Charter, specifically our purpose/mission as dictated by said document, I have prepared this overview for you.

  1. "The purposes of the ...[Boy Scouts of America]... are to promote, through organization, and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods that were in common use by boy scouts on June 15, 1916."
  2. Even though the practice of granting Congressional charters is discontinued, previously granted charters are still binding in whatsoever requirements are mandated for the chartered organization to fulfill. In our case, this includes, but is not limited to, delivering a program to accomplish our "purposes" and delivering annual report annually no later than April 1 to Congress.
  3. Outside of this, the actual Congressional charter is intentionally vague so as to allow the BSA to grow and adapt as the nation's landscape and culture changes. One example, the integration of co-ed programs such as Venturing, Sea Scouting, Exploring, and STEM Scouts.
  4. Changes like this does not invalidate or nullify our Congressional charter, as we still deliver a Scouting program for male youth in the United States.

Thank you for your interest in this topic, as this area of law is a personal interest. I hope this helped answer your question, and please reach-out to me if you have any further questions or need clarification.

 

Respectfully,

 

                       

 

What did you expect to hear from the council lawyer?  Did you think he would admit that they are violating the charter?


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#162 4CouncilsScouter

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:09 AM

What did you expect to hear from the council lawyer?  Did you think he would admit that they are violating the charter?

 

I wasn't really looking him to admit guilt or find fault. More so, it confirms the validity of the BSA's current (and potential) co-ed programs. As long as the BSA can justify their work is to the benefit of American, male youth, they will have fulfilled their Congressional charter.

 

Heck, the BSA could incorporate an investment company or construction firm if they felt it was to the benefit of the youth we serve.

 

However, I still believe the BSA will ensure its younger-age programs have the ability to be co-ed units with single-gender dens/patrols. This will allow boys and girls, who develop at different rates, to mature in a more conducive setting. Once a youth becomes high-school aged, the need to be able to interact with both genders becomes more critical for future success, so this is where a completely co-ed unit (crew, ship, post, or lab) can encourage that type of skill growth.

 

My $0.02.


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#163 David CO

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:10 PM

No. The council lawyers statement doesn't confirm the validity of anything.  It is just a self-serving statement from the council.  It doesn't mean anything.


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#164 NJCubScouter

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 12:04 PM

I reached out to my council's attorney, who also moonlights at a local university for tort (contract) law, and this is the response I got:...

 

Other than your implication that "tort law" means "contract law", when in fact "tort law" means "NOT contract law", I agree with your council's attorney's opinion.  Courts generally interpret "purpose" clauses in corporate charters broadly.

 

(Not to belabor the tort/contract point, but if someone hits you with their car while driving in a careless manner, or allows an unsafe condition to exist on their business property and a customer slips and falls, or someone punches you in the arm without justification, etc. etc., those are torts.  If a dispute involves a contract, it is generally not a tort, although there are some legal claims that are hybrids of the two.  This post does not constitute legal advice.)


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#165 NJCubScouter

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 12:06 PM

I read this as "if the BSA wants to make Scouting co-ed, it could."  I think that's the reality anyways.  Perhaps a lawyer or two might have to get involved, but if the BSA decided to go co-ed, it clearly could make it happen.


It could. This really isn't a legal issue. It's a what's-best-for-the-organization issue, or if you prefer, a what's-best-for-the-current-members issue, or both.
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#166 qwazse

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 01:59 PM

It could. This really isn't a legal issue. It's a what's-best-for-the-organization issue, or if you prefer, a what's-best-for-the-current-members issue, or both.

I think the Congressional Charter also carries a bit of a "what's best for the country" obligation.

But, that obligation can be met through a broad array of decisions -- organization and membership being motivation for some of those.


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#167 NJCubScouter

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 03:24 PM

I think the Congressional Charter also carries a bit of a "what's best for the country" obligation.

But, that obligation can be met through a broad array of decisions -- organization and membership being motivation for some of those.

 

Well, overall it does, but I thought we were focusing on the mention of "boys" and lack of mention of "girls" and whether that somehow prohibits the BSA from having programs that include girls.  Which it has had for 45 years.


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#168 EagleonFire

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 09:34 PM

I know this isn't a popular opinion but I think it would be great if they did go co-ed. Last year then I finally brought scouting back to our community I was in a tough spot trying to serve as many kids I can in an underserved location. it is a little disheartening to know that no matter how hard my campfire kids work and what they know won't matter to most organizations when they go to apply for college or jobs because no one knows what a wohelo award is, but everyone knows what an eagle is. In all honesty there isn't a ton of difference in the requirements to receive either to my understanding.

I would have a really hard time moving to the BSA after having the freedom of camp Fire but if BSA went coed I would have to really consider moving our group to it.
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#169 David CO

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 01:48 PM

Well, overall it does, but I thought we were focusing on the mention of "boys" and lack of mention of "girls" and whether that somehow prohibits the BSA from having programs that include girls.  Which it has had for 45 years.

 

That's only one part of it.  The congressional charter clearly intended that the scouting program remain faithful to its roots, and continue operating in the same manner as it had when it was founded.

 

BSA has failed to live up to this promise.  Shame on them.


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#170 RivetSmasher

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 06:53 PM

I welcome the change, my daughter worked hand in hand with my sons den from Tiger through Webelos. She did all the work because she wanted to without any of the reward or uniform. He crossed over to Boy Scouts last month and at his first campout she helped gather firewood, a lot of the boys and parents remarked that she carried more firewood than the boys tasked with the job. Keep in mind she's 7. I'd love for her to follow in his footsteps.


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#171 Back Pack

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 08:19 PM

What is a family doing at a Boy Scout camp out? Sorry man, that's Cub scouts not Boy Scouts.
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#172 Chadamus

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 08:24 PM

Crossover campout maybe? That would explain it.
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