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[rec.scouting.usa] Commonly asked questions (FAQ 4) Part 1

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Archive-name: scouting/rec.scouting.usa/part1
Last-Modified: 2/25/2003

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This is part 1 of a two part FAQ.  Part 2 can be found at:


4.1.1  General Introduction -- rec.scouting.usa
4.1.2  On-Line Etiquette Guidelines
4.1.3  Organizations -- Official Information
4.1.4  Organizations -- Internet Official information on the net
4.1.6  Organizations -- Unofficial (but useful) information
4.1.5  BSA -- Uniform
4.1.6  BSA -- Free uniforms
4.1.7  BSA -- Clipart and fonts
4.1.8  BSA -- How the BSA is organized
4.1.9  BSA -- Official BSA literature & catalog
4.1.10  General -- Proper etiquette for the US Flag, ceremonies
4.1.11  BSA -- Boy Scouting - Addresses of people who will send letters
          to Scouts that make Eagle
4.1.12  BSA -- Cub Scouting - Cub Scouts and Webelos Camping
4.1.13  BSA -- Unauthorized or restricted activities
4.1.14  BSA -- District and Council Volunteer Scouters
4.1.15  BSA -- Unit Management Software
4.1.16  BSA -- Ceremonies
4.1.17  BSA -- Advancement Information
4.1.18  BSA -- On-line forms
4.1.19  BSA -- Unit Bylaws

   More can be found on rec.scouting.usa FAQ 4 Part 2 which can be found at:    or

The following information is in Part 2:
4.2.1  BSA -- Two Organizations
4.2.2  BSA -- Boy Scouting - Aims
4.2.3  BSA -- Boy Scouting - Mission
4.2.4  BSA -- Learning for Life/Exploring - Mission
4.2.5  BSA -- Boy Scouting - Methods
4.2.6  BSA -- Boy Scouting - Boy Scout Oath
4.2.7  BSA -- Boy Scouting - Boy Scout Law
4.2.8  BSA -- Boy Scouting - Famous Scouts
4.2.9  BSA -- Boy Scouting - Scouting as Education
4.2.10  BSA -- Boy Scouting - Values and Ethics Resources
4.2.11  BSA -- Boy Scouting - Leadership
4.2.12  BSA -- Cub Scouting - Sports and Academic Belt Loops and Pins
4.2.13  BSA -- Cub Scouting - Pinewood Derby
4.2.14  BSA -- Cub Scouting - What Happened to Lion?
4.2.15  BSA -- Boy Scouting - Why Did the handshake change?

Subject: 4.1.1 General Introduction -- rec.scouting.usa Welcome to rec.scouting.usa, the boy and girl scouts, cub scouts, explorers, venturers, scout leaders and all people interested in scouting, venturing, exploring, sea scouting and guiding, within the United States of America. The rec.scouting.usa newsgroup provides a forum for the discussion of program, membership, finance, and unit support topics related to the scouting programs in the United States, and in areas where the USA's scouting programs are carried out around the world. Such topics include but are not restricted to discussion of the GSUSA Gold Award, WEBELOS BSA Cub Scout program, the BSA Eagle Scout rank, general US outdoor and community activity ideas, memorabilia trading and explanation, and other topics. This group discusses issues relevant to the program, unit support, finance, membership development and the administration of scout units. It allows for the solicitation of advice and information from other netters on what to do in certain situations, and generally seek and provide support, general information and encouragement regarding scouting. This newsgroup is NOT the place for discussions on scouting ISSUES, for instance, issues related to girls in the boy scout program, whether or not Assembly of God churches should abandon the Boy Scouts of America's programs in favor of the Royal Rangers, or open homosexual members as members or leaders in BSA programs. Those discussions will take place on rec.scouting.issues, and those posting to this newsgroup will be followed or redirected to rec.scouting.issues. Please see FAQ #1 for our charter and important information about all the rec.scouting.* groups. This document introduces new readers to the preferred Etiquette for rec.scouting.usa and to the compilation of files of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). If you have a useful item that hasn't been included in this FAQ, please do all of us the favor. Write it up and post it on rec.scouting.usa. Drop me a copy too to make sure that I include it in this file. As the FAQ files are updated regularly, make sure that you have the latest copy in your hands. The release date of this FAQ is indicated in the line starting with "Last-Modified:" at the top of this file. Files older than three months should be considered as outdated. This file or parts of it may be freely used, printed and re-distributed as long as you enclose this paragraph and keep the references to the respective contributors and to the maintainer (listed below) intact. -- Bill Nelson <>
Subject: 4.1.2 On-Line Etiquette Guidelines *** ETIQUETTE GUIDELINES *** Before reading any further, please go to the newsgroup news.announce.newusers and read the posting: Rules for posting to Usenet. That message describes some of the rules of conduct on Usenet. Posters to the rec.scouting* hierarchy are expected to follow these rules. Read also the rec.scouting.* FAQ #1 which contains our charter and Etiquette guidelines specific to the rec.scouting* hierarchy. o Please remember the scope of this newsgroup is to discuss PROGRAM topics related to scouting and US youth organization, *not* issues. If you find that your discussion is going outside of this scope, please take it to another group or off-line. rec.scouting.issues is specifically setup to handle political issues related to scouting and guiding. Please post controversial topics there. o In short, rec.scouting.usa is for questions, and discussions about topics specific to the USA. IT IS NOT A BSA ONLY GROUP! If your topic is not relevant to just the USA then use another group.
Subject: 4.1.3 Organizations -- Official Information No, official information from organizations is not normally communicated via rec.scouting.usa. Contact your local organization for official information and council.
Subject: 4.1.4 Organizations -- Internet Official information on the net Web pages: The BSA home page is at: The Learning for Life/Exploring home page is at: There are a number of official BSA Council Sites as well an index can be found at: The GSUSA home page is at The WOSM Web page is at: The WAGGGS Web page is at: Christian Service Brigade is at: Royal Rangers is at: There is an unofficial Missionettes web page at Information on the Campfire Boys and Girls can be found at: Newsgroups or email lists: BSA: none, it is recommended that you contact your local council. GSUSA: unknown Christian Service Brigade: Royal Rangers: Direct email addresses: BSA: none, it is recommended that you contact your local council. GSUSA: unknown WOSM: WAGGGS: unknown Christian Service Brigade: Royal Rangers:
Subject: 4.1.4 Organizations -- Unofficial (but useful) information Date: 23 Nov 1996 Q. OK, where else can I find unofficial information then? A. There are plenty of places on the net to find unofficial information on US scouting organizations. For a few starting places see: (mostly Boy Scouting) (mostly Boy Scouting) (mostly Girl Scouting)
Subject: 4.1.5 BSA -- Uniform Organizations keep official guides for uniforming. Usually, if it is not detailed in the uniform guide, it should not be worn on the uniform. The BSA *Insignia Guide* details where to put just about everything on the BSA uniform for both adults and scouts. It is very inexpensive, and available at your local Scout Shop. Every unit should purchase at least one each year, since it is updated on an annual basis. An on-line version of the insignia guide can be found at: According to the Insignia Guide there is only one official uniform for Boy Scout Troops. It includes the following statement: "No alteration of, or additions to, the official uniforms, as described inthe official publications, or the rules and regulations covering the wearing of the uniform and the proper combinations thereof on official occations, may be authorized by any Scouting official or local council, or any local executive board or committee, except the Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America after consideration by the Program Group Committee." By the way, there are no official class B uniforms, there is only one uniform for Boy Scouts and it is officially called the 'field' uniform, and unofficially known by most of us as the class A uniform. What is optional: - Boy Scout neckerchiefs (troop decides by vote) - Official headgear is optonal, but while in Class A uniform, if you are wearing headgear it must be official headgear. - The web Boy Scout belt may be replaced with a high adventure base, camp or Wood Badge belt with official BSA buckles. - The world crest For information on the Cub Scout uniform see:
Subject: 4.1.6 BSA -- Free uniforms Often your council can provide you with resources for free or inexpensive uniform parts. There is also a Web page that a Scouter has put together called C.U.B. The simple aim of the C.U.B. is to route uniforms from people who have them and don't need them anymore, to people who don't have them and do need them! This way, uniforms may be acquired for free (or almost free) or via an exchange with another Scout or group. Ideally, the only cost involved is the cost of postage. C.U.B. can be located at:
Subject: 4.1.9 BSA -- How the BSA is organized The BSA has a number of publications that contain its organization. All are available to the general public from your nearby Scout Shop. Check: The Cub Scout Leader Book and The Troop Committee Guidebook An unofficial description is available at:
Subject: 4.1.10 BSA -- Official BSA literature & catalog All BSA literature is listed in a guide called Scouting's Library of Literature (70-080) The BSA Catalog has BSA supplies and equipment. They are available free from: BSA Supply Division National Distribution Cntr. 2109 Westinghouse Blvd., P.O. Box 7143 Charlotte, NC 28241-7143 1-800-323-0732
Subject: 4.1.11 General -- Proper etiquette for the US Flag, ceremonies The U.S. Scouting Service Project pages has an extensive listing of sites with information on the Flag and some ceremonies. See:
Subject: 4.1.11 BSA -- Boy Scouting - Addresses of people who will send letters to Scouts that make Eagle The US Scouting Service Web site ( look under Eagle) are of organizations and people that have sent letters or other items to new Eagle Scouts and new Gold Scouts. Additionally, going to the Eagle Scout site ( will also yield information about organizations and individuals whom will write to new Eagle Scouts. Finally, the MacScouter (, look in "Eagle Resources") has a listing along with some templates of letters to send to those individuals.
Subject: 4.1.12 BSA -- Cub Scouting - Cub Scouts and Webelos Camping First take a look at your Cub Scout Leader Book in Chapter 5. Then go to your Council Program Office. It is the official source for this information. Different Councils have different local policies, so it is wise to check with them. The BSA policy is stated in the Guide to Safe Scouting, which is available at your scout shop. An unofficial on-line version is at:
Subject: 4.1.13 BSA -- Unauthorized or restricted activities A. The following activities have been declared unauthorized and restricted by the Boy Scouts of America: * All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) -- unauthorized. * Boxing, karate, and related martial arts -- unauthorized. * Chainsaws and mechanical log splitters (trained and over the age of 18) * Exploration of abandoned mines -- unauthorized. * Varsity football teams and interscholastic or club football -- unauthorized. * Fireworks secured, used, or displayed in conjunction with program and activities is unauthorized except where the fireworks display is conducted under the auspices of a certified or licensed fireworks control expert. * The selling of fireworks as a fundraising or money-earning activity by any group acting for or on behalf of members, units, or districts may not be authorized by councils. * Flying in hang gliders, ultralights, experimental class aircraft, hot-air balloons, parachuting, and flying in aircraft as part of a search and rescue mission -- unauthorized. * Motorized go-carts and motorbike activities are unauthorized for Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs. All motorized speed events, including motorcycles, boats, drag racing, demolition derbies, and related events, are not authorized activities for any program level. * Participation in amateur or professional rodeo events -- unauthorized. * The activity commonly referred to as "War Games"--in which individuals shoot paint or dye at one another-- -- unauthorized. * Hunting is not an authorized Cub Scout or Boy Scout activity * Motorized personal watercraft, such as jet-skis -- unauthorized. * Except for very specific cases firearms should not be in the possession of any person engaged in camping, hiking, backpacking, or any other Scouting activity other than those specifically planned for target shooting under the supervision of a certified firearms instructor. (Among the purposes of this policy is to prohibit adult leaders from bringing firearms on BSA camping and hiking activities or to unit meetings.) * Parasailing, or any activity in which a person is carried aloft by a parachute, parasail, kite, or other device towed by a motorboat or by any other means, is unauthorized. * All activities related to bungee cord jumping (sometimes called shock cord jumping) are unauthorized. * Use of Carbon tetrachloride The BSA policy is stated in the Guide to Safe Scouting, which is available at your scout shop. An unofficial on-line version is at:
Subject: 4.1.14 BSA -- District and Council Volunteer Scouters For a description of their job functions go to your Scout Shop and ask for a Commissioner Job Description Card BSA No 4265A. A summary of the BSA organizational structure is at: Steve Henning posted the following good summary: There are many District positions that the rest of us can serve in to help these people Deliver The Promise. These positions include: Commissioners (Unit Commissioners, Assistant District Commissioners, District Commissioners) are responsible to provide service to units. This service includes rechartering, charter partner relations, problem solving for units, insuring that Units meet national standards, and providing information about training, camping and activities. All Commissioners are selected by the District Commissioner, recommended by the Scout Executive, and approved by the Council Executive Board. Members of District Committees are responsible to start new units; to assist with recruiting youth and adult members; raising funds for recruiting, training and camping facilities; providing recruiting, training and camping opportunities; providing opportunities for unit fund raising; and arranging activities. All members of the District Committees are elected by the Charter Representatives and Members At Large, and serve at the pleasure of the District Chairman who is also elected by the Charter Representatives and Members At Large, and approved by the Council Executive Board. The council executive board which is responsible for controlling the expenditure of council funds and making all policies in the council. The executive board is elected by the Charter Representatives and Members At Large. The professional Scouters are in place to assist in recruiting, training and motivating Scouters for all of the other positions. A professional Scouter who has done his job properly has nothing to do, since the volunteer Scouters he recruited, trained and motivated are responsible to do everything else. Realistically the professional Scouter spends much time making sure that all of the various jobs the volunteers are doing are completed successfully. -- Cheers, Steve Henning in Reading, PA USA
Subject: 4.1.15 BSA -- Unit Management Software A number of web sites have links:
Subject: 4.1.16 BSA -- Ceremonies There are a number of places on the Internet where you can find suggested ceremonies. Here is one:
Subject: 4.1.17 BSA -- Advancement Information The US Scouting Service Project Advancement/Merit Badge Center. Also check out Merit Badge Resources at:
Subject: 4.1.18 BSA -- On-line forms Check with your Council before using any online forms. Some are posted at:
Subject: Troop, Pack, Crew, Post, Unit By-Laws A number of units have felt a need to write bylaws and parent guides specifying and explaining *exactly* how the unit should be run - over and above the "rules and regs" established by their national organization. Contact your organization for guidelines. In the BSA, you may write *any* rules you want - as long as they aren't *specifically* in violation of any BSA policy. BSA will bend to the desires of you as Charter Organization." A suggestion would be to write to the National Council in Irving, Texas and obtain a copy of the B.S.A. By-laws and Rules and Regulations. This would reduce or eliminate the need for an electronic template as you would only need to consider amendments. Each are $1.50 and they contain all the rules and laws you need to administrate your pack, including rules as "when does a Scout become inactive," uniforming rules, etc. It's all there. Any amendments need to be reviewed by your Chartered Organization and by your local council to ensure that you are not conflict with the B.S.A. or your Chartered Organization. Almost all troops have rules on how they operate: How long is the term of office for the youth leaders? What are the requirements for youth leaders? What are the job descriptions for youth leaders? What is the troop hat, troop t-shirt, troop neckerchief? What are the rules for uniform wear in the troop. When does the troop meet? The PLC? What are the troop dues and when are they to be paid? What are troop dues used for? etc.etc. However, for most troop these are unwritten, and that can cause problems. The by-laws just puts this all into writting. Other groups in scouting have them. Most OA Lodges do. Venturing Crews are encouraged to have them (as noted in the new Venturing Leader Handbook, along with a sample). As pointed out, these in no way should supercede the BSA's rules and regulations. A place where by-laws are very helpful is with regard to individual Scout savings accounts and other places where people want to make exceptions. Also, it may be good to require the Treasure be someone outside the Scoutmaster's family. This is a frequent source of perceived problems. What many have come up with are rules regarding the number of leaders they must have, what level of training they must have, and when they must get it, and so on. (BSA note: a lot of this is already in the BSA by-laws and Guide to Safe Scouting) A word of caution: write them carefully. You do not want to put down on paper a rule which might need at some future point to be broken. Rules written down are rules which *might* be turned against your unit. It is also a good idea to include wording that addresses revisions to the bylaws/guides as needed. For some ideas, see: Troop By-Laws and Parent Guides: Venture Crew By-Laws: ---------------------------------------------------------------------- End of rec.scouting.usa FAQ ************************** _________________________________________________________________ The new MSN 8: smart spam protection and 2 months FREE*

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