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Subject: [rec.scouting.usa] Commonly asked questions (FAQ 4) Part 1
From: (Bill Nelson)
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Archive-name: scouting/rec.scouting.usa/part1
Last-Modified: 2/25/2003

The FAQs are archived at:

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

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 
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
     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 

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 
Troops.  It includes the following statement:
"No alteration of, or additions to, the official uniforms, as described 
official publications, or the rules and regulations covering the wearing of 
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 
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 
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
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.


Subject: 4.1.11  BSA -- Boy Scouting - Addresses of people who will send 
          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 
new Eagle Scouts.

Finally, the MacScouter (, look in "Eagle 
has a listing along with some templates of letters to send to those 

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 
     * 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
     * Participation in amateur or professional rodeo events  -- 
     * 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

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 
you as Charter Organization." A suggestion would be to write to the National 
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, 
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 
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 
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 

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 
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
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