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Troop, Pack, Crew, Post, Unit By-Laws


This article is from the Scouting FAQ, by Bill Nelson nelsonb@nospam.aztec.asu.edu, Soaring Golden Eagle eagle@rangernet.org and Alan Houser troop24@emf.net with numerous contributions by others.

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:


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