Any boilerplate or typical items list available to help set up bylaws for a new Troop/Unit?
- Troops are youth run with support from chartered organization,’
- Bylaws may not be required unless required by chartered organization or government. There may be local requirements not covered by a national boilerplate document. Ask your chartered organization representative
- Model organizational charts, duties and responsibilities are available in various BSA publications
- Committee bylaws (2018-2019)
Basic troop committee training
September 2019, p. 3
TROOP/TEAM COMMITTEE CHAIR & COMMITTEE
Before first meeting
- SCOUTING ORGANIZATION FOR SCOUTS BSA
- ROLE OF THE UNIT KEY 3 FOR SCOUTS BSA
- AIMS & METHODS OF SCOUTS BSA
- IDEALS & BELIEFS OF SCOUTS BSA
- ROLES OF SCOUTMASTER & SP LEADERS
FIRST 30 DAYS
- PATROL METHOD FOR SCOUTS BSA
- PATROL LEADERS COUNCIL MEETING
- TROOP MEETINGS FOR SCOUTS BSA
- TROOP COMMITTEE FOR SCOUTS BSA
- TROOP COMMITTEE MEETINGS
- OUTDOOR PROGRAMS FOR SCOUTS BSA
- ADVANCEMENT FOR SCOUTS BSA
- UNIFORMS FOR SCOUTS BSA
- LEADER UNIFORMS FOR SCOUTS BSA
- ANNUAL TROOP PROGRAM PLANNING
- INTRO TO MERIT BADGES FOR SCOUTS BSA
- JOURNEY TO EXCELLENCE
- Scouts BSA Handbook for Girls, 39006, 2019 printing, Chapter 14 - Awards and Advancement, “Positions of Responsibility”
- Senior Patrol Leader Handbook, 32501, 2018 printing, Chapter 1 - Senor Patrol Leader Qualifications - duties, support group, troop structure, etc,
- Scouts BSA Troop Committee Guidebook, 34505, 2018 printing
- Scouts BSA Troop Leader Guidebook, vol. 1., 33009, 2018 printing
- Unit Performance Guide (UPG) - Starting and Sustaining High-Quality Units*, Volume 4, Gold Edition, BSA National Alliances Team Membership Group, 522-025, 2016 Printing - guide for district scouters
What many call by-laws are really simply rules of the organization. Things such as, “Scouts should leave the cell phones at home.”
Having been through the formation of a troop, I would encourage the adults to do two things:
- Discuss their beliefs and philosophies of scouting are.
- Consider what rules are really needed up front and the framework for adding rules.
Your unit is more likely to suffer premature death because of adult issues than any other thing in my opinion. But… rules should be some cross roads of your organization and your Scoutmaster. I strongly believe that the SM should have a lot of attitude in basic rules of the troop. And when your SM changes, the new SM should have considerable latitude to make some changes to fit his/her outlooks.
Oh, and if/when you have the discussion on rules there should be a hard rule that only those rules that can actually be found come from the BSA. As a hint, most of them can be found in the Guide to Safe Scouting and Guide to Advancement. If they aren’t there, then ask your DE where it might be and be ready to discover another non-rule.
I have heard many of these rules such as “Scouts must travel in uniform for insurance.” Or another is that “Knives must be folding with a blade under x inches long.” And just because a summer camp has a rule doesn’t mean that rule applies to all of BSA. I have looked at a lot of summer camps and not sure I have yet seen one that doesn’t prohibit sheaf knives. But a search of “Bryan on Scouting” will find a posting where he confirms that they are allowed in the BSA (if not prohibited by local rules).
I think a big part of the by-laws is to get people thinking about the “what-if’s”. It’s not necessarily fun, but it’s important to make sure you’re treating everyone fairly. You can’t just go by the seat of your pants all the time.
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