Chat with the Chief, June 2022

For those unable to attend our June Chat with the Chief, the call was recorded, but due to a technical issue, it was not saved, and cannot be shared. So, we present here the highlights of the call that was held on June 19, 2022. The call was attended by the majority of regional commissioners and headquarters staff. 

New Commissioners

Casey Hensley, is the new SouthWest Commissioner. Casey is a member of the 100th Sun Mountain and a member of the DEI Committee. 

Colorado just had their first ever BTC, and Casey was instrumental in making that happen and attended. We are excited to see what Casey will plan next for the SouthWest. You can contact Casey at CommissionerSouthwest@osg-us.org

Donathan Dedolph will be stepping up to fill the role of NorthEast Commissioner. He has agreed to fill the role temporarily and will be answering the Northeast emails at CommissionerNorthEast@osg-us.org for anyone who needs help in that region. Donathan has filled many roles for OSG and we appreciate his help with this. 

Openings

OSG is seeking a new Registrar to assist the Secretary with managing registrations and background checks. If you  time to help, please contact Mathias at secretary@osg-us.org and he will tell you more about the role. This work is extremely important and we would be very grateful to those willing help with this. 

New Committee Forming

Are you a younger Rover age 18-24? Would you like to be part of creating an updated Rover program?  If so, we’d like for you to join us in exploring what that program could be. We are looking for those willing to join a short term committee, that would meet this summer to explore how to create a better program for younger Rovers.  If interested, please contact Laura at Laura.Sowdon@osg-us.org as she has agreed to help this committee get started. 

Pathfinder Handbook

The new Prerelease of the Pathfinder Handbook is here! The first 101 new badges and other upper level Pathfinder Awards can all be downloaded now from the website. This 3 chapter selection is just a preview of the new program. If you have feedback on any part of the prerelease, please contact contact the committee at pathfinder@osg-us.org and let them know what you think. 

The full version of the new Handbook is being reviewed by an editor. It will then be reviewed again by members of OSG for continuity. It is a long document, but we hope it will be ready for scouting in the fall. 

Youth Protection

During the call, Richard Sowdon reviewed the importance of reviewing our current Youth Protection polices every year with your group. GSMs should download from the website the newest version, as these policies are updated periodically. Review with your entire group two deep leadership and make sure everyone knows about it, including non-leader parents. 

Every OSG leader has a moral responsibility to report it if you suspect a child is being abused. Is many states you are mandated, legally required, to report suspected abuse.  During the call, Jillian Tate, the NYC Commissioner pointed out that New York offers free training for teachers and other mandated reporters. This may be available in many states. 

All OSG policies are on the website. If you are looking for them, they can be found under the drop down tab for Resources. 

By Laws

There was a discussion of the new, proposed bylaws. There are several big changes from the old bylaws that were discussed.  

Chief Commissioner Richard shared that our original bylaws were created for a small organization that had a kitchen table style leadership. Kitchen table style, meaning that our original leadership could all gather around a kitchen table to make decisions. These new bylaws lay out a path forward for our organization to grow and function like a modern non-profit. These bylaws also help protect the organization from frivolous lawsuits that could bankrupt us. They also allow us to continue to function with a small leadership team, until or unless that team needs to grow. 

The old bylaws contained many policies about how OSG functions. The new bylaws will be simply a legal document that is designed to protect the organization legally and lays out the basic structure and function of the board. If anyone would like to be on a committee to write up policies that were in the old bylaws that we want to keep, please contact HQ@osg-us.org and let Richard know. 

Board Changes

There are a few big changes to how the board will function that are proposed in these bylaws. One change is that we will elect a board member every year. So we will switch to having an election each year. Board members will each have a 3 year term. This means that instead of changing over the entire board every 2 years, we will have more continuity of the board. Hopefully, this means that old members can leave and new ones join without loosing traction the way former boards have done. 

These elected board members will not be predetermined to serve in the role of secretary, chief and treasurer. Instead, the board members will decide amongst themselves who will fulfill each role. It is possible under the new bylaws for the board to choose to expand. By a simple vote, they can agree to add members to the board. Any new board member would be able to serve a partial term until they could be officially elected by the membership. How long that term would be, is determined by the board when the seat is created, and the seat assigned to an election year like any other seat. 

The new bylaws provide for having 1-2 youth members on the board. This means that a pathfinder can have a direct say in how the organization is run and allows us to be more scout led. Those seats will be appointed by the board. Regional Commissioners and GSMs can contact the board to nominate youth to fill those seats. 

Membership Requirement to be Added

It was discussed that the new bylaws create the opportunity to have board members who are not Rovers in OSG. Chief Richard stated that this was to create an opportunity for diversity on the board. Casey Hensley, stated that she saw the potential for that to be a good thing, has her local school board has outside members. Donathan Dedolph and Jillian Tate both stated they were uncomfortable with having board members who are not OSG members. It was then agreed that the bylaws will be amended to require that board members be OSG members. 

Size and Workload

The new board could eventually expand to have as many as 15 members and there are provisions that that 15 member, elected board, could form sub committees to accomplish the work of the organization. It is also clarified that the board can appoint members to do the work necessary to support the organization, and if we someday have money, they could hire help. At our current size this is not an issue, however, if we continue to grow, the board could for example, hire an accountant to help with the work of treasurer. 

Recalling of Board Members

Another big change in these bylaws, is that any member of the board can be recalled and removed by the membership. Under Missouri law, where we are incorporated, that is  part of any organization. After discussion, it was agreed that the process for removing a board member will be clarified in the bylaws. This process will include that GSMs can request a recall election to remove board members who are not serving the best interest of the organization.  It will outline how to call for this election and how it will take place. 

If you have further thoughts or concerns about the bylaws please contact HQ@osg-us.org and Chief Commissioner Richard will make note. If enough members reach out, we can schedule another Zoom call  to discuss the bylaws further. 

Call to Action

The Secretary requests that you all make sure your membership and your group charter are up to date. Please renew if you need to. Make sure your new members are registered and that they are doing their part to get their background checks run. That is essential to youth safety. If your group was on “pause” for covid and you have resumed scouting, please update your group in Dashboard. Mathias is happy to help if you have any questions. 

Upcoming Events

Hullaballoo  June 24-26, 2022 in Oregon for our West Coast members.

Pathfinder Paddelpalooza is June 30 to July 3, 2022 in Oregon. Contact Ethan Jewett for more information.

The East coast is planning a BAT, Bronze Aroow Training for Pathfinders for September in Maryland. Contact your regional commission for more information or to sign up.

The West coast is exploring interest and dates for a BAT. 

Jillian Tate shared that there is a BTC in the works for the New York area (location TBD) for the weekend of Indigenous People’s Day in October. 

Chun-Yin our Midwest Commissioner shared that the Midwest is working on planning a BTC for spring 2023.

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